Friday, July 11, 2008

Can beginnings be dreamt anew?

To write is to tell of worlds yet unformed.
To dream is to build new kingdoms abroad.
But what of our living world and our aging kingdoms?
What of the dystopian madness in which we dwell?
Can we not change it, Scrap the old story?
Can we not return to the blank drawing board,
And sketch out new hopes, new dreams and tomorrows?

We hold on to inspiration as if it’s our last drop of water,
Hoping that it will revitalize the vision we dreamt of,
Set right the lunacy we put into motion.
Information we manipulate, refusing to settle on hard, concrete facts,
Insisting instead on the abstract, the intangible, the unreal.

If this is all intangible, then tell me, is the pain a dream?
Is the crushing poverty a dream?
Are the justice, oppression and hunger all an elaborate dream?

When all that is tangible, cold, hard, concrete, and bitter
Collides with our intangible dreams,
Our dreams dissipate into the air as if made of smoke.
The intangible versus the tangible- a mismatched duel if ever there was one.
Can the tangible be uncreated? Can beginnings be dreamt anew?

First published in TakingITGlobal's Panorama Zine on 11th July, 2008.

That's our Nairobi

Always in motion,
That’s what I remember.
Commuting Nairobi:
Matatus and traffic,
Queues round the block.
Pollution, inconvenience,
That was Nairobi.
It still is Nairobi.That intangible sense that something’s about to happen,
That history’s being made,
That I’m a part of the scene,
That is Nairobi,
That’s what I kept of her.
The markets, salons,
Nyam choms and benga,
The Sunday crusades and family outings,
The singers, the saints,
The lovers, the hypocrites,
They make up Nairobi,
They define the city.
The bars round the corner-
I can’t say I missed those,
But what is Nairobi without her walevi?
What is a city without its drunks,
Its philosopher-poets, kings of the moment?
Like it or hate it,
That is Nairobi.
Blooming, decaying,
Nectar and maggots,
Today and tomorrow,
Now Jekyll, now Hyde,
That’s our Nairobi
A landscape of madness.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed to Rose Kahendi under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.