I DREAM OF THE DAY….

It has been ages since I saw mama smile,

Unendless sadness always screaming from her wet eyes,

An untold plea plastered all over her cracked lips,

She says she is fine but I hear her soft sobs like I always do every night,

It’s been a while since she has had some good sleep,

She hasn’t left our tin and wood shack in weeks,

She always is sick,

Fatigued,

Papa has no job,

He leaves for the bar and comes back home drunk,

It’s the frustration,

He wishes he were in a better spot in life,

It’s been months since I’ve had a decent meal,

Most times I’m forced to survive on just one,

If none I have to dig through a pile of trash,

Surrounded by thousands if not millions of flies,

Foraging for meat or morsels of bread,

That or valuable items to sell,

Often I ask myself if people do consider what they throw away,

I go prepared with a sack to carry the collected scrap which doesn’t sell for much,

I wish I could but I can’t go to school,

Never have I read a book before,

Maybe at school I’ll make more friends,

School will teach me how to write my own name atleast,

Maybe one day I will,

I’ve heard about charities,

In school maybe my future will look brighter before my eyes,

I’ve never owned a pair of shoes before,

I trudge through mud barefoot,

Thick layers of dust,

My heels dry and cracked,

My face sullen and dull,

I’m just nine,

I’ve seen others with gaunt,twig-like arms,

Their skin wraps their bones tautly,

Rotund bellies,

Distended,

Limp legs,

I can’t help but think I’m headed there,

I dream of the day when my arms will not be skinny as much,

That when I’m older they will develop a muscular charm,

I have never had pillow before,

I make use of a carton board,

My blanket is so full of holes,

There is no bed,

It’s just the uneven earthen floor,

With a leaking roof,

Frequent attacks by the vicious cold,

I wish I had better clothes,

I thank God for the ones I do,

Though most are torn,

Worn-out,

Do I have a choice?

I dream of the day when words of hopelessness will fail to escape our tongues,

When mama will weep less and her sadness will fade,

I dream of the day when papa will get that decent job ,

I dream of the day when I’ll finally have a pair of shoes,

Polished and tightly laced,

I dream of the day when someone will atleast fix the roof,

For when it heavily rains,

I dream of the day when I will finally go to school,

Yes!

Go to school and read a variety of books,

I dream of the day when I’ll own a pillow and a mattress,

And a blanket too,

I dream of the day when I’ll be able to enjoy 3 meals,

I dream of the day when I’ll get to play in a much safer environment,

I dream of the day when I won’t have to walk around in search of metal and plastic,

When I won’t have to go through garbage just to keep myself alive,

I dream of the day my dreams will finally open doors,

I dream of the day when my life will change for good,

I dream of the day when this winter will pass and I’ll bask in the sun.

INNOCENT BYSTANDER

Protesters against the government burning rubber tyres in the streets .

I am an innocent bystander,

To every happening surrounding,

Destruction,

Distortion,

Poison,

Atrocity,

Profanity,

Evil manifesting,

“Insanity?”,

Deception,deception,deception!

Paradise shifted hell,

when did this all start?

When will it all end?

When will it all be beautiful again?

Has it ever been?

I’d rather the curtains remain closed for the day,

Than gaze upon the endless horrors I see each day,

RIP to all the men,women and children who have perished at the hands of violence,

There is a parade of coffins,

A heap of corpses,

The NEWS headlines an earthquake of bad news?,

Climate change,

Politics,

Political ideologies,

Religious differences,

Gendercides,

Down shifting economies,

The bombardment does not get any better,

Look out for the words bolded,underlined and written in thick ink,

All over the papers on the street,

“In the last 24 hours…”

“BREAKING NEWS”

Words that carry with them tension,apprehension,

Killings,

Fighting,

Global unrest,

Inaction,

Corruption and coups,

Kidnappings and gangs,

“1000 more dead”,

Gunshot wounds to their chests,

Statistics,

Statistics,

Statistics,

People are more of numbers than just normal beings,

It’s official,

Like they say humanity is not complete without indulging in violence,

It never has been,

Sleep with one eye open,

Another to the back of the head,

Who knows when you might be next,

You might need to run?

Victim?

Communities are on each others necks,

Fires,

Bombings,

Street attacks,

“A 21 year old hacked to death”

A student who just happen to be at the wrong place,

“Human stampede claims the lives of youths”

“People’s homes and businesses set ablaze”

“WARZONE”

‘Officers and rioters exchange fire”

Demonstrations,

Demonstrations,

Demonstrations,

Teargas and grenades are not even enough to quell the unrest,

Chaos,

Chaos,

Chaos,

But then can peace,equality,security and justice prevail without violence?

Can violence be justified?

Even that which kills?

I sit in my dark little corner,

An innocent bystander to the happenings of the world,

All I can do is watch?

Innocent bystander to the global social unrest.

PRECIOUS SCARS.

KINTSUGI

It’s already midnight,

In most nights like this,

I’m wide awake,

Surrounded by the heat of the dark,

Within the confines of the living room walls,

Watching the moon over the trees,

But my thoughts not very nearby,

Sipping from the glass of my life’s history,

My mind tracing the cracks and chips of my existence,

I am made to recall everything,

I pick up a mental rock thrown at me,

I unearth all the hurt,

Old wounds reopened at that time,

Inside of my chest resurrecting some burns,

From a past I wish I could shed like a second skin if at all I had one,

But I don’t,

So I have to live with it,

But then….

It can all be better,

It can,

I bled but not to death,

I still am alive ,

I overcame,

I still will,

I survived the blows,

I so can narrate the tales,

Broken as I was back then,

I emerged stronger than I had ever known,

With golden marks for scars,

A new confidence finally emerging,

With the sparkling of a sky glass,

My story alive and dancing within like some tall savannah grass,

And that is beauty,

Value from my fractured remains,

Clay that has been again moulded,

That ,I confess with my lips so well,

I am whole again,

All by God’s grace.

We do not have to live with open abrasions forever.The shattered pieces can be put back together.We can become whole again regardless of what made us break in the first place.Be it abuse,rejection,addiction. We can be whole again.Our scars can be transformed into something of value.There will be beauty in the broken places.

Psalms 147:3

BOLD.

Photo by Nina on Pexels.com

I was born a sailor acquainted with the strongest of seas,

Found myself in a minefield,

Had to watch where I stepped my feet,

When troubles bulldozed their fists,

Onto my fragile ribs,

My body a mass of holes,

Hard for me to rid,

Dared to expose what went on behind the scenes,

Opened up,

Threw caution to the wind,

They attempted to kill my spirit,

Wet sandcastles for kings and queens weren’t so deserving of me or rather I them,

That song they made a part of my playlist,

They said my waters were too shallow,

They needed to be deep for me to dive,

Crushed my hope like a can of soda beneath the heel of a shoe,

Massacred my hopes leaving them among the skeletons of my dreams,

They pushed me aside,

Inconvenient complexity”

Forgot about me the way they would a bunch of keys,

They said goodbye and opted to leave,

They said I wasn’t good enough for a thing or two or even three,

I might have lost them but my ability to beat the waves came to,

Beat the odds to become something new,

Mailing my garbage to the world as evidence that all lost can be renewed,

Faith and courage I sought hushing the weather,

The hard blowing winds,

Melting the cold ice sheets,

Them who left came back in a bid to form the top snow in my mountain,

wanting to feast

The wounds they inflicted upon me,

The pain,

Echoing through the walls of my heart,

Haven’t mastered the art of erasing stuff,

Repainting,

I’d go for that,

A part of me missing still,

Maybe forgiveness is that one last piece.

5/12/2003.

Photo courtesy of getty images

Everyone tells me that he loved me,

That his love could be seen in the eyes,

That his love was great,

That his love smelled of pure myrrh,

That I was a gift to him from above,

The most precious of them all,

In his garden he had planted so many seeds,

But only I survived,

That one little prayer of his had finally been answered,

He gave me three names,

His surname I call mine with pride,

I count the birthmarks on my bare skin,

Each time they total up to three,

Mother says they look like his,

I connect them the way I would dots,

As if doing so will make the creatures of the soil spit out his flesh,his cartilage,

As if his bones will be brought back to life,

My mind is devoid of memories of him.,

I have none,

They gave me photographs,

Only one of them stood out,

Always had it placed next to my bed,

The colours started fading,

It developed torn ends,

Creases ,wrinkles and folds,

So I placed it in an album,

I wasn’t looking to lose my loved one for a second time,

I once thought it was all a dream,

I would leave the door open,

Just in case he returned home,

He never did,

I imagined he was a soldier,

Fighting a war in a far away land and he would be back in a few years or so I thought,

I named the sun and stars,

Gave them a name like his,

The sun would shine down on me everyday like he always did,

The stars would always keep me company in the lonely nights,

Tried writing him into words so I can feel him by my side sometimes,

It was on a day like this,

Many years back,

17 to be exact,

There were no goodbyes,

I always allowed my self to cry,

Every once in a while,

Everyone says he died but never left,

When I ask why,

They say everything about me resembles him.

BEFORE DEATH….

Before I sleep and fail to wake up,

Before my heart stops and my arteries finally collapse ,

Before my body becomes cold like the frosty lace on the surface of a leaf,

Like the nights I felt less loved,

Before they wash my body,

Before they dress me in pure white,

Before they dig me a grave,

Before they put me in a coffin,

Before they release me six feet down,

Before the earth wraps me in its dust,

Before the soil gets to feel the impact of my dead body,my dead skin,my rotting flesh,

Before the creatures of the soil prepare to colonize my remains,

Before they begin to move in an exodus and congregate inside my wooden box for their feasting,

Before maggots begin to have their dance on my rotting carcass,

Before they tear my dead body apart from the inside out until I am nothing but a mass of bones,A mass of muscle,

Before the brain in my skull is unremorsefully gnawed,

Before they make a home in what was once my head,

Before my memories turn to dust and sink down below my skull,

Before what is left is a skeleton:A reminder of what was once me but isn’t anymore,

Before I am left hollow and my chest is empty,

Before I am represented by some cracked limbs and my eyes sunken replaced with dark holes,

Before I lie completely naked with my glass delicate ribcage,

Before my tombstone begins to crack,

Before the flowers on top begin to dry,

Before the words inscribed somehow begin to fade,

Before my grave is inhabited by the birds and becomes a resting place for the dogs,

Before all that is left is my wandering ghost,

Before the tears of my loved ones water the soil above me,

Before they begin to stare into the emptiness of the night skies and my absence in between the stars,

Before they present their why questions to God,

Before they write my eulogy,

Before them who betrayed me and never offered a helping hand show up to my funeral crying and insisting that we were friends,

Before the one who believes they love me the most pours down alcohol into their soul,

Before they read scriptures from the Holy Book and pray for my soul,

Before they pray a prayer to close the portal of hell,

Before they ask God to open up the gates for me,

Before I set my eyes on grandmother and him who I would have called father here on eart for the first time ever in the spirit world,

I want to live my best life,

I want to love with my whole heart and be loved the same way back,

I want to learn how to be kind,

Be good to people including me,

Forgive those who hurt me and them who I hurt to forgive me too,

Appreciate my struggles for they will make me who I become,

Be thankful for and to those who truly wish me the best,

I want to learn how to be wary in every step I take,

I want to learn how to minimise my levels of trust,

I want to have some peace,relax and have no worries from time to time,

I want to be engrossed in the earthly smell of rain,

Look at the clouds and draw out some shapes,

I want to be able to walk on rooftops and find my gravity,

I want to hold a friend’s hand as we run on bare grass being thankful for what we have,

I want to fulfill my dreams,

Work on my passions,

I want to do so many things and get confused about how and where to start,

I want to learn how to plan,

I want to be flexible enough to adapt to change,

Have my own kids,

I pray that God hears this,

Give a helping hand to those I can,

To leave a legacy known,

Something to remember,

One that I will see from my grave,

I want those who truly loved me to be proud of me even in death,

I wouldn’t want them to have to pretend,

And they will call it a life well lived,

Before my death I want to live….

MORNING HAS COME.

Feet first like the time of my birth,

The cold floor proof I’m alive,

Chirping and whistling,

It’s a morning hymn,

Their song becomes the first I listen to at sunrise,

The first place I dwell,

Hear their hymn,

Like they bear healing powers,

The messengers of the sky,

Each I’ve named according to the colour of their wings,

The colour of their breasts,

Their bold black and white chests,

Crescent like,

Some owlish grey,

Some yellow-orange,

Others green,

I’m amazed at how eloquently they speak,

Their presence makes me feel closer to the sun,

Like a crown above my head,

I watch them fly around like I always do,

With a wish that I may be free as they are,

My bedroom window is my lens,

Captures the creatures that I think are the gatekeepers of heaven,

A spectacle,

I’m amused,

I want wings,

Wings that lead me closer to the light of the sky,

It is as if I’m swallowing the electricity of life for the first time,

I’m about to jump up and down,

To commemorate the end to the ruling of the stars,

A defeat of the kingdom night,

Darkness has died,

Mother of morning beauty has risen,

A cup of tea observing the naked leaves,

Spirit renewed,

Spirit ignited,

The dogs are silent,

There time to shine is yet to come,

As the sun’s rays like creeping vines,

Reach for my face,

With a kiss on the forehead,

Passed like a note with the words hello,

The promises of the day call to me,

And I answer them back “I’m coming”

IF I WAS A POET.

If I was a poet I probably would have a lot to say.I would play with words in a way that no one else can.With the uttermost precision,I would use my mouth like the clay porter’ s hands and the end result would always leave me proud.My words would develop some type of stench that would leave a pig smelling like a rose and their fountains would flow out of my veins.My poetic words would instantly charm nature’s sparkle and have the static to complement even the most powerful of Queens.

If I was a poet my words would probably lure every face on the earth to the moonlight ball .They would behave like the animals of the wild.Strike when disturbed.I would develop some unusual confidence if I was a poet like that of a gunslinger pushing his way through the saloon’s swinging doors.

If I were a poet my words would become my Archilles heel.They would carry all my emotions. I would write about the coffee table and how at most times it becomes a resting place for my feet.If I was a poet I would talk about how being poised is more accepted than the art of being outspoken these days.Hiw someone somewhere doesn’t even know how to converse because if they do they think they might just say the wrong thing.

If I was a poet I would write about how bullies conditioned me to feel like I was less of a human being because I chose not to be like them.How it would always sound funny from where they stood but I always missed the jokes.I would write about how I became the clown each time I passed by with my head hung low and my eyes fixed on my shoes the whole time. When like a broken record ,I fumbled with my words and when it happened it always made things worse.I probably would take people through the anatomy of my heart if that would make them understand.I would write about how the windows shutter in the storm and the heart just like the window wriggles in pain.

If I was a poet I would write about the undiscovered contemporary writers before their novels are turned into bestsellers and the growing actors who with time will have their faces plastered all over the screens and magazines.I would write about the aspiring singers and their dreams of releasing an album.I would write about that one kid who sits in his room and stares at the globe the whole day dreaming of flying an airplane and covering every inch of the atlas.I would write about how that one girl,that one boy who feels they are as insignificant as the discolouration on the vintage items in the antique shop.The despair they carry around.

I would talk about how lion king spoke reality better than Ben 10 ever did.Despite the sad scenes that are actually real and in fact hapoen alot in the society we live,Simone and Pumba always made everything much more lively. If I was a poet I would write about how too much Nickelodeon at the age 10 made me think I could sing.

If I were a poet,I would write about how family is not necessarily about blood.The word has been misused for a long time.I would use my words to plant a family tree that would be consisting of only those who have always been there for me.My words would describe how betrayal feels like a bullet to the flesh.I would talk about how we have so much in common with the trees and as such we shouldn’t forget our roots.

If I was a poet I would put it into words that happiness is not sold at liqour stores.I would put it into words that anxiety isn’t an item that can be returned once bought.I would talk about how sanity is being slowly assimilated by insanity.Insanity is the new normal and it’s witling flames are ready to burn bright again.Maybe I was born into an asylum.I am a patient here.

I would probably write more about love.I would better put into words my scars,like rivers and tributaries on a map.I would better say just because it shines,doesn’t make it gold.I would confidently write about all the words with the prefix – ism without need of being told.

If I was a poet I probably would write about opening my eyes to the world for the first and when the doctor held me in his arms and said”It’s a girl “. When I took my first gulp of lacrid air.The first time I cried.I would write about when I was two when I learnt to walk for the first time .when I mastered the art of climbing each and everything that came to sight.When I began learning my alphabets.When I would sing my nursery rhymes with so much gusto until I messed up and would start all over again.Most of the time I was out of tune and I would blubber some incomprehensible words but no one seemed to bother.When I would count 1 to 5 and skip all the way to 10 because I would forget what numbers came between.When I made up my mind to explore my artistic skills which then lead to me vandalizing almost each of the walls.If I didn’t like my art displayed there I would turn to the floors.All markers and pens were kept out of my reach as a result.

I would write about my first time in school.How I made a friend who I thought would be my best but I was too young to understand what toxic meant.Sad to think that there is an added ex.If I was a poet I would write about when I was seven.I wanted to be everything.Those days when I didn’t have too much responsibilities when my dear brother took the blame for everything I did and secretly I felt guilty but I was the youngest and he was the eldest so he had to look out for me.That was then.It is a way different now.

I would write about the clouds and it’s different shapes and forms.About the rude noises occasionally made by the birds.About my love for the evening skies and the beauty of the miasma of different colours that come about.How that time of day reminds me of my mother’s chest and how in it I sought asylum frequently and I would be calm as I listened to the rhythm of her heartbeat play like a song and finally fall asleep.

If I were a poet ,I would write about how death once knocked on my door and stretched out its hand for me to hold.I said no.It insisted that I come along but still my answer was no.Death told me that I was saved by my resistance to an early grave.It left but with a voice so full of cold promised one day it would come and I wouldn’t fight back at all.I would describe the doctors face when he, before I left,looked me in the face and said I was lucky,I probably wouldn’t have made it.That sent shivers down my spine and it still does everytime my mind decides to do a recap.My words would speak and say that disease and ailment,minor they can be,but surety is always key,from the doctor’s office we ought to seek clarity and ignorance is bliss but what you don’t know may actually cause you more harm than good.

If I was a poet I would write about others poets and probably write a piece about if I was a poet over and over again.I would probably write about the rivers,the lakes and still leave room for more.A legion of questions that attack my mind on a daily would be converted to poems.

If I was a poet I would find the right words to write a letter to sleep and convince it to come back already.That I’m still waiting.

A NEW DAWN.

A new day brings in new things.No matter the situation at hand we strive to make each day a blessing for us.

It is a new morning,

A new dawn,

Birds of the air begin to awaken,

Altogether they sound like a boisterous cacophony,

It all becomes a symphony,

What a poignant awe!

The pulsating voices of the neighbours can be heard even from far,

Rowdy noises of vehicles follow,

The crackling of leaves under the morning sun,

The babbling of the waters as they move,

But then,

The evocative aroma of a fine breakfast ,

Intoxicating my grumpy soul,

Well,

It is a new morning ,

A new dawn.

THE WALL CLIMBING FROG….

I was outside taking a stroll,

When my eyes caught sight of the wall climbing frog,

I had never seen that before,

I thought “How is that even possible?”

I was aching to throw a stone,

To see how much higher it could go,

Till I saw Theo the neighbours cat trying to strike it with his paws,

I suppose he was in need of a toy that hopped,

Or was after an evening snack,

Or he was just nearby ,

When he spotted it in the grass,

His territory,

The little creature was scared to death I felt but I couldn’t tell,

Maybe he was playing but Theo the cat saw otherwise,

A possible threat?

Though I knew it would be back,

To enjoy the coming storm,

Or would go hide under a rock,

Or find itself a pond,

As it made its way over the wall with quick random steps,

And with frequent croaks that were deep and hoarse,

Theo got bored and left,

It might have been a toad,

Or so I thought,

Till I realized the one I saw,

Had a slimy coat.

TO MY YOUNGER SELF….

A time will come when you realize that life isn’t like the bedtime stories you would read to yourself in the dark of night with night lamp shining bright and your face with a smile with shadows painted on your four bedroom walls.Those ones that always had the happy beginnings and endings.The world has painted you with the most wonderful lies that are bound to wash away with time and that is when reality will set in and your eyes will open wide to reveal the scarecrows in disguise.The garden isn’t flowery at all,it’s full of thorns.The world will carry itself a dagger,wound you and leave you fragile like glass,a lifeless framework.Askeleton to be precise.Buried beneath the roots of the most popular flowers lies what no one knows about.The middlemist red that is hard to find,deep in the ground’s dirt.Something that you will rarely hear people tell.You are still a child living in a fairy tale forest and in time you will come out.An alternate universe.When the time comes and life lets loose its claws,please hold on.Be assured that everything will get better.

You will be forced to grow eyes at the back of your head.You will always have to be on the look-out.You will slowly lose your ability to trust.You will realize not every living being is your friend.Imposters are real and you may just meet the vicious of them all.Of course your knowledge of this is pocket-sized still.

You are not a mistake don’t behave like one.You are better than that.Remeber what you do will influence the person you become.Your heart may sometimes weigh a ton but you will always figure it out.You have to be strong enough to live through the tough times to come.

Don’t be stubborn.Dont be rebellious.Dont make war with everyone and everything around you.Make the right choices lest they affect you in subtle ways because as the saying goes,Regrets are like chicken,they come home to roost.Don’t you dare take a dive into that sea.You may think everyone has your best interest at heart.My dear,that is not how it works.You need to pray and lift your voice to the sky asking for insight.

Perfect is a language that you will take time to learn how to speak. Trying to fit in is a form of bad religion believe me.Embrace your different.Stand out from the crowd.Take time to learn who you need to be.People will try to make you fit their ideal.Be careful.Don’t use the eyes of them who undervalue you.I implore you to follow your dreams and don’t forfeit.Don’t be convinced that they are out of reach.Unlock your potential.Mich,don’t just dream but dare to do.Remeber that God has passed down his confidence to you so don’t let your hope pass away.Keep your eyes focused on Him only.Whenever one door closes in your life,another will open.

There are things I wish I knew when I was your age not too long ago and maybe I would have made some changes if I had the time to sit down and analyze them all but I didn’t. I’m hoping you don’t make that mistake?Does that make sense?Even so you are wise beyond your years.Darling,be kind to yourself and others.It won’t cost you a thing.

Educate yourself first with the knowledge that you know nothing at all.Keep learning,keep growing yourself in the best ways possible.I’m going to tell you to always think twice before you open your mouth to speak.Remember that you can’t take back your words.

I’m not going to tell you what your future holds.You just wait and see everything unfold.Surprises await you at every stage.Always learn from your mistakes.Take responsibility for your actions.Well,for now just make do with what you know.Jump before you can fly.

Yours truly,

Adult self.

IN MY SKIN.

I have only ever trusted my skin because it is the only thing I know that remains fully unfiltered even when in there is a basement that hides a few boxes of my rage that have left me the darkest of colours:black and grey and secrets that have remained unsaid but inside my own skin anyway they remain tamed.In my own skin there is no spot of shame because I am the guard standing at the gate working all my shifts.I’m in the water,I can freely wade.I’m the captain of my ship.The voyage is in my hands.I wear a badge of honour to serve and protect me.It is etched on my skin.

When I’m in my skin trust is just but a word and it comes at a high price to whomever wishes to run along my tracks.When I’m in my own skin fake love,fake everything cannot make me go numb.It did once.So much so that I couldn’t move and I tried but I was tied down by words that were so transparent and abstract that they happened to attract my vulnerable making me lose the ability to reason on my own.I forgot how to be the master of my own thoughts.Words that sounded true,I ended up losing sight. I got a job.I became an entertainer,a dancer who gyrated to people’s out of key tunes.

When in my skin I wear acceptance like a coat and that is when the seed planted in my kingdom of growth begins to grow like a plant exposed to light after a long time wallowing in the dark and finally being able to photosynthesize. When I’m in my own skin I finally realize how it feels to leave the pack and roam free without having to look back.When I’m dressed in my skin I don’t have to hide inside the closet like the monsters I had formed in my head when I was about ten and they could sometimes live under my bed and mock me by the sounds of my heartbeats and the rhythm of my breathe so loud that even I became scared of myself.

I don’t have to put myself away in my pockets or put me in a box and throw me at sea.I don’t have to bury the real me in the dirt to get devoured by worms and other creatures of the soil who I feel if given the chance they probably would enjoy a delicious meal and courtesy of me..I don’t have to forget but rather always embrace that I’m perfect.In my own skin I will be.I can’t match the level of convenience being thrown at me.It’s high time I showed me some lenient because no matter how I try the real me always surfaces back.Returns like a boomerang and hits me right in the face but only when thrown right.