Literary Yard

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‘Beautiful Funeral’ and other poems by Gavin Mndawe

By: Gavin Mndawe


1. Beautiful Funeral

Atoms roam round a tomb stone
It takes more than a fool to know
That funerals are for fools alone

It is said that he’s dead
What an illusion though
I don’t consider it the end
Maybe diffusion or moving along

It’s sad that he’s dead
At least it wasn’t by noose or sword
Besides, the silver cord must be torn
For the core to be loosed

Man, you’re manure
For intangible germination
Ritual killing of kings
Is sacrificial flogging
Facing pressure

They make impressions
Not seeing beyond the vision
Of decomposition
And the end of anything definite
And comprehended
In a hundredth of a second
Also known as ‘jiffy’

Let the dead in the spirit
Bury corpses of the flesh

Sacrificing in spite of the tension
There’s a limping longing for lightning
To reanimate him

They say there’s never life
Without the latter
Reason why it’s got wings
And a net to snatch us
That’s liberation and captive
Birth only took us backwards

Chaos has been there
Since day one
Before expiry-date-slapped Sun
Whose fuel will run out
Was spun by the spit of the one
When worlds weren’t whirled
Into the wild

It is the sentiment of Darwinism
Representative of ascension
One could argue with them
And say you’re the reason
For existence

To me it makes sense
That you’re inevitable
But look at all the effort
They put into pulling the wool
Over my eyes

You should’ve known it’s arrived
Clichés for days
With you it’s the same

They think of you
As a phantom
But I beg to differ
Something about the night
Makes one deaf to the outer
Amplifies the inner

Let us be grateful
For the end of an era

2. To Live As a Liver

It’s like facing that World War German hating
When you’re germinating
Life is but a germ
Contaminating the main thing

See, I’m picketing
Death’s what makes life interesting
Instinctively knowing that
Will soften its sting

Hear them testify about death defying
How many skeptics eyeing?
How many of you delight in the drama,
Drained from laughter
As others kept on dying?

It’s not out of spite
Yes I’ve been stepped on
But I’m trying to see it all
In bird sight

What’s right?
Giving your energy to memory?
Kilojoules are killer jewels
A flashback can turn
A treasury into treachery

The stretching trees;
Our kin is keen on the kinetic
Dialogues with the highest god
Leave them like;
‘’Will I die a log?’’

It’s said that life is marked
By reproducing and moving
Even more than just these two things
But the more we live by this anthem
The more we tend towards the antonym
Frugality and vitality are tandem
Death is like candy;
The bitter things
Can deem you glued to cosiness

3. Not in my kingdom

Throngs thrown at my throne
Everyone is respecting
The majesty of my jesting
So they digest my jest

They protest for progress
Then prostrate
From war cries
To songs of praise
Oh what a hoax!

Calling culture a cult chore
They can’t just be conscious
That these things are part of us
I wish they would like croak

The beast bestows us feasts
Yes the table is set
Steadiness is ruled out
As they relish in head spinning
Like roulette
It’s said that elephants never forget
Except when drunk
On marula the ruler prepared
It’s true
I’m a seasonal preacher
And an annual brewer
Let intoxicants seize the poor
So they don’t feel like doers

Let the ones with the influence
Ride Rolls Royces past the ruins
But they can’t make a debut
Since that’s reserved for me, you see

Decorate your home
With whatever animal
Save the kings of the jungle
I ooze with statutes
My dominion’s undiluted

Citizens are victims here
Your human rights are luminous
But not in my dominion
Democracy’s a mockery
So not in my dominion
They say ‘’it’s obvious,
In God we trust’’
Well not in my kingdom

4. Hue-man Be

Human becoming
By the grace
Of the subtle summit
It’s as gross as
What some eat

Human was
The universe,
You were one
Who would
Sum it up
In a single cellular unit

Human will be
Filled with greed
The more we produce,
The more we need

Human be
Bedazzled by the simple
Enamoured with the trivial
Your answer is trapped
Inside your tribute

5. The Geometry Of A Thought

So there’s no ledge
When it comes to knowledge?
More like the edge you’re caged in

Unknowable face
Wearing secret names
You are the only exception
There’s blindness
Etched in your stretched grin

Retina on reality
As it rips out
Its birth canal
Born for a breath
Only to die now

Warm I am kept in
My high-browed perception

Concepts are my defence
I’m comforted by a collection

We are words
Explaining the mouth
We came from

Those that use nouns for you
Are renouncing you
Accountable, an ounce too cruel
Some of the adjectives attached
To the prophets
Of the backwards’ scripts

Such attributes are
More than a stretch
The name of a thing
Is not necessarily that
The image of one
Is its essence trapped

To some you’re a
A point of light
To others you’re

The consensus is
You’re outside of
The senses
Shouldn’t something
That’s tethered to time
And takes up space
Be exclusively said to exist?

The mind is fuelled by symbols
And signs used
To define the truth

It is indeed believed
That you exceed
The reach of logic
Some say you’re often
Lodged into the
Space-time fabric

Pristine process
Precedes thought yes
Elder of nothingness
Ancestor of thereness
Beyond the limits
Of the conch
That is consciousness
Which sets limits

I call to you
You reply in
My rippling rhetoric
We are not spectators watching
The action word
That you are
We are the medium
Of your doing
Trying to overstand no-thing

6. In The Name of the Hydrogen, the Oxygen and the Oxygen

In the wee hours of creation
Where were we?
I was probably in the waters
Swear that’s what formed us
Germs get dehydrated
Nothing can be dry
And suffer from inflammation

Pillar of plasticity
Necessity to living things
Maidservant of motion
Anyone lost at sea
(Whose now obsolete)
Would say you’re master
Of velocity

Oh how it aches to see
That there’s war to start
Oh what ecstasy
To know we won’t need an ark
Floods won’t end the world
But water might run out

Your Moisture,
The notion of your mindlessness;
I find it displaced
I’m pretty sure you recognize
My eyes
As you reflect this face

As blood,
You serve the purpose
Of sacrifice
As milk,
You foster the force
Of life
As rain,
You render the Earth alive
As sap,
The trees depend on you
To move their food supply

Another one of your merits
Is transparency
With foam of such purity
Being the offspring
Of air and sea

Let’s not pretend
That it shouldn’t be common knowledge
That one hydrogen
And two oxygens
Proves the beyond exists


7. When?

When the moon brightens as the sun does
Then shall deathlessness be among us

When mankind consults his cardiac compass
The future will cease to be a fungus

And when this carnal car rusts,
The spark plugs will turn to stardust

But when, oh when will doubt die?
Truth is for the throat and mental mouths are dry


8. Ate The Yeast At Equinox?

Virgin flame
In blameless air
Tread not upon the earth
For you will blacken it
And some sponge-wielding worker
Will put her back in it

Rabid rain
In forebearing firmament
Hover not above our heads
Relieve that cloak
Of its labour pains
Return in timeless ecstasy
Return to the way you were
When you reflected me

The blanket of the baby
Is the sheet of the corpse
The room without windows
Is the belt fastened with force

As the hands run their course
Motion in its immortality
Seeks for its cause
And is left with a crossroads;
A choice
Is it specialized heart tissue
Or a drummer seen with special eyes
Causing the heart’s noise?

9. Waste Not Breath

Waste not breath
Graves from help
Pain we’ve felt
Weighs down back

Prayers are stacked
Life is cactus
Death is absence
God’s gap ends

Tongues are wagging
Lungs for language?
Mouth for sandwich?
The mute’s advantage

Wage of sin
Is transformation’s transportation
Trance for days
In breath’s embraces

10. Worm Eat Worm World

Might I tell an expectant mother she’s glowing?
Even glowworms may have that glory
For she’ll
Glow as a toaster in the sun
And end up as toast
I won’t watch her boast
For although it isn’t showing
She is a host
Harbouring a parasite within her

Foetuses are bequeathed by God
But I find it odd
Carrying a foetus can be a feat
It even inflames the feet!
Plus it’s hard dancing to two heartbeats

Why summon a soul to have a sorrowful experience?
Drag it from infinity
Into the present’s eerieness
Only to lament from all these elements
I guess parents are selfish
They want pets for themselves
And if the first cake is preceded by baneful hell
They won’t even extract stem cells
For others’ help

What are babies but parasites?
They feast on breasts like beasts
Sucking milk like it were blood
As if they were measly fleas

Even before that,
The sperm worms its way through the fallopian tubes
Burrowing through till its journey is over
And one sperm reaches the ova
Causing an explosion unmatched by Chernobyl

What is a sperm cell but a worm
What is a birth canal but a wormhole
Through which a bridge is made in space-time
What is a womb but a dressing room
For the soul to wear it’s costume

Hasn’t the world had enough of soul-summoning?
Resources are plummeting
The planet’s coming to a tumult and
One day it will no longer somersault
For it’s bound to come to a halt

It’s never been a dog eat dog world
It’s always been a worm eat worm world
For just as we wormed our way through the womb
So shall we be consumed by worms in the tomb


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