Category Archives: Life

Me…. You….. Us.

There is that magical moment

That happens once in a lifetime

LIke two stars colliding in the sky…

I think I tasted magic from heaven

Right from the day I first set eyes on you.

You were everything everyone else wasn’t

And my mind saw embodied near-perfection

I wished I could get to you

To touch you – or the hem of your garment –

To see if you are really human –

Then I would go home content

if nothing really transpired.

However, or though, I hoped

that more would come to pass

That we would exchange numbers

And become good good friends

Then I would be happy – or glad.

But still, I dared to hope

That you and I would forever be

Friends, companions – and complements

That we – you and I – would hopefully

Raise our lives together

That our – yours and mine – children

Would grow surrounded

With love and care from us – daddy and mommy

That we – you and I – would learn to grow

Old – and age

gracefully, together

Sitting on a porch – the one we built together

Looking back and…

reading this

Smiling and appreciating the audacity of hope

But – alas! My heart grieves

Because I know, fully well – I know –

That inasmuch as I feel all this for you,

Although I know so little of you –

You, most probably, know –

not of my affection nor knowledge of you –

nothing of my existence.


CTS 2010


Let Me

Where is the child within you,

I would like to know

Where you have buried him

He that would sit and watch paint dry…


I look at you today

And wonder is all I feel.

You have evolved

(positively or negatively, I do not know)

But now you are this person

Who is too busy to see

The little butterfly carefully perched

Atop a flower, on a delicate stalk.


Where is the carefree you,

The one who threw all care to the wind,

The one who left Gucci and Versace

By the riverbank to dive in for fun…

The one who had all the potential in the world

To stop in the middle of a marathon

And swirl and twirl with no care at all…


You were the one who forever brought me joy

You were the one who made me happy

You were the one who taught me fun

You were the one whose smile brightened my day…


Now we sit across the room from each other

And you stare into space –

The laughter lines around your eyes

Are slowly turning into worry wrinkles.

Something is eating at you

Something that works worse than wormwood…


I would, just for this once

Love to reciprocate all that you’ve done for me, so

Let me take you and give you joy

Let me re-teach you what you taught me

That life is short and we have no time

That we should take this time to enjoy each other…


Let us take beautiful walks in the garden

And take our time to stoop low –

Just low enough for our noses to touch the roses

And have the pollen stuck on our noses

(you liked that, do you still?)

Let us blow bubbles and watch them soar

Up, up, up…. until they POP!

Watch the wonder on the butterfly’s face

Seeing this spherical object in its domain…

Let us lay on the grass

Watching clouds drift and pass,

making all these shapes and patterns…

Let us run in the rain without a care

Like the way a dog runs after a hare

Then afterwards we will fix our hairs –

Or should I say you shall fix mine?


All in all, what I am trying to say

With all these many words on limited paper

Is that seeing you happy contributes largely

To my joy and happiness and feeling of well-being.

I want you to be happy

To overcome whatever is bothering you

Because we share much much more

Than just physical belongings.

Do it not for my sake.

Do it not for our sake.

Do it for your own sake,

Then my sake will have been catered for.


CTS 13.04.2010

Scylla and Charybdis (His)

I’ve seen a lot in my life

And of late I think I am going mad


I thought it was all gonna be a joke

That I would close my eyes and it would all disappear,

But now I have just realised

What a fool I have been

All this while thinking of something

And never letting you know

So I planned to tell you tonight

That’s why I called us a date

And as you walked in I thought

That I was gonna lose my mind –

That is, if I already hadn’t…


I pulled your chair and you sat

And I sat – across the table

Your glassy eyes stared at me

In that special way you’d always do

When thinking or trying to figure out something…

Then we ate – and boy don’t you eat!

And as we ate we made small talk

How your day had been

And how mind had been

Then you smiled big

And as you always do – did

Waited for me to ask why

And when I did – Oh God!

I didn’t know what happened

I don’t know if you noticed

But my eyes – they faltered

And stared at you still…


You asked if I had plans

And I gave a couple of vague statements.


We went back to the flat

And I forlonly went to bed…

I guess it hit you later

That I hadn’t ordered takeout

But had taken you out

And I was all dressed up

‘Cause that’s when you woke up, and damn!

Why do you always have to be so considerate?

I heard you tiptoe out of your room

And I heard you pause at my door

Then you went to the living room

Straight to the rack, and frisked my coat –


I guess you felt it, because you gasped

And yes, I was watching you.

I watched you extract it

Your delicate fingers trembling

I heard your gasp

Then a sob catch in your throat…

If sense had prevailed,

I would have gone  back to bed

But hearing you sob

Brought me to your side.

We held each other

And there we found solace

Until your phone rang, and

You jumped – guiltily.

Everything then was a blur, and

Afterwards, if I can remember

You tried to explain

That you had waited

For a hint. a sign, a clue

And had finally gotten impatient

And searched elsewhere.


Well, I’ll have you know

That I had always been scared

Of what might have happened,

But as they say, the greatest pain

Is not to love and be rejected

But to lose your love

Without them ever knowing.


So I guess now you know

But I have still lost you

And I’m not sure I wanna move on.


CTS 14.10.09

Scylla and Charybdis (Hers)

There’s so many ways to kill a rat

Though I’ve never heard of giving it a swat

I really thought I’d make it through

Didn’t know it was gonna be this tough


‘Til today I don’t wanna close my eyes

“Cause that’s inviting all the memories

To come back flooding, in front of me

Tempting me to shed some more tears


I thought it was for the better

For us to go on and call it quits


I vowed once to never live in regrets

But for once I think I’m gonna…


I’m gonna let go and learn to feel

All that I’ve been hiding from.

If  you cared to remember something

I pray you remembered that I do not waver

In whatever decisions I make.

So as I allow this torrent to flow

From wherever you may be – know you this –


I do not regret and never will I

The days we shared and all we did

Knowing and growing and loving,

Letting us go when hope seemed lost,

Living in misery for a while after that,

Learning to cope with all the emptiness, and

Finally understanding, though not wholly

That what we had isn’t ever coming back.


If there’s something I’d like to remember

It would have to be the happy memories

The walks in the park

The photos in the booth

The popcorn and the ice cream wars

The late night texts and calls

Early morning hangovers

From yesterday night’s drinking contests

The queer look as you tried to remember something…


Dwell not on the sadder aspects

For therein lies manic depression.

As we both gather ourselves

And attempt to move on

I’d love to ask you

Not to live in the past.

Seek not the past in the future

Live for tomorrow

And some joy you may find.

I write this to you

Not as a dismissal slip

But as a loving reminder

that what we once had

Was very special

Though we may never reclaim it.

Keep this as a reminder

Of good times shared

Days spent on this earth

When you existed –

One, yet two.


So take your time and move along

Lemme be a memory to you

One that brings a faint smile.

Let this be a reminder

Of the joys and the woes

Of a careless love

Of a distant past

Of the choices we make

Of the life you’ve lived

Of the depth of your love

Of the pain of heartbreak

Of what we once had

Of what shall never be

Of who we were

Of who I was

Of who you’re gonna be…


Above all, do me one last favor,

An act of love, if so be it –

Don’t forget, to remember

To move on – for both our sakes.


CTS 12.10.09


Here’s to the Invisibles…

It’s cold outside…..

Everyone can see it’s been raining….

Everyone has something to say about the weather…..

Something good, something bad, a complaint, an appreciation…..


The windows still have dripping rivulets…..


On the window box in one of the ordinary houses along the streets

Sits a lone soul, a solitary soul

That has been watching the rain fall, drop by drop

As it formed little streams along the street…..

Drawing parallels to the many other little drops it hides

This here lonely soul, craving affection

Comparing the flowing streams in the streets

With those flowing down its face…….


The ordinary people living in the street come out, finally

And the little lonely soul watches,

Watches as the children play in the puddles……

As the boys whip out their boards……..

As the girls sit in groups and gossip…….

As the adults sit in the porches and relax……..

Another tear, this time big and heavy, rolls out…..

And splashes on the attic’s worn wooden rocker

Paving way for more….

And more……..


And more……..


This little lonely soul,

Clinging to what once was…..

When it was visible, alive…..

Hoping to be seen…..


Maybe loved……

To mingle……

To feel the rain, the sun, the snow…..

To smell the rain, taste it

In the company of another…..

To join the rest…..


To stop being lonely….




Yes little soul…..

That’s the attic door…..

Another child walks in, a little boy….

The soul leaps……





……*harder wave*……..

……*frantic wave*……..

……*sad sigh*……..

…….*resignation to fate*……


“I’m always gonna be invisible….

Nobody sees me…..

Nobody understands me…….”


What the whole world doesn’t see and understand

Is that this very invisibility

This loneliness…..


was the reason this little soul

stopped being a little boy…..


Life was taking too much

So he took his…..


……and now, it was exacting its revenge.

CTS 2010

The Wrong One

By Jamike Ekennia-Ebeh (Nigeria)

What do you do when the wrong one loves you?

When the wrong one cares and thinks about you

What do you do when you make the wrong one fall?

When the one you don’t want comes to answer the call

What do you do when the wrong one seems perfect?

And the right one is wrong, no hold, no prospect


What do you do when the wrong one is there?

Always ready and helping and loving and fair

What do you do when the wrong one loves you right?

When they’re ‘right’ in your heart but ‘wrong’ in your sight

What do you do when the wrong one brings it all?

But the right one does nothing to even try to make you fall


What do you do when the wrong one makes sense

Starts making you dream and feeling all tense?

What do you do when the wrong one is right

Do you accept the fates or take them to fight?

What do you do when you love the wrong one too

Because the right one never came and the wrong one loved you…


You can find more of his work on his blog … where I just spent the past maybe 4 hours or so, going over posts as far back as they go (The stalk is strong with me…).

Cheers, and see you soon.

Love and hugs.





For Me, It’s You

Who had the audacity to decide which plants were weeds and which were flowers?



There’s nothing I want more than to take up my phone and text  you. To tell you how you are my writer’s block (click here for post). How I cannot write because of you. How everything I put down has a memory of you. How I was a fledgling writer, just starting to put my thoughts out there, when I met you. How I shared everything with you first, how I lapped up your affirmation… How you were the wind in my face on that game drive, the cake I really savored, how my literary sun rose and set with every word of yours. How, one day, I held my musings up to the light that was you, and you declared them juvenile. Half-baked. Not well thought-out, because who cares that famous people have died if we will all die anyway, if our existence is but fleeting? Because my angle was skewed, because all men are like grass and how dare I suggest that some deaths are “more important” than others based on how well-known the deceased was? How dare I?

Well, now, more famous people have been dying of late. And, again, I have been getting reflective, but not because of their fame. I think I know death, I have seen more death in my field than you ever have, maybe more than you ever will even. Yet, I still wonder at the “famous deaths”, because I get to see worldwide and nationwide reactions to the death, and how it manages to galvanize people, and how, for the few days afterwards, all we do it try to find the best in the deceased and in each other and it’s all about tributes and celebrations of achievements and/or mourning what we deem to be too soon. What makes it weird is that now, instead of concentrating on these aspects that had formed the very core of my thinking in earlier times, I concentrate on the justification. I justify it, in my own head, to a fictitious figure, why I have the right to be moved beyond social media condolences, why I have the right to think about what has been and what could have been in that life, what they could have done different, better, and how I can learn from that. Do you see how you changed it?

I find it funny, this thing death. It comes and takes, and takes, and takes. Without second thought, without remorse, without apology. Just *poof*, just like that. And the living are left to grapple with the aftermath, to find a way to survive, to adapt, to keep on keeping on, to hang in there and be there for one another and think and muse such strange musings. But what’s even funnier is one person’s ability to stifle another’s voice, to act as grim reaper to an honest-to-goodness fellow’s voice, even if their naivety is off the charts and may maybe need direction. That, when Pat Monahan (of Train) strains to deliver in “For Me, It’s You”, as he sings of what he would prefer to sing about, to laugh about, to talk about, my thoughts shift to writing and I think that for me, it’s you.

The only difference is that he actually wants to do it…



My Writer’s Block

What exactly does it mean to have “writer’s block”? Many people have said that they have experienced this, that this is the reason for their not putting out any work… Does this phrase have a specific, fixed, direct, immutable meaning? Well no, of course not, but then again that question was dumb. I just googled it, and apparently, there’s even types of writers block. TYPES!!!

I would say I have been experiencing it but then that wouldn’t be entirely true. I have had content to write about. I have written all about everything, and then so much more. The only problem is, everything I write has boiled down to one topic. One. I could be writing about the beauty of the wind in my face on a game drive, and then you become the wind. It could be about how I had the most beautiful cake in the whole wide world, and suddenly you’re the cake. It could be about the beauty of the views I have of the sunrise and sunset from my room, and then there you are, my sun rising and setting with you.

Truth is, nothing I churn out is untouched by you. The thought. The idea. The memory of you. You are everywhere. Usually, I wouldn’t mind. But I want to write, I really do. I want to put all this beauty around me to paper, and not have it infused with yours. I want to capture the sights and sounds, and not have them filtered through you. You are forbidden fruit, and it has to stay that way.

Twin Crushes??

I am willing to bet that everyone who will read this post has had a crush at one point or another. Several, actually. And we can all relate with the feeling, how those butterflies come unbidden when you see the object of your affections, how you swoon, how you build an entire kingdom of castles in the air thinking about being together and how much fun that will be… Yah? Crushes are awesome, very good, wonderful, even. And then they die a natural death, or he gets a girl and your heart breaks into a million pieces for all of 3 days before you get a rebound crush, or something. Note, I’m talking about crushes today, not relationships. Crushes. Infatuations.
What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins? You don’t really know them yet, so you cannot exactly tell the difference between them, but you like one of them. Am I the only one who has gone through this? Something happened within the past week that reminded me of an incident like this that took place a while back. I was 13, and thoroughly in like with a guy who had an identical twin. Then, it was easy for me to tell them apart because they had only their looks in common, everything else was very different. One of them was the cool guy, he hung out with cool guys, he had cool clothes, girls liked him a lot. The one I liked was more reserved, chill, quiet-ish, simple – just how I like my guys. His acne had also checked in earlier than his brother’s (I’m not even sure if he developed it eventually, will explain why), but that didn’t matter to me, he was very kind and nice – you know? Personality. Inner beauty. That stuff.
I never really spoke to any of them, at least not at length… But my mother knew their father. Not that it changed anything anyway… and the only close interaction (and by close I mean in terms of proximity) I ever had with any of them was one day when we had a class retreat with our parents and teachers and got divided into teams, and I was in the same team with one of them, I think. The details of that day are a bit fuzzy. So yes, I had this debilitating crush on Adam for that entire year, and it died because we finished primary school and I went to a boarding high school and they disappeared off the face of the earth entirely – which is why I cannot say for certain whether John’s acne ever came knocking. I never saw any of them for the four years I was in high school.
Fast forward four years, and I bumped into one of them. We were 18 then, and the moment I saw those big eyes I was transported back in time to the days I couldn’t say a single word around any of them. We participated in a volunteering program together, and even then I couldn’t speak more than muttered hellos, because I was crushing again. However, this time, I wasn’t sure who was who… There was no acne, no brother to contrast with, and he was cool, calm, collected. Because I wanted to, I guess, my mind decided that this was the guy, after four years, ergo second chance. Rekindled crush. For another while, I revisited those early days every now and then (I know, right?????), until I had to move on. Because it was pretty silly, I said.
Again, fast forward another four years, to last week. I was doing my rounds on facebook, and I find a post by him with a few people tagged in it. I recognized the name of his twin and decided to check out how he was doing, and you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the revisited crush in the previous paragraph was directed at the wrong twin!!!! Mortification!!!!! I didn’t even know where to start, I still don’t… but at least now I can see some humor in it. Which brings me to the question that had me writing this post in the first place… What happens when you develop a crush on identical twins you cannot as yet tell apart?
P.S. Adam is not his real name 😛


My grandparents have a farm help, Njambi. She is very good at what she does, very meticulous, very diligent. Everybody that has ever been to my grandparents’ place before and after her arrival can testify to the fact that the house, the compound and even the cows – everything looks better. Waaay better… but this post is about Njambi’s daughter.
Wangechi, whom we call Keshy, is a bright 6 year old girl. When I say bright I mean not only intellectually, but personality as well. Her smile, oh, that girl’s smile is the most beautiful thing I have seen in a long time. She smiles with her whole being, she looks like a flower that is fast-forward blossoming (you know the way they do it on Nat Geo?) right in front of your eyes… Her whole body seems to light up. She has these very white, very small milk teeth, and her smile gives you a free front row seat to view this gallery of twenty. Her eyes light up, they look like they hold the essence of all the fireflies in the world, all the innocence, all the simplicity one could ever wish to acquire. Somehow all the beauty in the universe, in the night skies, the sun and the moon and the stars fit in that little, little body, when she smiles.
Now, in my grandparents’ house, there’s this room I really can’t name, but it plays a central role in today’s narrative. It looks like it could be a dining room, except that there is already a dining room. Each of its four walls has a door… two doors that are directly opposite one another each lead to a bedroom. The third door opens into the living room, and the fourth into a porch that faces the outside kitchen. This room has a cupboard that has been there since my mother and her siblings were babies, and it still keeps leftovers and salt and matchboxes and milk from the cows and flour… mostly. It also has two tables, one next to the cupboard that holds dishes that are in transit from the washing area to the living room dish cupboard, and the other that holds food in transit both to and from the kitchen. Under the first table is a small gas cooker we use to warm food in a hurry, and under the second table is a karai, where hens hatch their young. In one corner, behind the door that opens to the porch, is my grandmother’s kibanji, a huge earthen pot where she stores her drinking water so it stays cool. I think now you kinda understand why I cannot exactly give this room a conventional name.
Yesterday, Keshy introduced me to her child, Stella. She came into this room as I was preparing vegetables for supper, and I see something strapped to her back. So I asked her what was going on, and she told me that that was Stella, her child. And she was fast asleep. She needed my help adjusting the pink jumper that doubled up as the baby carrier so I obliged, and she left promptly in search of food to prepare for Stella, so that when she wakes up, she won’t have to stay hungry for long, or at all.
Stella is a very fortunate doll, if I may say so. She’s not much really, not as much a doll as she is pieces of cloth inside a larger pink one, but the love and the care that she gets is out of this world. Whenever she isn’t being cuddled and coddled, she is strapped to Keshy’s back, sharing in her adventures as she explores the farm and bush around. She is always fed on time, and I find it beautiful how Wangechi models her mother in how she takes care of that doll. She will speak to Stella, explain things, tell jokes, ask questions – even prioritize and put her before playing with her friends. She doesn’t just place Stella anywhere, she has to find a place that is stable, firm, safe, soft, fit for an actual baby. And then she will cover her well to protect her from the elements, just as she has seen it done, before she can go out to play.
So Keshy went out to search for food and left me very impressed. When she returned, about half an hour later, I asked her whether she had found the food, and whether Stella had been fed already. She said no, she hadn’t found food yet, and then looked at what I was preparing with this glint in her very white eyes. Catching on, I asked her to fetch a plate from the dish rack, and I scooped some (really like two tablespoons) out of the pot and gave her, to go feed her child. We were speaking in conspiratory whispers this entire time, and when she left holding that plate of food in her hands, I wished I could bottle up the joy that little mother was exuding. Since then, every time we meet, she has this look in her eye, and I would imagine Stella does too… the look you give a fellow conspirator when you did something and got away with it… But that’s not the point of this story and I don’t even know what the point of this story is!
All I know is that this little person inspired me to write something about her, and made me so happy just to sit back and observe her go about being a small person in such a big world, still hopeful, innocent, untainted, pure.