Monday, November 19, 2007
Why do I write? I don't know. Maybe it is because there is so much happening. Much that we consider incosequential. When I saw the small birds eating grass seed on my lawn, I just felt like writing that down. A poem. Not realy a celebration of the excellence of language. But a trial, an attempt, to take a snap shot of that which is and remember it. To freeze it.
My lover complained that the lawn was too bushy. So it was trimmed. But I am afraid my little birds will not return. The table has been removed, the dishes packed away clean.
I have been walking through Kampala. I must say I was sceptical of all these preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (Chogm), but they seem to have transformed the city a bit.
As I entered my place of work, I thought I must write down something to remember this.
Not great poetry. Forgive me. But it is a reflection of the imperfect perception of my very human eyes and mind.
Kampala is prim and primed,
-ready for Chogm;
the roads are washed clean,
(though the rains remain heavy),
the windows are dressed,
the fires are lit,
and the streets match with light.
A bride, Kampala is-
a bride plumped and ready;
the smile flashy blinding,
the face chisel fashioned,
mascara running in place.
But the groom in waiting-
is a strange one this groom.
Ago she ruled here,
of now, only in name;
ago, of her grandma,
when grandma empress was,
the god-man (kabaka) ruler,
sent grandma empress a letter;
(they say it was for hand of empress;
that was lost in translation),
invitation to visit,
visitor turned protector,
till 45 years gone-
the land was left returned.
Grandchild comes back in fancy-
turned to empress without lands;
though empire still now stands,
and Uganda is but a far flung jewel.
The pearl’s already shining,
the luster burnished and braised,
all the light reflecting,
in blinding smile of pride.
Never before has she shone so,
maybe this bride will shine again;
but of now, she shines, Kampala shines,
though the valleys hide her muddy hems,
she smiles, smiles the bride Kampala,
awaiting the groom empress,
In all her glittering fancy and joyful pride,
Kampala’s ready for Chogm.