First words, p.1
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       First Words, p.1

           Vincent de Paul
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First Words
First Words

  A Collection of Poetry

  Vincent de Paul

  The right by Vincent de Paul to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the international copyright laws and Copyright Act Cap. 130 laws of Kenya.

  All rights reserved.

  Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, is strictly forbidden without written permission from the author.

  All rights reserved.

  Published by:

  Mystery Books, an Imprint of

  Mystery Publishers (Kenya) Ltd,

  P.O. BOX 18016 – 20100

  Nakuru, Kenya.

  Tel: +254 718 429 184

  Email: mysterypublishers@gmail.com

  Website: www.mysterypublisherslimited.com

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Dedication

  1.Patience

  2.White Abomination

  3.Black Travesty

  4.White Complex

  5.Lunch Hour

  6.Corruption of the Soul

  7.The Prostitute

  8.The Voter

  9.Second Chances

  10.The Coffin

  11.The Life

  12.Rock Climbing

  13.Bonfire

  14.When the Sun Rises

  15.The Staircase

  16.The Day of Reckoning

  17.The High Table

  18.Innocent Tears

  19.Innocent Torture

  20.The Musketeer

  21.Body Politic

  22.First to Die

  23.You Had Nothing to Give

  24.I Hate You

  25.The Discovery

  26.At Last

  27.The Living Dead

  28.Watch Out

  29.Alien

  30.God Forgive Kenya

  31.I’m Not Guilty

  32.The Soldier Mystique

  33.Best Friend

  34.The Price

  35.Money, Money, Money

  36.Death of Humanity

  37.Weep Not Mother

  38.Angel of Death

  39.Born of Death

  40.Conspiracy in Death

  41.Dirty Money

  42.Conspiracy in Birth

  43.I Had a Dream

  44.The Prosecutor

  45.The Pantoum

  46.The Villanelle

  47.Mr. President

  48.God Bless Kenya

  Acknowledgement

  About the Author

  Other Books by the Author

  For

  Mother

  Bringing me to the world was

  the worst mistake you ever made!

  Patience

  They said, ‘patience pays’

  He recalls, but time is elapsing.

  He makes several trips to the cloakrooms

  Tick-tock, tick-tock,

  Dusk is coming.

  He wonders, when would I be summoned

  It is evening

  Nothing to calm my rumbling stomach

  The svelte secretary passes, ignoring him

  He coughs, but no response.

  Sleepy he feels, and naps, then

  “John,” the feeble call comes from the goddamned office.

  It’s almost dusk, and he has to trek back home.

  The manager looks at him with kind eyes

  His documents are ready, and his money,

  and another token—

  A feeble handshake, then firm

  “John, welcome, you are hired...”

  (2005)

  White Abomination

  A big yellow of the sun had sunk

  Down the azure of the western horizon

  Pasting obscenely beautiful yellow

  Then the ominous darkness crept in.

  Grannies paraded the little ones for tales

  Fathers, sons and sons of their sons around a bonfire

  Mothers and daughters locked themselves in a cocoon

  to satiate their famished families

  and then the stranger came.

  He was some god or spirit they had despised;

  He talked the language of gods

  the wise Mzee Ngumbau understood it all—

  the god wanted a place to lay his head for the night.

  Long after many days had passed

  As many as fingers of hands and feet

  Did they see the god with other gods

  The gods were living in their boma;

  Mzee Ngumbau was not surprised.

  It was years since that day.

  The gods had taught them the language of gods

  Told them that they could fly

  the wise Ngumbau couldn’t doubt.

  The realization was so paralyzing

  their scepticism had led to their home aliens

  who scrambled for their landed foods

  Slept with their wives and daughters as they hunted,

  Got to their kasungwas and prostitutes

  their solace in wife’s untouchable days

  and then their black eyes opened

  The gods were not really gods...

  The men and women with pale skins

  And language of gods and spirits

  Made them denounce their gods

  A man so far, far away wanted them to

  A promise of a white paradise

  Perfectly perched in black Africa.

  The gods made them wear funny things over themselves

  even get in to small houses that could move

  actually, the strangers could fly

  and get a message to gods.

  Mzee Ngumbau’s son was like him

  The next village elder of Kabaa

  Spoke the language of the white strangers

  Saw the future of the very tale;

  The strangers they had so warmly welcomed

  Drank them from the kikuu their sweet wine

  Fed them their delicious rice muthokoi

  And entertained them every night

  Dancing to the tune of kilumi

  Had not only urinated at their doorsteps

  Crept and shit under their beds

  But had also raped their mothers to their eyes:

  What an abomination?

 

  Black Travesty

  When the white men invaded our land

  They promised a European heaven in Black Africa;

  They put on us the yokes they called white collars:

  The yoke was tagged discrimination

  The yoke was inscribed oppression

  The yoke was embedded despotism

  The yoke with it was white corruption

  The yoke we did resent with passion

  Yet did nothing ...

  Instead we amputated our black limbs

  And got the foreign limbs of Europe

  Our travesty—black travesty!

  White Complex

  He was a man of incomprehensible intelligence

  A brilliant soldier in the making

  A commander and leader

  Cornerstone of the black army when general, but

  He was an Anglo-Saxon mulatto—

  He could not fit in the milieu

  His black whoring mother put him in.

  If only he could let go of his pride

  Let go of his white complex ...

  Lunch Hour

  I just felt a need

  to do something, kill time

  Inconspicuous and drab—

  I ain’t the type to d
raw attention—

  I walked into this home for lunch.

  Outside, the desolate home

  was haphazardly cordoned off,

  Families were kept watch of the chameleon passing of time.

  I entered the dimly lit hallways

  The deserted corridors of the Provincial General Hospital,

  The dismal white-walled

  Home of the sicklings

  A terminus for the dying:

  There was no one in sight.

  A strange hollowness engulfed me.

  It came in tons, the need that is

  to hate something, somebody.

  Deeper and deeper I plunged

  I could see nobody but hear

  Low buzzing voices so far away,

  Maybe the home was haunted;

  Then I saw the buzzers.

  There was a big snake of them, queuing

  I couldn’t see the head but the tail,

  Of the snake of the pathetically emaciated wraiths

  Bundles of malnourished, pot-bellied

  Railway-legged children

  And obscenely obese and scrawny masses of humanity

  Filled the claustrophobic hall

  With a cacophony of wails and screams

  Voices of pain, madness and death.

  The still dead air was

  A commingle of putrefaction,

  Pungent of disinfectant and ammonia

  and the acrid aroma of the food

  for those born in this home.

  I felt such anger against God

  I felt such hatred for life

  Why much of such pain?

  A debilitating wave of realization swept over me

  there was no personnel in sight

  the major-domos of this home

  because... it was lunch hour!

  Corruption of the Soul

  They shed tears with the other mourners;

  But they were movie glycerine tears

  the glory of the body

  they had killed was gone

  Left was a casket glittering

  Full of bones and the putrefying mortality.

  In their secret conspiracy circles

  they met and orchestrated diversions

  blamed the already corrupt bodies

  of all communal miseries;

  it was so true...

  They promised the masses

  Zero tolerance of all vice

  yet they tolerated not.

  The politics of the body was,

  And is, always corrupt

  Yet the body isn’t at all corrupt:

  It’s the deep inner self

  The soul of the body that’s corrupt

  And nothing gonna be done.

  23rd July

  Many call it death

  I call it live extinction.

  The thought of it

  Its gruesome hideousness

  The stench from afar

  The acridity of putrefaction

  How it does feel

  To know that you’re dying

  To be told you are

  A dead man walking

  And nothing can be done

  With them in their medical minds

  Is the medical school jargon

  I knew nothing of what he had said.

  Long after I was gone

  So far away from the sanatorium

  His voice ricocheted and reverberated inside

  I was ailing—cancerous, hyperwhatever; long-term

  Had few months to live

  And nothing could be done to salvage me

  I was daily dying, was a dead man walking

  Since 23rd July zero nine.

  The August House

  Packed to capacity

  with the representatives of the people

  the fork-tongued men and women

  who makes the laws of the land

  they do meet

  and discuss matters of the nation.

  Eternity seems to them

  the agenda are so many

  The August house becomes a cacophony—

  Lo! Lo! Lo! The legislators are snoring

  Disgusting silvers slivering their mouths

  The man with the authority of the house

  It’s his duty to awaken them

  Time and again and again

  He gavels like a judge

  And they shoot up, awake

  To discuss the next matter of national importance—

  Their salaries.

  The Prostitute

  She’s neither beautiful nor ugly

  neither aromatic nor stinky

  neither a wife nor a lover

  yet she lives.

  Humanity is like a prostitute

  Can sleep with anybody

  Sleeps with everybody

  would sleep with everybody

  Despise not, both men and women.

  The Voter

  A promise of long a time ago

  Of a European heaven in Black Africa

  is still the word of the day.

  We just put brother Leo in the senate

  The house of despotism

  But never see him in our midst

  I just wonder...

  When will he know

  That I do know?

  I am not all that cynical...

  And daft

  I’m just waiting for the time to come,

  my time

  I too know how to uproot the roots.

  Second Chances

  With all the care

  I did everything

  Making no mistake

  Only to realize

  I had dug my own grave

  And then... lucky me

  The soil was not yet

  Thrown over me

  I saw a sliver of the moon...

  And rose from the dead.

  The Coffin

  A vow I made

  Never ever be a sycophant

  Yet they made me lick their boots,

  Made a coffin for me

  And embalmed my live body

  But the coffin was so sub-standard

  I resuscitated and got out:

  It was at my obsequies.

  I sent them running in all directions.

  The Life

  Day in day out

  we do live

  with fears, phobias

  All congenital

  our hopes and visions forerunners

  Capacities and qualifications lurking

  and we excel and celebrate...

  The life we do live.

  Rock Climbing

  “Climbing.”

  “Up rope.”

  “Slack.”

  It was the mantra of the exercise.

  It was possible,

  It was done.

  It was impossible,

  It could be done.

  I took the lesser travelled road.

  Bonfire

  A spark it was

  So tiny to be an inferno,

  We fought for space

  To feel the warmth

  It was winter.

  Gradually the spark grew

  We all started to leave

  It had become hell.

  When the Sun Rises

  The night comes

  with it all the black

  that hides all uncertainty,

  Fears and vices;

  when the sun rises

  with it all the glimmer

  so invincible for the darkness

  Maybe...

  I don’t know

  But…

  The minnows swallow the whales.

  The Staircase

  The carpeted staircase

  so steep to climb

  I get nowhere.

  Every time I try to climb

  I am pushed down...

&n
bsp; The bureaucracy;

  the system has blinded them

  I’m so terribly sick of it

  It’s so Babylonian.

  The Day of Reckoning

  Authority

  Power

  Glory

  Has been bestowed on you, ‘broda’

  but...

  Why are you so full of it?

  At the dark of corners you smack me

  Rob me of my morsel

  And smuggle it to your maisonnette.

  Hello big brother

  I am not going to be like this

  this small

  for long

  the day is coming...

  The High Table

  Invited?

  No. I couldn’t be

  Yet I attended the party, gate-crashed---

  Delicacies were in plenty

  Sweetest of wined drinks

  Blinding flashes of blinks

  Cacophony of laughter and jokes

  All that at the high table

  Why then call us for the party

  When we aren’t allowed to eat with them?

  To beguile whom?

  I do pity them

  ‘Men and women of the people’

  for their small strategy,

  theirs is high table of human anguish

  And we already know it.

  Innocent Tears

  From so far away the wind blows

  Wit’ it the din of cries

  A blend of moans and wails, of

  The innocent tears of the oppressed;

  Through no fault of their own they suffer

  The rudeness of its turbulence when gone

  Left only with a windy afterimage

  O’er n’ o’er the tyranny

  That never eases the pain.

  The oppressed shed tears of a dying villain

  The wells that’re ever dry even in rain

  ‘Cause the tyrant would get his way again

  Even when they attend his obsequies

  He reincarnates in his eerier form

  For life the tears are the eternal rain.

  Innocent Torture

  I see you, brother

  Congratulations for the rise in power

  Only yesterday

  We did we eat together our food

  And walked the same track

  Today you splash puddle on me

  As if to sully the unwashed dirt of time;

  Yester night you plundered my only wealth

  My inheritance

  This morning you challenged me to a legal duel

  I am living at your mercy, brother

  What you are doing does not bother me

  But why is it that I live at your mercy, brother?

  The Musketeer

  A black European in a white highland in black Africa

  Hazel eyed, maybe from the pot

  ‘Whachaya staring at?’

  I don’t get the nasal

  A ramrod straight posture you have

  walks tall amongst the short

  Only to fire

  The musket loaded

  Maybe hunting’s your hobby

  But I do know well

  The European hunting is not for game

  The game is poor, innocent men you make your charity.

 
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