STUPORS’ PARADISE

Yesterdays’ gone. Today is here. Whilst tomorrow waits for the desperate souls tapping to their subconscious, solicitously to unleash a memory once lost. Such he is. Basking on the fluorescent light in his apartment, makes him appear more jaded than he actually is. It’s the closest thing he has to sunlight. Been days. Being stuck on bed with barely changed sheets. Stuffy. Moist. body cold. Skin pale. Tubes inhaled deeply into his lungs. Life support machine couldn’t support him anymore. He couldn’t afford it either. So he received a letter of dismal from the Hospital, to get his things in order and wait for death. A tear trickled on his jaws. A broad painful smile conjures on his wrinkled cheeks. Taping to his memory box, amused to how long it has been living in solitude. As he begs for some forgotten memories to reshuffle. He tries hard not to baffle his mind.
His stomach growls. his soul scold at it, his face replies in a lurid grin. An evident of looming hunger. He ought to stand, prepare something maybe. But he has been way too much strong enough. How many times has he tumbled and fell on the kitchen floor? How many burns does he have on his hands just because his body involuntary shake whenever he stood up? And how many times did he almost drown in the apartment because he forgot to turn off the tap? Life hasn’t been fair to him. Maybe he was wrong to accuse life of all his transgressions. Maybe death played a part in it. it suffocated life from all of his friends and family he cared the most about. It plucked air from their lungs.
Carefully, he removes the tube from his lungs. His body jerks forth and back in weak spasms. He coughs, blood spurts on to the white sheets. A duo of Life and death seemed to be brazed on the bed he laid. Stretches his hand beneath the bed as if looking for something he once lost. He pulls out an old dusty notebook full of yellow pages. Jaded book. Faded and oxidized. As a result of dust, involuntarily, air gushes from his lungs. A collection of poetry hits him with a strange feeling of nostalgia. He wrote whilst still in campus. A picture falls from the pages. An old picture concealed for quite sometimes. Barely remembers when.
The painful smile shaded on his face sublimes to give way to the hidden youthful smile he bore. On his hands, he holds the picture that delivers him to a world far much better than the present. His face unfolds to a bright light, for a moment the pain deserts him. He sees flickers of hope dancing its way before his eyes. If only he could grasp it. The sun was brightly lit. Wind as calm as his heart would be. Tucked in his tuxedo, brown leather belt, dark skin and averagely built. Laptop bag on his back, he holds a phone in his hand. Reading a text message that made him jump. “Can’t wait to see you!” the world was his. He could smell the color of rainbows from the air he breathed. It was a cool afternoon. He just got back to campus and the one person that he needed to see was eagerly waiting to set eyes on him. So he made his way to her apartment. Her name Sophia. A petite lady. A woman of a kind. She was amazed how things took turn. How possibly can she feel closest to this dude. It couldn’t be love for she loved another, yet her desires to stare at him, hold him, speak with him for hours and clutch on to him were edacious. He knew it too. “It was special” they summarized. As he made his way past the clock to beat the 2 o’clock suns’ heat, he took out his phone and typed the text, “I miss you”, then he hit the send button.
Her apartment was on the third floor. She came to meet him on the ground floor but they bumped into each other on the balcony. All seemed like a planned event. They hazily fell into one embrace as they coiled into a nonchalance. His dark dreamy eyes stared at her. Her sharp pellucid eyes gazed onto him. She felt as if his chest was pulling her close. He could sense the weakening in her voice as she giggled. She murmured something but he couldn’t hear. Pulled her to the wall. His left hand rested on the side of the walls. The right hand solemnly held her tight. She loved it. Her leg found its way between his legs. They held their breath. Their eyes, seem paused momentarily, there was an unspoken language they spoke so eloquently. He pulled her close. She gave in. her body slipped and merged completely with his. They fell into a single solemn kiss that made the walls whisper in silence, the wind hesitated its mongering, silence stood mouth agape with censured ears as words eloped her lips, “how can I be so in love with you?” he stroke her forehead with a lash of a kiss. Whence he spoke, “I wish you were mine!”
That was 10 years ago. When words haloed healing hearts, whereas tentative kisses were deeply planted on broken souls. When the world lost meaning, they would braced themselves in their own world. Not until three days later when he realized that it was the last first kiss they ever shared.
As memories whirled on his mind, he felt his face wet. Tears, gently stroke his brazen cheeks. On to his lips he felt the salty taste of his last teardrops. He raised his hands to wipe the fallen tears but he realized he was still holding on to the picture. Looked at it once more and felt at home. Her with him. He tried to battle the forlorn feeling of smiling yet he was sobbing one last time. His youthful smile averted him. The world drastically changed. He laid still on his bed. The pain he felt earlier, his lungs failing him, the blood spurt on the bed sheets, looming hunger, all that he felt before with tubes laid down beside him repatriated onto him. His body shook tremendously. He was finding difficulty in breathing, reached for tubes but they fell down and he couldn’t reach them. One, two, three…. He took his breaths in loud countable spasms till he laid still. Life deserted the bed. It was brazed by just death and memories.

PRICE OF ATONEMENT by Jante_Joy

jat

Is eulogizing one when they’re still alive

death wish When we live in a war zone

Where women sire sons to be crucified by nozzles of guns

for all they’ll ever spit are nothing but bullets

tongues brazed by raging fire they breathe

When the weight of a gun is more familiar than the feel of a pen

And the weight of a life is just but a pellucid uncertainty!!!

With hands tucked in his pockets, hood and headphones on his head, burdened by the weight of his thoughts on his maim, yet fueled by the utmost desire to get away, he trudged on. He seemed to be running in a thick lime of thoughts and he slugged in it. his legs stuck. He was drowning, suffocating in his own self. he did not need water to drown, but the breeze, the turmoil that his thoughts conveyed, portrayed an aspect to self-destruct. His muse of moral perfection lied in his unheard music, and to his music player he turns up the volume to put at bay the echoing silence of death. So dark, he felt like in a dream, his afternoon was marred in a nightmare. how do you wake from a nightmare if you weren’t asleep?

He recalls the incessant cries of the boy’s mother at high noon.

“jamani msiniulie mtoto, tafadhali naomba huruma. Hakuiba.  jamani! Sina mwingine!”

“please don’t kill my child, I beg you, please show mercy, he did not steal, I have no other child”

Cries that now resonates like winds that keep coming forth and back, forth and back, and onto his ears they cuddle themselves waiting to be held. He saw her clutching onto the gathers of her long black skirt as she tried blocking the bloodthirsty wall of people from her son. A human shield. A mothers’ love.

“Naomba huruma…msiniulie mtoto…”

“please have mercy, don’t kill my child”

She continued to sob, albeit incoherently; half wailing, half talking. But the crowd was adamant. They always are. They are always right. They play God at such occasions.

Her frail body hovered protectively around her son. Her arms outstretched as if in surrender yet all to plead for her son’s life. The air was sour you could taste it. Against them she was just but one voice, a mere disturbance to the noise. A mother to a thief. Yet the boy wore in his eyes the face of a lamb taken to slaughter. It was as if he understood that his imminent demise served a higher purpose. That he was an atonement. That he was born for this. It would have been different if he was preaching innocence and pleading for mercy, but no, his eyes were full of so much to tell that he said nothing. Nothing at all.

He became the canvas and they the painters. Artistically they held back his wailing mother to watch as every stone tore into her son’s flesh, to watch as they drunk on their sense of morality, performed this purge. Each tear painted a scar in her womb. Human canvases don’t hang up quite nicely for they move unless life has withered from them. The boy tried to move, to run, but they pinned him down. he wailed. His bowels gave way, he screamed, the more he tried to plead for mercy the angrier they became. The stones piled on him one after the next, at times double, at times triple, perhaps a dozen. The mothers wail piled up to a crescendo with the son’s demise.

As the scene unfolded before him he remembers muttering ‘Keep screaming,’ under his breath. He did not want the screaming to stop, for he knew that death lurked in the shadows and once silence prevailed death would pounce.

They watched the boy’s blood oozing and spreading onto the concrete, it was a deep hue, crimson, almost black, yet every drop heavy of sin. Wails. They listened to his last breaths in the somber stillness, grow further and further apart until… Silence! Took its charge. How could a mere mortal withstand such a hopeless battle? A stinging silence heavy of defeat fell on them. The aura around his death was despicable yet sacrosanct. Once again Death had won.

She ran over to her son, rather what was left of him. Her knees buckled at the gravity of her loss. A wail rose from within her, broken by occasional sobs. She half knelt, half sat there subdued, her arms wrapped tightly around her son in a hug as she rocked back and forth muttering what was her son’s name. The tears stained her pallid face and one could feel her heart breaking as they watched a shroud of darkness descend upon her. For nothing prepares you for death. Nothing at all. It comes when your eyes are wide open. It suffocates the life in your loved one. Nothing you can do. Death is abstract, you can’t see it. hold it, grasp it or strangle it.

They dispersed one by one. Silent, a foreign heaviness upon them. Their fears unspoken, ghosts lurking in the shadows, their monsters within them. Most people describing mob justice would say it happened so fast. But no, they were all wrong. It had been slow enough for them to grasp all the details. The ecstatic memory of it all; the feel of blood, the sound of a wailing mother, the stench of death, had all become a part of their memories. A part that shapes them but will never learn to belong.

He turned up the volume. Even he, in his silence, had cast his stone.

 

@Heart_Art_Poet

#Jante­_Joy

UNJUST SOCIETY

CASE NO: 001

Somewhere in Kisumu, inside the slums of Manyatta at around 8:00pm, I hear a frail knock on my single room “empire apartment”. I had a long day at work (internship) and I just got home. I was hesitant to open the door for I was oblivious to the nature of the matter whoever was knocking wanted to summon me to. “tap! Tap!” the frail knock resonates for the second time and this time mad with rage I’m obliged to open the door.

Let me tell you something about my door.

My door is made of steel, I don’t know why but it is not because of security purposes. Whenever I open the door, it makes a thin piercing screeching metallic noise merged with quagmire that arose from haze of getting in or out. You see my door is funny, it is tired and old, it was built just a year ago, yet it has the courage to sag its trousers that cause friction between it and the floor.  I loathe it. At this point it lets everybody in the neighborhood know that it’s “baba junior” getting in or out. They even use it as an alarm. For I wake up at 5am, and get back at 6pm daily.”

I open the door swiftly in a polite gesture, for I wouldn’t want my visitor scared. “Tunauza vitunguu”.  A voice whispers. Its dark and I can’t see the face of the persona of my story. He is male. His voice clear and soft. It lacks confidence. He is alone yet he said “tunauza vitunguu” which simply translates into “we are selling onions”’ I knew there are others. I opened my whining door wide to let my solar lamp hit him with bright. He is a child, innocently armed with basket full of onions dancing on his head. I take a deep breath, which forms round ball of air in my mouth and puff it out with a sigh.

unaishi wapi?” I ask holding my head,

“huko chini” he points south, “Koyango”

“unasoma wapi?”

“kiswanini” I can’t remember the name but I swear the name he told was something I’ve never heard entirely

unaishi na nani?” I ask, trying not to sound as blatant as you may think. He’s a kid. I have a bro close to his age, but he is at home studying. So I’m tryna know the dynamics that brought up “tunauza vitunguu”

 

“naishi na dani (grandmother)”

“na mama ako wapi

“alikufa” he pauses, I shrink, “kitambooo” he adds

I ask him whether he is alone or not, but he shows me that his other two brothers are outside the gate. I went to meet them up and the child who knocked at my door seemed the youngest. They, the other two, have been standing at the dark waiting, hoping that the youngest would hit a jackpot. I gather them around with me at the center. down on my knees so as to be on the same height as they are, I look into their eyes as if I would notice some sense of malicious activities. I wanted them to feel free and comfortable with me as they would any of their classmates. I did not ask them their name, but the eldest confirm the story of the youngest.

Now the eldest was in class 3, the second one was in final class and the youngest in baby class (if you know what it means).

“nani aliwatuma kuuza vitunguu?”

dani” the eldest reply

“mbona?”

He coughs in spasms for 5 minutes. It’s cold, it’s been drizzling since morning and they have no sweaters or jumper laced on their body. On a closer look, the youngest has nothing on his feet.

“ili tuweze kununua unga” he replies at last

“na mbona huyu mdogo hana slipasi?”

“dani hajamnunulia”

At this point I take a seat on the grass. We are living in the slum and its late. The distance to Koyango from where I stay is roughly some kilometres away and unlikely it would take less than 30 minutes.its been drizzling the entire day and the thought of the small kid with nothing on his feet stepping on a thorn, or pieces of broken barbed wire sends a chill to my spine. I wander, what might happen in the dark if they would plunge themselves into a sewage or a collapsed septic tank. What if someone might attack them? Rape them? What if a cyclist would run over them? Who is this dani anyway? With the guts to send these kids out on a mission like missionaries, walking from door to door selling the gospel of “tunauza vitunguu”. I feel like these children should take me to these dani, look her in her fading eyelashes and tell her, “these kids deserve so much better” it is not so bad for children to help their guardians, and I know most dani’s living with their grandchildren are often hopeless and helpless. But there are some basic needs to be met, for instance the youngest should wear something on his feet, all of them should put on jumpers and sweaters whence its cold to reduce chances of pneumonia attacks. I am not at any cost against these dani, but it’s the time I am against. The children ought to be back at home by 5:00pm. Not still wallowing around the next slum selling onions.

I search my pockets only to find twenty-shilling coin, which I had saved for my fare tomorrow. I give it to the kids and they give me the onions. I tell them to go back home its late. And to tell dani that it’s so wrong to be out in the dark, alone whence its late selling onions. If you want to perfect your dani’s lifestyle and have a better life you need to go back home and study, mambo ya pesa achia dani. You can help her during the day. But for now please go home.

We are playing a political game. We are 12 months’ shy away from the next elections. I don’t know what policies politicians will use to seduce their voters. But a thing tells me it’s gonna be a promise to provide employment and empowerment to the youths. Right? The youths are the sole founders of the obvious target. How about the kids? The notion of children right? Who will push for those reforms? Street kids are out there begging for money, feeding on dumps, abusing drugs, yet the irony lies in the Kenyan constitution, “each child has a right to basic education” till we make sure that there are no street kids in our streets, or orphans tryna hustle their way out, we will not achieve sustainable development. They are not eligible voters, is that why we alienate them? Children are the backbone of our future generation, lets empower them.

 

 

Memories unchained

How can you easily forget about someone who possibly merged your volcanoes of complexities into one single ball of simplicity, Till you understood her intentions, but yours were snobbishly misguided whence she gave you a lifetime full of joy braced by lashes of kisses and smooches on cheeks,  on her forehead you implanted a painted portrait of what she never had, she got in you. And within a spell of a moment in a couple of days all that lasted.
How can you easily forget about someone who happily braced you into her arms, willingly she spread her gates ajar, just to present the heavens Casino before your laps. After, everything got blurred, situation got tricky, every breath, each kiss that you gave was marred in a pandemonium of eternal blissful memories.

thing with memories is that you hardly forget!!!!

#Dark_Art

When an author writes a dark literature, possibly about DEATH. it excites him. Not by the mere fact that he’s more attracted to the DARK, but because how well he paints its picture. It ignites. How he brings to DEATH life fascinates. how he gives a faceless torment a face. He is all aware of the attributes that makes it lethal. Yet, whence, DEATH comes Knocking at the writer’s door, he does well to welcome him in. Thinking that it would be one of those ONE on ONE talks. But the visitor has no face. His breath coexists like a gush of wind that rips apart the soul that it dares to kiss. The writer pulls out his notebook and a pen. Ready to jot the other side of the story that nobody knows. To bring light of the dark. Yet, he notices that his visitor is unsettled. The visitor looks around searching for anything to steal, but he is blind, he doesn’t see what he seeks. Then leaves without saying a word. Till the writer realizes that a part of him has vanquished with the visitor. Sorrowed, on his notebook with his pen, he writes a visit with the dark. Stole his part, left him vast and empty.

HOPE!!!

My eyes hurt
It hurts so bad
For I can’t see myself falling in the Aura of serene
For I seem to be trapped in an inauspicious vacuum
Where nothing not less than a silhouette exists
Where not a slightly lit light emanates
It’s life
Sometimes you just don’t see
Disdain is what you feel
Whence searching for something so profound
Hope is what I seek!!!

©Heart_Art_Poetics