Kariuki wa Nyamu


Dear Kanisa,

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,

But hey!

Who on earth are you to judge?


Sincerely Yours,

Fr Dauting.


An Epitaph for a dramatist-cum-politician

Below this


lies late Rt Hon.

  1. 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

exposing fingers

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

and shortly

heavy petting ensues

After all, only fire can drive out fire!



Next daybreak

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

“Who’s this?”



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

and hey

I don’t care a damn!


Listen people

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

eat cassava

rest not

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

“Mheshimiwa Tosha!”

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:   nyamukariuki@gmail.com

Telephone numbers: Telephone contact: +254721595748/ +254735830255