Summer 2003 • Vol. XXV No. 3/4 PoetryJuly 1, 2003 |

Rebellious Teachers

In the lush countryside even sun rays dim against strafe of police fire. Flocks of gold flies and hyenas swarm the land in the lull of gunshot sounds when party functionaries move against rebellious villagers who refuse to give up their lands and are taken out. Here terror is arbitrary. Death can visit anyone at any time: an old woman sitting by a mango tree tells how, two doors away, Mbisa, the young teacher, was taken away. Two days later, she said, they found his body floating in the village well. No explanations were given. None were necessary.

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Author of Crackle at Midnight (1998), Messages Left Behind (Brown Turtle Press 2011), and Things Circular (Cissus World Press 20015), Lupenga Mphande has had poems published in Poetry Review and other literary magazines and anthologies, including the Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English, Fate of Vultures, and New Poetry of Africa. He was the 1988 book prize winner of the BBC Art and Africa Poetry Award and is associate professor of African-American and African Studies at Ohio State University.

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