Tag Archives: Tichaona Chinyelu

Spotlight On: Three Poems by Tichaona Chinyelu

Spotlight On: Tichaona Chinyelu, Poet

TMC2
Tichaona Chinyelu, Poet

 

 

Three Poems by Tichaona Chinyelu

How Elsie Became Tuyet

Elsie was a straight A student
a dutiful daughter and a fluent speaker
of three languages
two of which were colonial.
I spoke only English
was outwardly dutiful
but cared more about learning
than school
and had the grades
to prove it.
We became mismatched friends
Elsie and I
enough so, I felt empowered to ask
why the French French teacher called her
Tuyet.
Americans say Tuyet is hard to pronounce
so to make it easy I chose Elsie.
I tested it out on my one language tongue:
Tuyet, two syllables
that tied her to the territory of her birth
victorious Vietnam.
I tested Elsie out the same way.
Two syllables, also
but disconnected from anything
truly having to do with her.

 

Then, Now
Then, moans not mine
manifested through walls
like copulating ghosts.
Now, when I hear sounds
through the walls
I remember my own moans
and how they climaxed
into this life
where I am a mother
listening to my child
read himself to sleep.

Face and Masks Cento 

Ever since dawn
the ground has been steaming
pleading for a drink
while the living seek shade
and fan themselves.
Hidalgo spent the night with his eyes
fixed on the ceiling of the cell
saying goodbye:
My father didn’t put me among the rich
or the generals or those who have money
or claim to have it.
My father put me with the poor
because I am poor.
At the edge of the village of Morón
a common grave
swallows the bones of a poet
who until yesterday
had a guitar
and a name.
His unshrouded body
ends up in the earth;
his couplets, also naked,
also plebeian,
abide in the winds.
On the street
someone plucks
lamentations
from a guitar.

 

About the Poet:   TMC1 (1)

Tichaona Chinyelu is a writer, mother and author of three books of poetry: In the Whirlwind, Still Living on my Feet and Contraband Marriage.   Ms. Chinyelu’s work has been published in LineZero, Step Up to the Mic: A Poetry Explosion and various online journals including  Poems of Solidarity for Haiti – In Motion Magazine, Sierra Leone Web, etc.

Ms. Chinyelu has also published books by A. Shakur Towns, Melanie YeYo Carter and Abena Isake under the banner of her publishing company, Whirlwind Publishing.  She also maintains a blog at stilllivingonmyfeet.com.