‘A Prayer For Misguided Love’ – a poem by Quinton Manning

A Prayer For Misguided Love (2013)
Quinton Manning

In the beginning, You smiled and there was light.
In the beginning, Adam smiled and I found life.
In the beginning, it was Adam and I.
Then Eve came by.
Her heart was unprotected.
So Adam offered a rib. His rib.
Eve took his rib and from then on all Adams were left with a whole.
Adam’s hole made Eve whole.
Is that why, Adam, we don’t feel whole? Adam, is that why I need you to feel whole?
Tell me Adam, do you feel whole? Or would you rather run after Eve’s armoured heart and ask her to make your hole, whole?
Once Eve says no because she likes being whole, Adam, will you return with the whole of your hole and ask me to fill you?
Did you not see it from the beginning Adam?
Adam, what’s one missing rib to a man who’s not whole?
Adam, I’d give you a rib if you asked.
Adam, I’d give you a cage if you asked.
Adam, I’d give you my heart if you asked.
Adam, all you need to do is ask.
Adam, ask.
Adam, ask and you will receive the abundance of my love.

But he does not ask.

And she leads him astray and he shouts, “YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD!”
But God help them because they are both doused in darkness.

And she leads him to lie in pastures.
But those pastures have not been green since the forbidden fruit had fallen onto the ground between her thighs.
She bit into it.
He bit into it.
And their eyes were closed even further.
So she walked out of the garden with a snake where her borrowed rib once was. And he followed. He followed like a shepherd following a star. But she was no star.

And I stood and watched them.
In the garden.
And Lord, you stood next to me.
And Lord, I asked You why.
I asked You why You gave Adam’s rib to Eve and not to me.
I asked why You had allowed my heart to burn.
Because it burns Lord. It burns with a flame for Adam.

And You said, “Let it burn.
Watch as it turns from ashes to dust
and from dusk to dawn.
And when the sky lights up with your love he will see it. He will see My light through you. My love through you.
Our love for him.
He will come back.
To this garden.
To My garden.”

And You smiled Lord.
And I didn’t understand then, Lord.
And I don’t understand yet, Lord.
So help me understand now, Lord.


Quinton Manning is a young writer and performer who is currently in 4th year at Wits School of Arts. This year Manning wrote ‘MMU’ which became the official Wits Production staged at the 2017 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and Wits Theatre’s 969 Theatre Festival in Johannesburg. Here is a review of the show by Katlego Mereko: https://www.joburgpost.co.za/2017/08/04/mmu-story-needs-get/

This year Manning was also in the music video for ‘Hail’ – by Joburg band GO BAREFOOT, which you can check out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4GGljc_500



‘Tswalo’ at the Soweto Theatre

Tonight’s the preview,  and then tomorrow will be the opening night of ‘Tswalo – a narrative poem’ at the Soweto Theatre! This “narrative poem” is performed by the formidable Billy Langa whose poetic prowess has been seen in other works such as “Poet-O-Type” by Jeff Tshabalala. The work is directed by Mahlatsi Mokgonyana, who despite his youth has already steered many successful shows including ‘My Children! My Africa!’ and “Lysistrata’. Langa and Mokgonyana co-directed The Movement RSA’s ‘Just Atigone’, which was recently nominated for three Naledi Awards.

Tswalo was described by POPArt Theatre as:
Lyrical prose, poetry and physical storytelling entwine to interrogate the rules that govern life on earth, such as power, creation, politics, connection, and intuition – the performers’ expression of his ‘source’.
Tswalo is a spiritual quest that gives the audiences the baton to walk through their own paradigm of ontology, Tswalo’s poetry, prose and stories furnish us with the necessary tools into a deep meditation. It undoubtedly begs the question (or theory) of being, becoming and unbecoming
Tswalo premired in Johannesburg at The Plat4orm and for its second run it went to Cape Town at the Alexander Bar Theatre. Tswalo made its international premier at Forum Phoinix BT, Bayreuth, Germany which was featured as part of ON THAT NOTE performance art exhibition. It is now making it’s way to Soweto Theatre, so catch it before time runs out.