Life

(d)ivine musings #2


I always love having nostalgic moments about the past, my past. Of course nostalgia has a way of always highlighting what was “greener” then, what made for amazing experiences etc. In fact even something we were worried about at the time like dealing with a cop, recovering from a hangover is always remembered amidst laughter and talk of the “good ol’ days”.

When I think of my past, I do remember various things in my life that by definition maybe should have affected me negatively but they didn’t. And sometimes I wonder why not? I recall stages in my life.

I checked into Alliance High school, straight outta the countryside, round as a pumpkin and without a clue the sound of the letter “L” existed. As expected having the same waist size as my pants length was good fodder for disses in high school. Of course this did not last long because Kenyan high schools’ (I need to qualify this by saying public schools) food and sports somehow make you drop your weight like it is hot (it might be, what with all the adipose tissue). But while it lasted, I was the butt (I wanna say my butt but I’m trynna edutain right now) of most jokes. Added to the fact that I was spitting them RRRRRRRhymes so hard that dreadlocked Busta must have been jealous.

Then comes life after high school. Love for long hair means old school cornrows while living in Buru and having to deal with the teasing by the conductors. (Seems so ordinary for a man to have long hair nowadays doesn’t it?) But that was still not as bad as when visiting the Kenyan coastal region and I had to learn that msenge has nothing to do with being a billy goat. Baddddummmm beattttingsssss by Redsan.

In retrospect, I realize I went through all that with a smile on my face. I never even got angry at anyone. I have no idea why because right now my temper flares up from 0 to 100 real quick. What is of importance is the fact that I don’t seem to have got any recurrent mental or emotional scarring from it.

What has been my conclusion about how I handled all that? Parenting. Since I was a tiny tot, I was taught that nothing someone said about me could hurt me. I took the stick and stones rhyme too literally. And that was good, great even. There were so many confidence building moments I can recall that made me the person I was then and that I am now.

I am not a parent, as to my knowledge, so I am not trying to teach how to be one. But being the product of good parenting, I believe I do have the right to reflect on the experiences I notice in my life. As a grown man now, I can make the choices on whom I would like to be as a future father. I have very many experiences that differ from what my parents went through. But, if I could do half the parenting my parents did, I will count it as a success.

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Life

(d)ivine musings #1


Have you ever thought about music and the “best” musicians of the world? It is not crazy to say that the recognition and “success” that one finds is usually quite dependent on chances that one gets. This could be due to a country one is born in, the state (social and financial) of family one is from amongst many other factors. Nicki was found on a MySpace page (yes that was a thing youngins), Eminem might not have been without his persistence and Dre’s faith in him. Sadly these chances don’t happen for everyone. For we all lead such different lives.

It would not be surprising to find out that the singer with a higher octave range than Mariah or more versatile than Beyonce will never be renown. And such is the same with so many other talents we all have. But one must remember, past the riches and glory of “making it”, there is a truer calling for your talent; your audience.

The message you pass onto them, the lives you inspire, the hands you figuratively hold and the people you bring together. So it just might be that the best singer’s message was not meant for all the world, but just a few thousand people. This could be why they never got signed. The role of your talent might mean more to ten of the few thousands than it might for millions more. Does that mean your talent has lost its meaning? Has no place in the world? No. Work at it, fight for it, hone it and share it. Your chance might be coming or could already be here.

Never stop singing.

AH, Dad, Deep and overstood, Life, Love

Counting Pills


Blink once, blink twice.

Waits for purported papi’s arrival.

Gate no longer slams, my new hell.

Conversations lately found in my hair.

Our little talks forever lost in my kinky knots.

I use death ropes to hang onto my survival.

For the story is only mine to tell.

Abba, in my goblet, I sip your tears.

Comprehending your pain more than most.

 

Blink once, blink twice

I lost a friend without going wrong.

Rewrote the present into a curse.

Ducking uglies and swooning over never lays.

Tough decisions found in spicy contempt.

I slew dragons and kept their memory in song.

A nostalgia killing arrow should’ve felt worse.

Learnt that soft hands have torturous ways.

They’ll strangle the neck they lovingly crept.

 

Blink once, blink twice.

All’s fair in life and its end.

Crosses smash into the wizard’s cape.

Moons and stars tumble down the temple.

And on it I release the last time I led.

Smiles come cheaper than you can spend.

I lose them; she’s on the other side of the tape.

I find a hard sword and the fall is that simple.

Dying in the fiasco of words I actually said.

 

 

#IAmKenyan, Deep and overstood, Kenya, Life, Politricks

John Paul’s Satire


Be still, my sorrow.

Stay asleep, my soul.

Flatter these sheep, show their dry coats.

Flutter lids in my sleep, dreams of dry jokes.

Endless jars of my transformation oil.

Door ajar and whispers of this son of the soil.

I lost my right to be wrong.

But still got this long con in my sights.

Red eyes are better than red thoughts.

I’m making a killing casting your lots.

I slit my throat to spite my tongue.

But all you see is the price of air exiting my lungs.

I set my foundation using your alms.

The ceiling of my impunity will be laid down by your arms.

 

I care, I promise you I care.

 

I care less of your pain and struggle.

As long as you caress my stains and sweep up my rubble.

I’m Marx and you just failed my class.

I lie in your confused conflict as you run out of gas.

I slay you at the same altar you worshiped your queen.

For you chose to care more about Keke than your teens.

By the rivers of this new Babylon is where I shall bury your capital.

Instantly highlighting these failures deemed societal.

Communal consumerism makes up the new deadly sins.

A gambler’s addiction yet only the house wins.

I wash the blood off my hands from this planned accident.

My promises like Pontiacs pirated off the silver coast.

At your crossroads with the train bearing down on you sets the precedent.

That your existence was only narrated by my ghost.

 

I wish I cared, really cared, because I don’t.

 

Deep and overstood, Life

Aloha


You want to be a quote that I forget.
A fun word that discombobulates me.
But I want to put your name in quotes and become your apostrophe.
I wanna dot on your eyes.
Never be cross with your teases.
Be part of your third generation grammar.
Paint with words what you cannot see.
I want to stand on a platform.
So I can heighten my standing with you.
I want to be able to breathe out whenever I breathe you in.
Knowing that I will get a million chances to do it again.
The prose in your walk is not lost when I pronounce your name.
But the poetry in your smile has killed this rhyme wizard.
Senses have been reduced to constant invalid dreams.
Awake, I find the reality, just a tad bit unfair.
But it is in your shy eyes that I get lost in again.
Real is the feeling as I wander aimlessly in your mind trying to find a path to your heart.
Adapting to being just near you.
We elicit notes delivering operatic despondency.

Dad, Deep and overstood, Life, Love, Prose

When the saints march out. Oh!


As I write this story, it is exactly 24 hours before the exact time I was born in 1987. If I do remember well, my mum told me I was born at 2AM, on a Sunday at the AIC Kijabe hospital. And since that day, my love for cold weather was born.

I say that because I showered with cold water since high school in Kikuyu, even in June, Kenya’s and especially Central Province’s coldest month. I would follow with the same routine in high school till I was diagnosed with pneumonia in the 3rd year of University and warm waters baths had to become my lifestyle after. It is safe to say that I never felt really clean for about a year after.

After university, I quickly moved from Buruburu, where I had had to mostly use just a bed-sheet to ward off the heat at night, to Kinoo. This was me following the cold and I would fall in love with it for the next 6 years. After the events of October 25th 2016, I had to move again in search of colder pastures. Because of exactly that I cannot feel safe revealing where I currently reside online but I can assure you that this new lover is the best of ice queens I have ever met. However this is not the reason we are all gathered here.

I am here writing because I feel I should write something as the elevator dings for me to get onto the third floor. I have been a poet all my life and hence misunderstood via grammar; misunderstood via my art. The stories of my life I have told in those words have been missed. Mostly by fans who don’t know me, disappointingly from other poets and expectedly by my family.

It is how then I found myself in Jackson Biko’s Master Class in writing last week. Yes he is also known as Bikozulu. That is like calling me edudivine but I digress. The classes were being held at the Nairobi Safari Club where I think I had a 3 day crush on our service staff manager for 3 days. Lucy (name changed to protect identity), if you are reading this, oh wait! How will she know it is her if I change her name? Dammit Edwin, you are such an idiot sometimes. Do I really call myself Edwin in my thoughts? No. I call myself nugu when I am doing or thinking something stupid. So please, take it affectionately when I call you nugu when you are being an idiot.

***

When you enter the Nairobi Safari Club, you feel like you just stepped back in time. Not in a bad way. The uniforms that the staff wears are immaculate and remind you of that greyish material that the once popular Kaunda suits were made of. There are antique wall hangings and paintings that line each wall including in the lifts as you would later find out. The rugged carpets on the floor bring on this sense of nostalgia, like you are at high tea with Tom Mboya discussing what next after the British ended their rule.

There are some sparsely thrown in parts of the decor that are very modern. I think they are inserted here so as to jolt you back to reality so your life can move on. But one thing is for sure. This hotel reminds me of my father.

***

On February 15th 2016, my father went to sleep after having had one last conversation about the cows and chickens. Some stuff about the weather was thrown in too. He never woke up. I still am yet to figure out whether it was a fortunate or sad thing that I might have talked to him last.

I wrote a tribute to him. In the best way I know how. I wrote a poem. One I could barely finish to read to the people gathered at his burial because yet again I was killing myself with my own words. However, that piece came nowhere close to saying how much I love/loved this man.

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In this lost train of thoughts, maybe I will do a better job.

2016 was a bad year. No, seriously, it was a bad year. I know some people go through worse daily or have gone through worse before and are still here. But I still find that losing my father, being robbed twice and then carjacked at gunpoint (And a bullet shot next to my head that ends up destroying the car’s exhaust I might add) then losing the love of a woman I never had to try at all to love as the lowest point of my life to date, to 30.

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Most people might sink into depression about this as I did. I was however sooner out of it than I had expected. One week I was booking to see a psychiatrist, the next I was up and away and continuing with life. I don’t know why but I peg it to the fact that I am too used to being depressed. And it is not even the clinical depression that I had suffered from nervous condition drugs some years back. It is what I could not describe before but finally found the word for. Existential depression.

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Existential depression is a depression that arises when an individual confronts certain basic issues of existence. Yalom (1980) describes four such issues (or “ultimate concerns”)–death, freedom, isolation and meaninglessness.

Death is an inevitable occurrence.

Freedom, in an existential sense, refers to the absence of external structure. That is, humans do not enter a world which is inherently structured. We must give the world a structure which we ourselves create.

Isolation recognizes that no matter how close we become to another person, a gap always remains, and we are nonetheless alone.

Meaninglessness stems from the first three. If we must die, if we construct our own world, and if each of us is ultimately alone, then what meaning does life have?

I lie up sometimes and question everything about life. About whom I am and who I am supposed to be. I resent materialism. Consider it the evil that fuels capitalism and thus a world where one person can hoard millions while their “brethren” die of hunger and diseases. An earth where most people need to eat, drink, make merry, line their pockets before they consider throwing out a morsel to those in need. It is a strange place, this one. We are running out of good enough land to be inhabited but we have golf courses ranging into thousands of hectares of great fertile land while some are doomed to be born homeless and die as squatters.

As such it is not completely surprising that I would find myself wishing for a simpler life. A life well lived rather than a life over loved.

These tiny seeds that waft into my mind and germinate on many a cold and moonless night are watered by all sorts of things. But art takes precedence. Be it the connoted themes of movies where they try to clean the earth and make love the only thing that leads again. Or the music that carries me to seas uncharted almost every single day.  I can effortlessly say that these 2 men in Kendrick and J Cole easily trigger such thoughts even with just their song titles.

Is it wickedness?
Is it weakness?
You decide
Are we gonna live or die?

While we remain united as humans, we will never have to tell our history as A TALE OF 2 CITIEZ or remember many we have lost to the FIRE SQUAD. We might have grown up with NO ROLE MODELZ. But APPARENTLY, it is healing and heartwarming to LOVE YOURZ. This would all work if we all made such a NOTE TO SELF.

It is in our BLOOD and DNA to be better than we act currently. This will not be us stepping out of our ELEMENT. We may first need to FEEL other people’s LOYALTY. Forget all our ego and PRIDE. In other words be HUMBLE. We need to forget LUST and embrace LOVE. Most of all we need to FEAR GOD. Only then will we know our “duck” WORTH.

My mother was happy to hear that I stopped drinking alcohol. I did it because I needed more time with a clear mind to think on these things. I also no longer saw the sense in adding a depressant to this already low hanging rug that life was trying to walk all over. It is good she is happy. She is one of the few little lights remaining in my life.

Just with that thought, I am now far-away in the land of the Passengers taking photos as per The Script wishing if he could see me now. When I try to remember the last time I hugged my father. I am reminded of his phone call one day when I was 24, my father said: “Don’t you worry, child.”

I hope heaven’s got a plan for me.

For Gianna & Pietro – the stars that never got to shine

Deep and overstood, Life, Love

Just another Viking myth


Ragnar:

My dear little but dangerous dragon.
I am not in envy of your power.
I would just want to be allowed to love you.
Power was given only to those prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.
And my back is arthritic.
In your big eyes I see a reflection of my pain in your emotions.
What are you hiding?
Why does it seem like you carry the colds of the long winter in your heart?
Has summer not thawed you even a little bit?
Born in blood but living as an icebox.
You have decided to feed the wrong jaw.
Your work out just makes you lopsided.
Your leaning is not cool but just a show of an illegitimate scale.
Why don’t you fly?
Why have you grounded yourself?
Surely the sky offers more than the greener grass that you now lie on.

Toothless:

My dear Ragnar, what happens when my toothless smile can no longer hide the tears for my lost tail wing?
I did not choose not to fly but my heavy heart can no longer soar.
I am clumsy at love because someone did not put back the broken pieces of my last flight properly.
I am not feeding the wrong jaw.
I’m just being fed the wrong hearts.
Black and sooty blood is not like the red I was born in.
Creeping around me and trying to make me one of their cousins.
The sky is indeed the best place to be.
But the fall is as hard as jumping from this heart’s ego to the mind’s IQ.
I am not despondent.
I just have no up to give and so I choose to down the next lay.
I hear the Earl has gathered his cohorts for one last hunt for me.
Why are they trying so hard when I’m already lying in wait?
Could you go get them for me?
I long for that last stab so they can be as surprised as I am when they can’t penetrate my rock of a heart.

Ragnar:

I’m blind to your suicide letters.
I see in you via a spiritual channel.
Where there be no licking of hands to soften the reality that I need to tell you.
Count yourself lucky that these shoulders still have the strength for two.
I will never let them find you.
In the eternity I shall create.
You shall take off from the fear of lacking flight.
But when the air catches your new wings.
I will make sure that the wind blows just right so you never have to fall again.
When I push you over the precipice in your final everlasting flight.
Consider that your last fall because I shall join you soon after.
Your real pain has not been the fear of flying but the fear of flying alone.
I cut off my wings once but now watch them regrow.
They only do when I am helping those deemed as worthy as you are.
I don’t need to hammer these truths into you.
Though I have to say an iron will is needed.
This hulking mountain we still have to climb.
I will be the captain of this merry car now.

Toothless:

I am lost in your energy and the power you possess to see past my black window.
I eye the hawks as they screech in disbelief at how far I’ve fallen.
I did believe that on this occasion the silver band on my finger was slit.
I have been drinking from too many broken goblets.
And I become pale considering adding a new spring to my past smashing look.
This hope you carry will one day be the end of you.
Why try to put off the inevitable?
The gods no longer listen to you but you still believe in yourself.
You say that your existence and those you can see is what drives you.
What will you do then Ragnar?
When I jump from this cliff and my makeshift wings do not catch the wind?
Who will be there for you Ragnar?
Here, hop on my back.
Let us find out together.