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Lost in pages Akhona Mlenga

Akhona Mlenga | November 4th, 2017 | poetry | 2 Comments

Poem

I am lost in pages like an unknown martyr
parading the streets of countries I have never been to.
But have visited through my mind,
I have Sipped coffee in London, drank beer in Germany,
Went on a vacation with the love of my life in Paris,
Ate Egusi soup in Nigeria
Under the scorching heat,
Even climbed mount Kilimanjaro
with an oxygen cylinder to my foramen magnum-to aid my brain to breathe
and to build up the muscles of my mind
as I gasped for air inside these brown pages
with a smell of stale bread or dust.

I am lost in pages
walking past words that fall like leaves in autumn’s fall
Lazily doing the lonely dance,
Like hungry ballerinas suspended on pendulums
Words so versatile
Some a fiddle and weak
Some powerful and deep
Lonely, dangerous and dark, like the night –
Consuming my shadow
While I fleetingly disappear, without a trace
Only to go listen to the sound of pages turning in my head,
A sound so loud
Almost with an echo like that of the djembe drum beating to my ear at a festival in Mali
The hearts of the dead, the living and the undead
Beating vibrations to my anvil
Stimulating my stirrup
Asking me to tell their stories
Stories of those without a voice, Not those who cannot speak
But those who quiver as light for you to notice them once more-
I am lost in pages
With my hand carved around my stationery ballpoint
I have lived as a prostitute,
Palpated on filthy blokes, walked down the streets in nothing
but a miniskirt, red rouge, blond ponytail and a small purse I slightly cuddled under my arm
As I went past condom packets, used condoms-still with a man’s natural secretions Inside
Left lying there, amongst broken glasses
I dapped the ashes of the body I had just cremated,
A guy in beige brown pants, a white vest with nothing but nicotine and tar inside his system.

I am lost in pages
like an unknown martyr
parading the streets of countries I have never been to.
I have lived in Nairobi
Occupied front row seat at the trial of Dedan Kimathi
Peeped inside his jail cell
Interrogated his conscience, motive and drive
They said he wouldn’t speak to anyone
But I came out with answers
In riddles, parables and prophecies,
how could he have spoken to a common wanderer?
A somnambulist, who is lost in pages with words falling like rain to fill up the empty well-
That is singing a lament song – “fill me up, till I overflow- I wanna run over”- to the mother who used to pour water from her twenty-litre bucket
She used to carry on her head from the orange river
With a rapper round her waist
To hold together her slowly dismantling pelvis
I walked past her
She told me
Pass left, keep right
Read a book then write
You will never hear the end of this story from me
For I am lost in pages Like unknown martyr
Lazily doing the lonely dance
parading the streets of countries I have never been to
I still need to find home!

Poet Bio

Akhona Mlenga is a 20-year-old female writer, poet and performing artist from Mthatha, South Africa.She has published one of her pieces in Fundza Magazine and has recently delivered a wonderful performance at GALARIE NOKO in Port Elizabeth.

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