Mushrooms in Mint or, On love (xlv) by Salimah Valiani

Salimah Valiani | August 9th, 2023 | poetry | No Comments

            — in celebration of Myesha Jenkins (1948-2020)

                 at the occasion of National Women’s Month 2023

two and a half years on
you still bring us together
Tuesday poets Whatsapp group
you created for Myesha’s Memoirs
podcasting our poetry and jazz
to celebrate your life
soon to end

Jozi House of Poetry
where we first met at the Bioscope
where you started it
and chose to move to
the Afrikan Freedom Station
when Maboneng became too lit

Out There Sessions you spawned at The Orbit
adding a new instrument stanzas
to valves reeds and keys
featuring so many poets musicians
rarely yourself

Feelah Sistah! Collective you spearheaded with
poets still backstage
early 21st-century Africa
dense rippling clouds dripping sun
on the down-low

how you rendered the poetry of a young girl’s
fierce hug
raw truth
in Laughter Remembered
unfurling an era of art for humanity in schools
branching beyond the choice few
into all the nations’ languages 
spoken  written  drawn 

wild mushrooms that first appeared in
my mint patch
day after you passed
orange on green yesterday
white on green today
What are you doing out so late, ma?
you once wrote
playing mushrooms in mint
you answer
like stanzas and jazz

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