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surprise

Minority #identityPolitics

The TV is telling me a movie story, But
I can't relate. Nobody in there looks like me.
Even the games I play have been carefully
Curated to exclude me. My day to day life
Is not on the walls of the backgrounds I
Shoot at. Not even the enemies look like
My daily struggles,

But I play on. Artificial intelligence tests
Miss my demographic, pushing out machines I
Can barely relate to, bearing the fake smiles
That poke through my skin in public spaces where
The world expects me to blend in, to grab a chair
Into their special lounge, where only I and my peers
Weren't Invited.

Yet I'm blamed for the crimes that are committed,
And the police won't hesitate to test their suppositions
On me, for no matter what I do, no matter my position,
I must have stolen this car, and everything else as well.
My kind has committed some egregious crimes that swell
Above all the good I do in my community. Going to hell
Is the promise

The world has for me. They don't know me or my pain
In not having enough like me to relate to; seeking
Friends amidst the throng whose eyes look menacingly
In fear of what I could or would do to them and all.
No matter what I say or think or do, the vitriol
Just can't end. I need one whom I can dare to call
And relate.

But even this meal that temporarily heals me will
Be considered something I stole of a hardworking
Man's back. Taking other people's stuff is the thing
All imagine me doing; this house I worked to buy
Must have been ripped of some miserable family guy.
These fancy clothes must be the blue to a conman's sky!
How else

Could I have these, earned through hours and hours,
Sacrificing family relationships, my health, my loves,
Just to hit my targets of making in concrete new flowers?
Nobody believes I tried to change the world my way
'Cos to the world, robbing to climb is the only way
We the 1% make a living.

(c) nyonglema


If you earn > $ 800 000/year, then you're part of this chastised minority: enjoy.
Categories
surprise

Why me? #poetry

Sometimes I ask why me?
Sometimes, the night is darker than should be
Or the light just a tad too bright for me
Sometimes the water is Antarctica on my skin
Or I seek Antarctica to bring peace to my skin.

But why me with
These words to say what I feel and make you
Feel the light bouncing off a distant view,
Floating before your silent eyelids, telling
Tales from long ago, waking memories yelling
From your childhood, singing a song you knew,
But now forgot?

With these words healing through me,
Binding through me, loving through the vessel I am,
When a pen or keyboard stealthily lift up the dam
And the flood cannot keep, and the whole world holds its breath
While history fills up, but the Earth in all its breadth
Cannot answer, and I must just be still seeking, still me.

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

Bright Lights #transfiguration

Whoa! I have never seen this one before!
Diamonds sparkling where trees swayed, casting
Their awestruck projections of myriad rainbows
Upon our faces, and straight to our hearts.
What feeling is this?
This brings me back to that day on the boat,
When salvation changed my trade, and made the day after
Never the same.
How can I describe this post-war type
Peace that pervades my heart like a first breath,
Like a first love?
Even the fragrance of white lilies swims into
My nostrils, are the others getting this?
Who is that? Wow, that beard, that robe.
I know.
I know.
I know.
This is amazing, should I talk to him?
Should I inquire what he did when we left him behind?
Should I…wait, and who’s that now?
Oh the beautiful chariot of fire. Chariot of fire? Chariot of…
My goodness, are we really here? Rabbi, is this where
We are promised?
Is this where we shall find rest after it all?
Rabbi, this feeling should last forever.
These bright bedazzled rocks, the sweet music
That paints joy all around us subtly,
These smells never before smelled,
All this should last forever.

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

It’s morning

The pianist moves his fingers across the notes the flowers play

The violinists follow gently, in slow graceful movements

The guitarists cast the sun about with swifter motions to the wind

The percussions are harmonised by the enchanted tweets of birds

Watching the green orchestra turn the smooth morning breeze

Into music for the eyes and soul, and I only think: “Thank God”!

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

Palms for murder #HolyWeek #Easter

You know a human’s about to get you when the honours come out.
They raise you on a pedestal, higher than your donkey mount.
They hail you, with palms to grow on your funeral mound.

But that’s not today, today it’s Hosanna in excelsis
It’s blessings to He who comes from deepest exegesis
It’s wholly holy people praising salvation’s catalysis.

Not the funeral mound no! But seeking some greater cause:
Freedom from the Roman “alphabet” to “alefbet” theirs.
Freedom borne by a donkey marching majestically with no pause.

You know a human’s about to get you, when you’re set to fail
By their standards. We’re human, and when we start to ail,
Everything seems either brighter or of a darker shade of pale

We raise Hope on a pedestal, higher than a donkey can,
And wish the standards are earthly unlike the first Eden ban,
Or the Earth in glory bathed, but humble when it began.

And we miss it all, the real glitter that Easter brings,
Looking for the suave mauve of bigger and bigger kings,
In a manger, then a cross, then a tomb, then everything.

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

Exiled #neoAfrican

Urbanised, I grew near concrete and car honks, not farms and cow horns
Nor the chirp of birds harmonising farm hoes tilling the soil.
My streams had little fish, just plastic and plastic and sticks from corns.
Urbanised, I learnt to read quite young, and in books was embroiled.

But back “home” where they wake at 5am to prepare for a long trip
To the farm, with loads on your back to and fro, you went off to the farm
And through sun burns you got trained to live through your hardship.
But you forget I have my own hardship which I don’t need to wear on my arm.

Yes, you laughed because I couldn’t handle your condition, I buckled
You chuckled and gave me names to signify I didn’t fit in
And that made me shut down from learning the richness of my culture,
Then seek strength in all that the urban life had trained me in.

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

While shepherds watched #MerryChristmas

While shepherds watched their flock by night,
Seated on the ground, the sheep kept going round
In telepathic discourse, full of questions as they might,
Talking to the other sheep whom divinity had found.

“What does He look like? Does He bear Mary’s smile
Or Joseph’s nose? Is Mary ok after the delivery
And who is tending her right now?” After a while
The response would come of Mary’s particular chivalry

To push in stable bear, and bear He to save us all,
And tend the baby dear, swathed in pieces of cloth
Torn off her precious dress worn, and Joe’s wool
Of brown and black and white, amidst the fleeting moths

Dancing in the candle-lit palace of the king of
The world born as lowly as a baby among the lowliest.
His message rich -Share,Love,Reconcile – may sound tough,
But those sheep were proto-us, living glory’s best

Oh that you may see beyond the glittering balls which hang
On the Tannenbaum, with blocks, and plasticky ropes
Shining light. Oh that His coming inspires, taking your pangs,
Bringing joy and peace to you, yours, and beyond your hopes.

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

Fly Away #beMore #goForIt #don’tLookBack

Leaves flooded your dreams of youthful nights:
A young caterpillar crawling about the jungle
Dodging the sight of hungrier beasts in the heights,
And the ground beasts dreaming of you and their tongue.


A white streak in a ballet of windy green leaves,
Gripping, then crawling, then gnawing near the midrib
Then gripping, then crawling, watching what the spider weaves
As flies dance about as if they knew there was no return to their cribs.


A tough silken box later and you’re clothed in glory
Vestments singing bright colours for the whole world to know
Fluttering fleetingly from bough to bough in a fairy story
Where you’re king, queen, prince, horse and coach


I know you reminisce the crawling and gnawing of youth
But Time’s persistence is such that you can never have both.
Remember as you wish those days that, in truth,
History’s devices need be adapted for the present to suit.


(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

The 10th Planet #PlutoFlyBy #Kuiperbelt

What if Pluto and its orbiting moons were gifts to some queen,
A Taj Mahal of grandeur from some forward life form
Attesting love in no uncertain terms, and as is to us men,
By having a heart-engraved orb remind her how much the heart is torn?

And as our messenger enters the next solar system unknowingly,
To see in splendor the 10th planet (or so we think)
Hidden hitherto by clever craft and years of scientific homily,
What awe would we perceive in that blink?

A civilization far advanced in many ways and strange,
The bustle of life flowing on its surface,
While New Horizons snaps away, keeping its fly-by range
Till it gets a Kanye-paparazzi-pimp-slap to its face!

(c) Nyonglema

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surprise

The Fly By #PlutoFlyBy

I wonder what I would feel as new horizons flew me by:
A probe taking pictures of my abode for earthlings’ eyes.
I wonder would I feel violation of my age-old privacy,
But yet rejoice that it was but for a minute;
Or elation at finding other life in this void so spacey
Then tear up as my memories go with it?

I guess, I’d only be glad I found other life whirring past
Clicking away, cold, without a smile, hurtling past,
And forever remember this sign from distant brethren
Saying hello to another silent ball floating about in this pen.

(c) Nyonglema