Category Archives: Woman Scream International poetry festival

He That Promised Never Came #14_WS13

He That Promised Never Came

He came
Pretended to be tame
But he was a fox all the same
Crept into their midst 
And took away their peace

He came
Like an angel of light
Shining ever so bright
And claimed he understood their plight
He filled their stomachs 
With fascinating stories
He would lead them from their sufferings
Just like Moses
To the promise land 
Lending his helping hand
They were amazed
And set their hearts ablaze
With the fire of hope.

He came
With words sweet as honey
And took away their hard earned money
He took them for fools
Of course they were nothing but his tools
Just because they were poor.

He came
Promising them the land over the seas
Where money grew on trees
As they smiled 
Their lips cracked
It was the first smile in a long time
Their eyes sparkled in their tears 
As it washed away fears 
Of all their wasted years

He had gone to return soon
And would bring them a silver spoon
But the days stretched into years
Their hope no more strong
For they waited for so long

Then they realized 
That they had been brutalized
He took their trust
And dashed it on the rocks

They waited and waited but in vain
For he that promised never came.

By Queen-Esther Egbe


Walking Shoes #13_WS13

Walking Shoes

Sun to the gun

Daughter to tears you consciously let run

Down my face

Leaving a trace

Of centuries of women battering

Your tongue defiles my kind and me

With sharp words of slander

like sepulchral mantras

Creating masks

that trap us under

like suffocating black skins

mutating beneath thick layers of foundation

suppressing our pigmentation

with the expectation

of your approval

instead of your brutal

fist defacing me

making my womanhood the worst form of slavery

imposed on human species.

Before you crush me into pieces

This is

Where I draw the line.

No longer will I

Be that girl who walked streets

face covered with thick layers

Of foundation and mascara

To cover patches where you scared her.

A piece of trash

is what you made me feel I was worth.

Making me hate from childbirth,

my looks to my base

Before mirrors trying to erase

The black of me

Just look fair enough for you.

But this time I’m through

For long I tried to understand you boo.

But you kept your boot up in my face

Stamping your authority

Over me and my body

Now I’m tired of trying to understand

Now I over-stand

with my walking shoes up in hand

as I am moving on,

Not because I am not strong

I am too strong to stay

nd endure this for yet another day.

Done with fighting you,

I’m strapping on my walking shoes

And finally leaving you

By Mercy Dhliwayo

Untitled #12_WS13

ke lekhara-khara la eng mosamong, monna a thikhithela sa thipa ea sekeqe e bua moketa, a chachametsa sa masumu o habile mokoting, metsi e matha likhororo ho theosa le khorong ea makhoaba, phokong sa lipere ho ea likella haheng la lipoli, ha se lerato nthoena ke peto, ngoana a ngaola sa mohakajane thoteng, monna moholo o tahiloe keng, u tahiloe ke takatso ho baba ‘meleng, ‘mane oa thaba ho chachametsa, bokhopo ba bohoeng sehloho, saratha se iname, hampe sa rathella le bana mot’seo. . . . . .

By Lesia Maphenchane

It Wont Break Necks #11_WS13

It won’t break necks

We saw the light
Darkness had set on
And infiltrated our minds
But then again
Women can crawl again
For their rise won’t break necks

With growing and
Uttermost shudder we watched
Young girls
Missing classes at certain time of the month
Young girls
Were married off to elderly men
How things change fast
For man chauvinism has been broken
And it did not break necks

Some would say,
“Why educate a girl? She is s liability!”
But I’m saying,
“Educate a girl and save the planet!”
For even if they acquire knowledge
It won’t break necks

Manpower; no, HUMAN power taking over
Gone are the days when a woman’s place was the kitchen
Going beyond the comfort zone
To unleash their potential
For if they choose to rule the world
The effect won’t break necks.

By Emilly Achieng

Roses are dead #10_WS13

Roses are dead

Roses are dead, violets are too i regret their
putrid fragrance,wrinkled petals depresses,
morning breezes brought dew.
Doses are bad, violence is too.

Solar flares strewn over gloomy sights, eyes of purple-bluish hue, bruised leaves clouded by discontent, precipitations of sadness falling with asunder showers.
Frantic pacing of retreating footsteps, when dawn and dusk merges in anticipation of her leaving the devil’s lair.
Poses are sad, silence is too

Wound healed not by suture.
As the sun descents the moon rises,and this chapter is brought to an end.
After all roses are dead.

Lebogang Scooter

Crumble #08_WS2013


Crumble my hearts wall with your fist
Deflating my pumped bear chest
With your kiss of death
Every time I learn to gasp for that last breath
Crumble my existence with your sweet words
Making me believe that it can never get any worse
Worse enough to see my heart bleed
Weak enough to finally shed my last tear
Deep sigh, I am afraid, I am always trembling and in fear
Whenever you walk through that door
Hoping that this time this house won’t turn to a battle field once more
Oh no, here he comes, its game time again
It is that time for me to put on that fake smile
And wish that he doesn’t see how deep it goes
Praying that nothing that I say will make him
Put on those steal gloves and start the first round
Oh sweet shiver stand still, be quiet
Coz he will tell that he has put the fear of God in me
Keep still until he collapses or changes his mind
Maybe lose the strength to shatter my joyful moments
My happy tears that reminded me of those good old years
When he used to tell me, show me how loved and beautiful I am
So! What went wrong? Please tell me what did I do to make you hate me so much
Hate me enough for you to clench a fist full of anger
For at this pointing time, I still wonder if you ever loved me
I still wonder if whatever we had was real
If loving me was real
Crumble my last heart beat
To finally feel the heat
Of your foots vibration
Drawing closer towards me
Closer to boot me out of my quivering skin
Tick-tock, tick-tock
What round it is this, I ask
As I stumble to catch my footing
For heavily my breath, my breath
Can no longer carry me to that last round like we usually do
{a moment of prayer}
Oh God, help me survive this one
Heavenly father, help me stay alive
I promise this time it’s the last time
I promise I won’t go back
I won’t put myself and my kids in harm’s way ever again
Dear God if you listening
I beg of you to see me through
I beg of you to show me the way and what to do next
In Jesus name – Amen
Biting my lips in anticipation
Can this nightmare reach it conclusion
Can he get it over and done with already,
So I can run, so I can run and never look back
Shhhh! Keep quiet he says,
Can’t you see that you’ll wake the kids
The neighbours will hear you
Oh crap, al those memories of laster years
Crawl with a loud noise
A loud noise that awaken the choice
I once made when he told me
He will never do it again
But here I am in the beginning
When all it took was him saying am sorry
And that will be the end of the story
And yet now that story will become me
That this time it will be the end of me
So crumble my bruised heart soul
To a moment when I was once whole

By Mandiwe Ndaliso.

(South Africa)