let them know
take a little bit
you are only
good for what
the Clark Gable
do it for the ride
don't need a bullpen
i'm an empty optimistic in a world where lost souls remain
we're all threaded together by birth, given the consequences
but what are we without an upper and a even worse downer
those who survive the downers, sometimes never get back up
i hear you singing at the top of your lungs in the long halls
and i know your ears are pressed against the flimsy walls
your footsteps are more familiar than my own heartbeat
didn't it feel like deja vu when we first locked eyes for that second
didn't it feel like we were connected, not by blood but by something
it's so natural how you sing without the blissful harmony
it's breaking me down every single day, eroding myself
would you still be able to swim if i taught you when i could
would you still be able to speak if i paid attention to you as i should
i could forgive faster than i could ever forget, i can't even sleep
it's like i expected you to put the puzzle pieces back together
whenever i scattered all of them all over my bedroom floor
all of these flashbacks and all of this fear is numbing me
like i've already predicted a fallout to occur, i've already
expected for me to be searching for you everywhere i go
I saw him
I walked towards him
He saw me
He smiled to me
There was a river,
separating our standing spots
I'd swim the river for him
But he'd rather build a bridge
than meet me in the water
I was lost in thoughts
I thought of him all night long
He slept at night
He gave nothing but a simple goodnight
There was a wall I built,
holding him back from seeing me
And he was not brave enough
to break it down for me
So he just stood there
and waited for me
to climb it all the way up for him
when I gave my all to climb for him
but he was not down there to catch me
when I was bravely in love
with him who was not brave enough to love me back
Sometimes I forget that you
cannot absorb as much
as you like to say you can.
I forget that you are human, and not more,
not the impassive statue that you
would like to be.
I have seen you
in your weak points and I
have helped you through
some bad days and I
your true form.
Forgive me, I
am so full of words tonight that
I overflowed and nearly
drowned you, even as you stood
ready to try and help me safely swim
the dangerous currents
of my own disintegrating being.
Forgive me, I
would mop up these streams and
plug up these holes and even
divert rivers in the tradition of Heracles
to clean out the accumulated grunge
of everything I have dumped on you.
I would let my mind
stop burbling and my words run dry
if only you will
Come swim within this broken silence
the raging river inside beckons
the cadences we hear
are the untamed waters spring forth ,
overflowing , borne this beating heart
eroding this ardent heart's shorelines ,
leaving the thrummed edges wild
prevailing currents ,
no longer able to be contained
within the soul’s boundless margins
restlessly lost and lovely ,
I’ll be your earth and you my sky
feel the calming tide
flood in around us
I've been swimming in circles ,
treading water in an eddy of quietude ,
waiting for the world to turn ;
marooned , fighting swirling currents
the shattered places so deep within
how does it feel to be the sky
that bestows rivers' light ?(!)
how does it feel
to be constantly on my mind ?(!)
... what a beautiful piece of heartache
December 5th. 2013
an undeniable chill in the air imbibes your moment ,
... perhaps it is me :)
i wonder if you know that the same route
to your house in the daylight is different at
night. the road turns to currents and the
buildings are coral blooming in their lawns,
the sand gardens. the headlights of cars
are tiny fish catching the edges of mirrors
in the water’s light, bleeding white and gold
that fogs the windshield, an ethereal tide of
loss and shadow and muffled music.
i wonder if you know the second time i went
to see you i couldn’t swim fast enough. you
make me feel lightheaded, you turn my lung
over in your palm until it becomes a windpipe,
you smother my piccolo heart until it pierces a
hole through the sky with its sound. i’m spinning
out through my ears for you, rushing to a beat
with drunken feet, wide eyed and slick bird winged
with a panicked pulse. it was still warm and i guess
the weather tricked me into thinking it was a
temperature my kind could survive in, for you.
i wonder if you know when i saw you in the
doorway you looked more brilliant than all
the shimmering roadsigns from my best
unmapped memory, uncharted like your
wildflower stem wrists. i’d like to get lost
in your underwater mind, wade in the
swampy sadness with my fingers
twisted in algae. we’re not that different,
i wish you knew. you are more magnificent
than every hello and goodbye carved
from any mouth, soft or difficult, shy or
unabashed. when you saw me take my
steps your smile curved like a castle
letting down it’s drawbridge. how did
i convince myself that was a good thing?
i knew you were waiting for something.
i knew you were waiting for someone, but
i never would have guessed all you waited
for from me was for me to pass you by,
to get out of your sight so you could watch
the street roll and pull rain from the overhead
lights into ripples that reminded you of a
different time, a better time, a time before me
when you were happy. but the past isn’t always
as good as we remember it, i hope you know
that. i never would’ve said that to your face
because it was too beautiful to deface with
such a tar-slung sentence.
i wish i was a writer.
i wish i could sing.
i wish i could have done something, anything
to be the ribbon sent across the sky flying
like a star stained lighthouse beacon,
one you couldn’t forget, wrapping you
up on the glassy surface, keeping you
afloat in the present, banishing dark
underneath, sweeping away sharp
rocks, shark teeth.
I wish I knew what it was about you
That I loved
So I could capture it in a broken jar.
The jagged edges
I have never been able to shake
Your voice from my ears
Like droplets of water after a nighttime swim.
I have never wanted to.
If I could
I would write you letters
Every day, before swallowing them whole
the next time our lips met
you would taste the ink
trickling down your throat.
I sometimes pretend
I will never see you again
And hold you a little tighter
Kiss you a little harder
If you noticed
And chose not to ask.
I wish we had a garden
Where we could walk
In the soil
Our mouths full of yesterday’s tomatoes.
Come with me
The next time I climb a tree
We can build a city between the leaves
And wait for it to rain.
THIS YEAR 2013; IS THE YEAR OF GREAT DEATHS
Alexander K Opicho
(Eldoret, Kenya; email@example.com)
This year alone world society has lost more that ten great intellectual and political leaders. They have been lost to death in a deeply wounding manner. Human society has indeed been robbed. It is so sad. Three of the leaders have been Nobel laureates and the rest are leaders of intellectual, moral, political and spiritual stature in their respective capacities.
It began without any stampede in early part of the year some where March when Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian and Francis Davis Imbuga a Kenyan, both succumbed to early deaths caused by stroke. Rendering not only the citizens of world of literature, but also African society as well as global intellectual communities to the most desperate bereavement. Thereafter, within short while of the subsequent days, The Venezuelans president and Marxist intellectual, Hugo Chavez also succumbed to death caused by throat cancer. Even though the Pravda, the daily circulating paper of Russia contended that Chavez was poisoned; it is dismissible as only a Russian stand attributed to ideological hangover, because the Pravda also made similar allegations in relation to deaths of Yasser Arafat, Pablo Neruda and Frantz Omar Fanon, but it did not go a head to establish the factuality of this very allegations.
What we know is that human life is in most cases contested for by the three spiritual forces of fortune, fate and death. As decried William Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet. This time round in the year 2013, the angel of death has dominantly reigned with its untimely consequences in form of fangled early death of our leaders. Herman Melville will remain classical in his concern in the Moby Dick about death that; O death! O death! Why are you untimely?
Sadder is when the Al shabab terrorists killed the Ghanaian born global literary citizen Kofi Owonor. Kofi Owonor the poet and author of This world my brother was among the people killed in Nairobi during the terrorist attack at the Westgate mall. Of course he had come to Kenya to celebrate in literary festival organised by a society of publishers in Nairobi. This is an eventuality of some month ago. In September 2013, the Irish born literary Nobel prize poet; Heaney Seamus died. He died prematurely when the world society most needed his service to literature and his literary service to human society.
A couple of some weeks ago again the world loosed two prominent artists, political leaders, human rights crusaders and intellectuals. These are none other than Doris May Lessing and Tabuley Rosseuru. Lessing was a white African living in London, literature Nobel laureate and a feminist as well as an anti apartheid crusader. She is known for her firm stand against communist utopia, championing for the courses against dehumanizing human behaviors like racisms , but mostly Lessing is known for her great literary works like ;the grass is singing, Golden Note book, Dann and Mara as well as so many other works. Whereas Tabuley was an African Congolese , a musician , a businessman , once a husband to Africa’s most beautiful songstress Bellia Belle. He was the composer and the vocalist of African Rumba music. His song Bina Mudan which we in Africa always pronounce as Simbukinya was actually an artistic and cultural bombshell. Tabuley has been a politician, who enjoyed a gubernatorial position of the city of Kinshasa for ten years (two terms).
Most disastrous is the currently trial-some moment for the world community as they all commissarriate the death of Nelson Mandela.Mandella died early decemder 2013 at his home in the Johannesburg city of South Africa. The death of Mandela is an open sore to the society. It is a window for social, political, intellectual and family abyss in Africa. It is indeed a sad moment. But what can we do? For it has already happened. We can only swim in the consolation inherent the wisdom of the Babukusu people found in the western part of Kenya that; Mis-brewed wine behooves volunteer carousers. And truly, I have personally joined the world community to commit a poetical kamikaze in volunteering to drink this sour wine of humanity .May god give us and our leaders in their diverse capacities long live. Amen.
Shouldn't we all be studying?
dedicated to M M Jones from Montana,
where I guess big skies make people think
about big questions and young poets thrive.
the butterflies of child-awakening
to the certainty
that school and
shame and embarrassment
were only minutes away,
is as fresh as
the flowers my love
buys every Friday,
fifty plus year later.
I would awake,
climb into bed with my mother,
telling her I did not feel well,
stomach felt gray.
I could not tell her that
the mocking I received by
my richer classmates at the
multiple lines in the fabric
of my corduroy pants
where she let my pants down
made me cannon fodder
for what we call now
I could not tell her
of the heartbreak
when somehow the parents
of my supposed suburban friends
pick me up for the weekly swim,
leaving me to watch
the sunset fall as I sat
on the stoop of our old house,
tucked away in an out of the way,
the shame still wet.
I could not tell her
of how two bothers tortured me
as I sat in the back seat
of their station wagon,
on me like curses.
Their older brother died of cancer
when that was still unusual,
and the mother wrote
a beautiful book
about his life.
I still hate them, those two,
fifty years later and it gives me
unusually great pleasure to
announce it to the world.
So I studied.
Not my schoolbooks,
but lovely and junky literature.
Friday afternoons, three children,
me the baby brother,
(anonymous, for they nicknamed me
brother as if I was nothing but
checked off category)
to the library went.
Five, five was the max
they the austere librarians
and their coda of holy silence,
would let me withdraw.
(god I can see my library card still).
By Friday night,
I had finished one or two,
ruining my eyes in
the lousy lamp light
in the living room,
falling asleep on the couch.
this, reading addiction,
which afflicted the entire family,
I did well into my teens.
I have stopped reading
which amazes the very few
who know and care.
do let us re-pose,
let us repose,
Shouldn't we all be studying?
the answer of course is
yes and no.
my studying blue period
is long since ended.
now, my biographer,
will call this my red period.
for red are the memories that my remembrances
come back to me.
crystal is the clarity
of the indignities
I recall, though red,
is the anger
at the shame and
abuse I took.
now I can write what I have always held in my heart.
those two awful brothers,
who loved to torture me,
I was glad their
wonderful brother died.
so this is my red writing period,
when the studying of a kind,
has long since ended
but the smell,
the memory of
fresh textbooks still can
make me nauseous.
Yet, I still study life around me,
as I clean countertops,
walk deserted beach isles
in early September...
is the product of years
of studying the inside out
of me, and turning that study
fruitful into poetry.
why am I writing this at 2:00 am on a Sunday morning?
I did not pose the question.
but it posed me,
and the dialogue in my mind came
sugarcane fresh and tumbling out
and will be both
recorded and recoded
("in the truth will out eventually" file)
after a fashion.
these days I sometimes study
my older poems,
whose titles I recognize,
but whose content
I cannot recall.
so double digit delight
meet again old words,
wondrous and trite,
that make believe
that all my studying
somehow paid off after all.
When there's snow on the ground,
you are the ocean
you are too large,
for frost to move
more than polar parts of you.
You will struggle to swim to the equator,
but once you get there
suns are high,
and you will be warm and cozy;
But, more than once
the tide will drag you to your arctic.
and I will kiss you through your shivers
but nothing I can do
will stop your blood from running cold.
but baby, it will pass.
You are the ocean,
and ships have recked
to kiss your curves
and love has been made
inside your blood
and one day
you will love the way
you shudder without cause
and you will find beauty
in your hurricanes,
even if that day is not today.
I could right a thousand sonnets
about the way it feels
when your blue hands hug my hips
and your salty lips brush my neck.
So when your lost
in your dark blue,
remember that there are those,
dreaming of your turquoise.
and I am wading in your shallows
to brace your raging torrent,
and remind you
that baby, you are the ocean,
and the storms will always pass.