Tuesday, June 21, 2011

21 June 2011

Poem of the week by Derick Matsengarwodzi

Love has the energy to defeat hate; it has the muscle to subdue prejudice.
It never salutes human boundaries. Love shall break all roadblocks.
It shall paint all those tainted hearts; and they shall know the true colour of love.
Together they shall sing eternal eternal love unto humanity.
A world plastered with stains of agony and hatred – saturated with clots of vengeance;
A world plastered with stains of hate and agony;
A land saturated with clots of vengeance, fed by egotism.
Guided by gloating egos; never fulfilled by the overflowing streams of sadness.
These streets are littered with gushing streams of anguish.  
Their guns blaze our emaciated hope all day. But nothing will ever defeat love.
For hate has lust but never last

Derick is a freelance writer based in PMB.  Besides journalistic writing he also has a interest in creative writing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

13 June 2011

                      The Manner of Dreams

 All that we see and seem,
                           is but a dream within a dream.
                                                                 Edgar Allan Poe 

A few nights ago  I dreamt that I was in a dream. In the dream within the dream, all was concrete. The food, the gardens, and even the people were made of concrete, except me. I felt foreign there.
I always feel removed from myself in situations were everyone is required to smile. There is an internal conflict that chokes me in these situations; I'm torn between an urge to put on a straight face until I find a “genuine”  reason to smile, and an urge to blend into the scenery and smile myself into oblivion. I settle for the path of least resistance and quell the conflict by keeping my real feelings under lock and key in the abyss of my mind. Going from one group of concrete people to another with a mechanical smile on my face was self-sacrificial. I hate having to smile when I don't feel like it.
But I smiled to the concrete people as we shook hands and exchanged "pleasantries". A uniform procedure; you say "hallo" to a person and they echo you. And then you ask them how they are. They tell you that they are well or okay or grand or just fine. They ask you the same question and you more or less echo the answer that they gave to the question that you asked. It's a comedy of conformism.

After a few handshakes I had to hide my right hand in my pocket and “keep the ball rolling” with my left. Their handshakes are exaggeratedly firm. The bruises embarrassing; they made me look pitiful. It's not easy, trying to fit in with concrete people. Now I will stop trying; no more handshakes or mechanical smiles from me.
All of a sudden there was thunder and lightning. Rain clouds gathered and the wrath of the sky was upon me. The handshake and the smile are age-old traditions in Concrete Land; the gods will properly curb the arrogance of any mortal who dares to plant revolutionary seeds in the Concrete way of life.
The concrete earth beneath my feet turned to mud. I started to sink into it. It felt as if all the forces of nature were directed against me. I was pummeled by sheets of water from above, and without a foothold below. I was sucked into the abyss of the earth. I suspected that I might be dreaming, but this suspicion was short-lived; I fell into a third dream. 
Now I'm leaning against a rock under the blazing sun, overlooking Concrete Land. I turn to the peaks above with my query: “What is the meaning of Existence?”
“Go back to nothingness,” says a familiar voice in a barely audible whisper. I look around to see who purports to be a philosopher, but there is no one in sight. It is only I and these monumental rocks here.
Who are you? Show yourself!” I shout desperately.
“I am not a who but an It; the Identity-less.” says the voice, growing louder and ever more familiar.
Not a who but an It, the Identity-less? What is the meaning of all this? If I weren't trying to figure out from which direction the voice came, I would have realized whose voice it was. It sounded like the voice of a person I knew, very intimately.
The voice spoke again: “Language is a symbol. It is limited by the boundaries of the communicable, but human experience and wisdom extends infinitely beyond. Language is too insufficient a tool to be used in the quenching of your philosophical thirst. If you insist on lifting yourself up from existence into the realm of language and limiting yourself to the communicable, you will never overstand the It in me.”
I argued with the voice: "Is it not language that organizes thought and puts it to a useful purpose? Is it not language that preserves the wisdom of the ancients through writing and retelling? How then, if not through language can I ever come to 'Overstand' the It?”
"The only way to Overstand It is by going back to nothingness"
"What is this nothingness?" I needed to know.                                                 "The nothingness is the It."
"I don't understand."                                                                                         "You don't understand because you are beginning to Overstand. Your confusion is your Initiation into wisdom,” the voice replied. “A fair warning: It -into which you were born- was not meant to be stable. It changes from one minute to the next. It adapts to different people and situation in order to absorb all forms of beauty.”
I listened, and the voice continued, “Language is a symbol that does not necessarily coincide with actual experiences. You experience any particular circumstance only once. To describe it through language vulgarizes It. Do not attempt to defend your social identity. It is a false territory. The true philosopher is identity-less. The nothingness is the It.”
“But if I don't It, how can I be expected to guard against trying to grasp It? How can I be content to let It be?”                                                                              “You already know It. Get rid of all your words. Do not waste your energy in trying to know about knowing. Go back to nothingness, where no thoughts mediated between you and Existence. Every day, dedicate yourself to observing consciousness -awareness of awareness, your six sense, your third eye. Try to stay with it for as long as you can. The nothingness is your It. It is not governed by thoughts, It is conscious of them. Consciousness is sensibility to the rhythm of Existence to which you must dance. It reconciles your mind with your body. Your soul will reconnect with the nothingness of existence. You will inherit consciousness as the data bank of your soul. Consciousness is It.”
The voice grew louder and louder, so that I had to block my ears or lose my ability to hear. To no avail. It seemed as thought the voice was shouting from inside my head. It grew louder, to the point where I felt that I was on the brink of sanity.
I looked up at the top of the highest among these mountains and saw myself on the edge, preparing to jump. I shouted and pleaded with myself not to jump. But the distance from the ground to the top of the mountain was too vast for me to hear myself. My pleas dissolved in the wind. I jumped off the cliff. There was a flash of insight on my way down. Just for a few seconds everything became clear. All along the shouting voice had been my own.

Monde Mdodana

Note from the Writer Monde.  
I have independently published a collection of my short stories (The English Note and Other Stories),
which I distribute myself. if readers like my story and would like more, they
can order the book from me. The book is R70 a copy. Interested readers
can call me at 078 201 8754 and I will make the necesarry arrangements
to get the book to them wherever they are.

Monday, June 6, 2011

6 June 2011

                                                                      Pic of the day

Umhlanga Lighthouse.  One of the landmarks of Umhlanga Rocks.

Poem of the Week:

The Jester                      Nick Lithgow
Cavernous hall vaulted oak-beams and stone walls
Light streaming through arched windows above
Tables lined with merry folk, some drunk, singing
Light wine and mead from pewter mugs
Pork and bread from earthen spread
Children and dogs playing at their feet

I donned my fools cap and strutted out
The risen stage, naer fist but tossed food
Booing and applause, choked laughter
At my ridiculous jesters gait
Casting arrogance like a net, I held them
Enraptured at my every word

In common tongue I cursed the King
The Queen a whore, they bayed for more
Of Princes, Priests and Dukes and Lords
I lashed with whip and switch and blade
Stripped them bare, none were to spare
Foul mouthed and angry, I damned them all

The rapt crowd cheered, soulless tirade adored
With tears of mirth they worshiped my calls
Famed reprobate throughout the land
Who entertained by mocking the law
Every tavern a home, free booze and swill
Where I blustered with sharp wit and jagged claw

But not long after my core did fail
My eyes ran dry and my breath was stale
More wretched a man there never has been
Begging a crust and water a pail
With vermin as friend, lice crawled on my head
My mind was numb and my spirit was dead

And then perchance a Princess did pass
Never more beauty did I ever behold
Silk skin, sparkling eyes and shimmering dress
“Oh lady fair, please, just one more chance”
She cast her gaze down at my cowering rags
Her pretty lips parted and addressed me thus
“Your mouth was your weapon
Now you’re sucking on sores
Your strong frame had leverage
Pox and booze have ravaged and bored
You berated my family with perditious lies
Now nobody cares if you live or you die!”

She turned on her heel when a horseman arrived
A monstrous black beast with evil red eyes
I screamed in terror, begged for mercy in vain
My mind was seized and my limbs racked with pain
The rider thrust forward, hooves flashed in my face
And there where I lay was there where I died

A gentle white light drew me though the membrane of time
I laughed and I danced to my spiritual rhythm divine
Emerald green fields, gold hedgerows and rolling streams
Surrounded me as I repaired with my love and children three
“I’m sorry, I failed, you deserved more by far”
“Don’t be sorry Daddy” they smiled, “We love who you are”

And then His Devine Benevolence placed his hand on my arm
His kind eyes gazed without verdict or harm
“You had love and sound mind, health and strong bones
But you dismissed your friends and fed wrath to your foes
You are My son, I love you without condition or term
But you learned nothing this time, so you will have to return”