Poetry was my Valentine!

As Joburg readies itself for the next Current State of Poetry SLAM in April,  Avuyile Dume reminisces about last month’s Valentine’s month, which has her believing that “truly, greatness is not achieved in comfort zones.”


Valentine escapes the ‘roses are red…’ lens and throws Belita’s arrows of “Do not love her!” at the audience.


The vast army of poets adorned in seasoned words graced the Space.com studio in the name of uthando. I’m not sure of the sight the audience witnessed. What I do know is I came to perform yet another poem, to my surprise Jefferson Tshabalala had a different plan up his sleeve. Poets on the spot, creativity forced to flow in two minute intervals and presented fresh from the think tank with no time for mic checks-1,2,1,2 in two’s and three’s we go.


I don’t like being put on the spot but it seemed that my wings have long been ready to fly till almost the last round. It is on this stage that it unfolded that truly, greatness is not achieved in comfort zones.


There was an invisible tapestry of common understanding between the cupid fluttery battle on stage and Bobby Gordon’s fingers on the type writer.


There were poetic lyrics in the air that birthed three poems and yes, where there is a room filled with creative minds and those who appreciate creative minds, Zulu translation, Shisa Nyama and a response poem value more than rands if you auction the work of the fingers on the type writer looking for a Mzantsi experience.


 What would a perfect Sunday be without a mother’s touch? It is the hands of Dr Sarah and Dr Thando that weaved separate voices into one harmonious piece of malangabs, leaving the audience in awe. We are family after all. It was beautiful to see my lines find meaning in the words of another.


Valentine 2

Scattered red pillows to set the scenery, bits and pieces of collaborative poetry and a dash of an exuberant mc…there you have it a perfect Valentine’s Show.    Valentine painted in the art of love in both its bright and sometimes dark colors but in end “this love is pure enough to be your medicine”, Busisiwe couldn’t have said it any better.