Poetry: To An African Writer

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Inside her pot is where sacred stories steam
Her wares are ancestral
They mate at the feet of gods
and hold tribal marks in esteem.
They travel in friendly forests
Carefully crossing the lines on their palms
Clapping at the wonderful habits of sunset
And at sunrise, they make up the face of morning.
Their noon is the message in their story
The part where love hates tradition
And culture wears the face of religion.
About weddings that happen in the house of moonlight
And how rainfall holds her tears before pouring after laughter.
But is there really love in lovemaking?
Do we have to pray everyday?
Is dying a long sleep that we’re all faking?
Or does destiny think another way?
Tell my children stories not of our sufferings
There’s a reason beds are using coverings.



Her contrite heart
Like a dart board
Holding a dart
A dart of words that hurt
A determined hoard of beats
Beats that once freely beat
There in her contrite ice box
Is a decision to stay strong
To hold on to the one thing she stands for
It’s always been love
Though now she’s not sure
Unless love these days mean war
A war that’s left her sore to her core
That she’s unsure of a future
With sunshine like there once was
Where big grins, sparkling smiles
Were the only words she wrote about
And she sang only in thunderous laughs
Laughs a sleeping soul is awakened by
All will be well, that ends well


Your words are cooked with ironies
They stir so well it gives the eyes deep thoughts
Where did you see the unseen metaphor?
What’s your daily ritual? Feed me the essential
Glad times when the universe clapped
Each town bought an existing map
Navigating through; your name came through
Tough like chords that can’t be broken
No matter how the critics bent
Your words were constructive crimes
I write for the African whose words are ordinary
Now it’s a poetic statement. This is extraordinary!

Oh African writer!
I can see the shoki beats in every lyric
The dialogues in your lines remind me of Katwe
Let’s do the dance! Let’s feel the Tiv path!
I will forever hold these words like the bond in Malawi
Passing through rhythm of rusty gates
I will go green.
Oh African writer!

Rachel Charles

Oh yea greats!
Countless days and nights in scroll and ink.
Similes and metaphors in sync.
Over emphasized word play.
For your ideas a penny or more can’t pay.
Your words bringing up women from little girls.
Raising men to hang on their swords.
Like sweet carrots, feeding.
Roll up and curls.
Bend down and twirl.
These roots seem to be forgotten.
But bitter enough like its always chewed upon.
Write stories about uneven.
Write about the future to come.
But make amendments.
Amendments about the wrong to be right.
And tell the future about the “unmoving”…
And tell them about dignity.
Tell them about the African writer.
That is buried with their words.


Today I choose to write
Not of the stars that shoot my sky
Nor the rainbow that color my fears
But of the pains of an ancestral sores
Inflicted by these same hands
Now stretched for friendship.
I never had issues with forgiveness
Till my flesh refused to forget
The lashes that tore my back;
Hands that defiled my sisters thighs
And caused the lumps on my mothers breast
For if the past is pass
Why allow history live?
Why leave in sight the chains
You bore through my fathers ankles?
And of what use now my pen
If I can’t write about
The hurts in my heart
And the greed that interrupted my history?
An African writer indeed!


This is for the restless minds
Ever spinning with beautiful words
I raise my pen to the writer before
Whose sweat has stained a thousand sheets
Upon which virgin minds lay
Whose blood has painted a thousand books
Which preserved our civilization
Defied all prejudice against their race
Passed the mantle unto us
For generations to come
This heritage shall be our blessing
For even before things fell apart
They played their part
Showing the way of peace
Figuratively and skillfully planning their speech
To those gone, to the ones yet born
Blow your horns in praise anthems
Magic in their hands, minds and words
Wisdom they confer on old and young
My lips will call to them every time my ink spills.

This is for DJ
the English professor,
He traversed the globe
In search for meaning
Amongst a people fighting for life,
he found a home
clad himself with new tongues
And communed with the African god!
Alongside black, you fought!
Swearing allegiance to Oyimba! Oyimba!
Until the Sahara heard your plea
Now your blood, burnt black,
bears testimony that East or West, North or South. Despite colour or language
Home is in the heart of man
DJ, I must tell your story!
The fear, the fire!
Warring! madness, flight, and redemption!
The African saga, is your life!


To the one who’s accent hides in his pen
With a loud voice resting in its ink
Painting stories from black words
With dark skinned metaphors
Mixing and comparing similes
To the one who’s pen is full of stories
That touches the heart
inviting tears of joy and pain
Hanging on papers
Seating on lines of truth
To the one who’s pain stains books
With sincerity in literary form
Flaunting words with thick skin
Hosting tattoos of African culture
Promoting its true beauty
To the one who’s words are naked,
I envy the broad chest and six packs
Natural skin with no cream
True stories inspired by dreams
My words someday I pray undress itself.


In the four corners of her heart
are transient words fair and still
remembering every nook of pain,
the impure ones that wore a regalia of life
purple one without blood but stains.
These are her tales
embodied in the darkness of nothing.
It’s all fine, it will be right
and so she writes things which are kind.
For her type and the unspoken zippers that draw down
releasing stories horror to memory.
I am the recollections fetched to write to you.
To that prince whose dreams are rich
walking the blocks feeling like a king,
knowing the in-outs of the shattered house.
The slumbers of gods
prayed to his prey so he wakes
from this dream
and resume being nothing.
Your accolades are a shiny metal
left hanging in the pool that is stench.
I am the words echoing from your mind
telling your conscience
you have seen the light of day.
There are curses and it sauce
the pain that comes with the rain,
I am the weak little ink that writes the story
for the children of old
The African ones.



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