Like the constellations
The flowers we love
Do they love in return?
They blossom in beauty
And we perish in regret
She’s been and will always be
goddess of the dunes
And the memoryless Nile
Yet a flower still
Delicate upon a bending stalk.
He now nutures a bed of irises
Watering memories of her
On the bedside of his backyard.
They blossom in beauty,
He perishes in regret
Entering a starless night
With barren fields.
Is that music I hear?
A blind man swaying about ferociously
Singing at a street corner.
Music dissolves his sense of space
Drives away the infinite darkness.
Illustration; The old guitarist by Picasso
Have you been to Seme?
you’d have to walk days on end
Till the shores of Lolwe is out of sight.
There they say legends turned to rocks.
Mikai, the Earth’s first wife
Whose bosom now towering boulders,
Casts tall dancing shadows
Against the evening light-
Touching the setting sun.
The myths are awake in that land,
the soil is dark as night.
And from its beauty black,
The black lotus blooming rise-
Petal by petal with a glistering sheen,
On the rippling ponds
Born from the rocky tears.
Unbeaten in beauty and grace.
The white swan rules these banks no more,
Their white plumage turned green with envy,
Their sailing feet turned to stone.
They stand by the creek weeping,
While the black lotus –
Blooming still does cruise
and cruising ever blooming.
Lily pads pave her way downstream,
To the valley of the red river,
Where young girls wait to meet her
For gifts of petals and pads.
They stick her glory in their hair,
Heads raised high and shoulders out.
Walking with pride to the village of their birth,
under the protective shade of Mikayi
Before her dancing shadow,
Touches the setting sun.
Seme – A village in western Kenya
Mikayi– The first wife
Lolwe– Lake Victoria
A settled shallow pond
Clear water on a bed of pebbles
A deer bows down to drink.
from a reflection of its own mouth.
The self pouring into another self.
Artemis curse is upon him
To be an outlaw in his own dreams
His own hounds hunt him down
To tear him apart
His cries struggle out unheard.
Chanced upon the naked goddess
And uncovered the secrets of beauty
And for this –
He lost his head
But gained our hearts.
A woman was looking at herself on a piece of broken mirror
A smile across the sunburnt and dusty face
Sparkling eyes behind dark sockets
Vowed a beauty concealed,
a flower growing by the dust road.
Now and then her baby danced on her lap
Stumbling to kisses, hugs and laughter.
Then the vaulted sky opened in showers
Purging the sky
Earth is filled with grace
All the dust washed away to reveal
The beauty vowed and concealed
She was the Queen of jasmine
Queen of scent.
Scrambled papers lie about my table
My ink is running out
This verse will probably end in a whisper.
The struggling voice of a man overcame with grief is heard.
I am sorry.
My campfire has turned to bed a bed of ashes
I searched in the silent plains
In the haunting forests
In the maddening streets
Not until I looked into myself
And found the immortality
I had been looking for
Wildness and tenderness
Death and forever
Side by side.
I love how the light falls on your face
One half in the shadows.
I want to feel your face
Like if I was blind.
As your neck tilts
And a smile curves on your lips
Following my stroking hand
Slowly sloping from the side of your head
To the dimple down your chin
Then start over again, like a child
Who’s found some joy in repetition.
These thoughts go through my mind
As I watch the light fall on your face
To feel you through the senses
That I never knew I had.
I reach for the back of your neck
And all the life in me
Rushes to my fingertips,
Soon my lips will follow
Only this I know
And nothing more.
“You know the Lord Egerton’s tale? “ she asked.
“Yes, he turned hateful” I replied
“I hope you don’t turn out like him” she said
“There’s no room for hatred in my heart” I replied.
The last heavy words to pass between us.
Today the angels are weeping
Heaven’s roses are bleeding
The sky is red and my heart is blue.
Rachael a lady kind and true
The Shepardess of her father’s flock
Visits this well no more
And thus it’s waters have dried
We only draw now waters salty
from deep down the wells of tears
Undrying and inconsolable.
She was the tender bud
That pierced through the storm rubble.
Her smile and her playful laughter
Still echo in the halls of memory
And the warmth of her presence
Still radiates from the leathers
Of the now empty seat of youth.
“I can see the white capped Kilimanjaro from my father’s door” she’d say.
“I hope it is as beautiful as they say.” I’d reply.
By and by now she stands at Jacob’s well
On the lush plains of heaven.
Fetching jar underarm
Her Father’s lambs at her feet
She’ll touch the hem of His garments
And be whole again.
To sing and praise Him like she once did.
Over the white capped mountains of heaven.
I hope it’s beautiful as they say.