Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Once, When We Were Still Black

Enlarge poem

Once,
Somewhere in the loss of true memory
Our black was beautiful
You must remember US,
When being black was the most vivid of dreams
Raindrops wetting to life those landscapes within
An idea brightest in the blackest of times
Because it was then, that point of creation
And then light

Now being black is a nightmare
A lonesome memory trapped in third world politics
Education systems that blind our ability to dream
Arrested development as we slave in modern day plantations
Structured to seem to mind as our salvation
A nightmare from which if we sleep
We may never awake

Black was a feeling once
A mood dressed in the most moving of music
When drums would sound the pulse pace of warriors
Mbiras the guidance of those alive within us
When the most eloquent of tongues exhaled words to life
A young man’s guitar
Would sound to the Heartbeat of the most virtuous sister
As they moved within the rhythm of love
A most sensual dance
A most intimate of refrains
Skins glistening with wetness
Black was passion being born

Now black men are dogs
And black women are bitches
And love is this pain from which many will never heal
Sore the most in the region of the upper thigh
Family has since become this load of difficulties
And as such
Building as one people has become ponder for the most backward of minds

But black was an attitude once
A consciousness
The very essence of life
The meaning of freedom
Before history said to us, birds are now freer
Black was the original man
Before religions
And systems
And capitalisms
And the differences between you and I

Now black is an option
An option of which hair to wear
Which skin tone to smear on?
Which accent to speak in?
Depending on which light skin Iím pleasing

Black has become an option of which ever religion
Hindu, Jewish, Islam, Christian
Whichever one just as long as it is not African

An option between all other identities
All other realities except our own

Black has become all other people

Except YOU!!!!

Tswarelo Mothobe

Featured Poem:

With a Pen

Enlarge poem

With a Pen
A child will come to understand the meaning in their name
A tribe will retrace their pathway to the beginning of their totem
A people might preserve their culture for tomorrow’s generations
A simple prophecy in graffiti on a city wall some rock paintings
In a song book a poet might begin an existence
Injustice will begin to see his nemesis in the distance
The simplest words might inspire a mother’s strength for her children
When love and laughter are prescribed for a family as their medicine
Planets in rotation in a cypher will write life a hook
Didnít Ayi Kwei preserve our history in the pages of unpublished books?
Matigari told of the wisdom alive in ones reading of the modern stars
The tales of freedom in this hunger that houses burning butterflies
Bantu liked our beauty and consciousness in the depth of apartheid
Oa Magogodi micíd it in our first language, spoken word
We recite it on stages and pages upon which the unspoken will be heard
If in the beginning was the word, then someone must have understood that with a pen
A lonely heart will dwell in remembrance, the beauty of life with a loved one
A politician will authorize the massacre of protestors taking a father from a daughter and son
A starved soul will protest silently against that which has made him weak
A writer will alter the language a people’s consciousness speaks
An oppressive system will draw up title deeds depriving people of their ancestral home
I will write all night to inspire you and go back home all alone
An officer will incarcerate a man that refuses to bribe him and
A sick mind will stab to death another life with a pen
An artist will dwell in solitude with a pen
Politicians will steal many ballot boxes with a pen
Voices will not be silenced by violence with a pen
Ideas wonít die unseen
Recorded for tomorrow with a pen
Retrieved from yesterday with a pen
Yet today some will be too afraid to hold a pen in their hand

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Biography

Tswarelo Mothobe h.t.b.k.a (Happy To Be Known As) A Scribe Called Tswa is a Bulawayo born and based writer, dramatist and poet.

He has graced the Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam Stage, The House of Hunger Poetry slam, major local festivals like HIFA, Intwasa, Shoko & Ibumba Arts Festivals and has performed at SANAA in South Africa.

He has also facilitated various writing and performance workshops with school children over the years resulting in new generations of poets being born in Bulawayo. Currently hosting Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam every month, he is working on his 1st poetry and music project with the working title, Remember and has written and is directing a series of plays.

Tswarelo Mothobe

Biography

Tswarelo Mothobe h.t.b.k.a (Happy To Be Known As) A Scribe Called Tswa is a Bulawayo born and based writer, dramatist and poet.

He has graced the Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam Stage, The House of Hunger Poetry slam, major local festivals like HIFA, Intwasa, Shoko & Ibumba Arts Festivals and has performed at SANAA in South Africa.

He has also facilitated various writing and performance workshops with school children over the years resulting in new generations of poets being born in Bulawayo. Currently hosting Mlom’Wakho Poetry Slam every month, he is working on his 1st poetry and music project with the working title, Remember and has written and is directing a series of plays.

Once, When We Were Still Black

Enlarge poem

Once,
Somewhere in the loss of true memory
Our black was beautiful
You must remember US,
When being black was the most vivid of dreams
Raindrops wetting to life those landscapes within
An idea brightest in the blackest of times
Because it was then, that point of creation
And then light

Now being black is a nightmare
A lonesome memory trapped in third world politics
Education systems that blind our ability to dream
Arrested development as we slave in modern day plantations
Structured to seem to mind as our salvation
A nightmare from which if we sleep
We may never awake

Black was a feeling once
A mood dressed in the most moving of music
When drums would sound the pulse pace of warriors
Mbiras the guidance of those alive within us
When the most eloquent of tongues exhaled words to life
A young man’s guitar
Would sound to the Heartbeat of the most virtuous sister
As they moved within the rhythm of love
A most sensual dance
A most intimate of refrains
Skins glistening with wetness
Black was passion being born

Now black men are dogs
And black women are bitches
And love is this pain from which many will never heal
Sore the most in the region of the upper thigh
Family has since become this load of difficulties
And as such
Building as one people has become ponder for the most backward of minds

But black was an attitude once
A consciousness
The very essence of life
The meaning of freedom
Before history said to us, birds are now freer
Black was the original man
Before religions
And systems
And capitalisms
And the differences between you and I

Now black is an option
An option of which hair to wear
Which skin tone to smear on?
Which accent to speak in?
Depending on which light skin Iím pleasing

Black has become an option of which ever religion
Hindu, Jewish, Islam, Christian
Whichever one just as long as it is not African

An option between all other identities
All other realities except our own

Black has become all other people

Except YOU!!!!

Featured Poem:

With a Pen

Enlarge poem

With a Pen
A child will come to understand the meaning in their name
A tribe will retrace their pathway to the beginning of their totem
A people might preserve their culture for tomorrow’s generations
A simple prophecy in graffiti on a city wall some rock paintings
In a song book a poet might begin an existence
Injustice will begin to see his nemesis in the distance
The simplest words might inspire a mother’s strength for her children
When love and laughter are prescribed for a family as their medicine
Planets in rotation in a cypher will write life a hook
Didnít Ayi Kwei preserve our history in the pages of unpublished books?
Matigari told of the wisdom alive in ones reading of the modern stars
The tales of freedom in this hunger that houses burning butterflies
Bantu liked our beauty and consciousness in the depth of apartheid
Oa Magogodi micíd it in our first language, spoken word
We recite it on stages and pages upon which the unspoken will be heard
If in the beginning was the word, then someone must have understood that with a pen
A lonely heart will dwell in remembrance, the beauty of life with a loved one
A politician will authorize the massacre of protestors taking a father from a daughter and son
A starved soul will protest silently against that which has made him weak
A writer will alter the language a people’s consciousness speaks
An oppressive system will draw up title deeds depriving people of their ancestral home
I will write all night to inspire you and go back home all alone
An officer will incarcerate a man that refuses to bribe him and
A sick mind will stab to death another life with a pen
An artist will dwell in solitude with a pen
Politicians will steal many ballot boxes with a pen
Voices will not be silenced by violence with a pen
Ideas wonít die unseen
Recorded for tomorrow with a pen
Retrieved from yesterday with a pen
Yet today some will be too afraid to hold a pen in their hand

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (2)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (1)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (5)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (1)

Once, When We Were Still Black

Enlarge poem

Once,
Somewhere in the loss of true memory
Our black was beautiful
You must remember US,
When being black was the most vivid of dreams
Raindrops wetting to life those landscapes within
An idea brightest in the blackest of times
Because it was then, that point of creation
And then light

Now being black is a nightmare
A lonesome memory trapped in third world politics
Education systems that blind our ability to dream
Arrested development as we slave in modern day plantations
Structured to seem to mind as our salvation
A nightmare from which if we sleep
We may never awake

Black was a feeling once
A mood dressed in the most moving of music
When drums would sound the pulse pace of warriors
Mbiras the guidance of those alive within us
When the most eloquent of tongues exhaled words to life
A young man’s guitar
Would sound to the Heartbeat of the most virtuous sister
As they moved within the rhythm of love
A most sensual dance
A most intimate of refrains
Skins glistening with wetness
Black was passion being born

Now black men are dogs
And black women are bitches
And love is this pain from which many will never heal
Sore the most in the region of the upper thigh
Family has since become this load of difficulties
And as such
Building as one people has become ponder for the most backward of minds

But black was an attitude once
A consciousness
The very essence of life
The meaning of freedom
Before history said to us, birds are now freer
Black was the original man
Before religions
And systems
And capitalisms
And the differences between you and I

Now black is an option
An option of which hair to wear
Which skin tone to smear on?
Which accent to speak in?
Depending on which light skin Iím pleasing

Black has become an option of which ever religion
Hindu, Jewish, Islam, Christian
Whichever one just as long as it is not African

An option between all other identities
All other realities except our own

Black has become all other people

Except YOU!!!!

Comments

Your email address will not be published.