It’s the Little Things
A woman’s strength starts with her ability to have a self aware internal dialog. Ndaba Sibanda captures this well in his poetry he brings to us today!
What Used To Brew In Her Mind
Twirled, twisted with her all
Tittered past a care, a wall
Rita rioted without regrets
Sweet sunrises, sour sunsets
She thrived in the twinkling
Her close past was rankling
Its reality, heavy & haunting
Its mental dances daunting
Today no tempest brewed
No hell, hurricane hovered
She had to be solid, positive
Detoxing was up & instructive
Bright was her train of thought
Beauty of a tomorrow she sought
It was hers, not about anyone else
She kicked the asses of nightmares
Future nightmares not her business
She danced a dance of freed silliness
On her mind bravery bellowed its arrival
A previous poor park for this, that upheaval
A Poor Person`s Precarious Paces And Spaces
Her efforts to hold back, to hold herself back
Against hurtling and hurting herself helplessly
With a hungry, tiny child strapped to her back
Are a betrayal, as she bursts into tears and fury
Her hiding husband betrayed her, battered her
She is on the brink of soundness, she is shaky
Hoping to ward off hunger and helplessness
Famine weighs on her fragile body, her mind
As she takes precarious steps that are oblivious
To the world of lockdowns and social distancing
She is dead, deaf, defenseless against a new reality
Ushered in by an eerie, unseen virus, she wobbles on
A Village High-flier Or Failure?
were her goals unfeasible?
folks fast wrote her off
querying her intelligence
questioning her aptitude
querying her station in life
questioning her gender too
querying her day-dreaming
mentioning her rustic roots
her goals were long-term–
what a mere waste of time!
who the heck did she think
she was to board that train?
for her it was a proud process
powered by Practice & Practice
one player was Perseverance
the goal minder was Resilience
or was it? –or perhaps never mind
for process was powered by passion
it was not about great grades today
heavy defeats and pains played with her!
at times the train was too hot, too cold
sometimes too slow, if not still, silly, strident
her tired train bawled: grit, grit, grit and grit
as she journeyed her bumpy and mucky journey
college authorities slapped her with a mountain
of rules ,roles, responsibilities and examinations
she didn’t fluke them, and there was no coincidence
she didn’t achieve her grades by luck rather than skill
fees felt like forks fooling and slitting her pockets apart
when she fell pregnant, critics chorused: end of the road!
she wadded in muddy waters, her intellect drowned, drained
there was no stroke of good fortune, but ridicule & refutation
when she held her paper, her key, Purpose gleamed a smile
and congratulated Practice , Process , Perseverance with pride
A 2019 Pushcart Prize nominee, Ndaba’s 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 Ndaba’s 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.
Sibanda’s 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. Ndaba’s other forthcoming book Cabinet Meetings: Of Big And Small Preys was considered for The Graywolf Press Africa Prize 2018.
Sibanda’s other forthcoming books include Timbomb, Dear Dawn And Daylight, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, A Different Ballgame and The Way Forward.