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A Young South African Speaks

By Nyiko Floyd Shivambu

Contemporary Azanian Child

A child of about just over teen years
Strolling the streets of Jozi
Empty stomach, empty handed
Only 5 bucks for a taxi home
Home being a single roomed shack in township house backyard
A child full of unattainable ambitions
‘Wish I could own a BMW or Benza’
‘Wish I could buy a house in sub-urban Jozi’
‘Wish I could dine and wine from silver plates and cups’
‘Wish I could learn how to use silver spoons, forks and knives’
‘Wish I could wear Guess what? Palazollo pitti and fake chuck Taylor sneakers’
‘Wish I could just jol a well-shaped, facially gifted lover with class’
‘Wish I could buy chicken feet to feed my empty baseless belly’
And also wish to get another 5 bucks for a taxi to Jozi
‘Maybe I will get a job’

I wouldn't write a poem

I wouldn’t write a poem to weave love phrases and praises
I would never put a pen on paper to utter how much I love you
Never would I play with words and phrases about love, love and love
I wouldn’t say to a paper that you are the jewel of my heart
I would never rave about, eulogise, applause your beauty with ink
Never would I pour my heart through the tip of pen onto a virgin paper
Excuse me, I never write fairly tails about love, love and love
I wouldn’t defuse your mentality through printed words and phrases
I never say to the paper blank script how much I love you
I never send black blue ink in red to your heart to speak out my love
I wouldn’t put and pour my whole heart into a blank, plain… void paper
Never would I say to the paper that I love to love you
…But because it’s you, never to be reduced to poetic phrases and praises
Pen, paper, and guitar I take,
To declare my love to you on paper, I write a poem.

Shivambu, 23, is a student union leader and political activist at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.  He blogs as Floydn 

Think you can do better? Help educate and entertain readers from across the globe by sending us your poems and short stories.

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Floeytry... Poetry According to Floyd

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