Autocrats Club and Other Poems


Mbizo Chirasha

Art by Michael Paul Britto


Autocrats Club

breakfast of fat greased steak of political violence
and presidential jugs filled corruption orange squash
colonial maize sump served with rigged elections red-chill spice,
some chakalaka as lunch-meal
Dinner is a sumptuous beef roast of dead comrades and delicious pork-chops of unrepentant foes
Red wine is a brew of uncouthed tears of poverty-ridden commissars
and bullet -drilled blood of unnamed green horns,
they died in the rough- cross fires of congress battles
-soprano is the teeth -gnashing of pregnant mothers,
-tenor is ear- splitting wails of funeral sirens
--baritone is the bleating and groaning of electrocuted dissidents
-alto is the clanking of handcuffs, poetry of regrets, belly pit- supplications, and praise hymns in isolated prison cells
Jives - thuds of stray bullets/the roar of grenade traps / raucous laughter of assassin’s gun
Dawn comes with dictators surrendering their anger to the winking sun
and walk unto propaganda podiums in style
Afternoons are a hustle, the cabinet is in a verbal vulgar session
and the parliament is another fist fighting drama
Night, dictators are back to the festival,
munching oil -greased steak of propaganda and drinking tears for wine
Other gimmicks of rigging the ballot are seasoned in political hot ovens
Commissars, chefs, and zealots run about serving elections biltong and another dinner glass of blood wine
And then another dance to another funeral song



blinking of green robot is the death of another political turncoat
another stare of that red-robot is the click-fast pause of the revolution,
motorcade roars with an autocratic signature,
and parliament is adjourned with an iron-fisted slogan
and a hypocrite-gloved open palm,
as next election is adulterated by upwards pointed fingers
protruding from banana -yellow-quilted hands
last august we feasted from the rot of rigged election cadavers
we sipped from jugs of bitter -green tomato juice of unfinished struggle,
tears bathed the rough state- house tarmac
blood washed parliament chamber seats
We drank the sweat of the revolution
until we shat typhoid of the unrepented struggle

We sang Aluta Continua!!!
despotic gangrene still boils the duct of the republic
autocratic bilharzia itches the uterus of the country
corruption sparklingly polishes the shoes of the congress
fake referendums are the stake of current dictatorships
season of influenza wiped the last drops of november oil
and chunks of rugged dollar notes

november, we danced to the clay thudding,
concrete throbbing, dust rousing
fall of black Napoleon
January, we feasted the super-rich steak of propaganda
dished by the new black cockerel and danced again with dangling bellies
march, laughter’s of last November
drowned in pits of regret and jives are muted by incessant motorcade sirens
august, we fried election -corpses in violence-rimmed frying furnaces
october, the sun of poverty rises with tears over its face
and the flames of penury roasted lives like peanuts
december, the republic walked into another year with bended legs and twisted hands
the blink of the ember robot is the jive of an ideological imbecile sloshed by toxic politics
the stare of the green robot is the fall of another war combatant
the glow of the red robot is the yawn of an empty bank



…………………. river of mermaid spirits, Kalanga and his kindred
Mormon never danced onto these river-beds, reggae was not sung here
Steep river that bathed cracked feet of Kalanga damsels
Kalanga demi-beauties that later became sacred Matabele mothers,
Mothers of the road not mothers of the rod
Ikwelo washed the weary long - bearded apparitions of Mfecane ghosts,
Maqawe, Amaqawe
Maqawe, Amaqawe walked from Zulu-land, through Nguni-land up to Kalanga-land


They sang to Ikwelo, they recited to the mist of the river.

“We are children of Mfecane,
Children of the road
Children sired by the spear and the blood
Children birthed by the river and the mist
Grandsons of Mpenzeni, Kanye,
Nkulumane, Mpande, Dingane
Chaka Mathai and Mpondo
We lost of flutes and our voices during the exodus”
They sang to Ikwelo and recited to the mist of the river.


This river carries the supreme spirit of tovela, tovela the god of rain
And Njelele walks free in the realms of Ikwelo
and later ride on the reed waves towards dawn,
Tovela and Njelele sing hymns to the sun, reciting wisdom to the moon,
Ikwelo walks with mothers telling stories of their journey from Njelele-land to Ikwelo the river of spirits
And the river is the spirit that walked with our grandmothers
Ikwelo river is google- pregnant with dawn -songs pigeons, red flaked fish and aged black crocodiles
Ikwelo is the name of the unravished river without another name than Ikwelo


Today, Ikwelo pigeons sing beautiful soprano to every mid-day tenor of train whistles
Today, Ikwelo supplicates along with long bearded and white-robbed self-ordained Masowe prophets
Evenings, Inkwell watches emotion-packed erotic escapades of errant girls cuddled in bosoms of sex-starved delinquent morons
At night, Ikwelo dances with descending angels and seductive-hypocritical mermaids
Towards dawn, Ikwelo adjourns the dance festival and talks to tovela and Njelele, gods of rain


At dawn mermaids’ spirits walk unto tendrils of mist to the patches of the glowing sun
Sometimes, heavenly angels strut onto the rough carpet of moon silhouettes to the river
The earthly ancestors remain silent as they drink from the ikwelo midnight jazz groove
and at the time elderly mermaids are walking still upon the carpets of the universe/heaven
Heavenly gods are also quiet as angels jostle for power/influence with river spirits It is thirty moons away from the spirit-land elections

Ikwelo the river of mermaid spirits,
the river of aging crocodiles,
the river of dawn -beautiful cooing pigeons
Ikwelo, stream of steepness,
river of Kalanga jukwa
river of jukwa kalanga
river of tovela wokwa njelele
river of tovela njelele


love letter poem to the Queen of England (from black african man)

Tonight, I forgot about the land-grabbing commissars,

native commissioners/Cecil john Rhodes /Charles Rudd/Robert Moffat

I forgot of 1890 colonial emissaries invading Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, the name carved from the stones of mutapa-land

and boulders of changamire dombo


Tonight, I forgot about the imaginary candy mountain promised to Matebele King (lobengula)

to dispense tracks of fertile land,

England is the colonial legacy of millet /sugar/tobacco plantation slavery ideology

Dear Queen of England / your majesty,

I forgot

I forgot about the colonial whip, metal boots planted in my grandfather’s scrotum by swastika like police camaraderie trained to strangle to loot for lunch and eat death for dinner

Your Majesty, Queen of England, I write a love letter to you

Yes, I forgot about yellow maize donated to African grandmothers as drought relief,

poverty inscribed like ancient hieroglyphics on the sanction-smashed apparitions of chimurenga grandchildren,

Tonight, I forgot

Margaret Thatcher the iron -lady political stalwart / even tony Blair never pulled down the Union jerk,

Prince Charles and lord Soames inaugurated our first black cockerel,

the second never crowed, never shrilled until last November,

bullets sang baritone unto the ears of the red/black clay earth

and second cockerel crowed, your heart danced with the joy of the fall from grace of the African knighthood,

Dear Queen of England, not only Scotland and Ireland but of England,

your royal majesty, you forgot to tell Boris Johnson, the gifted poet -hoarse- sex voiced gifted politician of England, to lift the lid for us so that we can also eat and drink the sumptuous dishes of commonwealth sandwiches alongside Rwanda of Kagame and, Tanganyika of Kamba rage, Namibia of Nujoma and Naijaland of our Africa,

Queen of England , you are not the beast of the England or the beast of Ireland , you are Queen of England ,Sir Elton John sang a classic for Princess Diana ,clutching petals of blood and roses of death, somebody recited Canterbury tales and another one set Mayor of Casterbridge in Highgate, Shakespeare was the cousin of my first patriarch ,Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy are not peers of my great great grandfather ,

I drank metaphysical poetry from jugs of William Blake, DH Lawrence and John Donne. Langston n Hughes was a great poet, revolutionary of untamed mental slavery imagery, Soyinka ate African berries with white /black Tarzan in the rainforest

Last night Ghaddafi was strangled by pseudo-democrats than republicans, and they are crude like pseudo democrats, was Ghaddafi killed in the name of America or his blood was used to wash sins committed in Syria, moza, Haiti, Georgia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Saddam died a pauper, Castro still

Queen of England, you are not the beast of England,

Obama is an American of African descent,

Obama not Michele is an African with American political blood.

Did you meet George Washington or you will meet in the Queens lounge?

You will recite the covenant and ate the sacrament with him,

In your newly-revolutionary peer class, you meet your controversial but heavenly classmates Fidel Castro, Gabriel Mugabe and Pombe Magufuli,

Mandela is always in his royal seat

Kwame ,Kambarage , Senghor , Lumumba, Biko will detain you in a colonial prison to answer on matters of slavery/colonial/imperial times in Africa

I know you will tell them you was not Margaret thatcher /Harold Wilson/ Edgar whitehead/Ian smith /Cecil Rhodes,

Tell them that a queen is an angel eating berries of peace and never smelt petals of blood

Here some rich gossip

Makosetive , the grandchild of the Sobuzaof eswatini is still the great igwe/ the last monarch of Afrika

Musizulu waZwelithini the son Zwelithini kaBekizulu and new monarch of Zululand,

the descendant of Ujamaa, Senzangakhona, Tshakazulu and DinganekaZulu,

Chaka-zulu will wield as assegai and dance an ancient mbaqanga for you,

Mizilikhazika Masshobane will give a beast for a heavenly banquet,

Adolf and Benito will organize your funeral another funeral,

Stalin ,Chairman Mao , Lenin will read you the communist manifesto,

you eat and dance again with rainbow nation -grandmaster Madiba Mandela, Steve Biko

and Chris Hani will spit venom unto the dance, heavens dinner-dances knows no- protocol

Africa still sing the song of Chaminuka Murenga, Gumboreshumba, Chairman Chitepo , Nyanda Nienda Nyamhita, Kakurukazi Mungunda .

Remember Nerfetiti and Nzinga, they will detain for answers,- slavery ,colonia machetes ,poverty , sanctions and wars.

You are Queen of England , a political England ,you are not the beast of England ,

George Orwell was not an owl, he was not your griot patriot, he never met Lenin, Stalin and the other, he was a political soothsayer, a revolutionary that pasted communist revolution into a blockbuster, pen-warrior adapted socialism into a trailblazing political satire,

Ngugi and Matigari were crawling, Achebe was still dancing joyfully inside womb caves of Igbo-land/motherland, sarowiwa/Soyinka stories were still syrup in the banana leaves of manobe, Chimamanda was still some silver breeze in some great great fathers’ veins/, ben okri was not here, shadows of his ancestors were walking the famshed roads of naija.

Still George Orwell is not an owl, not your griot patriot, not your patriot griot

and Things fall apart and will not pocket the Nobel, Ngugi and decolonizing the mind is a crude life-lesson that civilizes Africa castrated by pliers of colonialism and mutilated by razor-blades of mental slavery

Queen of England- Your Majesty, you are not the beast of England, you are the Queen of England


Fall / Winter 2023

Mbizo Chirasha

Zimbabwean poet Mbizo Chirasha has contributed work to more than five hundred places online and in print, including Four Spaces (Greece), Demer Press (Holland), World Poetry Almanac (Taiwan), Cultural Daily (USA), One ghana One Voice (Ghana), Poesia de -Medellin (Colombia), gramnet (Scotland) Monk Arts and Soul Mag (UK), Bezine.Com (USA), FamAsiaMag (UK), Blackwell Pamphlet of Poetry (Oxford school of poetry), Ditch Poetry (Canada), WordCityliteraryJournal (Canada, global), Ovi Mag (Finland), DiogenPlus (Turkey), Ink Sweat and Tears (UK), The Poet Mag (UK), Spill Words (USA), Litnet (South Africa), Slipnet literary journal (SouthAfrica), Sentinel (UK), Poetry London (UK), (Slovenia), Atunis galatika (Belgium), New Coin (South Africa), Ihraf Publishes (USA), Diasporan online (Spain), Poetry Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), Zimbolicious (Zimbabwe), the Zimbabwean (Zimbabwe) and more. Chirasha works as a Live Literature Producer, Creative Interventionist (NGOs), Anthologist, Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie, Writivism Projects Curator, Editor at Large, African Writing Associate, Visiting Writer, and Poet in Residence.

Michael Paul Britto

Michael Paul Britto is a visionary artist who pushes the boundaries of contemporary art. His diverse body of work spans mediums that include video, installation, and performance to explore identity, power, and representation. Through his thought-provoking creations, Britto challenges social norms and cultural constructs while addressing issues of race, gender, and sexuality. His work is characterized by its boldness, vibrant colors, striking imagery, and keen storytelling, and has been exhibited globally, earning him critical acclaim and establishing him as a significant voice that inspires and provokes through artistic expression to foster dialogue and change.

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