Ipikai Poetry Journal
The Story of Zimbabwe in Poetry
ISSUE 1 | MAY 2022www.ipikai.org
The Ipikai Poetry Journal
is a project of the
Zimbabwe Poets Society.
FROM THE EDITOR
A Place to Gather
Writing is a lonely profession. Perhaps this is why the concept of writers’ cafés and writers’ bars exists—because every once in a while we need places to gather and share ideas.
This may also explain why literary journals exist (they also give readers a quick portal to varied voices). And now more than ever, two years into a pandemic, we need a place to (virtually) gather writers and share stories and ideas. This is why Ipikai exists.
For this issue, we asked writers to craft poems about the duality of life. This is a pertinent topic as the pandemic has shown us the extremes of life — the grief of death, the comfort of solidarity. While some of our poets have chosen to speak about the ongoing pandemic, many more have examined mortality from a philosphical standpoint.
And our contributors did not disappoint. Poets highlighted the bitter traditions we hold surrounding death and how visceral bereavement can feel:
Bata maoko/Hold the hands/Feel the fingers of grief/The cold knuckles between/How calloused the palms/How bruised the tip/The weeping thumb – Chioniso Tskisayi, “Hosho & Hymns.”
“The Hosho & Hymns.” The poems in this issue also speak of longing and grieving for other things such as home and family: clasping again/the hands of long lost siblings/we have just found – Tsitsi Jaji, “Guruuswa.”
More importantly, any gathering of poets always brings the opportunity to be introduced to previously unknown voices and this issue boasts three poems by the phenomenal Joyce Chigiya who calls herself a novice but writes with the skill of a seasoned wordsmith. Takudzwa Goniwa stretches mortality into a surreal element, while Mbonisi Zikhali critiques society’s docile attitude in the face of conflict, “we talk about war like it’s reality television” in a way that is reminiscent of Gill Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
And here, I will invite you to read Ipikai’s maiden issue.
April 25, 2022
The Duality of Life
In many cultures, life and death are considered to be different sides of the same coin. Each birth foreshadows an inevitable death – at some point, each vital thing becomes dilapidated, the verdant tends to decay. The understanding of our inevitable deaths makes us uncomfortable in hospitals and old age homes, we avoid obituaries unless they are written about people who were close to us…
Click on a title to read the poem, or on a name to see all the poems by that poet…