The Games They Play/Staying Home – Poetry by Ndaba Sibanda

A Dash of Whimsy Series –

The first poem today is particularly amusing because it was written years before this pandemic! Enjoy the words of Ndaba Sibanda!

The Games They Play

She didn’t fathom how that act
could be justifiable in this age

She thought in the name of decency
it was indefensible and reprehensible

Sisa had always associated leadership
with smartness and decorum, not insanity

It was he-The Politician—who FREELY sneezed
on the Opposition Men when he had a terrible cold!

Couldn’t he have had the courtesy to look away
or to cup his mouth with his hand or it was too sudden?

Sisa asked him why he was playing an indecent game,
he divulged when pressed he`d just piss on their heads too!

She then recollected the big talk about the Big Guys sneezing
and the Small Guys catching the bug and falling horribly sick!

Sisa pictured a tug of war inspired by narcissism, coupled with
greed and the love for flexing muscles instead of for humanity

She began to wonder about the big economies and their impact—
if China, or any big nation sneezes, doesn’t Africa catch a cold?

The giant versus the midget, original put beside the imitation,
how could a microcosm be expected to levelled out the ground?

There was susceptibility on one end and immunity on the other–
a chronic case of the West sneezing, Africa catching pneumonia!

For Sisa the manifestations came in many shapes and colors and sizes—
–power—people — and what they wore and ate and aspired for etc.

But still, was this always about the Big Guys doing the sneezing
and shitting , and the Small Guys doing the catching and wiping?

Maybe, she thought to herself—the Small Guys needn’t dwell
on sizes but tackle their issues with conviction like little David

The above poem was written a few years before the advent of the coronavirus. However, surprisingly it is evocative and relevant to the new reality.

Staying Home

You taught me new things
For you came with strings

You set conditions and actions:
Keep away from social interactions

If you seek victory over me: self-isolate
Avoid handshakes, hugs, kisses as you greet!

You taught me to observe personal hygiene
In a better light, to invite all souls to intervene

These are unmatched times of social distancing
Mass closures of entities, a shift in everyday living

Did I know that you are a new reality, a pandemic?
Daily life you hamper, your wings unselective, epidemic

An enemy of humanity, you are beatable, indiscriminate
Our health heroes, here they strategise, swing to eliminate!


A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndabas poems have been widely anthologised. Sibanda is the author of The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache: Unsympathetic Untruth, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence and Poetry Pharmacy. His work is featured in The Anthology House, in The New Shoots Anthology, and in The Van Gogh Anthology, and A Worldwide Anthology of One Hundred Poetic Intersections. Some of Ndabas works are found or forthcoming in Page & Spine, Peeking Cat, Piker Press , SCARLET LEAF REVIEW , Universidad Complutense de Madrid, the Pangolin Review, Kalahari Review ,Botsotso, The Ofi Press Magazine, Hawaii Pacific Review, Deltona Howl, The song is, Indian Review, Eunoia Review, JONAH magazine, Saraba Magazine, Poetry Potion, Saraba Magazine, The Borfski Press, Snippets, East Coast Literary Review, Random Poem Tree, festival-of-language and Whispering Prairie Press.
Sibandas forthcoming book Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things: Confronting Controversies ,Contradictions And Indoctrinations was considered for The 2019 Restless Book Prize for New Immigrant Writing in Nonfiction. Ndabas other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.
Sibandas other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward.

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 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda -

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