The Sunset

The sun reluctantly,
Descends upon distant plains,
And burns crimson traces of longing,
Across the forlorn and fading sky scape,
While darkness gathers pace,
To conquer the remnants of the day,
Scattered cumulus clouds,
Make haste and melt into the fast approaching darkness,
Soon, dark silhouettes of wonder,
Dot the landscape,
In amorphous shapes,
That make it hard,
To distinguish between,
A solitary shrub,
And the sedentary buffalo,
It is time to go home now,
And rest these tired bones,
These bushes have no friends nor allies,
When the sunset beckons,
When the night falls…

Don’t Call

Don’t call her your woman
Call her your wife
Your queen
For women are all over the place
But it is only her
Who is your wife
Who is your queen
Amongst all these women…

Don’t call him your man
Call him your husband
Your king
For men are all over the place
But it is only him
Who is your husband
Who is your king
Amongst all these men…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

We Sold Our Daughter

Finally,
We sold our daughter,
To her foreign husband,
To her foreign suitor,
He brought many herds of cattle,
And many barrels of muratina wine,
He observed our cultural values and practices.
He did fine,
He looked fine,
And we spoke with his clan,
A clan from distant lands,
Good people they were,
And we welcomed them,
Like important dignitaries,
Like our own brothers and sisters,
Keen and family,
And we made merry,
And celebrated,
The marriage of our dear daughter,
To her Nigerian husband.
We hoped that her new husband,
Would hold her close,
Would give her endless love,
And would protect her,
With his all might,
And with his all passion,
But these were just wishes,
Yet we hoped for the best,
And sold our daughter,
To her Nigerian husband.
We sold our daughter…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

The Facebook Account

He’s poked,
He’s tagged in photos,
He’s tagged in status updates,
He’s inboxed,
He’s sent game invitations,
He’s sent friend requests,
And like everyone else,
His wall is littered with,
Questions like,
“Where you @?”

He can’t poke back,
He can’t like your posts or photos,
He can’t accept your friend request,
He can’t comment on your post,
He can’t reply your inbox messages,
He can’t do anything,
He simply can’t.

For where he is,
There is no Facebook,
He is in heaven,
He is in hell,
We don’t know.
We only know that he passed on,
And it is over a year since he left us,
But his Facebook account is still on,
Bearing those photos of him with friends.
Sometimes his old status posts appears on my wall and it is usually such a queer  feeling…

RIP

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

I Won’t Pretend

I won’t pretend that by looking with my eyes that I am actually seeing.

I won’t pretend that by hearing with my ears that I am actually listening.

For looking and seeing are two different things.

For hearing and listening are two different things too.

Let us not pretend.
Let me not pretend.

It is better to see rather than look. For it takes alot much more to be
able to see the inner beauty of a person…

It is better to listen than hear for it takes alot much more to be able
to listen to the pain of another human being…

I won’t pretend that I am able to see.
I won’t pretend that I am able to listen.

Sometimes I do. Sometimes I
fail. And it pains to be blind to another person’s inner beauty.
To be deaf to another person’s pain…

I won’t pretend.

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

A Famous Sibling

A FAMOUS SIBLING

He was a brother,
A dear friend,
A dear colleague,
A fellow straggler,
A true comrade in arms.

She was a sister,
A dear friend,
A dear colleague,
A fellow struggler,
A worthy comrade in arms.

We used to walk together,
We used to talk together,
In these dusty cow paths,
We used to fetch water together,
From this very river,
From this very well,
We used to play together,
In these vast, expansive and lush plains,
And at night,
We would both gaze at the moon,
We would both gaze at the stars,
And make a wish,
We would wish to be famous,
We would wish to be wealthy,
And we would laugh,
In the silvery night,
And dismiss,
Our silly wishes…

Only we never knew,
How deeply,
How truly,
You held on to those silly wishes,
How truly,
You believed in those silly wishes upon a star.

We lived our simple lives like we had always lived and loved our simple village ways,
We held the village dear,
We were the village,
And the village was us,
Nothing could separate us,
Nothing could come in between us.
Nothing ever.

Then one day,
One day you announced,
You announced that,
You would be moving to the big city,
The city with brights lights,
The city with many people,
The city with big cars,
The city with crooks,
The city with beautiful ladies,
The city that held your dreams…

Naturally,
We were utterly shocked,
By your audacity,
By your madness.
But you have never been a normal person,
You have always been a strange person to us,
It is only that we could not tell you,
So we consoled ourselves…

We tried,
To stop you,
From going to the big city,
But you had already,
Made up your stubborn mind,
To leave us,
And go to the big city.

For many years,
We never heard anything about you,
Our dear sister,
Our dear brother,
Our worthy comrade in arms,
Our true comrade in arms,
You simply disappeared,
From the face of the Earth,
Just like that…

Then suddenly,
And out of nowhere,
One day,
You descended upon our village,
And in the company of important looking people,
Who drove big cars,
Who spoke in funny languages,
And you proceeded to announce to us,
That you would be leaving for America,
America?
We never knew where America was,
We only knew of the markets and villages across those ridges over there,
We understood however,
That you had never been a normal person,
Then you gave us such a huge feast,
For a whole week,
We ate,
We drunk,
We danced,
And made merry,
In the name of you…

Finally,
You left the village,
And went to America,
We promptly forgot all about you,
But not for long,
Because before long we started hearing about you,
In BBC,
In Voice of America,
In the local newspapers,
In the local radios…

My brother,
My sister,
You had grown so big,
You were known all over the world,
You truly became,
The son of the world,
The daughter of the world,
You were an accomplished musician,
A true celeb,
An international star,
So famous,
So rich,
A person who had the whole world,
At his feet,
At her feet.
We wished you the best in life…
We the villagers,
Were awed by your conquests,
Were amazed by your feats,
But unfortunately,
You had become a stranger,
A stranger to your own people,
A stranger to your own source of life,
But you had always been the strange one in the clan…

You travelled,
Through the capitals of the world,
New York,
London,
Paris,
Tokyo,
Seoul,
Moscow,
And yes,
Nairobi,
The list is endless….

But finally,
The news reached us,
The sad news,
That you were found dead,
In your hotel room,
In Las Vegas,
What a plain pain,
It was,
To loose,
Such an illustrious and dear stranger,
Though you had left us,
And forgot all about us,
In the village…

Now, here I am,
Silently wondering,
If those silvery nights,
We spent on wishing upon a star,
Were indeed lost nights.

What a famous Sibling…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013

I Would Like

I would like to come down,
Come down in town,
And see you,
And take potent coffee with you,
And listen to the blues with you,
And take the fine wine with you,
And hold your hand,
As we laugh,
As we love,
As we live,
The life around us…

That smile,
Steals and stills some heart,
That twinkle in the eye,
Confuses and confounds,
A certain psyche.
It is gone.
It is done.
I would like,
To have another reportoire…

© Ayoub Mzee Mzima 2013