Commercialized prayer centers.

All for Caesar.

I was walking as fast as my legs could. The morning was warm, quite a break from all the cold that has been reigning and starting the show. I’m like 10 minutes late for mass and I know that all too well. I had snoozed my alarm from 6am all the way to 6:30am.

Just as I was about to navigate a corner that takes you straight to the church, I saw him at the corner of my eye but i didn’t give him a second look or thought. So I brushed it off. He looked like he had risen up before the sun decided it would shine, came and sat beside the kiosk, on a stone, watching the world come to life, watching people go about their early morning business, the sun slowly casting shadows on one building after the other. He rubbed his short dreads and spit on the ground like he had a tart taste in his mouth. All I recall seeing is that he had red shoes, that is as much of his look that I recall.
When he first called out to me, I meant to ignore him, but he went on “sasa, unaenda church?” That sparked my interest like yes I’m headed there “eeh ndiyo naenda” I said with a raise of my eyebrows to show that yes, he was right.
“Uniombee” he added and I raised my brows, gave him a thumbs up and a smile “sawa”
I went all the way smiling, as the voices of the choir members rented the air, calling people from far and wide, but also reminding them that they are running late, just like I was.

And it all made me think about “it’s not like people don’t believe in God anymore, they just gave up going to church. That is where they draw the line”

Late that afternoon, as I sat on the plastic chair at the salon, the saloonists there doing what they do best, gossiping, tea after tea after tea, you might mistake it for a Boston tea party, only that there’s no cups and the setting is just off. Cheering from spectators watching a volleyball match just across the road dominated the surrounding, shouting so loud it made me think that they might lose their voices. The salon is not big, it holds a maximum of 3 people, others having to stay out, due to space. When the back door is opened, the smell of urine hits you so hard and that is how you know there’s a toilet just next to it. I love listening to their gossip. It makes time go by faster, and boredom becomes unheard of.

Half way into my braiding, one lady started narrating how this Sunday morning while at church, the pastor had started talking ill of someone who had offered some old note as offering.
Condemning the anonymous person, he went on ahead to rebuke those who would offer coins, instead of notes. She stopped and looked at my image on the mirror, ” customer, unadhani ni poa vile alifanya? Kama mtu hana pesa afanye nini? Kanisa tunaenda kuabudu mungu, kutafuta peace, na saa zingine ata labda hiyo sadaka kidogo ndiyo mtu ako nayo”
Before I answered,I recalled of the time I’ve woken up early as usual, went briskly to church, with no offering in my pocket. Come offering time, I sit on the pew, paving way for others to go give God what belongs to him.
“Apana, mtu hupeleka chenye uko nacho, kama hauna, Mungu anaelewa” *no, you take what you have, God will understand*

See, this is why many people will choose to just stay home and not go to church. If the only place you go to seek solace is the same place you are getting condemned for contributing the little you have, of what use is it? These days it’s all about Caeser, giving him what belongs to him, and oh! Giving him also what portion belongs to God too.

The moon in a somber night.

The night calls out to you
As you sit on the verandah, polishing shoes
Everything is still, except for the sound of the brush passing gently then furiously on the black shoes, some shoe polish particles falling off
It is a night of beauty, the full moon shining, it is an awful night, it is a night that brings everything falling with it
It is a night of a somber mood, it is a night to bury yourself in a book and forget everything
A drip of water from the tap hits the wet ground, disrupting the train of thoughts, disrupting the serenity of the moment
But the moon still shines bright, and the night is still, still, the stars basking in it’s ambiance.

Hollowness into the pits.

I don’t want to ever deny who I am

I don’t want to tell the wind to stop blowing

I don’t want my skin to not be caressed by the rain

I don’t want to never let the emotions rock in me

I never want to not be me.

I never want to let the words run out of me

And it can never be too wrong, to want to feel everything, feel wholesome and drive hollowness right into the pits.

For the Ls and Ws.

Maybe when one day when I am seated at the coffee shop, by the window graced with rain droplets and mist, watching people scattering to get shelter from the rain, books surrounding me, deciding what character to plot a death against, the smell of coffee so intricate, some cup cakes torturing my sense of smell, I wonder what my story will be about and if, I will be courageous enough to tell it. For now, let me enjoy how nicely life is enjoying to curve me off. By the time it whets its appetite by doing all these, perhaps I will be brave enough. We all do hope, right?

You and I.

A dawn so good, it had me capturing it, just for this piece.

I still remember our texts when we first started talking
I remember how gradually, everything unfolded
The panics that came with willingly longed stolen kisses
Faint frowns that marred my eyebrows on goodbyes
The love that has baptized, breaking us free
Fights that have us walking on eggshells
Assurance that got me walking out here without a shield because vulnerability is covered up.
Feels of magic I can recite because I was there when we wrote and made it in our very own cauldron.
The times we’ve rolled and laid in each other’s arms, experiencing the warmth emanating from our bodies
The times you’ve held my cold hand in both yours to warm it up
The forehead kisses you planted on my forehead as I sleep beside you
When everything else sounds fabricated, I know you are a reality
I’ve tasted just how gruesome sadness tastes and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, because on the other hand, I know just how sweet love can be, because of you
They say we all need to belong to someone and I love the fact that we belong to each other

For the easiest concentration i can scrape to appreciate you, is a time I cherish.

When the rain falls gracefully, the petrichor smelling so good all up in my nostrils, the wind blowing slowly all around me, the night sky adorned with stars and the moon shining shyly behind thin dark clouds, I love how in one way or another, it takes me all back to you.

Because just like the dawn this morning, looking beautiful and therapeutic, I’m always looking forward to the better days ahead❀ where we will on day look back and be proud of the darkness we had to conquer.

Love is a beautiful thing. One that I usually wish on everyone, because we all deserve it. So that when you see or hear something, you smile cause it reminds you of them. ❀❀❀❀

A dandelion in the gutters.

You can be where you want to be, only if you take that step.
It wasn’t there when I went back. I had really hoped it would be. I had been amused, because I had not seen it before. I have been this path for months and I love the reflection I get to have as i walk to the bus stop, buying time and just admiring chic cars that cruise by. I love the monologue dialogues that I have, talking out quite loudly in my mask, in a British accent, *lol* or just somebody that i think talks in a cool way. Kourtney Kardashian? Yeah sure.

As I walked up the path, my mask down, I stuffed my mouth with crisps, buses hooting as they pass by, with conductors tirelessly asking if I’m going to town, and I just made eye contact, and shook my head. Typical way of just raising your eyebrows to say yes or as a form of greeting someone.

I was tempted to take my phone out and take a photo of it.
A dandelion in the gutters! It looked so poetic, so wow-ish and quite eye-catching. I eyed it for a moment. Making an eye contact that was from the soul. It might have looked back at me, amazed that I noticed. It didn’t look like it was used to all that attention. And I knew there was that spark. It was like it was calling out to me ” Remember me Joyce. My last days, cause tomorrow, I might be gone. But I will remember this contact, before I get blown away into different places, prolly get reincarnated”
My moment was interrupted by the files of people walking towards and past me, and it was kind of annoying. I wouldn’t have risked taking out my phone and having it snatched. So I just looked at it one more time, like you would with someone who is on their death bed, hoping all too well that they live to see the next day, yet deep down, chances of them dying in their sleep that night, are way too high.

But as I walked off, digging halfway into my bag of crisps, I marvelled at the dandelion, as it stood or sat, I don’t know. A white fluffy head on a green stem, and most amazing, growing from the gutter concrete, surrounded by polythene bags, weeds, and high chances of being washed away when it rains, the water running down the gutters. And it had me thinking.

Growing in such a harsh environment and still looking good and radiant. No one to clap for your achievements, no one to notice or compliment how wonderful you are looking and how great you are doing, flourishing despite the harshness. Yet you still choose to shine, even when no one is there to tap your back and motivate you to go on.

All these made me realize about how important being there for yourself, calling and soldiering on, is crucial, even when no one is there to walk with you. Because at the end if it all, your results will have them nodding and yessing. Just like how the dandelion will float away, into different places, and then multiplying into many more, wherever the winds take them.

So, no matter the situation, give it your best shine. At times it may seem hard, feeling like you are at the edge. But then again, the darkest of nights give us the best of dawns.

Be a dandelion. Choose to flourish! Yes? Yes!

Meet me by the roadside, where the lights don’t gleam.

I’m wearing kung-fu shoes. I love calling them that, cause they do look like it, so light and soft to the feet, making me feel like I can pull some Jet Li moves on someone. The only problem is that the roads are under construction and my feet bear the wrath of it all. As I walked from the bus stop to the house, darkness had settled in, getting comfortable, stretching out its legs on some table with scattered stuff on it, holding a beer in one hand and a remote in the other. That comfortable! Zoe Wees is playing in my mind, she’s been living there rent-free, for the last two weeks or so and I don’t mind because she’s been really good. Got to give a girl credit where due.

I can feel the night air slip up my skirt and I can tell there are goosebumps covered in dust all over my legs.

I don’t know where she has emerged from. I had not been paying that much attention. But I noticed she had worn a yellow jacket and some grey and black tights, with some sandals. We walked side by side, though, from a distance and just us we took a corner by the hardware, she knew he had been waiting for her. He stood beside the road, in a long black coat, the type that makes a whoosh sound while walking. He wore his sandals with socks. The street light was on, only that, it didn’t seem to reach where he stood, giving him an eerie appearance of a guy out for a midnight tryst, waiting for his lover, just to get a few kisses to get him going for the night. “A loner in the night”, I tell myself. Must have been waiting for the meet-up, anticipating it the entire day. I smiled as I passed by them, hugging, with her holding on to the hug, not wanting to let go.

Walking a few steps further, I stop and look back, and deep down, I was cheering them on. Because I know all too well, just how love is, and the things it makes you do. Okay,I admit I also wanted to see what they were up to, too. I managed to get a glimpse of them as they disappear into the night, and I had already known the title of this piece. I went the rest of the way smiling, because when inspiration to jot down a new piece strikes you, you feel like you hold the world in your hands. And that there, is a priceless moment.

Pain has a stench. And an awful one for that matter.

They say that death has a stench

But so does pain

It hits you from nowhere

Left, right , center, finishing you with an uppercut

So that you are unable to cry

And i say that as i muffle my cries

Begging God to heal my mum as fast as he can

Even if it means taking away my blessings

For the next few weeks, days, seconds, as compensation

As a price i have to pay. πŸ™

My morning view was definitely it. πŸŒ„

The sun sits nicely as if hanging from a pouch.
Radiating gold streaks, grey clouds hanging scattered just below and on the sides, as if pledging allegiance to it,Β  adding aesthetic effect to the gold.
I squint my eyes, holding my palm against my forehead to take in the breathtaking site. The acacia trees look profounding against the golden horizon, fog emanating from the grass , making it look like it is covered in a thin layer of diluted white, massaging the sensuality of the grass in the morning, feeling entitled and taking all the credit. And that, that was a good site, to start a day. Gives off the feel of some powerful, emotion wrecking painting that will for sure have you gasping, begging you to have it placed on your favourite wall.

Too bad that i didn’t manage to capture the magnificent look. But i guess that is why words are important. So it’s a 50/50 for me.