The Patriot

On the dry coastal plains

A boy runs after his herd of goats

On the very paths where ages past

Clanking of resounding chains could be heard

From the banks of the Indian Ocean

To the plains of the Tsavo

When folks at muzzle point approached the shore

With misty eyes and bound limbs

Leaving behind blood stained corals

From backs torn and weary of lashes

And bare soles struck on rocks

What weeping and wailing

As defiant men flunged themselves into the waters

How many mothers wept for their dead children

Their arms raised to the skies

As the sails disappeared

Into the edge of the sounding sea

And in the terror of those decks

All were brothers in pain

Let my dreadlocks touch the soft of my lower back

And no blade ever know the rugged of my cheeks

For I am paying tribute to heroes

Who braved the cold of the forest’s heart

Whose blood from the river source did flow

Down to unite the highlands, lakes and plains

And from their unity and noble sacrifice

A republic was born.

And all were brothers in Glory

From the sweaty breakers of rock

To the muddy tenders of crop

From the noisy traders of it

To the smelly scrappers of fish

And the sap coloured palms of the tea picker

Around the table of God like lambs rejoiced

And commenced the breaking of bread.

If our forefathers could see you now

Your faces beaming with greed

Alienating fellow countrymen

For the language of their tongue

And places of their birth

Your greasy indifferent hands

Locking out alm seekers in the cold

If our sold ancestors could see you now

In their graves of ocean beds

The wave crests would touch the sky

As they would turn in violent anger

For you have failed to learn from their pain

If our freedom heroes could see you now

From the stomach of the highlands

Mount Kenya would break with a noise like thunder

For you, destructive fat warms

Have bored the fruits of their glory

Brothers, so man and man should be

We differ in life

But in dust all alike

And so shade him from the sun

Embrace the dirt of his rugged shirt

Stroke his dusty hair

And on your knees upon our Father’s feet

Together in peace adore

And dance around the tent of God

Like calves rejoice

This is a summon

An imperative

If you will worship

War no more.

A Rose In Misery

Ages past since she had dreams

All died when she came to this forsaken land

With a pitiful bundle of belongings

Crushing under a heavier weight betrayal

Traded for cattle and grain

Sold into servitude

To this ruins overgrown with weed

Bulges of crossless graves

Of sages long dead.

 

For they found the mean swine a wife

He had battered the first

Scared the second,

And now the third

Just a frightened little frame

A picture of helplessness

A rose plucked before her time

Bruising its petals

 

He gave her a basket and hoe

Pointed to the farm and market

And there she knew

Her sons will be herders of sheep

And her daughters will share her fate

 

She now floats through life

With an impassive seasonal bedfellow

A damp hearth born of leaking roofs

Mud walls letting sunbeams in

Bead necklaces the only colour in her life

 

Hands wrinkled but strong

Wakes each day to her exhausted garden

Where she tenderly weeds her livelihood

And bitterly buries her broken dreams

 

PS; pencil art illustration by Kizito Arts