The Apparition of Bookstore Isle

I saw a fair apparition

Standing on the bookstore isle

She was holding a book

That shone light on her face

Or her face shone light on the book

I couldn’t tell.

Her dress was an inverted floral globe

That glows in the dark

Her legs stuck out in style

With feet gathering pollens

Of fallen stars

Walking behind the shelves

Not to be seen

I peered through the stacks

Coming into the clearance

She was gone

And only the book remained

Lying on the floor

Lightless and base

Since then I have not departed

From these haunted isles

Day and night I scour these pages

Looking for the fair apparition

Many times I have called out

And tugged shoulders

But the people coming in and out

Seem not to hear or see me

A veil between two worlds  

Rivers flow back to your sources

Blades of the oars the currents beat back

Once again am counting my losses

For my hopes have missed their mark

Earth Child.

Light up dear earth child

keep your smiles

holding hands go into the wild

singing together beat the miles

read sonnets by bonfire

arms around shoulders

watch smoke and sparks rise higher

gather around boulders

play the games of childhood

lie down facing up to the skies

savour every breath like food

and hold time that flies

for here is where living starts

look into oblivion breath out breath in

slowly shut your eyes to the stars

and shine from within.

Mobbing

My nap beneath a tree was disturbed

By the screeching sounds of angry birds

A starling came down, I asked

“Is there a conference of birds?

Round and round this canopy they swirl

Why such angry protest?

“We have seen an owl’s plumage” he said

“Awaiting in his hidden roost

With hoots he croons”

“Why do you hate him so?” I went on

“Each time that horned feathered fiend

Blinks those dreadful wide eyes

Our world tilts a little less to gloom

We’ll cut off that cursed bough

Upon which those scaly paws perched

That treacherous curse to our kind

Has come to eat our children”

Thus did the starling lament

And flew right back to its cause

A feather floated in the sky

And settled peacefully on my beard

Shutting my eyes again I softly whispered

“Poor lonesome owl.”

Beauty and the madman

A glowing firefly she was

Trapped in a bottle to give light

To men who in darkness have lost their course

Hidden beauty to senseless delight

 

Then she met he who dances in the rain

With a genuine sweetness in his smile

That men only dream of and wake up to pain

How wonderful to be that free even for a while

 

He spoke the language of the wind to the tree

and was affectionate even at wits end

that from bottle trap did set the firefly free

The love of the madman was a rose de-thorned.

 

A boy’s dog.

When the dog limbed and whined,

The boy wept and cursed,

At the vile fiend that hit his dog.

When the dog ailed and died,

His little heart broke,

But his eyes shed no tear,

He’d suffer no more.

A requiem mass of two.

One above the ground,

And the other laid down deep,

Beyond the world’s reach.

And when the storm brewed,

A single nailed cross

Loosened on the evening wind,

And swirled like a windmill.

And the rain poured.

Flattened the mound,

And healed the wound.

 

Lakeside ballads.

The thankless pauper. ( Nyamgondho Kombare)

Riches come with cause it is said

Hard work must also be paid

Poverty made him tremble and shake

Till the day he was rescued by the fairy from the lake.

 

A bride he got without paying dowry

Casting away all the doubts and worry

Thanks to the warm welcome and kindness

He showed to the lake goddess

 

His home took custody of different possessions

He forgot the source and took to riches obsession

When finally came the fateful day

No changing mind she was on her way

 

She led the riches back to her swirling origin

There he stood at the margin

Begging and watching the livestock disappear

Back to oblivion never again to reappear

 

He pondered on the sight in despair

From hero to zero because of a broken pair

Lake, wife, riches, misfortunes come in three

Ungratefulness turned him to a pondering tree

I saw her today.

Word came across the hills and plains

That life had smiled upon my beloved

That she was swinging the world by the tail

And from the caves of precious stones

A husband molded of Gold and fire

And I a thousand miles yonder

With only good will and rhyme

My desired love married to fortune

But I saw her today

Or I thought I did

For before my eyes was a caricature

Of what she once was.

Misery all over her aged stature

Time must run fast in her world

Or marriage strike with an ageing potion

Did the caves of precious stones crumble?

And gold faded to dirt?

And beauty withered with it?

Her hair once long and black

Now stunted, brown from dust and toil

But in her eyes she was once beautiful

There was promise in her smile

That still rose beyond the misery

And there shone before my eyes

The tempting slumbers of nostalgia

If I could relive the past

I would beseech the gods

Make me puppeteer of her heart.