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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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I will not forget who I am


You, Me, Glory

The country has lots its bridle

Kenyans are running wild

Votes cast can’t be found

A twilight swearing-in ceremony

inviting the darkest night

Warriors chant, mothers run

Homes burn, men die

Angry feet stampede

Today no one will meet

where teargas fills the street

 

This is not who we are

We are not animals

We know how to count

The President is not the devil

Men do not thirst for blood

Protesters do not want to bring the country down

Women are full of love

Children dream and believe

We have just forgotten who we are

 

The envious voice is smooth

One day your luck will run out

The fearful words are definitive

You will die a violent death

The defeated spirit is clear

Your man will tame you into cotton wool

The shamed opinion comes first

Let me be honest, you are a mess

The negative response is natural

It will be challenging where you are

The anxious advice is for free

You must run around to survive

 

That is not who I am

The black rain does not mean a thing

You flail about and froth in the mouth

It has nothing to do with me

A lot has been stolen and I am still rich

I have all the time I need and

Age looks beautiful on me

I am a woman with all the good things

The roof has caved in and its’ warm inside

My leg is broken and I rest my mind

I will not forget who I am

BT

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Fear


I feel fear

It creeps up on me when I am not looking

When danger is imminent, fear is a fierce attacker

A black shark’s fin stabbing at my soul

A mugger holding onto my throat

A roiling dark sea drowning my lungs

An endless drizzle, making me cold and wet everywhere

 

Am still here. Nothing’s chasing me

Not the thief, the boss or a hungry stomach

There’s no danger, but all’s not well

There’s something heavy in the pit of my stomach

A sourness at home in my mouth

An apology everywhere

Am sitting in the smallest space, the furthest corner

 

This is fear. It is not me and it won’t leave me alone

I feel the pain, adjust my jacket and choose to live

The pain dissolves

Then fear tightly grabs my neck from behind

I can’t breath, I shift the strap of my bag and choose to live

The pain lets go

Then it pours from the sky soaking me with dread

Dear God! Help me God!

 

I have to choose fast

To live or die

To look at the face of fear

I take a breath, look at the darkness and live

 

 

BT

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Overkill



Furiously scrubbing the collar

as though it were a sinful woman

An overheated iron fretfully presses off creases

like they were indiscipline in a lost teenager

The eggs are fried for so long

like a grudge for unrequited love

The torn shirt is useless and now just a rag

These trousers that shine like a mirror can’t be worn

And only the dog has a stomach for hard eggs

 

He says hello

She says he’s the real deal and her search is over

He takes her for tea

where she asks if there is another woman

She meets his mum

and starts to measure up the wedding gown

He’s looking for some fun in a land of the hungry

He unknowingly paces himself

in the center of a stampede for nuptials

He took a stroll in what looked like a park

and ended up in a ripped shirt and one shoe

She’s heaving not knowing whether to laugh

or cry at this fool who doesn’t want love

 

Its’ been only ten minutes but she’s asked him once,

twice, too many times to buy fish

She said she needs the pipe fixed yesterday,

last night and also this morning

If he doesn’t build a house now she will lose out,

pass out and then move out

He’s dazed like a shopper in a noisy market

By her nagging that drips like a tap

He checks out to give room for her perfect home

BT


 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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