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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

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Standing on broken legs


Courage, beauty, legacy

It still hurts

I can’t look too close at

your smile

Flashing and wide

over dark smooth skin

Your bright in the dark

Ghosts of the night

stealing forests and our sound

hated your light

You kept beaming

I shine

 

At 40 you sat on ashes

Prepared for a journey

A tornado of greed

caused you to rise

Flapping your wings

Shaking off hatred

Standing on broken legs

Swept off the ground

A mad woman’s dance?

You might crash and die

The phoenix fills the sky as

hawks of the night become very small

 

You call and

small hesitating steps answer

You put out a hand and

the world reached out

Children became humming birds

Women are free

Men regain their balance

Water sparkles

The air breathes

Soil comes alive

To grow the tree of life

that I climb

Thank you, Wangare

 

BT

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Home Song


A wide encircling deep full ensemble
Wind invites through the sax
Lightly powerfully taking off
Soaring above the piano
Through heartstrings of violins
In the company of a lone harp
Bass into the future
With a percussion of nostalgia
There are no words
Buoyant in this orchestra
We are all here
Heaven and home

BT

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Repeat, Repeat, Repeat


Suzanne Owiyo performing at the Free the Hungry Billion Concert at the Bomas of Kenya
Lather the skin
Launder the shirt
Brush the shoes
Brush the shoes
Launder the shirt
Lather the skin

Existence by rotation
Living in circles
Rewind as a move forward
Doing it like clockwork
Life, a broken record
I could cry of boredom
Out loud like a zombie
Dizzy from going around

Read mail
Make the call
Write the cheque
Write the cheque
Make the call
Read mail

Return for new memories
Repetition to make perfect
Redoing for upkeep
Dailyness is survival
Reworking for another chance
Reappear and make new friends
Restart for a new opportunity
Routine for growth

Write your story
Read your lines
Draw your vision
Draw your vision
Read your lines
Write your story

Circles for a critical tangent
A hit from a thousand gigs
The baby walks after many meals
A star is born with several moons
The bestseller is miles of lines
27 years made Mandela
Many encounters form a legacy
Yarns criss and cross to make cloth
Facebook is one friend and then another
Peace is born of many handshakes

Each baby has her own thumbprint
Each dawn its sky
A new country its own world
Every song its melody
Each day its promise
Today’s poem has a new message
A raindrop is like no other
The sun sets for today’s tears
Receive from yesterday to give to tomorrow

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

BT

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Curse the Devil


A note of rejection
drops into my heart with a thud
I am a vessel of sorrows
I can hear the sound of goodbye
from background to foreground
I dance heavily to the dirge
I must sing my song or die
I raise my head and cry out
‘Tomorrow, I will raise the tempo!’

Fear took me by the hand
Racing me into the dark
Onto the long shadows of dwarfs
Kicking and screaming
Writhing and rolling
Fighting and stabbing
at the ghosts of the night
All my pores are now bleeding
I lie drained out on the dust
I must touch the light or die
Illuminate me now

My clothes fall off as rags
My feet melt into the ground
My arms hang heavy like logs
Tears flow like rivers of blood
Friends stare at the spectacle
Family hold their hands to their mouths
Thunder rolls and growls
Its hell out here
I must go inside me or die
My destiny is secure
I take the seat of life

BT

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I am a believer


A man

I’ve never been here before
My breath catches
The sound races through me
Senses barely keeping up
The clock stops ticking
Words lock into rhythm
I can’t move
Then filled with rap fuel,
I eject into his sphere

My hands hold my mouth back
I know but can’t say
That I’ve touched heaven
Zapped by mighty power,
I rock with the angels
I close my eyes
that only see a man
When I know that I’ve met God

Thousands of Spirits
Jump out of dark suits
Screaming and shouting
Crying and sweating
Here we are one
We are in deep and free
He loves millions into his embrace
The music stops
I still believe

BT

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Why I Write (by me)


The King of Soul

The poet is a rebirth

I have yet another life

A surprise reincarnation

Big fears came to look me up

Sharp fear. Pulsating fear. Cold fear

A lesson that fear is an alien

had me intently looking and feeling

Naming fear, a first poem

 

Fear burst the dam

I live in a glorious flood plain

On the keyboard, I open a sluice gate

Occasionally I fling the gate wide open

Other days, its’ a slow deliberate swing

Putting out images and energy

Receiving pure and heavenly release

Beautiful words for ugly times

Rhyme for discordant times

Flow when things are blocked up

Always the power I may not have

 

Poetry mirrors my new face

Free, open and eternally brave

An exciting world with no borders

I’m the expert on all things

No one else feels or sees it like I do

Every day, poetry is my task

I will never be without a job

Poetry is why I learnt to write

Arranging words of deepest angst

There is no replica

Poetry is my heart print

 

Some words can’t be shot straight

They would knock a grown man down

He would give me a punch in the face

I weave words into a fitting cloak

Readers say that ‘there is something there’

Sometimes their hairs rise

Ovations and cheers have met my lines

Some poems are greeted by silence

That quiet, my constant mystery

Birthing a poem makes me whole

So I have new and special friends

Anto NeoSoul says am full of soul

I have no response for the King of Soul

My words live forever

I will never die

 

BT

(Why I Write by Kosal Khiev inspired this poem)

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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