Tag Archives: Poetry

Lost and Found

The wind kisses my tender skin
It’s my 7th autumn, the summer’s gone
Sun’s rays slowly nesting in the skies
Temperatures caress the ground; change.

I’ve seen winter storms and spring blossoms
Braved the chills in my copper coat
Found warmth in the hands of man, soft
Passed from one to the next, my journey.

I’ve got two faces
Equal value, minted for the same worth
Taking me through pockets and purses
Palm to palm, fingers touching briefly.

Brief. Like the life I’ve spent at each stop
Completing huge sums, part of a whole
No you without me; not much of me without you
Completing huge sums, part of a whole.

Then I fell.
My copper coat met the ground
Our embrace forced by passing feet
Soles of leather; soles of rubber
Oblivious to this new dance they create.

Is this love? Is this nature? Is this the end?
Part of a whole, now all alone. This turn
I see more soles; I see one good soul
He picks me up. One last chance?

The wind kisses my tender skin
It’s my 7th autumn, the summer’s gone
I’ve found a new home in his hands, her words
My life has come full circle.




Before I Die…

Here’s a poem I wrote last night for the Balafong Poetry Challenge. A mini-reflection on our relationships and taking advantage of life before death.

Appreciate me now, before I wither and die

Appreciate me now, before I wither and die

Treat me right…
Make me feel it before others do

I’m going to die a digital death
News on the internet even before my neighbour knows
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram beating Teletext
You’ll rush to change your profile pic
Before you let a tear fall
Making the world know how ‘shocked’ you are
How you’ll miss me and all the times we shared
I don’t blame you, won’t blame you
It’s the times we live in, I forgive you

For using my death to get more likes
More profile views, more retweets
Accepting messages of condolence
Responding to every ‘RIP’ with an ameen
Glad that you could remember me
Do that for me, even though I can’t see
I hope the prayers get answered
But now I hope for different

Treat me right
Make me feel your love while I’m still alive

Because it means more to me now
Than when I’m 6ft deep, a feast for worms
Can’t hear your wails, can’t feel your pain
Hug me now when we can share the pangs
Celebrate with me, let’s share a laugh
So when I’m gone and you write of missing me
There really would have been a reason to feel that way
So I ask that you

Treat me right
Celebrate me while I’m still here

For we never know what tomorrow holds
And regrets are the kisses death leaves when it’s done
Taking my soul, your soul, every man’s soul
Regrets for what could have been but wasn’t
Forgive my mistakes, I’ll forgive yours
For when I breathe my last, it would have been too late
All you’ll have is a picture of me, smiling
And memories that were never made
As you eulogize me on this online space

Treat me right
Before I die.


I wrote another poem for one of the topics in the Balafong Magazine Poetry Challenge. What better moment to write about homesickness than when it’s hitting the hardest? Yet, not every feeling can be translated into words; not every emotion can be transformed into rhymes to make up a poem. Apologies to my readers who’ll not understand the Wolof lines. They’re basically relaying the same message as the English lines. 


Olof yi neh ku tuki woul dor ham fi deka nekheh
Waayeh deka bu nekh wessu woul fima jogeh
Ndah fii ma neka, suma hol dufi seddeh
Door, daan, nyefeh, ngirr nyaaka peheh
Hol bu jeh, deka chi worr, di tumurankeh
Delor ma keur yaaye, fofa la deka neheh

It’s in the simple things that make home what it is
Ma diko fatehliku, diko nama, suma hol guene di tiis
It’s in Mother’s love, in her affection, her presence
Still reaching out across the miles to ease my absence
It’s in the news that come with every phone call
A birth, a death, seye bu tass , a birral

Olof dehlu neh ku tuki nyu rerr sa ganaww
Mu faateh che boleh ndeki, anj ak njogonal
Teranga yeup di nyow chi sa ganaww
Nyu di la tuda, di la nyaanal, yeup ngirr baahantal
Nga deka chi mugne, di jefo lila Yalla meye
Di jayme mu nuro ak linga baayi keur ndeye

You try to recreate tastes, sounds and feelings
Hopeless attempts at making yourself feel at home
You’re left in despair as each experiment falls short
Wishing for a benachin with a taste of gayja
The sound of mosquitoes, if only for one night
Even the constant electricity pisses you off

Ndah Olof dafa neh itam, roye du nurok piir
Nasaraan bi neh home is where the heart is
My heart stays yearning for the day I go back
Even though home is now full of pains to cause much unrest
It will always be where my life holds great meaning
Tuki tahut deka guenal ma fi ma jogeh

What Scares Me

Still on topics from the Challenge, I wrote this piece last night. Let’s see what you are scared of too. The comment box is open to you 🙂

Scared of My Fears

And all it is and brings
New days, new experiences
Expectations as the sun rises
Disappointments as it sets
Challenges in between
Uncertainties fill the hour
I’m told life happens but
I’m scared of the unknown.

Of finding and falling in
Of loving till I can love no more
Of seeing, living, breathing another
Of hurting from the distance that separates
Of the yearning, the praying, the hoping and wishing
Of the taste that lingers in my mouth
Of breaking down my walls, welcoming
Of this other person, of new beginnings.

The Tongue…
For it professes love by sunrise
Denounces it before sunset
Soft as its whispered promises
Unfulfilled, discarded, shelved for another
Speaks the truth, yet spreads the lie
Builds the rumour, then spits out in disgust
Sings my praises, yet capable of chastisement
I’m scared of this tongue of man.

Of dreams and promises
Of two hearts beating as one
Of visions for a rest-of-life together
Of two becoming one, bringing forth three
Of rising and falling, strong on all fours
Of sweet whispers and loud quarrels
Of days spent snubbing, nights of cuddling
Of making up, loving strong, before the next storm.

Or maybe that should have read dying
For the finality it presents, giving no options
Leaving pain, tears, nostalgia and prayer
Bringing an end to life, to love, to this fear
Of what lies beyond the Earth, the Day
Scales that weigh deeds, no details missed in the books
I’m scared of living and loving; living, loving and dying
I’m scared of what happens after I breathe my last.


Balafong Magazine started a 30-Topic Poetry/Spoken Word Challenge on its Facebook Page sometime last week. Every two days, a new topic is released and the writers ‘in the house’ get to producing awesome poems. Due to time constraints and unpredictable spurts of writer’s block, I’m only writing when I can and on topics I have inspiration for. Topic 2 of the challenge was ‘Perfection’ and I share what I came up with below. Enjoy!

What If I Thought Myself Perfect

Bitstrips To The Rescue

From the corner of my eye, I saw him stop
Dead in his tracks, eyes transfixed on my racks
Mouth agape, pupils growing wider
Taking a slow vertical journey down all of my tall glory
And then…
‘You must be what perfection is’

Amusement claimed my lips, curved as if to kiss my eyes
Mirroring the glowing moon
The only light on this dark night
I scrutinised, this gentleman, hypnotised
By what he saw on the outside
A 5ft9 frame destined for a 6ft grave
Dark, smooth skin, tiny waist, killer smile
Donk lifting its cheeks up to the god of squats
Perfection seen through ‘superficial’ lenses
Oh snap! Lemme bring you back to your senses

I claim perfection and get shot by the moral army
Perfection belongs to the Supreme Being, they say
Then turn around and tell me I was created in His image
Makes me wonder, upon these questions I ponder
How is imperfection born from perfection
Is this image, like all photocopies, substandard
Replicas of a perfect original, tampered
With… by eyes that refuse to see, minds that refuse to understand
That I, created by the perfect one, am perfect

It’s in the beauty of my flaws, the rise after the falls
It’s in the scars I try to hide, a birthmark too visible
It’s in my tears, my smiles, my cries for help
It’s in my doubts, my fears, my insecurities
It’s in my confidence, my strengths, my so-called vanity
It’s in my humility, staying grounded, not an irony
It’s in my intelligence, my knowledge, my talents
It’s in my love, my loved, my loving
It’s in the essence of my being, my substance
It’s in this image of the Creator, this creation

I turned to brother man, still transfixed by this vision
Can’t blame him for wanting a piece of this perfection
He understands where it’s from, refuses to accept the status quo
Can’t tell him I’m not perfect, can’t make me believe same
You see, my perfection is in all that you deem imperfect
If humans were made to be fallible, then colour me perfect
A perfect human being, fashioned from perfect imperfections
I’m perfection.

Silence Eternal

Mine is the story

Of a girl




Taught to be silent

To never speak up

Bottle up my pain

Cover up my troubles

Hide my scars

Choke on my tears

Mine is the story

Of silence

A story untold

Mine is a story

Kept only for my grave

A story

Of silence



I Am Sorry

I’m sorry…. Was all you said

Three words… cut short to two coz you needed to save your breath

Exhausted from the pumping and thumping

Making a way where there was none

Turned explorer, Cadamosto

Between my legs you yearned for moisture

Of whites and reds and clear liquids

Tearing paths and leaving scars

Sword cutting through, defying laws of compatibility

Your eyes reflecting power, dominance… your carnal ability

My eyes shut, my mouth gagged, screams unheard

With every thrust, every breath, you whispered…. I’m sorry.


I’m sorry… you still said

Darkness looms, pressure mounts, your voice fills my head

Within, around, deep inside, your thrusts are met with questions


For luring me into your room, forcing me into silence

For telling me you’d be my new playmate, give me a new toy

For taking the plastic from my hands, filling them with your leather

For cursing the sweetness out of lollipops coz you’d give me better

For bolting the locks, drawing the blinds and stripping me naked

For letting your hands roam, press, promising you aren’t wicked

For tearing me apart… skin, mind and soul


I’ll tell you what that is


I’m sorry you were sorry, for you knew not what to be sorry about

I’m sorry we weren’t discovered, I wasn’t rescued, my cries not heard

I’m sorry I grew up blaming myself for what I knew not

I’m sorry I have to live with the trauma, hot flashes, memories that refuse to rot

I’m sorry for my doubt… my curiosity… my self-consciousness

I’m sorry for my future of unstained sheets, unbelievable explanations, unusual hostility

I’m sorry for stories of unbeaten drums passed on to my daughters

I’m sorry for my daughters, that they may suffer a similar fate

I’m sorry because the world refuses to see,hear and act


This is what sorry means.


So when you trudge through the sacred valleys of yet another innocent one

Your breath coming out in low whispers of ‘I’m sorry’

Remember this… Remember me… Remember that…

When your deed is done, your thirst quenched

Sorry is the cloak you’ll leave us wearing.

Sorry, are we?

Sorry, I am

I am sorry!