The suffering of Atieno – Part 1

Your heaviness weighs on me,

Like a rough nam lolwe water on a small engine boat.



The waves slap the shores with hurried mischief

Most think about death, the fear of it

But me; I think of you.


Five kids in tow,

Crossing the lake on a dark night, in a small boat

To a further land that might not have shown you mercy.


The mother-hen very weary but determined.

But I can’t know your thoughts,

Your thoughts, when you have to beg for support that never came.


Am slow,

I could only dream of my own things,

Never attaching to your mindset, didn’t understand your suffering.

‘if I meet you I’ll remember you’, I replied prophetically when asked if when I grow up I’ll remember you.

It was a moonlit night in a land far away, forgotten.

Pulpy tomatoes and Ugali was the menu

I couldn’t grasp the pain, the lack.


This night in Mbita is dark,

I’m alone, broken and lost…

Pain and tears

(It’s like the first time I fled Nairobi, to the place of parched plains
Where my dreams fondly casts)

I haven’t been treated well!

From my hotel room;

The only sound is waves slapping on the shores.

A bit calming,

Raaaacha, softly


I try to imagine your suffering, oh Atieno.


I cough and fear,

There’s blood in my breathe,

I rush to my good morning syrup and vitamin c tablets,

The age of darkness is here.


Argh, I don’t care!


This hope I carry within me,

Ignited by strange things, that only seers can fathom.

I’ve entertained thoughts of going away for long.


I haven’t been treated well!