Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Redemption

I'm sorry I didn't believe you,
I'm sorry I didn't see into your vision,
I'm sorry I doubted you,
I'm sorry I cast a blind eye to your light,
I'm sorry a played a fiddle on you.

You were the one for me,
You are the one I still want,
You are my direction,
You are capable of leading and loving,
You are the one for me.

I see clearly now,
I am making right for my inhibitions,
I am casting my fear aside,
I take you as you come,
I believe in the dream that you are,
I see now that you are the one for me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Dirge

Why are your hands so cold?
Your hands that made my cold hands warm, who will warm your hands now.
Where has the life drained to from your soft beautiful cheeks?
What is this haziness I see cast over your eyes? Where has the sharpness that pierced my heart from your eyes wandered to?
Breathe again, so I can breathe, lift my darkness with the light from your warmth, make me feel alive again with the fire from your eyes.
For you have loved me in the light of day and now I must love you in the darkness of eternity.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Husband Snatcher

Husband snatcher
 A story.
 The bus arrived two hours early, at four in the morning. He knew they had
 reached their destination when the conductor, sleepy eyed and grumpy,
 switched on the lights and paced up and down banging on the tin roof of the
 big, aging bus. Nobody protested, the passengers dutifully got up and
 started assembling their luggage. In twenty minutes, he too was in a fast
 moving que filing out of the bus. It hd been a long, bumpy ride, a painful
 journey, yet not an unfamiliar one. Uncaring to the other Kenyan
 passengers, this particular young, tall, skinny man-with blue-black bruises
 all over his face, aches and pains all over his body- had been travelling
 most of his short life.
 As he clutched his nice leather carry-on bag, which were all of his
 belongings, he knew this was the last time he was running. His life as a
 traveler was over, it decided and affirmed. Wanzu island was to be his last
 and final destination. there, he knew, life would be different, on wanzu
 island, people like him would be accepted. Finally he would live his life.
 The ferry only started at 6a.m but he was in no hurry, he had waited all
 his life. Sadly, it had taken a mob’s wrath to make him realize that Wanzu
 island should have been his first and final destination a long time ago.
 He decided to wait for the ferry in a small unventilated café.  He removed
 his jacket, despite the fact that it was only the wee hours of the morning,
 a time when it should be freezing cold, it was just the opposite. Dawn in
 the big capital city was always so cold.
 What do people have for breakfast in such a hot place, he asked the waiter.
 Who cherrily adviced him to have kahawa chungu and mahamri. From his city
 accent, the waiter quickly relized that he was serving a guest and soon
 became friendly with his many questions about the cityk <#0.2_annotation1>.
 The coffee was so strong, the taste made him grimace. It was different from
 the coffee he had drank before in the city. Mahamri however he liked, they
 were savory and quite filling to his empty stomach. The café was stuffy
 with the aroma of early morning cooking, every so often, a door behind the
 counter would swing open and a woman would screech, ‘Juma ndoo sibebe
 nyengine’ ( Juma come take some more) He quickly figured that was the
 kitchen.  Soon, he got too cozy and could not help but doze off. It ws
 afterall warm and he was weary from the journey and the happenings of the
 previous night.
 At five thirty, the bellowing of the ferry and a tap on his shoulder woke
 him up, it was the waiter reminding him that the ferry had arrived and he
 needed to make his way down there. After paying his fifty shilling bill and
 a stern reminder to watch his bag on the ferry, he thanked the waiter and
 walked out briskly. The aroma of deep fried doughnuts had clung to his
 clothes. He arrived at the port, much to the jostle of the waiting
 passengers. Soon he found his footing and once again in a long quee
 ascended the big, flat boat. As soon as it started moving, his heart rose
 to his throat, he had never been on Lasu Island before, leave alone go on
 on the ferry. The stories of ferries sinking, with all it’s heavy cargo and
 passengers perishing were suddenly fresh and vivid in his mind. He placed
 his bag on the steel floor and closed his eyes. The stink of the ocean made
 the coffee and mahamri he had earlier eaten rise in his stomach, he was
 standing close to the rail over the sea and he quickly turned and retched,
 grabbing onto it. The muscular action of his stomach made the aches  in his
 ribs come alive all over again. He had some people laughing, taking glee at
 a newbies discomfortk <#0.2_annotation2>
 It was a boat ride he longed the end for. Soon the other side became
 visible through the rising mist. His heart jumped, finally he had arrived.
 It had a been an unplanned, unexpected, long treacherous journey but he had
 come to the end of it all. The bellow of the ferry to signify it’s docking
 was all that stood between him and his much desired freedom.
 The flat boat came to a complete and the passengers started jostling
 towards the exit ramp, he moved with the crowd only t realize a few minuts
 later that he was not holdinghis bag. He must have been too excited that he
 forgot, he pushed past the impatient passengers making his way afew meters
 back to where he had been standing.
 Ni nini na huyu? (what is it with this man?) A man balancing a sack on his
 upper back asked irritably.
 Ignoring the angry comments, he made it back to where he stood. There was
 nobody standing there, all the passengers were busy trying to get off the
 ferry. The mist had lifted and the sun was rising over the horizon,
 painting the vast waters a shimmery pink glow.  Much to his horror, his bag
 was missing. His city boy nature quickly kicked in as he moved quickly
 twards the disembarking crowd.
‘mwizi! Mwizi! Mwizi!’ he yelled out loudly, running frantically towards
 the exit ramp, his hands flaling in the air desperately.
 He immediately caught the attention of most of the people, who turned,
 hungry to feed on the soon to ensue drama. He jumped into the crowd
 demanding that he be given his luggage, angrying many as he pushed and
 shoved into them. They soon formed a curious circle around him.
 His eyes frantically darted around the growing crowd, searching for his
 brown bag. The commotion below quickly drew the attention of a police
 officer who usually stood guard at the ferry, but was dozing in the
 captain’s deck up above. He rushed down angry, gun in tow, strapped on his
 back and quickly threatened the crowd to leave the ferry. He quickly
 learned the reason behind all the commotion. Dispersing the crowd with
 snarls and threats of a night in jail or worse still a gun shot, he
 remained standing with the young man, who had now fallen to his knees, his
 face in his hands, as he sobbed uncontrollably, the events of the few days
 and nights past finally caught up with him and he broke down.
 Simama kijana! Unalialia nini? Mjinga wewe! (stand up boy! What are you
 crying for? Stupid boy)
 The officer was a tall dark man, with fiery, red bulging eyes, more so from
 his interrepted sleep.
 Unaitwa nani? Leta kitambulisho! (what is your name? give me your
 identification!) he demanded.
 Iko kwa bag, kila kitu iko kwa bag na bag imeibiwa afande! (It’s in my bag,
 everything is my bag and the bag has been stolen officer!)
 Feli, that was his name, Feli Maua. He narrated his ordeal to the police
 officer who escorted him to the nearby police station where he was to
 record a statement. It was a small station with only a handful of police
 men, all strapping guns. He sat in an office waiting and thinking about the
 torture his life had turned out to be in the several hours gone by.
 In the big bad city he was known as Feli Fashionista. This was because of
 the cheap second women’s clothing and shoes he sold. Many a giggling women
 had found style and elegance in his neat pile of clothes. He was heard
 working and dedicated, waking up every morning to go to ololo market where
 he bought his stock of blouses, skirts and high heels in bulk. The early
 bird gets the worm and in those wee hours of the morning, he usually found
 himself diving into newly opened bails, alongside several other eager
 buyers, most of whom would iron the clothes and re-sell them for a higher
 price in a different part of the city. His market was found in his home
 turf of Ibera, where he had a small square stall made of wood and old sacks
 and plastic bags.
 He himself was usually dressed impeccably for his social status. He wore
 nice flowery shirts,  tight fitting jeans and colorful moccasins or plastic
 sandals, that was his trademark style. The women loved him, the men
 tolerated him, after all he was born and bred in Ibera, he was one of their
 own. He lived with a temperamental older brother who was a street mechanic
 and raging alcoholic.
 Every once in a long while, mostly on a Saturday, way past dusk, a lovely
 young woman would emerge from the shanty little apartment he shared with
 his brother. She often wore a tiny skirt and a tight polo neck blouse which
 revealed a perky bosom. She carried a nice simple handbag and wore strappy,
 block heels on her feet, which she knew how to walk on, on the muddy, bad
 slum roads. When it rained and the roads became unbearable, she would take
 her heels off and carry them in her hands. Her destination? Monte Carlo the
 local pub. Once here the brazen beauty would dance to the disco music,
 often enthralling the crwd with her lithe body, as she belly danced and
 gyrated seductively.  The men loved her and the night girls, insecure
 girlfriends and wives, loathed her in those moments. Nobody could move to
 the music quite like this mysterious woman. Just when many an interested
 man had found his way to where she stood, smiling coyly, she would excuse
 herself and disappear for the night. It had became the routine and many
 were left wagging tongues, beliwereded and enchanted.
 Feli had also heard of her, on several accounts at the market. The women
 hated this mysterious woman, although many secretly admired her, or else
 why would they struggle so much to copy her style. They would ogle over his
 stack of clothes, trying desperately to fiind a style and fit that was just
 like the mystery woman.
  Feli knew this woman only too well, he knew her style and what lay quietly
 in her wardrobe. He knew the type of wigs she wore and where she bought her
 shoes, he even knew the contents of her handbag. He never mentioned it to
 anybody, not even his grumbling clients and friends. All he did was smile
 quietly and make small neutral comments. However, he encouraged them to buy
 from his pile only and to buy often, he was after all, the very same man
 who sold to the woman everybody envied.  What nobody else knew or could
 even imagine was that Feli was that very woman.
 Had his mother been alive, she would not have been surprised. As a child,
 he adored her. He would stand in awe as she dressed, picking out her
 jewellery and tugging at her skirts, begging to run a comb through her long
 luscious hair. She often laughed and embraced him, saying to him ever so
 lovingly, ‘you are the daughter I never had my dear Feli.’ He grew into a
 boy who preferred the indoors to playing outside in the sun. he detested
 football, which was so popular amongst boys his age, it made clothes so
 dirty and horrible. Whenever he was not in school, he was by his mother’s
 side. They did not have a father, he died when Feli was only an infant.
 Their mother never spoke of him.
 When Feli was ten his mother remarried. Their step father was a former
 soldier who had fought alongside Feli’s father  in Somalia. It was then
 that he realized how different he was from the other boys. His mother,
 being the avid business woman that she was, ran a successful shop in the
 estate. She aways left early and came back late. Even at this young age,
 she could rely on Feli to come back from school and make dinner for his
 brother and step brother. He had learned from her, he had learnt well. His
 step father, a quiet, reserved man when sober, mostly slept during the day
 and spent the night in the local taverns.
 One afternoon after school, as Feli took a bath, he found his father
 standing stark naked in the bathroom, his member fully erect and throbbing.
 That became the routine every day for two years, when both his mother and
 step father suddenly died of a horrifying illness. That is when they moved
 to Ibera, to live with relatives. Miserable, mistreated and uncared for,
 they ran off one night to the shanty estate of Ibera and started life
 there. Neither of them ever got a chance to finish school. His brother
 somehow found his way as a mechanic and he started his business, first as a
 hawker on commission, then working his way to owning that tiny stall.  He
 never mentioned a word of the abuse to anybody.
 When he dressed up on those nights, he did so in memory and honor of his
 mother. She would have loved the way he so decadently duplicated her style.
 He knew how dangerous it was, and the risk he faced should he ever be
 discovered but the beauty and satisfaction at being able to be himself was
 worth the risk.
 Everything changed one night when a man, so taken and enchanted by the
 graceful and beautiful belly dancer, set his mind on her. He would not give
 up, it was she he wanted and she had tortured him in his dreams for much
 too long. As the mysterious made her way into the darkness, the man swiftly
 followed. Unknown to the man, his insecure, unhappy wife, who had suspected
 him of cheating from the very day they had been joined in matrimony,
 followed at a safe distance. At last she had found the home wrecker,
 finally she would end the ways of this man-eating husband snatcher. She
 darted and ducked, following stealthily until they got to Feli’s house. The
 scorned wife knew Feli, she was not only a customer, she was also Feli’s
 friend. She was a bit surprised when the woman took out a key and as made
 as if to open the door to what she knew till that night to be her friend’s
 home. Just as the door creaked open, the woman saw her husband surprise the
 startled woman with a quick hug from behind.
 Remember me? He laughed, kissing her on the cheek and holding onto her.
 Whoever she was, she would remember one thing and this the scorned wife
 knew for sure, never to steal another woman’s man, especially a husband.
 Unable to control her emotion any more, she got out of hiding and walked
 briskly toward the house, it was one among many. Her walking turned to
 running and soon she was screaming and shouting at the top of her voice.
 The man, shocked and startled by the oncoming commotion, let go and made a
 dash into the darkness. Feli, confused and stunned turned to find a hefty
 woman, screaming, screeching and scratching at him. In the scuffle, his wig
 was ripped from his head, by now the neighbors were streaming out of their
 homes, rushing to see and to save.
 The scuffle turned into a full blown war, Feli’s male muscle presented
 itself, as he fought off the seething woman. She had torn and ripped at the
 once pretty blouse he wore. The growing crowd was shocked to see that this
 other woman had oranges inside her brassiere. They fell out. The scorned
 wife still had not noticed, she only stopped when she had ripped off the
 flimsy skirt, which came tearing off revealing Feli’s manhood. His cover
 had been blown.  Everybody knew.
 Feli kumbe wewe ndiye unaniibia bwana yangu? Shoga wewe wachana na mabwana
 za watu!(so it is you who is stealing my husband Feli? You homosexual leave
 our husbands alone!)
 Her words set the mob on a vengeful fire. They took their turns at him.
 Each man eager to discipline this embarrassment to manhood.  The screams
 and shouts had drawn attention from the entire neighbourhood, even those
 who did not know the reason behind the commotion joined in the mass
 hysteria.
 The only reason Feli survived was the periodic police patrol, which found
 the village in disarray and chaos.

 As he sat there, in that tiny, stuffy office, he marveled at how resilient
 the human body is. He had survived a mob and now here he was, yet to
 survive another ordeal. He sat there, with nothing but his bruises to show.
 The Bruises of a husband snatcher

Captive

I can tell that you're fighting, you're at war with yourself. Set yourself free...
I can see that you're struggling, I know you're restraining your desires, you're having trouble stifling your quench. Set yourself free...
The depths of your guarded soul mask an overwhelming wanting. It is hard to fight it I know, but you are trying. Set yourself free...
Set your self free, you cannot hide from the yearning of your eager heart. Give yourself to me and you shall be free...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Marriage is Forever



It was the way he walked, the way his strong masculine legs moved with every stride. It was the walk of a strong, robust distinguished man. It was sexy and appealing. He has watched him walk in that wet, gloomy evening, and even beneath that stylish fitting overcoat, he had seen that walk, he had watched those legs move, slowly, parted at the thigh with a slight spring in the sole. He was still a stranger then, tall, dark and strikingly handsome. His dark eyes piercing to the soul, his face chiselled, his perfect teeth brilliantly white as he spoke softly on the cellular phone. He was one of those men you ached and desired for yet you knew he simply was out of your reach. So it came as a surprise at first when, in the first few minutes be took a keen interest on his secret admirer. And when he moved close to speak to him, his cologne filled up his nostrils, he was a clean well groomed man, whose scent left one longing for more conversation, more touching, that first night, he could hardly wait to breath in the scent of his skin. From that very first day, they both knew that they would be together, they were bound to be. He, an alpha male and him on the other hand, a sexy,  quiet, clever yet submissive, humble,  home maker. That is how they met, at a sultry quiet gentleman's lounge bar.
He knew at once that this man was the one. Now 6 years on, he couldn't help but wonder, would this man, whom he had given up all else for, stay with him the full length of the way? He was not naive to the ways of men, they objectify, their need to conquer, they want what they cannot get, they see what they want to see. He was no different from any other man, yet he had fallen for him still, full and square. It was a mystery, this thing called love. He tossed and turned, grabbing the silk sheets, hoping and wishing for comfort on yet another cold lonely night.
He had the front door open and his heart skipped a beat. From where he lay, in the big plush bed upstairs, he could hear every movement, it was obvious to him now, it was routine. He could hear a deep low voice speaking, it was a telephone conversation. No doubt the recipient needed reassuring that his beloved had arrived home safely. But was it really home, or was it a prison for them both? He because he was bored, lonely and unhappy and he because he was the excitement had long run out and the sparks of seduction fizzled out. He could not tell, for now, as his lover, friend and life partner strode in, inconsiderately flicking on the lights as he bid whomever he was speaking to goodbye, all he could do was close his eyes and pretend to be deep asleep. Running water, unbuttoning of the creased once crisp shirt, kicking off of the expensive Italian leather shoes, unbuckling of the belt, unzipping of the pants, a brush of the covers and then a soft, tender kiss on the cheek; magic! Another heart beat lost, then silence.
The tear crept slowly down, past his nose, onto his eyelid. It burned memories into his heart as he remembered the passion that they had for each other in the beginning. Where had they lost it? Could it be true? Was there really no love between two men and if that was so, why were they still together? Surely, something kept them together or was it just the convenience of familiarity? He had grown up hearing stories of frozen and dead romances, but he had assumed it only happened to heterosexual couples. Heavy breathing, sleep. He turned and tried to gaze at his husband through the dim shimmers of the moonlight. Did he really love this man? If he did, why could he not make him as happy as they used to be? A sigh escaped his lips, his better half stirred and as if reading his mind, turned toward him and took him in his arms, holding him close, as he placed his head on his chest.
'why aren't you asleep baby?' his voice was dreary, but it still held its characteristic deepness.
 He soon fell asleep after, while he on the other hand lay there softly, comfortable at last, happy even. It was where he belonged, oh the lord himself knew it. It was where he belonged. Sleep finally came upon him, and like a chariot, swept him up towards bliss, up to a place where all that he needed was this man and his sweet, sweet loving.
Thursday, his favorite day of the week. The only time, he got some semblance of a social life. Other than Ricardo's office soirée which were few and rare and even there he had to act like a robot. His close friends Mali and Solange were coming over. They would pop open a bottle of choice champagne and delve into delicious gossip, all the while nibbling on scrumptious shrimp cakes and lady fingers. They always made him feel so privileged, he was after all, living a charmed life. If only he too saw it that way. Mali and her husband owned a business together, they worked so hard they barely had time to start a family. Yet they a brilliant business association and an awe inspiring chemistry between them. They were always together, yet they always made it seem like they never spend enough time with each other. As he lay the table expertly, he could not help but wonder, how did they keep the fire burning? What was the source of their love?
Solange was a newly widowed, she had gotten married around the same time as Ricardo and himself. They had met at what would end up being the venue of both their nuptials. Their dates coincided, and he had schemed and found a way to arrange a lunch date with her, by the time they finished a delectable and tender honey glazed lamb and spring salad, she had graciously agreed to have her wedding the weekend after. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. She and William, her new husband had been part of the guests, beaming with pride as they exchanged vows. Everything had turned out perfectly, until William past away in a tragic accident and Ricardo changed. Before then, they always met for lunch once a week, shopped and hosted charity galas' together. When William died, she was left to pick up where he left off in taking care of their three year old twins, an adorable boy and girl. For a girl who envisioned being a housewife and mother as a life long commitment, she was not doing too badly, although she had struggled in the beginning.
He could hardly wait to hear that bell ring. His heart was already chiming.
Later that afternoon, after the girls left, as he dutifully prepped that nights dinner, shepherds pie and rhubarb crumble for dessert, he painted a picture of what his life had become; the portrait only deepened the hollow in his heart. He had abandoned a promising career as a human rights and political lobbyist for a house and garden in the lush and lonely prairie. It wasn't like they were going to get children, they both agreed that it simply was not for them. Indeed they were lucky enough to live in a land where they could enjoy the gift if holy matrimony but children was a stretch too thin for them. With Ricardo's line of work, he continuing to work would only jeopardize things for him. Ricardo was also in politics, he was running for governor. Where had time flown to?
His phone rang, Ricardo, excusing himself from dinner, another long meeting at the office. Yeah yeah yeah, he didn't need telling, he knew what it meant to be campaigning, he had a masters in political science for chrissake. Fine, fine, he wouldn't wait up. Ricardo was sorry, you're always sorry was his response before hanging up with a pout.
He lay his bath and decided that it was time he found something more to do other than sit and wait for Ricardo. Maybe he could enrol for a Phd, but at his age and it wasn't like he was ever going to use it. Maybe he could teach, wait, why hadn't he ever thought of that?
An hour and a luxurious scented bath later, he walked into the closet and saw it. Lina must have been rearranging and left it out there. Hanging majestically there was their wedding suits, his black tuxedo, still so brilliant and his work of art next to it. He stood still, taking it all in, he had had a hand in designing this divine garment. It was a suit alright, but not of the usual fabric or style. Even Ricardo had been taken aback the first time he saw him walk down the aisle. He held up an arm to his face, letting the lace carress his cheek ever so softly. He closed his eyes and let the chimes of the bell ring in his ear again. He could smell the ocean and hear the chirrups of the seagulls over the sweet harp strings. But even in this decadent, fluid, lace over satin fitting top and bottom, over the white and pink orchids and the alluring calming scent of the elusive moonflower, it was the man that stood there ahead of him that was the highlight of his day, not even his distinguished, who's who guest list. Their hearts, still soaked in fiery romance and desire for one another had skipped several beats at that moment,  and their longing to be together heightened even more by the impending nuptials.
He was so engrossed in his thoughts he hadn't heard Ricardo come in. Ricardo stood there, watching quietly and keenly observing the changing expressions in his partner's face.
He watched for a moment before walking into the closet.
"English, are you ok?"
English opened his eyes startled, he looked up to find Ricardo's tall, imposing figure in front of him.
"I didn't hear you come in" he said, clearing his throat, "I'm sorry"
"for what English?"
"nothing, for being...well" he didn't know what to say, he was embarrassed for always being the needy one.
Ricardo offered him a hand, which he took and standing up at the aid of it.
"why aren't you asleep? It's late." His voice was low and full of care.
"I know you're angry and you feel neglected." there with those words, he started doing what only he could do so well. He started fixing everything, and English's misgivings all faded away.
They lay on the lawn and talked about everything. He poured out his heart, releasing all his frustrations while Ricardo listened and explained and made it all right again. There, on the soft grass, under the stars, they fell in love all over again. He forgave Ricardo, and he forgave himself, for doubting and for creating a rift.
This is why he loved this man so man, because he was the kind of man who was not afraid to make things right in order to claim what was rightfully his. Fearlessly, humbly yet decisively. That and the walk, and the love and the feverish lovemaking and the body and the mind, and everything about the man.
In the morning, as he peered down from the bedroom window at his husband, he realized that it was his mistake to compare their love with what everybody else had. Ricardo paused for a second and looked up, as if he had felt eyes on him, he flashed a smile and creased his brow. He understood him, it was he, English, who made the mistake of looking for a love that did not resonate with what they had. Theirs was no conventional, storybook arrangement. Neither was it a fairytale. What they had was as unique and extraordinary as two men falling hopelessly in love with each other and choosing to seal their love in holy matrimony. He saw now just how special Ricardo was, he was a man of his own kind.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Introducing Forbidden Folklore

A poem by Jeffrey Musa
And so here I stand; my ear full of noises,
Noises of my beating heart beat, a heart strong and warm and true,
When shall my heart start beating, when will my heart know love?
Love is the elixir that injects life into the soul of my heart beat,
And so here I stand; my ear full of noises,
Noises of my beating heart beat, a heart longing to be consumed by love again