Seasons (Dry)

I had this conversation with a clerk in a random store the other day

in an effort to seek shelter from the cold November rain

She gave me ginger bread biscuits and moaned about the weather

tales of wind and piss-rain interspersed with homages to the riot of colours of autumn

oh and the anticipation of snow…sweet sweet snow

that has made the northern hemisphere the envy of the world

 

so I nodded politely and took a bite of my ginger biscuits

and wondered where on earth I had landed

 

You see, there is something peculiar about living near the equator

the days and nights are divided fairly

time is the same all year round

we do not take an hour from here and add another there to get a full year

the sun is faithful in her rising and setting

no 3am surprise sunrises or 10 pm suspicious sunsets

Even when she goes rogue, the sun does not deviate by more than a couple of hours

 

There is something comforting about that stability

but it is dangerous to mistake stability for uniformity

we might not have spring , summer, autumn and winter

that neatly divide the year into four

instead we live with the realities

of rainy, dry and harmattan

the first two often mistaken for adjectives,

not the nouns they are in this case,

and the third sounds like spice used by berbers

So hear me, afficianadoes of the four seasons,

There is beauty in these three and their peculiarities

 

I love the dry season

There is nothing more life affirming than feeling the sun sizzle on your skin

It is the time of the year that you can taste the heat in the air

and the grass crackles satisfyingly under your feet.

Scrunch up old leaves and feel leaf-dust slip through your fingers

Pick off old bark peeling away on ancient trees.

It is the time of year for slow breaths and measured laughter

Of tuning into your body to recognize the feel of a minute

 

But for some in the city, its time to test those gears

since the sand smooths the road better than high grade asphalt

Whizzing through streets that will later betray you

in a rat race from one air conditioner to another

the season is the natural enemy of productivity

thus, the suits have justifiably,

developed a healthy fear of the those months

when the mighty sun comes out to play

 

some days, it feels like it has never rained before

and the overheated ozone buzzes in your ear

also forget perspiration, you WILL sweat like a pregnant fish

And your skin darken to a sheen with melanin protection.

It also does wonders for your taste buds,

a glass of water tinkling with ice, tastes like nectar

And coconut water, drunk straight from the husk tastes like pure rain

But the best part of the dry season is

finding a mango tree when the sun is at its zenith,

brushing away the ants and claiming a spot

reserved for you by the merciful gods

who blow a gentle breeze

at a hidden frequency

that only the mango can key

 

(p.s. rainy and harmattan are under construction, plus an outro, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile comments, questions and suggestions are all welcome …)

 

 

 

 

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WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

I need to write…
an unbidden mantra in my head
an unwelcome guest
crowding my thoughts

Lives floating in my consciousness

– a dead chicken:
“but oh, she was a good mother…”

– a bad maneuver by a taxi driver
suicidal or homicidal?

– “the man shot him in the chest,
I want his hat, he said…”

– Jokes among colleagues:
“I got to choose my friends,
but, alas, to my peril, my enemies like me…”

Rude awakening for me…
I thought i was over this phase of
willful Romanticism and flowery prose
I thought i had grown out of
lilies in the field and clouds in my head…
I thought gravity had finally taken its toll on me
and with much delight, I could finally … relate.

Is this regression or arrested development?

I need to write.

 

 

Ach, I need to write!

Treasures

The worn out teddy bear

that used to be very dear.

A cheap, sparkly ring

much happiness did it bring.

The cards saved over the years

careful not to make a tear,

there are no words, no way to measure,

the lost joy in a little child’s treasure.

 

(Written circa 2003)

Solo Song

My Lover wrote a song in the dark for me.

A devotion and testament

to our perfect harmony.

He, the conductor …

Me, the unwitting contralto

Yes, he wrote me into his symphony.

 

” That perfect blend of lush woman,

Fuckable brain, succulent thighs

and skin that catches like wildfire … ”

His melodic oeuvre to Her, She and me

Pure love for My solo note

mistaken for  the central soliloquoy

 

My lover wrote a poem in the dark for me

Of shared dreams

and aligned visions …

times three.

He wrote me into his masterpiece

Fit me perfectly into his rhyme scheme

Rapped me so effectively in his cocoon of beauty

that I doubted my sanity.

He turned my head,

claimed my heartbeat and conquered this body …

Turned the sacred into a

second-grade, China-made, knock-off version of me

 

My lover wrote my melody

He kissed me with the kisses of his mouth

His saliva sweeter than wine

And I …

I drunk him in a haze of lust

and paid for my crime with the mother of all hangovers

that left me hating myself for being such a fucking cliche.

You can stare at me, wondering why my eyes are so dark

Darkened by a dimwitted brain fed on lies

Neglecting my core for a line of flattery or three

and now I search for an identity that was pilfered from me

by a pickpocket between the sheets

 

My lover wrote a song in the dark for me.

Oh, the mockery.

 

 

(p.s. Friends before you start pm-ing me, this was inspired by Song of Solomon … I know, my brain is warped)

Dylan, Edna and Death

Confronted by a sudden death, these two came to mind. And specific parts of their writing spoke to present emotion. Below I share their words.

” I shall die, but that is all I shall do for Death “

(Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Mallay)

WhatsApp Image 2017-11-18 at 5.20.48 PM

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

(Do not go gentle into that good night, by Dylan Thomas)

 

Alpha Beta

 

alpha_beta

I was three years old when I found my best friend.

Alpha-beta

Her lines and crosses and curves combined to make sound.

It was wild!

With each year that passed Alpha-beta became better.

She gave me more than I could have ever hoped.

Words: thought, spoken, written …

She demonstrated the love of the feel of a blank page,

which competed for my affections

with the divine smell of a freshly cut book,

all pointing back to that one true friendship with AB.

 

Like all great friendships, although we immediately clicked,

we were both a little mistrustful of our good fortune.

Well maybe I was, because AB was the belle of the ball …

Everybody vying for her attention …

trying to impress her with their dos, cans and sacrifice …

combinations, at once brave and stupid …

in their desperate reach for wit …

insosophysicalmentimentilysations, spell it.

 

However, like Elizabeth Taylor’s divorce lawyer,

on retainer,

she kept her cool at our antics.

Because she knew it was just the lure of the new

That sparked all the affection.

But for me, it was true friendship.

And the onus was on me to prove my feelings true,

with no shortcuts, just the slow passage of time

and the courage to always be kind to the lady

who first showed me kindness.

 

Alphabet showed me the way out of my head

and gave me the key to darker places.

But added a map of lighter places,

drawn with the blueprint of the homes of wondrous fairy tales.

She gave me a free pass to non-existent planes,

That made my personal thought – jumble

seem like the most exquisite of algorithms,

a veritable masterpiece in logical thinking.

Alphabet was so crazy, giving meaning to herself,

she gave meaning to me.

 

Our friendship through the decades has moved from impressionism,

through surrealism and professionalism.

She always gave me more than she took,

But now she forces me to stare myself down

And confront concrete realism

Of those grey, dark and twisted shadows

that she helped me escape so many years ago

and though fear sweats my brow and terror chills my heart,

I can walk through the murk

and stifle the scream when tendrils of despair lap at my ankles

because on the other side

Alphabet waits