things we are used to, change,
they change as time goes by,
time makes things strange
Am on top of this high mountain
Breeze caress my temple
My head is light
At the end of it all,
Everyone loves whatever they do
This is the feeling you must cling on with your life.
It helps in moments of sadness
On my high mountain I can judge, the world beneath my feet,
In times of drizzling rain,
I think of the departed.
The thoughts clutch on me,
Like a prostitute on a high paying client’s dick,
Seductive words of gods,
Whom I accuse of neglecting their duty,
When the departed needed it most, makes tears roll down my cheeks
Petrichol bites my nose
The scent of renewal.
A king ascends to his throne long denied.
My step mum,
Held scissors tightly in her bloodied hands,
Her face spoke of hate
She cut my wings, in a dozen places,
Clipped. I run away.
The stranger by the roadside whispered
‘Don’t worry,’ as I tearily looked at my bare back
‘they’ll grow back’, he added
22 January, 2021
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.
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
I haven’t been treated well!
From my hotel room;
The only sound is waves slapping on the shores.
A bit calming,
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!
I hurriedly pack my bags, for in the morning time I’ll need to catch a bus to the lakeside town of Homabay.
Homabay the place of my mother’s birth,
Her appendix was buried here.
A soothing place of waters and lands separated,
Scattered like the thoughts of gods.
This calming breeze from the lake takes away my breathe,
It is here she first breathed; without which I would not
For me, it is a plus, a great getaway from the bustling Nairobi
It gives me ideas of going away for long,
A missing person’s report.
What was it that led me to part with a lot of money; to no man’s place
A land so deep in the waters where people hesitate before venturing
I braved the deep pale blue waters to reconnect
With the spirits of my ancestors
The calming sun that rises over Nam Lolwe
Sending brave rays over the great deep for sustenance
The waves slap hard on the boat’s body; sounds like a hammer hitting plastic.
pa-ta! pa-ta! pa-ta!
Will I be lucky to have fish?
What was it that you fed me at night?
Was it mbuta or ngege in Mbita?
I enjoyed it.
The world continues…
life spells too much emptiness
the distance of time ahead promising nothing
nothing at all,
like a parched river bed whose comeback depends on seers
a time of high drought
that lasts for years
life blinds one with goodness,
thoughts of suffering, only fleeting
‘I have no time for pain and suffering’, the soul whispers to the spirit
every dream capture in exact tranquillity
clarity of enjoyment
death and life,
one must complement the other,
an end signals new beginnings
in between the struggle to be happy
some, get stuck inside the emptiness,
it is their choice to manually terminate existence,
others, fight hard to entangle from emptiness,
this is the true meaning of living
continuous entanglement from emptiness.
this is how it is.
everything is still everything
In my sleep,
I will travel with my spirit guides…my gods
To further lands,
To find solace,
Or even capture death; in its peacefulness,
In the third realm,
Yet, the distance left, is never known.
Requires great ingenuity,
Few are endowed
Fanon Kihu’s 16 paged poetry book can pass unnoticed and indeed it should, but only for one well-written poem Create A Job You Must and some shreds of brilliance in phrases in some other poems here and there.
The book Africa As One contains eight poems that speak about what is wrong with African but also exalts the beauty of an independent Africa.
The first poem A Book It Is feels more like spoken word than poetry due to its many use of rhymes.
The African as One poem is good, it weaves a web of words that showcases how the continent has been raped and looted.
Black is rich, black my color, Mr Kihu in seven stanzas puts forward the case for Africa inhabitants to be proud of their color. He also digs a fight telling white people how without Africa, they are nothing. Which is essentially true.
In My name is corruption, the poet makes the case for pausing to see how corruption has destroyed the continent.
Steal a thousand shillings, in exchange for your head
Or use your head, make the one thousand shillings
Your head you can’t replace, it is not like bread
A thousand you can replace, at any world’s place.
The sketch that accompanies the above poem is really deep. Calls for reflection, it depicts a kneeling man before the scales of justice. On one side, the Sh1000 note, on the other the man’s severed head.
Favorite poem, Create a job you must, delves into the topic where state officials and the deep state comprising of crooked businessmen capture the state creating no employment for the youths but always shout ‘youths must create jobs for themselves’.
On this one poem, Fanon Kihu got it. It set me thinking how, for example, the government of Kenya tells young people and indeed most Kenyans that they can find or start a business online, on the internet, but still the same government goes ahead and passes some draconian laws such as the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act of 2018, whose sections have come from some laws that were declared unconstitutional by the courts of law.
Some of the jobs that youths (Kenyans) have online entails criticizing the government, that’s it!, there’s no other way about it. Why enact such draconian laws?
Thank goodness, at this point in time, the laws have been suspended by the High Court, but as a writer of deep means, I know it will come back to bite in 2022 elections, in regards to fake news.
I postulate that how then must youths create employment, why would a person who sought to be employed through the ballot or one appointed from a classroom lecture youths to create jobs or become entrepreneurs?
Kihu offers the answer in the following stanza:
A few people took all for themselves, failed to reproduce
To reproduce for the rest, fast enough to be fast,
They then say youth lack competence, to cover their incompetence.
There are other two before the author calls for a United States of Africa, “…it has been born, the poachers cry, they will be hungry…”
Poachers represent western nations and China, I presume.
Buy this book from Nuria Online Store
i am a product of all the ancestors getting together and deciding these stories need to be told – Rupi Kaur, poet
The book, the sun and her flowers is a deep camaraderie of words by the lucky poet Rupi Kaur.
This being her second book, after milk and honey, she has not deviated a bit from her ways; short, pithy and thought-provoking poems.
This second book which has sold over 1.5 million copies, speaks about grief, self-abandonment, love and empowerment.
Rupi has a knack for capturing a lot in a few lines. For example, she speaks for the women, the loneliness, the awakening and empowerment.
She speaks about the role women should play in the 21st century very aptly.
In the poem progress, she says ‘our work should equip the next generation of women to outdo us in every field. This is the legacy we’ll leave behind’.
I call her lucky because she lives in a world where piracy is not a big issue. That one can get away with christening what can pass as Twitter or Facebook posts as poetry and make a lot of money from it.
From my calculations, the 1.5 million copies might only be in North America, not counting the sales in Europe, Asia and Africa. That alone at the price of translating to Ksh1500 multiplied, brings about Ksh2.25 billion.
For her short, pithy and simple language poetry, she’s been criticised for being too plain, someone who cannot ‘rightfully’ earn critical acclaim or stand in the halls of poetry giants.
“Kaur produces bite-size, accessible poems. Their free verse poetry eschews difficult metaphors in favour of clear, plain language, and this accessibility is precisely what has garnered the new wave of “Instapoets” such a large and dedicated following”, Buzz feed writes in the problem with Rupi Kaur’s poetry
However, she is famous and appeals to any lover of poetry nonetheless.
As for me, I like her meaning, the deep meaning in her poems. Kaur speaks from the heart, makes it easy to relate, she pours out words that are hard to state in happiness and in sadness. She is a great!
the sun and her flowers, is divided into four parts ‘wilting’, ‘falling’, ‘rooting’, ‘rising’, and ‘blooming’. Which actually captures a bad start and a good ending; an overcoming of the hardships.
At the end of her book, she says:
She is a rebel, a good rebel breaking the glass ceiling.
She is popular for her words, because ‘her mass appeal lies in her perceived universality, with her fans often claiming that she vocalizes feelings they have not been able to put into words’.
I recommend this Sunday Times bestseller in your book shelves and I sure will buy, read and review her third book #MeToo when it comes to these shores.
it was when i stopped searching for home within others
and lifted the fundatios of home within myself
i found there were no roots more intimate
than those between a mind and body
that have decided to be whole