Monday, 31 October 2011

A diary entry - a blue song

there is this song that i want to sing you all
not that my voice is good, its cracked
got broken when the moon
looked away. don't blame her
she's not that easily distracted, there was
a real war going on one time
so she turned for a moment to see 
I smile with my mouth turned down
what the noise was. when she did 
my top note shattered. i was sore for a day
or three but i stll remember the melody

 so don't expect clear water
all i got is soft mottled syrup
clotted near the aorta of the harmony
but sweet
liable to break your heart still
yeah i believe i can say that
with humble authority

these lips have chapped
from all the hurricanes  i've blown
all the circle songs
that have raised the dead who  camped in my back yard
but i'm not ashamed of those angels , not me

i got a song i want to sing for you
 something i am proud of.

i'm a lady with a blue song
a blues song made of diamonds, 
ash and water and golden syrup

written by Zena Edwards 2011©

Thursday, 27 October 2011

haiku red

Being Undermined

in just one place, there!
hot scratches of anger scrape
her chest raw, don't speak...

words will make it right
the wrongness must be felt hard
keep it a secret

exorcise at the gym?
To drive it into the ground?
Let the fire burn hard

patience. time knows when
there's dignity in the wait
trees come to blossom

strike! the moist moment
ripe to release with control
injustice: fair game

haiku green

Let it go

her lashes lower
shoulders meant for relaxing
sing a sigh, hot bath

haiku yellow

You Joy

face ache, inner glow
thermostat set to 'roasting'
next joke, reload, go!

haiku blue


Just too much, they said.
No-one should have that much, true?
Sadness chooses who.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Dead Line - By Zena Edwards

The piece is about a frustrated artists who is stuck in a loop of dead end temp jobs and her infuriating current boss who haunts her every waking and sleeping hour…

Click to find enlarge. Find the smiley face...

Written and performed by Zena Edwards©
Commissioned by James Robinson for BBC Radio 4.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

4 months breathing this air

i met a Spirit today
a warm new Spirit, a friendly little Spirit
still asking for it's Mama for milk
not knowing he needed to be held still
for healthy growth
your average human being should hug
4x a day for healthy emotional development: security

We spoke a long while, he told me plenty
not in the mouthed codes
i'd decipher as 'english', no
in burbble gurgles, conversating
with my psyche, asked me to listen
to hush enough to hear my own pulse

to listen to pure talk about his day
about the crazy people from the day before
who never held him right and talked too loud
or the fact that if he looked at his foot
and thought about it hard enough at the same time
he could make the toes wiggle

he smiled in his dreams
drew long breath, filling tiny new  lungs
nodded his head as he took instruction
alert to learn, walk strong in awake dreams
with a heads up about the next day
i envied his sleep

and his communing
the airwaves clear and ungarbled, he smiles again
before he wakes

Written by Zena Edwards©

The prince and the poor bitch

i'm a raggedy rich girl with empty pockets
looking at those invisible diamonds on my fingers

you are a list of encores on my palms
an a to z of inhalations

if these simple lips and tight tongue
could put voice to that breath
they’d talk the wind of a web
of the bind of supine spells that snare me
in the sound of your name

in a pitch night of flawless entrapment
fucking with monumental moods swings
in between the blades of these venetian blinds
shades of flaring orange and intrepid indigo
you kiss (like its supposed) to make everything ok
i rise and fall in turbulent tides, turning, forever turning

                                                                                     Dangling from the edge of a dawn chorus
                                                                                     over dreams of Onyx unicorns and fawning lilies
                                                                                              who turn their sex to a moaning misty moon

clouded in lost love songs not yet born
love so potent it’s daunting
haunting until my stomach comes out on my tongue
I give what I have
and I desire only to be here

there are wet eyes in the sky tonight
watching a rich girl
with empty pockets
slipping a diamond so willingly
onto his finger

Written by Zena Edwards©

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Air port


in the efficient business
of separating, re-connecting
cheek pecks, slow kisses, embraces
corporate hand shakes and cold stares
In the market of trading emotions
That swarm over marble sky

hundreds of tons
love and lonely laden  lead geese
Knocking the roof of the troposhpere

Written by Zena Edwards

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Book Of Night Women By Marlon James

One of my Favourite Books of all time. It gave me an insight into what it could have been really like for African women in the Caribbean as slaves. Set at the beginning of the spread of the Slave Revolts all over the Caribbean, Lilith is what I would call the anti-heroine of the book. I do not like her, but was totally engrossed in her story. It a compelling read. Marlon James nails it.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

#Occupy Tweet micro freestlye...

 ... on a 3hr train ride from Stockton after a days mentoring, I saw so many tweets about Global Occupy 15th October. 
I had to go. I had to tweet
We squeeze you out of our minds
Where you squatted self righteous
Charging US rent
Now we occupy our own street
Student and Youth generation courage heaven sent
To remind us what we really are
Not bodies as batteries
But self empowered stars
#Occupy, the Whole World is Watching, SHINE!!
#OccupyLondonstockexchange #occupylsx

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Haley Never Cut On Wednesdays

Haley never cut on wednesdays
To see the inside outside
All screaming bloody murder in a streak
down her thigh, rimming her socks

“issues! the girls got issues man”, a statement
meant for the  grip of a seagulls beaks
over the city dump near a Thamesmead estuary
She let the river run the rest of the week

she dragged the children’s home for
broken glass and compass points,
discarded bits of metal car parts, barbed wire

Haley, patterned kente and celtic cumulus cloud
in her daydreamed skies
Anything to pretty up the walls
of the St Augustines care home for girls
waiting for the next fostering
brown girl out of a catalogue
cheap as an Argos sovereign
Wanted for the money, not wanted for the money

She raided the stationary cabinet for something to do
her heart was honeycombed like
Each hole a puncture in the photo
She brutally hole punched faces first
her brothers eyes as empty as in his mug shots
then necks, let it out

let the scream out through that black hole
White washed into stats and perforated facts about her
Mixed heritage and marked middle ground
Nothing is sacred in St Augustines
Just logged but nothing’s regulated except lights out

Written by Zena Edwards©

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Zena E's Selection Part 1

Here's a set of poems that I feel repesents a spectrum of my work from 2003, 06, 07 and '10. More to come soon.

Zena E's selection Part 1 by Zena Edwards

Friday, 7 October 2011

Last of a Line

i am the last of a line
it stops here with me

no children, as yet, to pass the blood on
to flow over the smoothed rocks
of an ancestors foundation

last of a line
where the estuary ends
And as a child, first generation born un the UK, I make sense of my world
With  British Tongue and brown skin.
The book I am to write is of how We came to be here
of how this world's history branded We,
And I am to make sense of the archipelago
Of stories, pebbles washed up on a the shores of
an old empire coughed me out

A free radical
that came into its own,
the thorn in the throat of a giant, a clot

Feel it

It was when I read poetry
that I found the Aunties and other Mama’s who knew me

it was as if they laid their hands upon me.
It was their in their voices, there in the resonance of words

Their deep sigh for me between the lines
to guide my steps

Space for me to write me
I imagine I had not lived an authentic moment
till I felt the word of Maya* or
mm-hm-ed the vex of Sapphire*

Stuck between the cracks of Englands creases
If you truly pressed them out you'd be sick for two bicentenaries
I'm not ready for that kind of sick alone

No, I need to find succor
in the symphonic stutters of Sister Sonia* 
and the cradle of Jean*

Thursday, 6 October 2011

For Marcella - RIP Sister

For Marcella

Bloodlines explores identity and a young womans returning of Afi-Cari-British heritage to her Ancestral homeland of Africa. I have been lucky enough to travel to many parts of Africa and the account of the countries visited in this piece are true. So is the part about being claimed by numerous tribes as one of their own. The  Khoisan girl in the piece Marcella, became a friend of mine when I selpt some night in the Namibian desert. She was beautiful spirit, generous and gentle, a wonderful singer and dancer. Sadly, she passed under mysterious circumstances in 2008. This post is for her.

Bloodlines is one of my first BBC Radio 3 commissions. I sound so young : ) But it was also one of my most enjoyable. I hope you enjoy it too...

Edens Serpent

Edens Serpent 

this ‘S’ on my chest
is a molten lava river
flowing down to power source my vulva

this ‘S’, a serpent
gripping its tail in its mouth
swallowing the knowledge of itself
till it is sated

singing infinite circle songs
signing itself onto its own scales
to the tone of the kundalini ohm
a note recognisable in us all
if we only listened

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

WHEN THE 33'S SPIN - Music, Race & a Little Girl - Pt. 1

When The 33's Spin - A poem

Eleven and home alone
with the turntable 
and the shiny liquorice  platter
playing a set
for memories to be made treasures and cuckoo stories
of broken hearts, of lost things found,
of courage liberated
the triumphant fist of blues
the spectrum of emotion played  in those grooves
onyx plates of Soul Food 

Bobby Womack's gravel molasses tones
riffs stretching notes  beyond the elasticity of time
Funkadelic dooloops scoop me on my rollerskates:
ripped carpets, broken door handles 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Code Empashis is a great Facebook camera club that arranges to meet and agre to assignment set by Bunny Bread, the founder of the club.
One Indian Summer day in October, th emission was to go to the Southbank and take portrait shots of people. I was apprehensive at first but once I go the hang os smiling sweetly and making people feel interesting, some interesting shots revealed themselves to me.