Celebrating East African Writing!

A Gooder School by Muthoni Garland

A Gooder School

By Muthoni Garland


When I started school, barefoot toddler under tree

Education lost to happy monkeys that only I could see

chirping away at me, me, me


Frequent ruler lashes on the back of my palms

Meant I sorta, kinda understood the bigger sum

but I mighta missed minutiae…e.i.o.u)


Could be the fault was teacher’s not just ..well, um

Blackaloo Baboon showing off his ugly pink bum

Or the effing heat of equatorial sun


See I got a tick when poor was poorer and poorest

But teacher couldn’t say why bad wasn’t badder or baddest

As for better, betterer, bettererest…

Whack on back of hand! Whack! Whackier! Whackiestestest !


(crosseyes, faint****stars)


See English to Africa came on unforgiving colonial boat

So some, naturally, fell overboard, drowned in Indian sea

And some, through Mr. Igrish teacher, finally got through to me


I grasped vowels and alliteration akin to beat of village drum

aa, ee, ii, oo, uu !…rookaloo Blackaloo, I got one too, I got one too!

aa, ee, ii, oo, uu !…rookaloo Blackaloo, I got one too, I got one too!


Nouns equals subjects, verbs equals action, yes that came through

But nasty propositions and punctuation are still (and woe)

Subordinating, conjugating, and comma-ring on mud floor


Sperring, aras, is temporariray mispraced but I’m busy rooking for


And I am still masticating, reiterating, and enumerating

the only memorable resson of my gooder school

aa, ee, ii, oo, uu !…rookaloo Blackaloo, I got one too, I got one too!

aa, ee, ii, oo, uu !…rookaloo Blackaloo, I got one too, I got one too!


3 comments on “A Gooder School by Muthoni Garland

  1. kenyanewshound
    March 26, 2009

    Great Funny poem.
    Reminds me of- Ticha ni mwarimo…Chair ni giti…
    ‘T least, it made sense, huh?


  2. Biche
    April 21, 2009

    What a beautiful read! I particularly enjoyed the rhyme and rhythm of this poem. Thanks for writing so interestingly!



  3. Bebban
    April 24, 2009



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