Friday, 6 May 2011

Nairobi People, Where Are You Running To?


Image credit: google: corner.youth.cn

You Nairobi people amaze me
You are always running!

In the morning, even before cows
Get out of cowsheds, you hit the streets
A frantic pace, a small run here, a dash there
Tell me Nairobi people, where are you running to?

And when I see you eat
You keep looking at your watches
Chewing more than you can swallow
Holding a newspaper here, checking the phone there
Watching 1 O’clock news and gossiping over the counter
Done, you clutch your briefcases and dash
Please answer me, where are you running to?

Nairobi people, your city stands tall
Fixed to the same spot, aloof, lethargic
Yet you who occupy it disturb her serenity
And meditative pose with the stampede
Of your feet and your hurry
Your vehicles drive deadly speeds
Your tongues speak fast,
Tell me Nairobi people, why the hurry?
How will good ideas perch on your heads
If they are not stationary, if they gallop and trot?
Stop the chase, wake up and see the sunrise
Feel your heart beat, sit under a shade
Feel that moment, close your eyes
Be still, let urgency scuttle past you
Sit back, be renewed
Time to slow things, feel the rhythm
Watch the sunset, hear the cowbells
Feel the warmth of the fireplace,
Never run, just walk, observe

If only you Nairobi people did this
You would have seen the beauty
Of a bird’s dropping on a statue
Or the skilled beggars on abandoned alleys
Playing songs from bad radio speakers
Or old couple adeptly crossing busy highway
Or moving lips of people in their monologues
Or Bus Preachers with raptured voiceboxes
Preaching the message of Eternal Hellfire
And you ask, well, please don’t shout…

If you were patient, Nairobi people,
You would have seen the hawker
Selling cockroach insecticides
Yet  immediately sell umbrellas
At the fall of the first rain drop!
Or notice the irony of a church
Adjacent to a bar business
Or measure the country’s economic growth
Using a smile-o-meter pa-smile- capita
Not those arcane Economics functions!

If you weren’t in a hurry
You would see that occasional academic
Standing beside the road, trying to order his theories
Grappling with Einsten’s Theory of Relativity
The Schroedinger equation and such stuff
You would see him scratch his head and ruffle his coat
His eyes fixed on some pothole or space

But you wouldn’t notice such things,
Nairobi people, you are always running
And am afraid you left life’s lessons behind!


C) Lorot Salem 2011


Shared in Thursday Poets Rally 43 ( May 05-May 11, 2011)


10 comments:

Jingle said...

powerful message on Nairobi people.
Thanks for sharing with poets rally.

Happy Mother's Day to Moms around you. Blessings..

the feeling lioness said...

liked it

do read my blog too

Andy said...

WoW! You certainly have a lot of knowledge for someone so young.
Impressive message.

Thanks for sharing.

The Unknowngnome said...

Well said and well observed Salem.

It is a great pleasure to meet you.

Salem Lorot said...

@ Jingle, always a pleasure to see your kind comments. Mother's Day was a pleasure. In fact I had to write a poem for my sweet mama.

@ The feeling lioness, thank you so much. BTW, you write so well. I loved your blog.

@ Andy, coming from you I am totally humbled. I always appreciate your regular visit to my blog.

@ The Unknowngnome, thanks so much. Been pleasure to meet you too through your blog.

Emily said...

Very nice, welcome to the rally! Mine: www.invokingmuses.wordpress.com

~Emily Jane

Salem Lorot said...

@ Emily, first welcome to Lorot's Poetry. Thank you for dropping by and for your nice comments. Will savour yours in a moment. :)

WyomingDiva said...

I think this could apply to any people - we are always in too much of a hurry to see what's in front of us. Well written.

Salem Lorot said...

@ WyomingDiva, first you are most welcome to Lorot's Poetry. You are right. We are always in a hurry to learn some of the beauty that our planet gives to us. Thanks.

Salem Lorot said...

@ WyomingDiva, most welcome to Lorot's Poetry. I agree totally. :)

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