Bwaga-Moyo (Lay Down Your Heart

Bwaga-Moyo

 

 Lay down your heart

 

 

 

 

 

I am remembering somewhere beyond colour

 

watching the desert as an ocean

in the movement of a dune

 

I was fainting since before the womb

 

 

I. Kumbi Kumbi

 

Night of the Flying Termite

 

 

The pumice is pure

 

still

 

I’ve lost what we come here for

 

The baboon knows water   I know salt

round and round the termite mound

we crawl    utter                  and dance

 

we are but blood, fur and salt

hardened in a ball of rose-quartz

 

tail now tongue

ignorance and consciousness

inhabit one palm, dis-

locate one voice

 

we wait for the flood and the flutter

with torchlight and bucket, finger,

handful, mouth and belly

 

Birth, you wanted a journey

 

 

then let me beat my own drum

 

 

II. Pamoja kama mmoja

 

Together

as one

 

 

Always walking into the intersection

of your two shadows

 

addicted to freedom

and your own suffering

 

its time

 

time

 

time to let one go

 

become whole

uko

pamoja

 

 

there’s no one left

no basin to reflect

but the self

 

you are sacred Carlo

you are blessed,

 

neglected ancient

child

 

bloated over-

heard

skeleton

 

little more

than here  fainting

forever back

to dance

 

 

Shit, sweat, tear or piss – some/thing

has got to come out of me

stir from this

 

brilliance, hit or miss

 

simple really,

 

be honest

 

 

 

III. Msafiri Wa Sauti

 

Sound’s traveller

 

 

Pythons writhe around the spine

eels grip, wrestle and net deep

slipping sticky through lymph

and connective tissue

 

riddled

in a wriggling nest of ner-nerves

jaundiced and kissed

by mosquito spider and tick – thrombophilic

with a clot in my liver. the bleed

and the maelena

the dizziness

 

and this odd

odd

odd prominence of spleen

 

little more

than the worms of beginning

 

a string of ic, ism and itis

sickness and deliverance

 

symptom

slumped upon symptom

 

PTSD —  resultant

of no solid diagnosis – mal-

practice of the doctor’s pride

 

dig deeper         

 

medicine needle intervention upon

inventive intervention

 

cut open, guinea pigged

repeated repeated until

released

 

 

this little one

is the intelligence and instinct

to continually heal

 

 

 

once an addict

now a healer

 

 

travelled continents on foot

motorbike bicycle tuk-tuk

train bus and Lucky

Lucky the camel

 

getting by

by making necklaces

out of knots

only a backpack of water

shawl and hammock

 

calmest

when tied to my father with a shoelace,

gun barrel

and man above us

spitting violence

 

he taught us how to mouth

a final goodbye with the touch

of our eyes

 

 

slept in bodies of the dead

and the dying

 

a life

hospitalized

 

Mother, alone in the priory

 

but I, I, like her

 

am survivor

 

learning that all life is

not survival

 

IV. Hewa na Ngozi

 

Air and skin

 

 

Air opened word

word now open air

 

spread

 

dissolved

In weight, freed by pain

come to will, come to

will to come to confront

accept and master

the self

 

a petal of presence

 

 

forever at entrance of elements

and sense, no distance exists

between elements

and self,     a chameleon

blending in amongst everything

uncovering shelter

in nature

the belly

and drum,

 

the beating

of my own warmth

 

V. Alfajiri

 

 Dawn

 

 

The noise of man is carrion

is ha-ha harm

 

do not be alarmed

 

the sound of stars and currents

 

the owl and the bat      circling above water

 

is always a-round

 

 

nothing is ominous

when the eternal walks

 

on the dew

 

on the grass

 

footstep

breath

Silence

 

the frost climbs back

like a web retracting from dawn

 

 

lay back

pulse is a root

veining in creation

 

the x of xylem—

my mind

absolute

 

Bwaga-moyo

that

 

that I am not

now dies

 

and what’s left of (there) when you break

is love

 

love eterna

 

VI. Maji ya jua

 

Sun’s Water

 

Neck to the heavens

the cock crows not at dawn

not at quarter past four

but always

 

wake up

the world is always

waking

 

water falls important

as nothing

we depart are born

drip drop

morsel—

cell of moisture, dew—

cocoon of self,

 

resonance

 

but the echo is held

no more

 

the mask is best kept

on the wall

 

 

I am Oleretu

 

I dance with the body

 

 

Waning

in the moon’s music

 

of silence

 

in the end

the question of death

 is  answered

 

by more than a life

 

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