Anthology of Poems on Africa of Earth and Beauty

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We present an Anthology of Poems, on Africa, wherein 66 poets, with as many poems, spread across 19 nations [India (41); Nigeria (8); two each from the US and Mauritius; and one each from Kazakhastan, Puerto Rico, Republic of China, Germany, Mexico, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Tanzania, Turkey, Ghana, Philippine and Pakistan] enriched it. The poet-activists from across the world – doctors, educationists, caregivers, parents, and teachers – express their solidarity and celebration. We are grateful to our two editors, Michele Baron and Luz María López, for meticulously editing this anthology. A Different Truths exclusive on the Special Issue on Africa.   

Content: Anthology of Poems on Africa of Earth and Beauty

  1. beyond the borders of Dakar – Michele Baron
  2. Black (Negra) – Luz María López
  3. Why is my Skin Darker in the Moonlight? – Dr. Tzemin Ition Tsai
  4. Tales from Africa! – Dr. LSR Prasad
  5. To Africa – Olaitan Maryam Mojisola
  6. O God, What is this Grief? – Hussein Habasch
  7. Summer Night – Daniel Olivares Viniegra
  8. Twinkle in the Eyes – Eliza Segiet
  9. My Cha – Neelam Saxena Chandra
  10. One Small Question – Otteri Selvakumar
  11. Africa’s Heart – Anoucheka Gangabissoon
  12. Father Anansi and his Several Tales – Moinak Dutta
  13. You! Brave Ones of Africa – Tribhawan Kaul
  14. The Normands of the Golden Grass – Debjani Mukherjee
  15. Africa – Basudeb Chakraborti
  16. The Darkest White – Rohini Kumar Behera
  17. Diversity, Beauty of Truth – Sushmita Mukherjee
  18. Rain – Bharati Nayak
  19. Egypt – Nigar Abdin
  20. Drums of Freedom – Gopa Bhattacharjee
  21. Don’t Cry for Africa – Aabha Vatsa
  22. Eyes Focussed on Angels – Pramila Khadun
  23. A New Journey – Sarojini Pattayat
  24. Starvation – Vijay P. Nair
  25. Ubuntu – Harshali Singh
  26. Africa is Rising – Sarala Balachandran
  27. Long Live Africa for Wisdom! – Ashok Kumar
  28. Africa, We Come from You – Smeetha Bhoumik
  29. Africa – Ipsita Ganguli
  30. The Aroma of Bliss – Preety Bora
  31. We are the Africans, We Shall Overcome… – Padmaja Iyengar
  32. Gentle Criminals – Kelly Juuz
  33. Strong Ladies – Mattie Goedegebuur
  34. Saworoide – Judaisky Cares
  35. Tear Tells a Tale – Bharati Nayak
  36. Africans – Sujata Paul
  37. I know…! – Agron Shele
  38. Alkebulan – Lily Swarn
  39. Africa – Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh
  40. Africa Writes Her Carefree Siblings – Khalid Imam
  41. Africa, My Africa! – Deeya Bhattacharya
  42. Oh My Africa! – Chinedu Vincent Okoro
  43. Africa Inside Me! – Ibrahim Honjo
  44. An Open Letter to Zoya – Swapna Behera
  45. God Loves Kofi Annan – Stanslaus Kyando
  46. Africa – Mary Jayaraj
  47. a child from africa – Raj Babu Gandham
  48. We are Africa -Nevin Koçoğlu
  49. There is Nowhere Like It – Elsy Satheesan
  50. The Survivor – Rishikesh Kumar Singh
  51. A Woman… – Chika Ijeoma (Nigeria)
  52. Apartheid – Major Dr Sumitra Mishra
  53. To Mother Africa – Gobinda Biswas
  54. The African Experience – Deepti Menon
  55. The Dark Woman – Bobby Bains
  56. Don’t Tie Me – Nutan Sarawagi
  57. Red Hand Day – Colonel Kanchan Bhattacharya
  58. Our Great Continent: Africa – David Chukwudi Njoku
  59. The Whistle of an African Man – Benjamin Nii Tetteh
  60. Tour Guide – Sonali Majumdar
  61. I Salute You, Annan, World Icon of Peace – Priyatosh Das
  62. Africa, a Natural Fragrance – Varsha Saran
  63. After the Lean Harvest, Lord, it’s Time – Ismail Bala
  64. Africa, How Did You Become Me? – Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
  65. Hunger Games – Kumar Gautam
  66. The Darkness was More Than the Dark – Ayub Khawar
 

#1. beyond the borders of Dakar

the sun swept across the sand and grasses of the Sahel that morning; each looked upon the racing light with thoughts held silent; private; so very many versions of events, hopes, lies … of life …      so many opinions,    different,     of truth   the short boat ride to Goree; tides complacent; waves uncompelling the rocky walk towards the holding cells’ transient darkness swift coursed with coarse sands, eroded lands, and jumbled, tumbled memories … such a brief distance from heights where the keepers dwelt, dealt, and feasted deep, dark, down into keeps where screams and dreams were cached, wordless, waiting, and left behind by shuttered eyes which no longer trusted what they beheld   the sun sweeps across cactus groves where bright fruits and flowers flourish to delight cautious wayfarer; rats lurk below; wings flash above; the sun sweeps across baobab, upside-down nests false hope against insatiable serpents always it seems that naught but luck holds birds safe in their slumbers   when clouds at last slant shade across the vast heated expanses the heavy skies hang tearless, until great storms blow in … it rains along coasts where volcanos kissed oceans, leaving in their crucibles jewels; rains further inland, where torrents left rivers, verdant-banked, teeming with life; rains farther afield, where scroungers passed, wringing whatever could be wrest, for themselves alone   the world evolves, at least somewhat; colors and clamor fill never-sleeping streets; steadfast, the sun returns — bestowing, burning, lingering, longing … lengthy are the shadows cast within its reaching light; is there solace in those golden rays, that we walk, more freely, now — or do they light a mirror reflecting all we could, but have not, become?   ©Michele Baron, Kyrgyzstan/The USA          

#2. Black (Negra)

I dream of seas far away rhythms calling for the negritude deep within my soul. For my eyes were forbidden to remember. The turmoil of bonding and hate, the raping of our mother giving birth in the alleys of suffocating disdains. And yet, she loved us. Tended the seeds that our ancestors rooted in the moon of our eyes, all hushed now (forcibly). Stabbed almost to death! Whiteness forced upon the sores of an old faith while the foreign-lords desecrated her religion (theirs too). Little they knew of wisdom then, for I am a daughter of a black star. Timeless Africa Fearless Africa Goddess of the Cosmos Africa! I have freely embraced your roots listened to the whispers of the ancient culture, the people’s song, and they look at me with strange angst baffled by my uncurled hair thin lips white skin… I heard a rumour behind my bones. Let them call me “BLACK”! ©Luz María López, Puerto Rico        

#3. Why is my Skin Darker in the Moonlight?

When I walk in the puddle People said that frightened frogs stampede over the shadow of the moon in the lake The night was so quiet today when i climb up the shore Back to find that it deep as a lake Like the endless sky Looking at the past boundless Such a little water is extremely vast in my eyes As opposed to my small body I bowed to lift a lotus leaf Found that its roots have become mud Dyed a whole pool of water Seems to forget to flow I was scared to jump back Under that very luminous silence I have not heard any signs of disturbance Except the slowly blowing breeze As opposed to my frightening heartbeat Autumn night Look the same as in the spring sometimes Keep the water warm The moon reads like a long melancholy Why do you have to hang your heart? Even my skin looks so dark under the moonlight I walk away But keep my head high I wave my hand But do not care at all I heard the thunderous laughter of my companions behind sounded everywhere ©Dr. Tzemin Ition Tsai, Taiwan, Republic of China          

#4. Tales from Africa!

For the Egyptians it is the birthplace, to turn towards the opening of Ka! For some it is the land of cave dwellers, for others it is ‘afar’ – dust or silica! Was it the Abraham’s grandson Epher who invaded a land with plants Erica? Was it the sunny aprica, or south rainy wind or Ophir that gave the name Africa? In the continental drift a big chunk of land mass drifted to become Indus land, In the evolutionary forge nature picked up Africa to hone human beings in sand! The great migration in phases distributed them to the nooks and corners of the world, The hot deserts and ice ages changed the skin colors, shaped hair a bit straight or curled! The greatest civilizations do bite the dust in the great wheel of progressive time! When fortunes go in reverse masters become slaves and vice versa in dry clime! Children of this continent suffered most because of state failure and weak run! Genocides and violence go superannuation in maiming the weak, woman and children! The great drums of Africa became silent in the suffocating clutches of poverty, The daily skull counting on fragile borders made them suffer poverty in plenty! ©Dr. LSR Prasad, Hyderabad, India          

#5. To Africa 

And the waters Soothe my ageing toils. Take me home… Where my wailing heart Encounter peace Amidst whispering palms. Where rotund breasts And podgy waists Grace womanhood. Where children dance Into the nights With lullabies pinned to their ears. Take me home… Where the route To Papa’s loin Lies in Mama’s pot. Take me home; Where my carcass Shall lie amidst my forebears’. Take me home; to Africa. ©Olaitan Maryam Mojisola, Lagos, Nigeria           # 6. O God, What is this Grief? Cried, the heart of the Kurdish poet who is exiled in Germany Cried, his spirit, his breath and deep wounds Cried, his grief and pain, suppressive and his painful memories Cried, his Alienation, longing, yearning and isolation. Cried, his poems, pens, notes and scattered books. Cried, his mirror, combs, his hats and his luggage. Cried, the paintings hanging on the walls of the house Cried, the window and the trees and the birds flying in the sky Cried, the keys, the doors and the bell Cried, the table, the vase and the pack of cigarettes Cried, the newspaper and the cup of coffee Cried, the potted flowers and herbs Cried, the violins, jazz and sad songs Cried, the nine symphonies of Beethoven Cried, the poems of Ritsos and Rilke and Lorca the slain Cried, the lamps, the candles and the night Cried, the wine, the watchfulness, friends and madness Cried, the wind and clouds, fog and rain Cried, silently the Rhine. Nelson Mandela is then dead The heart of Africa pulsating with love, compassion and solidarity, Tolerance, freedom, struggle, stubbornness and pride … is dead Then let the heart of the Kurdish poet who is exiled in Germany cry Let the heart of whole world. ©Hussein Habasch, Bonn, Germany (Translated by: Entisar Dolib)          

#7. Summer Night

The look first had to occur irremediably and lasciviously on the singularly slender and full figure. If it isn’t that nothing else than the nubile aroma has forced the imprint reality of the meeting… Fresh and gleaming, barely oiled, the young skin, silky tresses, vibrant and vigorous elastic muscles, can only be advancement of carnal delights (and nothing more). It will be possible before to also openly enjoy the undulant firmness of the walking pace, the opulence of the extensions and the flexures, precise gymnastics in harmony with the already bashful stares, and only in appearance distantly distracted, furtive as well as certainly fearful… and perhaps only perhaps accompanying the silent sweating, prelude to the fear of the first movement or even of the direct, fierce and persistent beating. All fullness, all grace; all the hope of the ecstatic enjoyment revelling in the open prairie. It will continue at any moment – and because fate and nobody else has decided so – the undoubtedly effortful one, although the soonest  possible, with anguishing security and inevitable dart as well; the even heavy panting and at times painful and with fortune (or not) the final foreshortening; the subsequent collision and, before the last rattle, claws imprisoning while at the same time retaining, deep aspiration of full conquest, and fangs nailing on the neck, but also (even more), far beyond the soul. Roars still agonizing exhalations and then the ecstasy, the culmination… the abandonment. The captured life taking over a new life; magic formula that is, or at least like this, the furore that is remembered. Long years, fewer, but the hardly necessary multiple conquests. After full, more rested, little more than five thousand dawns, banquets and sunsets, it only remains the conciliatory contend satisfied by the repairing lethargy… In case that anyone still has doubt: lying down in the zoo, the old lion sleeps (…dreams nested in the sweetness of ecstasy) also tonight. ©Daniel Olivares Viniegra, México  (Translated by: Luz María López)          

#8. Twinkle in the Eyes

When with a chilled drink in hand, they admire the black land, and the sight of the creviced earth completes their needs. At the same time emaciated, covered with flies, children are fighting for life. And they are already there. In the midst of ubiquitous poverty, they see the magic of light, and only later the twinkle in the eyes of beautiful African women. They have been in the same place for years, the same needs and constant lack of water. – So little and not so little to be able to live. ©Eliza Segiet, Cracow, Poland (Translated by Artur Komoter)          

#9. My Cha

With my body Washed in darkness, I have walked through The thorns and barbs With blood oozing From my being. I have fallen down, Not once, but several times, And yet managed to get up, Even after several marks Of burns and hurts. It’s not only my form That has been hurt, But also, my spirit. However, despite the pain, I have learnt to walk. I am a continent Whose cha has been doused many times, However, I do have a flicker And this little insignificant light Shall one day Metamorphose into a sun Whose energy Will spread Warmth and energy Everywhere! ©Neelam Saxena Chandra, Pune, India          

#10. One Small Question

on the street she is walking sum of male young’s watching the way hip dancing with the hip awesome replies for watching with Eyes so much counting what about the size ? about a inner mind sin with think and talk what is this ? she is very old age fifty walking is daily drama about the over weight she’s hip size is big about with so much fat what about think for street young males so nasty looks feel magic with sex? the street young males old age lady also rape with mind and eyes what is this…? young street males humans are dogs? it is Small question but not for simple at female world ©Otteri Selvakumar, India          

#11. Africa’s Heart

I live on an island considered to be part of Africa I must say, hey, this feels as comforting as mint bubble gum When chewed it is on a hot summer day! Why, the root cause of origin lies in Africa’s heart Without which, humanity would probably not be today A heart which has allowed the mystery of humanity To rise to such an extent That today, humans are to be deemed as the Gods of Earth! Science theories prove not our origins So much that the beauty of ancient Egypt And the room it leaves for speculations Of extraterrestrial intermingling readily Boosts the curiosity of the Truth Seeker! Still, today, its rich greenness and diversity Its fauna and its deep cults, like the voodoo cults Make of Africa, the rightful Queen of Existence She wears her crown solidly on her head And bears the consequences of her existence In some sort of secrecy As if, she wanted to keep the answers of the puzzles Hidden deep in the mass of her hair Knowing that those who thirst to decipher them Shall most probably not know how to make use of them! Why, I live on island considered to be part of Africa Many of my peers come from there Still, each time I just think about that continent Fear and awe fill me up So that I hardly can decide If I do wish to let my heart conquer it Or if it would be better to admire it from afar! ©Anoucheka Gangabissoon, Mauritius          

#12. Father Anansi and his Several Tales

Once there lived in Fanti land A man named Father Anansi He had a wonderful hand To unravel all mystery, So people came to him And asked for several remedy Like once he caught a tiger As out came from woods he, Father Anansi had a son He followed wherever he went Together they gathered corn From that field where the road bent, It is said that once as per order Of none other than Nyankupon, Father Anansi caught a tiger Simply by singing a song, He also went to a hive of bee And asked them if they could go Into a glass jar which they could see Without much hassles or woe, The bees , it is said, simply went in As they found it quite easy To just fly and to be seen Held in glass jar, so busy, He also got hold of Boa As he asked him which was long Boa or the stick he had In his hand so strong, The Boa lied down on earth And let Anansi measure him To the stick he tied Boa smart And his length he just trimmed. (Note: Father Anansi is a character of West African folk stories. Nyankupon, Boa etc are also part of those folk stories). ©Moinak Dutta, India          

#13. You! Brave Ones of Africa

Monstrous are the shadows of emotions Creeping behind a spiral of poverty and exclusions Death lurking every where Rogue elements out, to dare. Alas ! The world still searching its conscience? Cynicism is passé as love is to fight not Life is not charity but the ‘right’ globally thought Hunger, unemployment, deprivation Pointers to a rising revolution. Dreamers ! Realise empowerment in abundance ? Hate, crime, prejudices, slavery in various platters Menu thrown by the lords and the masters Yet rainbow nations wriggle out of the mess Meals of democracy getting relished with varied crisis. Hey My Lord ! Miles yet to go for indulgence. Gandhi, Mendela, Tutu and King Ushering dances to dance and songs to sing They have overcome. They have overcome. Enjoying the life on the beats of bongo drum. Agonising! Yet the freedom lacks substance? Agonising! Yet the freedom lacks substance? ©Tribhawan Kaul, India          

#14. The Normands of the Golden Grass

The sun loiter behind the lone umbrella of the thorny acacia Setting the azure on fire Bathing the elephants in the simmering streaks of orange and pink And there they stand wrapped in their red Shuka The children of the baobabs and marulas Accoutred in the necklaces of Masai beads They are the emblem of courage, The rulers of the land of lions They are the dweller of golden grass, The Normands of the rolling hills The blazing Splendours nurture them Thrive them with the Nile’s swirls They are the spectator of the luxuriant transhumance of the Serengeti, The ritzy march of the wildebeests, They are the sovereign of Kilimanjaro The ancestors of the human race. ©Debjani Mukherjee, Surat, India          

#15. Africa 

Tagore wrote a poem on Africa. We all read that with sorrow and phobia. A Dark Continent with all her natural richness, Colonizers looted the wealth of Africa’s vastness. Africa in those days was helpless and dumped. They suffer being trampled and benumbed. Africa is now decolonized and free. But one not sees on her face smile and glee. Dacoits in new attires destroy their spines. Wole Soyinka forgets his land, now he intertwines, Africa’s multifaceted ethos with West’s turbines, Inviting intercultural clash and chaotic mimes. How those Africans challenge with West’s mite, The menace of modern terrorism and genocide? Africa is now divided and split in mala fide. Bricks and stones today are awfully stronghold. Let Lord not protect them but make them bold, They need to fight, and the uneven straightened. ©Basudeb Chakraborti, Calcutta, India,          

#16. The Darkest White

I love my cute Africa A scene of phrases Of pictorial dreams Pretty saga of creams From a far far away To be much blessed And being anointed , I proudly ever proclaim It’s serene uniqueness Amidst enough diversity Heritage is its stark root To uphold the refinement . Traditions insulate us From seen and unseen A sure tight bondage Between numerous tribes Although black in colour Still am a child of God Africa is my beginning Cherish to be my end I am being born here Ever long to die here Long live truths of Africa . ©Rohini Kumar Behera, Balasore, Odisha, India           

# 17. Diversity, Beauty of Truth

The Shed, our Origin, Truth, is One, As also, Infinite is the One! So appears the One in shades of innumerable variety, Each upholding uniquely Its beauty, Presenting its infinite creativity, Through the resplendence of Its magnanimity, Gracing with the wondrous diversity! But failing to see the unity at the Source, Knowing not the same Vital Force, Coursing through one and all, Which, to see the beauty, in Self and all, Calls out to all, We see the diversity as black and white, Making one wrong and the other right. What a plight, ignorance breeds, And so humanity bleeds… So much of bloodshed, While the shed blood shows We are from the same Shed! A little inward sight, Looking within, with sincerity in sight, Leads to see the Light. Dispelled is the darkness of ignorance; Superficialities meet with transcendence. Seeing the beauty, the Intrinsic Unity, Each colour, each creation, seen as unique and bright, No more is there any fight, Invoking the acknowledgment: “Wow! What a sight!” ©Sushmita Mukherjee, Calcutta, India          

#18. Rain

There is rain outside The strong wind and rain drops Are  lashing against the window panes. I keep the doors and windows closed But the raindrops Continue falling Making inroads Through the small openings. The torrential rain And the sturdy gushing wind Keep on tapping My windows, I look outside To have a view But everything seems hazy. The rain reminds me Of one such day When walking under the rain We wanted to be under one umbrella But for some reason We chose two separate ones, And, we still continue walking Under different umbrellas When we want to be Under the same one. ©Bharati Nayak, Bhubaneswar, India          

#19. Egypt

Am I African or Asian? Officially known as the Arab Republic but shortened to Egypt. Call me African or Asian, Egyptian or Misr, whatever name you like. Consider me transcontinental or whatever or whatever you can. They say a line dividing runs through me but What they don’t see are the bridges I have built and The gateway I have opened to connect foreign lands. Beautiful and important i was in ancient times Beautiful and important i still am. I have seen Pharaoh fall O what a fall it was The mighty defeated by none but God For you who flock to see the valley of kings Remember civilisations come and go but I stand tall and strong as a testimony to it all. ©Nigar Abdin, Allahabad, India      

#20. Drums of Freedom

Bound in chains, Full of pains, Working in their own fields, Like slaves morally slayed. Nowhere to go, Have to find peace here so – She feeds her own milk and body To the white owner and his baby. Where is freedom In African kingdom? Cries of hungry child, Torments the lions in the wild. But they never thought To be chauvinists on rope. With strong arms, Determination and hope; They beat their drums of freedom Liberty from eternal serfdom. Inspired by Their very own ‘Gandhi’. Madiba, his policy of *Shanti Nonviolence and unarmed *Kranti *Shanti – peace *Kranti – revolution ©Gopa Bhattacharjee, Calcutta, India      

#21. Don’t Cry for Africa

Africa, the Dark Continent as wrongly labelled I am the forerunner of Light, showcasing to Humanity The dire need for freedom and overcoming racial discrimination. Being a winner at any cost So, don’t cry for Africa.

From Chinua Achebe to Mohammad Ali From Nelson Mandela to Naomi Campbell From Martin Luther King to Oprah Winfrey My proud blood run’s in my progeny So, don’t cry for Africa.

We taught the world How abominable the practise of slavery was We taught the world That sprinters and athletes Were born and raised in the Continent of light Denzil Washington and Will Smith Proudly stake claim to Hollywood Whoopi Goldberg and Whitney Houston Send delightful shivers in the entertainment world and Ultimately Barack Obama proved the supremacy of African blood So don’t cry for Africa.

The rich legacy of wildlife National Parks Be it Kafue in Zambia or Serengeti in Tanzania Taught man to respect Nature and live in harmony with his environment So don’t ever call me the dark continent again So don’t cry for Africa.

©Aabha Vatsa, New Delhi, India

   

#22. Eyes Focussed on Angels

The face of an African woman may become old, Yet, deep inside her heart, her feelings are not cold. A sharp pain of sadness may strike her body, Yet, she will hold herself upright like a lady. She may take a bath in a sumptuous marble tub, Yet, like a lioness, she jumps out to protect her cub. Life may be squealing and screaming around, Yet, young and statuesque, she stands in her gown. Her past may be toxic and tumultuous, Yet, with fierce pride, she’ll make the future glorious. She may have unconscious desires beyond her control, Yet, with a firm grip, her senses she will hold. She may feel a weight on her chest, like a stone, Yet, she will glance imploringly at the shy and never moan. She may have a sense of impending danger, Yet, her stamina will never make her feet stagger. Green as pea soup, Red as pimento, Juicy as pineapple, Tasty as pudding, She always holds the sky with one hand And her children with the other While her huge eyes are focused on angels. ©Pramila Khadun, Mauritius       

#23. A New Journey

I repeated my name like mantra to know who am I? From consciousness to subconscious I jumped each block of thought from past, present and future, to know who am I really. The clouds of doubts were thick, dark and even solid To melt, drift and vanish. I repeatedly Called my name… A spark was there I found, The vibrations was high, That slowly touched the peak. A tornado… Yes, for myself to destroy all doubts of who am I really glow. The field was now open to run… The limit vanished, I felt the peace And, spread my wings. A new journey began. ©Sarojini Pattayat, India    

#24. Starvation

Man died due to starvation In a tiny lodge room- Two columns box news Nothing unusual Had he been in such a bad condition? Who cares? It’s nobody’s cup of coffee Still, all accused him About his mysterious life! No communion with others Was unforgivable! Where drained his income? Sure, he was an alcoholic Looked like a drug addict!? Might have frequently visited brothels!? Autopsies are abundant before an Autopsy of a physician Mortified by an ugly image While the physician drawn a true image Of a man who starved not for food But for true love Was he really a rogue? Was he really a depraved? Was he really an insane? Sighed the physician When he saw her pretty image Embossed inside his broken heart!!!! ©Vijay P Nair, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India      

#25. Ubuntu

I am because we are (An African philosophy or belief that we are defined by the compassion and kindness towards others)

A syntax, an amalgam, Of alphabets acquitted Draw a ciam, a circle, around me. What are you? What do you entail? I asked, with banality committed. . Are you hungry? they chorused Do you long to fly? The horizon endless, breathless, Awaits your liberation Let your spirit touch the sunrise Let the eagle within soar

Step in, weary warrior Sleep beneath my stars Find your grace, your tranquil calm Let your soul rest Before it’s too late

Listen to the gentle lap of the river The mighty roar of the jungle The drumbeat of your pulse The silence of your breath As the moon sets on the swirling current Of our origin.

We are the dignified compassion, the fierce pride The wild uniqueness that watches you As we become part of you And you become part of us They say.

©Harshali Singh, New Delhi, India

 

#26. Africa is Rising

Africa is no more poor They are rising up slowly but steadily They have established schools to cater To the various needs of children Including children with disability But in this field they have to Recruit more teachers to cater To the needs of the increasing Percentage of children with Various disabilities Special therapies are also Provided for their physical, mental and all round growth enabling these children to participate in sports activities and other cultural programmes! They are happy lot of people Wearing their traditional Dresses and colourful ornaments which Make up for their dark and shiny complexion adding beauty to them! They work hard, both men and women To give their children a Happy life with education To see a brighter future ! They are dedicated lot of people with Vision for a better place to live And improve their economy like Many other self sufficient countries ! It is my duty and pleasure to mention here the name of Late Nelson Mandela For all what he has achieved for His country! ©Sarala Balachandran, Calcutta, India    

#27. Long Live Africa for Wisdom!

I strongly believe, It is a heaven of man kind Full of unique culture and living legends Wisdom is treasure! Wisdom is education! Come with me for the praise of this great peace loving nation Their colours are black but have pure hearts full of pearls God has painted this holy land with his own hands I’ve opened my heart door for all friends like my father of the nation I have higher regard for Dr.Nelson Mandela, Koffi Ata Annan May God bless this heaven citizens health, wealth and prosperity I motivate all to go on the path of peace and love My faith, my prayer, my appeal Is for this place of humantarian continent ©Ashok Kumar, Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, India  

#28. Africa, we Come from You

Africa we come from you. Your warmth has soaked into our skin & bone over centuries That’s how we were formed That’s how we came to be; From a multitude of earlier Beings. Now the mirror may Speak differently, but we Know better. We come from You. Your sun, your warmth Your crucible of life that has Blessed us all, how can we ever Obscure this? Oh no, we Remember, we remember, we Remember. Your beats, your Songs, your moves that make You a mighty rhythm of trance, Mirrored in us, a dancing glance Back to our origins – that long road Back to the centre, the womb where We belonged together before Spreading out across the length And breadth of the world. Oh Africa, we come from you. We do. ©Smeetha Bhoumik, India          

#29. Africa

They say, Life dawned in Africa As did the human race, In this land of dust, afar. Blue flew the the mighty River Nile, with its ancient magnificence. With the etchings on cave walls, Papyrus and Heiroglyphics. From Phoenecia, Carthage and the wonder of Alexandria, Africa had her glory days And glorious she remains. Enigmatic and wondrous Arid stretches under a gorgeous Sun. From Power to Slavery And then Apartheid and beyond From famines in Ethiopia Insurgencies in Rhodesia Genocide in Rawanda She was ravaged Humanity finds its way back here Slowly but Surely This beautiful land So Wild And brave And primordial She roars The roar of a lionenss Waking up from Slumber. ©Ipsita Ganguli, Calcutta, India    

#30. The Aroma of Bliss

Sun kissed face, dreams unlimited New born leaves in pine trees A promise of new life, a new beginning. Let be we become strangers Let be we start a new journey together Through the ancient road. Life is a mixture of joy and pain A lot of things to sacrifice for sure In return, we get love and peace. In search of solitude I travel between light and darkness Climbing the old loneliness. Behind the blue velvety curtain Silver moon shines bright Appealing to the stars in cosy shyness. ©Preety Bora, Golaghat, India    

#31. We are the Africans, We Shall Overcome…

We have done this before … We are doing this all the time … And we keep smiling through it all … The slavery, the exploitation, the constant discrimination, The innuendos and the pain! We’ll keep smiling through it all … And we shall continue to progress, And we shall continue to gain From all our experiences – Good and bad – And we shall continue to overcome The prejudices of Colour, creed and complexion … One day soon … We shall be the torchbearers of Linguistic diversity and multiculturism. One day soon … We shall emerge as the victors And be no longer seen as victims! ©Padmaja Iyengar, Hyderabad, India      

#32. Gentle Criminals

An entity with features of a state… But lacks elements of a nation. Identity politics; belligerent state, Brinkmanship; no mutual solutions. Imagine, Fulani herdsmen actions… civilisation? Nigeria is divided; gentle criminals, Nigeria undivided; gentle criminals. Every decision; them-wallet benefit. End-Luxury-house for criminals; six feet. Imagine, signposts and billboards…a project. Pledging funds at church…just to shine, And making Immediate cash drop at the bloody shrine. Latest hotels; his pride… as a hotel knight. Cheerful giver by day; soul-taker by night. Imagine, a priest in fraud… civilisation? Like corporate beggars… like gentle criminals. Politicians and foreign account; ill reasons. Ooh! The law chambers; another bribery team. Gentle during campaigns… shark when sworn in. Imagine, Nigeria democracy in unique corruption. Our democracy; is full of pimples! Body guards; higher salaries, Responsible officials; no payments! Basket full of promises… lies upon lies, bank of failures. Imagine, an owl at home… a dove abroad, why? ©Kelly Juuz, Imo State, Nigeria      

#33. Strong Ladies

Women with a ten kilo hat wearing maize flour don’t walk they shuffle Women ploughing through red earth in bright colours and wind flapped dresses make me proudly impressed ©Mattie Goedegebuur, Spakenburg, The Netherlands      

#34. Saworoide

(Freedom drum) The gong of equity has come_ Let Lapeti vacate and be gone. Saworoide, the fearless gong Has come to bisect evil lords_ Whose living reside in the sweat of the poor. Saworoide has no friend, no foe_ It visits offenders with its woe. Who are you to shine and in crime glow? Await the sting of Saworoide to show! It’s wrath like Moses to Pharoah. The throne must be clean and pure_ Tainted a heart will not near for sure. With wealth or fame, you wilt not lure For our Saworoide has the cure_ A plague with death, a cure. It’s the rule of law_ Its Supreme above all. Its judgemt is spry and raw_ Save yourself from shame of all Saworoide is not a merciful god. Let it rain, let it come around_ Love and unity need to abound. For coon ages we heard freedom sound_ Let’s sing it this day, far and loud_ And reset the trend of the cloud. ©Judaisky Cares, Ilorin Kwara State, Nigeria    

#35. Tear Tells A Tale

(Tear from the land of Nigeria) Tells a story of pain A story of being chained Chained in her body and soul Soul of a beautiful girl Girl of such tender age Being separated From her loving family And kept away in some dungeon Tear tells a story How she wishes to be freed And get back to the warm hugs Of her parents and siblings Keeping the fire of hope kindling Tear awaits some angels Awaits for the day When they will be coming Keeping the fire of hope kindling She wishes the story To have a happy ending. The poem is dedicated to Chibok girls of Nigeria who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, in April 2014 ©Bharati Nayak, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India      

#36. Africans

Some of us regard that Costly attires, western dishes or handshakes Might be perfect the sign of great civilization. But we should know the fact too that Unity should be our strength symbol first That we note in the African nations. There is no cultural aggression Among the Africans, They are so confident of their cultures that They never mix up their cultures with the others. Rather they show their creativity from making the varied outfits to ornaments by themselves. If any African villager does any wrong He is taken to an open ground Where he is surrounded by all the other villagers, And all they share his good activities one by one To assess his present wrong doing. A very wonderful and uncommon judicial system indeed For one’s repentance. Even the climate as well weather there Are not comfortable for the survival, Hence the Africans are to toil a lot From the very childhood. The Africans are very much friendly too Not only to their own nations, Even to all the tourists whom they Welcome and invite warmly to their land. ©Sujata Paul, India          

#37. I know…!

I know One day, you will understand Feathers stay as proof of a flying bird Lost far away from the horizon No turning back No shelter Very angry Far away Anxiety of an escaped shadow I know That this emigration has nothing in common with rainy days Neither the blooming flowers It is an unusual escape towards time, when the air smells the pain of earth. Death of innocent leaves under the meaning of life until madness I know that the darkness brings lonely nights No light, that gives you hope No dreams, that give you freedom No tomorrow But only a dawn related to the shadows of life in chaos. It feels like the poison of broken hopes I know that scream will destroy the walls of broken memories And what is dead will return to life No more envy trapped in a spider web And the voracious crowds and Kings without crowns. ©Agron Shele, Albania, Belgium Translated by Peter Tase          

#38. Alkebulan

Alkebulan, mother of mankind Land of mystery and allure, of glorious African civilisations The cradle of humankind, the emergence of archaic humans, hominids Where we first stood upright in the Savannahs Afru-Ika, Motherland, you retained your dignity brave Africa despite export of slaves or plunder of gold Looted ,subjugated, you silently kept your roots intact By word of mouth you taught generations about kingdoms gone As the green Sahara became a desert, you throbbed to the beat of bougarabou and djembe Beckoning us with exotic names like Timbuktu and Zanzibar Evoking primordial feelings in the blistering mid day heat Bewitching sunsets at Maasai Mara crossings of Wildebeest, cheetahs, hippos Photographer’s utopia where oldest roads are elephant paths Topographical grandeur where God whispers in the iridescent blue wings of a bird or the royal gait of a lion Hypnotising with sepia, tan, ebony; this vast land of allure Serenading with, mbira, ngoni, kalimba, kora, oud You are mystical, O land of voluptuous beauty! ©Lily Swarn, Chandigarh, India      

#39. Africa

The dark continent, enigmatic, enchanting Nature showered its bounties on you O Africa Enriched you with Savanna grasslands, rainforests Lofty, misty mountain peaks, swirling waterfalls, Rippling rivers: Nile, Zambezi, Congo, Orange The scorching equator a girdle around your waist Desert sands of Sahara & Kalahari Giraffe, zebra, ostrich, flamingos add colour to life Peopled by Pygmy, Zulu, Masai, Bantu And cannibals; were they myth or reality? Cradle of an ancient civilization, Carthage Whose valiant warriors battled mighty Romans Egypt, washed by the Nile, where the Sphinx reposes Half human half lion; besides it the majestic pyramids Where the once powerful Pharaohs repose in peace Their sepulchres veritable treasure troves. You writhed in agony when avaricious Imperialists Ravaged, plundered, carried away your wealth Timber, ivory, gold & diamond And Apartheid scourged South Africa Blacks separated from their white brethren Iron heel trampling sons of the soil Humanity was dying…..and yet Fanned by Hope, urge for freedom Was ignited in every heart…natives Stood up as one to tear down the shackles A long road to freedom……at last Victory! ©Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh, New Delhi, India      

#40. Africa Writes her Carefree Siblings

Dear Africans, You know for sure the destiny of a tree rests in how healthy her roots and the nutrient they soak are. Or have you ever seen greeny leaves and fruits merrily dangle the roots of their mother tree were uprooted? Oh, my carefree siblings, why don’t you take pride in calling me mother? Is it because now my future seems like a thirsty plant wilting in the hot dessert? Or, aren’t you the ones suffocating me to death? As you seem to deny me the life-sustaining nutrients of your youth or the profundity of your revolutionary ideas Sadly today, with no shame you win honours for mothers whose cruel sons once raped me at my prime as if you have no love for me; your grieving mother now lives in perpetual wars and pitiful squalor. ©Khalid lmam, Kano, Nigeria        

#41. Africa, My Africa!

I am a 21 year old African Africa resides in my blood Ivory hairs bemoan the riddle of life We bear the brunt of your guns the stigma while you loathed and bathed in our blood Fair skinned traders you marvel in our mysteries dark savannahs grow fierce with the hunt-the scourge of death inundate our jaws, creak and groan under years of servility Why, you rule us- “Mistah Kurtz- he dead” Broken voices ruffled murmurs unable to sing Amen! Bewitching Africa your colonial upheavals our painted bodies, wooden drums our voodoo You trade in death lilacs, purple hibiscus our ancestors the occult practices innumerably bind us to the soil our hopes our dreams and survival. ©Deeya Bhattacharya, Calcutta, India        

#42. Oh My Africa!

Oh my Africa, you are gold! Your baptismal name is blessed! I have seen why colonialism refused to bid bye to you Termites are surplus in your land. Your endowments have refused to dry; despite the struggle of selfish oracles to tap you dry. A once called ape who poured love on His colour: An ape who gives fresh air to aliens; An ape who has inks his name in all the continents of the universe; An ape whose voice lights the earth. Most ape callers darken and are still darkening their soul; for they want to be you. I’m lucky to be in you my Africa! ©Chinedu Vincent Okoro, Nigeria          

#43. Africa Inside Me!

The discovery of America was not news compared to my discovery of love inside me I found that love is born in Africa toward women, land and sky you and I are the cause, love is the result of it Africa is the object from times immemorial Africa has been building since time immemorial and various armed missionaries they did not allow it to live and love as I love my beloved and Africa today Africa until today, has loved secretly and there was no one to tell me that Africa, it is time for new steps wake up from centuries of sleep wake Kunta Kinte inside you and do not let them continue to intersect you and divide you into tribes that on your back and sweat they built their new castles Wake up my Africa as I woke up seeing my beloved time stands still for you it will always stand even when you step My Africa, you are under my skin with my beloved and now you hurt me every day with rampant hunger and thirst you do not sleep Africa, you are now a winner, say thank you Kunta Kinte and lift his greatest monument in every city to him let freedom and love radiate I am with you Africa and you in me I embrace you as the most beautiful mistress you are mine ©Ibrahim Honjo, Vancouver, Canada        

#44. An Open Letter to Zoya

Zoya, my friend your eyes weave the dreams Your tears speak The pain of mutilation Have the butchers taken the permission? Still your smiles count the blessings Here I am with you Just a few miles farther you, near the equator and I in this hemisphere The cassava porridge is still on the pot Everything good will come We will play the game Abula Exchange our ear rings share a bucket of water In the sandy desert- oasis The warmth of our heart will endure A new episode For the clouds above river Ganga Float to Your village the tropical winds of Congo Bring the fragrances of African Moon Never we met but we the girls of twelve Have the same trepidation Same fear of molestation we will march forward And assemble our own secured zones …. My Sun and your Ilanga Is the one to bless us… (In Zulu ILANGA means the Sun) ©Swapna Behera, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India      

#45. God Loves Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan was a son of Africa He radiated love with his deep Compassion and empathy Before and when he was Secretary General of the United Nations And after he step down He won Nobel Peace Laureate He was a mirror in front of us So we can learn from him How to be good leader Of course here and there we see some weakness But we have a chance to correct them kindly One word is love Let us love one another without limitation Because everyone is leader If always we learn from others We will become a good leader By helping other people we will live in their hearts For showing real ability Real interest and a real reason to be cooperate With others in making peace and maintain the heart of humanity Treat others the same way I want them to do for me Human beings are equal. We love him but God loves him so much He deserve better life in heaven Angels are singing sweet songs around his soul Because he lived in peace in this world and now Rest in peace and enjoy heaven! ©Stanslaus Kyando, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania          

#46. Africa

Most believe you are the origin of mankind With your stunned beauty, abundant in flora and fauna Your self is united and intermingled, You are indigenous with your various dwellings World have migrated to you, Your culture meshed with world’s Your tradition woven into tapestry as colourful as diverse Your crafts sings your spiritual beliefs Your attire’s shiny threads with minimal jewellery Your cuisines corn based tasty and healthy Your music with drums dance with rattles Amazing to know latica tribe kidnap a woman to marry Your cosmetic is soil with milk fat shines your face Water is scarce so woods ash to hair Lobola groom pay to bride for the loss of man’s daughter The sun and moon your gods Mother Earth your Goddess Gives birth to new generations of all beings What a meaningful proverb you have Unmuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu Tells a person is a person through persons Great legends you produced Nelson Mandela a man fought against Apartheid Kofi Annan Africa’s foremost son a tall Erika tree a noble laureate UN Secretary You have world wonders the longest River Nile the gift of Egypt Sahara a home to vast desert, The Greatest Victoria falls nature’s gift Above all I love you Africa, you are related to me Addis Ababa where my brother worked, Five decades back A professor of Economics Then he changed our mud hut to bricks It stood aloof among huts In Addis Ababa where her angel daughter baptized Africa you are ever in my memory as evergreen memory. ©Mary Jayaraj, India        

#47.  a child from africa

what is that i did wrong what is the sin i have done why i am like this left alone please tell me now they dragged my parents raped my sister took my brother leaving me alone who are they crippled our smiles killed our joys making us helpless my papa was a teacher teaches all what is right and tells to fight when is wrong they jailed him for this mama was a nurse she is full of care and love never complains about any they took her as slave my beautiful sister who dances and sings mauled by these monsters till their lusts rested my brother in teens who is bright and strong beaten and chained took him for gains where is my family where are my people please tell me now ©Raj Babu Gandham, Chennai, India      

#48. We are Africa

Yes sir You are catching the sight of us – the ones not as well-fed as you Our lips are cracked, our lips are dry Just as our thirsty land… Yes sir It is an African boy lying over there His hunger did not let him run or play Now there are just a couple of vultures flying over his head… Yes sir You exploited the world from the very first moment of its spin, From the cotton fields where our ancestors forced to work What we all hear is whip, chain and scream of uprising… Yes sir Now look closer into our jet black eyes And to the fire burning for freedom inside, Give your ear to our billowing voice… Yes sir We are those winds blowing warmly and gently from Africa, We will exist forever despite of your presence, And we will forever remain as humans… As We Are Africa! ©Nevin Koçoğlu, Ankara, Turkey Translated from Turkish to English by Burcu Koçoğlu      

#49. There is Nowhere Like It

There is nowhere like it on the planet like the African continent. This mighty powerhouse lures both wild in heart and mild in mind. It steals one’s heart with its oases and mirages and thundering waterfalls. Life here is pure in the lap of nature unfurling at a pace slow. The cradle of birth, it midwives life into humankind. It is our parental home from where we branched out to regions manifold. This natural wonder unspools untold surprises from ocean to the azure dome. Here is a land of diversity from which we can carve out big chunks of joy to heal our soul. Our Big Salute, dear Africa ©Elsy Satheesan, Kerala, India        

#50. The Survivor

(A Nigerian’s Narrative) A black body enswathed in white; leaning towards the parapet (sporadic), I saw in the moonlight at Berkelah falls, finding an interrupting soul, he stopped me to come closer Meanwhile, approached a sally-squally wind, Capturing interposed histories of his clan, near Farin Ruwa. Between the two falls, in fact, no interface of miseries only till his father migrated to the Nazi land And till he was taught about women- ‘as promiscuous and debauched as men with circumcised desires resting on wet, metallic, dilated lips and loin.’ The salmon amaryllis, tropical auburn red sun and a brunette, hoodwinked into a chimera- he didn’t bother to measure the skies- the world- a juke box of animated objects What if, he is a cis-woman? Or the brunette is a cis-man? Besides all power equations – consummating histories with geographies. I could barely recall the enchanting mantras rejuvenating a soul the land belonged to no one- neither he nor I but the repercussions were coiled into two pairs of eyes In the moonlight I saw him going back to nowhere nearby a tippler freed himself on the pavement. ©Rishikesh Kumar Singh, New Delhi, India          

#51. A Woman…

Dedicated to her course, devoted to a fault, Every inch tattooed to her skin, Every pour tells a story. A beautiful monument to be adored. Every journey she ever made, Every peak she ever slayed. The Woman; A committed worshiper, A default leader. Born of her own, endowed by her own. Called to war in a battle of affection Constantly fighting, A battle she knows she will never loose. That Woman; Would trade herself for another’s content, She is worth a thousand pearls in a second. Her value, proportionate to that precious stone you never saw. Beautiful is the scholar’s description But obviously she’s more….. Connected to a bloodline of wealth So rich at heart, she can feed a thousand This woman; Born in the hardest of climates, Survived through blazing heat. Thick skinned, enough to protect the soul from dirt. So pure, all the brown stayed out With a crown designed specifically for her specie. Inherently divine, undoubtedly curved Curved at the right corners, edgy at the left… This kind of Woman; “The black kind” is the definition of….. Strength, divinity, affection and beauty. She’s the real essence of being…. Possessing a heart of gold, Gentle like a dove, At the same time, as fierce as you were told Dear Black Women Don’t stop being you. ©Chika Ijeoma, Port Harcourt, Nigeria       #52. Apartheid Let us scan the blood vessels Under the skin And allow the mind to Peer into the mirror of the soul Reflection will show Our common human heritage like a clone, Like patchy skin grafts on broken bones. Let us toss the seeds of caste, creed, colour Into an orchard of apple trees or a river stream, Don’t you think the crows and crocodiles will enjoy the flesh? Do you ever wonder why every child Crawls or creeps before standing or walking? Human genes are locked up in the structure of blood cells. A zealot’s aspiration to grasp the clouds A saint’s speculation to fold the destiny on a paper A brave soldier’s struggle to defend the Motherland Do not discriminate the colour of the skin, hair or eyes! So let the lungs breath the fresh air of humanity And let the eyes drink from the coloured sky of Africa! Let us rest the shadows of apartheid In the cemetery of junk racial prejudice And try to catch the heartbeats of the oldest caves. Hatred lingers like the smoke of wet wood In pungent swirls of terror, Let humanity shower in love And drown the fuming mist of apartheid! ©Major Dr. Sumitra Mishra, India        

#53. To Mother Africa

O mother Africa, don’t shed your tears We love you so much without vain, No doubt, we are your black children But we the black too are the true men. You are the Eve, our first biological Mother At your lap, we the first humans were born, Many migrated to other continents years ago The white too are your children, don’t mourn. Within you exists the Sahara, the extreme wrath Since birth you cover your face with a veil, Even Apollo can’t enter your soul, it’s a fact With millions of flora and fauna you are hale. You have been deceived by your white sons Who snatched your black children and sold, You cried hysterically but all were fruitless Now the blacks have raised their heads being bold. Mother never becomes black, mother is mother Children are children of what colour they may be, We may be the Bantu, Pigmy, Bushman or Negro We’ve the Mount Atlas, Lake Nyasa and River Zambezi. Mother, you have Giza Pyramids and Sinai Peninsula We are proud of Nelson Mandela and Annan Kofi, Poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition are harming you One day darkness will disperse, we will be shiny. Your children Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Egypt With Zimbabwe, Cameroon, South Africa and Senegal, Have been glorifying you on the world stage We dream your fifty four children will be the pearl. ©Gobinda Biswas, Krishnanagar, West Bengal, India        

#54. The African Experience

Oh Africa! The Dark Continent, unknown, untamed, I never knew you except in movies and books, Tales of the Hutus, the Tutsis, their infighting famed, Of machetes and bloodshed, slices and hooks. History had spoken of The Cape of Good Hope, Of travellers exotic, and regions unexplored, Of diamond mines, and native kingdoms wide in scope; Wild animals roaming free, hapless victims left gored. Our daughter fell in love; our lives turned around, When she left for Johannesburg as a brand new wife, She boarded a flight that was Africa bound, All set to explore afresh and start a new life. When we saw Africa through her bright eyes, Our hearts smiled with her, as the beauty came through, The lion park, the safari, Ubuntu philosophy, the high rise, Her accounts delighted us, as our expectations grew. And when, finally, we set foot on the African land, Driving back home on roads, empty and wide, With every passing smile, and every wave of a hand, Our new son regaled us with details, the perfect guide. The wonder grew even more as the days went by, Picturesque locales, picnic spots and Monte Casino, Restaurants and cafes, each one did we try, Farmers’ Markets did we sample with great gusto. On one joyful day, our little granddaughter was born, Our hearts opened further, we turned more loyal, Our love for Africa burgeoned and grew on, Our hearts were now firmly entrenched on its soil. ©Deepti Menon, Kerala, India        

#55. The Dark Woman

Under the raucous sun from the River Nile to the River Niger I see a thousand years of darkness displaying itself on raw face of a tribal woman, measuring the heat with wounded wings, her colourful accessories , fierce dance, acrobat desires, colonial masks but a world without end or sorrow continues. Her butterfly dreams chucked in rivers, deserts, rainforests, mountains, rift valleys, veldts tearing down the stories of moon and stars with fingers running on kora The sun, I saw, was setting in her eyes and darkness, in its place, was on the rise, even then she was still trying to fly, racing with the flocks of the wind but she’s lost in the century with life chasing from places faraway. She steps She laughs She steps into the ring of lamentation where the salt spark of tears around her cries… ©Bobby Bains (Maninder), Jalandhar, India        

#56. Don’t Tie Me

Tied in chains shackled he lay in his face carrying woe Scarred for life Scared in eyes wreathing in pain lit in dismay in dreams of a life gone astray to fight years of hate to wipe his rage away he lay unspeaking lame in his life did he have any say A poor old slave so feeble infirm on open grass he lay Hiding his face under the sky ashamed he looked away Mangled in the torn clothes wiping his tears away In hopes shackled chained in They had but nothing left to say Shattered they fell no tears to wipe away In eyes that cried broken I am only a piece of clay a mortal flesh in which to burn away Why I am the broken piece of shit That brand of shame that hides his face away Browbeaten hunched back my life to cringe away In rags that tare my life in little pieces to say Life don’t torment me My pains not my own my blood to bleed away As I lie heartbroken in me to wish away No sound on my lips my sorrow to take away Life take me with you don’t let me live your way let me have my way In my death to tie me with you fly in you away don’t torment me take my life away Let me die your way… Away ©Nutan Sarawagi, Mumbai, India          

#57. Red Hand Day

Child with his gun totters; it is day break, Hardly awake, not sure of the stakes In this war, on Red Hand Day He is a warrior, his bosses so say He killed his sister, she could not walk A machete to the beanstalk, taking roots in tiredness They said, it was needed, to the Rebellion, seeded Drugged and brainwashed, now, a thoroughbred Child soldier, innocent, walks on minefields To the adults, expendable, a human shield But he has good eyes, and believes the men’s lies His father was an evil tiller of the soil, why? They raped his mother, laid her on the mud, blue The older girls often giggle and get screwed too But the fire in their eyes, tells him, go on son, This is a war zone, have fun with the gun And he knows, they have the blood diamonds Moaning men, with cut off hands, betrayals happen Red hands, gunshots and blood scares him, stunned He pees in his pants, yet stays on, does not run Madness is a relief, they leave behind the mad boys With shots of heroin, or remove their kidneys, toys Blank, vacant eyes, listen to the boss man, kill Destined to peace in a country of the mentally ill Child soldier, when you find a home, sleep, play Don’t stand alone, don’t kill yourself, but pray You are not a sinner, Africa has millions of you Childhood was taken, now grow, be a man, true ©Colonel Kanchan Bhattacharya, Jabalpur, India        

#58. Our Great Continent: Africa

We are strong in our diversities, standing tall with one voice, even though of multi coloured, we still believe in our contents. Unity is found in our voice strength, our defence is our cultural pride, though we have many tongues, but freedom and truth prevails. Our land depends on tolerance, our greatness is resolved on patriotism, though we war against ourselves, but we stand tall to defend our pride. Our peace song is contagious for all, our promise holds a great virtue, our colour is love, freedom and progress, Great is our continent: Africa. Africa home for all, she’s the first cradle of civilization, a continent endowed with gold mine, Africa home for all salvation. ©David Chukwudi Njoku, COUNTRY??          

#59. The Whistle of an African Man

I dance the story of Africa And speak in the tongue of Ghana ba I weave words of ancestry O To inform the coming century For history must remember the blood and the toil So posterity wouldn’t frown on our soil I am but that mere mortal man Moulded in the sand of the African soil under the chest of the sun I am but that mere mortal man Who fears no man yet regards all men I am but that mere mortal man Born of woman to siege through the path of ancestry into divinity And to proclaim the African mystery of Prestige and dignity I am but that mere mortal man Who paints the shadows of reality And dance the reality of the Shadows I tell what I hear And paint what I see and perceive I tell of the scar And I tell of the sweet I am but that mere mortal man The linguist of African history The teller of the story The keeper of all memories ©Benjamin Nii Tetteh Oku, Accra, Ghana          

#60. Tour Guide

Sailing through the heart of darkness*, I was looking for a spirit to confide in. Zambian warmth, unknown charm, An African beauty showed me Divinity. Olayinka, my personal tour guide; I called her Linda. Memories of her still shiver my soul. Such ecstatic eyes, such an enigmatic smile, Salvation, she inspired, from sins of lifetimes. She spoke of raiders, she spoke of traders, Nihilistic** annihilations, her visions and encounters. I poured my heart to a complete stranger; There was no shame, there was no fear. Traversing much through the forests of experience, We, at last, arrived at our much anticipated destination. Victoria Falls, the majestic and magnificent smile That nature etched, amidst landscapes undefined. The bright Sun glistened sharp in my heart, Helicopter tour, rainbows amidst the thrust, In my desperation, as if I could only think of despair, While Olayinka explained concepts of bonding and repair. She had less money; she found things funny, Things I would not even consider, things bright and sunny, A childlike presence, she chased moles and bunnies. Spirituality is a pure state, like dew and honey. She touched my hand, a chill ran up my spine, “Who are you, lady?” I wondered in my mind. I smelt of incense, white flowers in a bed, A horse of desires gave life to the dead. “Salvation is to let go,” said she, “Free up your mind, Untainted, unattached, let kindness unwind.” “Am I capable of such higher emotions?” I wailed and I whined, She looked into my eyes and enlightened, “You are just Divine.” Notes: * Heart of Darkness – Reference to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness ** Nihilism – Reference from Huffington Post article: https://googleweblight.com/i?u=https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/8310172&hl=en-IN ©Sonali Majumdar, Virginia, the US            

#61. I Salute You, Annan, World Icon of Peace (To my icon Nobel Laureate Kofi Annan)

O! The mighty Holy Spirit, Angel of Peace, Let me touch your sublime feet, And purify my thoughts and soul With noble thoughts and wisdom To go ahead thousands of miles Overcoming all barriers. To ignite the beacon of Peace, prosperity, Humanity and love. I must go millions of miles I must traverse the thorny Journey of life With undaunted spirit and determination Emulating your lofty ideals and footprints Left on the sands of time. You are the living legend, World Icon of peace Symbol of humanity and universal brotherhood, Hope to millions half-clad and starved, I salute to your supreme philanthropic spirit. You’re my guiding light You are my master You are my supreme guide from darkness to light I wish to touch your sublime feet. O! The great master, I must go and work for the poor and downtrodden Following your supreme ideals I must spread your message of peace and brotherhood In every corner of the earth. O! The mighty Holy Spirit, Divinely bestowed upon the earth- Let me sink in your wisdom and extolled thoughts Let me touch your holy feet Let me mingle with your divinity To glorify my birth. ©Priyatosh Das, India          

#62. Africa, a Natural Fragrance

Africa, a continent of wonders Tropical woods of thunders Biggest Sahara Desert occasionally Creates some blunders Africa contains dense forests And various species of animals A natural fragrance of this world Great Egyptian Pyramids have Enigmatic charm and curiosity, That plunders all my heart And hypnotise me in numbers Old civilization near Nile river Contains fertile land and history Different hues of tribes, Rich culture shows it’s splendour Africa has a Golden Aura It is looted by many invaders Tolerated a lot, slavery and discrimination A land of great natural assets, Famous athletes, And famous real heroes raised their voices Against all the sort of bigotry and racism Still Africa is fighting for its justice And working a lot for its liberalism!! ©Varsha Saran, India        

#63. After the Lean Harvest, Lord, it’s Time (After Rainer Maria Rilke)

After the lean harvest, Lord, its time to lay your hands firmer on the hourglass and in the night let the wild ghosts prowl. As for the fulsome fruits, hasten them to sweetness. beam on them three days of gentler wind to tango them down towards their time, and hound the final few tinges of brightness through the day. Whosoever’s penniless now, will save no dime; who lives aloof will live continuously so, wandering on to write wee, drab oblong poems, and, along the town’s alleys, ruefully ponder, when the giant gloom retires. ©Ismail Bala, Kano, Nigeria          

#64. Africa, How Did You Become Me?

that all humanity traces back to you is now a certainly, even when others are still struggling to comprehend, and accept. I wonder still, how the genes travelled so far did you fly with the big bird or did you crossover with a whale? Perhaps the wind carried you with the playful dust. Tell me how you lived and what songs you sang and the poems in your heart, unspoken, and understood only by those with whom you walked with, on the edges of the world, very long ago. Tell me, Africa, how, finally, you and I are one…. ©Virginia Jasmin Pasalo, Philippine            

#65. Hunger Games

Fortunate are those mothers Who hand feed their toddlers And are hand-fed by them when they get old. How unfortunate I am, My child and I suffered hunger pangs Fought voraciously with destiny Build hope in each other eyes Dreamt better days Reposed faith in God And here he is lying in front of me Baked skeleton, burnt skin, sunken eyes, malnourished He is dead and I am alive. Remaining empty stomach for days When we were provided the food I had forcefully fed him portions of mine But little one had small stomach He couldn’t consume more He paid the price He is dead and I am alive. We both were born poor Cursed, may be by God For whatever reasons better known to it We accepted the life, smiled Looked for ways to survive, yet He is dead and I am alive. Worse is I can’t even wail, weep or cry Remain gloomy or mourn This isn’t an odd event around. Feelings are lost Tears have dried Emotions have turned inferior Human life takes a birth here As if to die My son He is dead and I am alive. I have heard in stories Ages back we were animals. I still see animal within me, suppressed, Eager to roar It’s the conscience that keeps it calm But I am yet to understand What has changed? Isn’t for us too ‘survival of fittest’. What an irony, fit was my son He is dead and I am alive. His father How hard he tried He couldn’t feed us Evenings he would hang his head in shame One fine day he ran away Fearing our death in front of his eyes Little one was still in womb I suggested gulping in herbs People said I will face God’s wrath. God couldn’t act worst Now that my child is no more around Who’s the criminal and who committed the crime? My innocent little one He is dead and I am alive. I have heard from travellers In far off land There’s enough food that much goes in drain I wish someday that drain Flows through my village Polluted, spoiled, wasteful doesn’t matter. It will lease in life Elixir Make us human Add in sympathy, empathy and compassion Today there is no one to soothe Even though my child hopped around all He is dead and I am alive. All I pray at this point of time No more children die Anywhere around Children make Gods as they grow So easily Gods die in front of our eyes Don’t know how and in what ways You can stop this undocumented crime Let not the children die Let not the blessed one’s die Let not a mother ever sing for her infant child He is dead and I am alive. ©Kumar Gautam, Mumbai, India            

#66. The Darkness was More Than the Dark

From the beginning of the beginning Sun is there, at the one end of the globe And moon at the other Nature has blessed moon its luminescence, borrowed from the sun The Sons of moon and the sons of sun Divided in two colossal regions, used to live their own lives Everyone was in his own threshold Heirs of their own culture and traditions Possessors of their own natural resources The sons of sun More ingenious They were the kings also, the king-makers and slave-makers too They were knowledgeable also and educators too The sons of moon had their own identity Existence like Clinking-Iron Eyes that are deer like and incomplete dreams and mirage of such deep dark eyes Mingled with each other Of faces like wild lions Conversing features, on the blind borders that are darker than the darkness When the bluish luminescence of the moon touches The ups and downs of their faces, strong necks and stone like chests That amusing moonlight of the black world Being playful with the leaves and branches of the green forests Often hid behind the clouds There is no meaner friend then the life Till today, to make both ends meet This life Is separating the whole world from their blood relations And till date, this life, filled with the dust of poverty Has seized the black world in the facilities of the whites Man is imprisoned by life When it’s no more Then there is no existence of man as well But ages before, when people from each area Used to live within their thresholds They were happy! Were happy, when their stomachs were full Celebrated their traditions more happily even when they have nothing to eat There was no rapacity, and no desire for more In fact, the desire of invasion Was in the blue eyes of the ingenious white people Who were the owners of the throne Who wanted to see the sun of their own kingship Shining brightly on all the kingdoms of the world When the sons of sun paced directly on the land of the sons of moon There came a hustle in the bluish darkness of moon The sons of sun deteriorated the balance of their world They were arrogant about their colour, race and power In the pounding of their heavy boots They could hear the golden beat of the earthen resources So the strong necks and ribs of the sons of moon were clenched with shackles And the poison of slavery was forced into their eyes And they were appointed To work for the access of their very own mineral wealth Till many years, in their yokes and shackles Sobs of slavery clattered Glim of sorrows strobe in deer-eyes But there was darkness more than the dark That was running in their veins Life, like a malicious friend, kept sprouting hunger in their emptied stomachs And darkened hearts of enlightened world Loaded with the dust of scornful slaves of king-ship In the blue eyes of the royal sons of sun Kept pouring The black tears of their bondsman In the human history, time never stood same Buckles of every yoke breaks; finally Tears, even if blackened If, instead of flowing from the eyes Drip, drop by drop into a vessel of conscience Then they turn into an ocean, at last Wild oceans of emotions From the abyss of such oceans Tsunami of Revolutions sprouts Then no one can stop the destruction of The aristocratic system The best instance is witnessed By past centuries, From the greyish seas of the offspring of moon Revolutionary Legends like Nelson Mandala and Martin Luther, Emerged from every part of the universe like the striking waves of Tsunami Assembled all the symbols of aristocracy In their boats, fighting with the sturdy sons of sun And threw them in the dust-bin of history. My thoughtful listeners! You know Since ages the humanity was in the fist of Royals But such Sons of Moon have snatched it from them And they are not even left with the loyalty ©Ayub Khawar, Pakistan Translated by Sunia Javaid  

Painting by Harshali Singh

@Differernt Truths Poets
Paintings by Era Tak and Harshali Singh and Feature Picture by Olaitan Maryam Mojihola #AnthologyOfAfrica #Africa #AfricanPeople #Poem #Poetry #CelebratingAfrica #DifferentTruths
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