Of Rapists & Victims: The First Of Its Series.

Sometimes we forget. That those closest to us are capable of the most heinous acts.

Photo credit: @ownherworld

I.
The hum of her skirt,

Stories of lust sewn in,

He sings along,

Thoughts of skin on skin,

And echoes of her plea,

Melodious,

The subjugation of her will,

Melodious,

The screams of her inching to survive,

Yet moaning to the thrust,

Of him,

She denies the face of the man that robs her,

She denies,

Yet moans?

She denies,

The face of her father,

She gives in,

Because she feels,

That’s the only way,

Out.

Of Black, Children & Vices.

tyronetakawira
photocredit: @artbywak

Colonialism kissed,

The face of the African sun,

Systematic,

The infiltration of the devil’s kiss,

Illusions of colour,

Illusions that blinded,

The hearts of supremacists,

WE ARE CHILDREN,

Dreams of our ancestors,

Silhouettes of their realities,

Our minds cannot conceive of,

Shades of black,

of niggers cut,

blood,

Bath of kaffirs,

The knife that is white privilege,

WE WERE BORN,

98tolife.wordpress.com
photocredit: @creativesoulphoto

With a melanin scarred,

We spite,

The stretch marks on our skin,

Yet poverty sits,

On the roof of our tongues,

Can we afford to speak?

Lineages of men,

That smoked polygamy once,

And forgot to exhale,

Lineages of men,

That skip responsibility with a tempo,

Crescendos of pain,

Crescendos of absence,

Men that leave,

Before daughters utter the word,

Father.

A MOTHER’S VICE,

98tolife.wordpress.com

Chinua demands,

Chinua demands to eat,

Chinua always demands,

His stomach shouts,

Ghosts of his vigor,

Ghosts of his hard work,

His stomach shouts,

Substances of liquor,

Substances of his hard work?

She kneels,

And washes the hand that bruised and battered her,

She kneels,

And feeds the mouth that swallows her name whole,

Before vomiting out another,

Priscilla?

The turn of her insides.

She knows not,

Of the silent messages,

And the loudness of moans,

That aren’t hers,

She knows not,

Of the legs that spread,

On the same bed that holds her secrets,

She knows not,

Of her daughter’s beauty,

Because hers, surely,

Isn’t enough,

She knows not?

She knows,
And justifies,

And kneels.

 

Daughter Of The Soil:

98tolife.wordpress.com

Your mother was an old, vibrant soul.
Naomi Nothando Dube? Wasn’t that her name?
A daughter of the soil,

she birthed you out of auras and Afrika,

beauty and fragility.

Your words recite her truths,

stories of slavery and sub-Saharan romance,

apartheid and rain gods,

Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me.

Your lips turn into a smile,

You say,

“Mama fed me porridge with one hand,

and wrote feminism in my heart with the other,

she made me carry buckets full of water,

and washed my body with small stones and scripture,”

I smile and whisper,

“Your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”

Your eyes run away from mine,

You say,

“Mama beat me with a stick like the other boys,

she made me cook sadza and okra every night,

we all ate in one plate,”

I wipe the tears of your face,

“Still, your ebony heritage has never been so sexy to me,”
You say,

“Mama never let me outside,

all the girls got drunk and had fun,

I was as sober as a tea cup,

and dull as the tea bag,”

I laugh and say,

“Very funny, Gugu, but your ebony heritage is still sexy to me,”

You take off your shirt and turn your body from mine,

I see the marks on your back,

the scars under your arms,

You start to cry,

“What’s wrong?”

“Mama was an old vibrant soul,

a daughter of the soil,

but she never warned me of men that could steal my innocence.”

Enjoyed the read?  Give a big follow to MIND OF THE WRITER for inspiring it.

You can also check out her poems on abuse and sexual violence here and here.

Cupid’s Vindication:

This is a public announcement to all the newly weds, the beloved, the couples.

Cupid’s dead.

I never gave him a chance to say his last words;

To that, I halfheartedly apologize.

His bones, however, sing me to sleep at night.

I curtained them over a window, and sometimes — just sometimes,

the ambience of past lovers strikes their panel,

I am repulsed by this, of course.

I murdered love to forget love, not to be reminded of it,

Figments of his being permeate the space between mind and soul,

between time immemorial and presence,

sex and missed phone calls,

It kisses the brain with a neuroplasticity,

one that strings memories and clouds thought,

one that whispers tales of her,
— the beautiful, the sweet, the divine,

I am repulsed by this, of course.

I murdered love to forget love, not to be reminded of it,

Cupid’s skin hangs from the ceiling like a lynched slaved,

like father’s clothes when he left,

like mother when she took her life,

like the remorse of death,

I touch it,

I touch Nicole,

I touch love,

I am repulsed by this, of course.

I murdered love to forget love, not to be reminded of it,

His arrow cradles itself in the palms of deity,

I pierce myself in search of its promises,

it meanders past the pain,

past the loneliness,

past the last heartbeats,

I see the strobes of an afterlife,

the illumination of heaven,

Yet,

even in the face of eternity,

I still dream of our time together,

 

I am repulsed by this, of course.

I murdered self to forget love, not to be reminded of it.

 

— Miscellaneous Lover.

A Written Letter To All Men:

 

98tolife.wordpress.com
Photo Credit: Rational Male

We call ourselves kings in all that we do,

in all that we say,

We call ourselves warriors,

rebels against the tyranny of Life,

against the slithering hand of injustice,

Yet,

as long as the Earth spins in the whirlwind of reality,

as long as the Moon paints itself across the night’s sky,

We will continue to,

fail,

Unless we cast out,

fear,

and find,

purpose,

the core of your masculinity,
the heart that strings ideals and visions,
and bleeds,

purpose,

your right of passage,
the road less travelled,
your march to freedom,

purpose,

 the light that illuminates,
a pillar for humanity,

purpose,

your divine Providence,
listen to the calling,

purpose,

the hand of god in the life of Jesus,
the immortal speeches of Luther,

purpose,

reserved only for the brave,
the bold,
the magnanimous,

it wakes humanity from sleep,
slow hymns of a utopia,
listen,

please,

listen,

purpose,

to the,

lost boys,

searching,

in the abyss,

do not,

do not,

do not,

give up,

till you,

till you,

find,

purpose.                                                  

Remember your mortality:

Everyday, I watch the quiet rising of the sun, and arrive home just in time for it’s setting. I enjoy the cycle; the motion of light and darkness that reminds me that one day, I too, will be resting as the sun — cold, dead and remembered only for the light that used to be my soul.

John Updike’s once said: Each day, we wake slightly altered, and the person we were yesterday is dead.So why, one could say, be afraid of death, when death comes all the time?

I share his frame; in that death is as common as the breath we take, but I fear this negates the biggest problem of them all: the choices we make in the face of it.

We sleep eight hours a day, engage in the same deprecating thoughts, slave through tedious jobs to earn a living, only to pass at night for another eight hours; and dream of electric sheep. If we be so lucky as to inherit my grandfather’s genes, we would all live up to the age of sixty; that’s a fine twenty years spent unconscious, and entangled in formless mirages.  

Do you not realise, friend, that over hundred thousand people pass every day? Do you not see death’s hands in the passing of time? In the hymns of history?
Remember your mortality; remember that nothing separates you from the bounty of death — and live wisely. 
The price of anything, fortunate or not, lies in the amount of life given into it. 

• • •

Do you feel anxious when you use the bathroom with someone else? Are you the type to keep their shirt on at a pool party? You used your college savings to impress Kathy on a hot date? Do you cross the street to avoid that homeless dude, Al? Are you afraid of adding more salt to your mother’s frothing soup? 

If you answered yes to all of these — congratulations! I write this to say; you strongly need some sense. Your spineless self may also be happy to hear, you aren’t alone — in fact, the whole world is filled with an army of self conscious, ever uptight Joes with carrots up their nether regions — they call themselves —  society. You are nothing but a spitting image of good ol’ social conditioning.
Now, before you argue it’s all reasonable and scientific, Einstein — let me sit down first. Your ear-shuttering thesis probably falls in the line: we act in such a way to procure a social status; procreate with someone who can either maintain or uplift this — never demise, and start a family so that our genes stay on the brim of survival. Any faulty behaviour, say drinking late with your pals when you are student president, could ruin this. Your social devaluing will, ultimately, be the death of you.
This is completely accurate, in the sense that most people live with this mental bias; even some of the people reading this, but it’s also nonsensical — in that history decides to remember the exact opposite.
Let’s skip fifty years into your conformist lifestyle; your bones are white and dried up, and there goes Julie, your seventy year old wife, about to give an opening eulogy: Jimmy was such an incredible man. He never spoke during dinner and paid his taxes on time. He never argued with those closest to him, and never asked for a raise either. He lived a good life.

— sounds just about exciting as the detergent advert I’m watching. Will miss you, Jimmy!

I’ll go out of my way here and say, you probably should pay your taxes on time; the point lies in that there’s nothing exciting about Jimmy’s life — or Jimmy himself for that matter. He never stood for anything, never challenged the very fabric of his ambitions, and most likely, never made passionate love to his wife — I mean, thirty plus years of marriage and that’s all she could say? Jesus.
I’m not saying be a Malcolm X and burn the mall down because your maths says there’s more white than black shoppers; but I am saying free yourself from the paradigm of how to live — in whatever way is meaningful to you. 
Be comfortable in a bathroom full of strangers — your body is the eighth luxurious wonder; shake it off! Take your shirt off at the pool party, or don’t. Tell Kathy you have five dollars on you right now, then kiss her hard. Give Al, the homeless dude, some warm food; tell him he’s worth so much more. 

And for god’s sake, add some salt to that soup — the soup that is your frothing life.

​Self — an endless river:

 

“The self is a style of being, continually expanding in a vital process of definition, affirmation, revision, and growth, a process that is the image, we may say, of the life process of a healthy society itself.” ~ Warren Robert Penn Warren.

 


If, my younger self were to inquire from me what is constant of life, I would be absolute in saying, firstly — nothing, lastly — change; then laugh at the simplicity of this paradox. The beauty of life, at times, lies in the endless plateaus of growth that must be climbed — for one begins to shed away any weakness, in the pursuit of the perfect, indefinite power that is creator.

In ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’, Carol Dweck notes the presence of two types of mindsets: i. fixed and ii. growth mindset. The fixed mindset conceives everything to be of a  static nature: “if I was raised slow in thought, surely I can never be an intellectual.” He then, after a many half-hearted attempts, stops seeking in order to maintain this rigid sense of self. This is the boss without any plans, the friend who refuses read and the president that never steps down from power. Those of a growth mindset are entirely different creatures — these are the scientists, the philosophers, the renaissance men that dared to invent, and of course, the daily readers.

You must be quick to notice, that the fixed mindset denies the most concise and perhaps, in my regards, the most potent of life laws — the law of growth, which culminates itself as change. Ultimately, if one chooses not to grow; one denies life and, due to consequence, one must die — in body, mind and spirit.

True personal transformation comes then, from the willingness to accept this, and to persistently improve — upon your ideas, behaviours and perception !

Thank you, old furry friend.

“Indeed, one of the highest pleasures is to be more or less unconscious of one’s own existence, to be absorbed in interesting sights, sounds, places, and people. Conversely, one of the greatest pains is to be self-conscious, to feel unabsorbed and cut off from the community and the surrounding world.” — Alan W Watts

tanakaphoto.jpg
It is timeless wisdom that, to be fully present. My old dog barks every time he looks in the mirror, and I always chuckle at his absurdity; “How could he be so ignorant, as to not realize self?” Yet, when I too, stare blankly into the mirror, I am reminded of the same inner struggle.

You have come to know and hunger for the feeling that mother nature endows upon you: the kiss of wind on your face, the peace of early morning and the mysticism of a full moon. I am estranged, as to how mother nature cocoons her gift to us; the gift to dissolve human error.

As my pen strikes this, I realize self consciousness is a  darkly cancer, one that defiles your interconnectedness with the universe — leaving you to fight for survival, or wear unpronounced clothing to justify your self worth. It takes courage, admittedly, to step outside of self.

My dog is now rolling in the dirt; and for a moment, I escape my endless stream of thoughts. He stares slightly into my gaze, and in a moment; I shift uneasily to his timeless wisdom — breathe, and be fully present.