Celebrating East African Writing!

Poe vs Many of them – Two Poems; Two Poets

So here he is:

Being Poe

Being Poe

Is selfish

And I live in the times

Of the Box-

When intellectuals

Decry the demise

Of poetry and prose;

Reading rooms

Are the stuff

Of Wuthering Heights.

I stay up nights

Trying to sleep

That I might not


Thoughts torment me

These thoughts

That come

Without asking

Without relenting


So my dykes would yield

And the emotions

I try so hard

To numb

Would swell…

From the gut

To the heart;

It feels

Like an ulcer

But mild

And that won’t be healed



Such as a drum-

I turn

I hum a tune

I think of my girl

I turn the dial

To the owls of talk radio;

I get a jelly

And use it

As I’m wont to admit,

But even that exhilaration

That exhaustion

Won’t drift

My mind

From the wretchedness

Of my existence.

©Fred Kikete

And then these guys showed up:

There are many of us 

There are many of us

too broken to live

Yet every new dawn

we stand upright

though inly shivering

Under the metallic spell

of unfulfilled dreams, hopes and aspirations

There are many of us

whose hearts and feelings

have bled for eons

Yet when we shake other people’s hands

there is still an unmistakable, human warmth

in the little blood still flowing

however weak the pulse

There are many of us

whose hearty laughter long froze

amid multiple adversities

God-sent and man-made

Yet we still afford the warmest of smiles

for the stranger on the train

or the lone street child by the road side

There are many of us

whose aspirations are raw pain

whose ambitions have been crushed

and trampled upon by peers, relatives,

gods and mere mortals

Yet every evening when our heads hit worn out pillows

we still smile before closing our eyes,

and long to dream again – tomorrow.

© Pascal Masila Mailu


2 comments on “Poe vs Many of them – Two Poems; Two Poets

  1. nigelobiya
    April 23, 2013

    Pascal… I quite enjoyed the read…it’s exactly the sort of poem I enjoy reading… raw, real…it just kind of states an observation of how we as humans, especially Kenyans(you know it’s true) would find a way to not take worries too seriously. Good scribe.


  2. Peter Nena
    April 24, 2013

    1. Concerning ‘Being Poe’: Well-developed theme; and the tone is consistent. The emotional output towards the end, when the persona admits that he masturbates with a jelly, is devastating. I feel the wretchedness, the pain, and the hopelessness of his existence. Good try at free verse, Fred. I should read your other works to judge better.

    2. Concerning ‘There are many of us’: Another well-developed theme. I feel the enigma of the human life, the ambivalence coexistence of hope and pain, the struggle at attaining happiness despite morbid disappointments and endless misery. This is a good poem, and it is easy to relate to.


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This entry was posted on April 23, 2013 by in Writer's Blog.
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