Sunday, August 16, 2015


I come from a town
Where the rain keeps coming down
Like an interminable monologue
Where the houses are so far apart
That they are often found
Talking to themselves
Where the roads cannot keep straight
But wind and rise and fall away
Keep disappearing from sight;
The few people who are out 
Seem incapable of smiling
Even carry the umbrella like a cross;
I was born there, so it makes me an outsider here
Though I was much more an alien there
Shunned for inheriting my father's dark skin
For reminding them of his black soil, 
Rain shadow, eastern roots
Speaking the same language
Hardly makes someone feel at home
When one could have done with kinder words
Less of the contempt-dripping stares
The stopping-at-the doorstep frowns
However unwelcome, it's still home,you say
How can it be home, when
Home is something you want to go back to
Or hate coming back from
Not some place, you are reluctant
To go back to
Or readily leave
Without so much as a glance back

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Map of memories

I went back to the city
With a map of memories
That one couldn't ask anyone
For directions with
Beside the church, there's the tree,
We visited for a botany lesson
Its flowers known
To set a forest aflame;
There's the house
Where a playmate saw
Flames erupt when
There were none;
We were told
She had brought home
A fear she caught in school
The nights were never the same again
Though nothing was seen;
In the teens, the talk
Was of the nocturnal god
Who smoked a cheroot
And tossed sleepers
In his way;
I've always found it
A sleepless city
And think it has been one
Ever since it was torched
By a wronged woman

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Between the make-believe home
And the waves
Only tiny little fingers
The sea knows the child
Will raise her dreams again and again
No matter how many times
He washes them away
Still he wants to watch
The pretty mess
The miss makes
Of her face and frock and feet
And the way she beats the water back
Scolding a playmate
Who doesn't follow the rules
Then forgives him, at once
If he keeps away
Then invites him
To come and wash the home away