Hope

A run from demons, lest they suck all in us and leave formless objects,

 or clone us into bitter, angry and vengeful selves

it is a race we embrace to defeat strong and dangerous sea waves,

we create tunnels to escape from underground darkness,

light the fire within us to burn out irresistible forces,

hold on to crumbs of hope hanging at the back of our minds,

and when we can’t swim anymore and the water is drowning us,

angels spread their wings to take us to a dry ground.

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First open mic

It was a long night of rhyming words, scribbling letters, erasing commas and full stops and wrapping meaningless lines into useless paper balls. On a purple sheet, I slept to a lullaby of colourful phrases running in my mind and projected in non-audible whispers. This time, it is not the faint morning sun rays cutting across small squared windowpanes that woke me up. In lieu, the adrenaline of excitement of first stage appearance knocked the duvet off my cream night shorts. It was a special day. The day when my once far-fetched words and phrases were to fly from ink and papers. The day when my voice was to be heard. The day when every expression, feelings and emotions hidden behind written words would be expressly read from my lips and eyes.

In between moisturizing my face in jojoba oil, shaping brows, fitting poetic vibe tops (the kinda tops that distinguish between a normal human being and a Shakespeare-related being, not the cotton and fitting tops but the loose and less colourful tops) and giving my lips a touch of natural arimis balm, I mastered the vocal tones of sarcasm, sadness and happiness. The important tones to communicate a convincing message that every good spoken word artist/ poet must master.

Having packed essentials in my faded blue jean bag with a leather touch on its handles, I left for a bus ride to the National Museum of Kenya, the place where artistry magic was to happen. Under the bus roof, my face was highlighted in the amusements of meeting up with people whom we share the same poetic language and most of all meeting the kings and goddesses in the poetry industry, like Gufydox, Mufasa, Rixpoet, Dorphan and Stella Kivuti. But mostly Mufasa because since he produced For My Future Wife piece, there is all these vibes of this the kinda men we need in the society that creates butterflies in my stomach. By the way you can listen to the piece on YouTube.

The distance was a thirty minutes ride. However, on the thirtieth minute tock, a heavy storm broke. In twenty seconds my Shakespeareish top was soaking wet and my shoes and jeans had shades of brown and moist dust particles. It was bad, really bad. I was caught up in a dilemma of either quitting or going ahead to chirp like a parrot. I could have just gone back because first impressions matter and you do not wanna make appearances looking like a naughty squirrel. The typa rules the world makes and have to live believing the worst will happen if you break them. But rules are boring and provided you’re creative you can always find a way to navigate. Quick I thought of how I was gonna twist my ruined appearance with lame jokes ‘hello, dirt is good, water is life or dirt is nature or dirt is fashion’. But none of those could have worked for me though, because I am not Preacher Lawson on the America Got Talent, that guy’s comedy vibe can crack your ribs outta skin. My lame jokes would have been the kind that would get a buzzer and I don’t see the talent comment from Simon Cowell. At the end of it all I found a way to twist everything around and appear presentable.

 In the theatre one thing was striking among all the attendees; the artistry vibe. Ladies in afro hair, afro-comb earrings, baggy tees, sweaters and pants and most importantly the kiondos in all kinds of patterns. Men in less kempt hair and catchy kitengeish-africanish hoodies and pants.

All afternoon, my ears were swimming in a park flooded with rhyming words, life changing messages, ghetto and runda love messages, scriptural messages and finger-snaps of appreciation. The accents were either ghetto, imported American or African-American. You can catch a twist of African-American accent in one of Mufasa’s performances. The ghetto people projected the ‘alisema hatanimarry juu naishi ghetto but God atanibless na soon wasichana watanifuata juu nitakuwa na asali’. The cool kids swam in the poetic stories about Nairobi. Gufydox was the MC, he dropped puns here and there.

On drum beat rolls, it was my time to make an appearance on the stage. Gufy on the mic shouted “clap your hands for, clap your hands for, clap your hands for Faith the poet.” On that note I am working on a much cooler stage name. I was brave, I felt freedom and I was a bird set free and ready to sing. Mic on hand, I was so tempted to drop a lame joke as an ice breaker but I dropped all the rhyming words in an imported American accent, projected sarcasm where there were smack on the face lines and sunk my vocals in that moving and saddening tone that leaves a ‘touching souls impact’. By the time I was leaving the stage, the audience was pretty moved by my call for a change in African politics typa message. In between claps and finger-snaps and gufy’s comment of I admire poets who narrate happenings in the society, I took my seat and the stage was open to more performances. The evening was closed by performances of Dorphan and Stella Kivuti. In the Naboka Sacco bus I took a ride back home feeling like a bird landing back to its nest after a long day of being high in the sky and having the best of experience.

PS: “Never willingly trade your freedom for slavery. Walk in heels on a sandy ground as long as it is okay with you. Feel the contentment of breaking confinements.”

After college chronicles: The Legal Profesion

So google, how do I start life after college?

“Business, of course.”

But google, a chicken in midst of lions? Naaah… I can’t.

“Chicken can fly, pretty good asset don’t you think?”

Oh, yes!

Business plan number one: fly beyond the lions, be creative, change the world, make money and be happy. Nothing odd of a millenial.

So, umh… Mike? How are you doing? I got a plan to change the world? You in?

Mike: Hold on, 9.1.1…

What’s your emergency sir?

“My friend is losing her mind.”

But yes, ninety nine percent of every law graduate would totally agree with Mike. Post- graduation every graduate has two choices; either be patient or lose your sanity trying to parachute into success. Patience calls for undergoing a post-graduate legal training programme for one year and six months while battling the guilty conscience of a graduate making calls at home for sustenance. Even after undertaking the training and earning a qualification to practice law, it doesn’t amount to a ticket for success. It’s what my favourite author John Grisham in his book “The Firm”, pictures as a fresh advocate living on sacrifices of love and sleep in order to build his profession.

Still in love with the profession, though. Currently, Mike and I plus one thousand, nine hundred and nighty nine others are undertaking the post-graduate legal training. Welcome to the Kenya School of Law, the experience is simultaneously amazing and tiring.

We live in between books. Breathe oxygen and the beautiful yet stale smell of old legal books. Spray poison to mosquitoes buzzing in mid-night distracting you from typing one hundred words within thirty seconds. Crack phone screens against bedside tables on the ring of 4.00 am, 5.00 am or 6.00 am alarm. Or sometimes, deadlines wake you up. During the day, you will run across smiling faces, behind the dental formula is a mind operating like a robot; classes, group meetings, project works, researching, googling meanings of legal jargons, finding a single relevant case law in an eleven font, 1.5 spacing and five hundred pages book, catching up with the latest and trending grapevine and holding pleasant impression for crushes.

During classes you will spot all kinds of students. We have got; mind your own business student, these ones will slap you with the phrase “whatya looking at?”

Active student: have answers on fingertips and keeps you updated with current trends in the legal field.

Passive student: raises hands in class when they mostly want to attract attention from their crushes.

Actual attention seeker student: when you see them, Just Run!  They enter class late, floss on the pieces of pizza they ate yesternight, make unusual announcements after the class. More like, “Guys, if you’ve seen my imported from Dubai shimmery and glittery pencil case please let me know, I misplaced it yesterday”. And the whole class boos because everyone thought it was an important announcement like “I lost my kidney.”

We also crack professional jokes in corridors.

“Yoh! Faith, are you done researching on your project work?”

And you just crack open because you have not finished it yet and you’re not alone either.

Or

“Yoh! Faith, let’s break for lunch”

And you chuckle in between balancing lunch breaks and deadlines.

But it’s hard to concentrate while starving, so you take a break at that kibanda adjacent to the school. There are several food varieties; pilau, beef, white rice, kienyeji chicken wings, chapati madodo or ugali. Sensitive on a healthy living I mostly opt for a bowl of fruit salad while my brothers from the Luhya land fight over ugali and chicken wings and my sisters from coast complain how poorly the pilau is made.

Friday, best day of the week. Students take break and congregate somewhere to cheer on few drinks. Let go overworking. But take caution not to get lost in the bar and fail to get admitted into the bar (roll of advocates).  It’s that time of the week when it’s appropriate to ‘shoot your shot’ for requests and demands and pouring out feelings and emotions because you get actual and real attention.

Oh, it’s Friday by the way, thought I would take a break and write a little bit.

Cheers to the smoothie”.

 

After college chronicles

Last night to spend in this tiny room I called home for the last four years. The feeling can’t fall into one adjective. It is a cake of anxiety creamed with exhilaration. But the shock of life about to storm, melts and sinks exhilaration into the flour of anxiety. Of course there’s always that uneasiness and uncertainty about the next stage in life that scares every ex-college student. Nevertheless, it is a special night and has to be made remarkable. So, in the school streets where quick or long hugs were exchanged in between rushes to classes, stares on butts were made, often followed with weird chuckles and wicked compliments, rumors about current lovebirds and exes were aired and  team mafisi desperately tksi tksi and  si si si. In these streets you can hear the wild roaring after emptying couple of beer bottles into their bellies. The environment is filled with screams of freedom. “Free! Free! Free at last!”. But not the kind of freedom experienced by the late Martin Luther King. Martin’s was way greater.

My tiny room adjacent to these wild streets can’t withstand the roaring. By the way, I am the quiet and reserved kind. No wonder my love life book has never been opened. The only kinda love I have ever shared is by faking allergy for githeri in unison with my brother to strike against the dish. But the “you either eat or starve” harshness of African moms broke the strongholds of this love. Anyway, I leave my room and walk past community washrooms to room A3. A3 was always filled with the education is the key kinda vibe, books on every shelf and eyes glued on every written word but something is different tonight. I smell excitement and freedom from books slavery. I join in the spirit and all night we laugh about all the silly experiences we have had in the last four years.

Fun nights are short. In a single laughter of silly, serious and lame jokes, the sun rises. In between byes, we will keep in touch, I wish you the best and I will miss you, the reality thunderstorm strikes. Often sent pocket money, faked sickness and trips to con for some coins, it is all gone. Disappeared into the sea. Never to be retrieved. In sluggishness I head to my room and pack ready to leave. In midst of folding clothes and literally throwing them into the  bags I am bothered by the fact that there’s no difference between me and the wild. I mean not sleeping the entire night is equivalent to staying up in a pub. The hangover is real.

Goodbye fast wi-fi. Goodbye lawns. Goodbye school gate. Off I go. The cobwebs in my otherwise bigger room at home are scary. But I unpack anyway. First night is easy, dead asleep, perfect cure for the hangover. The second, the third all the way to seventh day of my stay at home have one thing in common, relaxation mode it’s.

Second week and the adrenaline of “you need a job, you need to move, you need to establish a life for yourself, you need to make money, you all grown up now” is in hold of my sanity, all day and all night. The X and Ys in my head are more than the ones I came across in my maths class in high school. My room ceiling is marked with invisible algebraic formulas to resolve the problems. Not even one is resolved, at least in high school I could play around with self-invented formulas and find an answer. However, not quitting is in my spirit, so I quit solving problems in my own laboratory and head on to google.

Google

“How do I start life after college?”

To be continued.

say something

In the melody of orchestrated sad notes, hair strands stand, beneath skull depression implant,

in trickles distress flows, attack on homed freedom, complete drown and death of sobriety,

snatch by fiery long horns, drop into a world destitute of tranquility, features of agony all over,

lost in a monologue of constant self-hate, dialogue with beer bottles in a filthy corner,

sunflowers on open wounds,  no act beyond  normal culture,

in dark behind closed doors, flowers wither, inviting flies to a feast,

dark spirits stretching from scribbled sketches on walls, connection with mind and heart,

twelve hours in a walk through hell, yellow, the bright colour to put on sunrise,

but big girls cry, so do men, outburst through a  speaker box, a healing adventure,

a fight against hell and diabolic visitors, a release of  toxic demons, fix of a rythm of mental torture

Race from demons

Race towards a rocky desert, free of life,

natural calamity agin relentless ingrained spirits, she thinks,

held in a fantasy of victory, reins on hands,

indulged in a control span, freedom aimed score,

lost fight on first, second and third attempt,

but on fourth, scales are five inches on skin,

tough and rough against all,

stings by day, draught by night, sharp pebbles and thorns on path,

on saddle, she rides amid bushes and porcupines,

mountain, not far of a distance, a new home she will build there,

away from demons rotting in dug holes.

A story of 1001 ladies

Under the moonlight, I stall wondering whether stars double your endorphin release, or

they are accessories to your nightmares,

cochlea tuned to therapeutic swaying of tree branches,

intimate tones dial pad away, yet cocooned  pupas in my cerebrum make it seem to be a Jupiter away,

portraits of you, stuck within, pupils blurred to see other,

hands cuffed to glowy statue of you hanging in my  wonderland,

companionship illusions jointed on my bones,

indulged in your diffused scent,

a self-induced illness, resistant to take cure, just a break of  ice,

in a volcano, caving for days, figuratively composing lava to melt ice,

but maybe, belch the lava, before concentrated heat in cave, decomposes these feelings away.