Two Poems by Mbizo Chirasha. . . and your next Wednesday Writing Prompt

Sandstone rock formations typical of Mapungubwe National Park courtesy of Laura SA under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

The Kingdom of Mapungubwe (or Maphungubgwe) (c.1075–1220) was a medieval state in Southern Africa, the first stage in a development that would culminate in the creation of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe in the 13th century.



This week’s prompt is graciously hosted by Zimbabwean poet, Mbizo Chirasha. 

MAPUNGUBWE

Land of baobab, land of eagles
Mapungubwe,sagging with ambition of nujoma, madikizela and sobukwe
Land of crocodiles and spiritual eagles- Mapungubwe
Rivers groaning with sweet tongues and sacred laughters
Mapungubwe – dream of stones
Bones and spirits quietly sleeping under the burden of peaceful rocks
Your songs , mapungubwe rhythm to bones of dead heroes and sleeping heroines
Mapungubwe ,crying tears of laughter, struggle and freedom ,
Mapungubwe!

Editor’s Note: nujoma is Sam Nujoma, a Namibian revolutionary, anti-apartheid activist and politician; Madikizela is Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, a South-African anti-apardied activest, politician, and the second wife of Nelson Mandela; Sobukwe is Robert Sobukwe, South African political dissident, teacher, founder of the Pan Africanist Congress. 

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha

SUNSET ACCOUSTICS

Sing Bamako, sing of spiders blighting freedom tomatoes
Sing of our pimped heritage
Somalia, the dramatic irony of Africa
Ethiopia, bring back the oil of our anthems and the clay of our identity
Ivory coast , your hands are hardened by hard years of madness
Cockroaches are walking over sleeping Zambezi
Gugulethu ,tired of scathy tongues and maruajuana
Egypt bulletins drenched by Arab spring urine
Abuja, how long are you going to walk in shadows?

© 2020, Mbizo Chirasha

Mbizo Chirasha

MBIZO CHIRASHA (Mbizo, The Black Poet) is one of the newest members of The BeZine core team. He is a poet from Zimbabwe who is on the run. We have been coordinating in the search for safe harbor. In part I am doing this today to remind everyone that while we’ve made progress with funding, we still need to find a host for Mbizo, preferably Germany, but England or U.S. would work too.  Open to suggestion.  Connect with me if you are able to help, have leads, or have questions. You can read more about Mbizo and his story: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Poet Mbizo Chirasha, A Life on the Run, Interview.

Kwame Nkrumah, Ghanaian politician and revolutionary coined the term “neocolonialism” in 1957.

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT

Mbizo’s prompt for us this week is “Neocolonialism” or the use in place of direct imperialism of capitalism, globalization, and cultural imperialism for the suppression of human rights by First World actors in Third World arenas, Africa, Asia, Latin America.  Or, short story: power and profits over people. What is the fallout? Poverty. Hunger. Violence. Failed states. Terrorism. Have we all lost our souls?  These are my thoughts as I ponder what I might write in response to Mbizo’s prompt.

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FEEL THE BERN

For Peace, Sustainability, Social Justice

The Poet by Day officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.

The New New Deal

Link HERE for Bernie’s schedule of events around the country.

“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” Bernie Sanders



“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Part 3 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, Call for Action – Here’s where the rubber hits the road!

Mbizo Chirasha

“I am a Zimbabwean, Zimbabwe is the country in which I was born. It is my country. I don’t have another home except Zimbabwe. I need to live freely in my country of birth. Why do I not get the freedom I need? I wait and watch people gambling and playing games with my life, my freedom, my peace, my health  and any other freedoms.

“Political affiliation – I do not belong to any political party because of my job. My job is very much global and universal. I am a Poet, Writer, Blogger and Organizer of Events. I am supposed to work with anyone or everybody. I am supposed to relate and associate with every Zimbabwean irrespective of affiliation because I am apolitical in my standing.

“My problem – I have been seeing strange stalking, attacks and threats soon after the Lit fest of 2017. I was quiet after the first attack but now I felt it is getting scary, dangerous and life threatening. I need to open up to the government, Media, International Organisations and  the Zimbabwe Human Rights Organizations because I don’t know who is doing this to me and who is planning to take my life and don’t  know for what major reason.” Mbizo Chirasha, Tuck Magazine, February 2017 / the finer details of the threat are described HERE.



HERE’S WHERE THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD

YES! This is a long-shot but all you have to sacrifice is a few minutes of time over your morning coffee to write two letters for Mbizo. If nothing else, it will show this man that people care. When he has safe harbor, he’ll continue his literary activism (as he does even now under threat) and he’ll be able to reach out a helping hand to others in peril. So please stand with us.  Thank you!

LETTER WRITNG CAMPAIGN IN SUPPORT OF MBIZO’S APPLICATIONS FOR SERVICES and SAFE HARBOR:

We need two letters. Please simply throw your support behind Mbizo by encouraging these organizations to provide timely assistance.

  1. International Cities of Refugee Network (ICORN) c/o Sølvberget KF,
    Stavanger Cultural Centre
    p.o. box: 310 4002 Stavanger
    Norway
    ICORN’s mission is “protecting and promoting writers and artists at risk.”  I’ve read Mbizo’s paperwork. Responses to his 2017 application for assistance repeatedly indicate that his paperwork is in process but no action has been taken by ICORN on Mbizo’s behalf over the two years since he filed for safe haven.
  2. Artists at Risk Connection (ARC), a project of PEN America “Since its inception in 2017, ARC has assisted more than 181 individual artists from over 53 countries by connecting them to a wide range of services, most frequently including emergency funds, legal assistance, temporary relocation programs and fellowships. Thanks to a core network of over 70 partners, over 50% of them have already received direct support. Please write a letter in support of Mbizo’s application to an ARC partner agency.  He will include it in his application package, which is being prepared now.

CONNECT:

  • Connect with Mbizo on Facebook or email him at girlchildcreativity@gmail.com about the letters.
  • The deadline is :  14th November 2019. Thank you!

~~~~~~

gofundme: Mbizo Chirasha: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile

One Thomas Block of Human Rights International organized this fundraiser asking for $575 to address some immediate welfare needs. Be aware that this is a bandage not a cure, so even if you find yourself able to donate (please!), we still need you to write letters of support. At the time of this posting, $150 has been raised. Link HERE for details and to donate.

OCTOBER 30, 2019:
“We in the United States cannot really understand how poetry can become a dangerous activity. But in societies around the world, our activist-artist colleagues risk their lives for justice and art. Just two days ago, Mbizo’s activist-art brother, Zimbabwean musician Platinum Prince was abducted and beaten in Harare. His crime? In September of this year Platinum Prince released a track entitled NDIYO YACHO HERE MR PRESIDENT in which he seemed to be questioning the President of Zimbabwe over the current economic situation. We stand with Mbizo.” Thomas Block, International Human Rights Art Festival Organizer
~~~~~~~~

“We remain resilient in the quest for justice, freedom of expression and upholding of human rights through Literary Activism and Artivism. ALUTA CONTINUA.” Mbizo Chirasha

RELATED:

MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram


 


Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

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Recent poems and short stories: How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Part 2 of 3: Zimbabwean Poet in Exile: Award-Winning Mbizo Chirasha, Four Poems

“His eagle eyes scan beyond the boundaries of his native Zimbabwe to right the crookedness of men with dubious ideals and reckless twists in lands abroad. Caressing his Lenovo mistress upon a night, he relives in recorded poesy, memories of victims of corruption and the false memoirs of looters of the land.  A Letter to the President, is a collection of his experimental poetry. Here is the man on a mission and with a mission. Words are slings and rocks on his quiver. Tireless and resilient; no ugliness is too ugly to stay below his radar. His weapon of choice is his pen. Dipped in acid, as he says, no thug escapes the roast of his laser beam that put them on the spot light.” Available from African Books Collective HERE and through Amazon U.S. HERE and Amazon U.K. HERE.



Theodore Roosevelt

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”  Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919), an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, writer, and the 26th president of the United States (1901 to 1909) [Note: There is wisdom in this quotation. It’s unfortunate though that Roosevelt was an ardent imperialist. / J.D.]



Mbizo Chirasha

CASAVA REPUBLICS*

Juba
Child of lost sperm in sunsets of political masturbation
Wagadugu
Deadline of our revolutions
Darfur
Constipated stomach, disease ravaged, bloodless dozing monk.
Nairobi
Culture lost in the dust of Saxon lexicon and gutter slang
Soweto
Xenophobia Drunk and Afro-phobia sloshed.
Marikana
Cervical blister of the unfinished revolution fungi.
Harare
Corruption polonium deforming elders into political hoodlums
Congo
Lodge of secessionists and human guillotines

DAWN OF SUNSET

Islamophobia and Christianophobia drank the york of our time
Socialism, liberalism and regionalism many other isms made rags
of us. Slaves to bitterness from imported political and religion attitudes.
The sleep laden minds of Zambezi lost in the in the thicket of ballot
arithmetic.
Minds swollen by songs whose tunes crevice granite boulders of unending
chumurenga.
RHETORICS
Mandela,the summer sun that rose through rubbles of our winter
Gadafi and Sadamu making shadufs and pyramids
…….another spring
Obama and Osama pulling rich political carrot in Segorong
Robin Island slept golden nightmares and charcoal dreams,
Soweto virgins cracking their under feet in the long walk to freedom
Faces carrying the burden of freedom and anthems.
SANKARA
………………dream of our freedom
See Africa bleeding, burning, ———-
Freedom of states heaving under the rhythm of rubbles, slander and blunder
Revolutions dripping poetry and pop of poor masses,
Lunatics trading the countries with bread
Boozing the dew of freedom and the golden blood of mothers

SANKARA
………………dream of our freedom
See Africa bleeding, burning, ———-
Freedom of states heaving under the rhythm of rubbles, slander and blunder
Revolutions dripping poetry and pop of poor masses,
Lunatics trading the countries with bread
Boozing the dew of freedom and the golden blood of mothers
Sankara cocks crowing the dawns choked with evil generations, picking
corroded histories
Peasants planting burden, others strapping deformed dreams in theirs backs
Sankara!
*
KISINGANI AND OTHER VIRGINS
.
Azania, you sing silent mbaqanga in your sleep
….Xenophobia
Your children eating apartheid tripe and samp
I see the wild fire of Somaliland that everyone sees and
pretend to be blind. Let Samora’s spoken word caress
wounded palms of Mozambique.
I hear drumbeats of hope coming from Tumbuktu.
Kisingani your wearing silence reaches the throne of God.
Nyangani you cry silent dreams in your sleep, of children
harvesting paradoxes of history and metaphors of identity.

“In my works on African culture, I am not against races or tribes, but systems that betray Africa. People must stop being stooges and writers must write against second and third colonialistic winds.” Mbizo Chirasha in an interview with The Herald HERE.


Editor’s Note: I want to get a letter-writing campaign going for Mbizo to help him attain safe haven. More on that in Part  3 tomorrow, Monday. Yesterday (Saturday), we posted an interview HERE with Mbizo to give you a better idea of his background, philosophy and  plight.  Stay with us in solidarity for free-and-open civil discourse, social justice and responsible governance. May all sentient beings find peace. 
*
© 2019, poems and photos, Mbizo Chirasha
*
MBIZO CHIRASHA is a recipient of PEN Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant (2017), Literary Arts Projects Curator, Writer in Residence, Blogs Publisher, Arts for Human Rights/Peace Activism Catalyst, Social Media Publicist and Internationally Anthologized Writer, 2017 African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival Exiled in Africa Program in New York. 2017 Grantee of the EU- Horn of Africa Defend Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund. Resident Curator of 100 Thousand Poets for Peace-Zimbabwe, Originator of Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Movement. He has published a collection of poetry, Good Morning President, and co-created another one Whispering Woes of Gangesand Zembezi with Indian poet Sweta Vikram.

Jamie Dedes. I’m a freelance writer, poet, content editor, and blogger. I also manage The BeZine and its associated activities and The Poet by Day jamiededes.com, an info hub for writers meant to encourage good but lesser-known poets, women and minority poets, outsider artists, and artists just finding their voices in maturity. The Poet by Day is dedicated to supporting freedom of artistic expression and human rights and encourages activist poetry.  Email thepoetbyday@gmail.com for permissions, commissions, or assignments.

Recent poems and short stories: How 100,000 Poets Are Fostering Peace, Justice, and Sustainability, YOPP! * The Damask Garden, In a Woman’s Voice, August 11, 2019 / This short story is dedicated to all refugees. That would be one in every 113 people. * Five poems, Spirit of Nature, Opa Anthology of Poetry, 2019 * From the Small Beginning, Entropy Magazine (Enclave, #Final Poems), July 2019 * Over His Morning Coffee, Front Porch Review, July 2019 * Three poems, Our Poetry Archive, September 2019


“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton