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Literature, Poetry corner

In Prison

In Prison, a poem by Obey Chiyangwa

By Obey Chiyangwa

We sleep on thin sagging legs,
wobbling, weary-sodden sticks,
we still fall fast asleep while afoot,
very scary dreams on our sore feet,
bunk beds are for seniors in rank,
the chamber pot is a serious stink,
food morsels are coarse and stale,
they trickle the bluish-grey of bile,
our cell floors remain water-logged,
we swim both the foul and the foam,
we dream of warm and cosy beds,
we scream in furious nightmares,
when on, sudden light is blinding,
fixed stares at darkness’s blank pages,
all chapters are doctrines of torture,
all maggots are sly vile creatures,
mosquitos are misery’s super agents,
all mice are silly rouble rousers,
we strain of self back-scratching,
we perish of rampant back-biting,
we punish all rumour mongers,
our loose teeth shake all night long;
the Biblical gnashing of old teeth,
hunger is our constant companion,
rowdy anger is a persistent irritation,
we thrive on official confrontations,
our bums are button-stick fattened,
forced singing thickens our voices,
we step gingerly on raw human dung,
we smile tenderly at pitch darkness,
biting cold numbs our fuddled minds,
zero blindness dims our fuzzy sights,
cigarettes are an open currency in jail,
we still dapple burnt fingers in crime,
but sodomy is no crime at all in prison,
the sessions are played out in the open,
some form of poison is always in season.
And stealthy death is always one breath away.

In Prison

DICLAIMER: The same version of this poem first appeared in The Standard’s Gourd of Consciousness Poetry column

About Constance van Niekerk

Constance van Niekerk, (Connie V) is a creative writer, poet, music lover, spoken word artist, freelance writer, blogger and educator. She has contributed to several anthologies and published her own collection, Echoes of My Heart: A Poetry Collection available for purchase on all Amazon Stores Worldwide. Follow her on Twitter : @convanniekerk Connect with her on Facebook and Linkedin.


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