two poems by Wanjala Njalale

Wanjala Njalale | March 2nd, 2016 | a poem a day challenge, poetry | No Comments

A Ride to My Grandmother's

I know the old scent and dust of this place
The Brick and mud houses, the scattered tropical trees
The fermenting smell of crushed sugarcane
At playgrounds, children throw sand to the wind-

Everything here begins with bright glow of sunrise;
The quick fading of the morning mist, the flying away of birds
The magic of a thousand colours sewn into butterfly wings-

The pinnacle of church towers above the young sugarcane plantations
On the East of the church another line of brick and mud houses-

In scattered farms toward the earth brown river
School children sing old hunter’s songs that bear no meaning
They laugh and chase each other up and down the dirt road-

Under an avocado tree a visitor sits sipping tea
His shoes covered in long distance dust
Under the guava tree, the buzzing of bees-
Turkeys picking maggots from fallen fruits-

At dusk, gold creeps on the horizon
Awakening hunger and wrath in bats and mosquitoes
The calm of night only ruffled by amorous frogs
The night dances ceaseless to the charm of fireflies-

Approaching my grandmother’s grave
A cluster of thorny flowers have crept up her headstone-
To protect her memory or to adorn her-
I calmly make my way to her in the way she taught me.


The pyramids there never were;
There’s only a circle out here
thick en bound close to our heads
like scarves of desert dwellers’ heads,
precious like an Ethiopian tomb-
or the ruins of Zimbabwe and Pate
therein lurks smaller beauties
a cluster of glistering diamonds
with moon’s garishness
it pulls all into the crust
the intensity that adorns our path.

I am the sole heir
of all that glitters
and all that endures
and all that perishes under the sun
on this continent of the black.
I haven’t the wizardry to foil
other than to say
let it be as it was meant.

Till I lie still ‘neath an algae headstone
the circle around me will prevail.

Poet Bio

Wanjala Njalale is a Kenyan poet. He is a student of Arts at Laikipia University, Kenya.

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