Kimba: Pen Power

There is an inexhaustible power to reimagine ourselves and the world we live in, 24 hours a day. That power is called writing. It shapes the world whether we believe it or not, whether the change is immediate or in years to come. It eventually comes.

To a greater extent writing poetry offers the opportunity of discovering that power in each of our uniquely intuitive creative thinking abilities. We all have access to the same words, or we can do. But poetry showcases the genius of their use in original and often unorthodox ways. In addition, performance poetry, of which I have been a practitioner for ten plus years, personifies the breath of life that can cause those words to fly off pages into our imaginations and subconscious, and reside there for a lifetime.

Without any prior indication that I would, I fell in love with the world of words. Initially my youthful ambitions were to be a musician, architect and professional athlete. When learning an instrument and architecture seemed out of reach, along an exhilarating and at times deeply disappointing journey, I stumbled upon words with a poet named Saul Williams using them in ways I’d never heard before. I was intrigued in the same way I was when I first heard Slick Rick the rapper telling his Children’s Story.

Award-winning children’s author Lexi Rees and actor Alex Stedman whom I worked with at Polka Theatre for a youth writing program called ‘ Write Here Right Now ‘

This time the words alone were the music. And my heart was beating to the drum of their cadence. Writing took new precedence in my life. I was a young student at university and suddenly all the margins of my classroom notepads were filling with poetry unrelated to the lectures. Something changed. Most of my childhood anxieties about being in front of people, and questions about my lack of ability to succeed in life, diminished.

It’s now been replaced by a love of learning and sharing all for benefit through writing poetry, and art and performance. It sounds a cliche. But writing poetry changed my life. And that change broadened recently with the publication of my first book of poetry Write the Wrongs with Authors Abroad who’ve bestowed on me the honour of teaching poetry in schools globally. Writing the book, I re-lived moments in a way that revealed their significance in my life and how they shaped me. Now seeing the work that young students produce from understanding simple concepts in figurative speech has been a wonderful world of exploration and empowerment.

Excerpts below.

Cerita The Cheetah

from ‘ Write the Wrongs ‘ by Kimba

She was a cheetah

Easily spotted in our city for her speed

The track team had stars

But she was from another planet

No one could see her

when she took off

she did damage

To what we thought

girls could do

Boys ate the dust off her feet

The souls of her shoes

Flattened them one by one

Till there was none left

In each crew

Boys were no competition

Though they often tried

Victory after victory

She softened the toughest guys

If you thought you could take her

You were in for a rough ride

This feline was so stream-lined

And had so much pride

A champion of sorts

She had no remorse

In leaving the hopes of boys

Stiff as a corpse

The hunter the predator

She was always on course

She had the eye of the tiger

And opponents’ hearts on a fork


by Maria from Sacred Heart Girls School, Middlesex

Uncertainty, smiling maliciously

A rough cut stone impeding my path

I try, persevere

So that I may rise out of its flames

But a thousand are running through my head


Kimba is a devoted husband, father, poet, and musician originally from Trenton, New Jersey, now residing in London. He’s been featured at the V&A, Tate Modern and the Houses of Parliament. His first published poetry book is Write the Wrongs.