This is a critique on the persona’s community’s funeral culture. The persona faults how a lot of attention is given to the deceased and not their family. While the deceased is still ill, their friends and relatives do not take care of their medication and treatment. They only show up after he/she is announced dead to do a fundraiser for the hospital bill, costly casket and other burial expenses, and to eat during the send-off ceremony. After the funeral, people scatter off and the bereaved family is abandoned. A list is kept for punishing those who did not participate by abandoning them during their funerals.
If you love listening, you can release your eyes from straining through the text and listen to me narrate the poem. And kindly remember to read the announcements below it.
Tears of Laughter
My people cry,
they mourn for their frelatives sipping tea,
putting butter on their bread,
and spreading cloths for their bed,
my people mourn;
with hearts torn,
with faces wrought with sorrow,
and purses loaded with dough,
my people mourn.
Meat and corn boiling in the backyard,
sweet music playing in the front-yard,
a crowd moots the cost of a farewell party
with voices so loud and hearty:
“I will buy the casket, how much is it?”
“Thirty thousand. Thank you, that’s great.”
“I will pay for the visitors’ meal.”
“And I will set off the hospital bill.”
But oh my God!
The widow, seated far off in gloom,
feeling lonely in the jam-packed busy room,
turns back the hands of time,
and with a heart dunked in lime,
bemoans her youngsters –
the blurry future, the crippled stars;
she cries so loud she nearly breaks the roof,
she mourns heartlessly for her life standing aloof.
my people in unity,
my friends and relatives
are a full house, and money falls like dry leaves,
as though everyone girded up their loins,
yet for a surgery of sixty thousand coins –
oh! Not even a sausage could fall,
that’s my people, lol!
Then comes the fare‐thee‐well day,
all folks up and on their way,
their testimonies are a sweet cider:
“He was a good man, kind, with good order.”
“He was generous.”
“He was humorous.”
And we siiiiiiing… but oh! The clay is vile beneath our feet,
eating our finest without a beat,
leaving kids stricken with cold;
a father is lost; a plague seems to unfold,
at the graveside, they break into a wail,
reminiscing the hard past, and the foreboding hail.
My people console, shedding tears.
What! Shedding tears?
Yes, they also mourn, and then sit by the fences, waiting
for food before leaving in twos kibitzing;
that’s my people’s way,
and a list is kept till the next day.
Yes, of contributors,
and for punishing the debtors
while a weaker future continues to unfold,
wrought with myriads of uncertainties like a movie mold.
Why should our gatherings be for grief
while all the hardships we give no brief?
my people with unity,
Why do we gather and shed tears
and mourn and shed away our fears
In the face of death
while inside us we laugh so hard we lose our breath?
We cry to shield our laughter
and to cut ourselves from the blames thereafter,
“Oh oh oh, he is gone too soon,
Hahahahahaha… he almost took away my moon.”
That’s my people.
1. Coming Soon: Twilight of Freedom (Tomorrow 28/04/2022)
My new ebook (a play by the way) is coming up tomorrow. Please do grab a copy from our central bookshop and support my writing (the link will be made available).
Due to some delays in logistics, paperbacks will be made available for purchase in mid May. If you love manual copies, be sure to grab one then.
Book Description: Abel Layland, a dairy farmer from Santow County in Gremalock Kingdom, meets Jolene at a milk collection port in his village. After their wedding five months later, he realizes Jolene has been secretly having an affair with his brother Benarch. The lady also becomes part of King Lutan III’s dominion, a reign that has interfered with the economy of the dairy sector and of the of the entire kingdom and which Abel is determined to dismantle. Working closely with his friend Clement Ryan – a dairy cooperative manager, Dr. Delia Hitleigh – a dairy farming professional, Santow County Governor Calipso Reinsal who has openly rebelled the king’s dominion and other key fugures, Abel steps up on a delicate and bloody mission that he hopes will bring sanity to both the kingdom and his marriage.
2. Upcoming anthologies
Submissions are still open for the following upcoming anthologies:
a). Tales of a Tearful World: Narrative Poems. Open until May 31, 2022. Worldwide writers.
b) The Voice of Kenyan Poets. Open until June 10. Exclusive to Kenyan writers.