Wednesday, June 25, 2014



Battlefields blooming in blood.
    The country now locked in irons
      of medieval terrors.
        Guzzling, burning- bright blue giant.
          Weapon dealer-
        selling tanks, bombs
      ammunition, used to threaten the masses.
    And douse the country with angry flames.
Is there another way to say this?

Who has done anything to save them?
   Who has heard their protests, their pains?
     their cries, the tears of our children?
    How many poems have we written?
What alarm bell haven't we wrung?

While Africa, UN, and SADC waits, watches
   USA, UK, on the sidelines, this side
      China, Russia and South Africa are
        on the other side.
        Now I realise they won't be no eyes
       no ears, no hands
    no art, no song, no story
no useless poem like this one.

That will bring the country
   of our dried tears.
     Or rein back love and laughter
   into our children's burning-
silent thirst.

One is a surprise.
Two is a surfeit of words.
Three is impossible to process.
But then, somehow- in their cluttered
Thousands--- they have disappeared.
Bruising our side walks, a thousand
cells. Where no battle has been.
Where no one sees. Blood
for water-blood fills the
ponds. Plunder in my
heart! Reading
these hiero-
have to
For calmer times.


        I have got to be there.
     I can’t stay away forever.
  I have got to see.
what became of my country.

       People once voted
     and I took an oath.
    Vouch to fight rigging of elections.
and processes there-of.

       The people travelled miles to compete
      in these elections.
    Hunger, anger, poverty, asides.
   Fellow citizens, all believing
 that late March's spirit will free them
to pay homage to this democracy.

       This word is alien!
      It is a shadow that impresses decisions.
     But has never been experienced.
   Always victims to greedy vampires
  my people have only smelled death
this is the democracy they know.

broken connections

She was a woman
A woman of actions
She lived on the front
Filling me with fantasies
Sensations I can’t contemplate
Without ecstasies

She was the reasons
She was the justifications
Of my being
Of all that I have ever done

But her laughter drives
Inwards of me
To teach me lessons
Of broken connections

The time ahead of them
Was of little choice

A thing passed from child
To child to child


Life...laughter and joy
  Are the only truths
    Trapped within words
    Love comes into our lives
  Like vagrant eddies
Colouring the winds
But its spirit dims
  Disappears, and is gone
    Have we time?
      They wanted to be with us
      Look, at the love
     Lying longingly untapped
   Love big as the sky, open
  Like a way of revenge
Held back as punishment
The price you will pay
  You will pay in full
    To dole it as a reward
      Like sunshine on trampled grass
      Someone is begging us
    To be there now
  To share and care
In each other’s arms
Do we perceive their voices?
  Deep within us
    Like first shelvings, of
      A narrow single of a beach
     And as we strive
   On our way beyond
All these ancient measures
True would be the happiness
  Of understanding each other
    No matter what content
      To me that’s what counts

TENDAI R MWANAKA:was nominated for the Pushcart twice, 2008, 2010, commended for the Dalro prize 2008, work has been translated into French and Spanish. I was nominated and attended The Caine African writing workshop, 2012. From January- April 2014, I was a Mentor for 3 budding writers in CACE Africa Writivism. Published over  250 pieces of short stories, essays, memoirs, poems and photographic/visual art in over 150 magazines, journals, and anthologies in the following countries,  the USA , UK , Canada , South Africa, Zimbabwe, India , Mexico, Kenya, Cameroon, Italy, Ghana, Uganda, France , Zambia, Nigeria, Spain , Romania, Cyprus, Australia and New Zealand. 

VOICES FROM EXILE, a collection of poetry onZimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa was published by Lapwing publications, Northern Ireland in 2010. 

KEYS IN THE RIVER: Notes from a Modern Chimurenga, a novel of interlinked stories that deals with life in modern day Zimbabwe’s soul was published by Savant books and publications, USA 2012. 

A book of creative non-fiction pieces, ZIMBABWE: THE BLAME GAME, was published by Langaa RPCIG( Cameroon 2013)

Jyothsnaphanija: poems


Fictitious this medical evening.
This cross eyed custard cup.
This table cloth  absorbed the table paint.
This rhythmic flow of the type writer
In fact, it’s virus that makes it slow down.

Fictitious you wearing a green shawl.
Your eyes, fugitive.
You inspecting  aroma of  vase.
My blank page  face.

You reserve better words for fiction.
More space, and a working plot.
You quote from those melting conversations
From a novel that promotes love, beauty.
You recite some old poems of deserted wives
Infidelity,  curious secrets.
Youthful dark shades, fanciful phrases you bring in.
The audacity of nature
I wish to cage in an old freezer .
For I hate singing.


When we leave the dusty gates,
Sarita still copies my notes into her glassy slates.
We run after the ice selling sounds.
Carve the darkness in our household lamps.
Mother’s comb was like disfigured clock,
I hated  mustard odor
of Hema’s cottony hair.
Clay shells, uncooked eggs,
We were scientists at each holiday cycle.

The rain came and went
For all the days
For all the years.
My school sank, my books bubbled
for the groceries.
I used to copy the sums from Anita’s answer papers.
I have no trouble now for counting the money.
 Owner of this shop said, “his daughter’s too didn’t go to school.”
“I am grownup to forget school” I was told.
School rings few rhymes
in my sandcake memory.
They come here and buy   perfumes,,
Dates, bangles,
Liquid soaps, calendars,
Sweets  making  machines, fading gold,
I get inflated in their smiles.
Last month I saved for a new watch.
Before that our home was ill.

But tomorrow we will buy new dishes  for celebrating.


Jyothsnaphanija is a PhD research scholar in English Literature at EFL University, Hyderabad, India. Her poetry has appeared in Melusine, The Nervous Breakdown, Muddy River Poetry Review, Northeast review, Coldnoon, Kritya, Indian Ruminations, CounterPunch, American Diversity Report, Magnets and Ladders, wordgathering, among several others. Her short stories have appeared in eFiction India, Thick jam, ETC. Her research articles have appeared in Subalternspeak, eDhvani, Wizcraft, Barnolipi and in several books. She blogs at

Chris G. Vaillancourt: poems

I Ought To Have Gone

Sometimes there are moments
that flash before us like the narrow
opening of one of those worm-holes
into another universe and you have no time
to calculate: Should I leave
mother, father, history, ecology,
job, ambition, home
to follow her? Too late.
Too late. You ought to have gone.
For the rest of your life
you’ll be telling yourself,
“I ought to have gone.
I ought to have gone.”

Sometimes there are words
that jump around us like the thin
verbs used at various attractions,
where the sound of them gesture like
wounded thoughts: Should I have
begged her to stay with me forever?
Should I have promised any and every
promise she might have let me make?
Ask every ear, face, or television set
that bothers to pay attention. Solicit
every opinion that is freely being offered.
Too late. She has already gone.
For the rest of your life
you’ll be telling yourself,
“I ought to have gone.
I ought to have gone.”

O Sweet Forgetting

Take me away, sweet forgetting.
Carry my thoughts upon the whisper

Of changing winds... or sing to me,
Your dulcet chords of acceptance

Fading into melodies of time's passage.
Weep with me if you must.. happier memories

Cascading down cheeks of tomorrow
Where forgotten springs will dry our tears.

Or simply sit in companionship... ah yes...
Come share with me your poetry!

Scatter rhyme upon the grounds of summer,
Lay a vibrant blanket of crumpled moments

Before winter's calling... let us sip 
Of contentment's wine and pass time together...

O sweet forgetting, take me away!

Autumn's Artist

I am autumn's artist. On multi-coloured wings I sweep
across the brilliant blue of late September skies,

touching the tops of tallest trees with glorious tinges 
of varied vivid hues. I chase the humid heat and curdled clouds

of summer and bring the brisk and bracing breeze,
as welcome as the early warmth of April afternoons.

I let my palette drip its crimson drops on mighty maples
and splash the sycamore with scarlet, even while

I sprinkle verdant poplars with a sunny golden spray.
I turn the birches bronze and tint the towering tamaracks

with gleaming copper. And then I cause that foliage fair to fall
and cloak the earth with showy vibrant shades.

And as I bring the freezing frosts I take my leave,
departing for another year, the branches barren now.


in the garden of my night,
a breathless decay, a form of bones
and soil -
Shall I press
the fruit of my days?
My driven root
of stars and sun
swell skinless through the learning
of granite and marble eyes.
It swallows
my thoughts in the tune of living
still turning
in the key of echo and still.

Who shall murder the spring?
Letting the summer arrive.
Head coils in a fruitless winter that blunts
the clock to a stilling of flower, wing
and stone.

I shall shake the land of a thirsty eye
when God churns asunder.

Who would strike the moon?
Its gift of a silver
season washed away.
Walk not in the circle of waking hours
when the gears are oiled in man's
minerals and cast through
a sunken shadow of the cliff's edge.
Hate still grows in the creature
of my planet, grins
to the tumbling seasons of rage.

I will not bend to the teeth
of gathering storms,
nor build a sullen ark for being,
as I
a harnessed coiling cloud,
would dare
the scythe to beckon, to break, to bend -

to shatter.


Who is this Chris G. Vaillancourt? Well, he is, of course, a man, and a man who writes poetry. Poetry that is, apparently, well received and appreciated..He has been published extensively in a wide variety of anthologies, magazines, newspapers and online magazines. He is an author of many fine books of his impressive poetry. He looks forward to carrying on with a life in the poetic arts.
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