International Poetry الشعر শ্লোক ကဗျာ ליבע ਪਿਆਰ өлүм
African Poetry with Tendai Rinos Mwanaka
Featured Poem - Editor's Choice:
VENDOR AND CHILD
by John Eppel
Is that a shower of gold seeping
through gaps in the thatching of the sky?
What carefully wafting flakes are these
of light on fire, fading, to die
before they touch the woman and child
encamped beneath a municipal
cassia, now leafless, almost stripped
of life-transfusing bark? And when will
we halt beside her meagre tuckshop:
an upturned Lobels biscuit carton:
and buy a cigarette, a handful
of peanuts, and a blighted onion?
She cleared a space opposite the NO
STOPPING sign on Cecil Avenue,
a space she shares with sparrow weavers
bickering, and Matabele ants
that sting, and stink of formic acid,
with mandibles that nip the tendons
of her battered feet, and bear away,
piece by piece, the crumbs of her domain.
Sick, her child is the colour of ash,
a rag doll of hopelessness, symbol
of the new Zimbabwe. Who will buy
a soft tomato from me? Who will
deliver me from a government
of patronage, of cronyism;
a government of the obese, by
the obese, for the obese? Wallets
of flesh on the backs of their necks, folds
of fat behind their knees; like jumping
castles their bums, like teeming purses
their scrota. O who will deliver
us from these who have been coaxed into
temptation? And who will let that slow
light linger, those wafting flakes of fire,
and set the mother and her child aglow?
African Poetry Editor Tendai Rinos Mwanaka is a leading poet and writer of the new generation of African writers and works hard to promote African writing through anthologies he has curated and co edited. Mwanaka has been shortlisted and won several writing awards, including being shortlisted for a record 7 times for the UK based Erbacce poetry award, 3 times nominated for the Pushcart, The Caine African Writing Award etc.
Charles Baudelaire (1821–1867), French poet, critic, and translator, was one of the most compelling poets of the 19th century and is one of the major figures in the literary history of the world.
Norman R. Shapiro is Distinguished Professor and Poet-in-Residence, Wesleyan University, member of the Academy of American Poets, and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française.