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Her skull digging reflections turn mental tables upside down. She has discovered her on literary style like a gold mine- prosaic poetry. Stories tucked in her golden verses are told with the rhythmic precision of a sculptor and they are carved wittingly not for just for the pleasure of the reader but to usher positive change, meaning and dialogue   among the living.  Jerusha is a bold word-slinger wielding up her poetic scythe to bravely weed out   human vagaries, savagery, earthly sorrows and societal decadence. Her narrative poems are didactic and they carry a glow   of moral lessons on humanity and society.  When you reading Jerushas poetry, you are like watching your life and other lives in a mirror of irony, satire and   vivid imagery. Her poetic storytelling is intriguing and vivid. Another rich ingredient in her poetry is simplicity as it is thus concocted with reason, awareness and   meaning. Superb. AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN   values truth, reason, creativity and inclusivity. We are proud to present   an accomplished educationist, acclaimed poet, a resilient literary arts projects curator. Author of a great poetry collection, Echoes of Military Souls, KANANUH JERUSHA- (Blurb by Mbizo CHIRASHA).

 

 

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                                                    SMILE AGAIN KATRINA

 

Happy was she before the news,

Laughed her heart out before her woes;

She tumbled and tossed

With her son while they played;

When will Katrina smile again?

 

How could such news pass her by?

She hadn’t gotten a wind,

She had been playing with her lad,

The breaking news broke her;

When will Katrina smile again?

 

There had been a serious attack,

In the camp where Kibby worked;

Many soldiers were feared dead,

When will Katrina smile again?

 

She checked the list,

Her eyes misty;

He was among the dead,

Her Kibby

When will Katrina smile again?

 

She broke down,

She wanted to die.

Her son thought it was a lie,

On the floor she sobbed

When will Katrina smile again?

 

She grieved mourning her sun,

And forgot her son;

She locked herself in her room,

Her life was now gloom.

Her all soaked in tears

When will you smile again Katrina?

 

Her son sank into depression,

Tried to get his mother’s attention;

Katrina never got out of her room,

Your son needs you Katrina

When will you smile again?

 

During the burial

Her eyes sunk deep into the sockets;

Her mind far away,

Her face a blank stare,

A zombie:

When will Katrina smile again?

 

She went back to her room,

Broke glasses and whisky bottles

Fighting inner battles—

She was slowly losing her son;

Smile to your son, Katrina.

 

Sam sat silently in a corner doodling,

His room messy,

He didn’t talk to anybody,

Hot tears scalding his cheeks.

Sam needed Katrina

 

She was about to do the worst:

She served whisky,

a cocktail with poison—

She was tired—

Your son is knocking, Katrina!

 

She looked at the glass;

She cried.

“Open the door, Mum;

I want to sleep next to you.

Why do you hate me, Mum?”

He was sobbing.

Come back to your senses, Katrina.

 

She went to open the door:

Her son was there, his nose bleeding,

She hadn’t known, he was sick.

It was not time to cry, her son needed her.

I’m sorry, Katrina, take heart.

 

She gave her son first aid, but she was scared,

“I’m sorry, son,” she told him.

Sam picked the poisoned glass,

He thought it was soda;

Katrina had forgotten about it—

She hit the glass off his hands.

You almost killed your son, Katrina.

 

Her son was shocked,

Mum had never been like that before.

Katrina lay on the floor, crying:

Stand up, Katrina; your son needs you.

 

Sam knelt beside her,

‘Get up, Mommy,

I am here,

All will be well.”

It’s okay, Katrina; put yourself together.

 

She looked at her son,

She tickled him, he tickled her back and they fancied the tickles

and smiles for the first time in a long time;

She stood up,

Wrapped her son in a lingering hug:

“Come here little Kibby

We will get through this together.”

She whispered

Sam imitated his late father:

“You look beautiful, Mrs Kibby.

Kibby misses you

But I love you more.”

Katrina is laughing again.

 

Adapted from

Echoes Of Military Souls  by Jerusha Kananu Marete

 

 

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WHERE THE OAK TREE GROWS

 If I had to live for friends I would do for trees

Beautiful for the eyes to see

Even their shadows in the sea

Such a pleasant view

I love the whispering pines

I adore the soothing vines

Oh! Trees! Our unsung guardian angels

With my guitar, I sing where the oak tree grows

 

You ooze kindness

Even in face of ruthlessness

Purest beauty for eyes to see

Earth’s known solace

You painfully bear human malice

You, inspiration of the world

Your sprouts give glimmer of hope

 I look at you I see life

After the storm the giant oak stands unmoved

Resilience!! Oh dear tree teach me resilience I pray

Oh! Trees, our unsung guardian angels

With my guitar, I sing where the oak tree grows

 

Blooming flowering growing beautiful trees

Damaged Leafless lone trees

Native old strong disappearing trees

Pay them not with what they have done to you

Still in this era of darkness dear trees

Retain your kindness

It is in your kindness that my hope rekindles

You have me

Oh! Trees, our unsung guardian angels 

                                         With my guitar, I sing where the oak tree grows

 

 

jarusha1500

THE BOLD

Herod Kamaliza took me to the highest pinnacle

T’was like visiting the oracle

Showed me his Very Valley View Estate

Lively lights shone

 

The estate screamed great glamour

The Spackle and span merged silently

Silence, as if shaking he stared at my teen breasts

His lips parted menacingly, his pang like nails pointed

At the glamorous Very Valley View Estate

“Baby just say yes and all this will be yours”

 

Trying moment, did a flashback at my horrific home

The savagery

The poverty

Here lie one time chance to end that filth

My mind turned into a battlefield

I felt as if suspended into an abyss

 

I saw the black smoke soiled Jesus’ photo hanging

In my mother’s soot filled kitchen

This time He was not smiling as usual

He made his face the way an infant does when it wants to cry

 

I saw my mother working in neighbor’s land,

Sun scorched and clothes torn

I saw myself working along i almost could hear her shout

“Keep working if he sees you standing there will be no pay”

 

I saw my brother begging the taut to give him ten shillings

He was hungry, thirsty and worn out

I saw my son chewing premature dirty cassava

NOOO! It was too much to bear

 

He had omniscient eyes, he read my mind

He came closer, I felt his reptilic touch

I moved further

He came closer

I moved further again

He came closer

I was at the edge, I couldn’t move

“Baby Just say a word and all this would be yours”

I parted my lips as if to talk, seriously shaking

The inner bitter battle began, someone inside shouted

“You impoverished Idiot, say yes stop being silly take wealth”

 

The photo came into view again ,Jesus was bleeding

The blood merged with soot

I shook my head, I was wet all over

As if smeared with the mixture of blood and soot

I saw my father in his deathbed, he repeated his last words

“Character counts don’t you ever sell your soul”

 

Herod came closer, he stood tall

Money not managed to hide his wrinkles

His cold hands held my neck, he held my waist

Pulled me closer to him, I freed myself from the grip

 

My mother’s face appeared again

She was smiling, I saw her gap

Her laughter seemed to say “I am okay”

I saw my brother helping a customer to a boda boda

They were engaged in a conversation

I struggled to listen, i heard him smile and say

“Mine is clean money “I was shaking like a leaf

My mother’s voice was clear as she begged neighbor for salt

 

Herod now near my lips …

He was getting inpatient “I don’t have all day Esther

I have to drive my daughter to the airport,

Make hay while sun shines “he hissed

His daughter in her early twenties, five years older than me

 

He unbuttoned my cheap silk blouse

I heard his touch, I disentangled myself forcefully

Eventually I found my voice, amidst tears I said

 

“Character counts, I can’t sell my soul”

 

Like a snake his limousine slithered off

 

 

 

jarusha400

MAU MAU VETERAN’S WAIL

 

Why are you so heartless?

Why did God create a being so insensitive?

Why why why?

 

You ate my meat, you sucked my blood

And now you are refusing with my bone!?

 

We shared the tears, we shared a master

We shared the pain, went through hell together

I used my teeth to unchain you

Tore my tattered coat to cover your bleeding wounds

I silently wept when the master lynched you?

I confronted the master when he imprisoned you?

My courage made me lose my eye, I am partially blind

I did it for my brother!

 

In the bush we had sleepless night

You became our eye as we fought for our land

We waged battle in the forest, we fought in the mountains

We fought in red rivers, the white master gave up

He run to his white gardens, left our black heavens

 

Excitedly, we sang freedom songs

We almost kissed freedom, solidarity was our intention

We needed our own, not a master but a servant

 

We looked around, almost everyone had a dent

One had lost a leg, another had lost his teeth,

The other lost both legs, I had lost my eye

Protecting you from murderous master

You hadn’t lost anything, you were fighting from the house

You also knew how to hide when we went for battles

They chained you and fed you from the forest we still protected you

 

We now needed our own who had no dent

Tumbo has no dent he became our leader

He knew how to write he became our leader

 

I vividly remember the day we crowned you our leader

I tried to talk to you but your mind seemed far away

Your lips were curved in a sinister smile eyes piercing through the sky

You seemed like a small god, immortal, you didn’t see us anymore

I was worried for the first time, we became invisible

We disappeared into the tumult they were ranting your name

Fighting among themselves for coins the new master threw at them

Your soldiers were similar to soldiers of the former master

But their color was black!

We had hope when we waited!

We had hope when we fought!

 

You have eaten my meat, sucked my blood

Why are you refusing with my bone?

The bone is my graveyard, why are you grabbing my graveyard?

You want me to be buried in the air or to be devoured by vultures?

 

My children and grandchildren roam in the street

Others slaves in your estates

While you enjoy the freedom we fought for

I am old and eager to die, memories of my sacrifice kill me softly

But when i die, where will i be buried?

You have grabbed my meat, sucked blood

Why are you refusing with my bone?

My bone, my graveyard

Is it yet independence?

 

jarusha1800

 

                                               WIVES’ REVOLUTION

We are a weeping lot, we weep because of our Lot

He will turn us into salt stones

Our husband has gone mad again!

 

Yesterday, we wept, today we are weeping

Tomorrow, we will weep

We aren’t weeping for his ailment, he is medically fit

We are weeping for his madness, help us weep

Our husband has gone mad again!

 

We are not weeping over his infidelity

Ai! Who does that? If we did, won’t our tears refill dams?

We wept, we weep, and we will weep

Our husband has trodden on the poor, help us weep

Our husband has gone mad again!

 

It is not jealous that make us weep, no, we are unified

I love the women my husband shares with me

The women my husband shares with me love me

So we are unified in in the strive and so we weep

Our husband has gone mad again!

 

You think we are weeping for we want his property?

Shame on you! It is not his vast lands we weep for

It is not his lucrative position that make us weep

No. We weep because that widow weeps

We weep because that orphan weeps

We weep because that old man dying there weeps

 

The old man weeps, our husband grabbed his land

The widow weeps, our husband squandered money for widows

The orphan weeps, our husband plundered money for orphans

The old man weep, soon he will die and no grave

We too weep for them

Our husband has gone mad again!

 

You think we won’t solve the problem by weeping?

Shame on you!

As we weep one is suing him for divorce

As we weep the other is suing him for child support

As we weep the other one is suing him for property

As we weep the other one is accusing him of a scandal

As we weep the other one has called the media to cover his infidelity

As we weep the other one is searching for the title deeds

 

We are doing team work

We destabilize him

Soon the widow will weep no more

The orphan will weep no more

The old man will weep no more

And we too will weep no more

Our husband will go mad in the mud

 

 

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MORAL DECAY

 

There alight beauty and the beast

He’s older than Galilean yeast

She fiddles with his fist

I like the watch on her wrist

She’s lucky to have a father

Mine joined my forefather

 

He brushes her hair

She is a lucky heir

What a lucky teenager

Her father must be a manager

But me? A scavenger

 

Alas!! Too much of a father

Ain’t this the end of tether?

Lips to lips? Noo!!!

That’s not her father

Oh my God! Save her mother

From knowing her daughter

Manners she sent to slaughter

The world is ending!

 

The young girl feels no shame

The old man thinks its fame

They call it a norm?

Bad breed of worm

The gray hair that was wisdom

Had become broke of decorum

The tenderness of  youth

Has now become filth

Morally bankrupt

Emotionally bankrupt

 

I know life is changing

Are our morals also aging?

We are held loosely by stinking morass

 

 

 

jarusha16000

  Kenyan Writer JERUSHA KANANU MARETE , is the author of power-parked -package anthology of poems titled Echoes of Military Souls   that promise to keep you at the edge of your seat. She has her heart in narrative poems. Her touch on the military theme in her anthology is splendid. https://www.the-star.co.ke/sasa/books/2020-06-07-poetry-book-puts-war-philosophy-in-focus/https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085DTG4X3/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_apa_i_rSS8EbJ5J7H5http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49779503-echoes-of-military-soulsShe graduate from University Of Nairobi with a degree in Education (English &Literature) and currently a MA student at Kenyatta University (Literature/Theatre departments).  Jerusha is a teacher, a performing artist & a film and theatre enthusiast .She is also a full time mother to Emmanuel. Her poems have been published in Best New African Poets 2019 anthology. Her work was also featured in the annual military magazine Reconnoiter.https://www.facebook.com/753351328130418/posts/1926515544147318/?app=fblhttp://www.africanbookscollective.com/books/best-new-african-poets-2019-anthology

 

                   

 

 

                              MEET  THE  TIME  OF THE POET PUBLISHER AND  PROJECTS  CURATOR

Mbizo CHIRASHA, Contributing Editor  to the Diasporian Online.  Chronicler and Publisher , AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN. Chief Editor at TIME OF THE POET REPUBLIC. Projects Curator at WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Chief Influencer at Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Author and Editor at Porcupine Quill. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. 2020 Free Speech Fellow at PEN Deutschland.2020 Poet in Residence of the Fictional Café . 2019 African Fellow of the Ihraf.org. Contributing Writer at Monk Arts and Soul Magazine . Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie at Bezine Arts and Humanities Magazine and The Poet A Day. Featured Poetry Artist at World BeyondWar.Org. Arts Features and Political commentary Writer at Cultural Weekly. Featured African Writer at Demer Press International Poetry Series . Featured African Performance Poet at 2020 Medellin International Poetry Festival. Featured Poet/Writer at INKSWEATAND TEARS Journal.2019 Live Literature Hub Curator/Producer at Sotambe International Film Arts FESTIVAL. 2009 Poet in Residence at International Africa Culture and Development, ICACD). 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate of ZimBookFair to Goteborg International Book Fair, SIDA African Pavilion . Co-Editor of a three Languages International collection STREET VOICES with prominent Germany Author Andreas Weiland . Featured Poet at Cervena Barva Press Newsletter. Literary Arts and Poetry Contributor to the Zimbabwean Voice of the Voiceless Newspaper. African Participant to the World Poetry Almanac Book Series in Mongolia. Resident Coordinator for 100 Thousand POETS for Peace- Zimbabwe. Founder and Creative Director at GirlChildcreativity Project . Writer in Residence. Global LITERARY Arts Projects Influencer. Published Author and International Acclaimed Poet.

 

 

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An Internet based Poetry Center,  Archiving Theme based Digital Poetry Anthologies and  Profiling Iconic Poets and Writersrebeccarobinson_24x24_mixed-media_collage_walk-in-his-shoes

 

 

 

 

 

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