I\’m jus\’ sayin\’

September 2, 2008

Through my eyes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bwandungi @ 3:21 pm

WritingI am a spoken word artist, a blogger, I write short stories and metaphorical narratives and love to do it.

Recently I was asked to recite one of my poems at a function, BUT because the crowd was a mixed crowd, I was asked not to bring any of my feminist, oppressed African woman poetry and find something that was a little more general and translatable by all attendees.

I stayed home to write while my friend went to visit family and after 24 hours  I only had vague sentiments on paper that I had stared at all day. A mediocre piece of shit. Friend was ill the rest of the day and so I had to excuse myself from the event.

A quiet desperation had begun to settle on me because the same passion that causes my fingers to fly across my page was suddenly absent. Should I write about my faith? No, it’ll turn into a rant, describing in detail the botched up way in which  religion dictates that the expression of my faith be an exact replica of someone else.

Surely if I wrote about love that would resonate in the hearts of all people present. I bent down to scribble some thoughts and still, a rant came out. Human beings, prejudicial, judgmental, argumentative and filled with hatred and disgust for one another find complex ways to fuck up love too! So much so, it’s lost all meaning, with fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, elders in the community find ways to molest children saying it’s an expression of this love.

Love was out
Faith was gone
Being African, too controversial
Being a woman, too uncomfortable
Sex? Ha! Try talking sex to a group of people not getting any and watch them lose their minds!

So is there something wrong with me? Is it impossible for me to look at a topic and just write for the pleasure of writing without getting into a rant? Why yes of course, but it’s not going to find itself in my Spoken Word statements. Because when I present, it is for social change, to speak on behalf of those whose voices have been stilled. When I present, it is to uncover injustices ignored by people who live comfortably and quietly but surely turn away when they see these acts committed. When I present my spoken word, it is to deliver the untainted word according to Gloria.

The whole experience for me has been quite enlightening. My passion for writing spoken word, for drawing squiggles on a piece of card-stock, for putting my paintbrush on a canvas, stems from a deep well inside me. This well is fed by my experiences and perception and comes spilling out onto my keyboard or whatever other media I have available to me. I will not be ashamed of it and I will not hide it.

For your pleasure (say it out loud and with feeling!)

Mirror Image

The mirror positioned in front of me
Shows me something no one else can see

I spend some time examining the evidence provided
The gruesome verdict concocted in my mind has decided
While angels try to convince me my opinion’s lopsided
Undivided they try to steer me provided
I follow

But the image staring at me haunts my soul
because I know what’s in there
waiting
waiting
waiting to come out…

My non-existent neck robbing my babies of a place to snuggle
Plain shoulders unflattering against spaghetti straps I tug on
My hairy double chin always tucked in will not give a hard-on
Nondescript lips desperately longing for that kiss on
My large flat nose destroying a probable Don Juan
Profile

My eyes which swim upon my face
Are sometimes too far apart
sometimes too close
My hairless brows require a donation
from my hairy chin

And deep within
the flogging continues

The mirror positioned in front of me
Shows me something no one else can see

Look into my eyes
Lemme show you what hides there

A deep seated fear of the needles nurses hold
The gross looking nature of cellular slime mold
Uncertainty looming before my dreams unfold
My deepest secrets to the entire world being told
A life ruled by tyranny and dictatorship controlled
Unable to see my way because of a forced blindfold
Spirit crushed by torturous evils and sins untold
A cage locking me into an image like a head hold
Death unnoticed by those I’ve loved, history all told…

I should be gripped
Gripped by the kind kind of fear that paralyzes
and sterilizes all my actions

Tell me am I worthy of the love I crave?
A diamond ring embracing my finger engraved
With knee melting sensitive words that I’d save
in my mind reciting them till I went to my grave

The words of my mother come floating to me
Baby girl you’re a beautiful gem, can’t you see?

Let’s stand together in front of the mirror

She kissed my hand and told me
Bwandungi,
Your name was given by your father’s grandmother
A beautiful name for a woman like no other
But pride she didn’t show but rather
let kindness her enemies smother.

Those legs are your father’s I’m sure you know that
Turn around baby girl and see  muscles not fat
Your skin complexion was mixed in a chocolate vat
And that my darling is nothing to laugh at.

Take a look at your face interesting features lie bare
A bit of myself in here, a little of your father in there
An even mix of our favorite features, quite an affair
There’s nothing on your body to declare

The mirror positioned in front of me
Shows me something no one else can see

The strength of a thousand black women that came before
The ability to rise above iniquity and soar
Long arms to spread wide and send my love forth
Soft lips whispering a language bursting with metaphors
The gentle touch of hands accustomed to providing for
families teaming with with children galore
Understanding that everything in life doesn’t mean war
And that when it counts, when it matters
I’m there for you.

A queen.
Bred to be a wife, mother, lover, friend
A warm place for you to be free to be you.

The mirror positioned infront of me
Shows me something no one else can see

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6 Comments »

  1. i’m keeping this poem and saying it loud! it is beautiful.

    Comment by jasmine — September 3, 2008 @ 5:29 am | Reply

  2. Excellent stuff!

    Comment by petesmama — September 3, 2008 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  3. I always get the opposite request, I always get invited to events where they say, you can’t do your erotic piece or your love piece, it needs to revolution/save-the-world/serious… I even wrote a poem dedicated to that I’ll have to share with ya one day… anyway I’m rambling…. your poem is amazing, glad I came to check out your neck of the woods….

    Comment by Alise — September 3, 2008 @ 8:21 pm | Reply

  4. first time i have read your blog i have RSS bkd you, please post more.

    *thumbs up*

    Comment by drydayelell — September 24, 2008 @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  5. Loved this. Beautiful!

    Comment by Minty — September 30, 2008 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  6. your poetry is beautiful, Gloria

    Comment by Anne M — January 9, 2010 @ 10:46 pm | Reply


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