Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Tororot Save Mombasa!

Yesterday, the 26th June, was the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The day is an important one especially to Kenya. At the Coast of Kenya, drug abuse is a big issue. And from what has been reported in the media, illicit trafficking is also a big issue. It is so unfortunate that so many young persons have had their dreams go up, quite literally, in smoke. Mothers and wives are the hardest hit. Drunken husbands and wasted sons are every mother’s nightmare.



his glazed, drunken eyes
barely open to the world shut before him;
his bony palms, arms jutting from the shoulders
like a marionette controlled by an amateur
the slow, sluggish mutterings of a disjointed being
held together by the buckle of an oversize belt and jeans
a torn t-shirt, worn out by cold weather and misery
teeth, like the face of a toothless character, stained
foul breathe stinking to the high heavens

you will find him in dark alleys
chanting incantations to the wall,
or as his body would direct
talking to stray malindi cats
at one time he was found sitting inside
a scrap car, humming an engine sound
shouting to the cops and cursing the other drivers
he also walks around with his abbot physics book
talking about ohms law and electrolysis
evidence of a fertile mind wasted

i just look at him, follow him around,
those eyes once had that spark
fixed on a shining star
his palms and arms once had vigour,
flowing with warmth and life
he once talked in rapid sentences
linking ideas into a philosophy
that was stringed in his want of change
he once was conscious of his being
or of what he wore or of his mouth
he once walked on the clean pavements
like the rest

but now, i look at him
he is living dead, shackled by cocaine,
his arm, injected  so many times, is dark
when he has his senses, he tells me,
“aisee, mihadarati si nzuri nakwambia,
niulize mimi, hata usijaribu, mimi miaka 9 nimeshindwa”
“friend, drugs are not good, just ask me,
never try them, i have tried leaving it for the last 9 years”

then he walks away, enters his “car”
and drives away
and something like a hot coal burns in my oesophagus
i feel like to scream, and under my breath,
i mutter: “Tororot save mombasa!”


Sherry Blue Sky said...

You have described addiction graphically. I think drugs are the very worst affliction our planet has, and sorrow for those suffering in its grip. Well written, Salem, as always. I love seeing through your eyes, for they really SEE.

echoesofthehills said...

Thank you Koko. I dream of a world free of drugs and of a society where drug barons wield no power.

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