First words, p.1
First Words, p.1Vincent de Paul
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.
Mystery Books, an Imprint of
Mystery Publishers (Kenya) Ltd,
P.O. BOX 18016 – 20100
Tel: +254 718 429 184
TABLE OF CONTENTS
6.Corruption of the Soul
14.When the Sun Rises
16.The Day of Reckoning
17.The High Table
22.First to Die
23.You Had Nothing to Give
24.I Hate You
27.The Living Dead
30.God Forgive Kenya
31.I’m Not Guilty
32.The Soldier Mystique
35.Money, Money, Money
36.Death of Humanity
37.Weep Not Mother
38.Angel of Death
39.Born of Death
40.Conspiracy in Death
42.Conspiracy in Birth
43.I Had a Dream
48.God Bless Kenya
About the Author
Other Books by the Author
Bringing me to the world was
the worst mistake you ever made!
They said, ‘patience pays’
He recalls, but time is elapsing.
He makes several trips to the cloakrooms
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...”
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?
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!
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 ...
I just felt a need
to do something, kill time
Inconspicuous and drab—
I ain’t the type to d
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
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.
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—
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.
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...
I’m just waiting for the time to come,
I too know how to uproot the roots.
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.
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.
Day in day out
we do live
with fears, phobias
our hopes and visions forerunners
Capacities and qualifications lurking
and we excel and celebrate...
The life we do live.
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.
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
I don’t know
The minnows swallow the whales.
The carpeted staircase
so steep to climb
I get nowhere.
Every time I try to climb
I am pushed down...
the system has blinded them
I’m so terribly sick of it
It’s so Babylonian.
The Day of Reckoning
Has been bestowed on you, ‘broda’
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
the day is coming...
The High Table
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.
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.
I see you, brother
Congratulations for the rise in power
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
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?
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.
First Words by Vincent de Paul / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on20 votes