Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Migration

Enlarge poem

And when they came,
You sang the loudest.
Shamed the morning crow of the neighbor’s rooster.
Smiled the widest,
Like the crescent moon in late July.
Danced the wildest,
Kicked the soil and raised the highest dust clouds.

And you were happy
When they covered me in blankets,
Paved my path with worn chitenges,
Offered brand new gifts with chapped hands,
Hats with feathers on the sides,
Shoes,
And a herd of thin ailing cattle.

And they tried to tell you
Where they would take me.
You shook your head the most,
Said they should carry me in a box
So that even I don’t remember the way out.

And when we left
They made me lay with ghosts,
In a village lit only by the fires on which we made their tea.
How would you get there?
Old hard beat down roads
Smoke so thick
Air so cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

And you were far away.
When I cried, only the birds heard
Sang my pain back to me,

And the trees waved.
The wind called
In whispers.
The river kept moving,
Echoing passing days.
My hands chapped
The fields had come alive.

And I followed them
To cover her with blankets
Watched
As we told her people
Only the dead come with us
They shook their heads
We put her in a box
They sang
Smiled
Danced.

And I hear her crying now.
So do the birds.
They sing to her.
Her people will never know.
They will not come for her.
The only light here, is from the fires on which
She boils water to make our tea
Dried grass covers the old hard beat down road
Smoke so thick
You can’t see home
Air still cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

Leshie Lovesong

Featured Poem:

Half Asleep

Enlarge poem

We do not usually see the darkness at such hours
Not so early.
We see the sun,
She travels to places we only hear of
We don’t really know that they exist.
Like the voice on the radio,
We think she has gone to sleep;
To gather heat
In the belly of the earth.

So when we saw darkness,
Blindingly asserting entitlements
To times which should belong only to the sun,
We shut our doors behind us,
Covered the children in heavy sheets.
This, they should not see.

A day
Half asleep.

The moon is usually half awake
At such hours.
He readies himself to
Shut his eyes and wait
For a new month to serve,
And the stars stretch themselves wider on those eves,
Stark crystals against the carpet of sky.

We used to understand.
We used to know what time it was.
We used to tell the stories to the children,
In songs around the fire.
We used to hope to hear them told on the radio,
While we lay on our beds
And the barren fields were far away.
We used to wait.

But the darkness did not ask for permission.
She gathered the heaviest of clouds.
No thunder.
No questions.
Covered the sun,
It was not going to rain.
Darkness was tired of always waiting
For Day.
The children slept through it.
They will never know.

We stayed awake
Behind closed doors.
We will not forget.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Leshie Lovesong, recently resident in Cincinnati, Ohio, (USA) is a Motswana poet, singer and song writer. Her stage journey began in 2007 as a member of ExodusLivePoetry!, a pioneering poetry movement in Botswana.

Her first studio recorded EP, Sunflowers and Strawberries was launched and released at the Queen City Poetry Slam in Cincinnati, Ohio where Leshie was a feature artist. The release of S&S follows Leshie’s second solo event, BREATHE: A Night of Poetry and Music, which was staged in Gaborone, Botswana in August 2014. BREATHE is the second part of a 3 part “Love Letters”, written, directed, produced and performed by Leshie, accompanied by other artists. The first part, FALLING: A Night of Poetry and Music, was staged in Gaborone, at Moving Space Theatre, Maru-A-Pula School on March 7th 2014. The show sold out, and got extensive media coverage. The last installment is expected to be staged in 2015. The trilogy follows a lover, on her journey towards finding herself, exploring the luminal spaces, very rarely confronted, including the impact of past experiences, and how they shape one. Leshie has also performed adaptations of the trilogy in the Maitisong Festival 2014 and 2015, held in Gaborone.

In 2013, Leshie performed at the INTWASA KoBulawayo Festival in September, and at the Maun International Poetry Festival in October. Her EP, released recently, was recorded in 2013, by Heaven Sent Productions.

2012 saw Leshie co-write a workshopped poetry play, “The Bedspread”, which was launched in Gaborone, and later performed at the annual “Sex Actually” festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a social and environmental activist, Leshie travelled to Luanda, Angola and Rundu, Namibia in mid 2012, workshopping scripts and performing plays aimed raising awareness on the importance of the sustainable development of the Okavango River. As a poet, Leshie’s poetry was inevitably featured in the plays.

Between 2012 and 2013, Leshie acted in various other theatre productions, including pantomimes of Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast, in both of which she played lead roles; and Passion Plays I and II, where she explored even more challenging and provocative roles which explored the range of her capacity as an artist, and taught her discipline.

Her work has been featured in ‘Dreaming is a Gift for Me’, an audio anthology, produced by SAUTI Artist Administration; as well as in ‘Awakening’, a compilation of affirmations.

Leshie’s written work has been featured in the Womb edition of Prairie Schooner.

Lesego Nswahu Nchunga (Leshie Lovesong)/ @leshielovesong/

Leshie Lovesong

Biography

Leshie Lovesong, recently resident in Cincinnati, Ohio, (USA) is a Motswana poet, singer and song writer. Her stage journey began in 2007 as a member of ExodusLivePoetry!, a pioneering poetry movement in Botswana.

Her first studio recorded EP, Sunflowers and Strawberries was launched and released at the Queen City Poetry Slam in Cincinnati, Ohio where Leshie was a feature artist. The release of S&S follows Leshie’s second solo event, BREATHE: A Night of Poetry and Music, which was staged in Gaborone, Botswana in August 2014. BREATHE is the second part of a 3 part “Love Letters”, written, directed, produced and performed by Leshie, accompanied by other artists. The first part, FALLING: A Night of Poetry and Music, was staged in Gaborone, at Moving Space Theatre, Maru-A-Pula School on March 7th 2014. The show sold out, and got extensive media coverage. The last installment is expected to be staged in 2015. The trilogy follows a lover, on her journey towards finding herself, exploring the luminal spaces, very rarely confronted, including the impact of past experiences, and how they shape one. Leshie has also performed adaptations of the trilogy in the Maitisong Festival 2014 and 2015, held in Gaborone.

In 2013, Leshie performed at the INTWASA KoBulawayo Festival in September, and at the Maun International Poetry Festival in October. Her EP, released recently, was recorded in 2013, by Heaven Sent Productions.

2012 saw Leshie co-write a workshopped poetry play, “The Bedspread”, which was launched in Gaborone, and later performed at the annual “Sex Actually” festival in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a social and environmental activist, Leshie travelled to Luanda, Angola and Rundu, Namibia in mid 2012, workshopping scripts and performing plays aimed raising awareness on the importance of the sustainable development of the Okavango River. As a poet, Leshie’s poetry was inevitably featured in the plays.

Between 2012 and 2013, Leshie acted in various other theatre productions, including pantomimes of Pinocchio and Beauty and the Beast, in both of which she played lead roles; and Passion Plays I and II, where she explored even more challenging and provocative roles which explored the range of her capacity as an artist, and taught her discipline.

Her work has been featured in ‘Dreaming is a Gift for Me’, an audio anthology, produced by SAUTI Artist Administration; as well as in ‘Awakening’, a compilation of affirmations.

Leshie’s written work has been featured in the Womb edition of Prairie Schooner.

Lesego Nswahu Nchunga (Leshie Lovesong)/ @leshielovesong/

Migration

Enlarge poem

And when they came,
You sang the loudest.
Shamed the morning crow of the neighbor’s rooster.
Smiled the widest,
Like the crescent moon in late July.
Danced the wildest,
Kicked the soil and raised the highest dust clouds.

And you were happy
When they covered me in blankets,
Paved my path with worn chitenges,
Offered brand new gifts with chapped hands,
Hats with feathers on the sides,
Shoes,
And a herd of thin ailing cattle.

And they tried to tell you
Where they would take me.
You shook your head the most,
Said they should carry me in a box
So that even I don’t remember the way out.

And when we left
They made me lay with ghosts,
In a village lit only by the fires on which we made their tea.
How would you get there?
Old hard beat down roads
Smoke so thick
Air so cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

And you were far away.
When I cried, only the birds heard
Sang my pain back to me,

And the trees waved.
The wind called
In whispers.
The river kept moving,
Echoing passing days.
My hands chapped
The fields had come alive.

And I followed them
To cover her with blankets
Watched
As we told her people
Only the dead come with us
They shook their heads
We put her in a box
They sang
Smiled
Danced.

And I hear her crying now.
So do the birds.
They sing to her.
Her people will never know.
They will not come for her.
The only light here, is from the fires on which
She boils water to make our tea
Dried grass covers the old hard beat down road
Smoke so thick
You can’t see home
Air still cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

Featured Poem:

Half Asleep

Enlarge poem

We do not usually see the darkness at such hours
Not so early.
We see the sun,
She travels to places we only hear of
We don’t really know that they exist.
Like the voice on the radio,
We think she has gone to sleep;
To gather heat
In the belly of the earth.

So when we saw darkness,
Blindingly asserting entitlements
To times which should belong only to the sun,
We shut our doors behind us,
Covered the children in heavy sheets.
This, they should not see.

A day
Half asleep.

The moon is usually half awake
At such hours.
He readies himself to
Shut his eyes and wait
For a new month to serve,
And the stars stretch themselves wider on those eves,
Stark crystals against the carpet of sky.

We used to understand.
We used to know what time it was.
We used to tell the stories to the children,
In songs around the fire.
We used to hope to hear them told on the radio,
While we lay on our beds
And the barren fields were far away.
We used to wait.

But the darkness did not ask for permission.
She gathered the heaviest of clouds.
No thunder.
No questions.
Covered the sun,
It was not going to rain.
Darkness was tired of always waiting
For Day.
The children slept through it.
They will never know.

We stayed awake
Behind closed doors.
We will not forget.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (1)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Migration

Enlarge poem

And when they came,
You sang the loudest.
Shamed the morning crow of the neighbor’s rooster.
Smiled the widest,
Like the crescent moon in late July.
Danced the wildest,
Kicked the soil and raised the highest dust clouds.

And you were happy
When they covered me in blankets,
Paved my path with worn chitenges,
Offered brand new gifts with chapped hands,
Hats with feathers on the sides,
Shoes,
And a herd of thin ailing cattle.

And they tried to tell you
Where they would take me.
You shook your head the most,
Said they should carry me in a box
So that even I don’t remember the way out.

And when we left
They made me lay with ghosts,
In a village lit only by the fires on which we made their tea.
How would you get there?
Old hard beat down roads
Smoke so thick
Air so cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

And you were far away.
When I cried, only the birds heard
Sang my pain back to me,

And the trees waved.
The wind called
In whispers.
The river kept moving,
Echoing passing days.
My hands chapped
The fields had come alive.

And I followed them
To cover her with blankets
Watched
As we told her people
Only the dead come with us
They shook their heads
We put her in a box
They sang
Smiled
Danced.

And I hear her crying now.
So do the birds.
They sing to her.
Her people will never know.
They will not come for her.
The only light here, is from the fires on which
She boils water to make our tea
Dried grass covers the old hard beat down road
Smoke so thick
You can’t see home
Air still cold
Clouds so far above the hills.
How would you get there?

Comments

Your email address will not be published.