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Tag Archives: Poetry

God, What is Your Name?


#147NotJustANumber; photo by Muratha Kinuthia

#147NotJustANumber; photo by Muratha Kinuthia

She pleads in Jesus’s name

for salvation of muslim neighbors

God’s army reports for duty

She must now recite the Istefta Dua

Her eyes beg those of the soldier

who killed a teacher of Fardh in Mogadishu

Allah didn’t read that Somalia news

Jehovah Jireh, please save her!

Jesus, Mohammad, Jehovah, Allah

and bullets swirl in a bloody pool of God

by

BT

 

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Posted by on April 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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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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Masterclass with Lemn Sissay


Am hidden on the right – second row. The master has his arms outstretched http://www.lemnsissay.com/. Look out for completed poem he got us to work on …poem was on a person we love.

Masterclass was at the StoryMoja Hayfestival in Nairobi.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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TJ Dema


Enjoy this gem from Botswana

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Age As An Excuse


Rules are barked
Slaps swing furiously
His patience is drained
by parental fear and ineptitude
So there is no reason or time to talk
He says at 24, I’ll understand his fury
I don’t need 10 years
to know that I’ve been wronged

At 24 I have something to say
The floor is grudgingly given
Esther, the MP finishes my lines
The one with a PhD holds my hand
The other asks that we walk on the beach
I understand and reject their message
that am 24 and have nothing to say

I raise the curtain at 44
When life is supposed to be an encore
I open my mouth and the clock stands still
They came here to hear me
Age will not be an excuse
Everything of me has a story to tell
I make and put out the words
that will outlive time

BT

 
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Posted by on July 16, 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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Is this for real?


Wi fi serves a high cuisine platter
Pampering cheeses, blue and soft
Transcendent wines of every continent
Tiramisu with an Italian accent
says ciao Nairobi

The Art Caffe, like an airport
The world in an African city
Languages of the United Nations
brew in Kenyan Arabica
and have a Spanish good morning
in olives, eggs, dried tomatoes and feta
This is Africa, where the choice is between
a plain or whole wheat baguette

Bagged red roses and Start-Rite shoes
make a stop at Mercury
A white cosmopolitan says welcome
UEFA kicking balls on ten screens
Lil Wayne talks to the mirror on the wall
Tightly skirted hips sway
IT geeks stare and give way
Is this African glitter really gold?
Or will the dust outside blow it away

BT

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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