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First Poetry Prize Winner - Summer 2014



of Brighton, Sussex, England


"Brave Song"

by Thabiso Mokokwane





When the rising deserts strayed north

Unto the sleeping forests reach

Golden sands that sprayed forth

Tapped a tune of Natures grief

And leaves did fall and fall in torrents as the hail

Yet tenderly so, crestfallen crusted up and pale



A river carried tale of what transpired in the East

It strum through the deepest valleys, to the whistling of a gale

Yet it plays with growing agony - at the absence of the rain

And it trickles down to lonely, a murk in deathly shame



Where then shall the eagle rinse its talons?

Or the lion wash its mane?

A falcon has nested in a tower,

An edifice of metal frame

In the newer jungle burns on neon flames

Flaring high to the heavens peak

Sounds a muffled drone as of many feet

Seeking out what’s not theirs to keep



A fading blossom cries a silent cry

As it petals flake into the wind

For no longer now does the ground hold firm

Or the sky keep its promise - to it

The queen has fallen wails the carving ice

The virtuoso that commands our awe

Behold true sorrow the loss of life

Lo and behold mother nature’s toll


A darling Starling perched atop a limb

To the sky sings a brave song

Spreads still its wings as with fear it brims

Takes to the sky to live on.


By Thabiso Mokokwane



About the author/poet: (age: 19)

I’m a Botswana born male who is currently studying A- levels in England. I have a love for poetry, it is a feature of my everyday life, as I draw inspiration to write from my personal experiences and my passions. I have no formal training, neither have I had any real exposure, but do enjoy to read the works of some of the greats, my most admired being Emily Dickinson. This poem was inspired by the singing of a critically endangered Starling, and thoughts on climate change.