Dad, Love

Peter Mukabi Njoroge 1943 – 2016: THE ROCK THAT MADE OUR HEARTS BLEED


The day our father died.

There was no thunder or lightning.

No previous night’s rain to bless the world he was leaving behind.

The day our father said goodbye to this world;

There was no group of friends and family around his bed.

No last kiss on his forehead or a hand to offer one last comforting squeeze.

The night our dad went to sleep for the last time;

He did not inform anyone that this would be the last goodnight.

That he would not wake up from one last dream.

 

Because you see, before our father died;

His smile had been the lightning to many a sad heart.

He always had a way to shock you out of your cocoon

His voice thundered with a hearty laugh;

That always followed one of his sly jokes.

He was a blessing to his children.

And he had a way of raining goodwill on the rest of those who knew him.

Our father did not need to say goodbye to the world.

Deep down he lives in each one of us.

We can still see his smile, feel his calloused hands.

And in both of them, we get the strength to know;

That he intended for us to live on and achieve our dreams like he did his.

 

Our father.

Your husband.

Your brother.

Your uncle.

Your grandfather.

Your late son.

Your friend.

 

He was but a man.

But he managed to be more than that to each of us.

He was a helping hand.

He was the joker in the crowd.

He had aged wisdom.

He was a force to reckon with.

This man had careworn palms.

Yet he held kids and showed his gentle heart.

He had a quiet simmering temper.

With which he stood up for friends and family.

He could discipline with one look.

And love with one phrase.

He fought wars with himself.

Won battles for each one of us.

He was the calm to our storm.

He was the gentle breeze in our sails.

He made ways for all of us with his will.

Taught us that it was allowed to dream beyond our means

 

Our father was in no way perfect.

But each of his flaws made him unique.

In being the man he was.

He mirrored the attributes of his children

Orphans will sing the whole-hearted giving nature of Virginiah.

We found your silent wisdom and maturity in Jane and Carol.

The sounds of clashing hammers lead us to the workaholic bee in Dave.

We shall gather on warm nights for advice from the boy you made a man’s man.

Who deserves the name Kelvin for always striking when the iron is hot.

And when this family needs to smile again;

Irene and I will be at our wit’s end to make sure of that.

 

I am sad.

As most of the people here are

But I stand here to celebrate you.

For giving us the best of your years

For being the best of dads

I know you can hear us.

Let not these cries dampen your soul.

Let that crooked smile never leave your face.

And when the skies light up with stars tonight

I will remember that twinkle in your eyes.

That always spelled mischief.

That twinkle that said,

There was something you hadn’t revealed fully.

I hope you can finish the story for me one day.

Deep and overstood, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, The Teenage Years

Untitled 01:45h 19/12/2015


I: God

Take me back to a time.

When being good was as easy as breathing.

And my mama’s words resonated in me.

When her bidding was stronger than a belief.

Proud to be called clean, faithful, a follower of rules.

Take me back to Sunday school.

When I believed in forgiveness.

In King David after the transgressions.

Saul would become Paul.

And the past would be forgiven.

Early mornings, when I’d remove my  socks and shoes.

To be equal to the other village kids.

When my lullaby was the thoughts of heaven.

And not finances, planning on how to break even.

Take me back to being what they called a junior youth.

Looking forward to a life of serving not mastering.

Living for Him not aspiring to attain.

Take me back to the Bible not the blogs.

To learning rather than just reading.

 

II: Love

Take me back to the fairy tales.

To dreams grand and of sunsets.

When love was a gift and not an achievement.

And a source of never-ending happiness.

Not a path to probable pain.

Take me back to when today mattered.

To when the future was always bright.

Not a reflection of past mistakes.

Take me back to Celine.

To Luther Vandross and ᗅᗺᗷᗅ.

To staying alive and celebration time.

A fulfillment of the life that would be mine.

Take me back to hand sculpted gifts.

To names carved on trees and doodles on my books.

When the thought far outweighed the cost.

And the character way better than looks.

Take me back to primary school.

When affection made my heart skip not beat faster.

When I’d be transfixed in moments not lost in the next.

When what I felt was said and not lost in text.

Take me back to just being divine.

Before I let in the bandit and stole more hearts than one.

It’s been a while since I went out of line.

Lost the chance to enjoy the moment and ran after the fun.

 

III: Author

Take me back to senseless writing.

To holding a pen and trying my best at cursive.

To when the ink was the blood from whence poured my soul.

And truth riddled every sentence.

Take me back to basic lexicon.

When being deep was not the goal but a happy coincidence.

To when morphemes and synonyms did not matter.

And rhymes came out as staccato as a stutter.

Take me back to real poetry.

When  my life leaked with every phrase.

My thoughts and fantasies saturated every page.

This gift was not even recognised as one.

Take me back to grammatical errors.

To a period way before the nazi era.

So I can write away my troubles.

Let the paper fade away my pain.

Take me back to Wordsworth and Frost.

Before I end up on the road least taken like Poe.

Lost in my melancholic notes.

Of the writer I could have been but never became.

Take me back to Shakespeare.

From thence I can find my path again.

Still a poet by any other right or how I write.

Immortalized in my own song of La “Wino”.

 

IV: Life

Take me back to singing and dancing.

To India Arie and Maxwell on a sunny afternoon.

To ill-fitting earphones and cassette tapes.

To bitter lemons without a tequila shot.

Take me back to addition and subtraction.

Not regression and plans for my progression.

To learning how to draw, no matter how badly.

Rather than designing a dream house  in every reverie.

Take me back to freedom.

To aspiring to be President.

Proudly sitting at the head of the class.

Rather than murmuring at the back row.

Take me back to undefined genius.

Rejoicing in completion rather than competition.

To figuring things out not judging them.

To creating and not just utilising.

Take me back to long walks not quick rides.

To sun basking and making images from the clouds.

When I’d revel in heavenly splendour.

Not lost in thoughts of what tomorrow will bring.

Take me back to open spaces not closed walls.

To old friends not new acquaintances.

When I’d play in the rain rather than in its after-scent.

Enjoy every living minute, make it a lifetime moment.

Take me back, just take me back.

Deep and overstood, Love, Rock, The Teenage Years

My dying notes


Looking for healing…huff and puff..
Smooching this feeling…rough and tough.
Ruby ruby ruby red lips was what got him about Stacy’s mum.
He liked that she was still preoccupied with 1985.
And as he pulled off in his station wagon.
Alice just watched from her bedroom window.
He waved at Frankie by the YMCA.
Wondering whether he’d ever come back before the clocks stopped spinning.
All was yellow, autumn was creeping in and he knew it was no longer just his life.
He’d met a girl. Thought she was grand till he found out her love was just a lie.
And now as his heart was going under.
He’d pretend that the airplanes in the night sky were fireflies.
Lighting the perfect path to what she reminds him.
Someday he’ll be the hero who can save all.
But today he’ll just go somewhere only they know.
Soak up the sun just like animals do.
Smiling at these twisted turns of fate.
His small words now just a whisper.
Life just got too complicated for the skater boy.

Homeless of Nairobi, Kenya, Life, Love

They are not the “HOPELESS OF NAIROBI”


I know I have been off this site way too long. As I get closer to 30, time seems so scarce. Taken over by work, moments of football punditry etc. But let me be honest and say, a certain 6 month project at work that ends next week has had my hands quite full. Clearly also getting new titles comes with it’s “workaholism”. You are now looking at the new……enough about yourself Ed!! This  I feel is the first real post of 2015 as it is prose. Poetry as I have said before comes quite easily to me. This post is not meant to be heart rending. It is not meant to make you feel sorry. It is not meant to make you feel bad about your elevated echelon. It is just meant to get your attention, to have you realise what happens where your eyes don’t look..or avoid to look. To give you a fresh perspective. Something you don’t necessarily have to live with but know for just that single moment that others live with. Something that can change the way you think or have you want to make a change. I had been part of this endeavour before. On a previous month when I was assisting Kibali in his month’s pledge. Then, I was just letting my heart lead me. There was no logical questions about it. I had some extra money and was willing to help. However on this particular day in May. Something else led me there. During the day, due to the aforementioned work commitment I had failed to have something to eat for breakfast and lunch. By the time I left the office with rain clouds looming; the storm I was paying attention to most was in my tummy. I have acidity issues and that evening found me almost keeling over as the acid burnt through the lining I would assume is not as thick as it used to be B.C (before cocktails). I struggled to make the walk from Riverside to Westlands, I found my mind lost in another thought process. This is not quite an unusual thing. I’ve almost walked past the bus stop more than once, lost in thought. I was imagining how weak I must be to be in this much pain because I had not eaten in less than 24 hours. I was wondering about the person who has not had a meal for a week. If that was me, would I indulge in cheap drugs to get rid of the pain or to forget what kind of hell I was in? Did this seem familiar to the “one for the road” of the rest of the white collar society? If that was me, would I snatch a phone to sell it for a measly 500 to be assured of a meal for the next 2 weeks? Would they judge me then? Would I judge myself? Would I really view my life as that black and white? Would I so easily understand the law when I barely knew how to read? The above is not a justification of all the crime, violence and wrongdoers out there. It was something that got me back looking at my life. I am not ashamed about it. I work hard and have studied hard to be where I am. But what makes the difference is that I had the chance to. I get lost in thoughts of whether I would have survived past the age of 10 having been sick most of young life. Again, same tummy issues. What would my body have done to fend off illnesses when I could not afford antibiotics worth 100 shillings? What did you do to deserve the life you live? The family you have? Chance? Fate? You were good in your past life? This reminds of a case where I dropped a dollar in New Delhi as I fumbled with my wallet and walked away without noticing. Seconds later, a filthy street child would tap my arm and I almost leaped away from him (Nairobbery instinct) and was about to tell him I had nothing to give him when he handed me a dollar and walked away. I barely managed to speak to him before he disappeared into the crowds. Not waiting for a reward. Ok, this does make me want to weep. 😥 What I want to say is that I made it to that feeding program in Westlands with quite a change in attitude. I was not giving because I could, I was giving because I could manage to stay without. I could manage to live in a comfortable cheaper house if hard times hit. I could manage to live without eating beef. I could manage to not have milk. I could manage to live without a cocktail here and there. I could manage to walk part of the way to work and save 60 shillings per day, 2400 per month. Because you know what?It takes 2500 shillings to feed 65 to 70 street families/people at Clifford’s feeding program in collaboration with the Homeless of Nairobi. That made me vow to feed some 70 people a month for as long as I live and more as my life, effort and returns rise. As an African, we are very insistent on teaching how to fish and that is also what Clifford’s program is about. From finding shelter for these people, schools, rehabilitation and work. It does not stop at food. I had a talk with one young man who helps Mwalimu Cliff out in serving food every weekday night at 7.30 behind KFC Westlands and in front of Uchumi opp. The Mall. He came to Nairobi to find work. He previously had work installing air conditioners in Rwanda but that did not pan out. He would like to act in plays, he’s a comedian. What this people need is a chance.Remember the chance you got when you were born to able parents? Use that chance to make sure another kid does not have to be born on the streets. This story seems all gloomy right? No. I was welcomed with genuine smiles. More genuine smiles than I see in my side of society. Happiness from money is overrated. Really. These people are homeless, some jobless, others parent-less but most are not HOPELESS. You can read more about this program here: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31359061 You can find Cliff here: https://www.facebook.com/clifford.c.oluoch?fref=ts and @OluochCliff Homeless of Nairobi: https://www.facebook.com/homelessofnairobi?fref=ts and @melessOfNai

IMG_20150614_162344IMG_20150614_162242 IMG_20150614_161254 IMG_20150614_161810

Life, Love, The Teenage Years

Lost Art, Incomplete posts – A step back into history


I am a hoarder. Of plastic containers from Chicken Inn and those from the Juice and Smoothie corner at Sarit’s food court. But worst or rather best of all, I am a hoarder of books, writing pads etc. This is how as I cleaned my bedroom from an OCD hit, I found some long lost poems I wrote in another lifetime, some a bit too erotic, others incomplete and others just plain old boring.

Messed up handwriting and some pieces written in IT class, others in B.A classes. :)
Messed up handwriting and some pieces written in IT class, others in B.A classes. 🙂

For the next few days, I shall post one of the poems I found and try bring a new ending to the incomplete ones. Take the journey with me. Before I tasted beer, when I was an IT geek and most importantly, when I was an idealist. Untainted by the harsh realities of love and life. The tag will be YoungCrow.

Culture, Life, Love

#RedressForOurWomen “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” ― Virginia Woolf


I have tried to calm down on this matter for as long as I could. This was to ensure that my thoughts and my opinion would not be lost among a cacophony of irate swear words and insults. I have really tried but still I feel that in no way is this going to be pretty. If you try to say otherwise of my intended objective, there’s a possibility I will mow you down. Physically or metaphorically.

Today is The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. I am not just writing this piece because of this fact. I am writing because as of last night when I saw the third video of a woman being stripped in these very streets of Nairobi, I could not stomach it anymore. At first there was shame, shame that I had not talked of this sooner. Shame that I, like most naive Kenyans had believed the monsters and the hoodlums would be afraid of the law and not repeat such actions anymore. Shame that I had a belief in a system that has not given me any reason to trust in it. Shame, that I was a current generation man in this our beloved country.

Soon-after though, the anger came, the rage was boiling, my temples were pounding so hard and finally my ears became hot as if a true reflection of the white hot seething wrath that erupted from within the deepest of my element. I was angry and I still am. This last video, was a rape. How long ago was it that somebody compared the first video to a rape?? And now less than a week since #MyDressMyChoice the hooligans were at it in a worse manner. Inserting their fingers and touching a naked, bruised and beaten woman on the street.I am sorry but there are no better words to use and even if I did have them I would not use them. It is no longer the time to share videos that keep humiliating the victims. No, it is time to react, to fight back. If my writing annoys you as much as the videos would have, even better. She had to cower under a vehicle at which point they started yelling for the driver to move the car. These people are a virus. One of the men I noticed had a wedding band on his hand. His shirt was quite unique and I wondered; “Is there a wife somewhere watching this and knowing that that’s the man she chose to spend her life with??”

I am angry. At the person who just stood there recording these clips. At the men who were not part of the crime but just watched as all of it transpired. You will tell me that it is not safe for them to interfere. Did what was happening to the woman look safe to you?? Blows and kicks hurt and yes most are afraid of death. But be a man goddammit!! Stand up for the weak. This should be inherent in your nature. All you need to think of is how that person on the street could be your wife, your sister or your mother. And your fright will certainly change into fight. If you don’t do this, then the clips that will keep circulating will be of the despicable, implacable pieces of feculence winning and creating more fear in the society. They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. We are not even close to overturning this. But we have to try, one by one we have to stand up to these villains. The videos circulating must be of men and women standing up to face these fiends. One video will inspire some other people to do the same. We can use the same medium they have used to create something positive. Here is an example:https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=511834858916582&set=vb.100002702181334&type=2&theater

I don’t care if anyone stands with me. I shall stand alone. We are not so worse off that the evil people in the society have become more than the good ones. We are certainly running low on the brave. But we need to remember that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to conquer it. We need to remember as one Desmond Tutu said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

You are probably wondering why I am angry at all of you. All of you men. Inclusive of myself. You will talk back and say, you have not been a witness to such and you would have helped if you could. But no dear brother in negligence of duty. You probably have been privy to either of the below:

 

womanabuse-notminebuthaventseenithere-post_3e9e99_3713996

 

  • A friend slapping a “rude” girl in the club or on the streets.
  • Your dad, uncle, grandfather, neighbour whipping his “manner-less” wife.
  • You teacher pinching the thighs or chests of girl students.
  • Your workmate or classmate “spanking” the behind of a female workmate.
  • You have walked by as street kids cornered a lady alone in the street so she could give money forcefully.
  • etc

These “cultural”, “innocent”, “disciplinary” actions are what has led to this. The belief that women are here to be controlled by you as a man. That men lead and women follow. That the only way to win an intellectual discussion against a woman is to make use of your stronger physical attributes. These men causing this current mayhem are just fully infected cells of the societal body. You have become a carrier. To heal the body, we will have to start by healing ourselves. We have tried peaceful protests. We tweeted and sent all manner of messages on social media. Now, we have to remember that it is faster to stop a bleeding wound with a hot iron than with bandages upon bandages.

I am calling you and you and you. I am an Alumni of the UoN and time and time again, SONU has been accused of conducting and effecting nonsensical strikes. At this point in time I wonder: How about we stand for something worth fighting for? Our women.

 

Stop-domestic-violence-zero-tolerance-women-abuse-29950953-622-476

 

“Everyone has a responsibility to prevent and end violence against women and girls, starting by challenging the culture of discrimination that allows it to continue.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Deep and overstood, Life, Love, Lust

IN MY CLOTHES


The gazing, of the eyes.
The fluttering, of the eyelids.
The thickening, of the air.
The meeting, of the fingers.
The pulsing, of the veins.
The quickening, of the heartbeat,
The reddening of the ears.
The scratching, of the back.
The biting, of the neck.
The twisting of the toes.
The suppressing, of a scream.
The rising, of both of us.
The soaring, on this number nine cloud.

Describing your physique,
gives life to this black ink.
On this one thing, my mind is set.
As I watch your curvy silhouette.
Your meaning, my brain eludes.
Because of the sexuality, your pout exudes.
Phenomenal, more than I could have ever sought.
What you are, Maya Angelou never thought.
Because my girl doesn’t lack.
Her negligee is black too.
And I will be damned if my love isn’t true.
She takes me to places I ain’t ever been.
Because her beauty always leads the way.
I don’t want to ever lose this. Anybody feel me?

Deep and overstood, Life, Love

SECRETS


Golden snippets whispered in dark corridors
Torturous murmurs heard deep in the brain
Ominous winks causing brain trauma
Dark fingers walking in the stillest of nights
My eyes receding, my spirit giving in
My thoughts leap frogging on this velvety nothingness
My ears buzzing from the onomatopoeia of this word
The hissing, the calm sound before the strike
The jittery feeling before the pain comes
The hair rising at the back of my neck
Fingers curling, punching the thick air
I stamp hard, peering in the darkness
Succumbing to the daze of all this haze

Throat dry as I step through these doors
Wondering what do I stand to gain
First step inside and my scent gets warmer
Not only losing my religion but my rights
Avoiding these walls like original sin
Try and keep calm amid this craziness
Feeling the anger boil over to a disappointed sad
Block my thought banks with self control dykes
Take these walls and make an overt home
Fast and decide not to eat my cake
Give up on what’s frank, sleep with what’s fair
Yet again I’m lost in all the dizziness
This quagmire yet again ruins my gaze

Crush, Life, Love, The Teenage Years

I WILL BE SILENT


There are two faces to any coin,
Silence fits perfectly in.
Sometimes it signifies the indifference one possesses,
Other times its love and care in large doses.
There are those who keep mum over bad events,
Others are silent when thinking of loved ones.
Silence might be anger blown through narrow vents,
Buts it’s also through silence that one learns.
Affection might be expressed through silence,
But quiet people might be thinking of violence.

I listen to good music without uttering a word,
But still react the same way to shocking news.
It’s not a matter of whether something is good or bad,
Rather it depends on different people’s views.
A beautiful car leaves my mouth gaping,
Yet a grisly accident has me instantly dumb.
Extreme pain lacks the expected groaning,
A heart break makes my lips become numb.
When I write all you expect is silence,
But to love you I don’t need a license.

Right now I’m lying silently on my bed,
I can almost hear the friction between pen and paper.
I can hear all the words in my head,
But I need my peace, I’ll say them later.
Later will be when I see you next,
Right now it’s a dumb system keeping us apart.
It’s not ink but my love that makes you part of this text,
You are the only one who warms my heart.
When you are silent, I get to say how I feel,
And when I’m quiet, it helps me listen.
You give me directions for climbing this hill,
At the peak I see you and my eyes moisten.
I can’t believe this is the third poem on one person,
The speed at which I’m writing is unbelievable.
I’m silently afraid of my heart being torn,
But I will keep walking as long as our love is viable.
I hold my breath and wait for that sunny morn,
When your kiss will make me see double.
Your silence now means you need your beauty sleep,
And who am I to interfere with that?
Something tells me you’ll always be mine to keep.
And hence for now, I will be silent.

Deep and overstood, Life, Love

Kiss me, Death


Kiss me, Death.
In a deadly way that only you know how.
Feel the tremble of my lips.
I’m not afraid, I’m expectant.
The scars now have wounds.
And I bet my back hurts your knife.
Kiss me, Death.
So that you can feel the heat of my face.
It’s not fear.
It’s not rage either.
I’m ready for your cold hands.
The stringy web that covers your soulless eyes.
Kiss me, Death.
For only then will you be able to feel.
The ripples in my muscles.
As they tense up ready to push you away.
Your scythe will claw at my heartbeat.
And that’s when you’ll discover my impenetrable heart.
Kiss me, Death.
For then you will learn.
That love is forged with the ores of Nemea.
And I’m the Heracles of this fortress.
Kiss me, Death.
You’ll see the light of my Patronus.
You’ll realize your mistake only too soon.
Before your body dissipates into thin air.
Kiss me, Death.
I’ve got the courage of the people of the Shire.
Always worn my heart on the sleeve of my reefer.
Kiss me, Death.
For only then will you know what you can’t kill.
When I……
Kiss you back, Death.