Animal Kingdom (Hour 14)

Their tales trail after me
since I was told of them
from when my head was at my knees.

Mbeku, the tortoise,
he is the chief con man.
He called his name, “Everybody”
so he could own and eat
the due meant for everyone
when animals went up to the sky for a meeting.
Each time my eyes spot a tortoise,
I keep wondering why he chose to be that crafty.
Yet, I have seen people like him in the human kingdom.

Okili, the bird,
she is the impatient mother bird
that won’t sit tight to build her nest
like Nzia, her peer, did.
Nzia’s nest will keep the rains out,
it will take the sun’s heat away.
But here is Okili’s nest,
it can’t hold off a drop of rain
or keep the sun’s heat out.
Yet, I have seen people like her in the human kingdom.

Nchi, the greater cane rat,
he is the one who asked the hand of
a king’s daughter in marriage.
He even contested with a human being
to compete for the beautiful bride.
If it wasn’t for folk tale or fiction,
how could anyone conceive a story like that?
Yet, I have seen people like him in the human kingdom.

Their tales trail after me
since I was told of them
from when my head was at my knees.

Our antagonist, the tortoise, comes to mind again.
All birds lent him wings so he could fly with them to the sky.
After he deceived all the birds, they took back their wings,
and he had to fall back to earth.
That, they said, is why the tortoise’s shell is cracked.
Such lofty tale!
Yet, I have seen people like that in the human kingdom.

A Different Kind of Muse (Hour 12)

The muse is the sound of the drums,
the reflection of the paintings on the walls,
the monotones of the sculptures on the tables.

The muse is the art that screams in hushed voices
around the podium of expressions,
the voice of the rehearsing wordsmith,
the blank sheets, paper balls, and dripping pens.

The muse is the narrative pictures hanging below the roof,
the racing faces of told and untold stories,
compressed memories trapped on canvases.

The muse is the quiet of the telling streets,
the deliberating greenery of the valley,
the affectionate caresses of the leaves,
and the whispers of words through expanding stomata.

The muse is the thought never expressed,
the rioting words never written,
the stifled idea never manifested.

The muse is the fullness of them all,
in constant motion like an ocean
whose depths never ends and whose content never dries.

Excitement (Hour 11)

The lips stretch out
from ear to ear.
Teeth beam out
in picturesque display.
The body vibrates
from head to toe,
The audible sound
is no language of man,
yet it’s understood by all
as one total expression
of joy.

Rubiyat of the Miuk (Hour 9)

In those wee days of life on this plane,
milk was one sweet thing for tea and others on its lane.
It was cool to call it miuk, so long as milk showed up;
the corrupted name didn’t matter as it didn’t draw the cane.

One day, bad liquid miuk got into my stomach from a cup.
Its upset put me in its enmity club.
The upset was over in a few days and life went on.
Going forward though, I walked the path of miuk’s discernment club.

Forty years later, I part ways with muik and friends, one by one.
It reminds of things we used to love but now in the class of bygones.
Then it’s fun to watch the young relish the love of those things
while we bask in the glory of our new found dawn.

The Reclamation (Hour 8)

There is this grip it thought I didn’t have,
a grip I didn’t know I had, until my eyes were born.

There is this strength it thought I never possessed,
a strength I took for granted that I had, until my mind was born.
It doesn’t matter how much of the strength deposit was withdrawn behind me.

There is this joy it thought I’d never find,
a joy I misplaced and never bothered to cultivate.

There is this precision it though I’d never master,
a precision that’s so simple its stupidity blinds everyone who are the way I was.

It fed fat on glee, seeing me goof around on slippery plane.
There is this grip it thought I didn’t have.

There is this joy it thought I’d never find;
one that erects walls of love, light, and laughter,
a joy it made obscure before my face, until my eyes were born.

There is this life it hoped I’d never find,
a life that was given to me in fine sheets of gold, long before I was born.

When the Words Fizzle Out (Hour 4)

The muse wages war
against my words,
to rattle them,
eject them,
and lay them bare.

The war rages on,
to shoot my words
into the air,
enabling a scattering effect
that’d make my control slip.

With its full weight
upon my restraints,
I’ll let the words go,
I’ll lose this love of them,
I’ll let them be shot,
sown in centenarian soils,
to be harvested again and again,
a hundred years and more
from all time.

Excited to be Part of the 2022 Poetry Marathon

Hi Everyone,

It feels good to see you here again this year. This will be my third year with this. In 2020, I signed up for the Full Poetry Marathon, but ended up completing Half. In 2021, I signed up for and completed the Full Poetry Marathon. This year, I am up for the Full. I am also excited to be part of the anthology editors for this year.

Like I have often said, I experienced what you might call poetry drought prior to the 2020 Poetry Marathon. I had written poems actively from my late teenage years into my late 20s and then gradually, I began to experience a decline of the muse as work and family began to take its toll on my time. To get out of this, I struggled to have my first collection (which was pretty much all that I had for poetry) published. That done, in 2017, I still found it hard to create poetry. Things went on this way until I found Poetry Marathon in the thick of the 2020 pandemic lockdown, and I signed up.

I went into the 2020 Poetry Marathon with some fright, as I wondered if I would find anything thing to write, for which poetry ought to happen. But then, as it started, I did. I found ideas. I wrote stuff down. And some of them have turned into fine poems today. But here’s the good news! I found my poetry inspiration again. And since 2020, I have been able to create ideas for up to four collection of poems ( some in progress, some to be written in due time).

The Poetry Marathon is a fantastic idea. It is even more amazing to see that it has been kept up since its commencement, for which optimal credit must go to Caitlin and Jacob. The community spirit is awesome. Knowing that you have people who can read your poems from all continents of the world is awesome.

I come into this 2022 edition of this even with great joy. It will be a great pleasure to meet all of you again – returnees and new participants. I wish you all the best of experience as you engage with the 2022 Poetry Marathon. Please feel free to look at my profile here if you like to know a bit more about me.

Here’s to a happy writing!


Cheese (Hour 23)

Cabals of photographers use cheese to make children smile.

How they find it’s the only word that makes them show cameras their teeth, I don’t know.

Efforts I make to fall in love with cheese tend to race away behind me.

Each time I try, Mama’a cuisine beckons and Papa’s spices assault my nostrils.

So I am going to give this cheese to the photographer, not the chef;

each of us ebbing time away on the platter of customs.




Written as an acrostic poem from the text prompt of Hour 23.

Featured image source: Freepik