Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No-one Lives Here Anymore

Infatuated by the illusion of happiness
in a ghost city, where the scent of fear is familiar

Swishing by like a shadow walking through
a cloudless night

Sought in unfamiliar beds
musty in the aftermath of erotica

Arms flung in short-lived passion,
closed lips hungry in a bittersweet embrace

Lost in the curling smoke of a joint,
the amnesia of a drinking stupor

Temporarily satiated
Until the shadow’s hand falls upon your shoulder

PoP © 24 Oct 07

Rainbows in the Dew

whisper my name in the wind
rustling through the colourless flowers
quench my thirst in the morning dew
let your fleeting glance rest on me
with a touch of sunshine
unravel in purples, greens and blues
happiness, ensnare me in your youth

PoP © 24 Oct 07

Friday, October 05, 2007

Underneath the Sombre Expression

A scenario is given about a couple in their family car on their way to work. The man is concentrating on the road ahead, listening to the radio and making the occasional comment. The woman is serious and quiet, either staring straight ahead or browsing the newspaper. Her comments are few or even non-existent. Her expression seems almost hostile and unfriendly. This poem is for her.

Maybe it’s the early mornings
or late nights.

Or the mad rush to conclude
unfinished chores.

Maybe it’s the children
constantly demanding her attention.

Or the weight of responsibilities;
mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife.

Maybe it’s the dates she has to remember
doctor’s appointments, school visits, family weddings, the work calendar.

Or that she’s expected to smile
even when she’s sick or sad or tired.

Maybe she just needs some time
to catch her breath.

Or a precious moment
to put up her feet

Maybe it’s the thought
of attending yet another meeting, class or funeral.

Or the belief that she’s tireless
and can take anything that’s thrown at her regardless.

So she lives her life in constant fear
heart thudding in trepidation
on her face a hung-dog expression
or a permanent look of anticipation,
hoping someone will take the time to pay her a little attention.

PoP 5 Oct 07

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Old Peoples Home

Memories clutter my mind
Though brushed away like the irritating
drone of a faraway mosquito
they rush back to suck my blood

of children playing in the dusty paths
on their way back from school

Of maternity wards where women’s
cries of pain interspersed with the joy of new life

Of nights filled with love-making sounds
masked by cupped hands and Raymonds blankets
in our one-roomed thatched hut

Of dresses mended till they cried out
and my one pair of shoes you nicknamed fish
because the toe area looked like a wide open mouth

I remember standing resolute and asking you all
to forego packed lunches of sweet potato and sour milk
so Mwangi would go to university

Not a dry eye
was seen in the house that night
None of you talked to me for days after that

You didn’t know that I,
mother of many,
ate only one meal each day

My eyes mist
as the funeral of my friend, your father
plays over and over, like a broken record in my head

I remember the laughter of friends
Mama Murungi caught atop a tree,
stealing bananas from her neighbour’s farm

I remember watching you grow
Looking on, satisfied as you walked away
with degrees in your pockets

How my face would glow
For each moment of success
Made my sacrifices worthwhile

I remember,
As I lie here
on this hard rickety bed
surrounded by the senile murmurings
and musty smell
of the old people’s home

I remember…

PoP © 1 Oct 07