Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 21: Fond Memories

Four years to the day, my mother died
I could never talk about my mother without choking on tears
However, even then, she will always be as we remember he: caring, funny, wise, patient, beautiful, kind-hearted, devout christian, strong, among other things...

But lately there's great things I've been remembering by way of interactions and observations. Here are some of them:

Sometimes when i see ladies with a bad bob, i think: my mother had great hair :-)

She smiled a lot. no matter how tired she was

If mum was mad at you for something you did, she gave you a look. it was enough to get you apologizing.

She sang at the start of most mornings. i remember her singing through getting ready.
and for a woman that beautiful, it didn't take long to see her radiance after she awoke.

Mama could laugh. she had a hearty laugh. she'd laugh at something you did so bad that you'd end up laughing with her no matter how embarrassed you felt.

Her heart was far too kind and i don't mean this because its the appropriate thing to say of the person who gave birth to you. I say it because she was a giver. she gave of her time, her money and herself to those around her and the acts of love that live on attest to this.

Home they say is where the heart is. but for me sometimes the simple sight of cinnamon and honey in the kitchen is enough to warm my heart as home would.
mum would make us take a teaspoon of honey sprinkled with cinnamon on nights when we were younger. she said it was medicine. and we believed. sometimes still take a teaspoon of honey before bed.

Bottom line: on the day my mother died, it will always be difficult not to ignore some of those memories obviously. however, the positives from having her around were so much greater than focusing on the pain of loss. that's in part why i wrote this. as a reminder of what matters, the positive, the laughs.
my mother was many great things and those who knew her can attest to this fact.
we miss her incredibly and still have love for her

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

that's it?

And that ladies and gentlemen, that disconnection tone on the other end of the line, signals the end of a 12-year friendship

I've been loosing one of my oldest friends for a while now.
Its been a gradually slow process I've been trying to ignore mainly because it feels like the gaping hole of fresh wound.

Friday, October 5, 2012

weekend treat

i give you....


(a pie)

i hope you enjoy the two days of rest


Thursday, October 4, 2012


I cannot claim ownership to you
for how does one own a human being?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dear Lovers and Dreamers

September has been gracious enough to present me with lessons,
of which I will share shortly...

But first, allow me to express my sincere gratitude for seeing its end in one piece
God be praised.

Secondly, when my mother was alive, September was my favourite month.
She was born on the 1st.

This year, I had to learn to begin enjoying her again. That is why to anyone who asked me what my genuine feelings were, I'd say I'm falling in love with the city of my birth the way you get to know your lover again

'So much loving and journeying gives birth to books' Pablo Neruda said.
I've fallen in love with reading again, feels like a form of escape from the chaos of busy days and fatigue.

I've gotten back to movie-watching also....keenly following dialogue because after all, to enjoy any performance, the brain has got to be involved.

I tell you lovers, if he doesn't possess an engaging mind over a light spirit, even his 'hot body' will droop with gravity over the years and what will you do then?

I digressed.

September has taught me patience, that people will always fail you, you've got to learn to move on and a fair measure of humour will get you through anything.

In hoping for greater things in October,

stay hopeful and learn to dream again.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ngila: the hero of war

Its the beauty of the well manicured lawns, then the silence that bombards you Until this afternoon, I'd never been to the Nairobi War Cemetary before Guess what I came lost kindred who fought for the British in WWII ? I don't know. But because we share a name, I take this post to commend all our heroes of war. here's some of the pictures from there

aerial view

dears, here was my view this morning whilst leaving a location i was on assignment nothing fancy, just the view from up top. x

Monday, September 24, 2012

a Nairobi sunset

i took this picture at the Nyayo Stadium during day two of the Safaricom Sevens Rugby this past weekend

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Public Apology

I must apologize. Apologize to you for not posting as much or being as present here. Lately I've become more visual hence the need to post more photographs representing the way i see the world. Also, I've been tired lately, in part by virtue of how busy I am on all working days. Which means I've been absent. Absent from the lives of people i hold dear and for that I'm using this public space with its ability to furnish its opinions and even shaming me into an apology, which i admit i owe to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry i haven't been present, to listen to you talk about your day or what matters to you and how it makes you feel. I'm sorry I wasn't there to share your proudest moments and for that I hope you can forgive me. I was asked by a friend recently 'how are you?' The weight of that loaded question crushed me into narrating the events I've experienced over the last few weeks and the state I'm in. Truth is, I am consciously falling in love with the city of my birth day by day. I am constantly learning new things and meeting new people. Constantly exposing myself to the furnace of public opinion and learning it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them and move on, but also more importantly, its prudent to be me even when catalysts around me try to prove otherwise. I needed to tell you why and what happened while I was away, but importantly, apologize for my absence. peace Diana

Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Place: Airport

Loves, lately one of my favorite places has been the Airport. Here's some of what i captured while on a mini-excursion. Enjoy x

Thursday, August 16, 2012

on breaking the silence

If you should ask me where I've been all this time I have to say 'Things happen' via Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

me, lately...

here's what i've been up to since i was last here....
being photographed......mainly for the hacks to check their settings right before a crucial, fast assignment (Photo Credit: Fred Onyango) ...and..... indulging in my greatest weakness after chocolate, pastry and coffee....
(Photo by me)

Thursday, June 28, 2012


grey skies, pink scarf, open mouth, closed heart. that slightly disappointed look when you see a friend's face in a stranger on the street.

Monday, June 18, 2012

on my abscence

Its been close to a year since i posted anything on here I've been living offline Sometimes unsure how much i should tell or write I intend to get back to you Like a lover back from a long journey bearing gifts Put the kettle on, pull a seat and lean in closer I have things I'd like to tell you

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


hunger has a face
your brain automatically recalled pictures you've seen related to this...
the horn which is in africa, malnourished children, limp breasts suckled by babies with oversized heads
cut. back to these words
hunger has a way of subduing the human spirit
the emptiness of the stomach and the emptiness of the soul,
they both strip us bare
my people are dying. kenya, somalia, ethiopia is in dire need
i don't just mean your money..
we need your support
get the word out, show you care
share with us and in future we just might share with you
see reputable aid organisations to help
nothing is too small
let's preserve our next generation
our hope afterall is in our children

Monday, July 25, 2011

what is worse than loosing identity?

this is a conversation i had this morning with a brother from the horn who is being hosted by a country far away from his mother's land.. it reminded me of another conversation i had with a south african friend on the matter of identity.

'me: i smile

he: i smile too but deep inside i am blue

me: why?

he: when i rememeber home. its all the crazy things. what's worse than loosing a country and identity?

me: nothing apart from life - the breath of it

he: a good answer'

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

of cold and human blankets

photo: Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte

Nairobi is cold
the kind of weather that makes you want to hold another body..
If this picture doesn't make you want to spoon in this weather, i don't know what else will..

Friday, June 10, 2011

The 2nd Letter

I thought you should know I have been living tastefully in this livid weather
confused with rays of sun
somewhere between faith and dreams,
adrenaline and calm
in the company of beauty
avoiding horrid reflections of souls

this Africa that i have learned to embrace, has me thirsty for intimacy
'Kenya is like Zimbabwe' i heard Oliver Mtukudzi say recently
like a foreigner would say at first glance, 'you all look alike'
or unify us on the election patterns, history, colonizers and the lowest common denominator: skin color
we too sometimes make an error in our perceptions of ourselves
and it is this perceptions the world uses against us

between perseverance and meeting ends, we try stay afloat
foreign debts drowning us
trying to erase and embrace our past
all at the same time as though unsure of the future we aspire to

i embody this nation, as a fraction
of its influences marinated on me
the way flavors infuse
crystallize on a crust, shed by consistent flame

i, like Nelson Mandela, dream of an Africa at peace with itself
comfortable in her own skin
like a woman confident
readily showered and flowered with compliments
because she is deserving

i need not remind you there are two views:
those from inside her and those on the outside looking in
both reflections of a continent worthy of attention,
hungry for solutions,
rich in resources
as to whether they are true representations, i let you be the judge

but for now, let's bask in the beauty and strength that we are,
love we possess, and faith we cherish
because we are. Ubuntu.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

on flames

Fires light
Fires attract
Fires cook
Fires burn
Just don't light a fire you can't quench

Friday, May 20, 2011

mona-lisa smile

you neatly arrange your bones at the edge of the bed
in a room lit by the street light then lay parallel to the horizon
like a pile of memories you're afraid to touch in the dark
classified orderly according to letters of the alphabet

you don't wait for the lights to fade into black
you just shut your eyes
and try to forget the world
of scenic beaches, simple pleasures and freedom
coming up to the surface of the clear water
with the warmth and reflection of the sun
mouth agape gulp of air
the taste of salt
the sound of flapping waves the expanse of the ocean
swimming with the ocean

then your soul calms
you fall asleep
and smile half a mona-lisa smile

this was inspired by Reuters Photographer's Blog Post, Surf Therapy:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Half Life

a Sunday afternoon walk in a mall had me buy this book
i was looking for something to read
a book with a different flavor on the mental palate
like trying out a new dish for the first time

i finished it in five days because i was trying not to finish it too soon
what's the English equivalent of the Swahili word 'bembeleza'?
that's what i was doing

Roopa Farooki's style, description and manner is amazing
she manipulates the emotions like a skilled craftsman on a work of art
in an unpredictable way
making you want to read all the way through
about this character Aruna

she made me think of my own life
the way hearing a song reminds you of a time, a place, a moment
a tare

celebrated for good reason, Roopa Farooki is a writer you'll want in your collection

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

title it what you will

i've recently began taking a certain pride in the city i was conceived in
i can imagine my parents: young, hip (though that's debatable now..) and shy
in a city that has just discovered itself, like a teenager
all up in your face about this that and the other

music is a great chunk of my everyday life and i need new influences
mainly in hip-hop
that's my favorite genre

books have become rare in my bags -i always had one when i was in uni
because i loved reading
that's how i met Aidan Hartley(a journo i admire, though my boss thinks otherwise),
Mr. King formerly of CNN, and Zadie Smith, let's not forget Paulo Coelho...
Yousef Komunyakaa, Pablo Neruda,the list is endless

i have since willed myself to read
less top gear, constant al jazeera english, twitter
i have Paulo's The Zahir beside me
it always makes me want to read again
creating a certain hunger to rip through pages of books
thirsty, gulping

its 4PM
i don't know what to title this
i've been drinking coffee and water
longing to write
after seeing a girl's body being taken away
she committed suicide because her boyfriend didn't want her
people talked. cracked some jokes. but still. we all thought it was sad
the faces people wore
a facade
thinking of their own lives, their own lovers and what they'd do
i put it to you: i have been in love and out of it
and no one time did i ever want to kill myself
or the other party as it were
walking away
no matter how hard
has always been my philosophy
hey, don't go harming yourself or others
doing no good

OK, break the odd glass, box a punching bag
but don't forget to tell yourself to breathe
don't look away
am not
my hand is on your cheek
you are trying not to cry
your sad face weighs on my chest
so i hold you like the world is ending
and whisper in your ear:
'i am here. i am here...and even if you go, you'll still find me here'
and let go of you to see the choice you make
in the meantime, i still live, love and laugh
i would encourage you to do the same ?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the first of many letters...

Its been a few moon phases and mother earth periods since i posted anything i penned on this page.
There has been less reading, more watching, intense listening- yes my hearing is sharper at night.

Thinking of what to write, i wonder, should i write of how God surprised me with things i could never do for myself? Or of a man i met in the street today clad in black pants i fancied and that i wanted to plant a kiss on his mouth for no apparent reason except i thought his mouth looked inviting? Or the blue of the sky? Should i write about work and what i think of people who work with their hands? Maybe. Maybe i should tell you all how doing things i've never done in this city has me falling in love with it all over again. I didn't forget to puncuate with a question mark. It felt better with a full stop. Not that am a sucker for grammer like my English teacher as long as the point is passed across...

I am learning to use new parts of my brain. As though i had them installed like new a software recently...the part that rationalizes..the part that can create..the part that's learning to see from a different perspective.

Picture-taking is back on my radar. I had missed it. Like a lover gone for a long trip returned. I'm now re-acquainting myself with it. Back to people who work with their hands...they have a certain edge. Like the curve of a woman. Or the alertness of creativity. They make, patch, heal, restore. Things. Discarded. Freshly dug. Out of nothingness. As if it were a fabric. Sewing hopes, and dreams and aspirations. Don't ask me what am talking about...because i don't know. I just wanted to write you. To let you know i'm alright. That my absence is necessary. And i miss you, writing to you. So i will start a series of letters to you soon. Those i've been too embarrassed to share. Or spineless to send. Perhaps a portrait of images i find somewhat attractive. Like the lisp of a child a dimple-faced smile, toothless. Or an old man's tale.
Things indicative, reflective, observed, of this place i was concieved. And how they make me feel.

I hope you will tarry with me as we explore through the dark, using our shin to find that seat that has the switch to the light.

Open your eyes.

I want to see the reflection in them.

But mostly, what you try to hide.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Dream

I dream of

A day when peace rings from south to the north of the country

A day of peace, kindness, equality and justice for all

A day when we are one people of one land

A day when foreigners can’t divide and rule us

A day when we are all brothers of one nation

A day when the blind man walks from south to north free of dread

A day when everybody sleeps without scare of being killed, tortured or harassed

A day when mothers are not hopeless and helpless

A day when mothers are free of worry

A day when the wives don’t worry the situation of their husbands

A day when boys respect their fathers and mothers

A day when elders are the leaders of the community

A day where the professors are leaders not destroyers

A day when religion is not desecrated

A day when the girls go to school and have rights

A day when murders, destroyers and deceivers are in jail

A day when all are free of bandits, rapists, bombers, ghosts and killers

A day when the winners are respected

A day when all the youth have future

A day when kids are free of guns and bombs

A day when all kids go to school

A day when children play freely and walk around the streets with, books, balls and bicycles

I dream of a day when we are all free to return and build our mother’s land

Written By Abdulkarim Jimale, a son of Somalia living in a far away land.
He blogs on :
He is a journalist currently writing for for On Islam and The Horn Times.

Monday, March 21, 2011

can i ask you a question?

do you remember the one who unravelled you, opening you up like the bowtie to a gift
until you couldn't remember what you looked like before?

Friday, March 11, 2011


a good friend i feel the need to uphold
after endless suffering, her mom passed away the day before yesterday mid-morning
as they were taking her to the doctor
she was puking a green substance
they were later informed it was blood
that it happens in the last stages of cancer

i was at work when i heard of the news of Aunty J's passing
my heart broke
because the first person i thought of was Fauzia
she was the one caring for her mama on most days
even before Aunty J took her last breath,
Fauzia was looking like she needed a little more than a breather
we'd meet and talk and text and call

but this?
it was difficult
it is difficult
you can never prepare yourself enough for the death of a loved one
you can never say you will hold yourself together
you can never be sure that you won't cry when you see them lying in
a comatose-like state not breathing
you can never know how you will react until you find yourself there

her voice has worn thin
when i call her, i can almost not detect her
a hint of her former self
when i saw her yesterday and her face lit when she called my name
i tried not to cry
to be strong for her, not to break
and so for those few steps towards her
i could hear my heart beat
heavier and slower and heavier and slower
and my breathing become labored
like something was stuck in my throat
a lump
of something am unable to swallow
before tears try to make a run for it from the edges of my eyes
then we hugged
i could hear her heart sink
her breathing became shallow
then she tried not to cry

i didn't talk
i opened my mouth but there was no word on my tongue
it had nothing to say
my heart understood her perfectly well
i tried to think of the best thing to say
my heart knew
but my mind didn't
like there was a disconnect
then she hugged me again
i held her knowing she was trying not to crumble
then gave her fruits i'd bought her
she smiled
the last genuine smile i saw on her face

i think of her now
that's why i write this
responsibilities in the middle of a heart break can be overwhelming

one other thing: she kept saying 'Alhamdullilah'...'Alhmadullilah'
and each time she said it my heart sighed 'Fauzia'...'Fauzia'
like a religious chant of sorts
it seemed
it reminded me of a verse: in all things, give thanks
true meaning of thanking God
mostly, because she had nothing else to say

we spoke a while
then she had to go to the airport
her youngest brother, mama's boy was flying in
a tinge of pain spread across her face when she heard her name
being called out to take that ride

i sympathize and empathize with her

i pray for her at every remembrance
and let her know i'm there for her

she constantly teaches me what strength is
what courage is
what love is
what patience is
through her person

family and good friends are sometimes all we have
hold them close
pray for them dearly
love them

in honor of Aunty J
and for Fauzia...

i send you warm hugs

Monday, February 28, 2011

My Review of Africa by Richard Dowden

I should tell you how this (pictured above) made me feel.

I was in a happy place when i first got it, so most my feedback (written inbetween her pages) was of this nature before he called Kenya's former President a cannibalist..

Though i never jot or make dog ears in my mini-collection, excuse my reasons for writing inside this particular book...
Its just one of those that as an African i cannot help myself but heavily invest my opinion.

The foreword is by Chinua Achebe, one of Africa's iconic and prolific writers. The first line reads: 'Africa is a vast continent, a continent of people, and not a place of exotica, or a destination for tourists.' How true i thought when i first read this. Many writers have written about Africa, but sadly most of them are not in any way African. Most were colonialists, explorers and authors who payed the continent a visit like they were paying homage to a religious site dropping a few coins along the way to Africans all too eager to recieve them.

Like Achebe in his forward said, there is no means by which a writer should write about Africa, but his/her moral compass should be a guide. He then went on to praise Dowden's work and how it should be added to the serious works that critically analyse Africa.
Well I agree.

Dowden took his time to research as well as travel along the lengths and breaths of the continent. It took years of living, meeting and greeting locals in both the good, the bad and the ugly to come up with the experiences that set the background and tone for this book. I was floored in every sense of the word: by the rich diversity of my continent, the humor, the horror, the gutting pain of reading about how atrocities were committed by the continent's "big men"...but also floored by women who rose above the stereotypes of society to study and be among the decision makers of our day: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Prof. Wangari Mathaai, the mothers and grandmothers who helped maintain the social fabric of society. These women who against the odds to not only feed, but also educated their children. I salute them. The single mothers who's husbands died of AIDS, the teenage girls who learnt what motherhood is way before their time, those afflicted by obstretic fistula, cancer, and other diseases.

This book Africa made me reflect on a continent i am still in the process of knowing. The way you seek to know your lover's good and ills. That's the relationship i feel i have towards my continent.
I have blogged about it before, i wish not to dwell there...

Africa by Dowden is both wide and specific the way you'd tell a story about a place you been to but zero in on the people you met: that unconscious bias rooted in relation. Because how else would you write about a place you never been to or people you never met?
I see who we are in his pages. Part of who I am. Part of who my mother was.

North Africa is going through a revolution right now. The Sahara was the dividing factor between us and them. But we are no different. Blood they have spilt for the revolution they desire, the democracy they seek and the freedom they pursue. I am in solidarity with the oppressed. Its only right to stand by them. If it will spread south of the Sahara is time's guess... But Africans have the will to make their continent age with grace. And they are taking the initiative to see this happen.
Muse1inspired said on twitter: "Africa has a rich and often proud heritage. We should look forward to creating richer legacies going forward. We are ABLE."

In chapter 11, Dowden says, 'Africans don't do hopelessness' on the continent and though I haven't had the pleasure of seeing all of her, I can confidently say: I am yet to meet a hopeless African.
'Africa is rich in manners. Politeness. Every meeting begins with a long greeting.' Truth, though with modernism and western culture fastly being adopted by the young generation, there is a slow erosion of culture.
'...And when you go they will give you a gift.' A habit i picked from my parents. That whenever a visitor makes a courtesy call, after feeding and sometimes clothing him, you almost always give a gift: it could be in material form/money. And so when a friend leaves and i haven't given a gift, it bothers me. Something i don't forget easy.

The other day, i met a South American friend of mine for Sunday breakfast. All i heard throughout the 2-hour sitting was mostly praise for Africans. I couldn't help but smile. He said: we are friendly, we help, certainly more patient and less angry than the Arabs, but in some cases more crafty.. :) for that extra buck...

A colleague at work from the Netherlands on his first visit to the continent wrote: when i first came, i had to train my eye to see differently.
How true...

Like Achebe said, Africa is not for tourists. I tend to think those who visit the place have a certain sense of adventure as well as innate appreciation of who we are without which Africa would be just another black hole the world knew little about.

What's your Africa like?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poem by AliNoor

We have been fond to fight

War of those who do nothing but decide

It is us on the frontlines

Not them on their beautiful resides

Nobody will wait for us

When the time of demise comes

They’ve hijacked our noble infatuation

The meanings of love in our bosoms

Differed from all meanings ever

We lived to love our course, Jihad

To believe in Paradise and martyrdom

That never was option to fortify

We were aiming at Somali love

Our ambitions were so great

To conquer our land from enemies

We feared nobody on earth

Except God the Omnipotent

And Jihad was our weapon

They’ve jailed our youthfulness

My heart is sinking in sickness

We saw the slyness of their plans

Plotting against the virtuous minds

The turning tales of love in religion

Poison to veil our life

We forget about our humanity

Only to render Islam victorious

But do you know what we failed

The basic thing called Love, Peace

The pillar of Islam

We were so naïve to believe deceit

They’ve rotten of options

The knight surpassing imaginations

For they now know better

The scheme failed the test

No place to hide to

On fright for last steps

Now we declare to world

We’re not for service

No matter what the cocoons plots

The pledge fills our hearts up

Love is not to dry up

And no wonder ever for SOMALIA.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

in front of the lens

this is courtesy of Mutua Matheka

a photographer who knows what he's about

and one i had the pleasure of meeting before the end of 2010

for more visit...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

who am i?

i was born premature into a nairobian dry season 25 years ago
the sun shone bright, and the dust was fine
i was three months unexpected
my mother had malaria
and she had no milk

i was incubated two months they say
doctor's notes on my card show steady growth
the nurse often told my mother i'd grow to be more than the quarter-arm length they all proudly show me
turns out she was right. am 5'9"

i never drank milk the way children are supposed to and remember loathing it as my siblings nearly drowned in it

on every day that i was born for as long as i could remember the story of my birth was narrated to me as is the custom
and i always cared to listen to all the different variations by family...though the basic thing is i defied death and dared to live

i love the africana, travel and bio/autobio sections of the bookstore
photography is a passion of mine

love i believe is real and the only testament of expression that is tangible,
i adore my family
and my friends are dear to me

i do my best to be there for them

though my pallate loves flavor, i eat healthier than most people i know..
i drink losts of water, fruit and vegetable juices, milkshakes and teas of various flavors like my life depends on it: wheatgrass, lemongrass, hibiscus, mixed herbs, tea leaves with cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, name it, i love it! :)

i like to be away from the city i was birthed
and anyone who knows me knows am a news junkie

i like to chronicle things - maybe that's why this blog is there...

gardens, open spaces, rooftops give a breath-taking perspective that i love (though a few blogging photogs might beg to
they might want to know i conquered my fear of helipads and went back again...i should share my pictures soon guys :)

that's a fraction of me i thought worthy of sharing

in seeing a new year, i give thanks

Wednesday, January 26, 2011



2011 started beautifully i must admit
somewhere by the ocean, with a breeze not too harsh
with people in their hundreds
watching fireworks
dizzy with excitement
full of hope

i am not the kind of person who drafts resolutions as if i were sitting for exams
i usually know what i want to do and work at it
crossing into a new day, month, week, year doesn't change this

fastforward 3weeks into 2011
i still intend to do some reading though abit less than i did last year,
see and listen more

currently reading a book recommended by H, an afro-european friend:
AFRICA by Richard Dowden
taking my time -slow and sweet like tasting a new flavor
only its about where i live
and i recommend it to you -you'll love it!

as for what to expect, i'll keep it a surprise
i know i promised to share new pieces, and i will
i've been around positive energy lately and i celebrate it
for making me smile, laugh, think and even write -thank you

for now,
i send you waves of warmth and hugs,


Friday, December 10, 2010

1st anniversary

its december again
one year since i started jotting on this space
one solid year of living. loving. laughing. learning. growing. sometimes, painfully. then beautifully.

i grew tired of posting notes on my facebook and adhered to suggestions that i start a blog.
it was a great decision.
through it, i have met beautiful souls with whom there is more than a love for literature.

i must therefore speak to you with an openness of heart. I feel compelled to do so.
i have written more than i have posted- because the tide of life has kept me away
and, because there are times i did not know how to begin sharing with you.
like i imagine us lying side by side
enjoying each other's warmth
or exchanging a knowing look that need not be discussed.

knowing you were there even when i couldn't share it was enough.

and while i was away, i noted a transformation in my thinking, how my mind has changed.
and it is this dynamism that i would like to share this coming year.

to hope and ease in light,

Happy Holidays!!



Tuesday, November 2, 2010


my body struggles not to give into an afternoon siesta in an inappropriate space
but first i must tell you of a promise i made and fulfilled: running in the Nairobi 2010 standard chartered marathon themed: 'run for sight'
i did the 10km run, not 21 as earlier anticipated, with a cousin of mine
he certainly made it entertaining!
increasing the pace at the sight of any woman that caught his brown eyes
i didn't take any DSLR or mobile pictures
for the simple reason: i wanted to run for sight
as i write this, i am not listening to any music
silence engulfs me
boredom has set in
and i don't want to indulge you
so i leave you with this:
i need new influences of art. music. literature.
currently reading wole soyinka's climate of fear. it is very global, rich with history and reflective in nature.
i need sleep. both physical and away from here . so please bear with me.
in love and waiting,

Monday, October 18, 2010

in her memory

this K'naan song - My Mothers Pearls reminds me insanely about my own mother
thought i'd share it
in love for her:- mama, inya, hoyo
definition of beauty personified

Sunday, October 17, 2010

poem 10/10

writing is like holding up a mirror to your soul
the more you see dependent on how long you're willing to sit
sometimes painfully and stare
taking it all in
then churning it outward
hoping the end product is what you hoped for
and will also make sense to another reader

let it be known, that when i first started this project, i didn't know what i'd write about
i took it as a stretching and growing experience
and am glad i did
because more still needs to be done
besides that your invaluable support through email and social networking sites has been uplifting and encouraging
the pen will keep bleeding

poem #9

~pardon me for the delay in yesterday's posting
sleep made me elusive though i did have a short piece on my favorite chocolate which has since been replaced with this sunday morning's observations

the sweat of alcohol from the day before
stains of urine on tarmac
drying puke on concrete
ruffled weaves
bloodshot eyes
puffed faces
smoke-glazed skin
the aftermath of saturday
with accidents on roads
cut to clean churches
fresh congregations
clad neat
over public address systems
blasting the messgae of Christ
which made me question: what would Jesus do?

Friday, October 15, 2010

zendagi mizgara

those are the first Persian words i ever learnt
by proxy
through Khaleid Hosseini's The Kite Runner a few years ago
why are they relevant now?
because life is what happens when you're alive
no matter what, or where you are
so don't let it go by

Thursday, October 14, 2010

poem #7

let me read you a memo:
its often about how you make me feel in the midst of life's harshest realities
one of which include: there is nothing glorious about war

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

wagalla massacre

*inspired by Jicho Pevu/voices Revealed; an on-going investigative news feature series for Kenya Television Network by Mohammed Ali and Evelyne Wambui on the Wagalla Massacre, Northern Kenya, 1984. the reports can be watched on the station's youtube channel.

there is no shame in pain
an old man's eyes water
tears of salt run down his face
tanned by years of toil under the sun
26 years ago at a now all too recognizable airstrip in northern kenya
tens of men from the surrounding schools, offices and villages were bundled into trucks
gathered, lined up, stripped, beaten, exposed to the sun for days
the defiant ones killed by the bullet in an instant
bodies discarded into the wild
some devoured by hyenas
others hurriedly burried in mass graves
yet still others burnt beyond recognition
women folk raped all the while by security forces commissioned with the task of securing, caring for them- those they harmed
claimed to have been commissioned by a government
somewhere in the capital named 'the place of cool waters'
yet here in the humid heat of the semi-arid
civilians died
who is to blame?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

poem #4

~forgive the numbering.

you never look in the mirror long enough
or hold a gaze
you're always in a hurry
headed to work, the next appointment
home, to sleep
then the cycle continues
until one day,
you're forced to look
long and hard
at a soul you're no longer familiar with
Staring back equally puzzled
thinking the same thing:
who are you?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

poem #3

what was the first memory of your mother?
at bath time in a large basin under a canopy of stars and a smiling moon accompanied by swaying trees and rustling leaves
asking the wind not to blow too hard or for too long
as the foam washes over me
with hands so tender and warm
her voice like a melody
singing mysteries into the night
before the folly of growth convinced me being bathed was for babies
yet i too, looking back, was one :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

poem #2

the print of touch ebbs away
because my body know the signature of your warmth
strong in just the right doses
then tender in the right places
like a fragrance applied on the neck and wrists
but that too i must learn to forget
you conveniently never remember
how much you mean to me
even when all you must be is true to your heart
you put up a fight, a wall of concrete my tired hands cannot burrow through
forget to remind your body of what having me there is like
ever walking away into the unknown
so all i have left are memories of you
even when you're right next to me
the way you talk of the good old times
even when its not necessary
that patience has worn thin
the way you slice my heart
with actions unintended and intended that hurt
tear, scar
and you know
so you try to make an excuse
weak at its knees
a faint undecided apology
inbetween lines that do not fulfill their purpose
nevermind the time i became we
or you turned to us
metamorphing the nature of our communication
but mostly our existence
into strained

Friday, October 8, 2010

a poem a day for 10 days challenge

birthed by Sagal, popularly known as Assiyya on twitter
we go on a 10-day journey joined by Martin
to explore our writing abilities
shared on various spaces
exposing ourselves to the furnace of public opinion

Sagal and Martin, let's do this!!


two old indian men walk past two boys
skateboarding on the sidewalk
drivers on the motorway gaze at them periodically
as the traffic eases slowly on its way
i walk by the lady selling vegetables and charcoal
who ties a wrapper over her cream dress
a jacaranda tree's purple flowers fall
a hawker sets up shop by a mango tree selling cassava crisps with natural chilli and lemon
taxi drivers stand in conversation waiting for customers
a saloon car with blarring music zooms past
it attracts the attention of three girls conversing in somali and arabic
they smile
a few meters on, a light skinned old man walks towards me
leaning against his black cane
he is in navy blue khaki trousers, black loafers, stripped white and beige tee
with a white cardigan
slow but sure
the kind of grace that comes with age
i say a prayer for him
his son was gunned down by gangsters
but he still walks strong
defiance evident in his face
at the grocer's a young boy, aged about 9
haggles over the price of one green capsicum
after having made his selection
i join him at the shop to get some apples
and head on home to squeeze some juice out of them

Thursday, October 7, 2010

october freewrite #2

my old home smells of faith, cinammon and laughter
between mother remembering why she called out my name,
and what someone on the T.V. had said

walking through the front door,
i still see your smile light up the room
like the afternoon sun stretched through drapes,
right before the shadows began to stretch eerily across the face of the land

i still hear the echoes of your beauty and character,
glazed with warmth and faith even in the midst of your absence
somewhere between the pain of loss holding tightly onto memories...

back to the present,
this bottle of burberry weekend
the last fragrance you wore
it tears at my insides
crushing against a battered heart
holding out love
the way a shipwrecked sailor sends out flares to non-existent coastguards

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

october freewrite # 1

i took out a pad and pen
wrote you a letter
and posted it
but it was all in my mind
because i had missed you
a song plays softly in the background
filling, perhaps trying to fill the emptiness
of what lonely tastes like

the chest expands
in breathing
then you remember
you love to see the world
and that song's tune carries you away
into humming words you can't remember

Thursday, September 30, 2010

take the time

to smell the flowers,
gaze at the stars,
go for walks,
listen to the birds,
watch the sun set or rise,
- and enjoy each other

"ignite moments to ignite memories"
-joel osteen