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Poems By Poet David Yobby  11/23/2014 9:43:00 PM
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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



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



She Sliced My Something

Hear the women coming,
From the hills of Keroka,
And the markets of Keumbu,
Hear the cock crowing,
It is dawn,
It is dawn,
And Kerubo must ask,
Her mother for a hen,
A hen to pay for the cut,
A hen to be given to Omwaroki
the circumciser

Kerubo must be brave,
Kerubo must leave the house naked,
In the early morning chill,
The fog hides her nudity,
But the cold dew rests,
Upon the rock on which she sits,
As she waits to be cut

Her face must be serious,
She must not be afraid,
Even though Moraa bled to death last year,
She must not be afraid,
Even though her aunt holds her firmly,
She must not be afraid,
Even as Omwaroki applies the white flour
On her eight year old womanhood,
she must not wince
When the knife slices off,
Her clitoris
To transform her,
From childhood to womanhood

The women dace,
And sing erotic songs,
They know too well,
that nothing can pleasure them,
Nothing but words...

Kerubo is marched back home,
Where she must squat,
Behind the granary
Until her mother finishes cooking
For the many guests
David Yobby



The Mouth

The mouth sucks
And whatever is left
In the straw
Goes slowly back into the pot

The mouth talks
-before it sucks again-
Of how the youth are problematic
Of how the politicians eat
Of how the harvest failed

The mouth talks
-after it sucks-
Of how the chief is getting fat
Of how the wives always fight
Of how the son is so bright

The mouth talks
-and sucks yet again-
Of how his household is disciplined
By his good old bamboo rod
Of how his wives jump
On hearing his bark
From afar

The mouth talks
And sucks
Whatever is left in the pot
Then it sings
Of his dwindling wealth
And the waiting hungry mouths
At home
David Yobby

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Poems By Poet David Yobby