You are beautiful, my Zimbabwe,
though the sharp words of corrupt men
are the heavy, hard instruments
raping you again; again and again,
though the stench of a government’s
is raw sewage fermenting in your streets
and even though your children lick the pus
from their wounds so that hunger may be appeased.
You are still beautiful.
Zimbabwe, you are radiant
when untreated water flows
from stainless steel taps
and kills thousands,
when those who cry out for peace
disappear; only to be returned
beaten and broken
and even when men in power
straddle and ride you ’til you are spent
(they are the whores).
You are still radiant.
Tsvarakadenga, stop your weeping
and wash your face.
Discard your rags and oil your flesh.
Dance to summon the rains,
chant to your ancestors who look at you now
through hollow eyes.
Abase yourself before the altar
of a stone god with a clenched fist
where your supplications cannot be heard.
Myths and Legends
I walk through the ruins
of what once was a mighty fortress
The wind echoes emptiness
and the merry conversations of a prosperous people
Where is the Colossus that once stood
guarding the breadbasket?
Where is the Titan that fought
He has had his fill and trampled
many in his haste to kill and eat.
The basket is empty, the land derelict
and its people shackled.
I roam the streets of our sunshine
city where death no longer yields
wailing or tears
but mute apathy.
Newspapers preach abundance
whilst the government’s doctrine of pilfering
and hoarding wealth thrives.
Where is the man who swore to rule
for the good of the people?
Where is the mind which conceived
a vision of independence?
The man has grown old and his wilted
wits tyrannize us all.
Graveyards overflow, our country is in crisis
and my heart is a fortress of stone.
If you must ask, I will tell you.
Look at my lips, they are moist and
My belly is full.
We are practically choking on surplus food.
There is no hunger.
If you must know, I will confide in you.
As you can see, I am well and
Daily my glass of clean water overflows.
We have the rains coming soon.
There is no cholera.
If you must interfere, don’t.
If you feel compelled to voice your concerns,
You see death,
There is only victory.
You want to barge in here and help me?
(Get lost you dogs and keep your fleas.)
There is no need.
his mouth is intrusive
invading my conscience
i believe his tongue
dripping honey is a dagger
through my ears
in my mind
are relief from
his public addresses
his idle chatter i believed
his voice is the
animals in the night
whose wildness i cannot
hear when asleep in bed
of a time before
his mind withered
and let his wide open mouth
spew hollow words
i believe mr president
nobody is tuned in
to your frequency
There’s a Big Bad Wolf in Grandma’s Bed
“Oh, Mr President, what big ears you have!”
“All the better to hear plots of treason with.”
“Oh, Mr President, what big eyes you have!”
“All the better to see my enemies with.”
“Oh, Mr, what big hands you have.”
“All the better to strangle you with.”
“What big teeth you have.”
“All the better to eat you with!”
Then the big bad wolf pounced and swallowed a nation.
your sun has blackened and now its set night has come at
last there is movement in the air change in the wind’s
direction your voice is now a whispering soprano
beseeching your pet cockerel to crow but it shall
not wake the nation tomorrow a new sun is
rising and as your dead orb plummets over
the edge of your crumbling world
go to sleep gabriel
House of Broken Stones
i am coming home
how long i have missed your red earth
your scent of jacaranda
your balancing rocks and your dazzling smile
you are fading
those who loved you once
and vowed to cherish you
men you and i trusted
have violently taken from you all
that is precious
many of your children who fled in fear weep
for your pain and those left behind
who out of all the countries
in africa consoles you
has anyone tried to clothe your shame
the men who publicly raped you
now pretend to make love
to you in secret
their hearts full of
revulsion and a greed
that feeds only itself
(‘nematambudziko’ means ‘my condolences’)
Poems (c) Fungisayi Sasa