Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mavuno // Harvest -- October 18, 2011


What else should we sow
if it is not word?
for the harvest of it
is greater than any-
greater than many-
sweeter than honey-
worthier than money-
Let us sow words
to harvest wisdom
to spread education
to implant awareness
to inspire peace and justice
to inculcate a sense of democracy
Let us sow words
to draw happiness
out of miseries
because words are music
with natural rhythm and beat
words are world
make it go round
words are weapon
with two-side effects
either to save or harm you
then sow words to save you.
If we are to harvest love
then let us sow words
for words grow into
emotions, reactions and actions
but if we are to harvest hatred
then put only one word
into a wrong sphere
and you will be damned!
Right here at Maneno
let us sow words
to harvest the sweet fruit of words.


“Life is what you make it”?!
No, such saying doesn’t apply in this neighborhood
where only a half of a half number of graduates are employed
only to earn a half of a half of the money they should be earning!
Life determines who you are to be
for you might choose and learn to be a doctor
but only to end up selling potatoes at the market!
A graduate psychotherapist earns his living through fishing
as if there are no mental disorder cases in the neighborhood!
A degree holder in mechanical engineering
runs a hand-hoe farming at Kibondeni village
soon to forget that he carries the title of engineer!
A renowned lawyer with master degree
shot dead his 14-year-old pregnant house girl
for he was too ashamed
of having a child from a child-house-girl!
An eleven-year-old child selling fresh fishes in the streets
at the time she is supposed to be in a class room
her mind is too much occupied with bread-winning
rather than reading alphabets
after all, she can’t put alphabets on a table
and slice them into bread-like pieces
and pick them with fork to make her belly full.
Religious leaders found selling cocaine
it’s a harvest from holy books of today
for in these books, cocaine prescribed as a dose for pneumonia!
So many resources we have in this neighborhood
but we gain less than half of the harvest
the remaining is taken to abroad
the harvest is too abundant for the neighborhood
so that it has to be taken to somewhere else!
A very beautiful woman sells her body
for she is too much beautiful
to give herself for free to a one faithful husband!
We lost one Nobel winner to gain others new
but it still a big loss
for the other new ones won’t plant a single tree
and there won’t be a 5000-tree-planting-farewell for their departure.
A doctor found raping 12-year-old-girl in a public hospital
seven-year-degree course in medicine
changed him into a sex addict
it perhaps has to do with seeing too much
of females’ nudity in the operating theatre
now, jail is his only seven-year-long harvest!
Africa! a neighborhood of the abundant harvests!

ZENJ HARVEST//Thomas Green

Come October and November time
A waft of spice acrid yet sweet fills the air.
It is penetrating to the senses, yet savory mouthwatering to the senses.
Pass by the port warehouses and the aroma grows overpowering still
Where bags pile high with the pungent precious spice.
Journey along the thoroughfares and remote country roads,
It is there you will catch the dominating scent once more.
Where hand-woven mats do line the way, there festooned,
Piled one finger deep with brightly colored buds,
Cloves soon to grow more black than the men who brought this bounty.
Stems with red and green tiny flower buds
Set out to dry in the hot sun peeking through a cotton candy sky
Dotted with clouds that keep the Sun’s otherwise fiery orb
Bearable and pleasant in the blue heaven above.
The show of so many mats side by side,
laid out as if to show off their bountiful harvest.
Nearby too are the huge lush Mango trees,
Palm trees that dot and often crowd upon each other.
The husks of so many coconuts piled not far away
Where a bare-chested man with a white cloth about his waist toils.
He is as black as soot and dripping rivulets of sweat
Stream down his muscular angular frame.
His brow and body gush from his arduous labors.
Time after time he impales whole coconuts upon a sharp metal spike
Shredding the husks into ever growing mountains of shredded fibers.
One pile for the husk, One pile for the virgin nut.
Such is the marvelous scene at the harvest of Zanzibar cloves,.
They lazily dry under a hot tropical sky
On this Spice Island, by some called Zenj.

 GARDEN OF IDEAS // Collaborative MANENO poem

I will wait for my right time and not to push things faster.
Make people aware of all their possibilities.
Peace, love and understanding.
Really feel someone else’s loss.
Help others wherever you can.
Embrace that every negative has a positive. Learn from your mistakes.
Transforming the rain in confetti.
(Looking at the bright side of life).
To cultivate forgiveness, we need to remember our own faults and how we need to be forgiven too.
To make more trees in the world, sing a tree song and smash the cars.
Assume, first, the purity of other’s intentions.
Trust that every life experience happens for a reason.
Don’t lie to yourself and to others.
Lose our self-consciousness and be fearless.
To make decisions of other people.
Every day, when you wake up, take a look at yourself in the mirror and reaffirm one thing you do well and shout it out with pride. Keep that moment in mind every time you doubt yourself throughout the day!

 UNTITLED // Julia Bishop

Good soil, good seed
Well watered no weed
Protect from pest, from sun that burns
Guarantees you rich returns
And just like crops
People need light
They need hope
To grow up bright
They must be nourished
Not left in the dark
To make them wise,
Curious, brave..and sharp.
So mama dear, have two or three
Less is more, you must agree,
But school them well, teach right from wrong
And then we'll reap a harvest strong.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What If? // Ikiwa Ingewezekana -- September 20, 2011

WHAT IF/ Jaki Sainsbury

What if

He never said ‘Let there be light’?

what if, moving without reflection over the deep, 

He considered our present blindness and chose the ease of darkness?

WHAT IF/Gerry Bukini (the Anonymous Poet)

What if our love was mutual?
Not the “I love you too” thing
Or that of a diamond ring
Love straight from above
Of giving what we have
Would we hate each other?

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure………………………...we will be ripe

What if our love was like of a mother?
Of molding a young one to a brother
Of giving hope to go father
Of feeding kids and she sleeps with hunger
Would we still need NGO’s to help the dying brothers?

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure…………………………we will be ripe

What if these corrupt politicians?
Who acts like magicians
Abracadabra everyday causing economical destruction
Social classes and segregations
Who don’t want to hear our acquisations
Would read the peasants petition
Would we still be leaving on these poor nations?

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure…………………………we will be ripe

What if we carry on with the struggles and hopes?
That our founders fought for
Of giving us food and not dope
That tied us on one rope
Of making life good and not leading us into traps
Would we still be leaving in despair?

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure…………………………we will be ripe

What if you me and them
Would follow him
The one above
The mighty love
Whom I believe
Who forever will live
Would we be fighting one another?

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure…………………………we will be ripe

What if you me and them
Them; see us as me
And me; see us as me
There won’t be you me and them
Or no one to blame
Cause we are all the same
That is when we will be ripe

What if we were

Old lovers…young at heart
Puppy lovers…big old kids…
Both of us…co exist…hand in hand
I know for sure…………………………we will be ripe

WHAT IF / dannythepoeticalson

‘The Bill of Rights’ isn’t paying bills, so some prefer to rob at night
And since childhood we have been fed negative thoughts and hatred
So we were forced to grow as soldiers of weak-hearted
In case of any comments we end it with ‘nuff said’
With that being said; we have been told the system is a blank, and they never do anything for us
So we just roll like a blunt, no user manual just manually using loop-holes to make it right
What if,
The case is different and the verdict is served right?
The situation isn’t different and black addicts still served with white
What if,
Kids get more books and less loot?
Remind them the loot is the roots of all evil
More workaholics and fewer crooks
It’s either half empty or half full
What if,
We don’t pay attention to the glass at all?
With no bad intentions just to remove the tensions and live the life as free souls
What if,
We reduce blaming God every time a number is called?
Maybe I’m against all odds
What If
What if, it wasn’t written?

WHAT IF I AM A PREACHER? / Said Suleiman

O you mankind
what becomes of you?
why money is worth a lot more
than thousands innocent human souls?
why would an incapable vessel
board five times more a capacity
of human beings, only to drown them
as if they are cheap commodities
meant to feed hungry fishes in high seas
to exchange their beloved innocent souls
with little dirty money!
How happy you are to hear;
“3000 loaded in a 600-capacity ship
the ship capsized to protest the load
only 620 rescued, the remaining are missing
the remaining are dead rather!”
How happy you are with such breaking news?
for you make so much money with such headline
How happy you are?
O you kinsfolk
how cruel you are
how do you want us to believe you are humans?
While your brethren drowning
bitterly dying, hardly saving their claimed lives
frustrated to find their beloved lost ones
You the same brethren turned a blind eye
to your drowning brethren
you went to a night club instead
to have a bottle of beer
to witness a grand scene of a year
a scene of posing for nakedness; a beauty contest
for the contest is worth more
than thousands disturbed brethren’s souls
O brethren! You’ve proved inhuman!
O people
why would lying be a thing to applaud?
Standing before mass, before people of all kinds
seen live throughout the country on TV screens
heard live throughout the nation on radios
People of all kinds; disabled, orphans, patients, poors etc
turn all their attentions to him
with all their hopes, but only to be cheated!
The leader of the country, standing before people
with fake determination saying;
“I shall make a better life for every citizen” then repeating
“I shall provide a best life for every Tanzanian!”
while the applause going high vigorously 
in a session of three minutes, nonstop!
Isn’t this an open lie to be applauded?!
while infants and elders are dying of hunger!
If only he would say;
“I shall starve you the best way I can!”
then that would be the truth!
and I recall, it is best to tell the truth and shame the devil.
O you mankind! Behold!


If I sank
I would travel the world
Ningesafiri duniani
If I follow my instincts
Halafu roho yangu itaruka juu ya jua.
If a woodchuck would chuck wood
If we sank
Then I would give a dollar to everyone.
Ikiwa nitamona mpenzi wa zamani
If I will see a past lover
Then there is no way I won't get lost.
If people could stop using Kizungu 
to stop referring to Kiingereza,
Then my feet wouldn't hurt anymore.
If you look my way,
Then I will love baguettes. 
If I was in the recently capsized ship,
I'd probably understand my father better.
If I ever opened my father's letter,
Then I will speak Swahili all the time. 
IfI I buy new shoes
I will understand my school subject so easy.
If a bird pooped on my head,
Then I would get lost less. 
If I don't know what to write
Then there will be dead bugs in my stew.
If I learn to speak Swahili really well
Then I guess I would be dead by now. 
If I could fly
Then would I need a permit from the FAA?
If I were tall,
Would I know English?

IF YOU MISS ME TAKE ME WITH YOU/ Amanda Leigh Lichtenstein

The last place was the right place:
We’re in the wrong place, wronged?

All that’s happening
Is beyond our reach, where we’d go
If we could only find the way.

Directions are injections
Sins are wins, poison is a poor son
The world is fair and feathered?

The baby’s born while I’m gone
And all the stories happen at the farthest reach
Beyond compare with anything considered
In the realm of here.

That baby born there
--or here-- is ours
For the rest of our lives, but we
Hadn’t planned on making sure
A growing thing would grow.

And what if all that grew was meant
To live, to outlast us, our fighting, and our flaws?

Those who sunk will rise again
Their faces moving live again in shades
Of daily grain.

All our lives boils down to the one
Memory that is really a non-memory
Until asked to choose just one.

And what if decisions destroy us,
And having been destroyed, we fly
Like the famous phoenix, turning her back
On ashes.

Is it possible to rise each morning
Without the body remembering yesterday’s pain,
Yesterday’s enormous monsoons?
What if we could let ourselves climb aboard
The big hot air balloon that is life.

The boy running in the desert
Is a king, the girl sleeping in her mother’s arms,
A pearl, the teacher talking on his cell phone,
A secret ballroom dancer?

Seaweed, a secret between the ocean
And a woman’s hands, and gossip was the net.

And if we sleep, let us wake.
And if we wake, let us speak.
And if we speak, let it not be in vain.
And if vain, let it be as plain as cake.
And if we speak of cake, let us eat it
Without shame, and if we speak of shame
Let us also choose a new name for all this grief.

If we mourn, let’s mourn together.
If you miss me, take me with you. 


If I could turn back time
and I found a way to reverse the sands of time.
Could I go back and make changes to a life,
A life that’s so important to mine.
To bring back a life now lost in the fabric of time.
If I had that power I would still have my first great love again,
My love would be here by my side.
We would be growing old and we’d be settled in our ways,
At peace and totally at ease with each other, nothing to hide.
Would that it could be. I wish for it so.
Truly we do not know how such changes might turn out to be.
Would some butterfly effect turn upon us tenfold?
Bring a result totally un-foretold?
Like the beating of tiny wings upon many tiny wings
Like some dark force fueling a hurricane in due time
As it does multiply, churn and brew.
Does making an alteration in the way of things now gone by
give some consequence beyond all power to prevent?
Could it precede a similar result and an undesirable end?
Maybe it would be me that were gone and laid low?
True love’s desire still beaten, lost, and placed below.
Could I truly achieve the results that my heart so desires?
Would my love be growing old and at ease with me by my love’s side?
Maybe, and yet I would hope we could turn back time,
So my love would still be here and still be mine forever more.
What if.  

WHAT IF…/Eleanor Griplas

What if the world was to change overnight
Just like that, we wake up to find everything is not as it was
Whilst we are sleeping a revolution has taken place
While our eyes were closed and dreams were the reality
A metamorphosis had occurred and everything that was known and familiar
Had disappeared, gone
What if the rich had overnight swapped places with the poor
The big guys have now become the small men on the street
Now it’s their turn to be trampled by unthinking feet
Those who had nothing now live in big houses, drive diesel guzzling cars
Can flash wads of cash, buy expensive phones
Abuse their wealth and their health, but at least now it’s their choice
 what if this happened - would the small guy remember how it felt
To be right at the bottom, whipped by the fat guys belt
With no-one to care for your rights or your life
Because those at the top making a fast buck at any expense
Don’t count the lives of others when they do their sums
Would the nouveau riche catapulted into this upgraded seat
make the same mistakes as those whose shoes they now wear
What if they stopped and remembered how it felt before
would they care about those now occupying their shabby life?
or by way of seeking revenge take advantage of their elevated position
and just watch while their predecessors plummet to the bottom of the ocean
they are okay, cruising about with their heads in the clouds
why should they care – no-one did about them when the roles were reversed
But what if this overnight revolution changed our hearts and minds,
instead we all became caring and thoughtful, not selfish and greedy
everyone was considered equal and valuable in everyone’s eyes
but what if, I am just dreaming…