Tendai. R. Mwanaka is a multidisciplinary artist from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. His oeuvre of works touches on literary disciplines (non-fictions, poetry, plays, fictions), music and sound art disciplines, visual art disciplines (photography, drawings, paintings, video,collage...) inter-genres and inter disciplines etc. Voices from Exile, a poetry collection on Zimbabwe’s political situation and exile in South Africa, came out from Lapwing Publications, Northern Ireland, 2010, Keys in the River, a novel of interlinked short fictions came out from Savant Books and Publications, 2012, Zimbabwe: The Blame Game, a book of creative non fictions on Zimbabwe came out from Langaa RPCIG, 2013. Forthcoming books include; Zimbabwe: The Urgency of Now (creative non-fictions) from Langaa RPCIG, A Dark Energy (full length novel) from Aignos Publishing Inc., Finding a Way Home (short fictions) from Savant. Mwanaka's work has been published in over 300 journals, anthologies and magazines in over 27 countries. He was nominated, shortlisted, and a winner of some prizes and his work has been translated into French and Spanish.
When escape becomes the only lover
When you have bagged pain inside like bagging knows no weight
And bled you have, an uncommon white. And felt you have, an uncommon black
Escape becomes the only lover
Escape becomes an artwork-in-progress
There is time to step away from the canvass, sometimes into another room
The lover you have wanted to hold, sometimes onto the flowered meadowlands
And move away to Chinhoyi
Transcending the aloneness of being separate from others
Empty spaces, sane spaces, absences, like giving away your own death
Answers that are not on the wind
Escape becomes wide awake-dreaming, like running away from you
On your way to yourself
There are a few to be loved; escape is a picker that way
Escape becomes the wife you don’t remember marrying.
Vessels of Dreams
And they leave the darkness in their own darkness. They unleave that place that is unnamed. They leave that being there. They unleave the unsaid, undone here. They leave some details, lost. They unleave memories that remained vivid and clear. They unleave their memories like a carry in arithmetic. They leave answers hidden in moonlight of memories. They leave the moon migrating to the south. They unleave the jazz of the sun. They leave the wind that carries waterless clouds. They leave footsteps that can never step. They unleave their footsteps in their sleep. They leave a thousand and one nights to dream. They unleave the source of so much reaching the other side of this night. They leave quite views of places left and paths imagined. They leave the underground railroads of their minds. They unleave the overground railroads of their hearts. They leave the road that seemed to twist and turn on its way to an African address. They unleave the bridge that has waited to connect them. They leave their boat on the mooring. They unleave their boat out at sea. They leave the font. They unleave the wishing well. They leave hours’ flavours of silence. They unleave living in defiance. They leave the pink fresh scars of new mistakes. They unleave pimples of innocence. They unleave the aloneness of being separate from others. They leave the girls to become women so that they might return back to harvest wives. They unleave the crops of a drought year that they have now reaped. They leave maize stalks that were Indian summer scarlet and burgundy. They leave the bears of yesteryear to be with men they have cropped. They unleave the bear’s soup can. They unleave whatever that doesn’t pretend. They leave rooms small enough to hold all of them as they prayed. They unleave the names of all those who have been washed downstream, interrogating God, “where the hell were you when our lives were hurt?” They unleave these prayers, needing separate rooms.
WALL AGAINST WALL
Love against the wall
Heart against the wall
Is wall against wall