Introducing two new books by Time of the Poet Republic founder, Mbizo Chirasha, together with James Coburn, Nobel Peace Prize Nominee David Swanson and WORLDBEYONDWAR.ORG
The poets in this book are from many corners of the globe, a lot of
them from places with wars. What does it feel like to be “collateral
damage”? Does the violence the world gives you surge past the poverty
the world gives you in your list of immediate obsessions, does the
violence of war differ from the violence that follows wherever war has
been, does the hatred needed for war dissipate faster than the
chemicals and radiation, or is it redirected less gruesomely than the
In this book are people who know what war does to the world. They also
know and draw references to the popular culture of the places dealing
the weaponry and targeting the missiles. They have something to
contribute to that culture — an understanding that war is not an
institution to tolerate or respect or refine or glorify, but a
sickness to despise and abolish.
Not just abolish. Replace. Replace with compassion, with fellow
feeling, with courageous sharing, with a community of peacemakers that
is global and intimate, not just honest, not just straight-forward and
informed, but inspired and insightful beyond the power of prose or
camera. For the pen to have a chance at being mightier than the sword,
the poem must be more powerful than the advertisement.
As do the souls of Men reflected on their actions and words in this
arena of the incessant flow of the River of life that answers to
humanity. From the land of the Brave (USA) and other accolades from
history, comes James Coburn, a world acclaimed master story teller in
verse. From the heart of Africa, the cradle of man, is the great griot
black poet Mbizo Chirasha who has remained a fugitive from his home
country of Zimbabwe for his courage and bravery in daring to question
the leaderships in office about corruption and human rights abuse.
What a twosome!!
To read through their incredible book, METAPHORS OF THE RAINBOW, is to
be invited to a surgical room where injustice is being addressed by
un-apologetic poetic surgeons with no visible anesthesia, with
microscopic detail. Sharp metaphors, drilling imageries and the
prowess of a river smooth, sure and guaranteed knowledge of its power,
delve deep into the social tumors of injustice as it’s stared at and
condemned in classical hyperbolic phrases that ring into the readers
ears long after putting the book down.
Experience in the field of fighting injustices in human rights related
situations, has birthed incredible verses that resonate with each
man’s wordsmith excellent recital. That this book is dedicated to
world poets of resilience, resistance, human rights crusaders and
social justice advocates goes to showcase art rising to the fore of
leadership in writing to right the wrongs that plague societies and
individuals in our world. Come sample the awesomeness of the rainbow
rich in its bitter sweet array of verses.
A must read for all
Author of A Bridge to a Bridge Through a Bridge
Excerpts from Metaphors of the Rainbow( Co-Authored by Mbizo CHIRASHA and James Coburn) Dimples of Haiti by Mbizo CHIRASHA Haiti, stink of sweat smelling millet slavery and the scent of blood revolutions. Slapped in the face with sanctions mud by hands under the influence of imperialistic alcohol. A super-concoction of propaganda maize porridge and Media yeast. Waterfalls of anger washing away your freedom dimples Handmaidens and mental epileptic waiters serving political syphilis in ideological cafes Children smelling stale ideological urine and dirt diplomatic cocaine Identities condomised with donor culture and sexual myopia Baboons eating colors of your flag, munching apples of your freedom Tongues kissing bottom streams of the state under the veil of democracy gospel Haiti, my pen is a weapon of mass instruction, I see the spreading yellow York of the sun gently falling over the darkness of your skin, yawning off the old skin of dust, Regaining the lost richness of your dimples. Among Us: Conversation Hard to Digest by James Coburn In Americas heartland theres a small cafe in the center of town. Folks sat to my right as I looked around. “Heavenly Father, bless this meal we are about to eat,” came free with my meal. I never ordered the conversation from that corner booth. “All Democrats are communists — you know that,” said the man wearing a straw cowboy hat. His wife continued eating her dinner bread, then scraped her spaghetti bare. “Let the Blacks vote and well be singing the Black national anthem. Nothing but trouble.” I wondered if his God heard this part of the prayer; urgent to carry around — his voice to the rest of town. He chewed his words, swallowing “everything was fine until Black lives got out of hand.” I want to think his language is disposable as the food he prayed for. But he continued his walk out the door spraying his blessing in the air. Silenced Cries by James Coburn I don’t remember the terror in Greenwood. I wasn’t there. Never was it taught to me in history books. 1921 burning of the Black Wall Street in Tulsa by white mobs; I know of racism. I saw the white nationalist march in Charlottesville. White and Black freedom fighters joined to counter them. I once read a poem about slavery on the grounds where a white mob fired down a hill outnumbering black men and women, whose lives and stories were silenced. A rumor of a black man raping a white woman inflamed a weekend. Festering fear. A city searches for graves. Do you not hear their silenced cries? Planes dropping burning balls of turpentine on rooftops. Three hundred dead and more wounded. Ten thousand Blacks left homeless. No one told me in school whose lives and stories were silenced. Black innocents looked up; shooters aimed down. Their story pursued higher ground. So what do I know but clouds of smoke. Skeletons of charred buildings of Greenwood once filled with restaurants, theaters, businesses thriving, turning to ash, blackening the sky. Rising words and song dampen fear. Grass hold the memory of Greenwood. Survivors held stories in their heart Where no mob may pass. Even through years of lynching and segregation; even when white nationalism marches in Charlottesville, torches of dead flame incite flies to hover on flesh. Clans of darkness haunt despair until we stand united, and glory hallelujah is the call of the land. What do I know but clouds of smoke once rose where memory presses promised land. James COBURN — is an Oklahoma poet in the United States of America. Coburn has always valued the subtext of life and seeks to reveal its undercurrents. He believes indifference is the enemy of man as it is the benefactor of ignorance, racism and xenophobia. Coburn’s first book of poetry “Words of Rain” was published in 2014. The book was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. In 2016, ten of his poems against terrorism and to save the Sunderbans (wetlands) were published in “Onnyodhara” (The Alternative Way) Eid-special issue festival edition in association with “Anushilon” (The Culture & Literature Society) the National Literary Organization of Bangladesh. Coburn is a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. He has been published in several anthologies. Three of his poems were published in Canada’s Tuck magazine. His poems have appeared in Brave Voices Poetry journal, and Dragon Poet Review. He is a journalist and a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, located at the University of Central Oklahoma. Coburn wrote for The Edmond Sun for 35 years until Oklahomas oldest newspaper was shuttered by its parent corporation in 2020. Mbizo CHIRASHA (Time of the Poet Republic Curator) author of a Letter to the President. Co-authored Whispering Woes of Ganges and Zambezi. Co-edited Street Voices Poetry Collection (Germany Africa Poetry Anthology). Co-editor of the Corpses of Unity Anthology. Associate Editor at Diaspora (n) online. Chief Editor at Time of the Poet Republic. Founding editor at WomaWords Literary Press. Publisher at Brave Voices Poetry journal. Curator at Africa Writers Caravan. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist at University of Glasgow. 2020 Poet in Residence Fictional Café. 2019 African Fellow, IHRAF.ORG. Project curator and Co-editor of the Second Name of Earth is Peace (Poetry Voices Against WAR Anthology). Contributing essayist to Monk Arts and Soul Magazine. Poetry and writings appear in FemAsia Magazine, Wrath-Bearing Tree, Inksweat and Tears journal, One Ghana One Magazine, Ofi Press, World Poetry Almanac, Demer Press, Atunis Galaxy poetry online, IHRAF Publishes, The Poet a Day, Bezine.Com, Sentinel UK, Oxford School of Poetry Pamphlet, Africa Crayons, Pulpit Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Zimbolicious, Best New Poets, Poetry Bulawayo, Gramnet web journal, Diogen Plus, Poeisis.si, Festival de Poesia Medellin and elsewhere. SECOND NAME OF EARTH IS PEACE (Global Anthology on anti-war poetry Edited by Mbizo CHIRASHA – Curator/Originator and David Swanson–Co-Editor, published by WorldBeyondWar). The Wars of Assimilation (by Ngam Emmanuel Cameroonian Poet) Strong swift historical tidal waves Drifted captors ashore. Shipwrecked Cruel fate, imprisoned freedom Stupefied by sunny sandy beaches Flourish of virgin forest, Unearthed gems, rich oil wells Invaders waged a war of conquest. Thronged into the land with baboonish might, Consumed by self- importance of full-sized men carved out a satellite province of Lilliput. Forced her into a concubinage. Monarchical kakistocracy implanted. Strived under grip and whip, Institutionalising the reign of terror Coughing out stinking corruption Lilliputians, transformed into hands, Tagged contemptuously as brainless Despised because of origin, language and Diminutive sizes, accorded second class status. The monarch to fully dominate, launch, Wars of assimilation at multiple fronts. Mental intoxication, falsified curriculum Smearing youth with sooth of ignorance, Obstructing the light of true history. Calculated demolition of structures and institutions, That made Lilliput famous and proud. Siphon of rich oil wells, leaving people thirsty And hungry. Desert encroaching due to Wanton butchery of virgin forest. Pent-up frustrations, ignited flames of liberty, hatching persistent uproars, shaking fragile foundation of a loose Incompetent corrupt monarchy. Trepidation in the silver palace King in precipitation unleashes egregious lethal crackdown on divorcees. Satellite transformed into battlefield. War machines intone dirges as they swallow of up fleeing souls. Whimpers Of pain submerged by its pounding. Manned birds fart bombs and bullets. Infantry loots, rapes, kills and roasts villages Armed groups crop up daily Conflict grows bigger Death toll on the rise Journey to freedom bloodier, The world watching in sadistic approval. The wheels of progress on a stand still. The Secret Society (by Jambiya Kai, South Africa) It was an ear-splitting slap. Her head bounced off the wall and hit the floor with a thud His dentures slipped to the corners of puffy lips; The stench of fermented mash all too familiar. Whack Swish Boom! Ribs Lips Broken Cracked Size 12’s with split soles working boots of a disgruntled man Frills and polka dots were stained with bourbon and blood; Her bruised blue eyes traced the coffee stains along the wall, her ponytail he yanked till her scalp bled The mother of 2 was dragged from kitchen to bedroom, to be a wife. The phone screamed into the bloody fight. The male voice bleeped confidently – “You have reached the home of Reverend Simons and his family. We are not available but please leave your number………..” Snores reverberate through whisky breath. Everything goes bump in the night Broken, Broken Reverend Simons and his family were broken. Katy slipped her battered body out of bed and limped to the study where she would prayerfully guard her sacred secret – Pain split her head like a lightning bolt Tomorrow they would bind her wounds as they had always done for the past years…. conspirators they were – The dentist, The Doctor And the Reverend. They were all, broken. But some stories are best kept hidden – for a broken home, like Katy’s home was better than no home at all. Upstairs 7 year old Melissa snuggled close to her big sister – “Don’t cry Mandy, I will pray for you, maybe God will send us help”, she whimpered. The sun yawned into a new day; Little Melissa placed a single rose over her mother’s buried secret The night claimed Katy’s life. Beside her shattered dreams The dentist and the doctor, the Reverend and his congregation lift their voices in solemn praise – “Nearer my God to Thee”, they sing.* Nearer to thee – “ Though like a wanderer the sun gone down darkness comes over me – my rest a stone; yet in my dreams I’d be nearer to Thee. What a Holy night when reverend Simon took Katy’s life – A heart attack they said. On Sunday he will preach, “We miss our Katie”. And the congregation will mourn And weep with guilt. “Katy’s Secret” is a work of fiction based upon real documented incidences. * “Nearer my God to Thee” is taken from a hymn written by Sarah Flower Adams. Ghetto Bulletins (by Sydney Saize , Zimbabwe) The news leaflets I digested on child molestation And human trafficking Have vomited this fuss a fiery ghetto bulletin of tender fruits yield before time Stillbirth of bitter before ripe, ready and sweet Tampered plants before they pollinate and bloom The future becomes bleak Heartless bastards are ill-spending insinuating the dollar value on smuggling human bodies as commodities for sale kidnapping them without a family’s farewell Streets are turned into danger zones Gangsters perambulating to lodge our bosoms in fear Oh dear The streets are bloody Tearful victims unpaid and underpaid underage vicinage This spiracle should be consummated To suffocate these criminals into incarceration