Pain relief

800px-semana_santa_antigua_guatemala

Builders will continue to build, and
White folk dumpster dive, 

In the winter anyway,

In red,
And blue overalls, scavenge –

Scavenger,
Some for profit, others fun, and I

Cannot be a predator, I
Cannot carry luggage, I

Am dying, and

Perhaps giving things away, a
book or something will relive the pain, lord

Knows I just need some pain relief and, I
Just cannot afford to hoard right now, nor pilgrimage, how

I wish I had done this earlier like,
Forgiven my lover, myself –

Wait,
I’ll do it in dungarees, I am dying and I

Will giv away yellow popsicles instead.
 

photoHoly Week, Guatemala♦

-short evocative poetry-

 

 

Published in: on December 31, 2016 at 20:01  Leave a Comment  
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Tea-time in the sun with friends

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Imagine all those who have to swallow pills;
One a day,

Everyday for every illness,
-and sometimes just

For age, they don’t

Taste good in,
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday packets-

Bitter pharmaceuticals to make you better,

Those that do it with smiles,
Yellow,

And creaking bones and gorgeous flannel;

Respect their furrowed brows and dimpled cheeks, their
Trick of light, their

Twilight years,
Respect your elders now.

Photo – Shitsugane

-short evocative poetry-

Published in: on December 13, 2016 at 11:50  Leave a Comment  
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Death in a foreign land

Betty

 

Charge woman,
Through life, take it all away
Charge, man,

Pretty poet, write it down,
When was the last time you looked at a lover,
In the sand,

Swam with sting rays,
Over African boys asleep with pink men,

Charge woman, stagger drunk,
Through the pavements,
Outside home,
Under the lights by the stoop,

Bring it home, the suitcase in the corner full of,
Yellow memories,

And language.

 

 

Published in: on March 22, 2016 at 07:34  Leave a Comment  
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Hostage

image

Promises are made to be broken,
Thwarted,

Made again,
Whilst Jasmine pours,

Perfume;

Where God,
Is an impression, a

Figment,
Asking why, if

Birds and fish and,
Creatures of all kinds,

Flourish,

We terrorize each other,
Impossible,

Even at crimson sunsets, to
Be the first to apologise, and

Stop polluting the Earth?

Picture – ♦Reuters/Daily Mail

-short evocative poetry-

 

 

After

Cancer, palliative

2004_150 002

We spend our days,
Getting ready for tomorrow,

Hoping the past will not catch us,
The bad eating, the saccharin juices, when

Now is the only moment, to

Love, to
Speak,

Re-pack your life, forgive –
Go,

On an adventure or,
Simply state your piece,

It will be alright.

We may yet,
Save the climate.

♦photo♦ – High Museum Art of Atlanta

 

-short evocative poetry-

For my friends battling Cancer.

Published in: on December 14, 2015 at 23:30  Leave a Comment  
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Office Lover

 xPWRd3p

Dreaming of;

Colorful balloons on an African plain,
Hot air rising, with

Rich people making eye contact,
Heaving brandy glasses at the bar by the salt-lick lake,

Making new friends with,
Levitating boobs or

Buoyant balls,
Out on the reef, whilst;

Putting out lurid spread-sheets,
At the office photocopier,

With Sam,
And his dark blue eyes,

Hoping buoyant balls will crack it too,
That male or female,

Cleavage wins,

That bobbing balls will sway him from the levitating boobs of Caroline in the corner,

Will bring Sam round,
With his dark blue eyes,

To dreaming of African sunsets with me.

 

 

 

-evocative short poetry-

Published in: on November 24, 2015 at 05:37  Leave a Comment  
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Smorgasbord

eartha-kitt-reclining

Smorgasbord, and so
Health,

A dashboard of delights.

Supine could be;
Relaxed on a hospital bed,

Goose down,
Luxurious but bad for your back,

Foam,

Sometimes current but initially,
Uncomfortable,

A sister healed,
A discussion beyond Mum,

Silver hair framing,
Ice-blue eyes,

Wrinkles round a mouth;

Ripe fruit is determined by smell, and
A mango,

Will flood a kitchen with colour.

Who are you now,
Riding on the upper deck to Luton with,

The Book in your lap and,
The Wind in your hair?

Why are you a mango,
Ripe to eat?

When love is alive, or
Dying,

Aroma disperses into cupboards, is
Dispensed across sofas, and

Out walking I thought,
A million dollars can change everything.

– have your wings clipped but clip them yourself,
spoof your location, so health.

Angels are born everyday.

♦picture♦ – Eartha Kitt, Wikipedia

evocative short poetry – words move

Published in: on August 27, 2015 at 01:09  Leave a Comment  
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The sound of an African funeral

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They sing for him,
Swinging from heel to frail heel,

Growing earth between the ground casket,

Bleeding love into the air
Like orchids,

Humming,

They rise again
And again their gently swaying busts,

Move the air to and fro,
To and fro,

Intending that mother be comforted,

Intending that her wet eyes,
Smile at new wives, that

though her son was gunned down, the
Rhythm of the occasion,

Brings life.

-short evocative poetry-

Published in: on August 15, 2015 at 20:22  Leave a Comment  
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Walking with butterflies

butterfly

She shifts with the breeze,
Neon white with blue streaks,

Antenna filtering for blossoms,
Fabulous,

Owning the street,
Owning the couple,

At sunset before,
The roundabout,

A dusty butterfly that will not let go,
Wafting beyond reach,

Before the hawk and
Gently away –

Ever been a glass-wearer looking for your glasses with,
Your glasses on to begin with?

– evocative short poetry –

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 19:33  Leave a Comment  
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Dignity

image

He was drunk on the wheelchair,
oily, black skin,
black, greasy hair,
greasy, black overalls,

Dead drunk on the side of the road,
Wheelchair crooked up against the curb,

head hanging off the back,
eyes wide-open and rolled right up,

cars swerving passed carelessly,

Was drunk,
like any other drunk on the side of the road and

Picture: Andrew Kinard, US Marine

See also: The Unknown Soldier Project, David Jay

-evocative short poetry-

Published in: on July 21, 2015 at 22:01  Leave a Comment  
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Card Trick

life, cancer, poker, gambling, memories,
Dance music,
Damp heat and talk

Drifts to halcyon days of,
Seventies groove and Afro’s ruffled,

In the political funk of,
Freedom fighters and platform shoes,

Cadillac language,
Smooth and languid,

Dripping off honey colored lips like,
Melting chocolate…

It’s a card trick,
And we are mesmorised by,

Furtive glances,
Over fanned cards,

Fascinated by the sleight of hand,
And the afternoon light,

Our soft voices and loud giggles,
Caught in a trick of time,

Heavy with love and breakfast.

-evocative short poetry-

Published in: on June 21, 2015 at 17:19  Leave a Comment  
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Hanging out with my father, and my brother and sister

Robin-cook-african-american-angel-smoking-cigarette

So I thought about my brother and sister a lot this weekend. It’s not like me at all. You don’t count on people just, sort of vanishing. I’ve been talking about death since I was born, so with my Dad it was kinda different. I knew he was dying.

It was strange. We both knew and we had to skirt around these two issues – I was gay and I was making films, not money.

You know, I’m Kenyan. We’re both African men. I’ll leave that there.

I remember telling him, immediately I found out, in some London pub. This gay thing had almost totally destroyed everything, and it’s not true that you know when you’re born.

I didn’t find out until year two, University.

The steak dinner was pushed around the plate. My Dad was frustrated at the UN – nobody was fighting for the animals, the earth, everyone just wanted the Red Passport and for him to run for Parliament.

I think he was frustrated at the glass ceiling – he was trying to learn French. Imagine. I found it funny. He couldn’t stand it. And spoke French like a Luhya. I laughed. In hindsight, I wish I had gone to classes with him – he never told anyone.

As you get older as an African man, you don’t tell anyone what you’re going through for your family. You don’t even tell your spouse.

Anyway. We called it a night. In the morning, at the airport (we were always meeting at airports) he looked at me and said – if you’re going to be a pioneer, it’s going to be very difficult, and I don’t think you’re strong enough. But I see God in you, so you must go on. Do me a favor though, don’t tell your Mum.

Of course I told my Mum as soon as I saw her. She threw the Bible at me and I threw the damn thing right back – I’d just finished reading it. The. Whole. Book.

This post isn’t about me, or my Dad or being gay. It’s a post about my sister and my brother.

Lumumba never judged me. And we fought only once, in all our lives, and that after some drunken evening.

Caroline didn’t care what I did, she loved me completely and thought Michael Jackson was lucky I was born Kenyan.

Without Caroline I would never have made it anywhere. Her self-esteem was impenetrable. She taught me that who I am, is enough; is still teaching me now, that who I am, is enough.

So when she lost her baby, we cried together. It was a bitter, bitter loss. All other women seemed to have choices. Caroline had one shot at it, and lost the girl at full time. Justine was her name.

My mum says we were talking when we were born.

I can tell you the moment I knew she was dying. It was the same moment as when we split to go for University. She told me she had cancer, and I told her that she can act on the other side – that it would be OK.

We never spoke about it again. It was like when she got married. I had to step aside. Still, we were always, kind of, one person.

Lumumba took me completely by surprise. He was my Dad’s best friend.

They both died on the same day, Coroline and Joe, and that was it. I went to India and found his University, and tracked down his hospital, and sat in his room.

For all three, I did not grieve, and for that I am thankful. Death does not frighten me, it never has, I know what lies on the other side – yet I live here on this side, and Caroline is not here, and neither is Joe.

Their phones don’t work.

I bought a very expensive Nokia to use in Kampala for my sister’s wedding. Uganda was ahead of Kenya for the briefest period back then. I buy expensive phones ever since…a little too expensive.

Joe.
When I just want to take him out, I can’t find him.

So I thought about them alot this weekend. This big man, Dad – larger than life – his best friend Joe – man of the people – and my precious twin, Caro – my friend.

I thought about them, and I thought about migrants, and pictures of father’s crying, and Gaza, and Syria, and addiction, and Cancer and murder. I thought about the people gone, and those left behind, how it always, always changes everything…

I thought about these things and felt a smile.

You see: if you get it right this time, this one time, you’re going to die well, and be alright when you do.

If you can think – I am beautiful, I am free, I love you… If you can think – thank you, I did my best, I need no apologies… If you can think this way when you wake up, when you interact with the people you love, when you encounter those you don’t – you’ll be alright.

You’ll be OK.

 

♦pictures♦ Richard Cook at Stock Illustration  & Professor R.J. Olembo at UNEP

Prof. R. J. Olembo, UNEP

 

 

                                                   -words move-

Published in: on June 20, 2015 at 09:16  Leave a Comment  
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