Monday, 25 April 2011

Diatribe to the Dying Tribe

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1.   So you are incensed, miffed because
I told you that I am incensed, miffed
By the state of the world, dreams incinerated
Never to smoke, hope choked
Never to flame, ambitions wilted
Never to blossom

And what did you say?
That I am being judgmental, a cynic
A soothsayer, a prophet of doom
For in my shady lens, I see blurred
Sketches of man’s imperfections
Rather than the ‘bigger picture’
Of man’s triumphs

I told you man’s shine
Shouldn’t be dimmed by frail moonlight shadows
That litter man’s galaxy of success
For what is a meteor’s dazzle
If after a minute of spectacle it fizzles?
What is the essence of the sun
If not to bring morning to man’s night of doom?

And what did you say, friend?
That I talked ‘abstract’ and needed
Something ‘immediate’ and ‘real’
That I was being more philosophical than
The Platos and Socrates

And to be immediate
I told you that you are an intellectual
Midget, phobic of learning, a stranded
Soul in a crowd of probing minds,
Thus, in a defeatist spirit,
You cry ‘abstract’ yet all else fits

I didn’t mean to be rude, friend
If I projected myself as such, I request
For your apology, but still
How do you speak of liberation
If you have no clue of Maji Maji and Mau Mau?
If you should talk, peel off your tribal skin
Tell me about the ocean’s tides
How it rises in tandem with man’s kites
Speak with wisdom, entrance me
Tell me about the world in 2072
Not some cheap gossips about witchhunting
That is not new, capture my imagination
With a novel idea, an idea that will save
The planet, not them-and- us cocoon

And so, to incriminate me,
You contorted my noble thoughts
Twisted them to paint me as the bad guy
Assassinated my character
Berated me, besmirched me, bespattered me
But in your bones, you know
That your life has been a lie—
A counterfeit contraband
You also know that
My thoughts stain your conscience
Because I speak from nature
I don’t build gabions in deserts
I don’t breathe helium in theatres

And so, mistakenly,
For every quadruple of accusations
You heap on me, nature throws a dozen
Of alibis, like a dove I shrug them off
Because your case is shallow, accursed
To penury of yourself, self built on quicksand
Because my case is the case of man
Not so much about me—scratch that

I had to write this to you,
Because I realized, quite surprisingly
That all the energies you summoned
Against me could easily be tapped
Into some initiative—learning maybe?
Because if you think about it
I drink the potent brew of minds
All of them combined can’t be wrong
Even if you breathe hail and brimstone
I will clinically drizzle them bit by bit
I have put out infernos-what is fire
towering in a tea glass, friend?

C) Lorot Salem 2011


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Whew! This poem is SPECTACULAR!!!!!!!! It says so much - I love the fire you bring, the vision you have that life can be better. This is very very powerful writing. It has the power to spark the reader's heart. I think Tororot is beaming on your path, young Kenyan poet!!!!! I especially love "peel off your tribal skin. Tell me about the tides, how it rises in tandem with man's kites".........fantastic writing! Wowzers!

Salem Lorot said...

@ Sherry Blue Sky, thank you so much Koko. I owe it so much to you because you inspire me. In addition, I think my environment takes lots of credit too. Tororot is doing something to me in a big way.

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