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Anyone?

an African girl searches for her mother
she’s five– tied on her back, her brother
wanders the smoky streets, hungry
hides when rowdy black-booted men pass
they carry machetes and Russian AK-47s
amid wailing cries and sniping chatter
limbless bodies stare from bloated death
fishy-smelling sewage in pothole puddles
she stops to drink the rainbow-slicked water
giving a little to her fever-sick passenger
not far, the soldiers hold a shirtless man
smirking, they necklace him with a tire
crying on his knees, imploring for his life
they douse him with kerosene and lighter flicks
fiery screeches pierce the air
and they just laugh and laugh and laugh
from hiding, the girl watches in horror,
wondering, why?–
does anyone care?

.

.

© Brian Hodgkinson Jr. (aka) Limericist 2007

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2021 in Poetry

 

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Pearl of Africa

Like her name
she’s a dear precious gem
pearly smooth as the ivory
adorning the callosal elephant that rumble
her birthplace, Makumu near Kisumu
smack-dab on the equator–
she was born there,

her blood pulses to the drums
of the Luhyia, Luo, Kisii, & Kikuyu–
–a girl of African soil
who once shaped its mud into dolls
sitting cross-legged speaking Swahili
with the children who were born there

whose heart knows ebony
as the hue of family and friends
questioning why she wasn’t too,
though she was and will be, beyond
the shallow veneer of civilization where
culture fails & only the child remains,
for intervention already displayed
the red-bloodedness of us all

Yesu found her early
in those high sugar-caned shamba-fields
where the Spirit frothed over among
African thatched huts – and prayers
billowed up like the smoke
from kitchen-hut cooking fires
boiling chai tea
Kenya, her home, is where
she placed her reliance on him
and was born a second time
because like her Swahili name, Lulu,
her worth is priceless as the One
above this fading earth
who reaches down
to the African clay she
was born

 

 

 

© Brian Hodgkinson Jr. (aka) –Limericist 2006/2021

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2021 in Poetry

 

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Five Cups of Hot Chai

Here. February snows drift higher–
Their dread weight grows, lazily it
demands my frenzied shovel, but
in my mind’s eye, I fly–

1. I’m in Kenya again
lying peacefully under
a lush passion-fruit vine,

a great blue turaco croaks proudly
overhead, in the interwoven
dew-gemmed morning emerald.

A golden banana stalk bends
from a giant bloated purple flower,
resting ripe on the ground.

Back to watching the vortex
collect inches upon feet
…but still, I drift–

2.  See me. Breathing the African dust
that reddened my sunburned skin,
Swahili smiles, with “Jambo mama!”
Warm “Habari?” greetings,
firm handshakes, gleaming teeth,
acceptance, hospitality,
love.

7900 mi back here. Shiver, five outside,
wind-chill minus “blah,”
Alone, bleak. Locked in my cell.
So switching the channel again:

3. There… I walk through monkey-chatter
Kakamega forest, so pure, glowing alive –
Eyes look from trees, they just watch.
Moss climbs up the roots of the BCE
ancients.

Trudge through velvet gumbo-mud
I sink, and yee hah!
Fire-ants “siafu” up my pants,

I dance, ow ow ow!
Drawing My blood, but
this cowboy doesn’t mind…
better than a blizzard.

Reluctant. Back. Blind by white
I fight through my frightening night,
hack-hacking .. Spit pneumonia yellow
broken-lunged phlegm,
turn the page – travel,

4. I’m walking that sour-smelling Mumias road,
sugarcane rustles under cotton-blue.
Marching kilometers I live
a free-bird, soaring with
friends, so many friends,
hot chai, sweet milk-tea, more steaming chai.
Sweaty-foreheads, “jasho” grins.
we laugh until our stomachs hurt.
the fellowship flows.

Now, the shock. The muffled sound
of scraping plows. Calls me here.
The snow shrieks, no, it shouts!
& multitudes of flakes swirl
deep-freeze killing me
frozen.
But once upon a day, I was

5.  Carried away by the afternoon
African dust-devils, fresh, crisp air filling me,
born of the scented black virgin soil,
which warms fertile
this snow man’s
memories.

*

*

Limericist 2006/2021

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2021 in Poetry

 

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