I know you’ve for long, dismissed rumour
that I’m in love, with that man’s wife!
Well, today I just want to, set record straight
by pronouncing, it’s true!
Fine, now that you’ve known, bother not, defending me
specially, when you’ll be called upon, for enquiry
thus I just wanted to disapprove you, and just shock you a little
by announcing, that even the kid she’s carrying, is my work!
By the way, I’m all set for broadcast,
in fact, as I pen this, the Press is at my doorstep, and when cameras roll,
I’ll mince not my words;
I’ll say, how I bewail that, this thing was never mine wanting.
But anyhow, I’ll declare that, it’s great to see her images, cloud my mind all days,
for my heart possesses her; for sure, she’s my breath
Imagine, without her, I feel a void in heart?
Well, I understand, you’re now muttering
‘Bloody fool! Fat-head! Are you nuts?’
Anyway, never you mind, for I know I’m okay upstairs.
Now that I’ll have to be, summoned to headquarters, when I reach there,
I’ll confess, I know I’m at fault.
But I’ll tell them whenever I ponder further… my heart skips a beat,
as I do nothing, except crave for that man’s sweet of heart.
Anyway, never mind, for even heaven knows, I’ve never compelled her into it!
Kanisa, today when I tell you I’ve for long failed to have power over this thing I feel,
You’ll think I’m insincere, but I know I’m, without doubt, not!
Oh damn this feeling that budded, in terrain of my heart, in I don’t know when!
And further grilling, will confirm how I dread it
thus I even fear myself!
But what should I have done, to put off this disconcerting thing?
Anyhow, call me all sorts of bloody f*cking names,
Who on earth are you to judge?
An Epitaph for a dramatist-cum-politician
lies late Rt Hon.
- Maji Machungumno,
who had a brilliant career
as a socio-political dramatist,
But, politics attracted him, as he
created tragic heroes and heroines,
and so, later in life,
his playwrighting career
sadly came to an end! He
begged votes like anyone else,
and was elected to parliament,
vowed to exercise all his energies
and after polls, he was crowned
a Cabinet Minister, and so, he
devoted the rest of his life to
public affairs, but neither was
he an exceptional politician, nor an
incorruptible public administrator,
only he turned out to be one of villains
in his most acclaimed plays, and
walked on firm earth! Ugh! It’s
only after I revisited his prize-
winning political satire,
that I understood
“Writing is one thing
and enacting is another!”
Fare thee well most prolific author,
Rt Hon. Dr G. Maji Machungumno,
BA, MFA, M. Phil, PhD. Pub Admin, EGH.
If love’s sweet
If love’s sweet
then why this ache of heart?
If it’s warm-hearted
then why the cold shoulder?
If it’s fulfilling
then why all this emptiness?
If it’s pleasurable
then why all this poignancy?
If it’s tranquil
then why resort to violence?
If it’s full of harmony
then why hills of differences?
If it’s all right
then why this iniquity?
If it matures
then why does it die down?
If it’s meant to blossom
then why do lovers part?
If truth be told, knowing you was the most catastrophic thing
that ever happened in my love life!
Nevertheless, I’ll certainly learn to live without you
and in time forget that you ever existed!
Girl Next Seat
city bus terminus
the ubiquitous travelers
hastily squeeze luggage onto carrier
A lady offers soft drink
I decline, and instead
stretch out arm for handshake
one adorned with a matrimonial ring
not so long ago…
I overlook her generosity
and solely board Akamba
elated to return home
to my adoring wife and boys
after a year of toiling in K’la
She turns out my mate of seat!
I serenely smile at her
as she timidly retorts…
It’s pitch dark out there
so I can’t really tell where we’ve reached
I tell you, night safaris are cold!
The girl next seat offers her Maasai sheet
to shield cold
and I, in return, offer chest to lean on
then, thoughts hit me
I recall her gorgeous gap in her teeth
her arresting beauty
her well-built body-scape
that’s now resting on my thighs
and I begin swelling like a frog
how tempting can daughters of Eve be!
I detain her infringing arm
my heart thundering
my mind resisting and
(as I recall the fair lady at home
whom I had walked with down the aisle
barely two seasons past )
in a bid to repress combustion
my flesh turns frailer and frailer
gesticulating a moment of fickleness
heavy petting ensues
After all, only fire can drive out fire!
at the city in the sun
one and all set to alight
my first impulse is to ask her name
‘Scovia,’ she retorts
We part ways
and as I walk along Accra Road
I’m all rehearsing her name
how fast could she rob my heart?
Upon reaching home
I consider phoning her
and see whether she reached well
but, on the other side of the line
a man’s voice thunders
My heart skips a beat
a long silence fills the air
as the phone goes tii! tii! tii!
Oh men of marital ring, what the heck is going on?
Surely, there’re two worlds…
I’m Mheshimiwa’s wife
I’ve the benefit of
a seven-digit pay scale government job
I drive a limo worth millions
I report to work not on time
I vegetate in office
I ingest mountains of snacks
I snore at midday
I leave work before time
I don’t care a damn!
I live a very lavish lifestyle
in a castle with gold décor, pure gold!
Of course, that’s away from city’s poor dirt
I school my kids in the US
and whenever I catch a slight cold
I’m air-lifted to Cape Town
But, I must say
I’m dead inside!
For I see my billionaire husband
once in a blue moon
he insists, his job is too demanding!
He often jets oversees
deserting me in cold spell
but anyway, our people, let’s re-elect him
in order to maintain my
sky-scraping social class!
By the way,
it’s not that I’m selfish
look at it logically
it’s you people who’ll benefit
when we re-elect him
for he’ll labour to see to it that
electricity, piped water and telephone
all finds you in camps
look at it this way
(he’ll make the camp a better place than you found it)
And you understand very well
that all this
is for your own good, our people.
I’m the IDP camp’s chairman’s wife
I’ve a big heart in my thin body
I walk miles and miles
on peacekeeping deals
I toil and toil
from sun up to sun set
and care a lot
I exist in a torn-paper tent
with my adoring husband
where we share with a few fowls
our children learn under leafless trees
and now that I’m expectant
I anticipate being wheeled to Level 4 hospital
And, I’m sure I’ll be told
wool hasn’t been procured, again!
Did money end up in people’s tummies?
Ask me not
for I work not there!
By the way
Didn’t I tell you that
I’ve never set eyes on Mheshimiwa?
He who assured us resettlement
upon being voted in?
Hmm… Yet I’m sure when
campaign time comes
he’ll reappear to beg votes
and being law abiding citizens
we’ll all desperately declare
and queue whole day
banking on the promise
of being resettled
Oi, damn the consequences!
But really Wanjiku
has your memory rusted?
Surely, there’re two worlds…
Kariuki wa Nyamu is a passionate Kenyan poet, script writer, editor, translator, literary critic and educator. He obtained an Honours BA Education (Literature and English) from Makerere University, Uganda. His poetry won the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU) Literary Awards 2007 and Makerere University Creative Writing Competition 2010. He is published in A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, among others. He is presently pursuing a Master of Arts in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.
Personal Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone numbers: Telephone contact: +254721595748/ +254735830255