Monthly Archives: December 2018

THE EMBERS-:Sketches from the outskirts.

Sun wanes down over the plain-side hills,burning red into that amazing glow,its rivalry beating gold and silver-smith’s craftsmanship in glaze of fire.

Down and dusted from the wary path of dust and bumps,a mixture of highs and lows,super dips and clutters all through the way.The energy is too much to miss and warmth ebbed up by the heat of the day.

A path where gulleys don’t only brace the pages of agriculture and geography texts but come to play in total array.A splay of deserted cactus and dry end trees fill the way.A total reminder of my early year stories of ghosts in the dark in shapes of faced trees:-the stories I actually fell for.

So a city boy is hand-plucked from the middle of the crowded city,and here finds himself in the middle of an expanse,so intense he is wowed and tempted to dine with the king of the jungle himself.

Down in the jungle the city reigns no more for every square has its own ruler.From the obnoxious and endless honks of unending traffic of cars here comes a quiet yet purpose-filled dominion.The rule of the jungle.

From the bands of rough shoulder shrugs,brisk encounters,traffic lights and commuter touts harassment,PePa encounters warm welcome,royal treatment and ultimately kingly invite.

And down before he settles the passion of the wild blows right through to him,with shukas(shawl) of red and spears in hand they welcome him with the famous swahili “Karibu”.

The joy is unrivalled and shines right across his teary eyes..tears of joy they are so no sorrow is found bound in him.His year lies on his back and along with his friends the fireplace becomes solace.Solace of heart and escape from the commotion of the year previous.From the noise and the constant hoots,the consternation and apprehension.

The cold bites through the evening as the stars gather into constellations,the moon has no say to the might of the twinkles across so gives way and beauty is reborn in the heavens.A mix of that and the unwavering fire crackles is a warmth so deep no love can match.

To top the ice are spikes of staff into the soil topped with chunks of dripping meat.The long journey down the rift now turns into quakes of joy.Filled with laughter and tales of introductions from the diverse cultures over and above the scattered social cultures

Deep within,city boy surely belongs and even grows a yearning of not ever leaving…Snap back he does and is welcomed to the chants of the local Maasai morans.Beautiful men I must say.Pepa is actually drawn by the relentless neat and reddened dreadlocks running down bald heads.

To complete the outfit are beautiful shawls of red and a clasp around waist with a sheath for their machetes.True warriors these are.A spear in hand and the chant as they jump up and down in war songs,these would sure scare even the mighty lion into the bushes.

As the fire crackles and the circle of chants makes round the fireplace,City boy is thus drawn into endless fantasy.

Welcome to the Mara PePa and let the embers of the fire draw you in.

(Pepa)

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THE GLINT WITHIN-: Sketches come to pace.

Blissful encounters,amazing to knit and full of colours in your mind you can never really find the words;I mean the right words to pur or even put it all down.

Suddenly wonderful doesn’t mean enough and beautiful looses its meaning.So awesome that you once thought was,ceases to mean so and speechless becomes a common-place explanation.

It is all illustrated at this point not in words but by the glint of joy safely held within the edges of your tiny eyes;yes that glint that is now so visible a blind man would see it.

See,your fingers itch to feel the contours of her lips but hey,that lipstick so nicely laid out would come a mess at the slightest fumble of you.But the manicured nails do cause a beautiful distraction so you stray to thoughts of the moon and the stars…a perfect mind trotter.If only any of these would help with your current predicament….

A retreat becomes impossible and aid is much needed to save you from your own insanities,your passion that has just lit its own flame and lacks mere will to quench it.Yes aid comes in the form of a childhood friend,Morena she calls herself,your last line of hope if not defence,defence from what though?from falling with a thud or from swimming in the deep end?

Instead of asking for bail-out you are drowned in and ask if foot would be worth the risk,or maybe toes?what about a whole head and arms submerged?

Well the bait is set and this time round you ain’t at the pulley end of the line but you are the fish baited within the ocean.An ocean you know can’t rival the passion that now burns not within your groin but is well-nurtured and obviously mannered.It is well held within the confines of your biggest muscle…Your heart..sometimes I wish she could listen to the persistence of the mind who so much cares for her,only she cares for her own tomorrow not to be bothered;but really how heart feels has never been her concern you know?

So battle is waged and one has to sure give in.Memories of the kind of person mama always wanted for you come to play you know,but heart convinces mind,who is now all but aloof;You know even mama would fall for this,right?

A big punch in favour of mama wins the battle with no much of a fight so head heeds heart.Heart tells body to forget about passion and build the foundation of roots unbreakable.

Then heart goes to course and replays;the eyes that hold,the smile unbreakable;no malice withheld nor rush perceived.All so velvety and yet hard to detach from.

They said like at first sight,hahaha,lust maybe?but honestly what distinguished the time between like,love and lust?wasn’t it all perception?

So the peril is laid out and PePa seeks to offer advice but who is ready to listen?After all at the end of the day,emotions always betrays all you know PePa?So let a guy try his luck,he might win right what his heart wanted the most.Cuz in this game of two,there is only one winner,both or non.

So PePa rests in contemplation as the dust rises in the heat of the battle.A battle that can only go one way and have one winner,both or non.

PePa.

THE SKETCHES AFTER THE FRENZY:-A walk along the sidelines.

So the frenzy is over and the day is done huh?You din’t have even a single second before.The night was lit and O the amazing dancing and revelling that was.Not to forget all the beautiful hugs,kisses and high fives.A period when even prior strangers and enemies become bossom buddies and lovers.I love the festivities,why lie?

And were there any gifts?These must have been saved for the next day of boxers huh?

Boxing day they called the next.I always wondered why boxing they named it.Out in the villages there followed fist fights due to lack of understanding of the whole box concept.Box day would have been more appropriate in my opinion,but who argues against patriarchs either way?Or maybe un-boxing day?Let me not delve into that as I am no scientist as research would tip me right off the iceberg.Iceberg or icebag?Goodness! Who even invented English?

Back to today,you have a throbbing head,a hangover or what do they call it of late?My friend from Meru would have the perfect description,a total head-banger she would say.

But you ain’t complaining,in fact you need to unlock it using another glass or two for the gobble.After all,the Swahili put it as “dawa ya moto ni moto”.This directly translated into English should be ,”the medicine of fire is fire” and trust you me there ain’t no way am using cure in place of medicine.My mouth has refused…hahahah

I will honestly not dwell on you,at least not today.It is festive season and we all have a reason,two or even more to have a total blast.Just dont burst up everything in your wake.

Am still hoping the jingles din’t get to your head so much so that you forgot the reason for the season.Reason having been thanksgiving and reciprocating for the goodness of God upon your sanity.Can be a tough crack out there I know.

So am honestly praying(almost down on both knees) that you gave so much you had to revel and dance from utter joy.You had so much of you spread abroad it came right back to your doorstep,and so in big folds you picked it right up and went to enjoy it.That is what happens when we give,right?It all comes back to us.

Before I am in deep,am back to the coffee shop.From my view,I must admit that Kenyans sure love a holiday;Gobbles of coffee and decadence on brown and clear bottles,laughs,giggles,high fives and a flow of so much merry to pass-by.Old friends bumping into each other and new friends winking along;men,this is so much to all take in in one sweep.

Santa should come down the Tundra more often.If only the season was about him you know?HAHA,and the guy sure has a way with laughter,right?

But who am I kidding,let Kenyans be Kenyans and enjoy a break from all the early morning wake-ups,sleepless working nights,un-ending traffic jams,intense work and overwhelming taxes.Let us enjoy a little before we go back to paying for the SGR,which some of us have never used or aren’t even planning on using.

Speaking of which,I don’t know why most of us complain so much before actually taking a look at the benefits of some of these things.

Complaints,this is in reference to the standard gauge railway traversing the National Park.Have you have a look at it from within the Nairobi National Park?It is such a sight to behold,only rivalled by the likes of the great Oresund bridge and underwater tunnel.It lies between the Oresund strait of Sweden and Denmark.If you have heard nothing about this,it is a combination of a bridge over the sea joining into a tunnel under the same as it approaches Denmark.

What am saying is that the architecture of it is amazing and am sure that even the game of the park do marvel at it.So for a moment,let us find appreciation to what life offers.

Hey PePa,you have been a worthy companion from the start of this season so let’s take a bow,we then can do what we do best,saunter the sidelines and enjoy the view.Throw pebbles and not at glass walls.

I mean guys,who am I kidding,let Kenyans be Kenyans,have a good time and enjoy every second.

Happy holidays from PePa.

(PePa)

THE SKETCHES THAT JINGLE AND BELLS THAT SEE.;-Let Merry be deep in hand.

The flow ain’t lost as long as actual floor lies under;under feet and sole and not elevated above man’s head.The flow ain’t lost,no,not as long as one thing remains real and true,that only man comes above all else hence humanity remains vital and only God rules over all.

The flow sticks true as long as corks and bulls remail shit stories and don’t see the light of day.

So reason stays paramount and bullshit falls upon no-one.Yes we could say it all comes out rude but whatever happened to desire for truth and not only lust and selfishness prevailed?

What cloud was that that took rein of day,blurring vision of kindness,turning true love into mere lust:making ambition the growth of me and I,all these to the detriment of you and they,and nature if mentioned but who gives a hoot about nature?It will take care of itself right?

Speaking of nature then global warming hits the trail.So a cup of coffee,a cup of laughter,all join together and PePa remembers that she loves everything global;from global village to global well-being like global health and global growth.So no longer is it a concern for scientists and researchers or even data analysts but also a reason to sit round a table,making it actual topic of discussion.

And by now,you will all but know that as much as I try,it’s always a difficult battle to win over trail of thought and spit of PePa.A marriage I can not deny enthuses even me-self.So on we go,if only for a little.

To stop though is hard with much left unsolved.As sky rests high so thus will we soar,soar above ourselves into realms unknown,all hidden in the glory of creation.A mystery that you and I must thus find within ourselves.

I hear the jingles and all the bells,all raised above and way beyond.Beyond and despite the sad face hidden behind closed doors and panes,despite that unattended outstretched hand round down the street corner and above that bowed ashamed face that only grace can raise.

Still all these jingles and bells above,they bar all that up;closing the mind to thought of or all sound thereof,of that outcry and sore plea for help.

If bread and butter is common-day story by now,then please bare with my trail for deep down you know my heart it fails.Can you hear that heart that aches and pleads in utter loneliness within?So above the bells and jingles can you hear the silence,the silence of pain held within walls of flesh and I will not add of blood.So soft yet even the strength of hammer and bar-bell finds strain to break through and impossible it becomes.

So above the jingles and all the bells,that wall of flesh and gushing of blood;once strong but now fast slowing to naught,giving way to our ignorance and lack of care.That failing wall of flesh can hence be brought to life,not with needles and stitches or the touch of a physician,but by a touch of love and an abandon of care,a sprout of action,a stretch of hand and a smile of totality.

So above the jingles and all the bells,let us not sleep into the night so silent and deafen ear to thought or sound,sound of utter plea ,a plea for love.

So pen and paper in persuit of truth so finds one thing so real and true.That the reason for the season goes beyond the words of merry and wishes of prosperity.For merry can only be when Mary stops feign and stretches her hand to scratch another’s back.

Merry is only found deep within,she is that genuine smile that stretches far and beyond her arm can go.

MERRY CHRISTMAS GUYS.

(PePa)

THE SKETCHES OF ENCOUNTER:-A walk through the alley.(PePa)

It’s silent deep within,though noisy all around;as cars cruise by,and people brisk through,so a cross at the road,and a honking from the speeding cars,all work together to create a hollow through the heart….A moment in silence all wrapped up in his pace…

And then boom,a glance at eye,a smile reflected,a smile so deep it drowned the giant.And peace he could not hold,yes a smile so deep,it flowed to the extremes and broke the bounds.So chains were broken and heart was loosed.

A glance at eye,a shake of hands,a heart was drawn and put in chains,yet chains were loosed,and peace was found.Found where chains once lived.So to go on was a journey and a toil not worth it.So in trance he stood and hands he needed.Hands to hold and journey to share.For alone it meant that the walk was futile.

A glance at eye,and a million worlds came open,broken free from chains once so tight.All bound in ribbon,a strand of which is just but a single smile.

So a man who was so lost in worlds is now in place set free from a single glance.The power of an honest smile.

The roots of growth

SKETCHES FROM THE SIDELINES:-The peace we preach,the love we don’t.(PePa)

How can I speak of peace when I never had no turmoil in my life before,when I have never experienced a state of being displaced from within the very place I so woke up every morning calling home.How did it become so common-day so common-place I never even for a moment took a breath to give thanks.

How could I speak of lack when my entire life I never went for a single day without bread and butter.When my morning table was filled with nothing but decadence,when I ate breakfast as a king;whilst others prayed for a morsel of table left-overs I had a chance to do a full course for breakfast,was even requested if I needed dessert,of which I could only take a nugget for a bite with a smug on my lips,taste the surface and throw it back saying I din’t like how the surface looked today.

How could I dare sit in the table of strategic planners,when taking a break for lunch after working for an hour in the morning was common-place for me as the rising of the sun.While others wished they had a chance to get five minutes off their schedule;grab a donut and fill their rumbling tummies and maybe a bottle of soda if budget allowed?

My break of which would involve a lavish display of opulence, I mentioned a king’s breakfast but if he ever saw my lunch layout right now, he would at this juncture feel like my butler.

Well in my trail of thoughts,pen and paper stares at me and spits on,tears drop off her nib as if to plead with me to stop.But we are ride or die remember?So accompany me she has to,she is my escort and even more,travel companion,no,she is an extension of my trailing mind.A finger of me without so baby-girl we are one.

If hedonism was my way of life and ultimate pleasure was my breakfast,lunch,dinner and supper.Wait a minute,did I just say dinner and supper all in one statement?Goodness me,PePa now is staring mad at me;that was selfish of me I know,but hey PePa,don’t you realise this is our world today?if everyone does it and aren’t questioned then why can’t we conform?Why can’t I join them?after all we can’t beat them so we join them.

It is the system,one that has worked all along,even the Romans did it and we can only follow,huh?Why deny ourselves all the fun?After all we can’t change the whole world and nothing we do can make that much difference,right?

Hey PePa,stop with the angry glares;I din’t decide that some people should be poor or should lack and I should have an abundance of what they lack,now did I?Am going with the grill,being a part of nature’s ecosystem and hence food-chain you know?Even in the jungle the Lion has to hunt and the hyena clears the carcass and bones,right?So will you blame the lion for being so aggressive upon the dear?

PePa looks me in the eye and it dawns on me at this point that when the lion is done ravishing through the jungle that even he ,even he is prey to the worms and termites of the soil.

Then it hits me hard,that the ecosystem works to clear itself but I really don’t have to be a victim of the cycle rather a player in the same,a game-changer;a re-aligner of the sphere and an organiser rather than a consumer of everything fed to me.

So if am to speak of peace then I should know that peace hurts,that before even the Son of man left us with his peace he went through agony to attain it,he went through pain and hurt,so much no man could match to it.He even says in his sermons,”No greater love has any man shown than this,that a man should lay down his life for the sake of his friends.”

So then to experience peace involves a sacrifice and to sacrifice produces a love so deep and unstoppable the ocean itself is jealous and even the gates of hell,they got nothing to contest but give in.

So I can only speak of peace,love and comfort if I am willing to lose a piece of me and sometimes even my whole dignity for the sake of and to fit in another’s shoe;A shoe that though torn at the tip still squeezes so bad it hurts and no amount of airation can suffice for comfort.

So to speak of peace my friends as PePa has so taught me is;not to sit in the high and lofty places making rules for the weak and directives we ourselves can’t live by,not to speak from closed doors and pass adjudication in forms which we apply not.Not pointing a finger towards a mistake but rather taking part in the solution.

So my peace I learn from PePa as acting and not advising,Loving and not withholding;Joining the fight rather than spectating.

Pen and paper thus looks upon me with pride at this point.before I thus unlearn all that I have learnt I am forced to bow out and pray we all practise rather than preach.

PePa.

THE SKETCHES UNFOLD Fireside stories pt2 (PePa)

……so grandma clears her throat and chokes off the firewood from the three stone fireplace.She lets a long wary but warm smile linger astride her lips,letting the broth within her earthen pot simmer.A tilt off the lid and oooh…on closing my eyes I can still smell that sweet tempting aroma;you could only compare it to the sacrifices our ancestors made of bulls prepared upon rocks with fire,the sweet smelling aroma rising up to the heavens.

The cooking is hereby heavenly if such a word cuts through.We snuggle closer to the waxing fireplace,pulling out our over-baked mushrooms from under the ashes,I din’t just say baked now,did I?Haha…overly-burnt is the word,or better still,sooted black if that brings out the actual essence.Robert doesn’t forget his almost charring maize cob either.

Did I mention Sarah snuggled up close to Robert,I think it was because he had the roasted maize,and friendships became handy when meals were involved.Her eyes are piercing red from the smoke of the evening.All we are right now is a bunch of utter joy and anticipation for grandma’s story.

Auntie joins us,carrying plastic open-plan plates(get the picture?),any older lady who was never our mom or granny definitely became and auntie those days you know?

“So once upon a time,”beams grandma,a child was born;beautiful and amazing,ebony could not manage to describe the lustrous colour of his rich skin tone.It was a wave of full aesthetics and richness upon it.The year of birth is span and woven in time to when snipers at war called their targets to move closer to enable them take a better shot.

In times of beautiful green expanse;when the birds played merry go round up in the trees and skies hung low in pregnancy,filled with a burst of grey energy.

When the monkeys of the lying forests babbled and called to each other to mate within the thickets in the afternoon heat,a relief for sure.

A period described by herds upon herds of cattle trooping to the riversides filled with both mud and coolness of even flow,a flow only equated to the freshness and breeze of the afternoon air softly through the leafy trees.

Grandma takes a long pause as if taking in a fill of all that beauty and then goes on about this amazing baby boy.

The baby boy was thus visited upon birth with endless showers of gifts;hides freshly harvested and nicely cleaned,a couple of raiment acquired from the white folks among us at that time.

So over the valleys and along the beautiful Anyuola river was the baby boy born.A feast as held in his honour and what a celebration it was;of dances traditional raining with chants and screams all of untold joy.At such a time by the way kids,an African boy,kenyan in particular at a time ruled by imperialists,he was O so lucky to acquire and English name.

“And what was his name?” Sarah asks curiously.”Robert,” quips grandma with a wink.just like you my dear Robert.At this point,Robert beams with excitement and shrugs his shoulders against us.We rub his head roughly and with gay as we listen more to grandma.

Hence Robert grew very fast and gets interested in the new white education introduced into his village,a village whose education was through passing down of skills from father to son or mother to daughter.He chooses going to white man’s school over taking care of cattle along with his friends.Granny looks at Robert at this point and grins,as if to scold him.He on the other hand is nonchalant and wholly unmoved,putting his head between hands supported by his bent knees,feet flat on ground.

“He thus went to school and became the village hero,” granny continues.The other side of the river lying over the valleys thus became the talk of all nearby villages,his name spreading like a bushfire.Renowned and awed was his village making him a giant in personality though a little boy he was.He became respected and approved of both village elders and chiefs of the area.

In an era ruled by white imperialists thus,Robert grew to rival even his colonizers in not only thought but also reason.And that is how he ended up being needed to work in high places and offices.Prestigious at that time.

Grandma grins so hard at this point that even the fireside embers can’t rival her beautiful bright smile.She reminisces in complete immersion .You would think she was Robert’s achievement herself.

With her fingers pinned to her chin as if lost in thought,she asks us if we would like to know what became of Robert.Shouting we say ,”YESSSS,” in unison.

“If you want to know the adventures of Robert then you must first have and finish your dinner,”retorts grandma.Dissapointedly we each stretch forward our plates for a filling of granny’s portion of sweet aroma and fill-up of githeri(mix of corn and beans).Curling up our feet we then sit and stare at granny in anticipation of more tales of Robert.

So Pen and paper thus takes a coil and waits for the tales of Roberto to continue.

(PePa)

THE SKETCHES OF DIVERSITY-Tales from a coffee house (PePa)

A sweep through the room and what hits me is a mixture of different flavours.I pray flavour is the right pick of description.An asian or two at the far corner looks but so distinguished and in quite a jolly mood.Two ladies and a gent quite engrossed in what seems like a healthy jovial conversation full of gestures and little stolen giggles.

Right on the table behind them are two middle aged gents, they are engaged in what seems like a business discussion but too serious for a Saturday evening,at least in my opinion.

Well,I love getting right in the middle of a conversation I do not understand.At least not in person but in my mind and from a distance that is.Call me nosy but most times this un-intentional or should I call it intentional swips really do engage my mind and in wake help meditation into my noisy environs.

Right at my front sits these two youngsters,a lady and a guy.Their conversation quite at the helm of nothing but utter joy.Intense,hearty laughs and endless high-fives fill this side of my view.Their day must have been amazing without balls or with I suppose.The gent has nicely shaved head-sides called phunk I suppose and with a dreaded top.I bet his head-top had more hair than his edges so to save on much needed wax they did away with the intruding side-hair.

The young lady with him,late twenties or early thirties I suppose,seems quite lost in story-telling.I for a moment wish she was present during those sleepy afternoon physics or mathematics classes as my teacher way back in high school…if only she were this interesting.I would never have dropped physics as a core unit for those free afternoon naps out on the study benches.

Thank heavens I dropped it as nothing I am now engaged in has anything to apply based on it.Maybe mixing sugar into this cup of tea am now sipping?Maybe..

The amount of hair on her head though,”All that can’t be her’s,”I think,and if it is then she is blessed among many.But for fashion’s sake let’s leave all that hair and dreads alone.Not so quickly though,I used to think a bunch of dreadlocks meant liberation for men and short hair on ladies was utter freedom and confidence,but times change you know?

She walks away giggling,for a moment I think she is leaving as she picks up her bag,swings it on her shoulder and heads for the washrooms.Meeen,why do ladies carry their bags to the washrooms again?This is a coffee house,do they do the same back at home?but how would I know?

So with the subside of the heckles,giggles and stories,I now turn to my right hand-side .Nicely shaven gentleman ,Asian again I suppose and right across the table he is chatting an African middle-aged man.Good maturity I suppose and don’t ask me why I think it is mature ‘cuz this name just sounds cool for a description at this point.

Our lady returns from the washrooms,bag on shoulder but by now my mind is drifted as I wonder why I even chose this centre spot initially.I have began to notice the amazing diversity in this space and am kind of missing out on most of it.

Right behind me are two elderly ladies,African in origin to be specific.They are quite calm,a total opposite of what I have in front of me.They are easy conversing over a drain of beverages.At times I think calmness and patience both come with age,I could be wrong but if their composure is anything to go by then am scoring a good A in this perspective..I would pray for such grace though at times I guess with a little edge of millenialism in my society,calmness and composure sure seems to wreck my nerves.It comes in handy though when one owes you money and you are on a quest to briddle your ever roaming reckless tongue,huh?

A little beyond these two comes a constant rise and dip of quite excited voices.I don’t know if this is a thing peculiar only to me or most of us get excited when they hear an indian lady around speak good audible English?Could be my appreciation of communication as learning gujarati has been an epic uphill for me.Not that am English either and wouldn’t care lessif they din’t speak it all well,not that they also have any better pronunciation of our native languages so cool is cool with me,no stones need be thrown today…try again another day.

So sometimes hearing one of these speak so audibly makes me want to marry them instantly,I mean so we can keep on talking,if only that were the whole point of marriage but for now let me take a back-step on this….Someone please hold my silly ribs.

Before I lose trail in my own fantasies I return to realise my two young friends have already left the room and with me is a clear view of a round table of a Chinese,African and a White in this case could be European or American,ain’t so good in distinguishing him at this point.

They are engrossed so deep in a conversation am hoping the African ain’t selling a portion of his country’s rights to the Chinese investor with the white man as the mediator/witness.My paranoia will finish me someday but I believe a country is normally divided and its people sold on a round table discussion of eminent persons I believe.

Eyes then stray right across the room and over my right shoulder.A young lady probably 21,tall and sassy.I never knew there was tall light-skinned and sexy as in videos I hear short and sweet but anyway seeing is believing and here it is in my eyes.

Well,forgive my mind.Pen and paper gets relentless too at this point.

Did I mention it is freezing O’clock in this room?My dear tall,light-skinned and sexy is killing the freeze with a shine of booty denim shorts,lined with sheer stockings and accompanied with chilled wine.Could be my age is failing me at this time,not that am in the grey hair realms however.If grandma were here then my sassy friend from over there would have sure welcomed a slap with a threat of pneumonia.But does this affect us when sexiness comes to play and instagram needs clicks for likes?

My cup of hot decadence is draining out and must thus get me out the coffee shop.

One thing at this point comes to mind as time shows her back towards me.That in this very little square-feeted room is a true variety of flavours,all from different walks of life but now accommodated under one roofing,sharing the same culinary from one kitchen and expressing their diversity in both language,mannerisms and character.

I see God’s great expression of love and beauty in diversity.On the other hand though is our inability to embrace all this in one wake.

Pen and paper thus finishes sweep through surrounding,the bill is brought hence and she sure notes with earnest that;in a nation that easily invites,accepts and accommodates foreigners with open arms,love must thus be practiced beyond reprieve.

So she concludes with a plea of acceptance and appreciation of our diversity and uniqueness and an utter need of oneness in all our differences.

Love should thus rule above all.

(PePa)

THE BIRTH OF THE SKETCHES -Fireside stories (PePa)

The cows mow,the goats bleat,sheep are all but in a baa frenzy as the rain pours heavily outside,neighbours children are out playing in the relentless showers of rain.

Outside are trades of puddles upon same of water above rocks and stones,a slip upon which would send a basket atop head toppling over and skirts flaring out.Remember those long beautiful,crisp pleated marindas?those that came in codes of mixed colours,a combination that rivalled even the rainbow?

Oh that magnificent bow up above and beyond the mountains,or is it hill-tops?back then they was mountains in my head…when teacher asked to name the mountains in Kenya,I would be first to say,”Mt. Legetet!” Am sure you never even heard of such a name but that was the hill in my village.

We are all wet alongside my cousins,parents from which I never knew but non of that origin ever mattered in those days,did it now?So here sits Robert wetter than a duck right out a pool of water.Did I mention out in the chicken coop grandma had a fleet of ducks?Fleet,conglomerate,group,school or even herd,does any of that even matter?

All I know is she had a bunch of those fat-bellied ass-swinging,mud-eating birds(they don’t eat mud though,they sort worms in mud) called ducks.And swing their behinds they did and still do,they would give our millennial twerkers a run for their money.But this ain’t a duck story now,is it?

So Robert stands dripping wet,refused to go to school today so grandma punished him by sending him out into the fields to herd the cattle.Little did she know,he loves the outdoors and hillsides more than being enclosed in a four-walled room full of neat-clad children,a desk and teacher with pen and paper with an additional chalk to quip….cane in hand.

Forgive my tirade of memories for sometimes,even pen and paper wonders where we are headed with this task I so bestow upon her,but I love trailing and she,she loves my company so together we must walk,like that slogan that says,”You’ll never walk alone” It is like the founder of this Liverpool slogan had me in mind,a prophet he was.

So before Pepa gets wary of my unending ruminations,we are at the fireplace,a haven if not heaven itself in my heart.Robert is wet wet and his now torn sweater drips from huddling together of cattle and sheep in the rain…the tear must be from a tango with the bushes and branches…a scene that must have been,haha.We laugh at how he can’t sit next to us as he smells of cattle and cattle dung.

He squeezes himself to the far end of this smoky room centred by a beautiful goldish fire hosted by three dark sooty stones.An escalation of warmth and life.”Whoever sits far away from me better make sure they ain’t having tea from the cow I milk,” Robert laughs and threatens.

Seeing our own folly we all become his royal hillariousness’ best friend and huddle even closer to him.

In our midst,the three-stone fireplace fills the room with smoke as we stuff into it stick after stick of firewood,such a source of delight it is to us as grandma cuts off our actions with a threat of no supper in case that fire quenchs off.Our eyes are smoking red yet non of us will move away from this smoky little heaven of our’s.

On the three stones seats a beautiful round black pot and from the size of it,we could always tell that whatever was brothing inside was a full filling recipe.

Grandma was always watchful,making sure the right amount and type of wood was being stuffed into the fire,makes us a menace in actuality.We would wait for grandma’s gaze to stray and then would we stuff under the hot ashes,maize that Robert had picked from the fields during his herding escapades,woe unto him if the owner of the farm ever caught him picking the maize-cob.On this other end of the ashes meanwhile did we stuff mushroom stalks one of us harvested,hahahaha harvested??I meant plucked from under a baobab tree along the school path this morning.

Non of us edges any close to granny as we have gotten the better part of rain on us,this called for a good stroke of the cane which we would not enjoy at this point,like it was meant for enjoyment…we however take advantage of the fact that she is pre-occupied with supper preparation because otherwise we would have been punished to wash up in the rain.

We chit and chat,giggle and play around as sweet aroma oozes from gandma’s black pot of beauty.She clears her throat and we all get attentive jerking from our tirades.She smiles and gives us that amazing grin that we all loved…she brightens up and starts to narrate a story…stories by the fireside.

But this are memories from my past or so I mentioned,huh?So pen and paper has to take leave as we listen to what grandma has to narrate this evening..

(PePa)

THE DEATH OF A HUNTER-Sketches from an onlooker (pen&paper)

A mother’s pride,a village’s encouragement,a hero in the making,a society’s hope of rescue;the arch nemesis of legends,even Luanda Magere would be jealous,that heroic stone or was it rock of a warrior?vision fails me if memory is still sound.

The village hero thus leaves the quiet,hilly homeland in jubilation and is escorted to high school with an entourage;a feast could have been made on his behalf were there enough funds to throw around.Poor situation though,education was a grind,a mountain to say in creation.A mountain whose mere foundations eroded the very depths and pits of finances.So today,an entourage the clan including chief and chief’s camp,sorry,the sub-chief I meant,has to escort the hero to high school.

Introduced into high school,a hero indeed he is,having scored a cool 431 out of the possible 500 marks attainable.That sure must have been a megascoop in an ocean of salt.A bonanza of fish were it the brown bears in the north in anticipation of winter.Did I mention winter?Now Jon Snow in Game of Thrones would sure understand when they say winter is coming ‘cuz the men of the night watch hence get no sleep….

So winter is coming and the hunter has to be prepared.

Away from that,the village hero soon realises that high school as it were ain’t no small boy’e fete.The chase soon becomes contrary to the wise saying which stated that the race ain’t for the swift nor food for the wise but time and chance happens to them all.

He thus revisits his stance and sure takes a long stare and pre-calculation of the racing track ahead.He sizes up all the giants around that he has to shoot and run down in this hunt and race.He not only needs bow in hand and arrow out of quiver but also wits beyond counter.

Swiftness soon counts and relentlessness makes for more in a world with so little prey.His competition is a pack of giants and he not only has them to beat but also an entire clan he can’t afford to fail;after all,a whole brigade if not battalion from his village brought him here,right?

The stage is set and the lad once hero finds a tight hunt and race twirled into one.1st year passes by and he isn’t as good a hero the legend Luanda Magere envied.He hasn’t met his villagers’ expectations and has to hunt better.

Hero returns into the next year and all concentration is put into paper whilst all else is thrown into air.No contacts,no friends.The hunter of giants now becomes friends with worms as head gets absorbed into books.

After all,he din’t come here with all the rest,his parents and village told him.He has to focus on his prey,leave the friends aside,sports ain’t your thing either…leave that to failures.Failures did I hear?Don’t forget that still winter is coming.

So hero becomes lad and worms become friends with book as ardent companion.Lad surely does a good four year race and hero is reborn as friends with worm and book surely yields fruits of success.

Another brigade soon leads delegation into higher learning as he is enrolled in University as village sings songs of praise.

Having learnt the lesson of swiftness,he is armed well,bow in hand,quiver on back and arrow in place.He must shoot for the stars and even a land on the moon would never suffice.After all,the jungle shows no mercy for slow hunters,does it now?

But,clubs do smell good with flow of party after party,though that would deter my race to success huh?and would the social gatherings be of any help?and what with a union with the student administrations and leaderships account for in my quest for good results?

Orientation illustrated that I need a mean of A and nothing else so as to land lucrative job positions.Right?

So hero takes a bow on knee,bow in hand and arrow out of quiver set into position.Target is aimed and bow gets a strain,even a fly would run off.Then follows sleepless nights and endless library visits;that HELB loan has to be cleared in time when he is done before it accrues any unnecessary interests you know?

A slump in his walking posture sure indicates the numerous books he has been ploughing through relentlessly.

It is midnight on Friday,a knock on the door and Robert peeps in,”Hey hero boy,aren’t we going out tonight?”Robert is given a shrug with a no,he runs off to join the others,following him a trail of giggles,heckles and laughs of happy Friday.The party is sure gonna boom tonight but hero boy has prey in sight and a shot to take.His arrow is well aimed and can’t miss its mark.

Saturday morning and Maureen suggests a hike to Mt.Longonot,more like a team building,but hero boy is too strained with an upcoming CAT on Tuesday morning he can’t make it off this weekend.

Days pass into months,semisters roll by and years draw to a close.Hero boy outperforms all his classmates.”This would sure make my village proud,”he prides.Hero boy in time becomes only friends with books,lives in virtuality and throws caution to reality and studies on.Four years end so quick and graduation takes platform.

Village brigade comes to celebrate a hero,he has blown off all colours of success..songs of praise fill the air as Luanda Magere watches from the shadows of legends in envy.He wishes he was a millennial.

First class honours sure come with a crown and he attains the power to read,I wonder what he was doing all this time if not reading…Powers to read?not to work?so was this all meaning to the word undergraduate?

Hero boy is 24 and at the prime of his hunting skills,little does he know the jungle is wide and expansive and he ain’t done hunting.He now has to hunt for work,an employment.He finds himself in the same race as those who only attained a pass and not a first class honours as himself.The jungle that once belonged to him,his bow,quiver and arrows and occasionally worm under foot is now crowded with more hunters,more bows,quivers,arrows and less prey.

The big prey that would satisfy the entire clan can no longer be found as the jungle is crowded,hence chances of a kill grow slimmer by day.

Soon the honours don’t count as the classmates who invited him for hiking,though they got lower grades,in this case honours are now having more honourable positions in alternative fields.But he was only friends with his books and knew no life out of this.

He isn’t affordable and lucrative enough to employers in the market jungle who now prefer skills and not qualifications or grades,in other and most cases working experience has a better chance than honours.But what experience when I just graduated with first class honours and need a job?

All the songs and praises in his background become noises and frustrations in his present,Luanda Magere at this point looks with sympathy from the shadows.

Did he miss the point all along?Jane studied Mathematics and Physics but really loved dancing so now has employment in a choreography company at Alliance francais.Judy was the school fashion icon and though she flopped in her biochemistry class and got a pass has so ventured into fashion and design.Did I mention Robert loved the party life so much,dropped out of third year and became a full-fledged Dee jay?He is making it big on the decks.

Hero boy turned deaf ear to reality and listened to what society demanded,ignoring what it needed which was what he had to offer,a portion of himself and not what was taught to him.Reality now has no recognition of perception and has to deal actual blows,blows not present in his quiver of papers.

The prey thus once so close in view becomes bigger than his arrows and fall their weight upon his lifeless helplessness.Hero boy thus gives in under the pressure and is forced to take a step back at reality.That promising course once awed for the elite now offers nothing in actual world.

Hero boy thus caves in to demands,frustrated by perception and is forced to re-root inorder to find himself.For growth to happen and as once said,that a seed must first die for a shoot to grow from thence.

From society’s structure,the hunter must die from his pre-meditated expectations and face the shot from the bow of the system.

So for Maureen,Judy,Robert and the rest of the pack,popular belief din’t work in their favour but actual interests and true inspirations cut it for them.Passion took priority and degree din’t mean life or death.

So did the hunter die from his own arrow shot or did society shoot him down?

Pen and paper must thus take a bow and let society decide.

(PePa)