Afraid – Poem



Self Portrait

Self portrait

“Black” is what you call me; in those moments I too fail to find the right brown to

describe me. Somehow this skin matches perfectly

with my eyes.

“Great pair of tits”.

Without ‘the wonder bra’;

the imperfections of one

hanging lower than the other, declares my womanhood.

Somehow this gives power for some to discriminate,

dictate my rights;

often I find myself swimming in the pool of inequality.

“Friendly smile” that’s where they always leave it.

Never digging below the surface;

into a mind bursting with;

creativity, innovation;

always hope, joy, peace, love, wisdom,

and sometimes dismay, anger and fear.

© Cleopatra Chipo Kuuya 2010


1. Awakened

I awakened at four am

To the voice of my soul

With clarity

It was laid out

What I needed to see, to know, to be

The mist shifted

At last I knew

My deepest truths

Had all been waiting to flow

I just needed to awaken

From the nightmare of thought

That got me to this point

I shall not slumber again

For this now

Is where I ought to be

© Chipo Cleopatra Kuuya 2013


On conformity

I would like to share a poem that’s strongly resonates with me especially when I feel misunderstood. The writer is unknown but enjoy anyway …..

On conformity

He always wanted to explain things
But no-one cared
So he drew
Sometimes he would draw and it wasn’t anything
He wanted to carve it in stone
Or write it in the sky
He would lie out on the grass
And look up at the sky
And it would be only the sky and him that needed saying
And it was after that
He drew the picture
It was a beautiful picture
He kept it under his pillow
And would let no one see it
And he would look at it every night
And think about it
And when it was dark
And his eyes were closed
He could still see it
And it was all of him
And he loved it
When he started school he brought it with him
Not to show anyone but just to have it with him
Like a friend
It was funny about school
He sat in a square brown desk
Like all the other square brown desks
And he thought it should be red
And his room was a square brown room
Like all the other rooms
And it was tight and close
And stiff
He hated to hold the pencil and chalk
With his arms stiff and his feet flat on the floor
With the teacher watching
And watching
The teacher came and smiled at him
She told him to wear a tie
Like all the other boys
He said he didn’t like them
And she said it didn’t matter
After that they drew
And he drew all yellow
And it was the way he felt about morning
And it was beautiful
The teacher came and smiled at him
“What’s this?” she said
“Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s drawing?”
“Isn’t that beautiful?”
After that his mother bought him a tie
And he always drew airplanes and rocket ships
Like everyone else
And he threw the old picture away
And when he lay out alone and looked out at the sky
It was big and blue and all of everything
But he wasn’t anymore
He was square inside and brown
And his hands were stiff
And he was like everyone else
And the things inside him that needed saying
Didn’t need it anymore
It had stopped pushing
It was crushed

space to breathe

Somehow the hardest thing to do

Is give yourself a break

Take time off

Take a rest

You rush from here to there

Toil, toil, toil

Until you are so depleted

Eyes sag of tiredness

Back aching for a rest

Mind thirsting for solace

But still you go on
Cutting through the forest of to do

You tell you self ‘I will rest when am done’

Instead you continue

Until the definition of life is stress

© Cleopatra Chipo Kuuya 2013