The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Fiction from Mexico City

2 Poems Published

Bantu Soul

 

Kama Sywor KAMANDA

Chants de Brumes

 

 

I hold the power of immortal languages

living in the filigree of forbidden dreams.

To you I bring, priests of Amon,

The blood of our rebirth.

Memory of Egypt lives in my Bantu soul.

O Time, your vestiges sweep along my myths!

Revelations become sanctifying pacts

And words the imprints of the gods.

O, limpidity of death

A wayward wind in eternity’s roots!

Space leads my antiquities

Toward the Nile’s far-off banks.

My ancestors’ path becomes my mirror.

My body, raging through the centuries,

Throbs like sacred springs

And the breath of days promised to mankind.

--

Kama Sywor KAMANDA was born in Luebo, Congo in 1952. State diploma in literary humanities, 1968; degree in journalism, Journalism Sch., Kinshasa, Congo, 1969; degree in polit. scs., U. Kinshasa, Congo, 1973; L. philosophy and humanities (honors), U. Kinshasa, Congo, 1975; HD, U. Liège, 1981. This writer's poetry, novels and folk-tales illustrate the dual influences of Ancient Egypt, his Ancestors' Land, and of his rich Bantu ancestry. Ten collections of poetry, in which the celebration of Africa and the anguish of exile and solitude are recurring themes, have earned international recognition. Kamanda's work has been widely translated and appears in international literary journals. He has won numerous literary awards.

 

Kama Sywor KAMANDA, Congo (Published in Issue 18)

 

Chants de Brumes

 

 

Bantu Rebirth

 

Bantu rebirth,

Your language calls up the wind,

Rain’s torrents

In grotesque consciousness,

Light magic from afar

In every eye.

And our trances, put to the test,

Scan humanity’s vast entrails.

Dawn breathes without exile,

And our stumbling steps

On the sands of return,

Link our dreams

To fragments of history.

Osiris, bloodied by our cowardice,

Licks the flames

And our souls’ wounds.

And yet, woman,

Immortality’s pact

With infinity’s words,

Holds high her faith

To chronicle our failings.

O sea, your tide goes out

Carrying off our fears,

Our anguish and uncertainties,

And invites us to return

To our lands of origin.

 

 

 

--

You can find out more about Kama Sywor Kamanda's poetry in our interview section.