Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father’s Day: Minstrel on this Earth

This poem honours my two dads, both deceased, one who sired me and the other who raised me. Both went to meet with the Lord. Wherever you are, I know you are watching over me.

W.H Auden's poem "Stop All the Clocks" befits the sorrow I felt. But I remain hopeful.

You could watch it here:


I have been avoiding mentioning this
For the past five years
So, I have always sung
But deep inside me I have been crying

My father,
I remember him telling me,
“My son, I have no wealth but faith,
We are all travellers on this earth”
He rode me in his bicycle and showed me
His tomato farm
And that day I messed up with his camera
Exposing the film, destroying all photos
He never descended on me in anger
May be he was very angry
Or it never showed

He now lies buried
A traveller he was, he said

Enigmatic, my dad was
Hardworking, my dad was
Religious, my dad was

August 2004
As I buried him, a part of me died too
“Stop all the clocks”, my heart cried
But my dad was no more
What happens when the one
Who you grew with tender and affection
What happens when the very ground you stood on
Is pulled beneath your feet?
How do you react to the demise of one
Who bought you Oxford English Dictionary and Kamusi
And Read With Us and Hallo Children?

Usimlaumu dobi, kaniki rangile”, he always said,
Don’t blame the launder, a stained cloth remains so.
Achanikaye kwenye mpini hafi njaa”, he also told us,
Those who labour on their hoe’s handles don’t sleep hungry.
I remember the newspapers you always bought
And the academic cheer you always brought
You loved knowledge
I remember your challenge
“Which is a City within a City?”
We were clueless, you said “Vatican”

So, when I buried you
I held back tears, but for how long?
Thus, as mourners sang, I remembered
The good things you did, the wonderful times we shared
The thought that you were no more
Was so painful, so devastating
So I let my tears flow
Till now, a part of me lies buried with you

Salem, you named me,
When I read Hebrews 7: 1-,
PEACE is what my name means,
Lorot, you also named me,
Because I was born on the way,
No fancy hospital delivery

So, symbolically,
I am a minstrel on this earth
Singing peace to troubled souls
It is a sojourn, that much my birth shows,

Perhaps it was the loss of two people in my life
That drew me close to the love for all
I lost them, but found them in you all.


The Unknowngnome said...

Love ya Salem, my brother.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is very very tender and beautiful, Grandson. Love the remembrances and that there were kind men in your life. Laughed that you were in a hurry even being born - you havent slowed down since! Love the meaning of your name, and that you are a "minstrel on this earth singing peace to troubled souls." Beautiful.

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you, TUG. I love you back too. May Tororot's blessings be upon you.

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you Koko. They were so kind to me and I will always remember them. About the name, explains why I am on a mission, he he.

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