For the past few days I had been struggling to find the words to express what we are going through as a nation. In less than 3 months we have had elections, nullified them, another election, boycott of elections, police brutality, protests, demonstrations, a nation divided, economic slow down and uncertainties. It was difficult to write and wished I could find just one word…and then I did. In fact I found several one words and made poems using letters derived from just one word. I was amazed at how much I could convey even with the restricted structure.
Democracy: the Demo version has expired
install now the Mockery
These tweets tell a story…
Featured Image Credit: @BrianInganga
This poem is a gathering of my thoughts following the recent Kenyan elections. Fear, frustration, division, celebrations, calls for peace so that we can “move on”, move on to what? It is not about the elections, this is an inevitable expression of what we have ignored or suppressed over a long period of time.
a history, erased
sounds of vuvuzelas drown echoes of the past
commissioner’s seal blots out history’s ink
grief is indeed a luxury
history begins here
every action, word
every thought, memory
creates my history
while you create yours
which one of our histories will survive
which one shall be suppressed?
don’t look back, nothing to see
you, move out!
“life goes on”
(but somewhere it must reach)
you are a people without history
stick to your geography
boundaries were not sketched without reason
the kind of anger that is visible
a fire that scathes skin
and the kind of anger that simmers silently
filtering through each pore,
what will remain
shall be your history
But, we shall heal….
This post is about the poetry group I have recently joined. We are experimenting with different ways of creating poetry, in particular local content. This week’s assignment was a Documentary Poem where we have to use other people’s words and create our own poem.
Find 2 sources and take 8-10 words/phrases/sentences from both and create a 12 line poem in couplets. I was very apprehensive, but once I started I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was.
My 2 documents were my Twitter TL and lyrics from the song that for some strange reason has been playing in my head of late – One Day at a Time. Well, this is what I came up with:
Do You Remember
do you remember wildlife, oh
harvesting, one day at a time
vote for change – Otherwise?
yesterday’s gone woman!
out of dust
tomorrow may never be
mine. healthcare (sweet
jesus) it’s worse now
do you remember
What do you think of this experiment? I seemed to have created something very different and though I have tried to hide behind other people’s words, I still find myself in this poem. Why don’t you give it a try and experience this for yourselves.
Oh and here is the beautiful song, enjoy :)
P.S. If you would be interested in my previous poetry workshop assignments, check out these posts:
A Land, Broken
The Importance of Being an Object
Red Stilettos, and a Pair of Shoes
I am participating in a Poetry Workshop where we will develop a habit of writing poems. The task for this week was to write an 8-line poem that has 2 quatrains (4 lines each)
Being the 14th/15th August, I was inspired to write:
When a land is broken by her masters
And the pain we forget, celebrate
What was seamless, borderless
Should never be independent… Interdependent!
When a line is carved around our hearts
And the wall we erect, reject
That we spoke in one tongue, sung
Songs once written in the same blood….Unheard!
P.S This poem is posted under the Category – Relationships. I hope you understand why.
Edit: Please see how I rearranged this poem here
From the International Space Station here is the India-Pakistan border at night. This photograph shows one of the few places on Earth where an international boundary can be seen at night. The winding border between Pakistan and India is lit by security lights that have a distinct orange tone.
perhaps we hid behind borders because we are afraid to see
that “the other side” is no different from us
perhaps we don’t want to see ourselves in “them”
and so we light up borders and emulate the lines in our hearts
and our tongues deny that we speak the same language
so many borders such little land
truths for sale
in the market place
to the highest bidder
each truth tailor made
to specific needs
designed to deceive
guaranteed to convert
accusations into victimisation
riddled with repetetive rituals, and
concealed between poetic scriptures
romantic truths, ah our speciality
the sweetest of truths, the simplest too
tell them only what they want to hear
truths for sale…
Silent words carry potent curses
Unheard but spoken
Unconstrained by language
I do not ask that you rise in revolution
I only ask that you shed leathery skin
Scaled to trap layers of numbness
Snug, until temperatures rise
I only ask that you incinerate blinkers
Serving to suffocate your vision
Though you move onward
Awake but in a constant stupor
When awareness strikes
It may be just a moment
…. too late
I do not ask that you rise in revolution
(What? do you ask for yet another tyrant?)
But I only ask that…
A revolution should rise within you
~All change starts from within~
lie after lie
read between the lies
question their answers
your lies we believed
… for a while
it is only collectively
that ignored voices
echoes from the past
drumbeaters of the future