Two Poems by Zama Madinana

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hymn for the world

senzeni na
when the peaceful sun is cloaked 
& assaulted by the grey clouds 
of war
women & children’s intestines 
are blasted 
in gaza
only a night gives 
an ear to the quiet screams
of sodomized child-soldiers 
in darfur
and poor girls
who own nothing 
even their own bodies
senzeni na   
emlazi
when black youth’s dreams
are burnt in flames 
of whoonga 
when teenage mothers 
are dying of tick 
in cape flats
even police 
know no peace
& justice 
is always strangled 
our endurance 
is wilting


maboneng

soak me in the searing
sounds of bob marley 
& baaba maal

paint me a mural
about the demolished memories 
of xavier 

lead my tired eye 
to the pretty walls 
that recite vibrant graffiti 

maboneng 
city of a million lights

shield me 
from a thousand shots
of your photographers 
in kruger street

teach me portuguese 
from the wet lips 
of a brazilian tourist

allow me 
to swim 
in the blue lagoons 
of her eyes

before we sink our teeth 
into njera
or ujeqe
down fox street 

at night 
drown 
my sorrows
in your hideout bars

but in the morning 

burry my throbbing bhabhalazi 
in a strong smell 
of your rusty coffee shops
Portrait of a Black Man with dark goatee wearing a hat and jacket

Zama Madinana is a South African poet, based in Johannesburg. His work has appeared in The Shallow Tales Review, Kalahari Review, Hotazel Review, Olney, and others. Zama’s work focuses mainly on love, politics, and social issues. In 2021, he won the third prize of the Sol Plaatje EU Poetry Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022.His full-length poetry collection, ‘94, was published in June 2023. He has performed in Johannesburg, Botswana, Mozambique, and Lesotho, among other locations.

Featured Image: “tel aviv – graffiti: War of Iron Swords” from Israel Preker Pikiwiki Israel licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.

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