DYING DAWN

PIC

Just before the dying of dawn

Tranquil songs of beguiling birds will imbue the air

And the rise of the soulful sun will paint the eastern sky orange.

The beads of dew on grass will forget to roll down the blades

Thus their fractured glitter will leave a sour taste in your mouth

Almost reflecting back the splendour of the mourning morning

While the air, hazy and almost tangible, will massage your skin into passing numbness.

And trees will bow in angst

In respect of the buoyant wind

In an appreciative gesture

For a morning so divine

Yet destined for imminent departure.

#THEWORDBREWER

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DOSE OF DEPRESSION

painite

The race is tight

The sacrifice a distant dream

The joy a short lived achievement

The success a crystal of Painite

The comfort zone a painful reality

Throwing the world in dire need for a dose of depression

Just to awaken lying lions

To chase away the lingering slumber

To sharpen blunting brains

To cast a shadow of darkness over the elusive target

And throw the throngs into strive.

So I will toss you into the lion’s den

Make your heart turn into a ball of burnt rice

And watch you find your route

And perhaps reinvent the wheel.

#thewordbrewer

MY HEART SWELLS

ocean

My heart swells in waves like an ocean in rage

And as I wait for the blood to drop I lay bare the white page

Only this way will I be able to open the cage

Walk down the beaten path in hot pursuit of the sage

Who might impart in me words that will let me make the pledge

And cross the road towards the next stage.

 

My heart swells in waves like an ocean in rage

When I envision the love getting better with age

Breaking through all including the gauge

And even when you are still afar, Paige

My heart still swells like the throat of a frog courting love.

#thewordbrewer

 

FRACTURED MOTHERHOOD

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The soft hum of the funeral song breaks you into a thousand pieces. The wails from Aunt Monica propel you into a trance. It scatters the pieces like wind does dust. And you bow into silent sobs. Mucus flow. Soft shrieks of a wounded mother. Pain.

Through the thin film, you stare at the little coffins. Shimmering wood reflecting back your loss. You think of the people inside them. Peaceful in their eternal slumber. Ugly skins from the scalds do nothing to remind them of your agony. Patches of dark skin. Dark as night devoid of constellation. And then the original tender skin.

Suddenly you are thrown into a fit. You wail. You drop from your plastic chair and kick in the air like a dying horse. You are choking. Your throat is dry and creaking from the bitterness surging in you. The wig flies off your head revealing smuts of hair knitted in small knots. Women rush to carry you away before you lose your dress as well.

The women, all your friends, stoop by you all wearing weary looks on their faces. They can all feel the torment in you. They are worried as much as they are sorry. While you pant like a racing dog under the huge barren Avocado tree, tears roll down your cheeks ceaselessly.

In the darkness of the moment, fragments of the events leading to the current predicament torture your very existence. Hatred for that night shift surge in your heart. A neighbor had promised to keep an ear on them. To call you on the event of any crooked occurrence. And this you had said without holding much thought about it.

As much as you are whipping yourself, you are fully aware that the world will add threefold on it. All will know you as a mother whose heart is more inclined towards the money than the safety of her children. That you had the misfortune to fail them as a mother more than once is no secret. None will look at it from the perspective that you have been before the fateful night. Their fathers will always associate you with monsters and beasts.

The singing goes on, melancholy. Women use the helms of their lesos with Swahili sayings, uchungu wa mwana aujuae ni mzazi, to wipe their wet eyes. As much as they are in agony like any other mother, they want to look put together for you. Men are grim and darker. Children are confused.

Strength fails you. It is beyond you to walk back to the tent and perhaps pay your last respect to the people who are taking with them a portion of your heart forever. Your bones are brittle. Your vision is hazy. And your heart is too heavy to bear.

How do you bury your two boys in one day? You didn’t even give birth to them in one day. Who will you love now that a part of your heart is crumbled? As you lose them, you fear that you might lose yourself as well. The mournful murmurs of the women drift away as if happening in a dream. The heat of the sun fades away. And in one stock you pass out. Never to come to again.

#thewordbrewer

BURNING OUT

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I am burning out

I am getting too weary

And this love is becoming more of a burden

That is pressing me down.

I am burning out

And these voices won’t mute

They speak incessantly

In a hushed tone

They say ‘let go’

But I don’t know how.

I am burning out

My heart is a soaked sponge

My chest is thick with lodged emotion

My bosom is a Jerry can with water half its capacity

And my head a crowded room of loud whispers.

I am burning out

I can feel the heat freeze within me

I can smell victorious defeat coming my way

I can hear my heart crack along love grains

I can taste the sour taste of my tears

I can see the smoke, rising in single rings.

#thewordbrewer

GIFT OF LOVE

MUM

While we look around for the ultimate way to gift you.

While we yearn to learn how to appreciate what you’ve done for us.

While we discuss amongst ourselves

And remind each other with so much awe

How much you’ve been the mother that we adore.

While we reminisce sitting on your lap

Watching how your lips move when you spoke gently to us.

While we hope to compose legendary songs for you.

While we shine under the ray of your relentless prayers.

While we bask on your goodwill for us.

While we hope that you will be here so long

That our children’s children and their children will behold in you what we have.

While you become better with time.

It is never lost upon us to gift you with LOVE, mother.

Because all these things will dwindle away.

Others will fade into oblivion.

But I will always carry you in my heart.

We will always have you in our thoughts.

And LOVE you even when LOVE tries to leap from me.

 

#thewordbrewer

CROOKED ALIGNMENT

 

It is clear that he left without a shred of intention to return. Not even when she implored and wept and fought. He doesn’t notice the struggle. And when he does he stares like a blind man. Pretending not to behold.

Christine tries to live without him. At times she weeps bitterly. The tears however do not wash away her sorrows. After nights of soaked pillows she fails to realize that this loneliness lives in her heart. Not on her swollen cheeks. Not on her curvy hips that she lets warm bath water run over. Gleaming in the light of the darkness of her ultimate loss.

Now that she only listens to the echoes of that warm laughter she once unleashed, Christine relives the gone days. His deep voice resonates at a depth of her heart. It once gave her goose bumps and left her giddy. She still feels his tender touch today; warm and reassuring.

Some of those evenings they sat on a rock shooting breeze. And hearts. The rays of the setting sun floating on trees tops turning the leaves golden. Christine then knew that with the long stretch of the land that lay still before them they would walk far leaving behind a trail of dripping passion. Her heart was smitten. And in total glare of soaring falcons and baboons plucking some red fruits under their feet they kissed passionately. They licked each other clean of sweetness.

When he was hers they would text the night away. Wishing they had each other in their arms. They kissed through the phone and felt it on their lips. To them each heartbeat was a banging within demanding for a physical reunion.

A shape was drawn strictly for two. The mysterious boundaries bore their names: Christine and Shaw and their little secrets. Like two weaver birds building a nest they worked on it. At times in turns. At times in unison. It was to be custom just to soot their specific preferences. She preferred Pink and woolen. He just wanted a reading room from whence he would write her love poems. And so their wishes were granted.

Then time brought in turbulence. Something of a typhoon she can’t understand. All she knows is she is now all alone in this love nest. And she can’t seem to find anyone to replace him. What if he comes back and finds the smell of another man in his manor? Will this other one assimilate their exquisite preferences?

Each night when there is a full moon she lays on the wet grass, staring at that glowing ball of light that so reminds her of Shaw. It is as if the ethereal rays convey the sweet aroma of his cologne. With her neck exposed, the shimmering light feeds the golden ring on her neck with light which in turn feeds her of his begotten love. It is only since the scatology that Christine has learnt to wear it on the outside. Lying to the world that he bought it during their Valentines that never was.

Each night when the moon is anything but full she lays on her bed. Staring silently at the dear snapshots of the handsome Shaw through a film of tears. He never smiled in photographs Shaw. Christine wishes she had a single shot of his smile so she could keep it in her heart.

On those haunting nights Christine texts him. Even when she knows that Shaw reads her sob texts and never bothers to reply. In his silence she finds company. Christine can’t crack him with love anymore. But somehow she knows what breaks him. Oh bless the diamonds between her thighs.

They used to make love like Rabbits. She can’t stop fantasizing those orgasm filled moments. When he could wreck through the contours of her body leaving Christine exasperated. Seizure. Of those unbelievable moments. Of gasps. And sweat. And cries. And shallow breaths.

Shaw nowadays just calls. She offers herself hoping it would help but he never looks back after he is done drawing leading marks all over her body. He leaves Christine writhing with desire. He fucks her right. She loves him right. What a crooked alignment.

Now, with pieces of a broken heart, she chases Shaw around like a graduate does jobs. And Christine was taught never to give up. She practically doesn’t know how. However much he goes mute on her, scorches her with scolding words and leaps behind shadows whenever she calls his name, Christine trails.

When finally he finds his way back home she will receive him. She will guide him to their bed. And they will make love to drain the restlessness that they harbor. He will knit back together the broken pieces of her. In the victory of the moment, Christine will breathe easy. And for once sleep tight.

However, one afternoon while watching the wedding show on TV disinterested, Christine saw him. He was in a dark tuxedo. Darker than sin. He was getting married to a girl far better than Christine. He looked happier than he was with her. The world could as well hear Christine’s heart break. She realized then that all this while it was just fractured.

#thewordbrewer

 

A MESSAGE OF FOOD(continued)

turkana

After minutes of agony, she regained her sight.

Suddenly, in the horizon she saw a white wavy figure. Her memory reminded her that there was originally nothing at the end. Was it her failing eyesight?

The figure was approaching their hut. Leshao, linking the figure to her trembling foot, shuddered with terror. She felt dizzy again. Worry was fast filling up her already full cup. She fought the thought that something bad was impending.

Rings of dust rose up high into the sky as the white structure came to a stop. Leshao had seen this big moving thing years ago when the Red Cross people had brought them food. Her hope for food rose steadily like a balloon being inflated.

Three people jumped out. They were fat and imposing. Their white polo shirts were brownish with all the dust. They had a huge camera and small bags. Leshao was baffled by their soft and bright skin. They had lots of energy.

“Hello? We are from Nairobi and we come with food”. One of them in clear spectacles could speak her native language.

Leshao did not respond. She wadded off flies from her eyes. The mention of food did strike a chord in her but she did not disclose any sign of excitement. The word sounded mysterious. It had not been pronounced in her hut for so long.

“What is your name?” the man was crouching close to her with her gloomy expression on his face.

“Leshao.” It came almost as a whisper.

All this while, another man held the camera on his shoulder and focused it on Leshao and her sickly children. None of them moved or said a word. They stared through squinted eyes while flies hovered around their faces.

“Where is everybody else?”

“Dead.”

“You mean everyone?”

“Some moved to look for food.”

There she said it! She had savored the word, suckled on it but it still sounded out of place. Like a river of cool water flowing right through Kachepin.

“And your husband?”

Leshao wanted to demand for food the man had said he had brought over. The little strength she had was draining away. The fact that she had managed to speak at all was a miracle. Her throat was dry. Her lips were dry. Her skin was heavily dehydrated. Her surrounding was dry.

The woman in long dark silky hair took a bottle from the truck and drunk from it. Leshao watched in disbelief. She swallowed hard.  She stared at it, gulping it down in her head. Her eyes danced with the water in the bottle whenever the woman disturbed it. Faintly, she raised an arm as if receiving the rare commodity.

“Do you have a husband?”

“Yes” she replied, her gaze arrested by the water.

“Where is he?”

“Went to look for food.”

The woman tool another sip. Leshao plunged into a world of fantasy. Her whole world was filled with flowing river feeding big lakes. A faint wind blew dust towards her and she withdrew.

“We will tell the government to bring you food. Okay?”

“Who is that?”

“Don’t worry. Someone will come with food.”

As the dust embraced the hot air, Leshao embraced bitterness and desperation. She watched as the white truck disappeared into the horizon the same way it had appeared.

Her last born child broke into frail wails.

Days later, Leshao moaned the death of Nanok, her fifth child. Hunger was taking away their thirst. She was never strong enough to offer her children a decent send off. So, she watched the vultures wrestle over the remnants of her offspring.

She sat in sorrow watching the horizon where the truck had disappeared to. The darkness would soon blanket the hut and its miseries. And in deep pain, her heart shrunk and her spirit wilted. Leshao had seen life commence and end. She was alone and all around her was sand, dust, bones and vultures.

Her body like an old engine was coming to a stop. She could feel gates close up. Pain eloped from her body and she could feel it drift away until she could feel nothing. Despair was winning. Her limbs disconnected from her body, then her head. Finally, she let out the last gulps of breath and in the gloomy light and dust saw a figure approaching.

#thewordbrewer

 

 

INTIMIDATING ALLURE

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NOTE: In memory of Westgate attack victims

Colour

That come with intimidating allure.

Red

That sharpen memories that fade.

Blood

That fluid make me mad.

Night

That each day make me cringe tight.

Sounds

That to my ears are like hungry hounds.

Existence

That haunts with pestilence.

#thewordbrewer

A MESSAGE OF FOOD

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photo: Kevin Carter
1993

It was mid- January. The sun was shining more out of spite than out of passion to light the world. Not even a misty appearance was visible. The sky looked like it had been swept clean. The wind was faint, dry and hot. Occasionally, thick dust rose up turning the air into a brown smoke screen. Trees stood still in their nakedness facing the heat with a reckoning desperation.

A faint hollow wail punched the air. Its frail edges were distinct and characteristic. It was a cry that could be traced to only one culprit; hunger. It was a cry, even though inevitable, dreaded by Leshao. She turned to look lazily as she whisked flies off her face. Her eyes were barely a slit open. There was absolutely nothing she could do and soon the kid succumbed to fatigue and dealt with his demise in silence filled with pure agony.

Leshao peered beyond something that looked like a pool of water at a distance. She knew it was a deception, a making by the evil one. Hope had long withered in her heart with all the green leaves last year. She turned away from the falsehood with resentment and her gaze landed on carcasses of her husband’s last heads of cattle. Dust was concealing it from the face of extreme suffering.

Vultures fought over the surface pieces displacing sand around the dead animals. Each tore a piece of flesh off with a lot of effort. Leshao wished she could act like the scavengers. That small piece of rotten meat meant a lot to her family. It was the difference between sunrise and sunset. She was even ready to consume it now but she was too weak to stand a chance among the cruel birds. She could lose her life in the process and end up in the vultures’ digestive system.

Humanity at Kachepin was on the verge of extinction. Leshao was certain of that. She wished she had moved with the rest of the community when they were leaving for places with better pasture and water. But her love for her husband could not let her. She had to wait for him. She knew he would come back to take them to Kitale or somewhere with life and government.  

Tears had long dried out from Leshao’s sunken eyes. She only wept with her heart. Wept hard for her eight children who were better off dead. She wept for her two dead children and their gone grandparents. She wept bitterly. But her face remained expressionless or it had gotten used to the expression of pain and suffering for it was constantly in the form.

Her skin was dry, loose and dark. Her legs were thin, so thin that all the contours of the bones were visible. Almost all the children had awkwardly big heads with scattered hair on the scalp. They all looked dull. In their eyes was a lost glare.

A yellow bowl rested a few yards from the leaning hut. Leshao had been waking up to its sight for the whole week. No one but the wind shifted it around a little. Sand grains and fine dust were collecting in it.

Kachepin locale fell silent. Leshao felt strongly that something bad was going to happen. Her foot was trembling. She tried to hit it against the sand in a desperate attempt to stop it.

She looked at her children. The youngest laid strewn on the animal skin breathing like a sick dog under the sun’s glare. Something churned in her bosom. She did not want to lose him. Neither did she fancy the sight of his suffering. She hated her past, her present and direly loathed her future.

The foot trembled more.

For the first time in that day, she decided to take a walk around the hut. The sun was scorching outside. The sand too was just too hot to stand on bare feet. Joints creaked and Leshao groaned as she struggled to get up only to fall back onto her sitting place the same instant.

She fell dizzy. Her sight lurched into darkness and her skin crawled. The world was spinning fast. Leshao remained still like she had done for years. Certainly, it was a bad idea to get off the ground at the time of day.

(TO BE CONTINUED…)

#thewordbrewer