Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Sandra A. Mushi

Featured Poem:

They Walk Among Us

Enlarge poem

They walk among us
feeding on our love and kindness
thirsting for our love

They lay hungry on a bed of passion
with their hearts ajar
uncertainty creeps into their hearts’ little cracks
bathed in love yet dry with anxiety
you questioned their hearts
but they answered with fears
their insecurities bathed in frostiness.

They live among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

They dream in music but the sleep on thorns
poisonous arrows pass through their hearts
stung by fear for passion
fleshed ripped with insecurity
they walk a crooked line of broken dreams
murmuring cold whispers that bring doubts
their silent symphony so loud

They breathe among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

Fountain of tears stream down their cheeks
choked by emotion no words can they speak
caged around walls of darkness
obsessive uncertainty blinding their souls
their skin tightened around their eyes
sweat beading screening truth
not knowing right from wrong

They lie among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

Our unconditional love never satisfies them
our tender embraces never warm enough
our lonely cries never move them
Greed ripping through their bodies
The teeth of uncertainty
clench and grind around them
like steel claws on slate they cling to their hearts
with a sharpened hold turmoil strike on them
their caged cold hearts refusing to let us in
shutting us out beyond death
only cold air within their clasp

Whenever we reach out
We find nothing for our hands to touch
realizing the sudden bland flavour of our lives
no longer drawing out our breath
we drown us in their pool of sorrow
puncturing into our spine
grimly drilling holes through

Yes, they are indeed among us
calling us friends
lovers
companions
promising to be there
but only to feed on our sadness.

Like the raging fire intense emotions well up
Shrinking their souls as they penetrate
The coldness of their souls stinging us
With shuddered grasp we pull back
Clutching our hearts they wrench them out
Stomping on our trust like yesterdays trash
Angels cry as innocent souls they crush
Life of the innocent drain out
Wasted, spent, lost, wrung
droplets of red staining the soil
taking us on a rollercoaster of pain
burrowing into our flesh
tenaciously ripping tunnels through
Yes, they live among us.

terrified and alone
terrified of their spirits
terrified of their choices
hiding behind hardness
hiding from the truth
not knowing there to turn
not trusting themselves
not sure of their future.

They feed on crushing our love
choking our laughter
they breathe on perforating our lives
feeding on our kindness
they walk among us
thirsting for our love

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Sandra A. Mushi is an interior architecture designer with a very strong passion for writing. She is the author of The Rhythmn Of My Rhyme, published by Andika Afrika, Tanzania in 2008, is a collection of soulful poems – a journey of self discovery – women in love; women out of love; abused children; abused women; content women, women who have found themselves (emotionally, mentally and sexually) and women who just want to be.

Sandra’s second book, Stains On My Khanga, published by Hadithi Media, SA in 2014, is a collection of short stories and poems and it is centered around justice for women and the challenges women face, the choices women sometimes have to make.

Some of Sandra’s works have also been published on Africa Knowledge Project, also known as AKP, and JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies [JENDA]. AKP is an initiative by Africa Resource Center, Inc., dedicated exclusively to academic research on Africa and its Diaspora. AKP focuses on critical Africa-centered, evidence-based knowledge and research from a diverse range of disciplines. While Jenda is an award-winning peer-reviewed journal which focuses on social, political, economic, and cultural concepts and categories that shape the lives of women in different African societies.

Sandra’s short story Lunch has been featured in Street Level, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania in 2011. Sandra’s poems Chai and Through Change from the collection Stains On My Khanga, have been featured in Street Level 2, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by We Don’t Reed Publishers, Tanzania in 2011.

Sandra’s poem Reflections from Stains On My Khanga has been featured in a poetry anthology, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets – Contemporary African Women’s Poetry published in 2013 by Lynne Reinner Publishers, USA. This anthology of never-before-published poems showcases a new generation of African women poets, some familiar, some just beginning their literary careers. Their rich voices belie popular stereotypes, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of their environment. As they range across topics encompassing family and personal relationships, politics, war, and the ravages of famine and disease, they show the breadth of African women’s experiences and of their thinking about issues both on the continent and globally.

In 2013 FEMRITE, Uganda Women Writers Association, invited Sandra to participate in the 5th Regional Residency for African women writers. Sandra’s manuscripts were rated very highly by the evaluators. This year, the countries participating include; Malawi, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Sandra was nominated for the fall 2011 residency at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa, USA.

In October 2010, Sandra was invited to the international Hay Festival, a literary and art festivals, which was held in Nairobi under Storymoja. She was there as a Tanzanian writer and poet. Sandra was also invited to participate as an external observer in what EASUN and the PSO (a network of 50 NGOs in the Netherlands) planned as a dialogue event between Northern and Southern NGOs. This dialogue which took place between November 8-12, 2009 in Moshi has been dubbed the Moshi Dialogue. Sandra’s observation of the dialogue was put in poetic form and enacted after each daily session.

In 2008, Sandra participated in the Book Slam in Zanzibar, which happened during the Sauti za Busara festival and involved writers from all over the world. In 2006 Sandra was invited by Kwani to the first ever East African Writers Summit in Lukenya, Kenya.

Sandra has also written for several magazines, news papers and corporate newsletter.

Sandra A. Mushi

Biography

Sandra A. Mushi is an interior architecture designer with a very strong passion for writing. She is the author of The Rhythmn Of My Rhyme, published by Andika Afrika, Tanzania in 2008, is a collection of soulful poems – a journey of self discovery – women in love; women out of love; abused children; abused women; content women, women who have found themselves (emotionally, mentally and sexually) and women who just want to be.

Sandra’s second book, Stains On My Khanga, published by Hadithi Media, SA in 2014, is a collection of short stories and poems and it is centered around justice for women and the challenges women face, the choices women sometimes have to make.

Some of Sandra’s works have also been published on Africa Knowledge Project, also known as AKP, and JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies [JENDA]. AKP is an initiative by Africa Resource Center, Inc., dedicated exclusively to academic research on Africa and its Diaspora. AKP focuses on critical Africa-centered, evidence-based knowledge and research from a diverse range of disciplines. While Jenda is an award-winning peer-reviewed journal which focuses on social, political, economic, and cultural concepts and categories that shape the lives of women in different African societies.

Sandra’s short story Lunch has been featured in Street Level, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania in 2011. Sandra’s poems Chai and Through Change from the collection Stains On My Khanga, have been featured in Street Level 2, A collection Of Drawings and Creative Writing Inspired by Dar es Salaam published by We Don’t Reed Publishers, Tanzania in 2011.

Sandra’s poem Reflections from Stains On My Khanga has been featured in a poetry anthology, Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets – Contemporary African Women’s Poetry published in 2013 by Lynne Reinner Publishers, USA. This anthology of never-before-published poems showcases a new generation of African women poets, some familiar, some just beginning their literary careers. Their rich voices belie popular stereotypes, reflecting the diversity and dynamism of their environment. As they range across topics encompassing family and personal relationships, politics, war, and the ravages of famine and disease, they show the breadth of African women’s experiences and of their thinking about issues both on the continent and globally.

In 2013 FEMRITE, Uganda Women Writers Association, invited Sandra to participate in the 5th Regional Residency for African women writers. Sandra’s manuscripts were rated very highly by the evaluators. This year, the countries participating include; Malawi, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Sandra was nominated for the fall 2011 residency at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Iowa, USA.

In October 2010, Sandra was invited to the international Hay Festival, a literary and art festivals, which was held in Nairobi under Storymoja. She was there as a Tanzanian writer and poet. Sandra was also invited to participate as an external observer in what EASUN and the PSO (a network of 50 NGOs in the Netherlands) planned as a dialogue event between Northern and Southern NGOs. This dialogue which took place between November 8-12, 2009 in Moshi has been dubbed the Moshi Dialogue. Sandra’s observation of the dialogue was put in poetic form and enacted after each daily session.

In 2008, Sandra participated in the Book Slam in Zanzibar, which happened during the Sauti za Busara festival and involved writers from all over the world. In 2006 Sandra was invited by Kwani to the first ever East African Writers Summit in Lukenya, Kenya.

Sandra has also written for several magazines, news papers and corporate newsletter.

Featured Poem:

They Walk Among Us

Enlarge poem

They walk among us
feeding on our love and kindness
thirsting for our love

They lay hungry on a bed of passion
with their hearts ajar
uncertainty creeps into their hearts’ little cracks
bathed in love yet dry with anxiety
you questioned their hearts
but they answered with fears
their insecurities bathed in frostiness.

They live among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

They dream in music but the sleep on thorns
poisonous arrows pass through their hearts
stung by fear for passion
fleshed ripped with insecurity
they walk a crooked line of broken dreams
murmuring cold whispers that bring doubts
their silent symphony so loud

They breathe among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

Fountain of tears stream down their cheeks
choked by emotion no words can they speak
caged around walls of darkness
obsessive uncertainty blinding their souls
their skin tightened around their eyes
sweat beading screening truth
not knowing right from wrong

They lie among us
feeding on our kindness
thirsting for our love

Our unconditional love never satisfies them
our tender embraces never warm enough
our lonely cries never move them
Greed ripping through their bodies
The teeth of uncertainty
clench and grind around them
like steel claws on slate they cling to their hearts
with a sharpened hold turmoil strike on them
their caged cold hearts refusing to let us in
shutting us out beyond death
only cold air within their clasp

Whenever we reach out
We find nothing for our hands to touch
realizing the sudden bland flavour of our lives
no longer drawing out our breath
we drown us in their pool of sorrow
puncturing into our spine
grimly drilling holes through

Yes, they are indeed among us
calling us friends
lovers
companions
promising to be there
but only to feed on our sadness.

Like the raging fire intense emotions well up
Shrinking their souls as they penetrate
The coldness of their souls stinging us
With shuddered grasp we pull back
Clutching our hearts they wrench them out
Stomping on our trust like yesterdays trash
Angels cry as innocent souls they crush
Life of the innocent drain out
Wasted, spent, lost, wrung
droplets of red staining the soil
taking us on a rollercoaster of pain
burrowing into our flesh
tenaciously ripping tunnels through
Yes, they live among us.

terrified and alone
terrified of their spirits
terrified of their choices
hiding behind hardness
hiding from the truth
not knowing there to turn
not trusting themselves
not sure of their future.

They feed on crushing our love
choking our laughter
they breathe on perforating our lives
feeding on our kindness
they walk among us
thirsting for our love

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

Your email address will not be published.