Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Struggle to Surrender

Enlarge poem

From thought to feeling
Ideas to senses
From mind to gut
Blood to breath
Desperation to inspiration
Strategy to impulse
From conditioning to dreaming
Body to being

From warring to loving
Difference to oneness
Distrust to faith
From doubt to believing
Insecurity to equilibrium
Questions to silence

From Struggle to Surrender
To Surrender
We Surrender

From imprisonment to liberation
Judgement to acceptance
Attachment to freedom
From exhaustion to enthusiasm
Dragging to dance
Holding on to letting go
Anchoring to flight
From known to unknown
Roots to wings

From Struggle to Surrender
I surrender
We surrender
She surrenders
He surrenders
We surrender
Surrender

Malika Lueen Ndlovu

Featured Poem:

A Woman’s Path

Enlarge poem

shards of light
penetrate her shroud
solitary silhouette
standing on a dark mound
waiting for her moon

veiled in night
slowly she lets her head fall back
her mouth opens into the black
a soundless shout
a flock of doves flies out
dispersing into the darkness
carrying their messages
to distant quarters

in her silence she is calling
each receiver’s name
all over the world they awaken
those leaving
stay
those dying
begin to breathe again
those warring
feel a tender wind unclench their fists
lighten their weapons
wash across their brows

now light peels in
defining earth from sky
she releases one more muted cry
the air absorbs it instantly
persistent as her shadow
it takes in everything

with this dawn unfolding
she finds her feet again
frees them from the red earth enveloping them
and takes her first step

with each one the rain obediently responds
gently it begins to touch her shoulders
her head
her cheeks
gradually dripping into the arc of her back
dancing on her outstretched arms
pooling in her open palms

the further she walks
the harder it pours
erasing her footprints
soaking her skin
listening for her command
for when to end this cleansing

she alone can hear the music
of her heart
her breath
her feet
beating the growing river of red

through the mist
above the mountains ahead
a rainbow like a dream
faintly emerges
beckoning her to the other side

she follows her heart-breath-beat
and feet
they know the way
they will not stop
not until the dark descends again
when time will play her trick
of dejavu

*This poem came from a dream shortly after visiting the majestic Tradouw’s Pass in the Klein Karoo for the first time, in July 2005. The pass was first constructed by Thomas Bain in 1873. A 14km drive, it follows the deep valley of the Buffeljags River. Although the pass was renamed to Southey Pass (after a former Colonial Secretary), the indigenous Khoi San poeple kept referring to it as Tradouws Pass (from taras, a woman and daos, a poort) and that is the name by which it is known today.

Malika Ndlovu

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (4)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

Comments

  1. Please inform how I can purchase a copy of “Truth is Both Spirit and Flesh”. Thanks

    Catherine Middlemost

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Malika Lueen Ndlovu is a poet, playwright, performer, arts project manager and mother of three sons, with a wide range of experience in the Arts and Arts Management arena.

Malika is a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE, co-editor of their multi-genre anthology WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. In 2004 she initiated the And The Word Was Woman Ensemble of female performance poets and later that year joined The Mothertongue Project, a women performing artists, writers and visual artists collective.

Malika has four of her own poetry collections, besides her work being featured in several local and international publications, namely Born in Africa But , Womb to World: A Labour of Love, Truth is both Spirit and Flesh and Invisible Earthquake: a Woman’s Journal through Stillbirth a poetic memoir published by new South African Women’s press, Modjaji Books.

Her published plays include the award-winning drama A Coloured Place and most recently Sister Breyani.

In 2007 she co-curated The Africa Centre’s  5-day international poetry festival and is currently a presenter for BadilishaPoetry.com, an online poetry radio station podcasting Pan-African poets.

As an independent artist Malika operates under the brand New Moon Ventures, which is dedicated to creating indigenous, multi-media and collaborative works in line with her personal motto “healing through creativity.”

Malika Lueen Ndlovu

Malika Ndlovu
Malika Ndlovu

Biography

Malika Lueen Ndlovu is a poet, playwright, performer, arts project manager and mother of three sons, with a wide range of experience in the Arts and Arts Management arena.

Malika is a founder-member of Cape Town-based women writers’ collective WEAVE, co-editor of their multi-genre anthology WEAVE’s Ink @ Boiling Point: A selection of 21st Century Black Women’s writing from the Southern Tip of Africa. In 2004 she initiated the And The Word Was Woman Ensemble of female performance poets and later that year joined The Mothertongue Project, a women performing artists, writers and visual artists collective.

Malika has four of her own poetry collections, besides her work being featured in several local and international publications, namely Born in Africa But , Womb to World: A Labour of Love, Truth is both Spirit and Flesh and Invisible Earthquake: a Woman’s Journal through Stillbirth a poetic memoir published by new South African Women’s press, Modjaji Books.

Her published plays include the award-winning drama A Coloured Place and most recently Sister Breyani.

In 2007 she co-curated The Africa Centre’s  5-day international poetry festival and is currently a presenter for BadilishaPoetry.com, an online poetry radio station podcasting Pan-African poets.

As an independent artist Malika operates under the brand New Moon Ventures, which is dedicated to creating indigenous, multi-media and collaborative works in line with her personal motto “healing through creativity.”

Struggle to Surrender

Enlarge poem

From thought to feeling
Ideas to senses
From mind to gut
Blood to breath
Desperation to inspiration
Strategy to impulse
From conditioning to dreaming
Body to being

From warring to loving
Difference to oneness
Distrust to faith
From doubt to believing
Insecurity to equilibrium
Questions to silence

From Struggle to Surrender
To Surrender
We Surrender

From imprisonment to liberation
Judgement to acceptance
Attachment to freedom
From exhaustion to enthusiasm
Dragging to dance
Holding on to letting go
Anchoring to flight
From known to unknown
Roots to wings

From Struggle to Surrender
I surrender
We surrender
She surrenders
He surrenders
We surrender
Surrender

Featured Poem:

A Woman’s Path

Enlarge poem

shards of light
penetrate her shroud
solitary silhouette
standing on a dark mound
waiting for her moon

veiled in night
slowly she lets her head fall back
her mouth opens into the black
a soundless shout
a flock of doves flies out
dispersing into the darkness
carrying their messages
to distant quarters

in her silence she is calling
each receiver’s name
all over the world they awaken
those leaving
stay
those dying
begin to breathe again
those warring
feel a tender wind unclench their fists
lighten their weapons
wash across their brows

now light peels in
defining earth from sky
she releases one more muted cry
the air absorbs it instantly
persistent as her shadow
it takes in everything

with this dawn unfolding
she finds her feet again
frees them from the red earth enveloping them
and takes her first step

with each one the rain obediently responds
gently it begins to touch her shoulders
her head
her cheeks
gradually dripping into the arc of her back
dancing on her outstretched arms
pooling in her open palms

the further she walks
the harder it pours
erasing her footprints
soaking her skin
listening for her command
for when to end this cleansing

she alone can hear the music
of her heart
her breath
her feet
beating the growing river of red

through the mist
above the mountains ahead
a rainbow like a dream
faintly emerges
beckoning her to the other side

she follows her heart-breath-beat
and feet
they know the way
they will not stop
not until the dark descends again
when time will play her trick
of dejavu

*This poem came from a dream shortly after visiting the majestic Tradouw’s Pass in the Klein Karoo for the first time, in July 2005. The pass was first constructed by Thomas Bain in 1873. A 14km drive, it follows the deep valley of the Buffeljags River. Although the pass was renamed to Southey Pass (after a former Colonial Secretary), the indigenous Khoi San poeple kept referring to it as Tradouws Pass (from taras, a woman and daos, a poort) and that is the name by which it is known today.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (1)
  • Anger (4)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (2)
  • Captivation (3)
  • Peace (2)
  • Amusement (1)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (1)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (2)

Struggle to Surrender

Enlarge poem

From thought to feeling
Ideas to senses
From mind to gut
Blood to breath
Desperation to inspiration
Strategy to impulse
From conditioning to dreaming
Body to being

From warring to loving
Difference to oneness
Distrust to faith
From doubt to believing
Insecurity to equilibrium
Questions to silence

From Struggle to Surrender
To Surrender
We Surrender

From imprisonment to liberation
Judgement to acceptance
Attachment to freedom
From exhaustion to enthusiasm
Dragging to dance
Holding on to letting go
Anchoring to flight
From known to unknown
Roots to wings

From Struggle to Surrender
I surrender
We surrender
She surrenders
He surrenders
We surrender
Surrender

Comments

  1. Please inform how I can purchase a copy of “Truth is Both Spirit and Flesh”. Thanks

    Catherine Middlemost

Your email address will not be published.