Arielle Shakour is a student of Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Shakour is passionate about Africa, Poetry and people. She has calling for Chapbooks and has so far completed a Chapbook of her African experiences. Shakour was part of the Canada Africa Writers Exchange delegation that visited East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya led by Professor Joanna Cockerline of UBC, University of British Columbia, Canada. Her verses are laced with Swahili verbiage and terminology. The style is out of touch, simple though deep. Her Poetry will be included in the forthcoming #liberatedpen and other WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS JOURNALS.
KUMINA NA MOJA
it’s probably marinating inside you right now,
it’ll come out she says,
leaves to grab her laptop,
the power flickers out as i drink wine,
its dark & red like the blood in the street,
the cow stripped of its coat,
skin exposed, meat dangling in the window.
around the corner is a man in a white lab coat
splattered with dots of cow guts.
we smile, wave, mambo, stray dogs lap up the pools of running blood.
this is my quick and dirty: whenever i see cows in tanzania
i think about how you would squeeze my cheeks & how i would moo.
here, women own the milk trade,
but they are traded for bride prizes,
paid in 4-5 cows.
when i stumble through the walkway the night is full of scooby-doo-spooky darkness cows echo,
my heart hears women.
KUMINA NA NNE
back on the hill of orange tents
the plastic bottle melts in the middle of the burning logs.
alexis lends me her plaid pajama pants
so i don’t have to wear a skirt made of a rain
jacket tied to my waist.
our pants are soaked from the kilasiya waterfall,
so we drape them on her crutch,
try drying them rotisserie style
but they remain damp & reek of charred containers.
nelson passes a plate around there is fish & ugali,
since ugali goes perfectly with a story
about how kilimanjaro came to be.
according to the chagga tribe,
the two peaks are brothers,
mawenzi & kibo.
everything started with smoking pipes,
& mawenzi’s pipe needing more fire.
smoke dances towards the picnic table,
so we leave the pavilion, & we tilt our heads up.
it looks like new york city
except the high rises are melting into the charcoal sky
, just like the empty oil container that’s being licked by embers.
our cameras can’t capture the beauty & neither do my words.
ishirini na moja
lady lions lull in the afternoon sun
they lay limp & yellow like spaghetti
but when they’re up
they’re the biggest predator in the serengeti.
the hills are full of grey elephants,
a baby waves its trunk at us says goodbye,
flipping its ears, floppy like lettuce
& we see an elephant that is missing one honky tony tusk,
littered among the grass.
sides slashed like a tire,
the hippo wanders alone through the savannah.
cuts so fresh & red blood peeking out
through windows of skin oxpeckers poke at its hide.
wrinkles stretch over its weary eyes
& this is the circle of life.
life is being a hippo staggering
through the grass oozing yet still moving.
when i was 14 i felt like a hippo.
my sides would peek out of a hot pink tank top,
eyeliner on the bottom lashes only,
slashed my own wrists in the bathroom.
the scar is tattooed to remind me
i am a bird & i just gotta keep pecking.
ARIELLE . K . SHAKOUR is a 4th year student studying
English Literature, with a minor in Creative Writing
at the University of British Columbia.She has self-published a book of poetry, called
Exposed Bones & Broken Poems. She has a poempublished in UBC Slam Poetry’s Third AnnualChapbook, The Year We Became. In addition,her work can be found on The Garden Statuary and on The Foundationalist Journal. She has one dog.
Her favorite food is banana pancakes and she livesin Vancouver, Canada.
WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS CURATOR
MBIZO CHIRASHA is (ihraf.org) 2019 International Fellow of the International Human Rights Arts Festival New York. Essays contributor for the MONK art and soul Magazinehttp://monk.gallery/category/essays/ in United Kingdom. Co-Editor of the STREET VOICE a German Africa Poetry collection, http://www.street-voice.de/SV7/SVissue7.html in Germany, Co-Editor of Silent Voices, https://www.obooko.com/free-poetry-collections/silent-voices-adedoyin ( a tribute to Chinua Achebe) Contributor Atunis Galatika,https://atunispoetry.com/2018/11/23/mbizo-chirasha-zimbabwe/, Belgium.Contributor to Diogen Plus Magazine in Turkey, http://diogenplus.weebly.com/mbizo-chirasha.html.Editor of the WomaWords Literary Press, https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/. Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal, miombopublishing.wordpress.com