Fredy Chicangana Poems

GIVING AWAY THE BRIDE

Half-kneeling and half-seated
The head of the family makes his address
communicating with the ancestors
Imploring them to bless the bride.

"The daughter you gave us is going.
We are taking her to her husband's.
We accepted their herd of cattle
And according to the teaching you gave us,
We have no right to keep both
Our daughter and their herd.

"You, my father, who has gone before us
And are watching over us from the clouds,
We ask you to tell the girl's grandmother -
Your wife and our mother.
Also tell our people who are with you
That we are taking their child to her new home.

"We thought it right and proper
That we should notify you before she goes.
You know as much as we do
That when she leaves behind
Guidance away from home
Can now only come from you,
You who only can be with us
And with her in her new home.

"Let there be happiness and good life,
Let there be tender pumpkins in their marriage.
You do know if there should be no little ones,
Her husband and his people may think
That their cattle brought no children home.
If there should be no little ones of her own,
Give her the wisdom
Not to try her luck with other men!"... more »

DETRIBALISED

His friends called him Mr Kwekwe
That dry hot town in the Midlands.
He was a very generous man.
No one went thirsty when he was present
Even though the bar did not belong to him.
He would be offended indeed.
If you refused the drink he offered you.
He always had money in his pocket
But none in his bank account.

When friends went to visit their folks,
He would be visiting the pubs,
Drinking, laughing and living his life
Though his widowed mother
Never gave up hope
That one day he would come home.

He eventually did:
In a coffin
Bought by his drinking friends
Who used to drink from his pockets.
They had to place it under a solitary tree.
His mother's doorway was not big enough
To accommodate the rich coffin.
His friends buried him in a hurry
And drove back to town shaking their heads.
There was no drink at the funeral!... more »

THE HEART AND THE MIND

I love him with all my heart
But that is where the whole problem lies,
My mind warns me.
that the man I love
Is a man with four young children.
My heart says I will love him
As well as his four or one hundred children!
But my mind sighs and says:
What will happen if his children do not accept you?

I love him with all my heart,
And I will love him to the end of the world.
He has more wealth than we both need.
Again my mind interferes with my love:
Wealth is morning dew,
Let the sun reach the noon of its life,
The dew - the wealth of the morning
Will be nowhere to be seen.
Do I need to embarrass you with the question?

But I cannot help falling in love with such a handsome man.
So young, he will stride into the future with me.
And my mind looks desperate:
Why are you so fascinated with perishables?
Do you know of any one with perpetual youth?
Ever heard of someone who died of good health?
All men grow old and weak with time.
No one has ever leaped into the future.
Is it going to start with your handsome man?... more »

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