To my Zimbabwean friend - Jacob Kobina Ayiah Mensah

Nobody dies at Zimbabwe bay
so if we have come here in Bulawayo
through a travel book
I have nothing to complain
when Marechera's black insider house
is nearer to us than before,
let these children sing baobob books
and no night is sweeter than on harmonica,
your Rhodesia is your end, for another house
of hunger
you laugh.

Too late for the setting of the sun and the rolling
of the world
black daphnes are exhibited in hanging
pictures across many galleries
for low voices bubbling below the back stage
and lengthening the shore of Africa,
your seaward silence becomes my Greek stand
in Mandelbrot's fractal dimension.

"To my Zimbawean friend" is part four of our five-part series of poems by Ghanaians on Zimbabwe. To read all contributions to the series so far, click here.


LS said...

Thanks Jacob, for your poem.

I believe the poem makes a point of wrapping itself around the works of some of the ZimPoets and writers mentioned e.g. Marechera's own The Black Insider and The House of Hunger.

However, in addressing itself to a (metaphorical) friend, it sets itself up to deny meaning to anyone outside that circle (and this is not necessarily a bad thing).

This strategy allows the poem to at least mirror some of Marechera's own dystopic vision of Zimbabwe.

As for Mandelbrot's fractals, perhaps the poet is attempting to draw our attention to the fact that Zimbabwe's problems repeat themselves across the continent.

I may be wrong.


Edward Motaung said...

Nice poem