Friends

We have traveled the world

Of joys and sorrows,

Of expectations and disappointments.

I know not what awaits us tomorrow,

We have traveled the world,

Only to return as friends.

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Yesterday

I cannot hear your voice,

Not in my memory.

I see your face when tears adorn my face,

And it hurts because I cannot remember why I forget you.

I cannot recall what it was that tore us apart,

You grace the heavens, I tell myself this because to imagine you anywhere but there is beyond my soul.

Today I saw you Dad,

I was at work talking to a colleague and there you were…across the fence, in the man talking to his daughter,

reaching out to hold her hand while smiling.

I know it was you because I couldn’t stop the tears,

I cannot hear your voice, heaven knows I have tried to hear it- recall it- feel it- sound it…everything.

The heavens call you their own,

Yesterday was not as tough as today…

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Laana and The Prince: A Conversation

“Well, my Father intends to travel to another kingdom, and has asked me to get my head in order and prepare for a trade visit to the kingdom at the far east, we are running low on provisions of salt, cassava and we need better spears for our warriors. He says that he knows the people despise us and would not trade with us, but he is hoping that their hate would not spill over to me and we can at least get salt and cassava. I leave in two days.”

“I wish you well on your journey Prince, may your meeting be a fruitful one.”

“Thank you Laana, and can I ask you something?”

“You are already asking Prince, what is it?”

“How is it that you haven’t asked whether I will succeed or not or wanted to know about the reason why they despise us? You just wished me well.”

“You will go, their hate will not stop you from asking for what your people need, so it serves no purpose dwelling on it.”

“I see. What do you do when the sun goes up and when she sleeps?”

“I wake up, thank the gods for life and good health and then go to the farm, and when the sun sleeps I sleep too. What do you do?”

“I wake up as well, the maidens draw my bath, I wash and join the family for breakfast. My father is keen on reminding me that now that I am of age, I would be much better eating from my wife’s pot and when he says such things I also remind him that if he could approve of the one I choose then all shall be well.”

“You argue when there is food before you and at dawn?”

“When you find the fowl grew horns you do not ask where it has been because whatever it fought in the night may still be chasing it.”

In the Quiet…Part 2

There are things no one tells you, like why your Fiancée dumps you and calls off the wedding in a café. More so why he’s invited his friend along to take a video of your humiliation and share it online.

You find out real soon that hell is empty for all the demons roam the earth.

When you become the laughing stock of a whole nation and pretty soon your face is not the kind to be seen in public because when your sin goes public everyone acts like they have none.

That video sparked the conversation of pushy and overbearing women and it was more of how much I pushed the man I loved into a life he never asked for. So for days I stayed home, crying and doing everything to see things through until the Caterer we’d hired called me on a Sunday evening. I remember because my neighbor was blasting his Rhumba music and he listened to the same playlist on Sunday evenings- so much so that everyone in the flat knew when he was in and when he wasn’t by the sound of music coming from his house.

“We need to talk and trust me this is for your own good.” She looked at me and asked me “what are you going to do with this pain and humiliation?”

“I don’t know, I can’t believe he did this to me.”

“Stop asking why or focusing on him- you give the devil the power every time you attribute an occurrence to him. How are you going to use your pain? The longer you hide the more his narrative is spun, so how about you start writing your own?”


….an excerpt from In the Quiet current WIP

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Forfeit

Stardust,

I come to you in words, a whisper in the evening when the clouds hover to usher in the dusk.

The sun has not beheld your countenance for two days, and she knows even that is a century…so she shines upon me, summons me out of my hiding to reach out to you.

You once said, “I hate flowers, they’re beautiful one second and dry up the next. If I could find whoever invented vases I would slap some sense into him…they never keep the flowers fresh!”

“How sure are you that it’s a man?” I asked.

“Most of the stupid things we see are invented by men…trust me.”

Photo of Woman Holding White and Yellow Chrysanthemum Flowers
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So, I pretended to do just that and watched you cloud your pain with anger. Your friends thought you were being a jerk and they called you out on it, until you simply shook your head and said “The old man is dying, prostrate cancer, stage four or something…he wants to see me.”

It was then that they knew.

I am a choice you made Stardust, but the men around you- Mark, Matto, Jim, George and Stano…are your family, the ones who know how much is too much for you, the ones who looked at you and told you to secure the bag when they met me. Yes, I know they pushed you to apologize…Stano can’t keep a secret where chapatis are involved!

It’s been two days Stardust and you are doing what you do best. You are walking into the dark void that’s your pain and no one’s invited, not even me.

There are some trips I can never make for you…and had I something akin to Ariadne’s thread I’d give it to you so you could find your way back to me…and even that would take a while.

You’ve got to want to come back.

You’ve got to want it all…the pain and the pleasure…until then Stardust, I hope my words reach you.

Daughter of Dichol: A Short Story

In the kingdom of Kale, long before the gods came to dwell among men, and the waters of the beautiful lake graced every home, there were those who knew what an abomination was. These were the men and women who could look into your eyes and behold the lives of your great grandchildren. No one was allowed to visit these men and women. If your farm was dying and your children wandering even then you could not visit them. They only answered the call of the gods and it is because of one of these gods that I am here today.

Her name, Lando, meaning the fair skinned one. She was the sun and the moon, an ever present beauty at dawn and dusk. Those who beheld her say that she had the eyes that could sink nations, drown fishermen and uproot trees. My people are known to pepper their words. No one has ever held up a picture to my face to prove these things and until then I will agree that she was simply a woman and to any man, a woman is a thing of beauty if he’s not lain beside her.

Lando was the first god to arrive in the kingdom of Kale. It was the season of the full moon where the fishermen prayed to the gods to help them catch some fish, if not a net full at least a handful so they could feed their families. They loved the sun and feared the moon. When the moon was in her full glory, all the fish would never come to the surface and the deeper they went into the lake, the less certain they were of making it back to the shore.

It was in one of such seasons, at the break of dawn when Lando appeared on the shore. The people say that they heard beautiful singing and when their ears led their legs they found themselves before this beauty whose skin glowed like the sun.

When she finished singing her song, she rose and her feet led the way to the King’s home. No one followed her that morning. Later in the evening, the King summoned the people and they feasted on the delicacies prepared by Lando as she sang into the night. For many harvests and seasons, the kingdom of Kale prospered until one evening when the skies could not help but lash out in anger and after the storm, walked in Dichol.

Whereas Lando was sunshine, Dichol was darkness. She was as dark as the night and those who picked a lump of soil from the earth claimed that even that was nothing compared to the god, Dichol. Dichol too upon arrival made her way to the King’s home and she was welcomed by the Queen. It is often said that the Queen had the heart of the Lake, wicked and wild, in everything she did. The people whisper their assumptions because rumor has it that wicked Queen’s spirit still roams the earth ready to strike down anyone who speaks ill of her. Now, they say that she was jealous of the attention the people of Kale were giving Lando and as such, she cried to the lake to send forth Lando’s rival to the land. The Lake being the mother of all souls, mortal and immortal, heard her cries and sent Dichol.

No one has ever described Dichol as they did with Lando and it pains me that they only referred to her as “dark night.”


Daughter of Dichol

Daughter of Dichol is a short story I submitted for the Afritondo Short Story Prize. So, since it didn’t make the cut, I thought why not share it here 🙂

Download a free copy of the story on:

Apple Books

Scribd

Fall

I’m like Fall, you say, and I smile…

I smile at how easy it is for you to liken me to seasons.

You smile, and it’s the best look you’ve had this year.

“Love, you are like Fall, you come once in a year and everyone looks forward to you, to seeing you, to being around you, because you radiate such light and love, I am jealous. How do you give your time to everyone and still have some left for yourself? Sometimes, well…most times, I feel like you slip through my fingers and settle right on my skin so I go everywhere with you…”

“You’re so cheesy…” I say and shrug. You are miles away from me.

Your voice is the home I know and now…now I miss home.

I tell you all about my travel experience and you laugh…you wish you were there to see my face and make fun of me, but you’re not…so we laugh some more.

“Hey, I’m not cheesy, you just make me say things that I never would.”

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The kingdom of Enzi

Every kingdom had a fool, someone to lift up the spirits of royalty, every kingdom except Enzi.

Enzi was the kingdom that bordered the great lake and it was surrounded by two kingdoms. Yajayo to the hand side of eating and Kiko to the side of curses. There were many more kingdoms however it is these two that come to mind when I am speaking to you.

Now, inasmuch as they did not have a fool, they did better, they had Chronicler.

I will try my very best to explain to you what role the Chronicler played, give a moment, let me light up these dry leaves and settle in my seat. It is dusk and the one I am waiting for is yet to announce her presence. I fear these times.

Call me Zuri, I am the only living Chronicler. In Enzi this position was only to be filled by women. As far as I can remember, my Great Grandmother was the first Chronicler and after that, she trained her daughter, who went on to train her daughter and in turn I was trained. Chroniclers never died in Enzi. They would instead accompany the King to the afterlife if it so happened that the ruler died before them.

As I speak to you, King Lua has been dead for three moons now. On the fifth moon, my people will bury me beside him covering me with soil as I chant praises of the dead king. It is the way of our people, taking and giving life as they please unaware of the wishes of our deity- Meichi.

Chroniclers are also the ones who are aware of the history of our people and having heard all the tales of Meichi and our people, I am yet to learn of when this deity ordered that Chroniclers be sent to the afterlife together with their King.

Woman with Face and Body Paint
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Silence

It’s you…Stardust.

It’s always been you.

I don’t know what to make of these thoughts, that stir my mind, set it ablaze you’d say.

For a soul so unknown, you love fire, like the air you breathe.

It will be ten o’clock in fifty-eight minutes.

I’ve had a cup of tea for supper and you are probably watching National Geographic, stretched out like a big cat on that brown couch you have.

You’ve had a cigarette for supper, but you will fix yourself something to eat, because you know how to whip up a meal when you’re motivated, and nothing motivates you like hunger.

I keep talking to myself, my words bounce back to me, these four walls know more about my emotions than I do.

So, I’ll write you another letter before I go to bed tonight.

And it will be something like this, “Dear Stardust…silence.”

Person Lying on Bed Holding Blanket
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