Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Natural Initiation

Enlarge poem

While other
would-be men
trudge the bushes
of the mountain top
to be circumsized and
advised
by their elders
who know the thorny
road of life

you
woman
circumsized me
with the bitter
sweet taste of my blood
drawing images
on our love bed
words whispered
shining
with compassion
into my ears
sinking in my heart
deeper than
the monotonous verse
of the initiator

so when I walked again
where my feet walked
many years gone by
I could feel you
and I was born again
crowing of cocks
bleating of sheep
bellowing of bulls
birds singing on trees

when the sky’s tears
began to fall
thinking
alone in my room
searching deep
joyful memories
came to haunt me
my rooted past
I saw you coming
real
only fate setting us apart
I resisted an ocean
welling in my eyes

We Jive Like This

We jive like this
we jive like this

like foetus dancing inside the womb
in haste to scrutinise the world

we jive like this
we jive like this

like babies lullabyed by screams of martyrs
silenced by furious fangs of freedom’s satires

we jive like this
we jive like this

like the youth burning with desire of wisdom
denied by the bully bullet’s beats of boredom

we jive like this
we jive like this

like workers trampling on the master’s religion
of divide and rule’s tampering mission

we jive like this
we jive like this

like god’s followers dancing to the drumming whip
for sins sown but never reaped

we jive like this
we jive like this

like soldiers with rifles & flowers raised to the sky
when marching to ecstasies of twisted victory

we jive like this
we jive like this

like lion and tiger embracing each other
forced to forge a painful togetherness

we jive like this
we jive like this

like sangomas around clouds of incense
in a trance to foretell a future that isn’t only roses

we jive like this
we jive like this
we jive like this
not like that

Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya

Featured Poem:

The Blues I Love (Know)

Enlarge poem

The-the blues
the-the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are taproot embedded
& dreadlocked without ganga
not drowning in babylon waters

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are drum beating serenade
& bass strumming compassionate

the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are mineworker masculine digging
& licking waterfall sweat for fat cats

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are plump breasts sagging
in the maize meal pounding

the-the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are ghetto knife plunging
in the heart throbbing

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are nina simone miriam makeba moaning
in a fit of rage i ink the page

the-the blues I love
the-the blues i know
are watershed of bloodshed
melodious in a redemption song

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are black on white on black on white
stabbed at the back of a rainbow nation
out (cut)

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Comments

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Biography

SIPHIWE KA NGWENYA was born in Soweto in 1964. He is a writer, theatre director and performer. He has a diploma in Speech and Drama from Fuba Academy and participated in a Voter Education play commissioned by the Matla Trust in 1994. He was a member of the Rishile Theatre Project that presented plays by Nadine Gordimer and Don Mattera and since 1994 has been a member of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group.

Ngwenya has performed internationally in countries as diverse as Denmark and Pakistan. A selection of his poetry was published in the 1992 anthology, Essential Things. Other publications that have included his work are Ingolovane, Botsotso, New Coin, Timbila, Kotaz, It All Begins and Writing from Here. A collection of his poems, Soul Fire, was published in 2005 by Botsotso.

Siphiwe Ka Ngwenya

Biography

SIPHIWE KA NGWENYA was born in Soweto in 1964. He is a writer, theatre director and performer. He has a diploma in Speech and Drama from Fuba Academy and participated in a Voter Education play commissioned by the Matla Trust in 1994. He was a member of the Rishile Theatre Project that presented plays by Nadine Gordimer and Don Mattera and since 1994 has been a member of the Botsotso Jesters poetry performance group.

Ngwenya has performed internationally in countries as diverse as Denmark and Pakistan. A selection of his poetry was published in the 1992 anthology, Essential Things. Other publications that have included his work are Ingolovane, Botsotso, New Coin, Timbila, Kotaz, It All Begins and Writing from Here. A collection of his poems, Soul Fire, was published in 2005 by Botsotso.

Natural Initiation

Enlarge poem

While other
would-be men
trudge the bushes
of the mountain top
to be circumsized and
advised
by their elders
who know the thorny
road of life

you
woman
circumsized me
with the bitter
sweet taste of my blood
drawing images
on our love bed
words whispered
shining
with compassion
into my ears
sinking in my heart
deeper than
the monotonous verse
of the initiator

so when I walked again
where my feet walked
many years gone by
I could feel you
and I was born again
crowing of cocks
bleating of sheep
bellowing of bulls
birds singing on trees

when the sky’s tears
began to fall
thinking
alone in my room
searching deep
joyful memories
came to haunt me
my rooted past
I saw you coming
real
only fate setting us apart
I resisted an ocean
welling in my eyes

We Jive Like This

We jive like this
we jive like this

like foetus dancing inside the womb
in haste to scrutinise the world

we jive like this
we jive like this

like babies lullabyed by screams of martyrs
silenced by furious fangs of freedom’s satires

we jive like this
we jive like this

like the youth burning with desire of wisdom
denied by the bully bullet’s beats of boredom

we jive like this
we jive like this

like workers trampling on the master’s religion
of divide and rule’s tampering mission

we jive like this
we jive like this

like god’s followers dancing to the drumming whip
for sins sown but never reaped

we jive like this
we jive like this

like soldiers with rifles & flowers raised to the sky
when marching to ecstasies of twisted victory

we jive like this
we jive like this

like lion and tiger embracing each other
forced to forge a painful togetherness

we jive like this
we jive like this

like sangomas around clouds of incense
in a trance to foretell a future that isn’t only roses

we jive like this
we jive like this
we jive like this
not like that

Featured Poem:

The Blues I Love (Know)

Enlarge poem

The-the blues
the-the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are taproot embedded
& dreadlocked without ganga
not drowning in babylon waters

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are drum beating serenade
& bass strumming compassionate

the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are mineworker masculine digging
& licking waterfall sweat for fat cats

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are plump breasts sagging
in the maize meal pounding

the-the blues I love
the-the blues I know
are ghetto knife plunging
in the heart throbbing

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are nina simone miriam makeba moaning
in a fit of rage i ink the page

the-the blues I love
the-the blues i know
are watershed of bloodshed
melodious in a redemption song

the-the blues I know
the-the blues I love
are black on white on black on white
stabbed at the back of a rainbow nation
out (cut)

How does this featured poem make you feel?

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

Natural Initiation

Enlarge poem

While other
would-be men
trudge the bushes
of the mountain top
to be circumsized and
advised
by their elders
who know the thorny
road of life

you
woman
circumsized me
with the bitter
sweet taste of my blood
drawing images
on our love bed
words whispered
shining
with compassion
into my ears
sinking in my heart
deeper than
the monotonous verse
of the initiator

so when I walked again
where my feet walked
many years gone by
I could feel you
and I was born again
crowing of cocks
bleating of sheep
bellowing of bulls
birds singing on trees

when the sky’s tears
began to fall
thinking
alone in my room
searching deep
joyful memories
came to haunt me
my rooted past
I saw you coming
real
only fate setting us apart
I resisted an ocean
welling in my eyes

We Jive Like This

We jive like this
we jive like this

like foetus dancing inside the womb
in haste to scrutinise the world

we jive like this
we jive like this

like babies lullabyed by screams of martyrs
silenced by furious fangs of freedom’s satires

we jive like this
we jive like this

like the youth burning with desire of wisdom
denied by the bully bullet’s beats of boredom

we jive like this
we jive like this

like workers trampling on the master’s religion
of divide and rule’s tampering mission

we jive like this
we jive like this

like god’s followers dancing to the drumming whip
for sins sown but never reaped

we jive like this
we jive like this

like soldiers with rifles & flowers raised to the sky
when marching to ecstasies of twisted victory

we jive like this
we jive like this

like lion and tiger embracing each other
forced to forge a painful togetherness

we jive like this
we jive like this

like sangomas around clouds of incense
in a trance to foretell a future that isn’t only roses

we jive like this
we jive like this
we jive like this
not like that

Comments

Your email address will not be published.