Sunday, October 25, 2009


Mama's sons with the writer

We always got a beating, me and my 2 cousins.

One time for going to the neighbour’s farm to eat passion fruits-the neighbour’s kids had come to us and said- our mother is away, we need someone to climb up the tree to reach the fruits- so we had volunteered. We didn’t climb the tree, we just kept throwing sticks and clods of soil up the tree and ended up bringing down one of the passion fruit vines..

Mama had been looking for us and soon he was standing by the fence . He didn’t have to say anything we, simply spit out the passion seeds in our mouths and started to follow him. Along the way he broke off a few cypress branches and gave us each to prepare into a proper cane.

When we were busy throwing sticks at passion fruits, the baboons had come to the farm and flattened about an acre of maize and uprooted another of potatoes. So we were canned for all the sins, and when my cousin couldn’t take all, they wrote the remaining number on the calendar, to be spread out over a period of two weeks. I was hardcore ,I just told him to get on with it, and he added two strokes for attitude.

Another day, as we watched over the crops against baboons and grazed the cows along a thin strip of grass next to a cabbage farm, we got really bored after singing made up songs and digging holes in the ground, so we started to play Tapo-hide and seek. Soon enough we heard someone whistling and shouting from the other side of the valley- Thaimoni! Your cows are eating all your maize! Thaimoni is mama’s English name. His real name is Solomon but everyone calls him Simon.

We quickly chased the cows out of the maize fields and started to chase them around to get the bloat down. It helped a bit but Mama had to repair the fence, and we stood in a line and got a good caning.

Cucu found us one day twarite moko tukihoya mutheri kwene-with hands out stretched begging for githeri(maize and beans) from an old woman who lived near our compound.

We had broken two rules going to other people’s houses –kwene, and eating other people’s food- muhahi(because of greed). There was a big pot of githeri at home, but we like the old woman’s githeri. She used green maize and black beans and some peas. Cucu made hers from dried maize and beans.

The woman had 2 acres of land, so we were no only greedy but indeed very ill-mannered ‘trials’. Cucu took me by the thighs and for a few metres I was hopping behind her screaming,since I was the eldest. My cousins got the same-your skin would go sore for one week.

Later on when, we’d be beaten properly for talking about sex. We were just having a chat about what we knew about the topic one evening when we were alone, thinking no one could hear.

The following weekend mama interrogated us, since the women folk(tata and cucu) couldn’t handle such great sin. Then he took us very far from the house and caned us-incase anyone came round and asked –hey Thaimoni-what did they do

-Nothing much really, they were just having a chat about sex-that was unheard of.

I must have been 9.

We also got beaten several times in a week fr coming home late from school. Cucu Ciriba, my gran’s friend would invite us to eat whatever was in the house, then we’d forget we hadn’t reached home and hang around until 7p.m.

Yet, we had duties like watering the cabbages , bringing in the cows, the calves, the chicken, the sheep, bringing in some water from the tank, and the wash basin, cooking some food for the dog and covering the maize drying out in the fields if that was the season, lighting the lamps, and getting some onions from the farm…

Mama would say after beating us- hiyo ni kionjo-that’s just a taste.

(mama-uncle, Cucu-Gran,tata-uncle's wife, cucu Ciriba-cucu's friend- passed away)

Saturday, October 24, 2009


He's deep
Like a deep well.
Layers and folds
How to reach his core?

25th Oct 09

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I’ll take you for a walk
Follow me I’ll lead
Through these dust paths and mud bridges
Through the maize fields and past long horned cows
We’ll lean upon the cypress and regard the blue hills
Catch a speedy wind laden with leaves and
Sticks, seeds and smells, with dust too.

I’ll show you my home
Teach you about soil
Show you the ,stems their sap and roots,
Interpret smells for you
Show you how to climb blue gum
And which figs are ripe to eat
We’ll even roll on the grass.

I want to show you everything
All the tings I hold dear,
all the secret longings-Like a trip to the forest river-
If you come with me.

(I want steal you from yourself)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I love you softly
I love you quietly
Like a song played on a keyboard

I love you gently
I love you tenderly
Like a mother rocking her child to sleep

I love you definitely
I love you with certainty
Like my first crush

I love you in my mind
I love you in my chest
Like The after taste of a good thing

I love you when I see you
I love you even when I don’t
Like grandparents love young ones

My love for you is like a quiet song
My love for you is gentle , tender
I love you certainly, definitely
My love for you is like a spirit within me
I love you all the time, always

Efficiency, why we must learn to be.

 There are no schools that you will sign up to to learn how to be efficient. Most will teach you a profession or a skill and it's up to ...