Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Will Not Be Paying My Taxes

It’s the thirtieth day of May
Not just another day
I sit wound in a tight knot,
anger rises bitter in my throat.
My fingers hesitate to sign off my sweat
into the bottomless pit of corruption.
This day in May,
a woman is raped,
a baby aborted,
a mother, from hunger dies.

This May,
a father’s life is lost:
potholes cradle his blood
to be savored like a rare wine
on the lips of a corrupt contractor
This day,
a traffic cop
holds out his blood thirsty hand:
his signature, permission for murder.
The people’s trust he disregards
to keep the rich man’s defective
fleet on the road.

another desperate and jobless
young man determinedly tightens
the noose around his neck
and kicks away the stool that holds his future.
A woman wails,
her screams bounce off
the hospital’s dilapidated walls:
‘No medicine’, she howls again and again,
echoing what the doctors said
as her child died in her arms.

This May,
a young girl lays her heavy head
against the urine stained wall.
Glazed eyes stare at hopelessness honed
to perfection by the illegal drugs
she sells herself to buy.
And the minister’s wife
Just back from abroad,
from pomp, romp and designer shops.
In her fancy car, back-left she sits
driven by the tax remunerated chauffer
This is the life, she thinks
while looking through the tinted glass
with disdain
at begging street

On this last day of May,
bent over my tax forms,
I believe I will not
be paying my taxes next year.

PoP © May 31 06

Hear No Evil, See No Evil

The burden of silence
is a load better not borne.
It is a failing of mankind
in the chain of cause
and effect.

For when the tide turns,
and choices are a thing
of the past;
when freedom’s the only thing left to give,
we will not have the chance
to speak.

There will be no place to hide
as the tentacles reach for gold.
There will be no freedom in
Or liberation in
no complacence in
or democracy in
there will be no trade in China
or Japan.

The anger of the masses will
be tossed this way
and that.
Turmoil will become a bosom
And grief,
a parasite.

Blood will flow
where children once played.
The gentle coo of doves,
replaced by
angry shrieks from bomber planes.
The deadly birds will
shed their lethal loads,
and the resultant craters
will be the only sanctuary.

PoP 6 Aug 06

The Jobless Graduate

Before the first cock crow
As night moves to the background
I greet the day
With a stretch of rickety young bones
And a mighty hungry yawn

I look around the old junk shed
As I listen to the angry protest
of my joints’ creak and pop
From my nightly crawl
Into the windowless shell
Of my bedroom; an old landrover
Half sucked into the earth

The cold air saturates my face
As I hit the road
While trying to ignore the angry gurgle
Of my hungry insides
I dare not remember
when I had my last meal
As that will only make matters
So much worse
I pay no heed
To the sole-less shoes on my feet
Or the incessant pinch
Of the gravel on my cracked heel

I walk as I always have,
Looking straight ahead
As my family album
Rushes through my head
I see myself as I struggled through school
My grumbling stomach always demanding food
In my minds eye little children
My brothers and sisters
Too ill to make the long walk to hospital
And father gone, done in by years of frustration
Now drowned in alcohol
Mother distraught,
Trapped, with nowhere to go.

I pat my jacket pocket
Feel the proof of my university degree,
And assorted certificates
Obtained from years of struggle
And borrowed money
I stride as I’ve done for four years
Eyes unseeing straight ahead
Narrow mouth determinedly set
And swallow the lump of hate
Rising in my throat

PoP 26 May 06

From The Cradle

That orange or yellow
meant–for-children bomb
that bursts in crescendo
like a tuneless symphony
exploding little arms and legs
into shards of bone and gleaming
glistening sickeningly wet flesh
strewn all over the place.
The lifeless
baby eyes
right into you
and wondering
how much longer you
will remain silent.

This is about the yellow/orange bomblets that burst from the 1000-pound bombs dropped by the B-1s in Iraq. Some of these bomblets don't explode on impact and remain on the ground stealing the lives of innocent children!

PoP 23 June 06

Kenya Will Stand United

caught with your pants down
and now fighting
in the cities and towns
the reign of terror is back

evil never wins
only angers the masses
who will make you account for your deeds
in an uprising by oppressed classes

they say the guilty are afraid
this fact stares us in the face
and we reject all you ever said
recognize them as lies meant to set a base
for massive plans of corruption

yes, go ahead,
put hoods on your heads,
like common thieves, hide your faces;
burn, loot and destroy,
whip and kick those who dare stand for truth

we may forget,
the intensity may subside
but your actions will never be erased
Kenyans will stand united

we are drained
from watching in silence as our country’s raped
we will no longer look aside
we will take action
to make this madness subside

for our children’s sake
the media will be free, democracy will reign
history will remind us, will be embraced,
will triumph even when our memories fail
evil will never prevail

we’ve seen you lose your virtue
and watched greed corrupt you
so as is done with vermin
we are shutting down all escape routes

your actions may silence a few
but the majority will rise
and start the fight anew
then you will listen to our voice
Kenya will stand united!

Kenya will stand united!

PoP 2 Mar 06

War Never Ends

Though the guns and bombs
have stopped,
War is in
the smoke that billows
over the countryside.
It lives in the scorched air
of the mountains
where we once played hide
and seek.
It resides
in the rubble in which we find
our loved ones still;
in the glassy eyes
of children
who won’t speak
or close their eyes in sleep.

War lives
in those whose spirits
went with loved ones lost,
whose lives will never again
be the same.
In those who now crawl
where they once walked
and those whose
sight is in the cane
they tightly grip

War continues
for those who cried
so many tears
and died
many deaths.
Those who ask how
to pick up the pieces;
whether it was worth the misses,
where to bury their pain
and if the anger will ever cease.

PoP 30 Aug 06

I Want To Believe

I want to believe
We still remember peace
And that we can still talk about it
With true peace in mind

Not as if it’s an illusion
Too vague to achieve
Or a victory for just a few
Not as a conquest
Where some lose and others win
Or a massacre in some sick baptism

I want to believe
We still remember peace
Where no one has to die
So we can live.

PoP 31 Aug 06

The Angry Poet

“Don’t let your anger
get the better of you,
he said as the crease between
his eyes deepened.
‘Don’t let your fire
burn you out.
Don’t cry,
Fight with words, in song, in protest!
These are the wise words
of my revolutionary friend.

For the umpteenth time
I bend my head.
Pencil in hand,
blank page staring back,
mocking my futile attempts at placid poetry.
Anger flares,
mad fires unquenchably burn,
and my fingers turn to lead.

How can I not cry
these angry tears
when my world is crushing
and waves are pounding around me.
When children are now being used as shields,
dying instead of playing.
When praying with open hands
invites murder.
When I can no longer trust my neighbour.

How can you tell me not to cry,
when man is no longer man
and life is lived without life.
When the cry of a newborn
sends a chill down my spine
When I’m so tired,
so tired of being an adult
without a voice.
How can I not cry,
when man ignores the choice
to listen to his conscience
on corruption, greed, and class division.
When only silence surrounds
the guns and the bombs.

Forgive my rage,
my friend.
Even as my fingers turn to lead
and another angry tear stains this page.

PoP 31 Aug 06

The Public Hospital

The stench
Is etched in the
Niche of my mind
The smell of desperation,
Pain, mud coloured tea,
And yellow black bananas
The endless rows
Of people identified by
A number on a priceless card

Scarves, different size hats,
Once white nurse
Uniforms blend in with
Colourless bandanas
And brightly coloured
Swahili Khangas
Attempting to hide
Pain, boredom and
Sleepless nights
Imprinted on long suffering

Unpaid doctors walk
Leisurely back from
Endless coffee breaks
As the stench of blood,
Stale vomit, boiled cabbage
And bloody needles
Saturate us
Like a wet blanket
My innards
Angrily churn,
Like a gourd turning

With each strained swallow
Of watery bilious saliva
I hold my friend’s hand
And squeeze a little tighter
Bracing myself
For a long, long wait
Yet afraid to breath in
The scent
Wherein lives
The first breathe
Of life
The clutch
Of death’s hand
And the magical years
In between

POP 18 Sep 06