N. SIMON KAGIMA
QUEST OF MOTHER NATURE
Those days, mom narrated to me
Cats and mice had broken cords
None saw the other in common arena
Had pondered it to be the renaissance
My African mom had driven point home.
Those days, dogs and cats had broken cords
They never communed neither entertained presence
My African mother told me that we
Resembled the latter
When our ‘Lord’ haunted on us;
Every side and region, guarded us against knowledge
By a watchdog so wild.
We played and danced watched
Our knowledge streams had scrutinized
Misfortune reprimanded their nights’ prey
But my seer—our seer had instructed
Resistance was essential for survival
Therefore, we ‘mice’ and ‘cats’ acted
The watchdog humiliated shook our hands for
On Lords’ heart to motif pleasantness
A resultant was distilled liberation
In castles they always wish to dine with us
Our ancient black castles full of vive and goodies
Deprives! No more
Only fashioned sanctions on necessities to have us en-shackled
But own black pots cook best.
Shauku la Mama
Enzi zile mama alisimulia
Jadi paka na panya hawakuafikiana
Tazamana singe hata chuanoni
Mamangu wa Kiafrika katanguliza.
Mbwa na paka katu hawakuafikiana
Hata maangweni kutizamana
Wa pili tulielekea kufana
Mamangu mwafrika alidonosa
Punde bwana hutuwinda
Kote kuzuia hekima kwenye bongo zetu
Kuwana kwa mbwa gali
Tulikata viuno mwangani
Chemi zetu za arifa kakachero
Bahati mbaya windoni mwao kakithiri
Kumbe mwonaji alibashiri
Kwamba sharti mkinzano ili kuishi
Japo sisi ‘paka’ na ‘panya’ walishirikiana.
Mbwa aliitwaa mikono yetu tokana na aibu
Ili kuiremba michongoma kwa mabwana
Hatimaye uhuru uliochungwa
Kasirini hutamani kuungana nasi
Kasirini mwetu ifukayo kwa raha
Pasi na hunjuma
Ila tu adhabu zilizokiuka kutuzuia
Bali vyungu vyeusi ni bora zaidi kwetu.
A bushy path spilling with dust
Twigs and elderly grass
That inhibit a strolling heel
That meanders to rest on soft earth;
By and by vicinity clearing
The path opens up to
An epochal site on top of
African Aberdare Ranges.
A site to behold indeed
Beside it a chimney fogged with
Birds humming Carols; Owls hooting,
Hummers knocking on barks
Butterflies in their swarms massing
Vultures and eagles gyrate for catch
High up yonder; above winds
The after mid sun rebuking small clouds demeanour
Proposedly to scotch off dumpy environ.
Steps close to hasp
A first folded repeatedly clamour on door
Chubby cheeks with elevated hem of Mini
Hulls open the wooden chariot of a door
The gap between fore teeth melt the ego
With a salutation.
Kituo wa Wasafiri
Vichoro tanda kwenye nyasi
Miche mikavu miongoni mwa majani yaliyopepesuka
Yanayotandikia nyayo za viguu
Zimakinikao pasipo na kivumbi
Punde anga hung’aa.
Kijia chacharia huchana hadi
Kuelekea mji wa kale
Titsi usimamao peoni za vilima Abadea
Sanaa yenye sinzaa si haba
Barazani dohani hurembwa na mfuko uliokiuka.
Nyuni wakighani, bundi hulia
Huku nyundo kwenye miti gome
Vipeo wafurahikia umoja wao kwa wingi
Tai wakiviringa angani
Urefu wa maelfu ya kimo huku
Jua la alasiri hunong’onea viwingu tanda
Mkinzano unaobatiliza ukali wa umande
Ngumi huelekea kutahini miimo
Mara tu kimada mwenye shavu liviringao
Hulegeza bano mlangoni gari
Mwanya kwenye meno hutamausha
Huku amkuo likinogea kwenye sikio.
MY CHILDHOOD MEMOIRS
During infancy, just after speech
Just after bosom lounge’s luxury eradicated
Had learnt valued wisdom
That of descent to swamps, then streams
Where the mystery of ancient laid
Naked eyes, glanced at the propel of tadpoles
Upon, learnt that harmless splendour was
The dragon flies close mount on dorsal
The colourful butterflies’ hip-hop across patches of clay
The crabs that haste-fully burrowed
With raised detectors
Shrimps that readily would attack
I reckon the bees that buzzed for water
The sparrows like pilgrims never perching at three
Insects meaning much
Wasps rolled mud into tiny balls for granary
The Nding’oing’os working rolls of mud with hinds
Ants ferried sugarcanes fibre into their mansions
A clue of pure innate wisdom.
Tafakari la Uchangani
Pale uchangani, tu baada ya usemi
Baada ya hatima ya liwazo penye titi
Ya kutua kwenye dimbwi hata vijito
Siri za kuenzi zilipokolea.
Uwazi kwenye peo machoni uliponogea
Tuo za joka-kuruka utosini
Vipeo warembo tuo kwenye undongo
Kaa wakijichopeka mchangani
Huku wameziinua gondi
Kamba walivyo kaa chonjo kuvizia
Nataswiria nyuki walivyong’ong’a
Ndege wasiotua mithili ya wasafiri masafa
Dudu wa kuenziwa
Mavu wakiviringa tope za bohari
Nding’oing’o kwa maguu nyuma wakiringa tope
Siafu walivyosheheni kwa ganda la muwa
Sanaa dhahiri hekima ya kiumbile
ETERNALLY TOSSED AFRICAN CHILD
An African woman takes to play
with her only child—her only son
Neighbours at distance watch envious
of the woman’s pride. Some with an
evil tongue with their heart’s instincts
mocking and cursing.
The woman unsuspecting puts on her baby
leaves and animal garments
as she tosses it in the air.
An emissary of evil—a dark spirit
looms. Danger that lurk in day
has eye on the baby.
A simple recurrent toss in the air turns
a myth—an eternal story to tell.
The baby, as if pulled by a force
of gravity to heavens, falls into the sky:
his stature gradually diminishes within her heart
as the baby kicks trying
onto the skirts—the hems of air to grip.
The mother shrieks: screams in attempt
to find an elevated dais for reach:
calls on every god’s name for pardon and mercy:
pleads never to do such
an evil eye pitches on the African son.
The woman wails—no attempts to console suffice
her bereavement and anguish of
her son’s where about, which
would but be an eternal toss.
THE RICH DARK CULTURE
Like quakes at volcano rapture’s
venting vulgar as without refrain
hips gyrating successively as concordance;
the drum beats changelled,
the anklets brayed,
thick clouds of earth lifted
slow in motion after rhythm.
The environs—audience would jubilate
when thighs flipped open—
when nipples called forth
for a willing dancer from numb
From the drummers witchcraftsy,
just after the initiation culminated,
souls would perspire
craving for more
as elders witnessed the escalation
whose rich culture they were custodians.
The convoy would halt as
the prince pawed on the Savannah’s
humus. His heart throbbing at sight—
the sight of a virgin’s hymen which
meant to penetrate heart at all cost
upon sitting on the throne
lifts his ancient sceptre for choice
that would pour cold water on his restless soul.
The onlookers in full sight still:
The outside world marvels at such a scene
which be ancient dark culture.
WHY DO YOU?
Segregate my African family
as a hunter’s divide and prey.
Family once ambienced with laughter:
babies chuckling at their fathers, with
kins eavesdropping on bed squeaks
which rattled with rhythmical hurls
of flesh communes at midday
Co-wives heartily laughed
as brothers guarded against lions invasion
while kids conducted singing games.
Now hurts to see kin turn against kin,
flesh for flesh
with hearts of stone,
none minds look on another,
silence has abode in relations and villagers
like lost sheep hobble without sense.
A dark spirit dines within
as YOU proud religious
not remembering an iota of
This heinous revolution.
N. SIMON KAGIMA