Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Kacheliba Hill

Kinsman, when I look at Kacheliba Hill*
My eyes cloud, my heart putters

Suppressed joy escapes my lips
I shout gratitude in the tongue of my people

Why, this Hill stands tall
Watching us below, aware of its sacred duty

It towers magnificently, detached
Leaving Lomalaya* and Shabaha* in pet rivalry

Oh, Kacheliba Hill, you are the umpire
Never judgmental, you know all the secrets

You feed the monkeys with mkwaju*
The hyraxes hide in your bosom

Eywei*, even lotiriri* sit on your head
You don't mind its whirring engine

In the ways of our people, I need to say thank you
May be with a gourd of sour milk and sorghum

But how do I do? Should I pour it on your peak
Or at the foothills?

Should I do it at daytime
Or at night?

You are wise, of that I admit
You don't burble, you don't gabble

Of those prattles of the wind
You choose to ignore in your sagacity

We all rever you, even in jest
We don't swear by your name

When I was young, I wrote my name
On your skin; I wanted you to remember me

I called out my name to you, you repeated that
Exactly like my voice; we remain comrades

Stand tall, stand magnificent
O Kacheliba Hill; always remain true

C) Lorot Salem 2011

Kacheliba Hill-- A defining geographical feature in Kacheliba, Kenya.

 Lomalaya-- A small hill in kacheliba; Also, Shabaha.

 Mkwaju-- A Kiswahili term for tamarind.

Eywei-- A Pokot word used to express sadness, sympathy, pity.

Lotiriri-- A Pokot word for an aeroplane.


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