13 January 2008

A Love Letter To Kenya

While in the Sikh corner of Maya, our fight for our Uncle/Brother/Friend Laibar Singh Ji continues, the rest of the world goes on.

The violence in Kenya has abated for the moment, but nothing has been settled there; it could spring up again at any moment. I came across this blogpost containing the poem and have received permission from the author to re publish them. The poem is sad, but I think you'll appreciate the beauty of the writing.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi, a Kenyan poet, author of Hurling Words at Consciousness and co-editor of Pambazuka News , heard about Split This Rock from the Africa Poets Yahoo Group. Mukoma is sharing with us a poem commissioned by the BBC World Service on the ongoing crisis in Kenya.

Kenya – A Love Letter
Mukoma Wa Ngugi

Inside looking out, snow is falling and I am thinking
how happy we once were, when promises and dreams
came easy and how when we, lovers covered only

by a warm Eldoret night, you waved a prophecy
at a shooting star and said, "when the time comes
we shall name our first child, Kenya" and how I

laughed and said "yes our child then shall be country
and human" and we held hands, rough and toughened
by shelling castor seeds. My dear, when did our

clasped hands become heavy chains and anchors holding
us to the mines and diamond and oil fields? Our hands
calloused by love and play, these same hands – when

did they learn to grip a machete or a gun to spit hate?
And this earth that drinks our blood like a hungry child
this earth that we have scorched to cinders - when we

are done eating it, how much of it will be left for Kenya?
My dear, our child is born, is dying. Tomorrow the child
will be dead.

Top photo: Mt. Kenya, sacred to the Kikuyus
Tiny little picture at the bottom: My grandbaby Ethan at one day old

Poem reprinted with author's permission
Crossposted to Sometimes - 2