If there had been an owl

My son          died the death I should have died                   quietly         – he went – in his sleep. On that morning the sun shimmered like it had showered in gold – I would have understood if there had been an owl – two hoots (one for each year he breathed). and no sun…

Sometimes Love

Sometimes love Is running for your life When your tanks are still full Of oxygen, When your heart is still alive, When you can still hear its sound Lub dub Lub dub Sometimes it’s saying “No more” And run for your life. Sometimes love Is choosing yourself, Is Loving yourself, Forgiving-yourself, Mending your own scars,…

Roberta Turkson – Robbie Ajjuah Fantini

Roberta Turkson’s career in poetry started in 2011, as a way to drive the pain off her chest, after failing to fulfil the fondest dream of having her own traditional Ghanaian restaurant in Nashville. “With lots of time on my hands and pain in my heart, I took to writing which turned out to be…

Acholi Chants

Alokolum yee!Where we sitKnit table clothesThese days we chant dirges in EnglishAcholi  has become too difficultWe speak Acholi with a twang like we are speaking English The English do not chant dirges in AcholiThe English do not speak AcholiBut us, we speak English like we are eating sweet potatoes No one can defeat usWe defeat…

Beauty Knows No Shame

A new kind of beauty to embrace and to celebrate There’s no room for shame here There’s a power that pushes through from within There’s a power that will push out and bring my bloody insides with it… But that’s something of a pain that I’d love to succumb to in a natural, agony-sedating, physical…

The Searching Cheats

Whirl of the wind Sing decades of familiar tunes Encroaching voices of old whispering stories untold Cold the breeze our bodies Freeze The Misplaced Birds they say they wail “We have lost our way” We are to show them their way We? We point They screech “Where?!” We point again And again Then we tell…

Sarah Lubala

Sarah Lubala is a Congolese-born, South Africa-based writer. Her family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo two decades ago amidst political unrest. They relocated first to South Africa, then the Ivory Coast, before returning to South Africa and settling in Johannesburg. She has been twice shortlisted for the Gerald Kraak Award, and once for The…

Mooncycles

My heart is broken fragments disintegrate into sand laid upon a beautiful beach. As my moon creates tidal waves to wash me away. What once intertwined between my licorice laced thighs? Now matted and sharp thorns grow there, where my love once lay to blossom. I am rotten. Heart wrenched like torn ligaments on strange…

The Gloria/Ascension

My darkest moments are those leading to my success,a hesitation where I question – do I deserve this?where my ambition drains like a time lapse in reverseand I set out to seek a great perhaps through verse. Notes tuck themselves back into books,passages fold themselves into memoriesmy tongue reabsorbs every spoken wordwhich precipitates into a…

Threshold (For my sisters rejecting FGM)

I am seventeen The moon giggles shyly and caresses the skies Sipi Falls cascade in a wave of excitement. I waltz with the falls downstream A tinge of warmth engulfs me My feet rub… My future. The village awakes It is the rite season The search… She descends with a knife I grip my tears…