Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Another Continent

Enlarge poem

My dream
Is sweet
Like honey,
Green
Like the leaves of a cucumber,
Bright
Like the morning sun,
Lovely
Like a garden of roses;
A dream
Of a new continent
A continent where
Parliament
Shall not be a hall
Of a swarm of locusts,
An acacia tree
For the clattering of weaverbirds,
A platform
For formless sycophants
A continent where
‘National security’
Will not be the hard skin
Guarding state house crocodiles;
A walking stick
Sustaining gods of the potter’s clay;
A continent where
Detentions and prisons
Will not be mortars
For pounding humanity,
A door
For entering to the grave,
A continent where
Precious brains
Shall not be startled
And drop their tools
To hurriedly get to the border
For home
Has become a wilderness
Where the buffalo
Has been engulfed by fury,
Where the wild dogs
Are roasted by rabies,
And the spitting cobra
Has its neck puffed up,
A continent where
Greed
And corruption
Shall not rain from the top
Like poison
From a helicopter
Being sprayed,
Official lies
Shall not rise in the air
And attack the nose
Like a stench of a skunk,
Tribal prejudice
Shall not be a mist
To attack eyes
Like tear gas;
A continent where
In state houses
There won’t be black mambas coiled
But human beings seated –
People with blood
And conscience

II
Like a sunbird
On a flower,
Under the canopy of love,
My dream
Has perched and stilled
On the new continent
A continent where
Information technology
Will not remain up in the sky
Far from out hand
But will be a spotlight in the palm
For lighting our road,
Sparks of science
Shall be fanned
Till they be an inferno
The seedling of technology
Will be nurtured
Till it becomes a giant tree,
A continent where
Our researches
Our discoveries
Will be grenades
Against malaria and measles
Tanks
Against rinderpest and blight
A continent where
Farmers
Will sing songs,
Poets
Recite poems,
In unabashed praise
Not only of tea and cocoa
Not only of coffee and tobacco
But portatoes, –
Bigger than hunger,
Pigeon peas
Growing without sulking,
Vegetables and fruits
Which deride enemies in the farm –
Lovely glittering
Jewel of bio-technology;
A continent where
Theory and practise
Brains and hands
Blend fast
With sun and rivers
And with sweet melodies
Sing a unique song
A song of electricity
For running machines
And dreams,
For lighting houses
And hearts

III
Oh, New Continent
Twinkling star
In the darkly season,
Glinting star
Like life throbbing,
Through the mist
Of vapour of tears,
Through this smoke
Of the fire of poverty,
Through this cloud
Of the poison of disunity,
With a steadfast voice
I call upon you
Come, Oh, New Continent
Continent of tranquillity
Continent of harmony
Continent of collaboration
And of hope,
Come, oh, New Continent
A continent where
Instead of the odour of suspicion
As Cameroon and Nigeria
Throw stomach gases at each other,
Instead of groaning
As Kenya and Tanzania
Gnaw at each others nerves,
Instead of wailings
As Ethiopia and Eriteria
Fry each other in the desert,
Roads and rails
Shall cross borders
Like blood vessels
Leaving one organ
And entering the next,
Letters and telephone calls
Shall reach the neighbouring villages
Without passing through London
Without going via Paris
Currency notes
Will not become worthless paper
After crossing Lwakhakha
Or Rufiji,
A continent where,
The jewls of research
With African colours,
Factory goods
With African emblems,
Will bypass each other
Like pistons
Running a machine

IV
I cry for you, oh, New Continent
A continent where
In the mind’s eye
The black skin
Shall be old,
In our ears
African languages
Shall be nightingale’s songs,
African art
Shall be the compass
In the boat of culture,
A continent where
The core business
Shall not be strategising
On how to tighten the knot
In the dangerous noose
Of Bretton Woods
But fabricating to cut the chains
Which bind our legs
On life’s highway

Kithaka wa Mberia

Featured Poem:

No Farwell to Dreaming

Enlarge poem

The red reality
Frightens the eyes
Confuses the mind
Like the midnight nightmare,
The teethe of poverty
Rend children into pieces
Like wild dogs
Ripping sheep into bits,
The poison of ignorance
Engulfs villages
Like mist or smoke
On a traveler’s road,
The madness of corruption
Permeates all over
Like bilharzias germs
In a human body,
Breton Woods and accomplices
Suck our blood
Like a million ticks
On an animal’s body,
And the insolent ogres
Stuck on the reigns of power
Have encircled us
With barbed wire
Like dogs-of-war
Yet
We, the children of Africa bidding farewell to the dream –
Oh, golden dream
The dream of a morrow
Where crocodiles
Sun-bathing on red carpets
Will be yester tales
A morrow when
Libraries and laboratories
Will light the valleys
And the hills of Africa,
A morrow when
Children will walk in villages
Without being munched on the way
By measles and whooping cough
A morrow when
Children will lift their brain power
To the apex of the eucalyptus
Without being pulled down poverty,
A morrow when
Agricultural technology
Will kiss the land
To produce a super potato
Bigger than Africa
So that, to the rubbish heap we dish
This tin with which
With a smelly embarrassment
We make rounds around the globe
Begging for leftovers

kithaka wa mberia

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (3)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (2)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

Prof.Kithaka wa Mberia was born in 1955 in Tharaka in the Eastern Province of Kenya. He attended primary school in Tharaka before joining Chuka High School and then Alliance High School. In 1976, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1979. He later obtained an M.A. and PhD from the same university.

Since 1982 Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has been teaching and doing research in the Depertment of Linguistics and Languages, University of Nairobi. He has also taught in the United States of America as a Fullbright Scholar-in-Residence at Virginia State University, Petersburg. Moreover, over the years, he has taught students from several foreign universities and university colleges during their semesters in Kenya. He has also served as an External Examinor to both local and foreign universities. Besides publishing papers in academic journals, Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has to his credit numerous books of poetry and drama. These include Kifo Kisimani, Mchezo wa Karata, Natala, Bara Jingine, Maua Kwenye Jua la Asubuhi, Redio na Mwezi, Msimu wa Tisa and Zimwi la Theluji. Several of these books have been translated and published in English.

Kithaka wa Mberia

kithaka wa mberia
kithaka wa mberia

Biography

Prof.Kithaka wa Mberia was born in 1955 in Tharaka in the Eastern Province of Kenya. He attended primary school in Tharaka before joining Chuka High School and then Alliance High School. In 1976, he enrolled at the University of Nairobi and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 1979. He later obtained an M.A. and PhD from the same university.

Since 1982 Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has been teaching and doing research in the Depertment of Linguistics and Languages, University of Nairobi. He has also taught in the United States of America as a Fullbright Scholar-in-Residence at Virginia State University, Petersburg. Moreover, over the years, he has taught students from several foreign universities and university colleges during their semesters in Kenya. He has also served as an External Examinor to both local and foreign universities. Besides publishing papers in academic journals, Prof. Kithaka wa Mberia has to his credit numerous books of poetry and drama. These include Kifo Kisimani, Mchezo wa Karata, Natala, Bara Jingine, Maua Kwenye Jua la Asubuhi, Redio na Mwezi, Msimu wa Tisa and Zimwi la Theluji. Several of these books have been translated and published in English.

Another Continent

Enlarge poem

My dream
Is sweet
Like honey,
Green
Like the leaves of a cucumber,
Bright
Like the morning sun,
Lovely
Like a garden of roses;
A dream
Of a new continent
A continent where
Parliament
Shall not be a hall
Of a swarm of locusts,
An acacia tree
For the clattering of weaverbirds,
A platform
For formless sycophants
A continent where
‘National security’
Will not be the hard skin
Guarding state house crocodiles;
A walking stick
Sustaining gods of the potter’s clay;
A continent where
Detentions and prisons
Will not be mortars
For pounding humanity,
A door
For entering to the grave,
A continent where
Precious brains
Shall not be startled
And drop their tools
To hurriedly get to the border
For home
Has become a wilderness
Where the buffalo
Has been engulfed by fury,
Where the wild dogs
Are roasted by rabies,
And the spitting cobra
Has its neck puffed up,
A continent where
Greed
And corruption
Shall not rain from the top
Like poison
From a helicopter
Being sprayed,
Official lies
Shall not rise in the air
And attack the nose
Like a stench of a skunk,
Tribal prejudice
Shall not be a mist
To attack eyes
Like tear gas;
A continent where
In state houses
There won’t be black mambas coiled
But human beings seated –
People with blood
And conscience

II
Like a sunbird
On a flower,
Under the canopy of love,
My dream
Has perched and stilled
On the new continent
A continent where
Information technology
Will not remain up in the sky
Far from out hand
But will be a spotlight in the palm
For lighting our road,
Sparks of science
Shall be fanned
Till they be an inferno
The seedling of technology
Will be nurtured
Till it becomes a giant tree,
A continent where
Our researches
Our discoveries
Will be grenades
Against malaria and measles
Tanks
Against rinderpest and blight
A continent where
Farmers
Will sing songs,
Poets
Recite poems,
In unabashed praise
Not only of tea and cocoa
Not only of coffee and tobacco
But portatoes, –
Bigger than hunger,
Pigeon peas
Growing without sulking,
Vegetables and fruits
Which deride enemies in the farm –
Lovely glittering
Jewel of bio-technology;
A continent where
Theory and practise
Brains and hands
Blend fast
With sun and rivers
And with sweet melodies
Sing a unique song
A song of electricity
For running machines
And dreams,
For lighting houses
And hearts

III
Oh, New Continent
Twinkling star
In the darkly season,
Glinting star
Like life throbbing,
Through the mist
Of vapour of tears,
Through this smoke
Of the fire of poverty,
Through this cloud
Of the poison of disunity,
With a steadfast voice
I call upon you
Come, Oh, New Continent
Continent of tranquillity
Continent of harmony
Continent of collaboration
And of hope,
Come, oh, New Continent
A continent where
Instead of the odour of suspicion
As Cameroon and Nigeria
Throw stomach gases at each other,
Instead of groaning
As Kenya and Tanzania
Gnaw at each others nerves,
Instead of wailings
As Ethiopia and Eriteria
Fry each other in the desert,
Roads and rails
Shall cross borders
Like blood vessels
Leaving one organ
And entering the next,
Letters and telephone calls
Shall reach the neighbouring villages
Without passing through London
Without going via Paris
Currency notes
Will not become worthless paper
After crossing Lwakhakha
Or Rufiji,
A continent where,
The jewls of research
With African colours,
Factory goods
With African emblems,
Will bypass each other
Like pistons
Running a machine

IV
I cry for you, oh, New Continent
A continent where
In the mind’s eye
The black skin
Shall be old,
In our ears
African languages
Shall be nightingale’s songs,
African art
Shall be the compass
In the boat of culture,
A continent where
The core business
Shall not be strategising
On how to tighten the knot
In the dangerous noose
Of Bretton Woods
But fabricating to cut the chains
Which bind our legs
On life’s highway

Featured Poem:

No Farwell to Dreaming

Enlarge poem

The red reality
Frightens the eyes
Confuses the mind
Like the midnight nightmare,
The teethe of poverty
Rend children into pieces
Like wild dogs
Ripping sheep into bits,
The poison of ignorance
Engulfs villages
Like mist or smoke
On a traveler’s road,
The madness of corruption
Permeates all over
Like bilharzias germs
In a human body,
Breton Woods and accomplices
Suck our blood
Like a million ticks
On an animal’s body,
And the insolent ogres
Stuck on the reigns of power
Have encircled us
With barbed wire
Like dogs-of-war
Yet
We, the children of Africa bidding farewell to the dream –
Oh, golden dream
The dream of a morrow
Where crocodiles
Sun-bathing on red carpets
Will be yester tales
A morrow when
Libraries and laboratories
Will light the valleys
And the hills of Africa,
A morrow when
Children will walk in villages
Without being munched on the way
By measles and whooping cough
A morrow when
Children will lift their brain power
To the apex of the eucalyptus
Without being pulled down poverty,
A morrow when
Agricultural technology
Will kiss the land
To produce a super potato
Bigger than Africa
So that, to the rubbish heap we dish
This tin with which
With a smelly embarrassment
We make rounds around the globe
Begging for leftovers

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (3)
  • Pride (2)
  • Optimism (2)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (3)
  • Reflection (4)
  • Captivation (2)
  • Peace (1)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (2)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Another Continent

Enlarge poem

My dream
Is sweet
Like honey,
Green
Like the leaves of a cucumber,
Bright
Like the morning sun,
Lovely
Like a garden of roses;
A dream
Of a new continent
A continent where
Parliament
Shall not be a hall
Of a swarm of locusts,
An acacia tree
For the clattering of weaverbirds,
A platform
For formless sycophants
A continent where
‘National security’
Will not be the hard skin
Guarding state house crocodiles;
A walking stick
Sustaining gods of the potter’s clay;
A continent where
Detentions and prisons
Will not be mortars
For pounding humanity,
A door
For entering to the grave,
A continent where
Precious brains
Shall not be startled
And drop their tools
To hurriedly get to the border
For home
Has become a wilderness
Where the buffalo
Has been engulfed by fury,
Where the wild dogs
Are roasted by rabies,
And the spitting cobra
Has its neck puffed up,
A continent where
Greed
And corruption
Shall not rain from the top
Like poison
From a helicopter
Being sprayed,
Official lies
Shall not rise in the air
And attack the nose
Like a stench of a skunk,
Tribal prejudice
Shall not be a mist
To attack eyes
Like tear gas;
A continent where
In state houses
There won’t be black mambas coiled
But human beings seated –
People with blood
And conscience

II
Like a sunbird
On a flower,
Under the canopy of love,
My dream
Has perched and stilled
On the new continent
A continent where
Information technology
Will not remain up in the sky
Far from out hand
But will be a spotlight in the palm
For lighting our road,
Sparks of science
Shall be fanned
Till they be an inferno
The seedling of technology
Will be nurtured
Till it becomes a giant tree,
A continent where
Our researches
Our discoveries
Will be grenades
Against malaria and measles
Tanks
Against rinderpest and blight
A continent where
Farmers
Will sing songs,
Poets
Recite poems,
In unabashed praise
Not only of tea and cocoa
Not only of coffee and tobacco
But portatoes, –
Bigger than hunger,
Pigeon peas
Growing without sulking,
Vegetables and fruits
Which deride enemies in the farm –
Lovely glittering
Jewel of bio-technology;
A continent where
Theory and practise
Brains and hands
Blend fast
With sun and rivers
And with sweet melodies
Sing a unique song
A song of electricity
For running machines
And dreams,
For lighting houses
And hearts

III
Oh, New Continent
Twinkling star
In the darkly season,
Glinting star
Like life throbbing,
Through the mist
Of vapour of tears,
Through this smoke
Of the fire of poverty,
Through this cloud
Of the poison of disunity,
With a steadfast voice
I call upon you
Come, Oh, New Continent
Continent of tranquillity
Continent of harmony
Continent of collaboration
And of hope,
Come, oh, New Continent
A continent where
Instead of the odour of suspicion
As Cameroon and Nigeria
Throw stomach gases at each other,
Instead of groaning
As Kenya and Tanzania
Gnaw at each others nerves,
Instead of wailings
As Ethiopia and Eriteria
Fry each other in the desert,
Roads and rails
Shall cross borders
Like blood vessels
Leaving one organ
And entering the next,
Letters and telephone calls
Shall reach the neighbouring villages
Without passing through London
Without going via Paris
Currency notes
Will not become worthless paper
After crossing Lwakhakha
Or Rufiji,
A continent where,
The jewls of research
With African colours,
Factory goods
With African emblems,
Will bypass each other
Like pistons
Running a machine

IV
I cry for you, oh, New Continent
A continent where
In the mind’s eye
The black skin
Shall be old,
In our ears
African languages
Shall be nightingale’s songs,
African art
Shall be the compass
In the boat of culture,
A continent where
The core business
Shall not be strategising
On how to tighten the knot
In the dangerous noose
Of Bretton Woods
But fabricating to cut the chains
Which bind our legs
On life’s highway

Comments

Your email address will not be published.