Lilongwe at midnight

– an e-mail to Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa[1] at Wits University , Johannesburg , South Africa
 by Stanley Onjezani Kenani

 

your theory-laden brain might think we
all dream sweet potatoes and ripe tomatoes
and a free Zimbabwe where billions
have become useless; where trillions
no longer matter; where counting
starts in zillions as valueless as
toilet sheet; where tyranny
has lost its democratic mask

but at The Diplomats[2] downtown Lilongwe
morality is competing in value with the Zim Dollars
down there in the gutter. Noise pollutes the city
deafening our ears with praise-songs of new democrats
night blends with the darkness in the minds of men –
a recipe for doom. This drinking and smoking
this erotic dancing by half-dressed queens
frustrates the efforts of an ambitious nation

under the cover of darkness there is a hit-and-run
a life poisoned by some stubborn virus
at home the spouse dreams a prosperous Darfur
forgotten voices paid attention for once
and a China that doesnʼt arrest poets[3]
her dreams are not suspicious of the darkness
the blanket that covers Lilongwe ʼs evils
at midnight.

________________________________________
[1] Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa is a Malawian poet
[2] The Diplomats is a famous nightclub in Lilongwe
[3] Chinese poet, Shi Tao, was imprisoned for 10 years in 2004 for exercising his freedom on speech

Tagged with:
Posted in Poetry
THE ALAN PATON WILL TRUST


Botsotso is pleased to announce that it is now hosting administration of this trust.


The function of the trust is to negotiate terms of Permission and Rights under which Alan Paton’s work may be published, translated and/or used in any other manner, such as adaptation.


The literary managers are Warren Jeremy Rourke and Kharys Ateh Laue who are contactable at botsotso@artslink.co.za


All Permissions and Rights accrue directly to the Trust.


For further information please check under the menu item.