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

BT

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

BT

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

BT

Grandmaster Jay’s eyes say no


he looks up, she looks up to him

he looks up, she looks up to him

Three year old hands thump to a rhythm
Small feet dance hard to a song
She cries inconsolably to sing to the clean version
Memorizing lines to exhaustion
She will recite tomorrow
even if it kills her
Cameras flash as a skirt twirls

Singing and dancing is for elementary school
Teens are pushed into a crowded science train
Piano lessons and dance classes
pile up on a heap of broken promises
The geography teacher talks
Contours and fault lines move above her head
while her foot thumps to the staccato of his voice

She would like to fold away her dark life like a carpet
Grandmaster Jay’s eyes say no
He keeps a vigilant watch from her wall
Sniggers rudely burst out into laughter
The mic grows cold and heavy
Her big toes look away and face each other
Her lunch wants to return to her mouth
A voice is raised for Grandmaster Jay

A young rhythm evokes loud screams
Light footed dancing creates mania
Twenty five year old words
form lines that draw tears
Hands are raised to the new sound
She raises her eyes to the face in the sky
And sings the song of heaven
To the new world that she has made

BT

Love


attention to detail

attention to detail

Another girl in a suit
will attend to me and
I will be gone
A slender hand holds the pen
Filed nails, the revelation
Shiny varnish a confirmation
of love
That was yesterday and
I can still see that hand

A sharp crease down a trouser
of one who stands tall
The polished shoe
defines a stride in confidence
A clean scalp below dark twists
knows of the bright future
Sparkling white teeth
share a tender secret
Everything is smiling and
I want to hug myself

BT

We are big


your size...big  (photo by John Scully)

your size…big (photo by John Scully)

His anger is pressed against her face
The fury pins her to the wall
Her eyes see only the rage
He sits across her life
She remembers that she is big
A wide infinite space
The anger floats into obscurity
A strong gust sweeps the fury
She sees his confusion
He shrinks into a midget
The air becomes still with peace

BT