The Nightmare

by. Prof. Kithaka Wa Mberia

The body and mind

Were in bed

In a slumber

Suddenly, came a dream

A frightening dream

Worrying

Sweat-causing

Excruciatingly hot -

A nightmare!

A hoard of people

Wielding axes

Sharp machetes

Roaring saws

Came in waves

Mercilessly

Slaughtering trees

Strangling water springs

Singing songs

Praising farms and timber

The soil was left naked

Like a villager

Accosted along the road

By a gang of hooligans

The sun’s firebrand

Burned the soil

Hands of the wind

Vigorously rubbed it

Red dust

Started rising into the skies

Like a funeral song

Enveloping a village

With cholera as an overlord

The rains came down in a fury

Its long fingernails

Attacked the soil

Leaving injuries

Dripping with blood

Gradually, the entire land

A sea became

Not of salty water

Not of garfish and kingfish

But of enormous waves

Of sand and dust

Foam was thrown up

Perched on stones

Tree branches

And hair

When rains returned

In the farms

Green-grams and pigeon-peas

Got stranded along the way

On the journey

Of life

In villages

Cows, sheep, goats

Were transfigured

Into bones

Pushing themselves

Like aged tortoises

Like a voyager

In a canoe

In a monsoon sea

Humans, animals

Plants, insects and birds

Were shaken from side to side

And to and fro tossed

Wagged

By the ocean of doom

A cloud of grief

Enveloped villages

Like a cloud

Covering the hills

In cow-sheds, on roads

Dry shells of cows

Fell on each other

Like dry leaves

Felled by the wind

In the dry season

In homesteads

Tears flowed

Like rebel water

Gushing

From broken pipes

Interred were children

And the elderly

And finally lions

Who before the catastrophe

Were radiant with health

Through the red haze

A mocking voice

Was heard, singing

  I’m the desert

    Who the rains frighten

  The desert

    Who rivers strangle

  The desert

    Who eggs, milk and meat deny

  The desert

    Who vegetables, cereals and fruits betray

  The desert

    Your overlord!




Jinamizi

Mwili na fahamu

Zilikuwa kitandani

Usingizini mnono

Ghafla, ikaja ndoto

Ndoto ya kutisha

Na kubabaisha

Ndoto ya jasho

Na joto kali-

Jinamizi!

Kaumu ya watu

Ikibeba shoka

Panga kali

Na misumeno inayonguruma

Ilikuja kwa mawimbi

Na bila huruma

Ikachinja miti

Na kunyonga chemchemi

Ikiimba nyimbo

Za mashamba na mbao

Ardhi iliachwa uchi

Kama mkazi wa kijiji

Aliyeshambuliwa njiani

Na kundi la majambazi

Kijinga cha jua

Kiliunguza udongo,

Viganja vya upepo

Viliufikicha kwa nguvu,

Vumbi jekundu

Lilianza kupaa angani

Kama wimbo wa matanga

Katika kijiji ambacho

Kinatawaliwa na kipindupindu

Mvua ilikuja kwa hasira,

Kwa kucha zake ndefu,

Ilihijumu ardhi

Na kuacha majeraha

Yatiririka damu

Polepole, ardhi nzima

Iligeuka bahari

Siyo ya maji ya chumvi

Siyo ya mikambaa na sulisuli

Bali ya mawimbi makuu

Ya mchanga ya vumbi

Povu lilirushwa

Na kutua juu ya mawe

Tanzu ya miti

Na nywele

Mvua ilipokuja tena

Katika mashamba

Pojo na mbaazi

Zilikwama njiani

Katika safari

Ya maisha

Katika vijiji

Ng’ombe, kondoo na mbuzi

Walibadilika sura

Na kuwa mafupa

Yanayojisukuma njiani

Kama makobe makongwe

Kama abiria

Katika dau

Katika bahari ya kusi

Binadamu na wanyama

Mimea, wadudu na ndege

Walitingishwatingishwa

Na kusukwasukwa

Na bahari ya mashaka

Wingu la huzuni

Lilifunika vijiji

Kama wingu la anga

Likifunika vilima

Mazizini na njiani

Yaliangukia magombe

Kama majani makavu

Yakiangushwa na upepo

Majira ya mpukutiko

Katika nyua za kijiji

Machozi yalibubujika

Kama maji maasi

Kutoka mifereji iliyopasuka

Walizikwa watoto

Na wazee

Na hatimaye simba

Ambao kabla ya janga

Waling’ara kwa afya

Kupitia ukungu mwekundu

Sauti ya kejeli

Ilisikika, ikiimba

  Ndimi Jangwa

  Niogopwaye na mvua

  Ndimi Jangwa

  Ninyongaye mito

  Ndimi Jangwa

  Ninyimaye mayai, maziwa  na nyamaa

  Ndimi Jangwa

  Nihiniye mboga, nafaka na matunda

  Ndimi Jangwa

  Mtawala wenu!