The Closing Statement

Invisible most days. Misguided everyday

Killing men. Killing dreams. Killing hope

God’s army an unreasonable and merciless butcher

BREAKING NEWS – 40 killed in Mpeketoni Attack


Kenyatta’s soldiers fart loudly as they get out of bed

A bombed out village debuts in Kenya

A cold shiver sweeps across the country

Blood and a nation’s confidence drain from under a door


The President’s men are made of tin

Asking for understanding as though for a cup of tea

Terrorized villagers huskily scream in disbelief

God’s army, the only army kills another ten




The President steps out from behind our shock

and ahead of our outrage

He is appropriately suited in somber and stern

He places his feet firmly on my ground

He carries 40 million of us and does not tremble


“My heart is bleeding and broken like Mpeketoni’s bodies

God’s army was not in Lamu

Hate and politics killed our brothers

My political enemies must stop shouting

and frothing in the mouth

so that more of our brothers do not die

My soldiers saw guns get loaded

but couldn’t get out of bed.”


The words are received equally but held differently

The Northerners are reassured

The South is inconvenienced

In the East people agree

Kenyans in the West are shocked

We all exhale

It’s the closing statement





He Hugged Me


This package is wrapped in patronage and pity

I must open it like I do all rap gifts

A vintage car drives up deprivation road

through a schooled camera

Kids with a sharp eye to the lens tell the hard story

Dandora Music is on the screen

looping at the start of a journey

It also sits on a chair across from me

Innocently creeping up on me

I am arrested


Fully acquiesced to my adult questioning

Dutifully pieces his life together

All my talking is not relaxing me

Submission and confidence

blend on him and not as a paradox

He occupies the easy space that I cannot fill

He lives between limitation and opportunity

Making some effort without any strain

He’s perched on a soft parental cushion that I can’t see

I come down from my walled in seat

Vulnerability is the only position

from which I might see him


He swaggers in last for the meal

Youthful sexuality strangely at home with humility

Washing dishes into a place in my heart

I must see this man again

I measure a cautious distance to say goodbye

But he crumples it and throws it in the trash

He hugs me

The magic in the air locks into a miracle

A current washes over me

And my heart takes the place of order and memory



Hold up the sun

the mountains stand taller than any native son (photo by Patrick Osodo)

the mountains stand taller than any native son (photo by Patrick Osodo)

Kaimatis wink and say hatuna jambo
Dhosas roll an embrace on a large family
A drink of warm blood is swallowed to a nation’s pulse
Fish is netted, gutted and feted on single beach
Tea and radio roil and boil across the hills
The sun, woken up in Lamu by a call to prayer
will watch over the country today and
go to bed on a fishnet on Lake Victoria

Today a free people will give to the world

A middle aged tea bush gives birth again
Like the three leaf bud, the nation is forever young
Others would have given up but coffee won’t quit
The aroma of home is a marathon runner
Racing arabica through Nairobi, New York and London
A cheetah’s long stride breaks into a wild chase
And lions roar to bless the land, the nation
Now money is counted on 20 million phones

Today a rich people will bring in the world

But a lying mouth has whispered to a hungry ear
Truth is shouted down by two hundred shillings
Members of Parliament perch like vultures
Feeding on the country’s dying children
The sun’s justice arches from the east to the west
A bright beam of liberty bleached the Union Jack
No fight is sought but all battles brought here are won
Her Majesty’s crown was wrestled to the ground

Today a strong people will stand up and shout

The mountains stand taller than any native son
The rivers carry this truth of a hundred years
Fools were run out of the House on the State hill
Their judges are pushed out scratching and kicking
The trees warn and the wind howls
The country belongs to every child and her mother
All men will hold their heads high
The clouds open up and the light comes through

Today a proud people will hold up the sun


Vote for Rules

Pebbles are buses hurtling into the air
Women and babies are tossed out like grain
Men with lost souls grab bags of dead souls
Youth with bloody minds do a march to evil
Angry spears will gut policemen tonight
Kenya races to murder, to death, to hell
I sip on my glass and press the remote
and wonder if these people are Kikuyus like me

A President drops bus rules to pick up votes
The Minister represents himself overseas
A creamy investment is sliced first for him
His Assistant nibbles at a housing scheme
An MP drools at a business moving like a tortoise
Cocaine moves quicker and feeds faster
Cheers to these men who are Kikuyus like me

The bus crushes into my gate
Red-eyed youths break through the doors
Police will only help if I give them a ride
A spear pins my wife to the ground
Neighbours are running and screaming
Am spinning and my house is heaving
I open my eyes and press rewind
I will vote for rules and not for Kikuyus like me


All the head noise

Too much going on in here (photo by John Scully)

Too much going on in here (photo by John Scully)

He thinks I am nothing
I don’t fit in because am different
I talk too much and no one is listening
I see the indifference through closed eyes
Don’t let bad thoughts ruin a perfect day
There goes that noisy neighbour again
God’s ready for me and I need to step up
Heaven and earth fight for my views
She is racing me into the bathroom
Its okay, I can wait a few more minutes
I had better get up now

Am too tired to exercise
I will remain tired unless I exercise
Its’ a fact etched in mental stone
These sheets are now discoloured
Am so fed up of the Airtel spam
Random thoughts steal my clarity
These track bottoms are old and ugly
I have great nike shoes
My mind now competes on Formula 1
Can’t wait until this run is over
Will I make it all the way?
Just focus on lifting one foot after another
Slow down, maintain a steady mind rate

I’m 44 and am the greatest
Am slim and I step so light
I look so fit, focused and fortunate
Good, this is the halfway mark
Inhaling love, exhaling fear
Oh dear, I forgot to use sunblock again
Eating something really helps
Need to turn right to watch for cars
There are so many poor people
The brain spin in never over until its’ over
Nice, the end is in sight
I have done it again as I always do
Its all the head noise that gets in the way
My gift of life keeps giving