A Client Who Originates in Outer Space by Ndaba Sibanda

Carpe Diem Series

Come read about a fascinating scene inside a bookstore in Ndaba Sibanda’s poetry! He creates spectacular imagery and quickly brings you into the space with him.

My Favorite Line: ” I want a book that will soar and swing with me to its sky
one that captures, coaxes and coerces one`s mind’s eye”


A Client Who Originates In Outer Space

she was on the verge of spewing out something
raw like shut the hell up, hence her heart was burning
however, she had been taught that a client is always right
the potential buyer in the shop was like a creepy meteorite
the bookshop clerk`s look was a film of utter astonishment
the lanky lady, the comet in the shop was odd & insistent

I want a book that will soar and swing with me to its sky
one that captures, coaxes and coerces one`s mind’s eye
one whose pages will drive me to make an unrest
of a yell like hell as I freeze & freefall into its crest
one that will daze me with its turns and chases
one whose words are warm & crazy cuddles
one so touching that tears will be a torrent
a book whose word choice is an absorbent
a breeze that will brush away all my tears
and make me laugh out loud on its stairs

Ndaba Sibanda


Artist:

Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

Bulawayo’s Benediction – Poem by Ndaba Sibanda

The Heroines Among Us

Heroines come in all shapes and sizes, and can even be in the form of a city. Go take a look at Ndaba Sibanda’s poem as he speaks of deep love and respect for the city, Bulawayo.


Bulawayo`s Benediction

if ever there was a beautiful
brook, then she is the one
she is a brook whose waters
are destined to deal once
and for all with Bulawayo’s

perennial droughts & dupes

our royal city has a capacity

to produce game-changers

and Busisiwe is one of them

Busisiwe is Bulawayo’s pride
a philanthropist whose work
speaks a lot about her love
for humanity and the city
what lurks within her soul
is not a malady but a melody
exemplary is her track record:
orphanages, scholarships, jobs
a sleaze-buster, a bold builder
of homes, hopes and horizons
her song is a doer and a dancer
hers is a song that plays & floats
within the depth of her heart
it inspires, stirs, and galvanizes
hearers to become nothing
else but heirs and heiresses,
humble heroes and heroines
what dances within her heart
are the metaphors and mirrors
of souls whose lives & dreams
and destinies have been touched
& transformed & blessed for posterity
her name solely means The Blessed One
a selfless beauty, she is a blessing to the city
a superwoman, she is human, solid & afloat
for Bulawayo`s blues to be overcome, ownership
has to be reclaimed, concerted efforts applied
as far as Busisiwe is concerned, sleaze has no home
in the city if residents want it to be magnificent again


Poet:

Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, Sometimes Seasons Come With Unseasonal Harvests, As If They Minded:The Loudness Of Whispers, This Cannot Be Happening :Speaking Truth To Power, The Dangers  Of Child Marriages:Billions Of Dollars Lost In Earnings And Human Capital, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.  Sibanda’s work has received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. Some of his work has been translated into Serbian.

Of Emoji Images And Insinuations – Poem by Ndaba Sibanda

It’s the Little Things

Our modern means of communication are little things that can say so much! Ndaba Sibanda captures this in the delightful poem below!


Of Emoji Images And Insinuations

Maybe photos speak louder than words
Think of smiley symbols, emoji symbols

Different icons for different network users
On one’s media platform, on one’s page

Think of animated emoji reactions to a post
For instance there was a story of one celeb

Who left his better half for a fresher beauty
I saw pouting, laughing, weepy or dazed faces

And a few comments like: “This won`t end well”
And “The beauty is a classic, the man a clown”

Then one “reactor” had a photo of a teasing kid,
She had a body that was being fanned and toweled

One post had a beating heart icon …was that love?
The other chap had another idea: a thumps down!!


Poet:

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.

Follow:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

What Used to Brew in Her Mind & Other Poems by Ndaba Sibanda

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


Poet:

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.

Follow:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

One-Liners Abound! – Ndaba Sibanda


Author:

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.

Follow:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

To Set Her Heart on Fire & Other Poems by Ndaba Sibanda

July Online Open Mic

Kicking us off for July’s Online Open Mic we have Ndaba Sibanda! May he be an inspiration to you to fill this month with expression and artistry!


To Set Her Heart On Fire

to set the much-needed dialogue in motion
there had to be poetry & poetry & devotion
she didn’t mince her words at all, she hit it
she demanded & desired to see nothing short of it:
she called for an ecstatic expression of emotions
a freely & furiously lively ,lovely exhibition of yens
a river filled with an explosion of verve and verse
and that was her basis for an engagement, a discourse


Write Me Letters

You have filled me in on what makes you tick,
took me on a tour of your culture and creed.

You have taken me to places where they dish
out delicacies and glamour and glitz.

I cannot thank you enough for the body
of knowledge you have shared with me.

I cannot thank you enough for the superb cuisines
and places of interest you have exposed me to.

But now, please waste not your breath and time,
for time for buts and blah blah is over.

But now, please dish out your fragilities,
your you-ness, for I pour out my me-ness.

Write,
write me letters…

Write,
write me letters…

Words whose meanings and sounds
are spelt out in the dictionary of you `n me.

Those whose font sizes dance a lively tap
to the melody and therapy of my soul.

Words whose meanings and sounds
are meaningless and soundless to all.

Write me letters at the centre of my heart,
letters so hot they burn into eternal blazes.

Write me letters whose glorious memories
time and distance will not shrink or erase.

Write me letters in the hidden bowls of my mind,
letters so mad they invent and reinvent my world.

Draw me pictures whose shadows and sounds
and colours I will follow and fall for forever.

Draw me diagrams of the unseen and untouchable
only seen and touched in the depth of your heart.

Diagrams reflective of the effectiveness of vibes,
those that sweep one off one`s heart and mind.

Please me tell that our walks and chats and outings
are the fruit we are beholden to honour and nurture.

Please tell me I am the letters and diagrams
that have snowballed and sailed away with you.

Write me letters and diagrams about denials
and the writing off of reality at one`s risk.

Write me letters and diagrams about what lies
beneath the wholeness of you and your life.

Let me drown in their transcendence and elegance,
so that our deficiencies see the light of fondness.

Let me plunge into the blast furnace of adoration,
and deal with its heat, lows and highs with conviction.

Bring me the honour and privilege to take a sneak peek
into our lifetime displeasures and treasures and pleasures.

Bring me all our baggage of staggering secrets and frailties,
bring them on –for these are to be in the mirror of frankness.

Write me letters slated in for victory and celebration,
write me letters endorsed and sealed by our hearts.

Write me letters whose weight is weightless and sight
sightless in the face of our resolve and affection.

Write,
write me letters…

Write,
write me letters…


In The Heart Of Glory And Gladness

Have you ever had the pleasure of observing
the behavior of the wild—the elephants—
in their natural habitat? A lumbering spectacle!

Have you ever had a desire to hang out with guys
like the turtle? Chatting with her, taking her to lunch–
perhaps, feeding and cleaning her. That would be great!

Perhaps dear turtle would start to open up a bit. Thanks
for the wonderful meal and bath. Please, please protect me
from predators. My hatching grounds need to be secure.

Picture yourself in the core of the grassland, in the majesty
of the Victoria Falls, wow!– graced by the presence of the big 5:
the rhino, elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo; hands dirty & caring!


Shimmering With The Moon And The Stars

The king of the jungle listened to the quietude
Of the night, the sleepiness of the woodland
An airiness issued, pampering his eardrums
There was an air of expansiveness and mystery
The royal animal was mesmerised and blown away
By the sweetness and fruitfulness of the melody
It breathed genuinely aromatic buds into his nostrils
And planted a peace of mind that paced through eyes
Here his ears were heir to a lyrical and likable calmness
There was something cool, curative about the experience
The king of the jungle moseyed, marvelled at the elegance
And beauty of the moon, a moon whose remoteness was nigh
He was in the glare of the galaxies` deep dimples and smiles
There was a reappearance and impermanence of moments
The lioness and the cubs were fast asleep, maybe, he thought–
Just re-contextualising peace and the pace of nature and night…


Pangolin

With a tongue longer than your body
You slurp up ants from inside ant nests!

Sheltered in stiff scales, you curl up to defend
Against a group of predators and traffickers

Tell me about the magic behind your scales?
How do they go on growing during your life?

Belonging to the threatened species, you are–
A most severely trafficked animal in the world

I wish you could curl up into an inaccessible ball,
A ball that eludes the claws of the leopards & tigers

At times you ‘scale’ away a pride of lions—bravado!
I wish materialistic poachers could leave you alone

It is interesting that you use your nose to find ants
It is disheartening that you are hunted on a huge scale

For meat, fashion and medicinal purposes, you are pursued
Pangolin, you can be pardoned for secreting a pungent fluid!

You are at liberty to communicate with your special glands
So that you could spray them with the skunk`s perfect perfume!!


Convulsive Tendencies

the road looks like it’s running away
and one wishes one had more than
one pair of eyes –maybe two sideways
and of course at the back of the head

sometimes the car convulses or gallops
especially when it thinks one’s legs
on the pedal and brakes are playing
fool with its little moody mechanics


And Bum Bum

I thought my older brother
was holding onto the saddle

till l discovered that the bike
was roller-skating freely with me

down down a lonely lane
and bum bum on a pothole

I flew up and fear hit me hard
before l said son-of-that man

get off in one piece please–
and in style l glided off the thing!


Artist:

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.

Follow:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

Black Lives Matter Poetry by Ndaba Sibanda

These next poems are written by Ndaba Sibanda on the topic of Black Lives Matter. Come show your support by reading and absorbing his words.


From Scars To Stars

There has to be development

You owe it to posterity

To strive for your betterment

There has to be prosperity

Didn`t the parents bear the brunt

Of cultural and social and economic

Scars of history in a sublime fashion?

There has to be development

You owe it to posterity

To strive for your betterment

There has to be prosperity


How They Received Him 

He was moving from door

to door asking citizens 

to give him a big vote 

so that he could become 

their next prime minister 

They chuckled and looked

at him as if they thought:

here`s a man on a mission

to count the number of hairs 

on our bodies in a split second!


From Hogwash To Mouthwash 

she was a lady who shared a great fellowship

that nurtured her as an activist and an educationist 

at first she embodied  a spirit of softness and politeness

later her activism  epitomised an ethos  of civil disobedience 

she delivered speeches that eulogised woman freedom stalwarts   

like Queen Anna Nzinga of Ndongo, Winnie Mandela and Rosa Parks

is Rosa Parks not a heroine because she was tired of giving in?

she would ask rhetorically  about  the modern-day civil rightist     

even days after the broadcast, she couldn`t swallow it—

the bitterness of the verdicts, of the votes, of the statistics

the praise-singers and the public media  fell over themselves

in a bid to sanitise and sugarcoat what was nasty and trashy 

every day she yelled out names , words: boobs, badass, Bobs—

legacy, cancer, cholera, cruelty, crippling chaos, social chasm, curse!!

there was a huge group of citizens who dreamt and drowned in docility 

they blamed everything on fate as they put up with the economic crap 

I heard people plead with her, confessing they too were tired of the nonsense  

she told them: shift from that kind of shit to grit, from hogwash to mouthwash     


Dealing With Attitudes 

A court judge made

the following remarks:

a privileged people should

have a duty and a conscience 

that says we cannot be 

the immortal beneficiaries 

of the imbalances of the past

because we are living in the present

with its demands for equity and equability      


Scandalous Allegations 

I don’t believe these lies

that our black bees

don’t have knees!

I guess these shameful lies

are intended to squeeze

us into a smelly  sleaze!   


Author:

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.

Follow This Artist:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

As If They Minded by Ndaba Sibanda – Book Review by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, Bulawayo

Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, Bulawayo wrote a compelling review for Ndaba Sibanda’s book, As If They Minded. It is a book that is very relevant these days, and Banqobile gives a glowing description. I encourage you to go take a look.


Book Review by Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, Bulawayo

As If They Minded

Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light cannot do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love cannot do that”. Ndaba Sibanda’s poems are dedicated to what is left of peace and honesty. Indeed they advocate for peace and honesty through a wide range of concerns and subjects that vary from gender relations, nostalgia, nature, politics, race relations to social responsibility. The tone in most of the poems is scathing, satirical, animated whilst the pieces maintain and sustain an alluring rhythm. 

In ‘Family Time,’ the poet is nostalgic as his desire to fly on a plane and tour the world is replaced by an ache to spend time with his family.

they say jewelery is timeless and can be

passed down from generation to generation

but now my treasure is quality time with family 

There is use of anaphora in the poem ‘l Hear A Nearness’ as the poet ruminates, choruses the personal pronoun I at the beginning of each line.        

I listen 

I listen to the silence of her storms

I listen to its close remoteness   

 He also expresses the frustrations of a long distance relationship in the poem, ‘A Solid Impression’. The poet expresses his love for nature through the idyllic journeys to places of attraction. He is mesmerized by the beauty of the Namibian lands, the incredible rivers, waterfalls and beaches of Angola, the majesty of the Victoria Falls, the grandeur of Matopo Hills, the mystery of the caves and the splendor of the Esigodini Hills. The poet uses similes and hyperbole in his depiction of the impressiveness and uniqueness of African landscapes. 

Visiting Namibia is like taking an excursion 

To a heaven of deserts and wildlife reserves;

It is like exploring the lovely curves of a lover.

A rich experience that transports and transforms,

And leaves one mesmerised tenfold times ten!

Poetry in this book is interspersed with wordplay and figurative language. It is one of the ingredients of this publication, and by extension, the signature of the author. For example, the poem ‘Just A Jostling Village’ is alive with humor and wit from the first line to the last one. The poet places together contrasting and contradictory concepts, and this association helps the reader to perceive a deeper level of truth and tour and savor different layers of semantics.  For example, the presence of an oxymoron is discernible and delightful when the poet talks of police stations that are robbed every day. When he compares purity to mud, poverty to praiseworthiness, surely the crescendos and innuendos have reached paradoxes of comical proportions!              

they say they do not want to live in a city 

where police stations are robbed every day

where marriage counsellors are in the habit 

of filing for divorce, where working is not working for many

where flameproof fire stations have an appetite for burning down

where purity is as clear as mud, where love is cash, poverty is worthy!

where normalcy is as sweet as seeing pregnant virgins high on the pill!     

Relations between men and women are scrutinized in a number of poems. These are marked by either passion or conflict. In ‘ Hotel Music ‘, the persona fails to sleep because of a couple’s passionate love- making sounds which he finds distractive.  In ‘ Romance Tourism’, a couple’s love and intimacy is explored in what can be summed up by the axiom, ‘ shooting birds with one stone ‘. Whilst they explore their romance, they also get to appreciate and experience the tourism of a country.  On a profounder note, the poet bravely casts lights on the racialized, exoticized, and hypersexualized stereotypes involving local men, usually in Africa, the Caribbean or in Asia and the female tourists from economically well-off countries, usually in Europe and North America.

Rich older women in the young loving arms of poor local men who received gifts and cash

They seemed to enjoy succulent seafood and topped it off with beer and romantic carousing 

In ‘House Number 12 Foot Street ‘, a bitter wife is tipped off on her husband’s shenanigans and she exposes the illicit affair. Like a number of pieces in this collection, this particular one is a shape poem.  

Sibanda’s poems also touch on social responsibility.  In ‘Fierce Fiesta’, people are merry-making and indulging excessively in food and drink. The poet plants a reminder that in the midst of all the fun people should not forget about the future and different fees that have to be paid.  The poetic device at play here is alliteration, as evidence by the following lines:  

Families feeding paunches    

People party without leftovers for fees and future

In ‘Listening To A Guest On The Radio,’ the poet is raising awareness on the need for a healthy lifestyle while in ‘From Scars To Stars,’ he is encouraging the inhabitants of a certain city to move away from the hurt and pain of political marginalization to working hard to improve or free their lives. In poems that forge for social responsibility, he is also pushing the audience to frown on all forms of immorality and laziness but to find responsibility in hard work, creativity and resilience. 

The poet also touches on the importance of one`s identity, heritage and history in the poem, ‘That Is Where My Umbilical Cord Is’. The persona speaks with pride and passion about his city of birth, Bulawayo. The ‘Umbilical Cord’ represents an extended metaphor of one`s birthplace and a sanctuary of memories and beginnings. 

Today you stand tall in defiance of all the challenges

Right in the southern ­western part of the country

Just like in the year 1893 when a Union Flag was raised

As the huts of King Lobengula’s capital were up in flames

Did Dr Leander Starr Jameson not congratulate himself

For scoring a British South Africa Company`s victory?

Some of the poems also speak on challenges that writers experience in their careers. In ‘ Roar To Life ‘, editors encourage a young writer to write quality work.  In ‘Hallmarks Of Unprofessionalism ‘, a female writer is frustrated by the insensitivity of her publishers who fail to give her royalties for the work she has done. Some of his poems have a rousing touch to them. In ‘Crazy, Be Really Crazy Young Man ‘, the persona is reinvigorated to take up writing not only as a career, but as a challenge to reach dizzy heights. 

the profession of  writing chose you

like birds building their  nests on trees

the prophet said sorry young man

I cannot exorcise you without 

getting hurt myself and my conscience 

because that`s your forte and science    

The poet further probes into race relations, where he questions some sections of the white race’s half -hearted acceptance of the black race.  In ‘Is There Dignity In That Immensity,’ the poet lambasts those who are still imprisoned and driven by blind feelings of supremacy, narcissism, unilateralism, bigotry and greed instead of embracing values of common humanity, shared vulnerabilities, decency, democracy and unity in diversity.

The bulk of the poems in the collection are an attack on the political terrain of a country.  The poet mocks the self-centeredness of a dictator.  In the poem, ‘As If They Didn’t Know,’ he mocks the lavish lifestyle of a dictator who preaches patriotism and progress, yet he gallivants about to foreign lands while the masses are forsaken in peril and poverty. In this instance again, the poet manages to use literary devices with dramatic effect. The richness of language is evident.  The persona is used as substitute for something else– a croaking frog, an object, an idea or name it is associated with.  For example, while the repetition of the term frog is metonymic, the mere mention of the word croak is onomatopoeic. From another perspective, one can say, the word frog is used for literary effect because it evokes an image of a bullfrog idling and howling in foreign swamplands. There is a lyrical feel to it too.  The comicalness of this poem is masterfully amplified to a certain climax or artistic dimension by use of a thread of well-placed rhetorical questions.  

was our unkind king frog

gregarious in nature?

they asked when 

he was unable to croak 

he travelled with countless frogs

to many foreign  ponds and lakes 

he liked lounging in the exotic 

meadows and wetlands too

did our unkind king frog

have a sensual soprano voice?

they asked 

as if they didn’t know

he was active in the evenings

and at night :inflating his throat

pouch about the urgent need

to protect our lakes and ponds

did our unkind king frog

protect our lakes and ponds?

they asked 

as if they didn’t know

The poet has unkind words for a claimant who pretends to be better than his predecessor, yet in practice he is just a product of the same undemocratic and tyrannous regime. In the poem,  ‘Of Sycophantic Peacemakers,’ the inheritor pretends to be sympathetic and peaceful yet he is the engineer and perpetrator of the hatred, chaos and division in a country. When the country seeks to make a fresh break with its scared past and is in need of a true reformer, sadly an antipode takes over.  In ‘Haunted By His Mentor’s  Disastrous Ghost,’ the poet also ridicules the successor for pretending to be different from or  be better than his prototype. The poet also laments the state of the dilapidating economy. In the poem, ‘Finally’ he shows a country going through the worst economic meltdown in years.

In the petite but pregnant poem ‘Bhalagwe’ the use of an extended metaphor is historically significant and instructive. Bhalagwe is a disused mine shaft where shallow mass graves lie. Contextually speaking, the word Bhalagwe denotes crimes against humanity that were recently acknowledged as a genocide. This is a pictogram of overprotected, unchecked, and unattended injustices.  In ‘Of Policies And Capacities’, the poet exposes and satirizes corrupt tendencies that he blames for bringing the country to its knees. The poem has an interesting end rhyme scheme. It is a rhyming couplet.     

this economy has whiskey
how can it be so drunk and risky?

the poor say the prognosis is easy
for this country has a terrible leprosy 

termites and maggots of corruption
and governance constitute its destruction

There is a spiritual dimension to the presentation of his poetry.  In the face of gloom and doom, the poet paints a picture of hope, vitality and victory. For example, in ‘A Done Deal’ there is a biblical allusion of Isaac.  

the view could be blurred by

roaring and furious mists over

high mountains and sharp rocks

the road could be filled with thorns

and bottomless potholes and explosives

like an eagle–Thembani—soars beyond

the hurdles and prevailing situation around him

like an eagle he knows that as he soars the snakes

he is clutching  in his fist are a done and defeated deal

like one Isaac he is prospering in the face of adversities! 

The transformative power of literature is in its aesthetics, politics and poetics.  Ndaba Sibanda has proved once more that he is a socially, culturally, spiritually and politically conscious poet who is a voice for the voiceless. His poems are a pleasure to read. They are a must-read for both leisure and academic purposes. Sibanda uses language in a gripping fashion because he breathes life into his words. For Betsy Perluss in Wilderness Guide says, “If language is our way of describing the world, poetry gives it life.”

Biography of the author
Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and for Best of the Net, Sibanda is the author of Notes, Themes, Things And Other Things, The Gushungo Way, Sleeping Rivers, Love O’clock, The Dead Must Be Sobbing, Football of Fools, Cutting-edge Cache, Of the Saliva and the Tongue, When Inspiration Sings In Silence, The Way Forward, The Ndaba Jamela and Collections and Poetry Pharmacy.


https://www.pagespineficshowcase.com/ndaba-sibanda.html.
https://ndabasibanda.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/first-blog-post/
https://www.amazon.com/Ndaba-Jamela-Collections-Sibanda/dp/1712864173
http://ourpoetryarchive.blogspot.com/2020/03/ndaba-sibanda.html
https://poetrypoeticspleasureezine.wordpress.com/2020/03/19/ppp-ezine-poetrypoeticspleasureezine-volume-4-issue-3-march-2020/

Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, Bulawayo.


Author of Book Review:

Banqobile Virginia Dakamela, Bulawayo is a writer who hails from Zimbabwe. She has written a story that was published in an anthology which was studied at high schools and is a set book in a local university. She has written extensively and is in the process of publishing some of her novels.

My Friend’s River Beauty and Other Poetry by Ndaba Sibanda

Still Shining

A beautiful end to our Still Shining Series, we have the talented Ndaba Sibanda! He is a Ponder Savant regular and brings an energy to his writing style. Come see the marvelous poetry that he has written through the pandemic.


My Friend`s River Beauty

why they live in water
it`s a mystery, in a river

they possibly tuck into it–
seaweed, and swim ashore

they also diet on fish, crabs,
clams ,shrimp, oysters , lobsters

my dear friend fell in love
with one of them, his beauty!

a faraway river is their rendezvous
he confesses she`s romantic and fun!

though these days the two lovely lovebirds
barely hang-out owing to self-distancing!

I think she is human, after all
except that she has the tail of a fish

and no wonder she pees and poops
from her belly button, so says my chum!


New Kids’ Register Riddles

2026: Marking The Preschool Register
Teacher: if you’re present, say ‘present’
And, if you are not here just say ‘absent’

Corona 2020. Silence. Teacher: ‘That’s a pass!’
Wear A Mask.’ Yes’. Teacher: Say ‘present please’.
Lowdown. ‘Lockdown’. Teacher: ‘Lord have mercy!’
Cant read this.’Qua…Quarrel?’ Kid: ‘Im Quarantine’
Was Hands.’ I’m Wash Hands’. Teacher: ‘My apologies!’
Sanity-seizer. ‘I’m Sanitizer’. Teacher: ‘For a reason!’
Coffee Fit 9.’ l’m COVID-19′. Teacher: ‘Sorry, whatever’
Self-lation.’I’m Self-isolation’. Teacher: ‘Hmmm, l see’.
Loves.’l’ m Gloves.’ Teacher: ‘Like hand in glove, kid!’
Pandemics. ‘Absent’ Teacher. ‘Wow’. Kid: ‘Coz l hate ’em’


Artist:

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.

Follow This Artist:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com

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

N.B
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!


Artist:

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.

Follow This Artist:

 Let`s Get Cracking! – Ndaba Sibanda - WordPress.com