Hardlife Zvoushe

H. Zvoushe - PhotoHardlife Zvoushe was born in Masvingo, Zimbabwe in 1984. He lives in Harare, and works as a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. He has published several academic papers in international journals. Some of his poetry has appeared in The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe). He is currently working on a collection of poetry. The poems below are taken from the collection in preparation.



The Morrow

after our feasting on escaping
morsels of imagined banquets

after the dreamed oases
mocking the parched throats

after our soaring doves
of yearning scaling heights

after their colourless castles
of vaporous language

after want’s famished alligators ready
with sharp parade of experienced canines

after bragging villas counting
the mercs gracing their laps

after billions and trillions
in the soaring rocket

after shack and mansion
hungry and fed

after slippery salaries
mocking the longing needs

after AIDS victims mounting
unicorns of exacerbation

after ravenous palms to the
udder of our vineyard

after sneezing voters in
the dusty poll

after talons and claws
batons and gunspeeches

after the assassin’s guns singing
the oceaned blood of victims

after the chief’s crimson reign
amidst bones of shattered critics

after breadth of corpses
under manufactured ash-heaps

after frozen silence of the land
in its thousandth anniversary

after our sunken smiles in the
sick chrysanthemums have been



In the year of
nipping winds and chilly skies
when snowfall has
spoken presence in iced rooftops
when blizzards have
spelt their toll in harassed shacks

sing for us the
warm coats of the furry ode
sing for us the
season of smiling daffodils
sing for us the
garish banks of jubilant violets

amidst the miasma
the stifling odours and rotting
carcasses of dead days
dawn rhyming with dusk in the murderous
spree of discussing daggers, knives tossing lives in scarlet festivals

sing for us the
scented moments of magnolia presence
sing for us the
blue glory of bluebell blossoms
for us the
season hemmed with forget-me-nots

when sad pools of
sickening sorrows drink the sap
of days and borrowed
smiles mask bruised souls;
when rowdy raid of
roving hawks has been and
vultures have praised
delicacy of carrion in acrid song

when they multiply our
strides in dejection looting the pineapples
in our time, the vines in our season
when we mourn the stiletto of
the resolution seeking harvests
where earthquakes have ravaged

sing for us the
nights of the fisherman’s shoals, the
island of happy hearths
sing for us the soothing sweep of the
noonday breeze
sing for us the cool oases hugging our deserts
sing for us the
loud snores of folks at ease

saying house of hunger
I christen you home with a thrilled
hearth of faggots cheering
the bonfire nights you weep the dark
dawns of pouncing panthers
nights you embrace clanking scents of
their metallic bouquets.



Saying all will be noon
till they stoop
to nights of familiar murk
mounting success’s rolling orchards fanning
want juggling fortune
breeding our decades of hailstorms we
spell their wake in contagious fever of
harassed hamlets and
protruding thirst of
our longing gullets
nights of stolen sleep meetings mornings
of staring thorns
unrolling slippery widths of illusive riddles
they invoke tattered quilts
of the wintry song, the
season of the lost
smile hovering on puddles of tears…

O for the coughing
bandwagon of blind torchbearers astride
steeds of speech
selling savoured moments in defence of our
ship reclining on the seafloor
who will comfort Jerusalem after Babylon?

  2 comments for “Hardlife Zvoushe

  1. Samuel Chuma
    November 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

    masterful language use with jack-in-the-box imagery. thank you for sharing

  2. November 6, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Well articulated pieces, displaying a high degree of artistry and mastery of language. Thanks for the good reads.

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