Eart Songs



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.



Wasted Ink


When finally the trumpet flares and my eyes freeze in death, so many words I never saw will be lying in a book somewhere. I shudder at this thought. Those words deserve justice if nothing more is not to come forth. That missed word deserves someone who will mull over its meaning and even wonder how he can put it in a sentence like a tailor tries to fit cloth into a patch.

As I walk stealthily among these tall woods of beautiful books, I hate to imagine that somewhere out there lies a book in a shelf, its velvet cover gathering dust and facing an immense risk of being buried beneath it.

I go after those well-tailored words and how they collectively form sentences without whining about their differences. I hate to speak at this moment when I’m busy summoning the madness that allows me to construct a few sentences in an effort to thrust forth this idea lurking in my head. If I dare open it, the demons will disintegrate as the words roll out of my mouth in a soft voice.

The way the machete cuts across the oats throws me into obscurity and I feel a compelling urge to say something but remember just too suddenly that I am in a session. Thinking about books, words, shelves and writers.

My thoughts wander towards the realm of books going for decades without a finger flipping through its pages smelling of aged words. What a waste of precious ink. Isn’t it enough that someone purged himself apart to get the book to that shelf? Is the effort too transparent to be noticed by a single pair of eyes?

When I will be gone, no one will hunch over the humming laptop to hammer out words out of his head with such extravagant fury. The towel around my waist holding on desperately like a book constantly beckons a reader to its alluring pages will be gone, from dust to dust. I will not remember to look for it so we can reminisce the days we’d bang out words without giving a damn about the flow. I know he would smile and remind me of the smell of my balls. I would give him a long face and go back to grieving for those wasted words.



I hope his leg kisses the ragged stone and he wails like a woman in labor. I hope he breaks his toe and never gets to play again. I hope his long nail gets stuck in the charred leather. I hope he slams against the whitewashed wall while running blindly after the ball. I hope he loses his front teeth in the process.

But then I hesitate. These thoughts send a wave rippling across my bosom as if I am not justified to wish him well. I can feel my heart skip a beat. How will he walk to the classes that are miles away? Will the little limp accord him the exception of having to ride a bodaboda (motorbike) there? I realize I don’t care unless he has to stop that irregular thud.

The first encounter between the ball and the wall almost killed me with a stroke. That sudden loud bang that reechoed in my heart first and then rung back to my ears. My whole body twitched as if ready to take flight. But I am justified to react so after numerous bomb detonations that have broken legs, reduced to ashes and killed many with sorrow. Can’t a man die honorably these days?

And then it came again and again. This time it threatened to split me apart with loathe. Every time I went back into that word- naked and ready, bang! It pulled me away from the pool.

I’ve wanted to get into these waters of witty words that speak to the depth of my heart. All night I have dreamt of the letters in their intricate form, pregnant of meaning, floating into my sight and whetting my desire. All morning I have scorched my tongue in burning coffee while I thought of those sentences imprisoned in book pages. Waiting for their liberator. Even when the wind whirred through the half open window, I have been listening to the murmurs of those words in my head. And they have been sounding like a horde of ghosts planning an attack in the dark.

But just when I settle down to feast, I am stopped by that sudden bang. I hope they choke on their laughter. I hope they meet with words like arthritis, paralysis and malice. Those words that bring shutters to people’s hearts like they have mine. I hope they perish in a read like this that gets readers lamenting. I hope they swallow a shard of glass after their goddamn ball breaks a pane. Then, only then, will they learn the power of my pen.


I can hear their chuckles. I want to throw these words that have been living in this book, smelling of age and bondage, at them. If I can manage to hurl a handful and show them that walls too have feelings. That you can’t just get away by kicking the ball against a poor wall stripped of paint by weather. If I can make the wall talk and share the torments of its heart in the tranquil of the morning now lying in shambles. If I can turn these words into blades and deflate their bloated egos and the fucking ball. If…

They hit some more. And converse loudly of how harder they can kick. Of how loud they can make the wall moan. Of how deep they can sink my heart. Of how dark they can cast my hatred. Of how further they can place the words so I can’t use them.

I place my back against the window squarely. And hope the ball flies through the glass and drives a shard into my brains. I yearn to feel the warm blood traveling down my spine. Drenching my shirt. Painting it dark like the hatred seething in my heart.

I want to listen to their little moans of regret. The agitation in their scared scratchy voices while they deliberate desperately on what to do. I want to send them into uncertainty. And the bang will forever reverberate down their memory hall like it did my soul. It will haunt them each time they behold a ball. Or a wall. It will haunt them each time they see torn packets of MacCoffee. And then the smell will remind them some more.

For now, I will wait. That confused look in their eyes will be the last thing in my eyes when I drift into oblivion. They will shake me no more with their stupid bangs. Unless they slit their throats with the last shards of glass I couldn’t take.

May these words come true.


Rest In Peace Your Majesty

what a heart break

what a heart break

A guy in a blue jersey passes the ball in between the legs of a charcoal black guy in a maroon jersey. Then he runs fast past him, loops the ball to a guy who connects it with the net. Jamie Foxx says ‘you changed me’ and I order a crisp cold Tusker.The smell of freshly fried chips hit my nostrils and I feel dizzy. I turn and behold a spectacled yellow woman with extra large breasts. She is chewing passionately while tweeting this magical experience away.

The deejay, weighed upon by young dreadlocks, fidget with his paraphernalia and bewitches us with cool hip-hop music. Namagua wine hidden away on the lowest shelf stares at me as if it is my fault I am not holding it in my glass. It takes two to tango but for me it takes one and an intoxicated brain. Some guys can be heard choking in a hearty mirth. The kind that only resurfaces when one is at last able to convince his new catch to have sex with him without involving a condom.

The cold drink streams down my throat as if aware of my thirst. I wet my lips at a Meek Mill ft Nicki Minaj song and smile. It seems to last longer than their fractured love. Less than my sobriety. The drink sinks into my nerves and I feel like calling my ex. I want to tell her how beautiful she is and how stupid I was to let her go. But I am distracted by a Dej Loaf voice. Soon I forget all about it.

I stare at a fridge and Elephant heads stare back. Besieging me to drink them all before they lose their tasks to cold-blooded poachers. I drink tusker because I adore Elephants. That doesn’t mean by any way that I don’t love Mount Kenya. How can I not adore the thawing summit named after veteran legends of the our community? Look, my neighbor is drinking White Cap. Someone has to stand with the Elephant. What do you stand by? 

In my next life I will come back as a Lion. And I promise not to kill any Elephant in my territory. We will exist like a single bride no matter how much hunger will try me. However, I will hunt down all the poachers and crush their bones like a machine transforming a tusk into a jewel. I will force him to come back as a big tusked Elephant. His task will be used to make a spell bound ring and its clicks against the glass of the wearer will be thunderous in China. I will let my roar counter the beating of his heart. In that life I will eat grass and poacher’s meat. I promise to mark the whole of Africa as my territory. 

I hate to think that someday the wild will have to exist without the trumpet of a family of majestic Elephants. I hate to envision that void that the extinction of these animals will leave behind. For anyone who identifies with my fears and can see the sparkle of my tears, I say we have to deal with this elephant in the room. For the dead Elephants and orphaned infants, I say Rest in Peace your majesty.