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

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Dad, Life, Love

#MisimuZangu Hii Ngoma ni ya babangu


When I wake up at 3 am and sit up to scribble a nightmare inspired poem,

The neighbours think I’m just a troubled person.

Like cravings, the need to put these words down floods my mind.

It is all I can think of at the moment.

It is 20 minutes to 5 pm, the time when I hurriedly leave the office.

Because I know, there’s a one hour workout session

That is quickly followed by a light meal, a look at the telly, some reading

And sometimes just directly take a 9 hour nap.

I am writing this as Eric Wainaina blares in my ears.

I have never really listened to music at low volumes.

I have to hear each instrument used

Whatever drum thump that everyone would choose to ignore.

Maybe that is why I am not a fan of music videos.

But here I am typing with  tears welling up in my eyes.

I keep breathing in and fluttering my eyelashes to keep the tears away.

All this because Eric dares start his Twisty song with:

“Hii ngoma ni ya babangu”

Because to date the words dad, father, baba, papa cause the deepest of emotions to come crawling to the surface.

And sometimes I hate myself for it.

Sometimes I just let the tears flow.

Because it really is cathartic.

It does not really heal but I feel more able to deal once that bitter bubble is burst.

It is the  most childish of ways, but my hair to me is the legacy of what he was in his youth.

And how when I live my dream I can still see myself in him.

Funny thought is that I really wanted to play football professionally and did not.

But he did.

Talk of your parent living your dream on your behalf.

But the best part is how much more protected I feel.

He is watching every single day.

I feel shame when what I do does not make him smile.

But it does not beat the sense of achievement when you manage to do something he really wanted you to do.

I just type away without even editing.

That will come later.

And truly I have no idea why this piece is in a poetic kind of stanza.

Maybe it is because I am used to writing like this.

My friends say I type texts in a staccato manner.

That is mostly because the thoughts run over each other sometimes.

Like a bunch of seeds looking for the one egg to fertilize

I can feel my breath becoming lighter now.

As the clock strikes 4:55, I find myself asking why I even started typing this.

Maybe it was just because of that one song

Maybe because I can hear his song

Maybe because I am his song

As he has been mine before

I don’t know.

All I know is this tune keeps playing.

And I am yet to find my harmony.

Why all these feels today you dare ask?

Because of the below:

Life as it is, comes in phases.
The good, bad, ugly and beautiful keep recurring in different forms.

Misimu-Swahili for seasons – is everything making up the season’s in the life of Gufy as a Performance Poet.

A collection of 5 spoken word poems cutting through basic scopes of life. From politics, love, religion, childhood dreams, death and God.

This collection aims to re-live the thoughts and beliefs of a young man in search of an end game.

Misimu is Gufy,
Misimu is Us,
Misimu is Poetry we relate to.

#MisimuZangu

https://www.facebook.com/events/579418178897716/notif_t=plan_user_invited&notif_id=1469625780162119 

HIMYM, Life, Love

How I met your Chuck


This week started on a very weird, confused and sad note. And no, despite the G.R.R.M kind of year and especially July, nobody died. At least not in real life. The cause of all this grief and anguish is because 2 years later, I finally watched the last 4 episodes of HIMYM. And being the eccentric person I am. I keep replaying the scenes in my mind, the times that this program took me out of the doldrums promised me something fresh, something real does happen in life etc.

I know I’m so very late to be commenting on this. But I feel lost. And I probably will for a while. You don’t rip my emotions apart like this and then expect me to recover. Of course this makes a good point on how good the program was. But still….

  • You made me root for Robin and Ted to be together at first. We all love Robin and man is that woman beautiful. It also did not help that my best friend insists on calling me Tedward. Yeah, I know, my name is not even Edward.
  • Then you made me understand the love between 2 scarred people. Barney and Robin were perfect for each other. Notwithstanding that, you still made me watch a whole season based on their wedding. And 10 minutes later they were divorced?? I don’t care if you had a caption reading 3 years later!! That hurt my freaking aorta!
  • Finally! Finally! You show us the mother. How the gang meets the mother. How awesome she is. The yellow umbrella, the ankle,the bass guitar, the lighthouse, the Farhampton inn and that cute dracula smile..chaiiii!! Sob. And then what do you do?? Wait for it…..
  • You kill her!! Murdering writers! And you kill her via Ted’s words. No awesome last minutes shown. No grieving by Ted. Shake your damn heads dammit!
  • Then 52 year old Ted who can’t actually run from a waiter steals the Blue French horn. For the 3rd time? And we are to believe now that Robin is free and done travelling and Ted got his dream wife and kids and is now again “free”, all’s well that ends well?

It does not. If I wasn’t so old. I’d say you ruined my childhood. 🙂 But hey, I had good enough practice. This happened in another warped mentality ending on Season 5 of Chuck. Where the writers chose to rob Sarah of her memories with Chuck. In essence saying Sarah could not remember what we had watched since Season 1. There’s the little suggestion that she will remember. But in a world where I have to watch Game of Thrones, Gotham and Daredevil. Give me a happy ending! Errm, I mean give me an ending with a bit of jolly good positive vibes in it. The world already has too much darkness in it and I need a little bit of the most rare of sparks I can find to light it up every morning.

The writers tried to calm the fans down by redoing an alternate ending but hey no take backs for what has already become imprinted in my mind. Teddy Westside got the raw end of that deal. Or did he? I don’t know. And now I feel a slight need to continue with the Haikus coming on. See what you have done?!!

Vengeance shall not be mine! Haaaaaaaavvvvveeeeee you met Ed??

Cole, Deep and overstood, Jesus Christ, Life

2016 CALVARY HILL DRIVE


I: THE COME UP

Oh be careful little eyes what you see.

I’m rooted in rocks.
Smell the scent of what’s cooking.
I’ve crossed the desert.
And sands are no longer sinking.
I remember the peace in my liver.
When I never walked alone.

II: THE WARM UP

Watch your actions for they become habits.

My voice is a lyre
My truth tugs at her strings.
My life is a hymn but I feel alone
You know like solo-ish
I can see the darkness at the start of my tunnel.
Lights, please!

III: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

C’est la vie

Got friends from Cana having a party in my tummy.
Vices abound and I think Roy has the spirit.
Following stars that are Westbound.
But not a wiseman amongst us.
I’m wasting my youth on the young.
I need something over 21.

IV: THE SIDELINE STORY

Yea though I walk…

I’m missing His presence.
Trudging over bits and pieces of my essence.
Her lies taste sweet like ice cream.
Her wake rouses me and I scream.
I’m flashing a full house.
At the chess table.

V: BORN SINNER

For God so loved the world….

I had a million dollar dream and a pyramid scheme.
Emerged from the battle but with a crooked smile.
No longer picture perfect but worth the picture still.
In the beginning was The Word.
It said: “Seek and ye shall find”
But I’m the one who knocks.

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 rhyme 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.

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.