Shards Of Glass

My book of poems titled Shards Of Glass has dropped.

As per its blurb:

Shards of Glass is rooted in social commentary, spiritual awareness and matters of the heart; love, sex and relationships. It taps into the joys, hopes, frustrations and experiences common to all, and explores themes extracted from Mr. Mzilikazi’s island culture. Themes that along with the vision, perspective, and strength of language contained therein, add a unique colour and lustre not found in other poetic works.

 

The Great Black North: Obfuscations of Academia

A Year ago Frontenac House published THE GREAT BLACK NORTH: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry.

The compilation was so well received that Frontenac House has published a School Edition. The book is already being used extensively throughout Nova Scotia. This is my contribution.

Obfuscations of Academia
By N Oji Mzilikazi

When it comes to democracy,
pursuit of the good life, making money,
subjects and verbs aren’t expected to agree,
free enterprise is trumpeted,
free speech is holy,
like eloquence,
education is celebrated, applauded,
given leadership, economic development roles.

Prosperity: power of affordability, indulgence,
culture of youthfulness, sexuality,
engendering casualness to the seriousness,
complexities, demands of responsible parenting,
educational amnesia-
forgetfulness as to its transformative power,
investing in their child’s future.

Abrogation of responsibility-
ignoring oppositional attitudes, bad behaviour,
laxity ensuring assignments, study gets done
have children not interested in learning,
underperforming, failing, dropping out,
disconnected, dismissive to society’s mores,
schools charged for parental failures.

Educational institutions
confused about their raison d’être, failing
to demand higher standards from faculty,
uphold academic excellence, teaching accountability,
release those who have lost their passion,
invest in teacher re-education programs,
inspire, raise students’ educational aspirations,
unleashing mobs, gangs, populations,
unable to advance themselves, society.

 

Copyright © 2013 by N Oji Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved

Originally published in:

THE GREAT BLACK NORTH: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry Frontenac House 2013
ISBN 978-1-897181-83-6

 

Drunk, I wasn’t Drinking (Poetry for the Strong Hearted)

Is an unpublished compilation of poems with a proactive stance and no holds barred attitude to the ongoing hydra-headed and elephantine social crisis: economic uncertainty, heightened anxiety, frayed nerves, disenchantment, resentment, anger, hate mongering and political timidity. It’s a call to fearlessness, sparking a fire under comfortable and complacent butts.

Foreword

We live in a time and culture of anti-intellectualism, moral laxity, declining civility, social indiscipline, where aggressiveness, vulgarity, crudity and hyper-sexuality have been normalised, and one has to be either crazy or drunk to openly speak truthfully on things.

Everyone knows crazy. The mouthing of crazy is ignored or dismissed as illogical. Intoxicated persons are known to say and do all manner of foolish things. More often than not, their verbal outbursts, verbal assaults and embarrassing acts are excused as they being out of it – as being temporarily crazy, and so exempt from recriminations. At the same time, there are “smart folks” who have no qualms assuming intoxication to capitalise on the free pass wrought by drunkenness.

Let me assure you dear reader, I am not crazy, and rarely do I imbibe intoxicating brew.  “Drunk, I Wasn’t Drinking, (Poetry for the Strong Hearted)” was conceptualized and crafted with total mental clarity and disdain for the culture of correctness and political docility, and I make no apologies for anyone offended by its bluntness.

The stakes are just too high to be pussyfooting around issues given the rise of political, community, ethnic and religious misleaders who exploit the illiterate masses, appeal to our base instincts, fears, bigotry, racial and religious intolerance, the wilful embrace, cultivation and spread of ignorance, the elevation of mediocrity, abandonment of vigilant parenting, mass migration of youths to gangs and incarceration, and the self-destructive culture of victimhood, self-oppressing and self-defeating behaviours.

Some Titles & Snippets

Letters to the Editor
Viewer Discretion Advised
The Labyrinth of Mystification
Academic Treachery
Groundation For Contemplation
Nudity, Violence, Course Language
An Apology to Woman
Woe Unto Woman
Cultural Pornification
Beauty the Beast
Toxic Mix of Palliatives
The Concrete Jungle
Posturing For Profits
Rum Shop Politics
Papa Bois, The Midnight Robber
Words of (dis) Honour
Elegy For The Family
Gang-Gamily: the New Family
Arrogance in Ignorance
Smart Sentencing
The Pierrot Granade

Plastics, Metals & Elastics

Like thousands of species,
Civilizations of numerous worlds,
Assimilated into the Hive of the Borg,
Star Trek’s fearsome invaders from the Delta Quadrant,
Dissolution of society’s long-held social template,
In the swirling vortex of technology’s slipstream,
And its reconstitution,
Artificial reality reconstruction
With the cult of celebrity the prime directive,
Is consuming, reducing, transforming humans,
From being executors of………..

Mrs. Skera

Time and illness, having carved, tattooed their
personalities unto her face and physique, have
transformed, actually reduced her into a generic
geriatric. Her quick-witted tongue that never
accepted foolishness for long had finally been
restrained, retrained to be patient and silent.
To be assertive was to incur victimization from
overworked, underpaid caregivers who see the
elderly with their loss of  autonomy and host
of health problems as…………………………

Cheap Dis & Dat Mart

Claiming economic imperatives-
Preserving domestic market share, competitiveness,
Entire industries, jobs outsourced,
Livelihood of millions to poor countries lost,
Solid, long-lasting, quality merchandise,
Healthy, well-off communities the cost,
Increase in drugs, alcohol addiction,
Hopelessness, gangs, crime, the spinoff…………..

Obfuscations of Academia

Education is now political machinery,
Schools victims of its bureaucracy,
Reputation, yearly progress, tenure of teachers,
More important than pedagogic edification,
Christian evangelists, social conservatives,
Demanding religious oversight,
Conservative, religious principles in education,
Imposing changes, rightwing views,
Historical revisionism, curriculum amendments,
Textbook revisions that impacts on science,
Enlightenment repealed………………..

Copyright © 2011 by N Oji  Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted (other than short excerpts for review purposes only) in any form: electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, online reproduction or recording without express written permission by N Oji Mzilikazi.

The Journey of a Soul (Liberation Through Poetry)

Is an unpublished compilation of poetry that though borders on the personal, is simultaneously an exploration of the human experience, delving into matters of the heart; love, sex, relationships, faith and spirituality, joy, hope, pain, frustrations and pain with the hope of fortifying, uplifting and inspiring.

Introduction

Each person confronts life’s unveiling of the human experience: growth, the pursuit of love, intimate relationship, employment, wealth, status, joy, success, and the devastation wrought by the unexpected or circumstances beyond one’s control, failures, frustrations, pains and disappointments differently. In addition, a person’s moulding and center of being – their morals, values, character, integrity, and mental constitution oft determine how they fare in the face of challenges, adversity, temptations, social pressures, and in the navigation of life’s highs and lows.

Weaned on racial pride, integrity, honour, social consciousness, environmental awareness, self-defence, revolutionary philosophy, pan-Africanism, articulating and languaging voice, race and class issues, poetry saved my life on many occasions. Putting pen to paper allowed me to diffuse mountains of frustrations and anger from the continual psychological defacement, systemic and deliberate economic, educational, cultural and social inequities, injustice and discrimination wroth by racism, and refraining from the execution of dark deeds or seeking to blunt the pain by way of drugs or alcohol.

Writing allowed me to emerge with a little more strength, sanity, clarity, balance, patience, and rejuvenated to do battle. Furthermore, initiation and exposure to spiritual and religious philosophies profoundly affected the perspectives of my politics. I came to see revolutionary struggle as more than raging against the machine, but also striving for mastery over one’s mental and emotional self, as well as unifying or integrating the disparate elements of self. The infusion of spiritual awareness allowed both my politics and writings to breathe. 

“The Journey of a Soul (Liberation Through Poetry)” is rooted in social commentary, spiritual awareness and matters of the heart; love, sex and relationships. While it borders on the personal and explores themes extracted from the land of my birth, it taps into the joys, hopes, frustrations, experiences and disillusionment common to all, with a unique colour, lustre, vision, and perspective designed to uplift, fortify and inspire everyone who is struggling or aspiring to keep their heads above the water while trying to secure their piece of heaven in the mish-mash that is life.

The poems fall into the following categories:

The Obeah Chronicles
Love & Pain
Love Should Never Lie Trilogy
Canadia
Reflections In Water
Crab & Callaloo
Dancing In The Light
Revolution
Carnival In Nine Movements

 

Some Snippets

 

Love Should Never Lie Bleeding 

Love should never lie in agony,
Cursing and screaming.
Love should never lie bleeding,
Because Love no longer wants to give.
Love should never lie bleeding,
Because Love has changed.
Love should never lie bleeding,
Because Love has been rearranged.

Love should never ever be regretted,
But accepted as an honour,
An accomplishment,
In that particular time of our space.
For, to taste an emotion,
That transcends reason,
Deserves gratitude in being chosen,
For someone else; another, any other,
Could’ve been husband, wife, or lover.
In truth, the angel call Love……………… 

For The Lions Who Roared 

Time has muted their physical voice,
But until those
Who heard them speak, teach, preach,
Whose lives they shaped, influenced,
Pass through the door of the mighty slumber,
Into namelessness and facelessness, they live.
For their disciples still reminisce,
Can hear, recall, feel the passion, quietness,
Loudness…………………..

Friday Fright

As he came nearer,
there was an unconscious expulsion of air,
rapid palpitation of hearts, fear,
hisses intended to be inaudible to his ear.
At the group he stared,
a penetrating look that scared.
Who didn’t run, tried to make themselves invisible,
acted nonchalant to appear indecipherable.
From within our midst,
a quivering voice said, “Goodnight!”
Others mumbled, followed,
the salutation emoted in appeasement…..

Drums of Resistance

Unlike the tales of Anancy,
the powers of the drum are spoken of carefully,
reverently,
by those whose spiritual essence vibrates to its cadence,
energy.
Master drummers cause bodies to do more than just sway,
their rhythm entices, hypnotizes, transforms,
call souls to sessions happening miles away,
bring forth unseen forces……

The Umbilical Cord

I am both Sky and Earth in a vessel of skin,
Anchored by my umbilical cord,
Outside and within.
My umbilical cord is tied to the earth,
Buried under a tree in the land of my birth.
Salt, water, and sand are in my bones,
When waves…………………

The Madman

Childhood dreams assail me,
Running like a river,
Melting like ice.
Obstacles unifying, disappearing,
Making me laugh at the sky,
Of which I’m a part.
The wind blows,
Movements of freedom, illumination,
Its breath of energy
Penetrating viscerally,
Conjuring all manner of imagery,
Making me hungry.
Food being fuel,
I taste, gorge on little,
Enjoy much,
Hardly smiling, crying always,
Tears that isn’t real,
Just a physical manifestation,
Medication to soothe my eyes,
From looking at the sun…………..

The Journey Of A Soul

I’ve walked many paths,
Seeking freedom, understanding, truth,
Processing, dissecting philosophies,
Rearranging ideologies,
All towards forming
My heart and soul identity.
I’ve known joy,
Been friends with sorrow,
Stumbled countless times, fallen hard,
Stripped bare……………………..

Copyright © 2011 by N Oji  Mzilikazi, All Rights Reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted (other than short excerpts for review purposes only) in any form: electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, online reproduction or recording without express written permission by N Oji Mzilikazi.