Zim Poetry

Ellen’s African Rap

Poetry for those who inspire us.

Legends and Myths of Zimbabwe
By Ellen Clark, Meet Director 2000 – 2019

Zimbabwe is a country of many myths and legends!  One such legend is the legend of the River God, Nyaminyami, who was outraged over the displacement of his people and animals when the Kariba Dam was constructed on the Great Zambizi down river from Victoria Falls.  Yet, as the waters of the great Zambizi thunder Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe stands smiling bonded by its mysteries and myths.  In this poem by Vera Borodyansky, she creates her own modern day myth with the dragon “Kimbabwe” and then accompanies her myth with her beautiful painting that won her first place in our African Art Contest for 6th graders in 2017.  Her painting is held by Awards Presenter and Zimbabwe Run Ambassador, senior Daniel Griffin of St. Francis High School.   Daniel was a key member of the 2016 Central Coast Section Championship St. Francis Cross-Country Team.

A Poem by Vera Borodyansky
6th grader at St. Joseph School in 2017

Painting and poem by Vera Borodyansky

Vera’s painting held by Awards Presenter and Zimbabwe Run Ambassador, senior Daniel Griffin of St. Francis High School

A legend long ago told:

Someday in ancient
A legend was told
Long ago
That a dragon called
Created all this
He lives in a land
Of green grass and streams
And teaches his daughter
To greenery bring.
Prosperity comes
From the great Kimbabwe
And love from his daughter
Goes to Zimbabwe
They’ll always be there
The guardians strong
And when they’ll arrive
You’ll hear a great bong. . .

A Poem by Emily Maia
5th grader in Belmont, CA

I was there when the Earth was a fiery rock

The solar system only beginning to form

And still I beam with you when you rejoice

And I comfort you when you mourn

I am not an object, you cannot see me

I cannot be touched, nor tasted, nor smelt

But through your actions, words, and thoughts,

In your heart I can be felt

It is true, what you say

I make the world go around

My gentle push makes the Earth spin

I look upon all the sky, the ocean, and even the ground

I am always in your heart

You are never really alone

I’ll help you make the world a better place

Even when my presence is not known

Have you an idea of what I am?

If not, I shall tell you one more thing

I am in every object in the world

And I am what makes the universe sing

I am beside you, behind you

In front, below, above

I am with you, within you,

And my name is love.

Emily, a long time participant in the Annual Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair, is a winner of the 2018 San Mateo County Libraries Community Poetry Contest. 

Gift of a Poem Dedicated to the Clarks
By Pat Marriott

Congratulations on Run #17. How did all those years go by so fast?

I LOVE your poems! Here’s one for YOU:

Here’s to the Clarks – an incredible team
Giving young orphans a reason to dream.
For 17 years they’ve been on the run
Raising serious money and making it fun.
Give from your heart – it’s donations they need.
You’ll power the runners to go at top speed.
It’s not just trophies or fame they’re proud of
It’s all the sweet children they bless with their love.

Resilience of an African Child
by Girley Tegama

Born pure as a dove
Yet not enough love to elevate them above
Their little lives transcend our hope
Yet in a world apart they still cope
With no-one to rock them to sleep
Their needs are so deep
For others, existence is brief
For some, survival is such a grief
Their little lives have turned into a street scene
Streets have turned dark and mean
Yet some find them as homes
‘Til someone who care comes
To soothe their distressed hearts pinched by despair
A generations’ burden is placed upon their shoulders
Little do they know someone cares
Even if their misery is met with stares
Robbed by struggles taking over the neighborhood
Lost is such a precious childhood
Enduring such pain at tender age
Their grief stricken faces look out for a new page
Even if their eyes have seen a lot
And their guts look forward to a filled pot
The resilience of an African child, I salute
For their cause, let’s not be mute

A Poem Dedicated to the Girls
By Ellen Clark, Meet Director

Ellen and Ellie Clark

Standing by the race course I see

The girls powerfully blast by
Long strides, feet barely touching the ground
Sweat glistening off arms and legs and heads.
I see the girl in first
With the concentration and gaze of a chess player
Going for the course record.
I see the girl in last.
There always must be a last.
Not worried, ever confident
Cheered by the crowd,
Urged forward, ever strong, ever committed
Believing in herself.
Knowing she’ll make to the finish line and then she does.
All confident, all grateful, all striving, all committed.
The wonder of this moment and its beauty
Found in the girl who comes in first
And the girl who comes in last.

A Poem Dedicated to the Boys
By Ellen Clark, Meet Director

Los Altos Town Crier, March 13, 2019 Poetry Slam

Ellen Clark, Poetry Slam at The Linden Tree Bookstore, Los Altos

Standing by the race course I see
The boys race by.
Shoulder to shoulder competition.
Bold tactics here, a bumped elbow there.
The urge to move ahead
One boy tripping, getting up and moving forward.
The desire to win strong
But the competition is sweet and fair and good.
No sticks or balls or helmets required.
Just feet and bodies moving to an ancient rhythm.
The crowd cheers the boys’ grit
The effort on their faces.
No one ever said running a fast mile is easy.
But faces turn to smiles as the boys’ collect
Their finisher ribbons.
The wonder of this moment and its beauty.
Found in the boy who sacrifices and suffers a bit
For a cause as great as himself.

Here’s to the Volunteer
By Ellen Clark

Here’s to the volunteer
Who comes on the bus
Ten transfers from East San Jose just to be with us.
I could give him a gift from some fancy place
But wait, I remember neither his name or his face.

Here’s to the volunteer
In hot elephant costume that needs a dry cleaning
She never asks if this is all a bit demeaning.
I could send her a single rose
But wait, the flower shop’s almost ready to close.

Here’s to the volunteer
Who does data entry.
Risking carpal tunnel a plenty.
I could give her a box of candy.
But wait, a store is not handy.

Here’s to the volunteer
Who is a course guide in a remote spot.
Makes sure runners stay where they ought
I could give him ice cream and a donut
But wait, I hear most healthy are whole nuts.

Here’s to the volunteer
Who works without recognition
Who completes tasks without direction
I could call or send him an e-mail
But wait, I don’t have any details.

Here’s to the volunteers
Who play games with the kids and paint faces
Who sell t-shirts and time all the races
I could buy everyone cheetah shirts
But wait, my bank account would really hurt.

OK, I just decided
And I’m truly excited!
If a letter of recommendation is your request
I’ll do my best to really impress
I’ll check my spelling and my grammar
Language so pristine, it’s good enough for your grandma.

I’ll write Sustainable Living Foundation from top to bottom
To impress, I’ll say President of SLF quite often.
I’ll say you’re really praise worthy
Use lots of high blown vocabulary

I’ll say you are the volunteer of the year.
And, to me, you are most dear.
I’ll say you’ll rise to the top of Google or Facebook or Apple
And, you’re not too bad at playing Scrabble.

I’ll go on to say you are the light of humanity
And at the run, you kept us from all major calamities.
And, if this all sounds a bit “too much.”
I’ll tone it down with this light touch.

I’ll say you strive to love and live
You teach us how to give.
You have a purpose in this world to make a difference
All of this is of great significance.

Learn more about our foundation

Sustainable Living Foundation

156 Marvin Ave.
Los Altos, CA 94022