My father was the first man to be buried in our village. His death coincided with my birth and my mother’s sadness. The other villagers knew this, so they stretched my name from Kwena to Ke-wena when they spoke to me, as if saying ‘It is you who has caused our lives to be this way.’
Part I: The Pilgrim
Burdened by this ghostly cargo,
The carnal leakage too far gone.
Lucid dreams swindle my rest,
A timely vent for a smothered soul on a prodigal quest.
I self-mutilate like a vandal,
A nagging summoning to let myself go.
Delay my demise another day,
To feign control over mortality.
“I could stay like this forever, with your lips between mine I would never get tired of clenching my fingers between yours, reluctantly pushing away when you want to slide my earlobes between your teeth. I love your kind of pain, whips and chains are heaven enveloped in sadistic objects. Your scent cripples me, I love kisses and I love yours more, I love how silence holds the hands of time firmly at you-and-I-will-never-part o’clock and I really feel like caramel fudge and wine right now, but I will have you first, build up my appetite”, a note left on the bed read. He took it into his hands and crushed it. Why would her confidence put him off, the very element that drew her to him in the first place? Suddenly no woman was going to be vocal about anything in his bedroom, in his house. Her purpose was to be given and to receive. Indeed he had returned a whole different man.
It’s 2008. A biting winter and a lonely heart. Beige is the colour of the season and you wear yours with olive. Last night I told my friend about how ready I am to try again and I wake up to convince myself that I am ready to try again.
The boys in my street are singing struggle songs again.
And prison songs.
No one knows where or when they learnt these prison songs. There is an irony where these melodies meet. There is so much passion in their voices, you can tell that something dies inside them when these words reach their lips.
I started the year with a writing team of five writers, but due to unforeseen circumstances three have pulled out of the team. I’m sad to compile this collection but I’m so proud of the work that the writers produced during their stay here at Naane le Moya. I continue to wish them only the best as far as their writing and their creative careers go.
We had heard about what they had done to the other villages, these demon possessed men that killed without any conscious. Those who managed to escape came to tell us how they tore open the bellies of pregnant women, how they set their shrines alight and how they gave the village a new name every time they moved on. We lived in fear for we knew that they were coming to our village, Battlemount.
Explain death to little children, lest it kills them when they are older and they mourn without intent, never really letting the dead ones go, wishing them birthdays long after they have passed, keeping even the minutest of memories alive. Explication means when they look at deceased people’s pictures, they will not cringe, but be strong enough to reminisce about them without falling apart. We are born, and we die, and the space in between is mercy, this we should teaching little children to cherish it, and not to fear it.