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Poems By Poet David Yobby  9/17/2014 10:31:44 AM
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Bringing Her Home

Play the isukuti, Bumala!
I am bringing her.
Here she comes
From the land of the mountain
That is surrounded by forests
That give birth to rivers
That criss and cross
In search of my beloved

Ha! You should see her, Ibanda!
You should see her hair..
Soot is not darker!
You should see her eyes..
The moon is neither whiter
Nor more beautiful!
Her behind, Babere..
It is an African behind!

She is not too fat
That I will struggle to feed her
She is not too thin
That I will be accused
Of being mean

Her skin is smooth, Ademba!
My beloved is smooth.
You should smell her, brother!
She scents like 'obuoba' does
When you are hungry
I am bringing her, brother,
I am bringing home my beloved.
David Yobby



My Head Is Gone

I brave the morning chill
In my coat of white mud
And my numbed nerves
Curse the cold waters
Of the river Isikhu

I push my chest out
To show my courage
But the beat of my heart
Reminds me
Of an isukuti drum

Krwii! Krwii! Krwii!
The knife is sharpened
Thu! Thu! Thu!
'Mukhebi' spits his blessings
On the unwiped knife

I refuse to tremble
As I stand nude
When I hear the gasp
Of my brother
He is now a man

I refuse to see
The red, drunken eyes of mukhebi
As he smiles
An ugly smile
And menacingly pulls my skin

Pain! Excruciating pain!
And all falls hush
Is my heart so loud?
But I will not scream
And I shall not cry
For I am a man now

But the pain!
Mukhebi pauses, then moves on
The ceremony must be completed
And should not be stopped
Because of half a man

But the pain!
I defy the rules
And look down at my manhood
My God!
My head is gone!

'Mlakusi' the witch
Picks it up
And puts it in her mouth
The men rush at her
To try and save my head
And all this
Becomes a blur
As my head
Hits the ground
David Yobby



The Inherited Woman

Nyasaye yawa,
Atimo ang’o?
What have I done
That death is now my husband?
You have taken Okoth,
Just as you took his brother Ochiel,
And K’ochung, their brother

I am tired of shaving my head in mourning,
Let it remain bald,
I am tired of crying,
My eyes are dry
I denounce my name Akoth,
Call me Chi liel,
A widow,
You have killed all my husbands, Nyasaye
Chwora ne otho,
My husband died,
Owad gi K’ochung’ otera,
K’ochung’s brother inherited me
Owad gi Ochiel otera
And now you have killed Okoth

His cousin is already smiling at me,
Yet Okoth has not yet returned to the ground
I am not human,
I am a pleasure factory,
They say an margi, an chi gi
I belong to them,
I am their wife,

Have mercy, Nyasaye!
My womb is tired!
Shall I not know peace?
Shall I not know the love,
Of one husband?

If not for my…
Their children…,
I would be buried next to K’ochung’
My first love

They cannot wait
For the burial to be over
So that they pack my bags
And ask me to go with Okoth’s cousin
I have no choice,
I have no choice…
David Yobby



A Luhya Funeral

Crying, but no tears flow,
It is only the sound,
And painful words,

'Wanga, you have not,
Paid my debt'
'Wanga, why have you gone,
without telling me? '
'Wanga, we had agreed,
to meet on the market day,
why are you being rude? '

Osundwa the drunkard,
Is pulling out all the grass in the boma,
With his bare hands,
Atsango paces the compound,
Chanting Wanga's name
And incomprehensible words
Akatsa has arrived.
She rushes to the coffin,
She rolls on the ground,
She cannot be controlled,
She hears that tea is ready,
To be served,
Then she stands up calmly,
And makes her way to the kitchen,
Greeting fellow mourners,
With a bright smile

'Wanga cannot be buried,
next to his sister,
fill that hole,
and dig another,
next to his father's grave'
'Shut up, drunkard,
Wanga had already married,
His sister was a virgin,
he cannot be laid next to her'

And while they dig the grave,
Someone steals all the meat,
From the pot,
And leaves the soup,
Someone steals,
All the spoons,
And leaves the forks

Clouds gather,
People gather,
And sings songs of transition,
And dance the dance of the clan,
Brandishing branches,
Round the grave,
Round the boma,
And in the middle of the driest month,
The clouds give birth,
A sure sign,
That one of the rain-making clan,
Has fallen.
David Yobby

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Poems By Poet David Yobby