Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One Woman’s Story…

She lost herself to sacrifice
She thought after a while,
She’d find herself, mould the parts of her she’d lost
Bring back the dreams of her youth

She lost her secondary school education
For the sake of the boys
“The boys have nothing,
you can always get a husband, her parents said.
Her dream to be a doctor
Exchanged for an early marriage
‘We need the bride price, they said.

Sacrificed sexuality by facing the knife
Sacrificed her laughter in a marriage gone bad
So she could save her name
As if she ever had a name
Or a personality
She was an empty shell
Filled and emptied at others’ whim

From there on sacrifice was her middle name
For the husband, the kids
the in laws, her father, her mother
Her friends, anyone and everyone

So one day she looked it up,
That dreaded word sacrifice
And realized it didn’t mean
She had to give up what she desired
Sacrifice is about choosing passion
over other interests!

At 40 she put paid to sacrifice,
She was labeled selfish and unkind
When she left her home for school
To pursue her dream to be a doctor

PoP 5 April 07

Why The Hawk Circles The Sky

Five years ago the people gyrated
Bright coloured laughter everywhere
The saviour had come, they said
Bodies twisted this way and that
Sweat stained faces at Uhuru Park
All preparing for the new birth

Prayers were said aloud with voices strong
Hurt exploded, dissipated in the air
As anger for a regime that ruled in fear
Was quelled
And the thirst for freedom was finally quenched

Little did we know that we were laying
With a hungry hyena
Dulled by smooth talk, lulled by words
That worked like a potent aphrodisiac
On the psyche of freedom-starved Kenyans,
We learnt to relax in sleep
We forgot to keep our eyes open

Salary increases of unimaginable percentages
Suddenly no one seemed to care about the workers’ wages
We cried out; respectfully, meekly
We even tried to cry out loudly,
But years of bondage had worn us down

Our feeble cries were consent for Anglo Leasing
White elephant tenders, overnight rags to riches
Everywhere one looked there was money missing
We tried to shout, but the snake rattlers came
And shut us down

Now we’re stuck in the den of snakes
And hooded gangsters
Where the devil quenches his thirst
On the potholed roads

Our silence is broken
By the cries of innocent women, men and children
Dying on the slopes of Mount Elgon

Their cries are silenced
By the machine-gun sound of roving helicopters
On the trail of voters
So the cycle can begin again
Hopes thwarted by another stillbirth

PoP @ 14 May 2007

Will The White Flag Fly?

The Revolutionary says we have to fight
We have to set things right side up
Justice, peace and freedom for all

The Revolutionary says we’ll fight
With our blood if need be
I ask, what brings about the need
For blood; tears for our kin’s lives lost
What makes these things so?

Battles turn to wars
When we won’t talk
When we’ll let ourselves walk
Rage consumed and self righteous

Battles turn to wars
When we, in cowardice withdraw
Where a kind word would
break down the walls

Battles turn to wars
When we won’t mediate
Then we negate peace
And wait for the battle to resolve itself
Until it’s too late
And the walls between them and us
Is built in proportion to our collective insecurities
When the walls reach the sky
You can be sure no white flags fly

PoP © 3 May 07

Friday, May 04, 2007

I Won’t Forgive You, Mama

Will I ever forgive you, Mama
For letting Daddy touch me like he did
Will I forgive the pain I felt
At his hands
Will I forgive the look I caught
On your face
The stolen glances
You gave

Will I forget the sounds that haunt me
In the still of the night
Those sounds that pass through fingers
Pressed tight against my ears
Those sounds that know no boundaries
Shamelessly cross the cloth partition
Of our one roomed house
The same sounds he made when
He hurt me so badly

Will I forgive you, Mama
For living with him
And sharing his name
Subjecting me to the same
Nightmare over and over again
One day, I may forgive you, Mama
But I will never forget

PoP © 3 May 07.

There’s More to Being A Woman

They say she’s hard headed
With skin as thick as the bark
Of the Mugumo tree

They say the daughter of Mitano
With her strong gait
Dark eyes flashing with hate
Is a renegade
Fighting the fights of men
Not satisfied with looking after the children

They ask why
She speaks about less work and more pay
She should be satisfied
After all, what is a woman created for
If not to work from dusk to dawn
Milking the cows
Tilling the land
Feeding the children
And still smiling at the day’s end

They say she should
Sit with the children while she eats
A meal of fish heads
Cow hoofs and
Chicken heads
Women’s food, they say
Taboo dictates that she will die
If she the cook,
Eats the meatier parts
(if the only knew)
Shhhh… they say
Don’t raise your voice in protest

When he beats her
She should be silent
Take it with grace
An example for the children
Cry softly, they say
Your pained loud cry
Calls attention to us
Daughter of Mitano

But the hard headed
Strong gaited
Thick skinned
Daughter of Mitano
Continues to fight
She continues
Against all odds
To organize
She talks to any listening man
Woman and child
For she knows there’s more
To being a woman that the meets the eye

PoP © 3rd May 07

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Streets Of Forgotten Pasts

As your hand reaches out
In greeting
In the streets of forgotten pasts
I feel my heart’s forbidding cry
And memories open up pages
Of a well read book
Memories of that hand
Holding mine
On sleepless nights
That hand brought
A smile on my face

In forbidden places
Fight to reach the surface
That hand’s
Resounding echo on my cheek
Pinching tender places
Hurting me in ways I never knew
That hand’s
Clenched punch
Instant tears as my nose cracks
Pain, never felt before creeping between
My eyebrows
Spearing, and like a lightning flash
Forever breaking my heart

We meet, many years later
In the streets of forgotten pasts
I will not
let that hand
Ever touch me again

Pop © 29 April 07


Tables turned in quick succession
Crashing weight upon glass floors
Splintering everything in their way

Hades opens gates of anger
Pointing fingers with a fiery strike
Casting all illusion from dust back to dust

Clinking glass on stone like the devil’s music
Neither love nor hate could quench heaven’s ire
For it was too late
And we watch agape

PoP © 14 March 07

When The River Runs Dry

I will not mourn
From sunset to dawn
When I feel all alone
I will not curse or pull out my hair
Even when my heart says, dare
Nor will I break
In this tormenting heartache

I will remember
Unspoken promises of forever
My desire to hold you nigh
I will remember
On love’s natural high
The fire that once lit your eyes

I’ll remember
Your golden laughter
And the sweetness of yesteryear
I won’t fear the emptiness
Of sunset’s dark embrace

I’ll think of your breath
Upon my cheeks,
Your hand upon my head
Your mouth sipping from my lips
Your arms slung over my shoulder
Friends forever
Not thinking
That forever will be soon gone
I’ll not cry
When the river of love
Runs dry

PoP © 18 May 06