Three Questions Without Answers

How can one love another
If one can never love oneself first?

How can one help another
If one can’t help oneself first?

How can one understand another
If one can’t understand oneself first?

There goes my three questions without answers…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013


The Tombstones Of Kabeteshire

They dot,
They mark,
They decorate,
The numerous homesteads,
Of Kabeteshire.
They are the tombstones,
Of husbands long gone,
Of fathers long dead,
Of brothers long expired,
Of uncles long travelled to the other world,
And of friends and colleagues,
Who have met their untimely death…

This one here,
Was found murdered,
In his car,
While getting into his compound,
From work,
And nothing was taken from him,
His money,
His wallet,
His documents,
His mobile phone,
Were all left intact,
And it was assumed,
That maybe perhaps,
A business deal had gone wry somewhere,
Maybe we will never,
Get to know,
What exactly transpired,
In that fateful night…

That one there,
Was found,
Lying in a ditch,
And very dead.
While on his way home,
Late at night,
And very drunk,
He expired,
Under the attack of mysterious people,
Nothing was taken from him,
Even his half consumed bottle of Blue Moon vodka,
Lay untouched.
Another dead man…

In that homestead over there,
The man of the house,
Disappeared from the face of Earth, Just like that.
No one knows,
Where the poor fellow,
Disappeared to,
But it has been whispered,
In the village markets,
In the village shops,
In the village pubs,
And in the village churches,
That his remains,
Lies somewhere,
Deep in a dam,
Never to be seen again.
But dead bodies,
Tell no tales,
We will never know,
For sure,
What exactly happened.
Ah. The tombstones of Kabeteshire…

Most men are gone here,
And the ones left,
Are just zombies,
Sleeping day and night,
Too dazed with their alcohol,
Too fazed with their wives
Too done with their lives,
To make,
Head or tail,
Of this phenomena,
Of this dilemma.
Of this strange occurrence.
Too many men,
Have been “eaten”
By their spouses,
Of course.
Too many men,
Have been “eaten”
By alcohol,
Openly of course.
Nothing changes here.
Everything stays the same here.
Only tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Increases by the day.
Call that change,
By all means…

It all begins,
With a slight rebuke here,
With an innocuous scolding here again,
With a small jibe there,
And with a lambast there again,
From the wives,
And before long,
It goes to the occasional scalding with hot water,
Then to the thorough beatings,
Then to the slashing with machetes,
And now,
The wives,
Have graduated to another league,
The league of hiring merchants of death,
To deal and sort out,
Their “useless” husbands…

The careful man,
Goes home early,
And eats the semi-cooked food silently,
And bears the negligence from the wife stoically.
He has learnt,
To keep his mouth shut.
When his dear wife,
Disappears on days end,
On some womens’ chama outings,
And spend days,
In Naivasha,
In Nakuru,
In Mombasa,
Or in Kisumu.
He knows,
What happens,
During these chama outings.
Unadultered debauchery,
Is the main course,
On the menu of hedonism.
The women go,
To spend time,
With real and virile “men”
“Men” old enough,
To be their teenage sons,
Who wears sagging Jeans,
Who have their hair “fried”
Who adorn ear studs,
And listens to obnoxious music…

But he has learnt,
To let these things pass,
While his great grandfathers,
Stirs with justified and righteous angst and anger,
In their graves,
Their bones creaks,
With unanswered questions,
They long to come back,
And set things straight,
But they can’t.
They too,
Are long dead.
Very dead…

The careful man has learnt,
To go round the compound and house before sleeping,
And make sure that,
All the machetes,
All the axes,
All the hoes,
All the knives,
Are all locked up safely,
Lest his head is chopped off,
While asleep.
And all the cookers are switched off,
Lest he is scalded with hot water,
While asleep.
What a bother brother,
He silently curses under his breath.
The man,
Has been reduced to cowering with cows,
What an abnomination…

Go thee man,
And right things,
And make your ways right,
Slaughter a lamb,
A black lamb preferably,
And say a prayer to thy ancestors,
Facing the great and majestic mountain,
And ask Mwene Nyaga,
As to what went wrong,
Things are never the same again,
And maybe perhaps,
Things will never be the same again.
The tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Bares truth to this,
To this ugly picture.
The tombstones of Kabeteshire,
Attests to this,
To this unreal picture.
Of how dire things have become,
For the poor man…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

Some Battle

She has fought strongly,
She has fought gallantly,
She has fought with courage,
She has fought with a determination,
It has been her battle,
A personal battle,
What a battle…

But every morning,
Whenever she stares,
At herself in the mirror,
And sees,
The first hints,
Of the crow’s feet,
In the eyes,
The faint traces,
Of graying hair,
The faint suggestion of wrinkles,
She intimately knows,
That old age,
Is a brutal battle,
A battle she can’t win,
And she has to give way,
To the passage of time.
What a battle…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima

The Lone Reveler

He sat,
At his lone table,
In the far and dark corner,
And continued,
To revel,
In own company,
And gesticulated to himself,
And talked to himself,
And laughed to himself,
And generally had a good time,
With a glass of clear liquid,
In his hand.
The lone reveler…

Only that,
He was taking water,
From the tumbler,
And he was,
A mad man,
Who habitually,
Wandered in from the streets,
And into the pub,
To have a good time,
Just like he used to,
Before he lost his mind,
Before he lost his job,
He was a lecturer,
A lecturer of the languages,
A polished poet,
A renowned writer,
A gifted orator,
But now,
The reveler exists,
In his own world,
Talking with his hands,
Smiling at passing shadows,
And gazing at a lost world.
He stands up,
And stumbles off into the darkness,
And disappears into the dark night,
A lone figure.
A sad figure.
A miserable soul.
A disturbed spirit.
The lone reveler…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

Play Things

To turn,
To toss,
To tear,
To torment,
To twist,
To tarnish,
To terrorize,
To tamper,
Some helpless heart,
Some hapless heart,
Is what has become,
Your pass time activity,
Is what has become,
Your hobby,
You player.
But for how long,
Before the hunter,
Becomes hunted?
Soon and very soon.
People’s hearts are not play things…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

What A Burglary…

They broke into his house,
When he was away,
Thieves broke into his house,
And stole from his house.
He was aghast.
He was flabbergasted.
He was shocked.
He couldn’t believe what they stole.
He sat down on the floor,
To ponder and wonder,
At this latest effrontery.
How could they?
How could they dare and steal,
Of all things,
A mere nail cutter?
And leave everything else intact?
What a burglary…

He had thought of reporting the matter,
To the area chief.
But thought against it.
The chief was not very helpful,
The last time he was robbed,
Of his sandals by seemingly out of school boys and in a broad day light,
And he had walked bare footed,
To the area chief’s camp.
And the area chief was unable to help him.
Endless and useless questions,
Have never helped anyone in dire straits.
What a burglary…

He decided,
To consult with the bush doctor first,
Before reporting the matter to the police.
The bush doctor,
Would be able to tell him,
The meaning of a stolen nail cutter.
The potent bush doctor,
Would be able,
To decipher and fathom for him,
The mystery of a stolen nail cutter.
The mystery of stolen sandals.
The bush doctor would tell him,
What message was behind,
A stolen nail cutter.
What a burglary…

Maybe perhaps,
The bush doctor,
Would provide him with potent charms,
To keep away the evil spirits,
The malevolent spirits who stole his sandals,
The impish spirits who stole his nail cutter.
What a burglary…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

Made Man

She took him,
Off the streets,
And into her home.
A stray dog.
She fed him.
She clothed him.
She bathed him.
She taught him,
The finer things of life.
She made him.
A made man…

The well fed dog,
The good looking dog,
The clean dog,
The virile dog,
Has just bitten her.
She, who brought in,
The scruffy dog from the streets,
And spoiled it with endless love,
And pampered it with endless care,
Has just been bitten,
By the stray dog.
It is hard to believe it.
It is not for real,
She consoles herself,
Rather belatedly.

The made man,
The mad man,
The man she made,
Has taken to,
Driving around with,
Pretty young missus,
In her red Merc convertible,
E-class Cabriolet.

The made man,
The mad man,
The man she made,
Has been,
Taking young pretty things,
Into her exquisite mansion,
To roam and romp,
Without abandon.

The made man,
The mad man,
The man she made,
Has taken to,
Spending her money,
With the young pretty lasses.
Wining and dining them,
Without a care in the world.

The wound,
That rabid dog,
Has inflicted upon her,
Is aching beyond measure.
The wound is throbbing,
With a vicious pain,
And she wonders,
If she will ever heal,
And feel again,
With tenderness,
And fill again,
With care.

She has no choice,
But to kick the stray dog,
Back into the street,
Where it belongs,
So that, Maybe perhaps,
It could learn and earn,
Some manners.
It matters.
She has to unmake him,
Before he bites her again.
The mad man,
The made man…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013