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A tome with no purpose


Its not clear (photo by John Scully)

Its not clear (photo by John Scully)

My early journals were promises

Swaggering through life

paying no attention to onlookers

Diving into every first time

to the amazement of admirers

The heap of letters is now compost

Festering and full of disease

Sour memories of confusion

Flaring and smoking for nothing

 

They confirmed and affirmed

Travelled everywhere with me

I touched base as with a friend

Reviewed the past like a teacher

A therapist untangling my life

Displaying everything like the insane

It only existed if it was in my journal

 

23 years, a boyfriend,

scenic and threatening Windriver mountains

and a 60 pound backpack scramble,

crowd and settle in

filling my life

The man is the atmosphere

The ‘Winds’, lovers that thoroughly beat me up

And the backpack volunteers to help them

Bruised, scratched and swollen

I keep winning

The snow dares me, marking steep slippery boundaries

pushing me out of the mountains

I write that I have turned into a fountain of tears

 

We are my dad’s daughters

Only university degrees will make us his children

Good colleges and employers

agree that I have a good brain

I hold my BA “happy with life”

The MSc is picked up like a receipt from an office

I win jobs as I read the adverts

Dad smiles wryly

He and I would have been laughing

if schools taught faith

 

A restless spirit plagues me

My family loves me in spite of its foolishness

Friends unveil its deprivation

Men gut it out and parade it in the streets

By mid 1998 the scene gets so ugly

I can’t bear to look

Pages are torn off the journal

Incorrigible repetitive lines succumb to a fire

I stagger under the scorching heat

Employers run around me exhausted and confused

I turn 37 flying business class to London

Feeling “old, tired and ill”

asking God to “speak to my spirit”

 

A haphazard reference, a dated map,

a dirty mirror, a dustbin

A journal is a mad person’s chronicle

I turn 38 knowing if “I can be still”

things will be alright

“feelings are just feelings…and not the truth”

“people are innocent or afraid”

“I must stop fighting and leave others to flare”

Pages later, I turn 39

Am still stressed

I start a separation from the diary

 

A tome with no purpose

A friend writes on hers obsessively into the night

And then makes a fire of it

On vacation she talks to a new journal

more than she talks to me

A man’s lousy poem

is inscribed on my heart and my pages

“short hair, bright eyes, warm look

sharp tongue, wide smile, proud lips

…Until next time”

This writing is now terminal

 

I have no record of turning 41

Dad dies, quaking the earth

Its no use scribbling as

doors to my life shut and trains leave its station

I have nothing to say

Nothing I know can help me

I give in

and eat my mum’s lunch

My spirit becomes still

And I write a good poem

 

by

BT

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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An Orange Scarf


Photo by John Scully

Photo by John Scully

She asks me which is better:

The red or the orange scarf

An endearing smile of

grace and beauty

curved over sixty years

She doesn’t need a scarf

and my stranger opinion doesn’t matter

Her bony hands have delivered large loads

Good friends came and went

She knows feuds have no gain

and that the sun sets

on all things laughed and cried over

So she honours her heartbeat

with an orange scarf

And gives me a broad second smile

 

by,

BT

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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She will not be ignored


She says what she likes

She says what she likes

Opinion enlarged on itself
Unannounced and unapologetic
It raises my eyebrows high
Surprising my eyes wide open
How can she be so sure?
I chuckle to myself

Endless mindless drivel?
Is she ignorant or are we foolish?
We can’t answer coz she continues to spit on the mic
“An unemployed man is a new phenomenon,
Men were always on a hustle,
A young man who does not work is dangerous,
Girlfriend, forget what he tells you,
If the car is not on your name and you do not pay insurance,
You are a glorified driver,
How long did you say his penis was?
Yes. There you have it. I just asked”

The mic stays hot
She decided yesterday what you’ll talk about today
Filling empty minds
Banging on rigid ones
Riding on strategic ones
Sending pretentious MPs to pay tax
Feeding the hungry
Moving angry voters forward
Hate her, love her
We cannot ignore Caroline Mutoko

BT

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Magic in a Girl


Muringo3

“I know who I am”, “who God says I am”

 

 

Elegant defined fingers know,
what hands were taught before birth
that ten year old feet thump
to a rhythm on the bass drum
and in sync with cymbals,
who God says she is.
She shows us who she is

by BT

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Closing Statement


The Closing Statement.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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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

 

UHURU KENYATTA, WHERE ARE YOU?

 

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

 

BT

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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He Hugged Me


Image

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

 

BT

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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