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Poems By Poet David Yobby  1/29/2015 4:22:27 PM
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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



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



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



Ah well, Life Goes On

Ah well, life goes on,
Not every fruit in the basket
Is sweet,
Not every word you hear
Is dear,
Not every person you meet
Has wit.
Well, life goes on.
Ties get severed
And others mended,
Friendships get forged,
And we learn some are forgeries.
Well, life goes on.
Hearts get broken,
And egos trodden,
Prayers of penance chanted,
Hands get held again
Albeit this time
With a fainter grip.
Ah, well, life goes on.
David Yobby

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Poems By Poet David Yobby