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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

14 Reasons I called Off The Engagement

1. Twice
I cheated on you
And it is bad
To settle with someone
Who does not inspire in you

2. I am not tired
of the market
I still carry around
My shopping basket

3.The room you made for me
was too small
I am too tall
For the bed
You laid for me

4.I dreamt I slept on that bed
my bones fractured
for want of stretching
And I woke to
my body washed
in pain

5.I am tired
tired of ampling
and smiling

6. Eight times my friends asked
if we were seeing
seven times I denied

7. I am no more consumed
by the myth of scarcity;
by the myth of patching and making do

8.You hold me like a trophy
Like a prize;
an accessory
another green bottle
in the hands 
of a drunken man

9. Your mother's shoes
are too old 
for me to fill

10. I am not the 'also' personality
I am not the 'tag along'
I am not the one 
Hoping to fill another's shoes

11.It's not me you really love
I only arrived
At the time
You had set to settle down

12. I followed you
because you pursued
pursuance is poor yardstick for love
dogs too pursue
to bite afterwards

13. I am not yet mature 
to the concept
of "one and only"

14.Your life is too planned
and I am an artist.

Monday, January 26, 2015

John Legend

‎Lazing in bed with my bestfriend one afternoon,
Playlist is in shuffle.
John Legend comes on and croons:
"You & I (Nobody in the world)".
And we are enveloped in the clouds 
Of those sublime lyrics
Our hairs standing on end
Our bodies bathed in goosebumps. 

She says softly to me, 
I wish someone would sing this song to me.
I touch her and whisper, Before he comes along, Sing it to yourself.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Strong Is The New Black

"the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too"
-C. Bukwoski‎.

Strong is the new black.
My ladies are strutting to the rhythm 
Of Destiny's Child's "Survivor", 
Sinach's "I know who I am."

We are living strong. 
We are writing strong. 
We are talking strong.
We don't want no scrubs.
But no one is warning us
That most times, 
The strongest women die alone.

If you're going to battle all night like Israel,
Wresting blessings from the Angel of God;
If you're going to topple society's status quo on its back;
If you're going to stare down life's mundane dictates;
You must conquer your fear of loneliness. 

I do not suggest you cannot have it all:
A man to love, babies to make,
A cause to fight, your life to live.

But if you dream of having your name in lights,
With streets surnamed by your name,
Then you must be unafraid of being alone. 

I am no harbinger of bad news.
This poem is just an alarm.
It is the "Smokers are liable to die young" warning after a cigarette ad.
It is the cautionary "Drink responsibly" after a Guinness ad.

Strong men do not have it worse. 
Women love to cuddle up beside them and be warmed by the amber's of their tout biceps.

But strong woman-
There something in your eyes that would curdle milk,
There's something in your smile, tough and flinty,
Something fierce about you that many won't find attractive. 

Strong is the new black.
But be warned soul sister:
Most times, the strongest women live alone.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Something Good

Something good would happen to you today.

You are the kind of woman who is not used to being served. The harsh climates of Africa and the street wisdom that comes with it, have made you a quick hustler. When on dates you pull out your own chair, you open your own door. You mock the women on T.V who wait in the car till their dates come around to let them out. You mutter, these people have plenty of time to waste. 

But something good  would happen to you today. You will meet someone who will teach you the luxury of being served. He would hold your chair down while you adjust into your seat. Do not be afraid and untrusting, thinking it is some childish prank where the person holding your chair suddenly pulls it from under you and you come crash landing. He would pour your wine. He would open the door for you, 
 not because your hands are full but because he has come to show you that you too deserve to be served.

Something good would happen to you today. You will meet someone smelling of black orchids,his stubble a day old. The type you would be proud to show your mother. He would be nothing like those ones in the past who you hid like a dirty bra strap. You used to be afraid of loving the handsome, confident ones because you love being the centre of attention, unwilling to share the spotlight. You do not like people looking at you like you are the lucky one. But you would meet someone and you would learn that most times, being in love means playing the second fiddle; that love is not a singing contest where all the participants are in a joust for the limelight. Your success would be his success and for the first time you would enjoy being someone's cheer leader.

Something good would happen to you today. You have been tottering and stumbling on this journey of unhating yourself and unlearning the to cast your pearls as merchandise before swine. You have tried to stop drinking at odd hours and binging on food to stuff the pain away. You have tried to be responsible and change your wardrobe, get a job. But today, someone would come along and like a kind parent who held your hand as you wrote your first letters, he would hold your hand and make the process less painful, and together, you will stare down the demons of your past that left you maimed for so long.

Today someone would come along and you will not be ashamed to say, I need you. Not in that manipulative way you often used to lure men to bed when you became emotionally horny; men that you used to keep the cold away. Men you left disappointed after they tried to call you thinking that something more than a one night stand had happened  but you would not  pick their calls. But you would meet someone and your need for him would be genuine. 

You would meet someone and he would love every inch of your body. He would love to burrow in your mind. He would care to ask, What are you thinking? He would cover the lone islands of your body with kisses and discover your mountains and  your hills, the valleys and the deep crevices of your body, like Colombus discovering the Americas. You will not be ashamed to be totally uncovered. You will stop hating on the body, that soil you bloomed in.

You have carefully avoided the ones more experienced than you, those ones who have been privy to a world not yet open to you. You have asked yourself, How would I quench that feeling, how do I numb the doubt that they may not be patient enough to explain the intricacies of the unfamiliar to me? Would he not be embarrassed at my naivety? Would he be shamed by my ignorance?
 But you would meet someone and he would not grow irritable at your questions. He would love your curiosity. He would never be condescending.

I do not know if he is the one mounting the flight of stairs, coming home for dinner tonight , or the one you would sit beside on your way home after a day's work. But if he is none of them, it could be Providence, showing a more romantic side of Himself; letting you know that you are loved.  Deeply and affectionately.

Today, something good would happen to you.

Monday, January 5, 2015


When I was younger, I was given to this childish notion that my mother never saw any of us without cooking up an errand in her mind. Go take your shower. Arrange the brooms. Feed the dog. Wash the cat. Do the dishes. Buy maggi.

So when we hear her coming down the stairs, we would abandon our play and throw the duvet over our heads, feigning sleep. She would come into the room and inspect us closely. But someone's giggle would give us away and the laughter would infect  us all.

'I only wanted to give you biscuits.' she'd say. And great would be the speed with which we would arise from bed, with outstretched hands.
'But before the biscuits, go and do those dishes.'