three poems by Sipho Ndebele

Poetry Potion | March 24th, 2015 | current issue, poetry | No Comments

Poem One


I wonder when we lose ourselves
Pick up new faces from society’s super market shelves
Shelve our laughter and replace it with one that’s popular
Downgrade our heroic antics to be regular
When I was 9 years old I was a ranger
Both power and walker
I was a mash up of awesome with a sound track
My tongue was black
And even though I never saw my skin colour in the rainbow
I found comfort watching the rain dance through the kitchen window
I loved this land
I had yellow friends
And we all spoke vernac
Found dwelling spaces between collars around each other’s necks
We loved like it was a double dare
Ever reaching new heights like a flight of stairs
Never closed our eyes when we prayed
Kept our eyes open
Ever hoping
To catch a glimpse of God
There was never a day like the present
And we were never lost
So we don’t need to be found
We are Chocolate Coated Chips
In a world of Pringles
And our brands
Really don’t matter

Poem Two


The soil our breaths hover over has broken our backs
We cradle smiles like we caress sweat
The cost of fuel is too high and I want a slice of bread
buttered on both sides
And maybe a ride on the wind
silence my tears
Liberate my fears
Let your hide hide my insecurity
carry me
let my labour love today
I did not dream of a day my home would hold me ransom
So I will pick these locks
Trade wheels for a strong will and heels
Find a merchant
Buy bread with a hug
hum a song to the sun
Rock my smile to sleep
Take a bite
For this is my existence

Poem Three


What if I found us a cage
To symbolise our freedom
Because I am a mage
I mould words into wisdom
Although I am fairly foolish
Far from superstitious but when I see
Shooting stars I wish
Its the oddities of this land in which we live
They bought our home at our expense
But we can still find joy in our existence
For instance
No matter what has happened
Our children are born like sunsets
Like redemption songs
To the hum of Mbira and Saxophones
Complex simplicity
Like zinc clad homes
Shades of beautiful
Like bilingual poems
We are trigger happy tongues
And shy hands
We are a stranger’s hug
Silent dances from behind mic stands
We are shackled and breaking
But we are a beautiful mess

Poet Bio

Sipho Ndebele is a professional poet based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been writing and performing poetry since 2005 when he stayed in Durban and frequented the Bat Centre. He is a founding member of Exodus Klan, which is a Christian poetry collective. Under the collective he has featured on two poetry mixtapes as well as a double disc album released in 2014. He was a runner up at the InZync poetry slam and a finalist at the Open Book Poetry Slam 2014. (SA)

Dear-South-Africa-websitethis poem appears in our print quarterly number eight, Dear South Africa.

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