This Discussion Forum is for collecting Philo's poems, texts and links to her artwork.
People are also invited to add own poems that contribute to her concerns - or open up a fair contraversy held with fair and artful postings.
Shot dead with his colleague was GPO Oulo. His colleague's name is Oscar King'ara. It was a sudden change on the 5th of March... it shocked us into the realisation that what we thought we left behind... assasinations were always still possible. It left the human rights convulsing that day of March and that was the intention it seems.. but some young writer, Kingwa Kamenchu who should be in this forum called out for a commemoration a month after the event. Many people responded beating the fears of then and now... some of them on the run like Kamotho and looking over our shoulders. Preferring to walk rather than ride in cars... feeling quite orphaned and in a dark place.. . Prof Wangari Maathai ( Nobel Prize laureate) held a press conference while I was away in Sudan for work and said human rights activists were under threat from the state. Since then, it looks like things have eased a bit... but there is no telling.. this boat is rocked...
When a freedom bird flies home,
Sensing a gathering storm,
And finds its nest is no more,
It flies past and perches,
Far away from that branch.
It beats the heartless by distance,
And the victory begins.
When they of the air have no nests,
And foxes have buried everyone in their holes,
When the son of a mother finds no rest,
When all is sad on a land so blest.
And you trudge in torn shoes on dusty roads.
Walking, you crush their aim by distance,
And the victory has begun.
Bird of freedom,
Never lose your flight
Keep your vision,
Till you home in and get your prize.
El maligno pasa tonight
The guitarra plays on for you a verse.
You beat you’re their ways by distance,
The victory begun at sunrise,
This song says for this child of freedom,
Daughters and sons will a shrine make bloom,
This fight for justice we must carry to term,
a conviction well borne like a baby in the womb.
You beat their weakness by distance,
The victory is here…
No more tears, no more fears,
Our lights are burning bright!
Hail heart of freedom,
hail my Kenyan Dream!
You come home bearing it!
Lightly and praising fighters
You beat their hardness flying,
To Our victory I toast!
At such a time Mother,
I have returned to your womb to grow.
Mother see them,
Police in hard boots follow,
to mute my song in sorrow,
and our lives to shadow.
But at such a time, Mother,
Tell them, you know me well.
That the Rose is still blooming,
Mother tell them I think of
You, I think of
-Tomorrow and you Mother, my Land.
Tell them this too:
It was grief for my country hung in me,
black bullets in my eyes, and on my neck
I saw so clear and still stood up
Tell them again:
To know, I never lost hope!
I am surfing high;
And on the crescent of the wave moonlit,
I bear the hope of my country,
The joy of my country still rings in me,
still sings in me, Believing in you Mother.
At such a time Mother,
They click keys and bullet me in.
But the keys they lock opened
In your womb when you caressed me;
Singing me a freedom Song.
Bathing me in tears of love.
At such a time,
At such a dark time
Mother, I do not give up,
I come to you barefoot and hungry,
With a soul thirsty to call my land Liberata,
To pay for my land, Dala na, dala na, da la na Mama
Dala na, dala na, dala na minwa,
Tierra, tierra, mi Tierra Madre!
At such at time when my breath,
comes from deep within my land,
So I feel her hug deeply mine.
I return Mother for strength to add
to the soil that covered me a while
and I embraced you!
Nchi yangu, yangu, yangu
Mungu! Nchi yetu, yetu yetu,
Nchi yetu Mama!
Pain awash with fears and sweat of blood,
After heaving our souls and convulsing in pain,
The bird of paradise will strut colorful and joyful,
Smiling like never before with peace and confidence,
Urging change on, moving fast to plant it deeper;
His flag flies beneath the ground and above i
Wearing this new flag anew unseen
Tearing the seams of the one so abused,
Red for courage, Green for achievement.
White for the board your name;
Revolution to write in black!
He moves on, a flag in the wind and more
Because of seeds you plant and water with blood,
All minds to the heavens rise, meanings decoded
Voices of greater prophecy, you create and strength you multiply!
Your instruments of pain and torture become hot coals searing your heads to dread,
Pens burning and voices yearning. Minds learning…
Our alphabets are written across the skies, God’s footstool shakes your earth, it is you who is buried not they.
We go on…
Our hearts are filled with one desire and it pulls the other a
magnetic force, not tribe, a nation together created, bonded. No
cracks, not loss but grace, A bird of paradise, a song most holy!
In this struggle between life and death, mors et vita duelo;
Life, Vita emerges Victorious!
For GPO Oulo and Oscar, assassinated in Kenya on 5th March 2009
I surf and google to touch Hope today,
But in my memory she lies submerged,
Hope is water, hope is green.
Hope is tops, she lights up love.
And in my hut she was all I knew.
Hope in my village was that stream,
Where our dreams we spoke adrift
going where spirit refuses to break faith
As the waters bubble in our hearts,
sailing on a journey so unknown.
Riiiiara river, font soul baptism,
and Wedding vows exchanged with hope,
As the cemetery on the hill listened
to brave words, keenly spoken there,
yet again ‘till death do us part’.
Hope is my tiny canoe that sails
all the way down past jail’s cuffs,
Down Nairobi River sail on,
clean river, river clean,
without pollution, I can breathe.
Hope is the Tana clean and tidy,
Athi and Rufiji and Limpopo!
Nile blueing Africa, and greening hope,
All bananas clap,
All the village streams and dreams,
wanting to see the Amazon clean,
Googling hope, bubbling Hope,
Up down slopes of memory so green.
This poem is available as a song (mp3) at Sawubona "Songwriter's Inn" here.
Link to original posting in Poems Factory: Click here.
Skip rope, skip rope,
jump and hope!
for Mekatilili wa Menza!
Say great, say woman,
My great hero here today,
long ago and foreeeeeh!
Hop again and jump high
it is for Kimathi
Touch the ky,
and don’t be shy
There goes Shaka Zulu we!
To say great, and say hope!
Nkurumah, Nyerere and Kenyatta!
Turn around and look again
Mandela waves, wave back at him,
Smile at Graca gracious woman,
I knew Aminabhai, Kathrada and Scott!
For Masekela’s sake, say ‘I wanna be there!’
Skip rope, skip rope,
See Maruge learn how to read,
For his Mau Mau gains to plead.
Great hope, skip the rope but don’t skip hope!
ride along and dance for hope!
Move your hands as you skip along,
Wave back at Pinto who here belongs!
Wave at Mboya; say JM is back!
Wave at Mary; she is Nyanjiru!
Smile at Winnie, she too can win!
Skip up hope, skip the rope!
But don’t skip hope!
Up with Hope, Good Hope!
Link to original Poem Factory posting: Click here.