Hard Knock Life
Nutriment from fruit and vegetable
All sensation to the leaf, hoof, on rumination
All fruition to the thin root, at germination
Are gone extinct. Ever since;
The game of Thrones started with unpredictable seasons
The game of throws from bumper harvests ended
The toss of food like it is softball
The drunken masterly imbibe,
Which things used to be in hoards
Through pipe rings
Our little holes for swallowing big_
Into stomach nets, or nests
As would the fancied basket ball
All those miracles ain't trite no more
Over-writings of early morning breakfast,
With top up luncheon and supper baskets at night time
Have become-alike-dry riverbeds
Such, now is the way it is
With every hungry man's throat
Flake aching like sun dried grass,
As yellowish red as sand!
Only hoodlum and contagion remain_
In a comically fraudulent sense!
Famished are we, when with
Almost, all nourishment sources burnt out
By lack of rains acting in cahoots with
Everything so called Global warming...
Poems by Brian Manyati
Imma be cool crooning alway
(Inspired by the late Hugh Masekela)
I wanna be there
Parachuted like, a hovering drone
Towering as a dish sitted
On space or orbit
I wanna lend a hand
With terra-pixel lenses
My bird's eye_ viewing
All silos spread about
As precisely as governor Joseph
I want to tip toe
Hunger won't just find out
Of my stealth arrival.
This chronic poverty
Is a cruel kind of hell
Our world is choking on a tight
Stingy grip that won't let go,
We are badly in need
Of refueling - our dietary tanks.
Frail and skinny we've become
Thin as needles in haystacks
Under a severe shock
Of under nourishment
Send me, so I will help alleviate
Our children's hunger pains
Why when we are
With arable plains?
Grass lands we've turned into
Bad lands of hunger filled
Baronage-s, of speculative titlehold
I wanna be there
When we close this vast gulf
A yawning gap in our functioning-s
Want to let my people win
Against this voidable disease
I wanna lend a hand,
By Brian Tawanda Manyati aka Towandah Ryan
Date: 03 August 2021
Listen to the recording of the poem by clicking on the file below:
The unwelcome addressee - A case against hunger
An Epidemic gone rogue, to enormous proportions
A scourge unfolding without therapy
Unattended for several years, to our future medics
The cure is a must find now than late
Or our funeral of endless burials grows stubbornly
Like episodes of a horrendous movie series
Watched by elders yesterday, youths today, albeit…
None posing it. Twice, fingers jittery at pressing the stop button.
Cdes, hands on decks. Set sail to hunger`s confrontation
Head on! A combatant Africa, mood is to rise
And cease to be attacked offensively like an unarmed battalion
Unable to repeal a death penalty leading us to slaughter,
Yet gazetted by a mass murderer
We did not deserve to die in mass graves
Or our skeletons won`t heal.
Placement of us;
The prosecuting populace, in docks – IN ITS STEAD.
Like an underdog outsmarting an overrated opponent
In a swift reversal of roles, but cheated.
Ladies; eh gentlemen too. Needed – `s food on the table!
Our draught power is well alive, but
Reckon if you may, our cart is before the horses.
Imports galore of Cere vita, from coffers of cereals` underproduction
Indeed yes, our spendthrift is swallowing necessities gentlemen;
Primaries second ranked,
Scoreboards read of record buys of mealie meal from mealie-cob less, a farmer
Then a throat clearing reminder
Of jet legged begging visits.
Ours are manymore! Armed with shiny` colourful` collecting bowels for luggage
Leaves wondrous givers in awe
…..did we not say “famished” at the door`s knock?
A hand extended anyway, in expression of neighborliness
Pitifully knowing we shall be back
Out of the terminator`s sake, not as terminators of a fate
A cause unresolved that being hunger, not famine`s
Any greedy mother feeds self-first
What follows – ‘s elaborate displays of her malnourished child
For a few more drops of well-wishers` bags food full
Not a tag for Mother Africa
She is too beautiful
Hunger cannot rob her irresistible stature
She`s self-provision able-bodied
A moment`s chew is worth the juncture.
Natively ‘that which gets into the ear;
Sits in, attentively for re-addressing’ – chawaridza bonde
Perhaps a re-thinking of Zunde raMambo
Seeing not the command of it, rather the commendation: families fed
Possibly, cessations from subsistence will SOS
Out of surpluses to threshing floors my Africa
A food surplus world shall prioritize the struggler. The vision
Undoubtedly, present day`s food shortage has fed;
Graduates, in dark suits and navy neck ties
The enlightened, of an impoverished mother land. The case
Honouring of agronomists with first aid – oh food aid!
At the expense of the under privileged,
A hungred provider of hard labour. The lesson
Until we out do hunger`s contestation
Non-bickering with the other
Save for, all hand on decks
We set sail and act solving, an endangered tomorrow
Hunger`s address long unknown
Is not anymore unsaid at last!
Least it had evaded our past.
Hunger and disease torn
There ai'nt honour in hunger
Add a Black Swan,
Twin evils suffice.
Here is when disease squats us
Just as Covid has requisited
Whilst a terrible hunger knocks on
As has gone on and on
Hunger already had us
On a gruelling exercise. One without
Any physical fitness outcome.
Things haven't augured well
For our trapped world
With Novel Corona viruses
Choosing to stay.
In quarters already food insecure,
Both of natural
And man-made causes.
What will vacate premises
Are highly likely us people.
For a terrible death knocks on
In queues for food
Food first then
We distance socially next
It is supposed to be the plan
So he or she thinks
Unfortunately, he or he die
First before the food queued for.
Zimbabwe sits perilously
All Southern Africa faces one more time
A double barrage of hammering
Hunger sits judging
In our chambers,
While disease sits prosecuting.
Both not offering bail-outs
We all are
Guilty before conviction
For hunger wants awarding us
As the paid penalty.
Disease on the other hand
Wants us to die anyway,
As if our lives are overdue.
Malnutrition, from famishes
Frail frames from Covid uncertainty
Health has pressed the exit button
What with natural disasters
Coming thick and fast
One after another.
The employer is in a quandary
A socially distant workplace
Comes at an off budget penny.
The employee equally is in a quandary
-To rather not be employed
When next is glossary quarantine.
-To rather be employed
Where next is household hunger.
Something is amiss!
The question on food provisioning,
Has gotten too late to address
The question on health.
Has gotten less and less cure.
A vendor's resistance is
About the stomach.
If he stay indoors
There is militant lack
If she goes outdoors
There is the face of death
But Husband and wife
Just won't watch children die.
Someone has to risk a face off
With the pandemic's jagged edge
All odds against him or her
Just to survive
From hunger first,
Then disease second
Death the midway snare
It pours down than rain
When someone erases
A family he or she is
A family he or she is
From a militating hunger
Alongside a cheeky pandemic.
Less than 90 minutes with hunger
Heart and mind races up
Each says to the leg and arm
Be without tiring.
Jog like it is a final match
As if 'you' carry a nation's flag
Against a crude tackling
A thuggish. An arrogant,
And uncaring hunger!
With not only pride at stake
Rather, knowing, with strife and sorrow
Comes piggy backed - a breakthrough
Causes us to kick kwashiorkor out
There being opportunity and solution
In temporary demise,
Never a stroll in the park...
Hunger, hunger, hunger";
Yells of a commentary box
And what follows:
Yells a vociferous active crowd
Visibly upset...shaken too!
Hands forsakingly thrown into the air.
And as for we pitching up,
The hearts get heavier,
Our minds wade off lost a bit.
We are with a porous defense
In a tense face off.
You should see us hold our heads
In disbelief; disgusted utterly.
Our mouths ajar, we stand akimbo
We are several scores down,
To unrelenting hunger
If we truly are the underdogs here.
We should be having
Somehow, an upper hand.
Than be gullible,
Needed are uppercuts,
At making selves food secure.
But then momentarily we stop,
From quitting in our tracks.
We are suddenly reminded
We came for nothing else but to win
Albeit we take stock of the situ
Midway; even now when it is
Quarter to full time
Of giving it all away
To undeserving hunger
Which is out of question;
Answer is no before you ask!
No to hunger outclassing us
We cannot nomore be seen
Marauding our own goal posts
With own goals. Instead
Our have to be fill up
Global warming or not
Takes slick passes
And a spot on strike force
This won't go to extra time.
Click on the file below to listen to Brian read his poem:
Brian Tawanda Manyati is a Chartered Secretary & Administrator and Accountant cum Poet on a part time basis. He belongs to the VaChikepe_the Poet & Publisher stable also known as HundredSailors.Poetry. Brian is a team player who works with the theme “together we achieve more”
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