Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Good Looking

Enlarge poem

I’ve always wanted to be good looking.
Dreams of being clean took me to abysmal scenes of
deflated self esteem hidden behind fresh shape ups and baggy jeans
and, as bad as it seemed, it was always understood that it could be worse.
So, cursed be the day that brought me fearfully close to the hearse
missed turn, frantic attempt to negotiate the dreaded curves
met head first with teen boy on red bike, halfway riding to the curb
Shook papa’s nerves. Emptied Mama’s purse. Since forgotten the hurt
but it remains immortalized in the voice of screaming nurse
You’ll remember the feeling after you’ve forgotten the name
like you still feel the heat when they extinguish the flame
so now I’m looking in the mirror with renewed disdain
because when all is done and said, the scar remained
It weighed on my mind. I prayed for a sign
Stayed on the line, the answer came in due time

Walk up to the mirror, look again and you’ll find
a masterpiece divine, no need to change it it’s fine
because the scar on your face and the stars out in space
are just one and the same thing, art in its place
Godly ordained, over garnished in grace
So I promise papa, this is not an emergency; no need to call the surgeon, this scar’s no longer unnerving me.
Besides, I’m tired of tryinna be good looking; it was getting in the way of being beautiful

Shingi Mavima

Featured Poem:

Last Night

Enlarge poem

Last Night, I walked with the devil
He who since Genesis has been the nemesis of mankind and I,
Walked hand in hand last night
He said, “Friend, I know we have not always seen eye to eye
And yes, it flows in my veins to kill, destroy and Lie
So tonight I’m going to take a minute to boast”
So we commenced our travels, coast to coast over the land I love the most…

Started off in the southernmost tip, the continent’s Joy and Pride
South Africa, for decades, disenfanchized by apartheid
Now proudly standing apart as Africa’s melting pot
But hold that thought, for in a flash someone fires a shot
For the same place I proclaim has earned undesired fame as one of the prime for violent crime in the world.
Enough seen, my fellow traveller and I headed to the next station
Crossing the border to the north, coming forth into Zimbabwe
Once Africa’s bread basket, but no longer the case, now merely just a basket-case
And as we face the facts, we’re gazing upon a place where inflation rose at a world-record setting pace
And while the people do their best to make it through the days and enjoy,
What can you possibly tell them when 85% of them are now unemployed
When they see the cause, but their tummies too empty to fight
You get the drift-thus went the rest of the night

As we, march across the Beautiful republic of Congo to the mystifying sound of the bongos
Tis hard to digest that an Eden so fine blessed with diamonds worthy of King Solomon’s mines
Has played host to the World’s deadliest conflict since the world wars
It feels like evil is floggin my continent on its back and we’re down on all fours
As we, pass through Nigeria where tensions boil, when brother against brother, sons of the soil
Are wrenched onto opposite sides, ready to die and kill over oil…

Feet Away from Cote D’Ivoire and Libya
Little done and much said, we watch as their blood sheds
It’s impossible to hold high your head, when you kneel to drink in these rivers of red
In a matter of weeks, power pursuit perverts people and produces preposterous freaks
Monsters who mindlessly maim and mobilize masses into murderous streaks

And in my dreams I hear the man telling me yes you can!
Wish I could look at the man back home, and tell him you too man
But my voice is merely drowned by the Janjaweed running havoc in Sudan
And as I watch babies torn out of their mothers womb over Darfur
I scream to the beast “Devil, Show me no more!”

So we, walk away from some where a woman born is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read and,
Where AIDS has left the average human life at less than 30
And where child soldiers have murdered dozens before they are teens
And I’m tough but it got on my knees,
Even though I’m overseas, pledging allegiance to another land
Ive been crying and crying, for my sisters and my brothers and
Family and friends still residing on the motherland
And I asked “Devil, why do we have it the worst, why are we living in death and Africa the hearse, why have you made the beautiful brown skin synonymous with cursed”

And he said, I told you I would boast, and I’d love to take the blame
All the same, it must be said, that man should be twice ashamed
For the guns in children’s hands, the abused women, the disease and war that cause your continent to bleed
I would have no instruments to start the fire, if it wasn’t fuelled by human greed
Gluttonous seeds planted by those who you watch as they feed
Corrupt politicians who equate money with the ability to lead
And as another baby starves to death, I hope we are mighty proud of ourselves
You’ve been the destruction on your fellow man, and the Devil hardly even helped

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Biography

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Shingi Mavima currently writes out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work revolves around the inescapability of time, Africa in her flawed glory, and love.
Mavima is also the lead poet and editor of Homeward Bound, an anthology by five young Zimbabwean poets (now available on Amazon.)  Away from poetry, Mavima has a Masters of International Affairs Degree from Penn State University, and is currently getting his Phd in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

Shingi Mavima

Biography

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Shingi Mavima currently writes out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work revolves around the inescapability of time, Africa in her flawed glory, and love.
Mavima is also the lead poet and editor of Homeward Bound, an anthology by five young Zimbabwean poets (now available on Amazon.)  Away from poetry, Mavima has a Masters of International Affairs Degree from Penn State University, and is currently getting his Phd in African American and African Studies at Michigan State University.

Good Looking

Enlarge poem

I’ve always wanted to be good looking.
Dreams of being clean took me to abysmal scenes of
deflated self esteem hidden behind fresh shape ups and baggy jeans
and, as bad as it seemed, it was always understood that it could be worse.
So, cursed be the day that brought me fearfully close to the hearse
missed turn, frantic attempt to negotiate the dreaded curves
met head first with teen boy on red bike, halfway riding to the curb
Shook papa’s nerves. Emptied Mama’s purse. Since forgotten the hurt
but it remains immortalized in the voice of screaming nurse
You’ll remember the feeling after you’ve forgotten the name
like you still feel the heat when they extinguish the flame
so now I’m looking in the mirror with renewed disdain
because when all is done and said, the scar remained
It weighed on my mind. I prayed for a sign
Stayed on the line, the answer came in due time

Walk up to the mirror, look again and you’ll find
a masterpiece divine, no need to change it it’s fine
because the scar on your face and the stars out in space
are just one and the same thing, art in its place
Godly ordained, over garnished in grace
So I promise papa, this is not an emergency; no need to call the surgeon, this scar’s no longer unnerving me.
Besides, I’m tired of tryinna be good looking; it was getting in the way of being beautiful

Featured Poem:

Last Night

Enlarge poem

Last Night, I walked with the devil
He who since Genesis has been the nemesis of mankind and I,
Walked hand in hand last night
He said, “Friend, I know we have not always seen eye to eye
And yes, it flows in my veins to kill, destroy and Lie
So tonight I’m going to take a minute to boast”
So we commenced our travels, coast to coast over the land I love the most…

Started off in the southernmost tip, the continent’s Joy and Pride
South Africa, for decades, disenfanchized by apartheid
Now proudly standing apart as Africa’s melting pot
But hold that thought, for in a flash someone fires a shot
For the same place I proclaim has earned undesired fame as one of the prime for violent crime in the world.
Enough seen, my fellow traveller and I headed to the next station
Crossing the border to the north, coming forth into Zimbabwe
Once Africa’s bread basket, but no longer the case, now merely just a basket-case
And as we face the facts, we’re gazing upon a place where inflation rose at a world-record setting pace
And while the people do their best to make it through the days and enjoy,
What can you possibly tell them when 85% of them are now unemployed
When they see the cause, but their tummies too empty to fight
You get the drift-thus went the rest of the night

As we, march across the Beautiful republic of Congo to the mystifying sound of the bongos
Tis hard to digest that an Eden so fine blessed with diamonds worthy of King Solomon’s mines
Has played host to the World’s deadliest conflict since the world wars
It feels like evil is floggin my continent on its back and we’re down on all fours
As we, pass through Nigeria where tensions boil, when brother against brother, sons of the soil
Are wrenched onto opposite sides, ready to die and kill over oil…

Feet Away from Cote D’Ivoire and Libya
Little done and much said, we watch as their blood sheds
It’s impossible to hold high your head, when you kneel to drink in these rivers of red
In a matter of weeks, power pursuit perverts people and produces preposterous freaks
Monsters who mindlessly maim and mobilize masses into murderous streaks

And in my dreams I hear the man telling me yes you can!
Wish I could look at the man back home, and tell him you too man
But my voice is merely drowned by the Janjaweed running havoc in Sudan
And as I watch babies torn out of their mothers womb over Darfur
I scream to the beast “Devil, Show me no more!”

So we, walk away from some where a woman born is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read and,
Where AIDS has left the average human life at less than 30
And where child soldiers have murdered dozens before they are teens
And I’m tough but it got on my knees,
Even though I’m overseas, pledging allegiance to another land
Ive been crying and crying, for my sisters and my brothers and
Family and friends still residing on the motherland
And I asked “Devil, why do we have it the worst, why are we living in death and Africa the hearse, why have you made the beautiful brown skin synonymous with cursed”

And he said, I told you I would boast, and I’d love to take the blame
All the same, it must be said, that man should be twice ashamed
For the guns in children’s hands, the abused women, the disease and war that cause your continent to bleed
I would have no instruments to start the fire, if it wasn’t fuelled by human greed
Gluttonous seeds planted by those who you watch as they feed
Corrupt politicians who equate money with the ability to lead
And as another baby starves to death, I hope we are mighty proud of ourselves
You’ve been the destruction on your fellow man, and the Devil hardly even helped

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Good Looking

Enlarge poem

I’ve always wanted to be good looking.
Dreams of being clean took me to abysmal scenes of
deflated self esteem hidden behind fresh shape ups and baggy jeans
and, as bad as it seemed, it was always understood that it could be worse.
So, cursed be the day that brought me fearfully close to the hearse
missed turn, frantic attempt to negotiate the dreaded curves
met head first with teen boy on red bike, halfway riding to the curb
Shook papa’s nerves. Emptied Mama’s purse. Since forgotten the hurt
but it remains immortalized in the voice of screaming nurse
You’ll remember the feeling after you’ve forgotten the name
like you still feel the heat when they extinguish the flame
so now I’m looking in the mirror with renewed disdain
because when all is done and said, the scar remained
It weighed on my mind. I prayed for a sign
Stayed on the line, the answer came in due time

Walk up to the mirror, look again and you’ll find
a masterpiece divine, no need to change it it’s fine
because the scar on your face and the stars out in space
are just one and the same thing, art in its place
Godly ordained, over garnished in grace
So I promise papa, this is not an emergency; no need to call the surgeon, this scar’s no longer unnerving me.
Besides, I’m tired of tryinna be good looking; it was getting in the way of being beautiful

Comments

Your email address will not be published.