RSS Feed

Category Archives: Poetry

Hope #Poetry

She appeared over the rise of green hills and yellow meadows. Against the sunlit backdrop of cloudless sky stretching to the heavens. The blonde locks of her hair become a halo, billowing against the soft breeze. An angel set upon the Earth. Even as the glint of iron armour bulks around her form, dulled sword thrust into the ground as though seeking to claim the hill, there is a softness to her. A beauty unlike any I had seen, and she stood strong as a great warrior.

In the distance, beyond the wave of hair framing her face, an army stands still. Silent. Fearless. These are her demons, each one her weaknesses manifest. Fear. Hatred. Anger. Loneliness. Sadness. Her past and present interwoven around her, threaded by the dripping scarlet-strands joined to her heart, unraveling the slowly beating organ. Leaving a void within and a protective cocoon with-out.

Before her I stand, hand outstretched to feel sword that gleams as her eyes. Armor-less and sword-less I become the strength of the blade firmly planted at her feet. With willing smile I impart myself to it, its sheen suddenly ready to crush the earth. Soft words of adoration become a single swing against these demons that threaten to overwhelm. Ears that listen to her words shoot gleams of bright light, washing over the protective shell she weaves.

Each swing against the enemy now strengthens her. Each cut dwindles the number of demons, threads of what once was winding back to reform her heart. I become her hope. Hope that banishes fear and hatred and anger and loneliness and sadness. Hope that reshapes her present and strengthens her future. Hope in the fiery passion that flows between us like the rivers of life, filling the void of her heart as we unite as one.

I as the only army she requires.

I as her hope.

Advertisements

Poetry Update: Word ‘n Sound

We Are Poets?

As you all know, Tuesdays are poetry days. As a surprise I was going to upload a video of Ole from Ole’s Truth performing his poem Hold My Nigga Moment at the Market Theatre this past Saturday. Alas I did not have time to work on the video and fix a sound issue. Instead of doing that, I’ve decided to share with you the experience.

Poetry has always been one of those weird writing styles that I have a love/hate for. I used to do quite a lot of poetry back in the day, performing at Constitutional Hill and Johannesurg Art Gallery. We had a poetry club, printed an anthology, and had meetings. I was part of the “founding” partners of the poetry club. At that point in my life I thought I was a poet, standing up with confidence and a slight ego. I’ve learned now that young Nthato wasn’t a poet – he was a good rhymer with a big head.

image: Dominican Convent School poetry evening. 2015

School poetry evening back in 2005

I stepped back from the scene after that, focusing on writing fiction. I dabbled a bit in poetry but it was only until recently, when fellow writer and good friend Olerato told me he wanted to get involved in poetry, that I dived back in. It was also part of a side writing project I’m working on, and with that in mind I decided to help him. Hence the return of Tuesday poetry as well as all the guest posts.

Part of getting involved included going to poetry sessions and performing poetry in public spaces. So this past Saturday, 3 February 2018, Ole and I went into the heart of Johannesburg. We experienced the crowds. The taxis. The stench. The dichotomy of beautiful skyscrapers and decrepit buildings. The gorgeous Mandela Bridge overlooking the old-but-functioning train track, congested-filthy taxi ranks and the revamped buildings beside the highway.

Our first stop was registering Ole for a Poetry Slam at the Market Theatre. An elegant, revamped building that smelled and shouted “art” and the potential for our city. After that we met other poets who were going to an audition at the Joburg Theatre. Thus began our track through the bustling Joburg streets.

image: view from Joburg Theatre

A view from Joburg Theatre

The audition was part of a poetry programme that would run for the year. Selected poets will attend workshops run by prolific South African poets, will perform poems, and other really amazing opportunities to better their poetry.

This wasn’t something Ole and I were going to do but I convinced him that if I auditioned then he has to, too. Motivation right? So without any preparation, I went into the audition room. It was dark, walls and seats painted black. Spotlights shining onto the stage as an invitation. Three judges sat on a table clothed in black. Two women, one man. Intimidating. I climbed onto the platform and answered the usual drabble “Who are you? Where you from? What do you do?” spiel. Then I performed my poem “Hypocritical”. I think they liked it but they didn’t necessarily like me – something about being too nonchalant. At the same time they seemed persuaded in giving me a chance as I had potential. I’ll only find out at the end of February.

Ole then went in to perform his poetry. They loved him and his performance, though they were a bit apprehensive of his poems (which I think are amazing). He may also be considered for the programme.

Word ‘n Sound

Following our track back, we stepped into the Market Theatre auditorium for Ole’s actual performance. I’d listened to him recite it to me but this was it. The main event. The big stage. Word ‘n Sound is an organisation that hosts poetry sessions, and runs the Poetry League. The event runs on the first Saturday of every month and this year will be its eighth season. There were returning poets and champions, newcomers of every age and location. Pretoria poets even came down.

Not to be biased but I loved Ole’s performance. So dramatic. And the crowd did too. Every time they saw him they would say “That’s a nigga moment.” as reference to his poem. A really enjoyable experience. Of course there were other really amazing poets there to, and some not so great. It was the first show of the year after all, setting the scene for what was to come.

image: Ole performing at the Word 'n Sound poetry league

Ole performing at the Word ‘n Sound poetry league

We even had a surprise guest performance by singer Samthing Soweto who has an incredible voice: https://www.facebook.com/SamthingSoweto/

Where To From Here

On Sunday we went to The Orbit, a jazz lounge. It was open mic session where we were expecting poetry but instead were serenaded by amazing voices and great music. Nonetheless, it was one of those things we will be doing more often. Every first Saturday of the month we’ll be at Word ‘n Sound. We’ll be looking for poetry spots and being intentional about performing our poetry. It’s going to be amazing.

Reminiscence by Nicolette Stephens #Poetry

Gorgeous poetry by Supreme Editoress and dear friend Nicolette Stephens, owner of Chasing Dreams Publishing. Jozi Flash 2017 will be getting published soon – tomorrow actually! Whoa. Exciting! Ahem… on to the poetry


It’s not the lack of human company that saddens me,
Nor the bone-deep weary ache of loneliness.
It’s the hollow laughter and the shallow words
That should have meant so much;

Pressed between the pages of a book,
Like the dried flowers of a sweet-remembered romance,
That when the book is opened,
The petals in their fragile, temporal state,
Crumble
Like the cherished memories of those days and nights
We spent together.

I touched you
Felt you hold your breath,
The way that I held mine.
Only yours was a lie,
Caught up in the moment with no thought of a future,
And mine,
Mine was just an illusion
Crafted by honest hope.


Featuring these beautiful poems and talented poets keeps me writing. If you want to share your poetry just hit me up:

email: admin(at)nthatomorakabi.com

Twitter: @NthatoMorakabi

Et tu, Brute

He pulled the trigger with words, heart set aflutter like birds. Thoughts scattered like herds. Emotions stirred.

Heavy-lead-en, piercing through with each syllable. I ignored that sign so visible. A heartbreak symbol. Resounding like the crash of cymbal and I shut my ears and eyes but not this heart so simple.

Wore it on my sleeve, so it could be plucked with ease. Anticipating that moment I began to grieve. Crying “If you cut me, do I not bleed?! A pound of beating flesh – does this not appease?!”

“No.”

And thus began that blood flow. Stages of grief on display “The Heartbreak Show” starring you and me and you and me and me and me and with each plea I see you fading in that afterglow sea.

Where Hope and Pain reside.

Side by side.

And with blood-curling scream I hide

As at last I again hear what Hope cried,

“Et tu Brute. Et tu.”

Let’s Pretend: Guest Poem – Ole’s Truth #Poetry

Another heart-wrenching poem by Olerato of Ole’s Truth.


Okay so let’s play a game of pretend.

Let’s pretend for a second that I was in love with you.

While we’re at it, let’s pretend for a second you were in love with me too. What would our love affair look like? how would the story of our meeting go and would my face have the rosy, angelic glow of someone in love when they recount watching the rose in the concrete that is their love take seed and grow.

Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend I could look in the mirror and see myself measure up to your standards.

Would I be the image of something you call beautiful or would I be all that’s left for a cornered animal feeling the walls of time closing in on them?

Would I be your best or simply the rest in place of the dream of what you once had for yourself?

Let’s just pretend Let’s pretend I never lose you to another man and build a pretend world where we count the passing days by the mornings we spent in bed and the night we spent doing anything but sleeping for fear that we might miss each other too much. Let our game of pretend be held in this pretend world where we pretend count the passing of time by the passing of rose tinted seasons and such. Let time not touch us in this world. Let’s make love. Let’s make pretend love in the fullness there of, feeling each other into the eternal vows we’d make to each other to take. Take care of each other. Give as much as we take from each other.

Let’s pretend we stood in each other’s waltz-like embrace as time got hard and we realise that raising kids is a lot harder than anyone told us it would be. Let’s pretend our teenage son has started to rebel and out teenage daughter thinks we’re the devil. They both hate us.

But let’s pretend through it all that we’d hold each other close even as we see them off to college and eventually down the isle.

Let’s pretend we’re alone again and our empty nest is filled with a strong but nostalgic kinda love. That we’ve been through hell and back kinda love. That I gave you the space to grieve our drunk driving statistic of a son and our suicide story of a daughter. They still kinda hated us. But that’s okay because we held strong, showering them with all the love and adoration our star-crossed hearts could muster.

Let’s pretend the constant worrying over your mental state and bottled up grief over our kids turns me pale and has me lose my mind’s creative luster.

Let’s pretend that I fall ill and despite this gown made of hospital tubes, my bones that ache and my skin that burns, I still just wanna be held by you.

Even though I’d never wanna leave you I see the reaper at your shoulder staring with sad and hollow eyes. As the old man takes my hand, I close my eyes and pretend his hand is yours. Let’s pretend our life was tragic but happy despite our best intentions.

Let’s pretend in the end we couldn’t keep out misery and one of us will eventually leave. Would you still wanna pretend with me?

Would you stay here and play pretend with me?


Do you have poetry you would like to share on my blog? Any sort, any length and any topic. Let me know 🙂

Trance #Poetry

The wind moved with the uncertain gait of a certain brown-haired beauty causing storms with a mere smile.Though new to the flock none noticed the slight gleam and juvenile twinkle accompanying hidden guile. Caught. Fraught. I sought not to entertain the thought but the heart moves on strings it aught not. No surprise then when I was left essentially immobile. Heart and mind volatile.

We moved through breathless spaces lingering just beyond palpitating collisions. The span of stars stretching above us yet still suffocating within the clutches of inadmissable decisions. Ire. Desire. Star-crossed bonfire set to burn the world like uncontrollable bush fire with heart-shaped precisions.

At first sight with rose-tainted glasses the air shimmered with each furtive glance. Engaged in the age-old dance we waltzed across thin blade holding nothing but chance. Inclined. Maligned. We resigned to remain confined in asphyxiating dark spaces keeping us blind. Lest we are forcefully pulled from that willful circumstance. Reality wrenching us from rue-filled blissful trance.

Hold My Nigga Moment by Ole #Poetry

Ole is truth. Ole is fire. Ole is life. Olestruth.com


What is a nigga moment? Is it a couple a niggas getting hella mad over dumb ish? New shoes ish? Get your weapons out and spill blood ish? “Eish, baas it was not me” ish? Some cave ish? Retarded people, yes I said retarded for centuries in class; by class; for class, no class ish? I don’t know. What I know is that it dogs me around; stuck to my shoes, behind my back yet never making a sound. I feel it most when near people. On their faces it’s found, like puppet master shadows leading a dance from the background.

I feel it every time someone tries to make me a nigga like: when I’m my white friends’ one black friend; when Indian people say nigga like homie Gandhi was my friend; or black friends kinda treat me like I’m one of they white friends. Hai!

 

A nigger moment’s between niggers, so I figure I should try and be the man bigger; take the road high; walk the road narrow, straight arrow. Block out the stupid penny for your thoughts, chasing a sparrow on Twitter.

I’m not too fond of reading a face. Bookworm habits are more fitting a pace for a boy raised in a place where assimilation was key to fly into space and dance with the gods who came across the sea and disgraced his whole race.

See I’m not your average nigger. I’m one with a vision, born with a mission to bring about a Saipan fission.

I was cut from my roots so I could mimic people from every skin-colour or hue: talk white; dance black; and save like a Jew.

So I like Tupac and anime, but sometimes listen to Oprah. I’m a lover of both science and Deepak Chopra.

 

Curse then the gods of your logic. I may concede being a Negro but I am nobody’s nigger. I break out of the boxes that chain and keep me feeling lethargic, nostalgic antiquities of my so called “melanin magic”.

Forget the stereotypes. I come to poison your thinking, cut my wrists open and bleed black without blinking.

Dip a pen in my wounds and let my life blood sink into blank pages waiting to tell the tales of a youth seeking identity in people that he never knew.

So hold your parents who would die if you brought home a black guy. Hold your speech on black consciousness and the ego that feeds it. And hold my “nigga moment” too, this Negro no longer needs it.

Me

Daily I struggle through the emotions that seem to define me. As though who I am right now is who I was yesterday and who I will be tomorrow.

Words I Could Never Say – Ole’s Truth #Poetry

Today’s poem comes courtesy of my good friend Olerato from Ole’s Truth. Enjoy.


Every day I’m plagued by the words I could never say. I constantly feel them clawing at the inside of my throat, scratching and buzzing like locusts fighting to see the light.

My belly which once quivered and quaked with the mirth of childish laughter and life now sits stagnant, infected by the stillness of the dead. The waters of youthful love turned bloody and filled with the carcasses of longings that lay repressed; feelings never expressed; issues never addressed.

From the crimson waters of my belly rush vengeful curses like starving frogs to feed on the frightful buzzing of my insecurities that swarm like gnats; inky black gnats trapped between my ribs and caged behind my teeth. The ones that survive live to swarm another day before their bodies fall like poisoned rain and kill the grass that lines the spirit. The spirit sustaining hope which is the livestock to my soul.

I lay awake at night blocking out the many voices in my head that scream like mothers mourning first born sons among the dead; clutching lifeless heads to heaving chests. My aching soul covered in festering boils caused by the branding irons of the words I never said.

 

Tell out my soul ye servants of the Lord in whom I doubt; the shapeshifting menace that breathed air into my nostrils and sucked the breath that fans the flames of my convictions from my lips.

Perhaps I was molded to know the cold kiss of cowardice, raised from clay to value thoughts of others and fear of what the world may say.

A capitalist nigger pieced together from my burning childhood boldness to be a perfect soldier, lips sealed together by a materialistic world’s coldness.

I meditate within myself the reasons behind my mouth that moves like the swinging door of an abandoned windswept house.

I look in the mirror and find the only reason that makes sense is the one my pride grind my bones to dust to hide…I’m a coward.

 

I’m a coward who’d rather have his tongue cling to the roof of his mouth than say I love you, even though I choke on the fumes of my burning desire for you and drown in endless expressions of adoration of you. My skin tightens and breath catches counting the seconds to the next reprieve that is your touch.

I hide away my feelings for fear of looking weak all though the fear of looking weak is the new weakness of the week, cause my fears are a mirage; the barren wasteland that is my life’s joke shifting shape, weight and distance, difficult to see but their presence always felt.

So I write the words. Fight these verbs. Wrench open these scars till they become eyes brave enough to cry my tears or mouths bold enough to curse my fears.

I grapple the spirits that roam the deep of my mind as they watch me sleep. I break the shackles of being with verse and put these fears inside a hearse to leave space inside my heart to fill with joy till fit to burst.

I’ll cry, ‘freedom, this is my pain’ and never fear these feelings again as my spirit sings in the rain, ‘I am the cosmic song of hope, creation hums my refrain’.


Remember, we’re opening a poetry platform for other aspiring poets too, so if you’re feeling moved by the writing spirit to submit one, either comment or use the contact me form.

Rose Coloured Bubble – #Poetry

Radiating from eyes rimmed-red was all the disdain and pain pouring down like rain to water our feet in a puddle.

Underwhelmed by the overwhelming restrain and the wax and wane of a heart-in-a-hurricane constricting like a python’s cuddle.

Ball and chain, pour out that celebratory champagne, the blood stain left on hands and hearts and minds turned to rubble.

Yes let’s burn through the methane, put kindle to propane and cut through the vein in vain while we remain scattered across this universal terrain that binds us in a rose-coloured bubble.


Tuesday poetry is coming back and I will be collaborating with Olerato of Ole’s Truth to bring you weekly poetry. We’re opening this platform for other aspiring poets too, so if you’re feeling moved by the writing spirit to submit one, either comment or use the contact me form.

Lorraine Ambers

Writer & Queen of Daydreams

AllthingsUncanny

Goodbye, good night's sleep

SAM's Book Reviews

Books Old & New

xolisilesite

Personal blog

The Parisshian Legacy... And other things

Anything my little heart desires

Chhotewrites

CHHOTE THEE POET

Young Author

With new Ink.

A.A. Frias

Author of fantasy and young adult fiction

Write for the King

The writings of a Christian college student and her publishing journey

Trebles On My Mind

A blog about crochet, knitting, and other stuff

Danger Kit

- Poetry -

Thoughts of a Bored Writer

My writing. Mostly.

lou rasmus

drink and smoke and fuck

Melody Chen

Word-Experimentalist

Life

Literature & LIfestyle

The tears of chained words

The words left unsaid, pouring out as poetry.

The Official Blog of Horror and Fantasy Writer Lionel Ray Green

"Life is horror and fantasy, not necessarily in that order."