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By Mwiche Chikungu


Saturday, November 13, 2010


The French Revolution of 2005

I watched the mélange on the telly

I felt the situation in my belly

I saw the Bronx I saw Hackney

I felt a policeman come to wack me

I smelt Soweto tires the burning of a revolution

I felt the urge the need for devolution

The need for leaders to move towards the people

To come out slowly from their ivory steeple

And realize they are problems within society

That are covered in racist piety.

This has caused young people to riot, incinerate cars,

And spend their days, in idleness, in clubs and in bars.

That same night I thought I was dreaming

I woke up shaking scared and screaming

I saw three ghosts sitting at the end of my bed

They looked all moldy, they had been long dead

They told me their names were liberty, equality and fraternity

They had died in 1950 and had come to restore sanity

To the France that has all these problems, of unity, of communion

That belonged more to the Euro and the European Union

Than it did to the people that have come from far away places

Who can change everything else they cannot change their faces………..



Somebody got my laundry instructions wrong


Somebody got my laundry instructions wrong

My suit came out all black.

It was my birthday,

I panicked

I tried a bit of bleach

It just went all funny

So I tried to take it back to the shop

To a lip-sticked Madonna

who sat

all divine at the almighty till.

She threw it at me,

threatened to call security,

So I decided to wear it everywhere

to every big and important do.

I kept on getting that look,

you know,

so I sat quite separate,

no one even passed me any sandwiches.

I usually left real early

I just couldn’t fit in.

One morning I decided I‘d have a word with the launderette,

to see if she might accept responsibility,

I found she had loads of really cheesed off customers,

She told me ‘pet, your suit was supposed to be handled with a lot of care and not immersed in so

much water, it was really suited to hot and dry conditions.’

I left the place not feeling any better and couldn’t believe my outfit had been brought in all

across the Atlantic,

that it didn’t take too kindly to this weather,

but I couldn’t take it back

she ‘d mentioned that she’d only accept,

Honest and genuine complaints, received in writing, within 24 hours.



Poem on Old Goats


Old Billy goat looking at me

Tell me what you can see

Old goats are best smoldering on my fire

Old goats are old they cannot sire

Old goats can admire from the corners of their eyes

And mark my words it comes as no surprise

That the older the goats the younger the girls

They are fit and nimble they can do the twirls

On the dance floor at hotels and bars

Driving the latest most fancy cars

They are always CEOS, leaders at the top

Don’t ever make the error of telling them to stop

Old goats get wiser as they grow old

They were even there when the war was cold

Old goats are old but their meat is still tender

They hold their beards, Gucci suits and their splendor.

Old goats know all about our culture

Old goats are monuments, they deserve an artists sculpture

Do not critique, do not despise

Just because he is a goat, he is still wise.


Mwiche Chikungu is a Malawian writer and poet.

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