Sunday, 20 February 2011


Under a full Kenyan moon


Under a full Kenyan moon,
Lit by fires of Bushmen cooking meat
Warm hands clasp. White eyes flash
We whisper then shout smiling words
Over deafening drumbeats.

We talk of names and some meanings
And how places, people, journeys
Always connect on the trail to here and now.

Listening, I come to understand
Why I can never remember names, nouns and numbers.
I know now, suddenly, in this cool Nairobi night, that
Wisdom is not names, nouns and numbers,
But deeper, dark and warm blooded things,
From the born, the dead and unborn people.
Knowing is in the verbs, voices and visions
Captured in these firelight noddings of sadness and joy.
In the hush of families and friends.

And I see all the others’ stories and my little poems,
(To strangers, of enemies and over time)
As specks of light from these fires
Sprinkled over the black earth.
Pin prick mirrors of stars in this black African sky.
And, as each fire dies, it marks a charcoal trail
Under this Kenyan moon.

I see suddenly, truly, that our future was made there
And know that it is being made here, now in this ash and am 
Happy in this place.
This place that needs no name.



 Note:  In penultimate line:  ash = Ashley; and = Andrew, am = Amy


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