Monday, August 6, 2007



The rains come
and go
the storm uproots,
the tide rises
to fall
Joy fades
into sorrow
The sphinx
may rust.
Ripeness drains
into rot
And tears dry away
As times battles
on statistics
Maturity turns senile
But love fuels the afterlife
live on.

Street kid lullaby


Sleep sweet child sleep
On the hard, cold concrete
Of a towering, unfeeling reality
Let the morning fumes wash your face
And the noon dust be your bath water
Let the plastic leaves of the steel twigs
Be your nourishment, sweet child
So sleep, street child sleep.

Sleep, sweet child, sleep
For your mother, barely fourteen,
Will soon be back from the night party
She went courting the city councilor
The one who drives a flagged Benz by day
And plumy prostitutes by night
She'll soon be baby, back
With lots of bread and lots of sweets
So sleep, street child, sleep.

Sleep, sweet child, sleep
See not the sharp reflections
On shop windows and fleeting cars
Forget the shame and embarrassment
Of your naked unreality
Forget your ten cent dignity
Child of the gutter,
Just sleep, street child, sleep.

Sleep, sweet child, sleep
Save your strength for tomorrow's war
With drunken men and hungry mongrels
For when hyena sits on judgment throne
Expect no mercy, meek lamb
You are a louse, soon they'll crack you
So sleep, street child sleep.

Sleep, sweet child, sleep
In your silent sighs, dream
Of happy times you'll never see
Dream of Mother Teresa
Dream of charitable brothers
Dream of peace .and plenty
Dream, my lovely one, dream
Oh sleep, street child, sleep.

30 years of Africa

Thirty Years of Africa

Africa of the brightest days
I Where shine the clearest rays
Africa of the darkest nights
Our land of Kingly might
Thirty years ago
You had your go
From the hands of colonialists
Into the hands of neo colonialists
Seventy years were too long; too long
And the tethers are still strong:
Yon have not broken free
In years ten times three
Thirty years of Africa
Thirty years of slavery
Thirty years of misery
Thirty years of civil wars
Thirty years, thirty years

We die
Maimed by strange diseases
Our lives cheaper than a bowl of rice
Sold at thirty pieces of silver
Up North the children have no joy
They no longer sing or play
They no longer make no toys
Only the sound of heavy boots
Marks the birth of a new day
Only the sound of guns
Punctuated with political hot air
Rents the air like thunder.

In the West drums still beat
The same old regular rhythms
But the women no longer swing their hips
Their breasts are fallen ooo
Their faces are wrinkled with sorrow
And the children wail in pain
As they watch the firing squad
Tear down the walls of peace
ln the heat of noon
This poem was presented as part of 1983 national celebrations to mark thirty years of Kenya’s independence.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

List of Poets

Francis Gichuru
Pam Amadi
Okello Koronji
Otieno Amisi...

In the beginning...

In the beginning...
Welcome to the official blog of the Kenya Association of Poets.
In a few weeks from today, I promise, you will find here poems submitted to the Kenya Association of Poets since circa 1980, by men, women and children from diverse religious, political or professional leanings, but all of whom take pride in the humble title of 'poet.'
Many expressionists, thinkers, students, teachers, journalists, creative writers, scholars, painters, musicians, and even noisemakers have, and continue to contribute to this ever growing colletion of poetry. The older poems have been preserved by the secretariat for many years, in the hope of one day finding a publisher. But since publishing comes in many forms these days, the poems have been performed, recited, aired and now, finally, blogged.
But first, a brief history of the Association.
I do not know if the charming lady Pam Amadi still breathes the air of this earth, but I ask her poetic spirit to respond to this blog. I think Francis Gichuru is now a senior professor of education at Kenyatta University, but his poems, short, subtle yet deep, still tickle my heart and bring back those fond memories of my poetic childhood. I have put together some of their poems here not because they were the founders of the association (which is a historical fact, anyway) but because they wrote some fine poetry in their own right.
I am thinking of Shokat Habib, Raju Umamaheswar, Sam Mbure, Marjorie Oludhe, Stoa Pokile, and many others whose poems, though not easily available in book form many years later, kept the literary embers aglow in the Kenya Times newspaper in the 1970s and 1980s. In this electronic age, can this blog be a reunion for us, an electronic stage, where we can make a comeback, like we did at Kenyatta University's Cinema Hall in the late 1980s and at the Goethe Institute in the early 1990s?