Malika Lueen Ndlovu

Malika Lueen Ndlovu
South Africa

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Malika Lueen Ndlovu

The experience of defining and redefining who we are in the face of others and to ourselves can be an ever-widening cavern of myths and truths. Malika Ndlovu's words wash over us like personalities in fusion on the edge of the horizon; making us want to look for the reflection of ourselves in her poetry.


Malika Lueen Ndlovu is a poet, playwright, performer, arts project manager and mother of three sons,... More >

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A Woman’s Path

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
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.

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