Memories of Your Food #writing201 #day8 #RIPmum

The kitchen slab of long ago, with veggies and onions
And meat and knives and a utensil stack
And water and stock and “kanwa” and skills like a surgeon
And love and will to chop and then hack

Till pieces are ready to be put in the cauldron
Of oil of olive and salt and more
And make my meal, no a meal for me and the squadron
Of 2 bigger boys and 1 girlish bore,

Comes to me now in stabs and jabs to my sore bones
When I pause to think of your smile
For gone are you and the skill and love and scones
And we won’t see you for quite a while.

(c) Nyonglema

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My son’s tooth #RIPmum #loss #missTheWell

I still remember when you were but members kicking in the air,
Reaching for my hair, my glasses, mouth bare, wide stare
Living life to the full without a fear, and very little care:
Your empty stomach, full diapers, or when dada or mum’s not there.


Yes, your gums gleamed for the future white to grow there,
And the first push through brought your mum-mum to crazy cheer,
And brought you and gramma and mum to some hospital chair,
To tend a fever…shame most of these times I was on foreign stairs.


The pictures brought me joy too, and I showed each peer,
Like “Check that out, the teeth are showing” to their blank stare
Of non-understanding, or about-to-jeer, or I-don’t care.
But that little trophy was mine and mine to carry everywhere!


Then they multiplied: more incisors premolars and each year
There was more to show in your mouth than in some trade fairs!
We were proud, but I bet as high as your head was your care
For the diamonds pushing through your gums as if fore’er.


But now I can feel the stab of the salty streak of each tear
That poured out as four years later the incisive pioneer
Lost its hold and you panicked and at that time we weren’t there
To guide you on this change that to you was a great scare.


But but how could you have…but but….Mummy….


How could I have known that things strong one day leave?
How could I have known that this time it wasn’t a pet peeve
And that that last heave for breath is the last you’d give?
How could I have known that so soon we would all have to grieve?


You were decisive and strong, standing through the toughest
And the roughest weather you brushed off your body’s surface,
And put on a warm face, smiled to heal the pain in my sore nest
Where the eggs of hope were being infested by hornets.


Mummy…


Like my little boy living life not thinking about the whites,
I loved deep but saying “I love you” was an Isaac sacrifice,
And by your bier, staring through the glass at shut made-up eyes,
I’m saying “I love you” as if to thaw your face and skin of ice.


(c) Nyonglema

5 – 10 – 15 #WorldTeachersDay #5thOctober2015

5, 10 and 15 are the hours my body chooses to remember:
Waking up abruptly to the hateful chorus of mechanical clocks
To face the day at 5am with short thermometer fluids.
Then at 10am the buffaloes stampede to the stream, the slide,
A swing overworked while a throng stand and wait to turn,
Unable to see 10h30am where the fun all ends. The balls are working too,
Until all have to wear sad faces at the classroom door.
15h00 to familiar aromas, tastes, visuals, and instead of homework,
I’m studying stage 2 of Super Mario Bros with A-B-C, then X-Y, then L-R
Hoping dad and mum are late enough that I finally make it over
The mathematical complexity of leaping over this gorge!


However, between the 5, 10 and 15 is the treasure my brain will remember.
Glue, match sticks and cardboard were Picasso’s iceberg tip, like me
Then letters like weird glyphs found meaning in a word ballet
On the pages, chalkboards, white on black wisdom screeching in the heat
And my eyes were still sleepy from late night Nintendo adventures.
The smiley faces became ticks, the ticks became grades, the grades
Became appraisals, and each aimed to keep me from straying
And make that other kid proud that he stayed furthest ahead of the pack.
The pressurized air bounces around the room sans-echo:
Years of research presented to my ignorant brain in seconds
And over and over again, I finally get it, and scorn those blokes
Of years past who couldn’t figure out that the apple WILL fall down.
Do it like this, not like this! Manners, planning, praying:
I soaked them all up in floating waves around my ears near my peers,
Till soon I was so filled, I was letting them out to other sponges.
Sadly, none of that ever fixed the chicken scratch I call handwriting!


5, 10 and 15 those three numbers which represent all you were to me:
End of nursery, end of primary, end of secondary and start university!
At each junction you stood, waiting to direct me, and whip…mean correct me.
Thank you the teachers who’ve made me who I’ve become today,
Who shaped the words I’ve chosen to write
And the way I say the jokes which make the souls of friends light.
You’re the garden of the world, for all that is dark and all that is right,
The under-looked power changing the world with red pen, white chalk and black board.


(c) Nyonglema


R.I.P. Mum…you’re the teacher I miss the most, till we meet again!

Marital Advice: Love AT LAST #marriage #couple #happiness

AT last AT last!

I’m so happy for you. I know for sure that you’ve fought your internal battles and are ready for the journey of love.

Love is a choice, a decision which you have thought through and are making on that beautiful day. The next 100years of your happy lives depends on both of you (and the kids on the way 🙂 ). Make the best of them. Communicate communicate communicate. Talk to each other at least thrice a day…talk about everything, your fears, joys, pain, temptations. Share your projects, plans, hopes, dreams. Be each other’s mentor for growth personally, and professionally. Be great in bed, and advise each other on how to make the experience more pleasant for each other. Live the beautiful adventure of life together. Eliminate unnecessary distractions and noise that could steal the precious moments in each other’s arms.

Love love love is the key.

The future indeed begins now, and no matter what the world tells you, you shall be happy if you believe, and work hard at your couple, together. Don’t procrastinate the hard talks, don’t let anger let you say horrible things to each other. Always try to have a calm conversation, get angry but not for too long. Stay honest on your feelings to each other. Know we men are more introverted, and get us to tell you we love you, because some of us forget. Plan events together, get the man on board the projects, and get on his projects. It’s the 21st century, but men still need to feel in control of the home…give him that without becoming a slave.

Love love love is the key.

What more can I wish you but pure unrefined concentrated saturated happiness….so much of it that it overflows from your heart onto your kids and family and friends. Girls night out? Gone…replaced with cosy evenings with your heartthrob. You’ll have to relinquish some of your past, to enjoy the present. The chick must leave the comfort and security of the egg, to experience this world if he must become a brave singing cock. On the that day your life really begins, my daughter!

Love love love your husband and let him love love love you. Doesn’t matter who loves more, as long as both hearts are on the same boat to the same destination of happiness‼

God will show you the way…just a little faith will do…just a little!

Congratulations on such a great step. Blessings on the journey.

(c) Nyonglema

The Soldier’s Wife #stopWar

It’s 9pm and the cell phone sings a tune.
She swipes to green to accept the call:
“Who calls so late?” The answer tells of misfortune.

There’s silence as she relives the bullets he received,
Calling for help in gargles on the battlefield
And dropping in the smoky marshes to join the deceased.

Silence as she shakes the thought and thinks of a plan.
Resurrection? Cloning? Parallel universes?
Silence as she seeks retaliation for the death of her man.

The buzz on the line doesn’t take her mind of it,
As she sees her life and his as a silent flick
Rushing in her brain, rambling and troubling in quiet.

Silence as she feels her pulse rise uncontrolled,
And darkness falls as her thud slams the ground,
And the receiver crashes out of her lifeless hold.

(c) Nyonglema

Mum #mother #RIP

As a little boy, I wondered why I have a mum.
All she did was shout when I was gaming;
Whip me when the VHS entertained me;
Slap me when with friends we played crazy;
Force me to make up our room;
Keep me away from my darling TV.

But as I got older, I now know why I miss my mum.
What she really did was teach me discipline;
Tell me to focus on priorities;
To choose friends wisely, cherish friendship,
To keep my life in order no matter what
And to love what I have, while dreaming of what I could be.

She brought peace when we threw punches,;
She brought delicious meals at dinners and lunches;
She cheered loudest at success, and consoled my failures.
The cohesion felt when the mum gathers her chicks
Fades away when her time is done on earth.
So now I know why I had a mum,
But how will she know I wish she wasn’t gone?

(c) Nyonglema

The Grass is Greener #hereHome #home

We’re not called upon to choose anything we live through;
Neither parent nor sibling nor school nor form of sinew;
Neither colour of hair or eye or skin,
Nor love or hate, nor loss or gain
Nor opportunities nor whence we come. So much is true.

But as much as this truth I hold as true as sunlight,
I know that painful times will time to time alight
When with bitter phlegm you curse
The earth where you breathed first
And wish your day of birth were scratched by He with might.

I know. Same feelings have plagued my adult soul
And the wish for better home to make each day whole
Has been dashed by shameful news,
Where Hope, seeing Hitler, and 94’s Hutus,
Needs to hide its youth to stall the death toll.

But amidst pain, hate and bottled despair rife
There’s the rare love, innocent and hardly grasping to life.
For here, we can give our all
When we choose to keep you from a fall.
We really do it: humble, loving…just like the Lord’s life.

Yes, it’s easier to perceive the weeds in one’s garden
For the pastures beyond gleam in our myopia, hiding their burden.
And seeing that weed can cast a shadow
On all that’s sweet, but cause much ado
About the bitter parts, and it day by day your heart will harden.

Think of the evening breeze on the night grill,
Feeding the flames of a delicious family fish meal.
Think of hitting the unadulterated
Lands of hills where ancient rivers percolated
And happy goats skip, and cattle graze and one can feel

Life whizzing through rustling leaves of dancing old tree or reed,
Playing the music our ancestors learned to read,
Making your lungs touch their purpose,
Dazzling your eyes like a Jabbawockeez pose,
The music we’ve forgotten as we focus on some RSS feed.

Think of the youths wise with tradition re-enacting solemnly
The dances and music handed down from before when Ptolemy
Phrased ancient philosophical data,
To the time of the expansive empire of Sundiatta
Beads stomping the dust frantically in musical poetry.

Picture the pure darkness which crowds the silent night air,
Unveiling the marvellous dotted and scattered there
In the moonlit heavenly canvas,
Watching us from light years past,
And we fascinated by the sparkling magic they share.

So to sum it all up, I know it cannot be perfect,
And sometimes I rant and make massive graffiti of its defects,
But this home my parents chose
Still draws my spirit close,
For the bond is deeper, far deeper than human senses can detect.

(c) Nyonglema

The Chosen Mother #Mary #Christmas

Oh Bethlehem of glorious fate,
You through love became so great,
For within your walls on stable bare
Mary lay her Babe in yester year.

The gusty winds of winter tide
She warded off as best she might:
With shards of cloth she swathed the Boy
Who brought Salvation to lack of joy.

In dark dull fields the light was lit
As shepherds, sheep got on their feet
To sing along to heavenly praise
And rush to see the King of Grace.

In foreign land some saw the star,
And left their own to travel far,
With gifts to honour and wisdom too,
They knelt and prayed the King of Truth.

And Mary watched her first born sleep
With Love, the wise, shepherds and sheep.
She got the mystery the angel voiced:
“Most glorious blessed, my Master’s choice.”

(c) Nyonglema

I MISS YOU #mum #RIP #deceased #mama #mother #death

Where’s the sweet smile on the sunlit porch,
Sitting calmly and watching the world bustle by?
Where are the hugs from that sweet voice, pitch high,
But sweet soft? The flame on my darkness’ torch?

Where lie those sweet smells through the threshold,
Playing notes upon my nose, stirring thoughts in my tummy?
Where’s that sweet face like that on me,
Looking at me up and down like when I left the fresh mold?

Where’s that intangible love exchanged non-verbally,
As we shared recent events for hours,
You encouraging me to build my own life towers,
And those sweet thoughts shaping me morally and mentally?

Where’s the history of how you bore me 9 months,
And brought me through pain to this place of stress
Where I now have to live without your face,
Words, or touch till I’m done counting months?

Where are the trips to church, outings trips in the sun?
Where’s that beautiful chocolate skin you’ve given us?
Where’s the joy now that you’ve left us?
Where are you mum?

(c) Nyonglema

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