Devil's Dustland

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a compilation of Poetry that has various themes.The themes suit various audiences.

Submitted: January 29, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 29, 2012




The devil's Dustland


Mashell Chapeyama



Date of Birth: 3 March 1970

Place of Birth, Marange, in Manicaland province of Zimbabwe

Academic Achievements: I did my Secondary Education at Mweyamutsvene High School (1987-1990) and my Advanced level at Sakubva Secondary School (1991-1992)

I later did a Diploma in Education at Masvingo Teachers College (1994-1996)

I worked as a Primary School Teacher at Sakarombe School (1997-2003)

During my teaching period I corresponded in the following courses:

  1. Certificate in Creative Writing (FOMO ARTS PROMOTION)
  2. Diploma in Journalism And Professional Writing (Intec College ) (South Africa)
  3. Diploma In Personnel Management ( Institute Of People Management  -IPMZ)
  4. Diploma in Labour Relations (IPMZ)
  5. Higher Diploma In Human Resources Management (IPMZ)

I am a holder of a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management. Atlantic International University (USA).

From 2008 I have been working as a Human Resources Manager at Chipinge Banana Company

I did a Poetry Writing Course with the Writers’ Bureau (UK)

Then did a comprehensive Creative Writing Course with the Writers’ Bureau (UK) I was awarded a Certificate of Competence as a Published Writer by The Writers’ Bureau (UK) in 2002.












To my parents Judith and Jairos

Thank you.





Goodbye Dad


His face  faded away with his trudge

Towards the roads last bend.

He would be gone in a moment

Perhaps parted me for years,

Probably for the rest of my life.


His shadow lost clarity, he drifted away

With anxious-hiding smiles.

I looked at him, my eyes moistened,

Tears trickled down my cheeks.

Sadness seeped into me.

I gazed at him again and again,

He quickened the pace on and on.

Shaking my hands in piteous gesture,

I waved him my last goodbye.


He returned where he was before,

The battlefield,

From which he had come with bruised knees,

A missing ear,

Returned again without knowing

 What the fighting the was against.


"Goodbye dad,"

Waving weakened me, the pain stayed.

Distant lover


I didn't know my love's thrust

Until I drank from your kisses.

Your voice was silent to me

Until the utterance of your love.


I dream about your passionate eyes,

I admire the warm breathings

When you lie by my side.

Your embrace after a long separation;

You are the one who induces in me

A feel of life.

The innocence in your eyes emblazons my dreams

I dream of you in my sleep.

Your faithfulness is the blood throbbing in the veins

Of our love and the inspiration behind my lyrics.



 Voice of Change


New chapters open, so are verses

The old voice is cracking

With the rust of time

The older crusts are crumpling

And newer light is filtering in.


The singer's old verses

Are not without corrections

Time is not without dynamics

So the new songs we hear

We sing along, we dance to.


And we read not ancient Dadaism

But their contemporary versions.

Many want polite choruses, and prose

Underlined by censorship of minds

And brainwashing,

Shall we walk in these old paths forever?

To hide from the winds of change?


Why can't we let time dictate what we should be now?

And harness the newer energies for prosperity and good of humanity?


Unwanted matter


The beard that grew nasty

I shaved, shredded off

Parted me like it wasn't mine,

Dumped into the rejection pit:


Mixed with ash

This perpetual waste from me

I won't bother reclaim.

For years strutted over me tastelessly

Sucked the virginity from my cells

And my boyhood vigilance.


The love in the mug


This mug was the love she had

She couldn't whisper in meaningful syllables.


I saw her picking it up

From her kitchen utensils,

Singled out that pear-shaped one, cloth polished it

Handed it over to me.

Love was the stars in her eyes.

"Have this mug my brother."


Mine memories are back-waved in ripples

Seeing her fishing it up from her kitchen marshals,

It happened a decade ago, but it is still happening now.



The assassin


Big guns rumble,

Spitting fire

Turning veldts into cinders

Metamorphosing human flesh

Into ashes

Dark nights into floodlights

Shrinking hearts into quarter sizes.


You are the big gun

That makes things happen

As if effortlessly.


I am also a person


When I smile at you

I know I am not a stone

That doesn't see or dance

But a person with feelings,

To be satisfied, realised, respected.


When I frown at you

Because of your yesterdays

I know I am not a tree

Unhaunted by sharp axe chops

But a person with feelings.


When I beg for clothes

To cover my sun stroked back,

I know I am not a worm, underground

But a person with feelings.


When we scramble for food

Then I know I am not an engine

That feels not its empty belly

But a person with feelings

To be satisfied, realised, respected.




Nothing to lose

But warmth of friendship

Scythed apart,

Without brothers or sisters next door.


A friend of mine

Was ambushed by thieves,

Swathed away into the cemeteries.


I have nothing else

But red wine I drink daily at Juliusdale pub.



Only for lonely hearts


I do not want to sing their songs

Sung with heightened jaunts

Underlined by drumbeat thuds.


I want to sing solemn verses-

The songs that lie deeper in my heart,

Unaccompanied by chanting choruses

No jingles, saxophones nor pianos,

But a lone voice that echoes sky-high

From under bushes of mushroom hills.


I sing the songs to lonely hearts

Who have the guts to hum along

With one voice that rises higher

Than the Himalaya Mountains

Then swirls up, up and up

Like the sound of an  overblown trumpet.


St Andrews Mission Marange

( Mweyamutsvene )


We can not speak to outsiders alone

As if  we have not our own home

We pride in , that groomed us

From ignorance's thumpsucking.

From your tight confines

 Rose the lights that bloom

 Beyond  the moon, to eye the stars.


Now all are ready to embrace you;

To feel the breasts we suckled from,

That rinsed the dirties from our brains' underwears.

We shall within this new millennium,

Come home, show you what we reaped

Not hidden talents within grottos

But fruits of knowledge you mothered

The tenfold talents we yielded.

We can rise to foot the moon

Or telescope the sun and the stars,

But we shall forever bow down to you-



Shall you envision again

Those whose harness you hold,

Let them shine into icons

Shining like the meteorites of December nights.



Devil's Dustland


Our land full of fruitless shrubs

With no fragrant flowers

But fragments, broken boughs, sundried streams.

All hope  lost of ever  seeing life-full branches,

No solace mothered by rain drops

Nor rainbows silencing thudding showers,

No sympathisers from outside but our own shrieking voices

Poetising the gloom future of :

Faminished citizens, uneducated brothers and divorced sisters.

 Unending wars,  poverty  and kwashiorkored children.

And grieving over many who die stillborns.


Seeing the Fish shoals


Years have turned into centuries

In my living time,

When memories reel back the wheel of time


I have come home

To see Natame  still flowing

The sand banked on its little shores

Not in beachy volumes , in scattered tide-pushed heaps.


Flashing back,

I mirror a brother fishing

A mackerel shoal swimming

The nearest mountain lying there stiffly, familiar like the blue sky

Molehills unchanged.


At fifty rewind the clock's arms

Beyond your manhood moments,

Still old routes strand

Footpaths ascend hills,

From the rivers.

Seeing the fish shoals swimming.


Flames of pain


Non violent flames  ripple

An already burdened heart with pain

When death secrets a loved dad.

Broken hearts are like broken bottles

Never reincarnates even when psychotherapists congregate.


Run away , grab the dustbins


I am a marker of thorny roses

Around my bedroom,

A builder of my own destination-

I now hate.


I am the bungalow of suffering

Sculpted by my decline to join the fundis' file.

I ran away from the lecture rooms

To Rochdale streets-

Where we queued for temporary employment,

Then employed

To be selected a year later for retrenchment;

I have swallowed my pride-

Wishing to auctioneer my identity.



After  A Misunderstanding


Shall this anger coil my mind

For a  time too long,

That  I don’t enjoy strawberries?


When in deep anger my mind dips

Swirls like I am on a jigsaw,

So I can’t pick up strawberries;

Which are ripe as water

Their scent no more hunger-inducing

Rather I keep on fasting.

I like strawberries but not when someone trips me down

That  I fall hard on a stony ground-

When annoyance embraces me,

I enjoy strawberries no more.


Crying Over you


When streaks of worry

Furrow your human face

And print ogre veneering on it,

Born of abused rights,

Right to food, shelter, education...

When tears colour your eyes

Over the heartache,

Borne of a fatal, chronic disease gnawing you,

I cry.


Can’t take it away


The pride in me is a flag that flies

That’s the pride of being what I am

Of being where I am now ,this hour

And the last hour and the next hour

And of doing what I am now doing ;

Do not pity over what I am doing

Don’t pity over my divergent thoughts .

The difference between you and me shall be what it shall be,

But don’t pity over me ,whether I be an anarchist,

Singer, despot ,democrat , educator...

Can’t take it away from me.




Watch the child speechless but speaking;

Only a toddler of seven  but speaking,

The eyes shrunken, the face shrivelled,

Doesn’t her silence speak, nor her quietness sleeping;


Watch the turquoise sky shimmering in the heat’s shimmer

With dark rolling, yet rumble less clouds hovering,

Watch it from expense edge of an ocean,

Or you sitting lonely on a pedestal, drunk or drunk less

 All speaking  in silence, or is it silently speaking


What about the speechless rosemary greening the garden,

 its memory recovery scent, as if scentless

Sitting tiny on the middle of a prowling garden

With the power to energise the body’s wireless nerves;

Speaking in silence;


Does the page you look at speak?

Gibberish could be the language you read ,

Meaningful also it could be, yet it reaches the soul either ways

Soul harrowing in its gibberishes or mindboggling in its juiciness


What about me, faraway, whose poetry you read;

Have I spoken to you, the poem ticking in its voice?

Have they heard from me?  They will in words

Its tone unique, though tongue less; sweetness of it.


I never heard the message of the contest, this contest

Travelling down to me through circuitless connections

I heard the silence, I learned from the silence

Now I respond in quietness, sort of it;


Born a man of few words sometimes

Engendered to golden silence,

In that my writing was borne, my poetry bred

My virtue crafted and my greatness created;


If and when I fail to win the contest I will do what I know best,

Silence, try it by not responding to my poetry

The poetry and poetics of silence will rule the roast,

But never say good morning in silence or trying shouting in silence.


Materialistic Wishes


You sleep alone in the night

Your heart deep in loneliness

Yet some ghosts haunt you

In the name of wished for riches-

Romanticising the unachievable

That push you into wheels of moving wagons’

Wagons that will crush you;

Turning you into heartaches

That make you die young like a stillborn.



Solar Eclipse 2003


The sunlight swallowed by then moon’s shadow,

Aged men and women panicked, children fascinated;

Schools shut for a moment to view a free attraction,

The sun’s power cremated, many a people ran helter- skelter

Thinking the end of the world had just reached;

For a while atheists believed in the existence of an omnipotent  creator.


Did the sun eat itself like a hen that feeds on its eggs?

Or had it gone under baptism-

Submerged into the waters of the gargantuan sky;

Or was it its big blink,

That could be hypothesised to view it as a giant creature-


Probably a big dodo in the space?

The universal wonder acclaimed and real,

The might sight  may generations missed.


 For Singer Andrea Who Died Young


Piteous as it is, as flowers don’t bloom the same

Given the equal opportunity and the environs

On them the sparkles of life differ;

Some bloom purple, red, chlorophyll,

Others white, yellow, or red rose

While many more whither before they bud-

Their attraction vanishing, their appearance failing before  appreciation

Why some non-flowering bushes, shrubs unflowering?-

Otherwise they would flower brown, khaki, violet

Sand grey, mauve, the sun or the moon or the stars

Yet uncountable seeds die before they germinate or germinate stillborns

Dying immaturely like sin. Was it the  same with singer Andrea,

Or poet Dambudzo Marechera, dying  younger than many twenty-first terrorists.

The Seas the Usurpers


The seas the usurpers

Suckers of the best of mankind

Great thinker's plane crush

Now buried in the red sea

Or the Baltic, the Mediterranean or the Pacific.

Does there an irresistible attraction

Between sea waters and intellectuals?

Where are the singer group the Hurricanes of the seventies

Or Singer Andrea, pilots and the scientists today in the seas?

History can’t say it all ,

But big minds read it all.

Does water feed on shrewd minds

To devoid land of precious reciters of wit?


The goodbye


Waving of the hand in a goodbye

Strong as it was supposed to

Was not to be;

Shawl’s hand moved like in a film’s slow motion;

The smiles to broaden his cheeks were absent

A thin mouth line was only seen closest to.

He was parting. In pain or anger or horror.

Was he a refugee fleeing the country

Or just an abused child- battered the previous night?

Was he traumatized by 11 September bombings

Orseen terrorist attacks in Iraq or Afghanistan on TV?

He walked away in pain, with gloom-stained face.

I saw him walking away.Sadly.Stiffly.Slowly-

Walking away.


Rise Child, rise


Now that you are born child, male, female hermaphrodite,

At least  you are born person, not lichen or spider, lizard

Or the air that swirls all days; you are born child, rise!


Your eyes are silver crystal, their looks piercing -  dig deeper into me

When unseeingly you stare at me, at least you are not lichen or spider

Or the air that swirls all days; you are born child, rise


No longer are you a toddler, no more time for toddling

Rise, walk and shine; quixotic as a monkey

Yet keep hold to integrity; you are born child rise


Choose any one which you like among the arts of  the world

You like music, dancing, painting drawing, sculpture or poetry;

You may choose yoga, art or designing or chevroning;


Worst though not,  choose to dream all nights,

Smile all day if so you wish or play snooker or darts;

Take one, and then rise high, skid into a cosmos of your own.


To the Loved One


Is distance the conquering power

That outpaces each one of us?

You, forever is a loved sister, brother- be it.

Yet a certain yoke, or certain monolith

Is there between you and me;

Where I am, I have own neighbours

But can I create a new sister ?

Can I create a new brother, mother

Father , uncle or niece?

Why can’t forever the bond of brotherhood hold fast

Conquering distance in space and time?

Time now ever stands as the greatest foe

That fails to avail itself to us all,

That time we have is chopped between many chores-

Of trying to find our daily needs-

“Give us this day our daily bread.”


Seas , the barriers


No tide must scrape off

Even the sand dunes of this land,

Carrying its grains in gales  or cyclones,

Or hurricanes across the seas

To lands where aliens live.

Oceans, seas be perpetual barriers

While waves that eddy in them be perpetual washers of greedy winds,

That wish to flight dust of this land

That once buried  the patriarchs

To areas across the edges of this land.


 Our land


Land barren as the cemetery site

What yields from stony grounds,

Where seeds die before they germinate

Plasmolysed  from heat simmering from sunburn soils?

Rainmaking ceremony is just but people congregating

Putting their miseries together, to yell with one loud voice

Longing for rains to come  for their fields to yield more

Not like the unyielding soils of the horn of Africa,

Where wars , power hunger,  fuel the hungers in their stomachs.


Art is life


Why mustn't man flee from vices

Of war, hate , anger , propaganda

Then revert to art as a wonder?

For to hate without striking is to kill

To cover TV and internet , magazines 

Booklets and newspapers with propaganda is to kill.


Why can't we deep in artistic work instead?

Spending time on weekends in music extravaganza

Or reading novels by Ian, Sham or Kan.

Why not de-poisoning the minds that are full of vice

By the virtue of art, reverting to art as a wonder.




When ants crawl onto your back

During your dreams , when you are asleep

And bite you, don't wake up violently,

Don't scream neighbours will hear and laugh

And jeer at you, but be silent

You can turn and twist and sigh calmly;

Never to yell loudly like a mad storm,

Storming the veldts, only darkness

Or searchlights must know the horrors in your house'

And troubles in your mind.


A weep for the beloved people


Tangled identities-

A society dredged to its navel,

Drunk from immorality, that sucks the values of human nature,

From a once moral people.


A mother was gang-raped,

A brother committed homicide-

Wishing to inherit the family house.

My sister incested by uncles.

Indecisive cousins aborted their unborn babies.


This community out casted, rust with lust

Lust for money, for power, for sex-

It's like a map drawn  on a burning board

This civilization is the map

That breeds in its people archaic norms.


It's like a fire burning on the society's private parts-

And nags the conscience of brothers,

Uncles, sisters, mothers and the maniacs

These are those who in the end

 commit suicide as libations of their sins.


Weep you poets, weep righteous hearts

For a people sozzled by blood of sin.


Doctor diagnose


You diagnose not mental cases

In hospital asylums,

But social insomnias in those who strode with vigilance

Down avenues and corridors.

Yet weakened by insecurity

Those whose jars shivered in dreams,

Hallucinated by looming deprivations.


You interpreted verse written in people's minds

As filled with self-compassion and desperation;

Then harnessed peace from  your intellect by the power of insight

Like the power of a rainbow on the ragging  storm;

Then you empowered us all with education  and insight

To forever be what we are and what we could be .


I am enough as I am


I am enough as I am

What's missing?

A few corduroy  trousers


Canvas shoes.

Watch me:

My wine in a tumbler

A rose on my door step,

What's missing?


Are they posh cars that matter?


My five senses tickle with intellect

The soul that I am sundering

My heart beat pulsating

What's missing?


Eye the blue sky:

On heaven's diaphragm

Not even in tattered sackcloth

Exists as an entity.


Listen to whirling winds

In natural existential identities

Unhelicoptered , untelegrammed

Am I not alike, with my conscience

I am enough as I am.


Open your mind


The wall clock cling

With distasting sound

When you are silent

In deep sleep;

Where you meet great poets'


Philosophers in dreams

Deliberating on metaphors,

Similes not in written phrases

But unwritten anecdotes-

You wake up to a new day;

With mixed fortunes:


The yesterdays gone

The tomorrows approaching

With Australia and Asia developing

Europe and America more civilizing

And Africa  joining the open dances,

Of all these continents'

Jigging to all their tunes in a hotch potch.




A florescent lamp scintillating

A multi- coloured butterfly-

Supposed to be in an insectarium lay there

Flipped one wing frailly. Eyes dimmed,

By instant over-brightening of the light-

Cobaltic.  Death chilled through it.


I caressed its wings to feel its lifelessness

It dared move any more- ash quietness

Logstill- already in a death logbook.

Is it from syphilis or herpes

Changroid or strangulation by an invisible hand?


In deep breathlessness-

Drowsed there on the note book of time,

Till the next day's early glimmer of light

When a house maid  took it clandestinely

Dumped it , mixed with ash

Onto the scrapheap.


A scientist would change it into aphrodisiac concoction

A film maker would feature it  on the epilogue of a porno film,

A doctor's apocryphal revelation would be:

"Paralysis from sex-overdrive – more research needed."


 Abused Rights


Today is your birth day

Celebrations on.

Cleanse your birth rights

With ointment of humanity

Count your unabused rights

Right to:



Count them for others must know:




Recount them  for others must really know.


Bury me in Africa


If I visit a foreign land

Then fail to come back,

In case I have died,

Failing to come back to the land of my birth'

Where my mother's menstrual blood flowed,

Take me, ferry me to Africa.


I grew up in Savannah of Sub Sahara Africa;

Where wasps stung me

Inducing tears from my eyes to fall

To sink down into Africa's soils.


When i laboured  in the fields

The sun scotched me-

Sweat fell from my skin

And was sucked by Africa.

I sipped out blood from my bleeding gums

And spat on Africa's dry footpaths.

These moments, such memories shake me,

Africa is my brooder

And I will be perpetually its son

Bury me in Africa.


The declaration


In her mind, nobody knows

The tinnies she had

Her consciousness of reality

Or presupposition,

But I saw her fleeing away, crying.


Only at eight, Marshier  cried,

"whiplashes don't solve anything,

No claps but words," she declared

In tears and fear

Hurling howls, gasping

Uttering without stammers of a crying child

"... it can't be tonight, no  beatings dad."


Rueful intimacy


The moment the axe descends

On the beast's , to a sharp chop

Is a moment of death.


When a slasher rests on the beast's nape

With a scathing cut,

That second of groaning;

Pain filled ,

Brimmed with regret

Is already a moment of death;


When a friendly hand

Coaxes you to the abattoir.


Unhealing wounds


(Ken Sarowiwa)

A thrusting inferno in hearts of friends

Big wounds in us all

Hard to heal, when pain comes

Robbed in day light;


The warm blood that tingled amongst us-

His smiles  never fading- from our memories

Death's rob-

An anathema.


A song rocks our mind

Against this incantatory theft'

A brother,

A friend , Ken rest.


Verdict of alienation


( for all refuges and those who were once refugees)

  And Simau in particular.


We all live like in non-existence

The non-existence which we believe never exist,

When humanity is in decadence

When plight goes beyond sorrow,

Alienated from the bliss of life:





Into a moment of shattered hopes

 bottles breaking in our minds.


 No difference


I am drunk now

As I write down this rhapsody

For you dad;

That song ,this poem can't make any difference

To dissolve the love I have for you

And for ever

Living or dead.


Freedom fighters


(not only humans)

A vigilant ox out yoked

And in its long gallops

Outpaced the master

Hooves pounding the dry soil

Dust swelled up.

For a long time it  tramped on

When certain of having outdistanced its  usurper, it turned to re-ascertain.


Then raises its head higher, to eye

Beyond the ridge

The ears attentive.

Then strayed into the bush never to be seem again for days.




The trees stand quietly, friendly

Some in a line

Others scattered around

Peaceful neighbours.

Their leaves fall to the ground indiscriminately;

One on top of the other, compromisingly.


When a gale approaches

Enabling space conquest

Trees fall one on top of the other

And many more on top

Boughs breaking

And eventually decompose like

Murdered citizens.


Dambudzo Marechera


( A great Poet)

When you died

We all died ;

You physically,

We  intellectually.

We all were buried,

You in the earth's dust

We , on the anthills of sadness

And graves of deprivation;

For you are a missing sun

On the orbit of intellect.


The pilgrimage


Long suffering, inherited at our births

Is a birthright,

From which we all will die ,

Trying to free oneself from-

A life's journey.


Analysts' eye


The bourgeois' laughters  are apologies

For the murders  they have secretly committed,

Their smiles sighs of relief

From burdens of their hallucinations

Of their deceptive business dealings.


The poor man's laughter  is a show of bliss

His innocence's protuberance- heart deep,

For a sufferer's happiness  is more than a materialist's gaet-

Burdened by ills of the mind.













































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