May 23, 2007

Breaking the Silence – 3 poems

Filed under: poetry,Theorising Practice_May 2007 — newritings @ 8:32 pm

The following poems were presented in the Women’s Writings Competition, 2006, organised by POWA, and are published in the collection Breaking the Silence. Positive Survivors.


Poverty is not what you think
dirty, naked and hungry
It is infinitely less
It devalues your estate
and your worth
It degrades your standing
and your substance
It steals your laughter
and your self-esteem
It freezes your assets
and your body
It shatters your spirit
and your faith
It demolishes your shelter
and your safety
It strips you of all equity
and your dignity
It renders you invisible
and well as your needs
It breaks your confidence
and your heart
It erases your power
and your rights
Poverty is a beast that devours all and leaves the shards of your compassion lying in
the ashes of your hopelessness

by Erna Myburgh*

* I was born in Pretoria and now live in Cape Town where I am retired. I’ve learnt about poverty from experience as I lost everything several years ago, and understand how it can lead to violence.

Unlock that woman

Unlock that wonderworking woman
You are keeping her in that cage far too long I
You are holding her hostile hostage
Let her out
She wants to explore, she wants to expand
You are delaying her
She wants to unleash her potential and live her life fruitfully
You are trapping her emotions, by keeping her in an emotional prison
Unblock that woman
She is not your slave
Let her, don’t deny her
She has the gifts, she has the skill
you are prohibiting her by your jealousy
You are destroying her talents with your abuse
You are raping her mercy
And insulting her integrity
You are destroying her dignity
You entice her to infuse diseases in her
Hey! Disentangle that woman
Get off her way
She defies limitations
She denies imitations
She hates dissipations
Let her loose
Unsnap those insensitive snaps
Remove those boundaries
Those high walls of insecurities and bondage
Those dangerously sparking electric fences
Where you always hold her hostile hostage
Unwind that woman and leave her unwounded
Let her power and influence be known
Let her be herself – don’t push yourself onto her
he can make it, and that you know very well
You. Are jealous of what she can become
‘Better, brighter; broader’’
Than that you have caused her to be
She can climb up high currents and mountains
She can go yonder – beyond angry stormy seas
She can brave tough winds and cross roaring rivers
She can traverse and astound the world
That you know very well
And that is why you are stopping her
By inflicting unbearable pain on her
She hates it, so stop it
You are doing her injustice
You are inconveniencing and incapacitating her capacity
She wants to make a worthwhile living
You are restricting her and denying her passage
Hey! Untrap that woman

by Evelyn Tsele

You must be crazy

You must be crazy to think that
I’m incomplete without you
That I need you to breathe life into my lungs
That my brain is a minute arrangement
That my being female is an impediment
That my future rests in your hand
I made you the King of my Kingdom
To rule this fragile heart of mine
And protect the innocence in my eyes
To sing sweet melodies with no words
And share your dreams with my fantasies
But, you chose to be a dictator
Assigning impossible tasks
Expecting me to march at your command
Moulding me to be your perfect being
Forcing me to detest myself
Polluting my body with cocaine
Addictions leading me to prostitution
Alcohol became my medication
Your cruelty has destroyed me
But it will never perish me
It destructed my physical self
But it will never stroke my soul
You must be crazy to think that
While I’m dying in this bed
Slowly losing my breath
Thinning skin fading
Eyes ballooning out
I will let you have my soul
You had the best of my body
But won’t get the last of my soul
You must be crazy
Because I was crazy enough to love you

by Puseletso Mofokeng (Poetry 2nd prize)

1 Comment »

  1. […] issue, and saying how comrade x has written on Y, and comrade Z has written this great poem called Poverty. Further poems Unlock that woman and You must be crazy are there to be found. And the Manifesto […]

    Pingback by fake editorial « newritings — May 23, 2007 @ 6:06 pm | Reply

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