Kenyan Morning

10 Feb

Is it possible to yearn for a place and time
solely for its colors?
Green is my favorite color
so familiar, but not in our old garden
Everything was an out-of-this-world green
looking out our backdoor in western Kenya
nothing could match the crackling vibrancy
of glowing full-blooded chlorophyll
it seemed too good to be true
Open the back door, imagine a valley
shrouded with luminous mist abuzz
with electric life. The fragrance, a
floral-fruit-basket of plumeria, guava
passion fruit, banana, avocado, papaya
and mango permeate our morning nostrils
Roosters cock-a-doodle-doo
about four-thirty, one begins then
those cocks are cocky sobs;
a persistent crew never give up
joined by “pleep-pleep” weaver birds,
white-jacket “pied” crows who spy
nosy, croak-talking us awake,
shouting cadence-like chants
from a variety of hornbills
some have absurd bills
the size of their whole heads,
in an ancient baobab, guttural laughing
from a giant blue turaco, all together
sounds building–BUILDING–
the crescendo of a wild roaring symphony
add the percussion
of the grumbling lowing of African cows
& the constant bleating of goats
in herds jangling bronze bells
Something is always going on–
vivid like a spinning kaleidoscope, yet
laid-back, serene, tranquil as lazy sky &
the rich dark soil which grew everything,
elephant-ear leaves slow-wave keeping time
Against the backyard fence, African kids pilfer
passion fruit hanging from our bushes like
myriad glossy purple Christmas ornaments,
but I smile at them snitching too. After all,
the land here owns us, never us, the land
so incredibly generous it is
in the Kakamega Kenya backyard
that once-upon-a-time
borrowed us.


Limericist 2021

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Posted by on February 10, 2021 in Poetry


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