Friday, 3 August 2012

Utabiri wa Msomaji Matumbo ya Mbuzi*

My son, you will not get lost.

Yesterday, I slaughtered a goat for you

Studied the matumbo carefully

So many paths, so many deviations

So many illusions, so many falsehoods

All strewn your way, son

There was a river crossing your path, son

Not a rowdy one, no, just a small silent stream

And as I looked at it, my eyes clouded

Those treacherous hill slopes, no I wasn’t afraid of,

Those forests with wanyama wa porini, no I wasn’t afraid of,

Those shafts of lightning and thunder, no no I wasn’t afraid of,

It was that stream I was afraid of.

Son, many men have drowned in this stream

Didn’t our people say that a silent stream drowns a man?

You see, son, the river beckons,

“Step with both feet, I am shallow”

And fools do so

We know that you dip one foot first

Or get a lukup and test the waters

Or even whisper to the river,

“River god, don’t be angry at me

I am a traveller greeting you and crossing”

And you are spared, the River god is merciful

Son, watch out for that stream

Watch out for her lull

I am not very worried about the cliffs

For I know you are a warrior with instincts.

*Kiswahili for “the prediction of the reader of goat’s offals”.

Matumbo- Offals.

Lukup- Pokot for walking stick.

Wanyama wa porini- Kiswahili for wildlife

# For a Prompt of Poets United’s Thursday Think Tank #108 Compass


Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is so beautiful,kiddo....such wise advice! I love the closing lines. |Beautiful new look on your blog, too.

Ella said...

Amazing insightful and full of sage wisdom~
I am so glad you shared this poem!~

Remember to visit so others will come visit you~

echoesofthehills said...

@ Sherry Blue Sky, thank you so much Koko, as always.

@ Ella, thanks a lot and thanks for visiting. I will do so. I am a real culprit on this one. :)

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