Posts Tagged ‘Poetry


u & i

There is no ‘u’ in love, but there is ‘u’ in hurt.
There is no ‘u’ in happy, but there is ‘u’ in blue
Cause ‘u’ are unhappy, ‘u’ are the unknown
There is ‘i’ in hip hop and ‘u’ in blues.
I’m the ‘i’ in Biggie and you are the ‘u’ in Tupac
There is ‘u’ in us cause ‘u’ are unique, there is no ‘i’ in us coz i am imperfect
‘u’ are in my outbox, ‘i’ am in your inbox
The ‘u’ in yours is more important than the ‘u’ in ours.

There is no ‘i’ in good but there is ‘i’ in sin
On the good, there is no ‘i’ in lose but there is ‘i’ in win
Be my third ‘i’ for I’m incomplete
‘u’ are like tunes in my head, i make ‘u’ my itunes
There is ‘u’ and ‘i’ in insecure.
When ‘i’ come in you change from secure to insecure
Cold, ‘i’ become ice

This is my bid so i add ‘i’ to ibid that last chapter
I am glad there is ‘i’ in fire and there is ‘u’ in lust
There is no ‘u’ in divorce, there is ‘i’. There is no ‘u’ in marriage either, there is ‘i’.
But there is ‘u’ and ‘i’ in union. This is our reunion.
Looking for ‘i’ in Christ for I know there is ‘i’ in evil
Take the ‘u’ and ‘i’ in Lucifer and turn it into the ‘u’ and ‘i’ in the Supreme Being, the ‘u’ in Jesus.
I choose the ‘i’ in life for I choose to live.

The ‘i’ in me looks for identity but the ‘i’ in my idiocy keeps the ‘u’ and ‘i’ in fucking up!
I am obsessed with the weight of a girl instead of the weight of the world.
What they say is hard for a pimp is harder for a man of faith. The ‘i’ in Pimp.
The ‘u’ who feels unloved by the ‘i’ who is interested, at times.
The ‘u’ who is in truth vs the ‘i’ who is in lies.
‘i’ am impeccable, ‘u’ are undefiled.
Then ‘u’ and ‘i’ are immaculate or untarnished depending on what letter ‘u’ and ‘i’ are

‘u’ and ‘i’ are the illuminati yet ‘u’ and ‘i’ are just an illusion.


Breaking Beds to Break Bread..

Truth be told, there is this old killer habit that never dies. A habit embraced with lies a habit that plies within the society, within villages and in the big city. Meet them often at the corners. Some are graduates with honours bracing the cold, glancing at on coming cars, waving and smiling as they approach. They will strike a pose or throw you a rose. Who should we blame? Are we exempted from reproach? These tales remind us of choices and chances expected. For every hoot, every raving engine, every flashing light brings about hope and expectation. The man hopes for pleasure. The girl hopes that the pressure will go away. She has bills to pay. Maybe she was molested. Some girls are just orphans. Some just want to play. She will do just about anything to break bread in the morning; he will do just about anything to see her break beds moaning. This after all is the infamous Koinange Street, Nairobi’s red light district.

You are spoilt for choice regardless of your age, tribe, race, the size of your wallet, your swagger, your name or your game. This is where many men go to rejoice and abuse their little freedom away from that cage be it a boarding school, a church or that marriage. School boys, married men, priests, members of parliament, the haves and have-nots the same.

Remember how at first, you used to cruise around probably eight of you jammed in a 5 seater, late in the night, high like kites. Uncouth, you have never been that knight in shining armour. There was no honour, you were just high school or college kids rather, looking for a happy hour. You would pass by that pub get a bottle of liquor. Pick up one girl on K-street, or try to. Still, there is no change hitherto this absurd behaviour. Some never paid. They just got laid. Some used them, abused them living life in the fast lane; makes you wonder whether you were insane. And the question, did you use protection?

It was routine to cruise around town before hitting the clubs downtown looking for a good time. Club-hopping from pub to pub, crossing from street to street sometimes just to get a glimpse. They don’t discriminate whether you are underage or not. It’s the wallet that does the talking. She does not want coffee dates, dinner or any wooing. But in the morning you will be ruing. You will curse when you recollect your previous night’s foolery. It might be too late to correct.

This Street, therefore, was and still is, a sad place to reprieve: a foolish way to relieve your stress, your pain, your anger or your frustration. We try to re-live the years that pass us by. Like fools needing to learn and the street is the teacher: a teacher with a harsh lesson. A lesson that we seem to never learn. We get burnt, we get hurt, the girls earn from it, some of us try to run from it. But most of the time we run with it.

What is it about these streets? Skimpy clad women of all ages, size and complexion. Filthy rich men of all ages, size and religion. They all pass by regardless of their wealth and status; regardless of their health status. For a fee, for free. Is it because of pain? Or maybe there are those who gain. I don’t know. Choose to let go. This path, this street’s wrath is real and death is not discreet.

We whisper about it, we whimper because of it. We leave wives and kids behind; sometimes we come back to them. Some times we don’t. You see, you pay her to lay her but life plays her to slay you. She will give you a good time for ten minutes and give heartaches to your loved ones for eons when they visit your grave. Be brave. Whether it’s an STI or HIV, this red light district with its predators will get you.



No “ifs”, “ands”, “buts”

Lift me up. Put me in a higher place. Next to the stars where my hut is in the cosmos, my outer space where I do not have to chase after girls with glasses of cosmos.

Help me think very deep like a philosopher and travel faster than the speed of sound. Maybe I can think far at the speed of a greyhound just so my thoughts could be profound.

Shape shift into a musical note that I belt out for you and love it unconditional. Love it unproportional in a way become irrational.

I know ignorance comes and takes over my show. The same way love takes over and I have nowhere to go.

Sometimes its ridiculous. I am meticulous at it and will raise hell so we can sleep in heaven. I will scream and yell like a young heathen.

Pound my proud chest but caress your pronounced chest. Profess my ways to calm your stress not only on the mattress.

I thought I needed you but I was wrong. I should have been more clear, I should have treated you more fair. Like paid for that hair, built you an elevator instead of that stair-way that made you stay away.

Charisma, like Africa the mother of civilization, we are meant to be for infinity that’s why I let u see my two faces. Take you to my two places, my body and soul. I know my mouth is foul and I have fault. But I was taught by my forefathers to respect a woman. I was taught to expect more from a woman.

But we are only human.

You are so influential like a lit candle. You can be part demon part angel. Your eyes turn black when angered like a shark feeding. And off-white like a cayman underwater preying.

That’s why I have a smile on my face but with tears of a sad clown. Thats why I’ll walk a mile to your place with fears when you are down.

A rebel without a cause. A vessel with no course on a river without a source. We need to let it go. We both know it’s over but we try to keep our heads above water. Aware of the alligator underwater. Aware of the shark with black eyes. And still trying to break free from the lies so we can soar up above the skies.

So I give up my ifs, my ands and my buts meaning I give up my hesitations, my worries and my uncertainty. Let’s chase that infinity.

I want to take you back to the good old days with pet names and home cooked meals. With long conversations, talking forever till it gets dark. I am stuck here alone missing the long walks in the park.

Let’s take it back to, cuddling till we sleep, saying sorry even when you are wrong to flip, coz love is…

And we were the true definition of love incarnate.. Two lustful people who laid to rest the carnal to embrace soul love… And i love you still… Now, tomorrow and always will…

But if…


The Ancestors Hate the Butterfly People.

Mzee Lemangen sat down on his old three legged stool outside his Manyatta wondering what he had done to annoy the gods. His face, pale and wrinkled by old age, did not glow even as the sun set behind the beautiful savannah. A poker-face embodied by his pierced ears as he chewed on a root and spat on the ground. From a distance he could hear his eldest son Lengosek whistling as he drove the cattle back to the Lorora. He drew in a sigh and disappeared back into deep thought. His eyes were teary with resignation and frustration. This was the third season that the gods had not blessed his land with rains.

“Father…” Lengosek called out.
“Father!” there was no response; only a sad stare greeted him back.
“Please let me move to the city,” Lengosek implored. “There I can find a job as a watchman and be sending you some money.”

Mzee Lemangen did not flinch. They had been over this countless times and he was getting tired of being pestered. He was not for the idea of his eldest son moving to the damned city. He had already lost enough siblings to let Lengosek go. Just a few seasons back Lekey, the son before Lengosek had died before he became a Moran. Tradition has it that for a young Samburu warrior to be initiated into Moranhood, he has to pass one of the grueling tasks of killing a lion. Lekey was destined for great things. He was to inherit his father’s wealth and be inaugurated into the council of elders. It was therefore unfortunate and depressing that he met his death from the same cruel custom that Mzee Lemangen upheld and preached so vehemently.

On the fateful day, Lekey was in a buoyant mood. He was so proud of their culture and traditions which his Matapatu clan cherished and retained. It was time for his age-set to be initiated into Moranhood. It was time to enjoy a convivial and relatively undemanding life with permissive sex. Every Samburu boy looked forward to this period in their lives. Lekey was no different. He had spent hours having his hair braided the day before. Donning abstract designs in orange on his face and red ochre on his head, neck and shoulders, there was no doubt that he would have enjoyed his Moranhood. It was his time to be fearless and arrogant. Moranhood would have been his prime and he would have been free to do largely exactly as he liked.

Lekey must have forgotten to spill some blood and milk for the gods. Maybe he got too excited or too arrogant to remember his forefathers. Lekey had just returned home from the market after buying more beads for the festival. Simba, his dog, was strolling lazily beside him when the rustling of dry leaves behind a bush caught his attention. Off he went, disappearing behind the bush barking. Lekey did not pay attention for this was the wild and it could have been a hare or squirrel that Simba had ran after. No sooner had he called Simba back than a load roar met his earshot. His first reaction was to aim his spear but he was from the market. He did not have a spear, only his rungu. His feet got numb and his tongue heavy. Simba would be torn to pieces. Despite ironically being named Simba, he would be devoured by a real lion. This was not the case. Simba, the dog, disappeared into thin air when he heard the roar. He was wise enough to know the difference between a cat and a lion.

“Simba!” Lekey tried to call out, whispering instead.

His heart was beating louder than the Ameru drums in a Njuri Njeke celebration. There were no trees nearby where he could have climbed. And before he could conjure his way out of it, she appeared. Her eyes firmly focused on him giving away her intentions. An enraged lioness who had just lost her cub to hyenas. There was no pecking order as to whom she would unleash her wrath on. Lekey was no match for her. He could not outrun her and if this was an early initiation then he was never going to become a Moran. The initiation required skill, wit and a few age-mates backing you. His knees buckled and the once outspoken warrior wet himself as he collapsed to his knees. From the iota of strength left in his subdued body, he clenched his fist and wildly swung his rungu hoping for a lucky blow. His death was fast and cruel though she did not devour him. It was pure murder; a retaliation. His body lay lifeless with the beads sparsely scattered on the red soil. There was blood on his braids and his shuka. She must have drunk his blood.

Simba had witnessed this from a distance and barked his lungs out. His bark loud and assertive but it gradually declined into a whine. He had slowly realized that he had just lost his master. He sat there hoping his mind had played tricks on him and Lekey would get up call his name and play with his ears like he always did. He didn’t. And so he ran home alone. He was sad when he got to the homestead and being an evening, no one took notice. It was not until everyone had finished their chores from feeding the cows to fetching water that Mzee Lemangen sent out Lengosek to ask Lekey to join him in his hut. Lengosek had finished milking the cows when he decided to pass by Lekey’s newly constructed hut to tease him. No one was in. There was nothing unusual until a frantic call from outside the homestead got his attention. A passer by walking home from the market had found Lekey dead by the roadside and rushed to his home, bearing the heartbreaking news. No one really could comprehend his fate.

Mzee Lemangen like many other African men had many wives. He had three, and all three wives had given him seven children with the third wife expectant and due in a few weeks. It was not all gloomy after all, or so he hoped. He had just lost his eldest son and the ancestors were about to bless him with another. A son, he hoped. Tribesmen never tire of sons. They call them warriors and he wanted an army. Life in the village had changed drastically. More and more conservative cultures were dieing and the Samburu’s was no different. He had held countless meetings with the council of elders to instill discipline and morals back to the community but it was a difficult task. Mzee Lemangen sometimes felt his predicaments were rather harsh and he constantly wondered why the gods hated him most. Misfortune seemed to ghost around his homestead probably as a payback to all the sins his forefathers and earlier generations had committed.

He was still in a dispute with the other elders over his young daughter’s refusal to be circumcised. His daughter Naisekui was learned. She met a missionary who introduced her to a classroom and ever since she became the rebel in the family. She still upheld her morals and traditions but she refused to follow most of them that she felt were untenable. Circumcision was one of them. Mzee Lemangen was perturbed by this newly acquired knowledge Naisekui proclaimed to get from the school. He called it poison and it was slowly eating him up. Poison that must have been in the watering hole otherwise why else was it spreading so easily in his homestead?

“Why do you shame me?” he had asked. “Don’t you see you are the only girl who has not been circumcised in this family?” She had looked down in shame staring at her toes. “Father, circumcision is dangerous,” she tried to convince him. An obnoxious stare is all she got from him before he dismissed her to go fetch firewood for the evening meal. Later that evening Mzee Lemangen visited Nenkai, his third and most recent wife.

Nenkai was young and beautiful. She had milk white teeth and her head was clean shaven with coloured beads hanging round her neck. She adorned herself like any young lady would. Not only did she wrap herself with the most expensive shuka from the market, but also her jewellery ranged from cheap bracelets made out of copper cables to priceless soft-stone earrings and beads that embraced every inch of her body. Her big beautiful eyes easily gave away her innocence and naivety. He had married her as a present from his best friend. She was his favourite and from first glance, you could tell why. She was proud with a hint of arrogance. She had a bit of informal education and from the many little favours she got from her husband it was easy for her to look down upon the other wives.

“Did you lock up the chickens?” He started never mind the fact that he did not keep that many, they were just two chicks. In this part of the world, there were no darlings and sweethearts, no sweet pies and pumpkins. A man would simply utter the first and most random thoughts that came to mind. Shakespeare would have been shocked to his death by how the village setting had no clue or room for romance. She giggled and nodded her head as if that was the sexiest pick-up line she had ever heard.

“You know you are my favourite.” He continued. “I have been breeding those chickens for you. We are soon going to have a feast.”
“A feast? What for?” She asked rather puzzled.
Pointing to her bulging belly he smiled and said, “Because of that,” before giving a chuckle of delight. His chuckle was short though, and then he turned his attention to the matter at hand. “I was wondering whether you could talk to Naisekui and convince her to be circumcised.” Naisekui and Nenkai did not see eye to eye. They were too alike and the age difference was too small to anchor any form of respect between the two. Naisekui’s mother was Mzee Lemangen’s first wife so she found it difficult calling someone almost her age ‘mother’. Mzee Lemangen’s obvious favourism for Nenkai also did little to help ease the tension between the two.

“I will,” Nenkai reluctantly responded before folding one of her shukas and tucking it beneath the mat to use as a pillow. “But you know that brat never listens to me.” “She thinks I stole you from her mother.” Her smile had turned into a frown and Mzee Lemangen was too egoistic to stick around and get drawn into that conversation.

“When can we start celebrating his arrival?” he asked trying to change the subject. Nenkai was not impressed and she rudely excused herself after reminding him that it was the night for the council meeting. He did not say anything. He no longer had the strength to quarrel so he sat there after she had left and reminisced over the lost glory when everything was good. He mumbled a few words to the gods in discontent before dragging himself up and out into the savannah darkness.

The bonfire was wild and smoke had left most of the elders teary and with running noses. Most just blew their nostrils with their hands before wiping them on the grass or their shukas. When the meeting finally got off, the elders all took turns to drink the blood of a bull that had been slaughtered earlier to appease the gods and cleanse all evil spirits. After a few rounds one of the elders cleared his throat and got straight to the point.

“We are gathered here today…” His speech was cut short by one of the elders who bent over and whispered something to his ear. “Perhaps we should decide on whether Lemangen should attend this meeting?” he continued. Mzee Lemangen was perplexed and he sat there staring as if he had just seen the holy angel Gabriel taking sour milk from a calabash. “Why do you say so?” he asked, his eyebrows were raised with suspicion. “Well, we know this is a delicate matter and maybe we should deliberate on it without you in attendance. Mzee Lemangen did not give away his anger rather he softly obliged and stood to go back home. A few mumbles stopped him before one of the elders demanded he staid put. The other elders agreed some reluctantly. As he took back his seat, the chair of the meeting continued.

“Let’s get on with it. A few weeks ago, Lengosek, Lemangen’s son, and a few of his friends drove cattle away from the village in search for pasture.” As he paused, it was so quiet that the silence gave away the wild laugh of a hyena far away in the wilderness. No one seemed to care. It was nothing unusual in this part of Kenya. “They traveled over hills and valleys but as you all know we are facing a famine so pasture is hard to find.” He continued. “Eventually after walking for a few days and nights, the young men found a ranch and drove the cattle into the ranch to graze them.”
“Unfortunately, the boys hadn’t realized that was private property and were confronted by the guards under watch. There was an altercation and a fight broke out leaving both parties seriously wounded. This is Mr. Mayani’s ranch, our MP.” A few murmurs of shock and a few muted stares were exchanged before he continued. “Mr. Mayani is not happy with what happened and has asked for an apology or the herders involved would be arrested.”

Mzee Lemangen’s heart skipped a beat as the thought of losing another son made his blood temperature rise. All of a sudden he felt suffocated even though they were out in the open and there was a fresh breeze blowing the smoke from the bonfire into thin air. As he caught his breath, he missed a question from the chair of the meeting and had to be nudged back into the proceedings. “I am sorry, what did you ask?” he asked. The other elder repeated the question to him. “What do you suggest we do? We thought the fathers of the boys involved should apologize by ‘donating’ livestock to the MP.” “They should agree on who will give goats and who will give out cattle to Mr. Mayani,” he continued. At this point Mzee Lemangen’s utmost worry was losing his son to the brutal judicial system. Even in this remote village, everyone had heard and developed a fear for the judicial system because the most influential people were the wealthy ones with high government offices. He nodded his head and offered two goats as compensation to Mr. Mayani. The other fathers gave cattle and the council agreed to drive the animals to Mr. Mayani’s Office in the urban centre the following day. The council then touched on other issues that were affecting the community and somewhere in there they discussed the circumcision of all girls with no exceptions. Mzee Lemangen did not object because his family had led him into enough trouble already.

On his way home from the meeting Mzee Lemangen was infuriated and red faced with anger. He was talking to himself and cursing out loudly. He did not go to his hut rather went and banged on Naisekui’s door and threatened to circumcise her himself if she did not go ahead and do it the rightful way. She was shell shocked and scared and so in the wee hours of the morning, she fled to the missionary’s home to take refuge.

Naisekui spent a lot of time at the school compound where the missionary lived with a few orphans. So Mzee Lemangen sent a search party to the school to find out whether she was there. When they got there, she had been taken to a near-by town to a local priest’s church. They went back and informed Mzee Lemangen who decided to go into town himself to bring back his daughter. His son Lengosek accompanied him on this particular mission. It was one of the few things the two had ever done together and probably the only thing they had agreed on. They did not speak much on their way there. They both had enough going on in their lives and the last thing they both wanted was to get into anything that would make their trip more awkward.

The small town was busy with a few motorists and bicycles haphazardly going about their businesses. Mzee Lemangen and his son were not used to these ‘wild’ happenings and looked rather lost. They found it had to get by. Finding the church seemed like an uphill task until they ran into an old friend who was kind enough to take them there. On arrival, Naisekui had dressed herself in a branded T-shirt with a Jimi Hendrix photo on the back. She wore a long pleated skirt that had geometric patterns running around it. Her ochre was still visible but hardly. It was difficult to recognize her from afar until she shied away and Lengosek confirmed that in deed that was his sister. They grabbed her by the hands and as they tried to lead her out of the compound, an elderly man with spectacles and a suit ran towards them calling out and ordering them to stop. They did not oblige and Lengosek proceeded to arm himself with his lethal rungu. He was ready and willing to strike before the man begged them to hear him out.

The church van dropped them off at their village and beaming with smiles, Mzee Lemangen, Lengosek and Naisekui all emerged carrying plastic bags full of niceties that the church had been kind enough to give. Their joy was met with ululations and cheer from the children but the women just stared in silence. They whispered to themselves in sparse groups and looked away. Something was wrong. Mzee Lemangen was puzzled so he enquired to try and find out what was going on. No one said anything until his first wife emerged from Nenkai’s hut. Her eyes were hiding away a fear that Mzee Lemangen had only seen once before. That was when a man came to his homestead bearing the news of Lekey’s death a few seasons before. He had never forgotten those eyes. His wife had the same eyes and he suddenly realized all was not well.

“Please come into your hut I have some news for you.” She finally said something.
“What is going on here? Is Nenkai alright?” He demanded to know.
“She is okay Lemangen,” she assured him.
“Then what seems to be the matter? I can see it in your eyes.” She did not know how to tell him. She tried to search for the words but there were none for what she was about to tell him.
“You have a son.” The words fell on his ears like the fine tune of a stringed instrument. He was about to jump up with joy when it hit him that no one was celebrating.
“Why the long face then?” he implored.
“Please come with me to Nenkai’s hut,” she said as she led him out, round the kennel and into Nenkai’s hut. There were three midwives all clasped in each other’s arms. One had one hand on her chin as she shook her head and murmured something. He walked past them to where another midwife sat next to Nenkai holding the baby. He was wrapped in a clean shuka as the mother lay there in her sleep. Mzee Lemangen took a few steps closer and reached out to hold his son. Suddenly his expression changed. His eyebrows arched as he picked his son up and glanced at him for the first time. His arms then became week suddenly but he managed to salvage some strength to hold the baby boy. He was light skinned. The baby had the same kind of skin that the missionary who taught Naisekui had.

“Whose child was this?” He wondered to himself. The missionary was a lady so there was no way she could have impregnated his beautiful wife Nenkai. He wondered whether he was cursed and this was another one of the gods’ punishments for his sins. He needed an explanation so he woke Nenkai up after handing the baby back to the midwife. Nenkai was weak and still recuperating after a long night giving birth.

“Why is that child different from all the other children in our family and in the whole village?” His voice was rusty and weak with contempt. “You are not worthy of being my wife! Get out of my homestead and never come back! And take that child with you,” he barked. “You shame me and humiliate me in front of the entire community by sleeping with the army men that blew up our land.” He continued making reference to the British and American soldiers who had come to take part in some military practice with their Kenyan counterparts. Nenkai had neither explanation nor excuse. She was as astonished as everyone else. What they did not know was that the boy was an albino.



She gazes outside her window as the sorrow fazes her maze of a life that knows not what tomorrow holds. Her little wooden window lights this small room casting a shadow of a widow whose life reflects nothing but regret. She misses him and fourteen seasons later she still finds reasons to hang in there. They wrote her off too early. The thought that she had it was too scary.

See, they took all she cared for and worse still the ancestors took whom she cared for. The father of her two sons. Taken by the father of the two suns. Two suns that rewind the seasons and remind her of how her strife has shaped her life. The day and night suns. The day one giving her hope yet the night one creeping with ghosts that quench their thirst with the tears she has shed over the years. Years shaped by her fears of not waking up the next morning. Fears that make her shudder with thoughts of her sons mourning. Her death. An outcast because she had it. An outburst in the village after they heard it. The pastor and witch doctor did not have an answer. The elders did. They heed the outcry to send her away never knowing their deeds would push her to find a way.

You see, she never knew that good life. She did not have that good job in the city. Her lifestyle knew no danger; her life knew no anger. She was just a stranger, a village girl who had never traveled the district leave alone the world. She lived on instinct and the taught word from her forefathers. Then she met him. The wild one who swept her off her feet almost dropping her six feet deep. He came back with it from the city. His riches had made him sort of a village celebrity. They all wanted a piece of him and so did she? It has been long and she matches on strong than ever before. Her two sons in school as she builds their foundation. She is now a stranger to doubt. She stands out, having made it in this shanty doing odd jobs but never having to sacrifice her morals.

Tomorrow is a mystery but her kick will pick her up and keep her going. Living knowing that she who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. Her regretfulness would have everything in this world cursed and lost in all forgetfulness. So she reflects on her refracted past and her hope is in the name of the most gracious, the most merciful. Her life may have a refracted ray of light but it still lights her up no matter how bent it gets. She has shown a spirited bent to live.



Style. Nyathi if u like, and I have it. Out with the old and in with the new shit. Close your eyes, I might blind you with her shine. Her kind is what i’d make mine. I’m talking Adidas, Nike, Ben Sherman, Louis V, Levi Strauss. I’m talking Dunlop, hush puppies, Reeboks, vans, pro-keds. Someone I’d kick with all weekend.

Style. The price i pay. Tv and magazines taught me to walk this way. Talk this way. She is my swagger. May my bumptiousness not lead me to stagger. She is mine, my size nine. You can Mess with me, but watch my shoe. Do your did, but watch my feet. Spent to loot if i had to. Shoot if it came to. Like my new suede shoe. She lifts me when i am blue. She is my beaut and i’m her beau. That makes us beautiful. Filling me with a beatific smile.

These baby legs at times tire. so much work to march the attire. Colour co-ordinated but not fitting. Fascinating but defeating the purpose. Don’t believe age is nothing but a number, people lie but numbers don’t. She has to be new, the correct size and for the right price. All numbers. If i have it, i will spend it, and that makes me independent.

I got a new shoe. A shoe with a sad hue. A hue whose whole gamut is blue. I am a nine but she is a size ten and makes me sway like an aspen. She does not fit. I call her my closet misfit. I can’t wear her for long. She feels all wrong. She is not a shoe for all occasions. A shoe that gets me in motion, my catalyst or magic potion. She feels like wearing an Ozwald Boateng suit with chucks or wearing a turban in church. This is no ordinary shoe, she is not Chinese. She is handmade from the finest cut of English leather. She makes me a thug and at the same time, an extraordinary gentleman. She is my Ben Sherman.

Sometimes she makes me pull a B-Boy stance, a roc boy dance and party like a rockstar. She might be from venus or from mars. A star.… Sometimes she makes me smile when what i really want to do is furrow my brow. She may be a pair of ice creams by the neptunes fact is she is a star. The problem with stars is you can’t have them and this northstar shoe might leave a scar. A deep scar like from a bullet. A scar from my pair of Bata Bullets. A fallacy? Maybe. A fantasy? Possibly. She is my a.d.i.d.a.s.. Why? All.Day.I.Dream.About.Sex…i mean shoes.



6th January the year of the coup, God breathed air into my lungs. Lungs that in turn sprung to life a small heart. Lungs that oxygenated a small heart that bravely jump-started the journey of a brave heart. A heart that learnt to love, laugh, hate and hurt. Hurt, pain, heart-aches. Heartbreaks that taught that same heart to choose, loose and part. Part of which led me to party to drown away pain. Pain that cast a mould around me and made my heart cold with fears never to be told. A mould dolled up with a name. A name that i was given by my father. A name that I gave up, call me insane. A father that saw no need to be in my life any further. A father that i needed but he needed a another life rather. A life that God gave me but also took away a life that i needed through my father. A father that only was after i solely faced my seventeen seasons never giving reasons to account for the abandoned years. Years that echo a mother’s love in my ears. Ears that listen but don’t hear.

I became a teacher way before i was a student. I became a seeker whose ways were prudent. Prudence that required patience. Patience that i lost busy being all grown up rather than being a child. A child that went wild with ideas, all lies. Lies that dimmed my light but redeemed my plight. A light that flickered my life but sparked those lungs to fight. Seeking insight where my right was when he left.

Tens of seasons later and that heart is still on a quest. A quest to rest, to be content, to rid off the contempt. So until my coup de gràce, these lungs will not hold their breath for the word of grace. These lungs will let me live and at the same time believe it is getting better. I do not have to make a call or write a letter. These lungs.

Kinyua Gichohi

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