Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Through A Boy’s Eyes

He was my world
His armour shone
Glittering like diamonds in my eyes

He said I was his best friend
In my eyes, he was the world’s strongest man
His words, always to be obeyed

I made excuses for his absences
Hid my disappointment
And tears in his broken promises
I would have died for him

His name was reverent on my lips
His friendship, I felt, was mine for keeps
He said we’d share all he had
His praise meant the world to me

I don’t remember seeing much of him
Though I believed that words were meant
To be spoken in a slur
That stale breath, an angry voice and red eyes
Were a sign of male strength
And that the teetering walk was just his style

I was five
He was forty-two
He was my dad

PoP © 27 Jun. 07

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life Off-Kilter

Wandering through the streets
With a faraway look in her eyes
Blinded to the beggar’s outstretched palms
The bubbling scent of life
And motorists relentlessly hooting

There’s determination in her step
Though she has no voice
In the cacophony of life
In the deep stillness
There is no hope of consolation

Look close
And you’ll see
The healing scars lining her wrists
Anger set in her pointed chin
You’ll see
The storm collecting in her dark eyes
Fighting hate with an ice-cold heart

Move closer
And you’ll feel
The rush in the air
As the wind blows wild
Leaving everything askew
PoP © 20 June 07

Wherever You May Be, Daddy

(Fathers' Day Poem)

I’m still waiting
For you to come home

Waiting with bated breath
And sleepless eyes
For the key to turn in the door
To hear that deep baritone voice
Call my name

And when you come
I will forget
All the birthdays never celebrated
The school visits you never made
The laughter that lingers on the horizon
Never tickled from its cocoon
Tears that still trickle in the night
Purging a little girl’s heart

For though I’ve learnt how to live
And found the courage to love
I still need you to come home

PoP © 18 June 07

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go

Her baby is
Her two door pink Mercedes
She owns a brand new Toyota Prado
She only uses to shop
And a Humvee for upcountry drives

She owns four mansions
And two blocks of flats
On the good side of town
Collecting more in rents than she can count
She’s lost track of how much spending money
Is tucked in the dresser drawers by her bed

She owns more clothes than she’ll ever wear
Golden trinkets carelessly flung all over the place
She’s been to the world’s top destinations
Been wined and dined by important people in many nations

In her youth she played hard
Selling her assets to buy her money
By hook or crook the money flowed
As she played ploy after ploy
Begged, borrowed and stole
Money was all that mattered

Now she’s fifty
She has all she’ll ever need
The money game is like a meal
That lost it’s spice
Once, twice bitten,
The men are nowhere to be seen
Sobs echo in her empty house
As she cries herself to sleep
In her search for money
She lost her name, her friends, herself

PoP © 14 June 07

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Mungai's Story

He’d never seen the inside of a police cell
Just finished primary school the year before
His family was poor, what we call dirt poor
All they had was their belief in family and God
This is Mungai’s story

The laughing stock of his friends in school
Was it a crime to live in the slum
Eking a living from his mother’s
Porridge, maize and beans kiosk
Poverty never had been a choice

He’d watched his age mates turn to crime
Always said he’d never turn
Living on hope and a prayer a day
Until the sounds of army boots broke the night

Doors were kicked open
Couples hid as they were caught naked
Heavy boots crushed children sleeping on the floor
The foul stench of dog breath was at the door

All young men were rounded up
The criminals had long since sniffed
The cops and fled
Mungai was huddled with a group
Of young and not so young men
They were taken to the corner
And quite suddenly shot dead

PoP © 8 June 07

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hungry Man

The hungry man walked
Head bowed down the meandering street
He absent-mindedly scratched his craggy beard
His sleep-deprived eyes searched for the unseen

The hungry man was once moneyed
Big cars filled his driveway
A bevy of lithe young ladies graced his bed
Wine and women would end each day
His money was his to use any which way

The hungry man was once married
He left his wife mostly alone
Lonely nights were the order of her life
He didn’t take time to see his child
She was more a maid than a wife
Too busy was he being playboy

Now he wanders the streets alone
Recalls words from a long lost friend
‘Blessings come in big, he said
But when we misuse this precious gift
It’s taken and given to someone deserving

The hungry man smiled
And absentmindedly turned the corner

PoP © 7 June 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It Rained Red

It’s seeping into the city
Trickling in as we sleep
It’s bringing with it
The sound of the ransomed child
The helpless sigh of the small trader
The cries of the newly widowed

Red liquid
Once private parts
Torn limbs
Gouged out eyes
Speak of the young man’s innocence

Politicians use subterfuge
So-called leaders are linked with killers
Leeches feeding on innocent blood
In symbiotic relationships gone bad
Opposition parties, straddling the fence
Refusing to take a firm position
Churches, once a place of refuge
Now maintain a silence so loud

You and I must speak out
Before our private parts
Torn limbs
Gouged out eyes
Speak of their innocence

PoP © 6 June

What Can We Do?

We asked
Stood still
Arms akimbo
We asked
What can we do?
To still the bloodshed
Splashing on our clean hands
Gushing from necks that once held heads
Sprinkling, staining the dark nights deep red

We sat
We sat ramrod straight
In the safety of our houses
Disbelief in our eyes
Hands unconsciously travelled
Between chin and head
Sporadic tears streamed down our faces
As we watched old women on flat screen TVs
Holding the same hopeless pose
Tears of fear crawling down wrinkled cheeks

We asked
What can we do?
We sat
With our hands on our laps
While others did something
Writers were busy writing
Poets wrote prose requiring no rhyme
Songs of courage were sang
Placards echoed with loud cries
And those who were ready to die
For freedom lifted her banner high

PoP © 6 June 07