Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Khethiwe Mndawe


The wicked

They lay outside at night when the day is clear with fun
They barely speak and feel no shame in sharing treason puns
The wicked, they carry guns
They hoot their cars and run over their halves
They are dressed in Brights as their pockets shout with silver coins

Their feet gravel the grounds and clap hard on the tar
They walk like suicide, in-between, above and in front of eternity’s promises
The wicked believe they are wise by their record breaking deeds
They no longer hide their faces at day light for it hides their potent innocence
Faces familiar to us, similar to those kids down the streets
Under the shies shivering with poverty, they have had enough

The wicked they own the towns, they give out advice
They love the young entrepreneurs of daylight in boutique taxi ranks and raw parliament
In the night they are free of religion and her judgments, her rules and her left over pop music
So the wicked: they hoot their cars, they carry guns and clap the tar at night




This hurt is greater than

A hurt greater than that,
Shared by a family that could not be rounded to the nearest ten.
Its difference in weight is the equality of ain shouted and documents deputing the slaves;
Pain drained out form their brains and the transparent tears.
The gold sagging of the rocks in lament; imprisoned in the rear.

This pain is greater than a suicidal atmosphere,
Than the temptation of judgement in a homicide scene;
This hurt is greater than that

The eyes of a blinded star who can no longer see his shine.
Visible on the ground is his gushing blood on the accident night
That’s where his sight remained,
A holistic scene painful in all Arial views




Her Waters

Her strands clutch those waters

Those woolen strands of drowned mops, soaked in all wasted waters of life

The water that flushed the creased

The waters that bathed even the clean bodies

And the dirt of sin in every excretion defined

Historical burdens swaying on her shoulders,

Heavy buckets carrying solvent thirst

Carried up hills and under woven barrels, just to hide and colour her waters into luxury drinks

The waters humor the minds of numb sorrows and wipe that memory of crimes

Earth, she is sucked of her oceans and lakes

She is punched into porous chambers and measured holes, filled with chlorine

Injections of purity?



A woman is as pure in her birth giving

Her wounds and springs give off not blood, not pain

They give off survival in the care of man

She grows her mountainous breasts for all her children, animals’ insect and bird

“Come wet you beaks, your snorts, your ingrown lips”, she says

“Don’t let your beards drown and your fur un-root from your pores, for your master is peevish, He will clean my waters, seeing only your faults



Purified as a young woman, filtered with the glamorous machines

Out of me they pump and pump

They quench and quench nutrify and satisfy

But not even their pipes know my name”




Endangered

Are we endangered within ourselves?

Coloured in darkness by internal sickness trying to cure the outcomes of people’s mistakes with antidotes still in testing

Frisbees not reaching their destination

Do our filthy pockets enrich Us?

Or the imported material that makes our wallets, fulfill Us

We surround our inferiors inside a falling fence

And watch them spring out with greed and new souls



Are we untrained by the quality of our books but soaked with the grime of the ground?

Slithering towards our side hollows in those tall structured walls

Aren’t we the creators of those guns?

Selling them in transparent laces, what we cannot see

Barely covering their goods and the toes on their feet

They poison our eyes, our minds, our involuntary actions

In our money they dig holes and forge themselves

To please us, to eat Us, to be Us



Are we endangered within the things and the self in Us?

The thing we do to deprive mistakes of quality

So we don’t have to learn from them,

We are trying to incubate all that is biotic into capsules

So all of creation can only learn from us, the knew creators

Us, the experienced, Us, the supernatural, Us, that came before breath before Eden

Us, the endangered within ourselves, amongst ourselves, within ourselves, in-between ourselves?



Khethiwe Mndawe: "I am a 30 Media and PR practitioner with a background and community development, education and social development. I’m passionate about Africa and it's transformation, uncovery and representation in development, business, media, research, Academics and documentation. I am a creative who also enjoys doing exhibitions and international exposure programs for African literature, history cultures and creative arts and untold stories."




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