Tears of Laughter

Synopsis
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 community,
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.
A list?
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 community,
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.

Announcements

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.

51 Comments

  1. What a poem, Lamittan. I loved that mix of people and emotions. Grief is like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is. Thank you, dear. I’m pleased and honoured by your comment and the fact that you liked it. 👍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje says:

    I love how you’ve written about your culture and customs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sadje. I’m glad you do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome! And congratulations on your upcoming book.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Many thanks, my friend. 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Like

  3. Daphny Aqua says:

    The poem was spot on dear, I so agree with you and I even fail to understand sometimes people becomes so generous in time of death saying words as sweet as honey yet there’s hardly a person willing to help when in need. All comes to funeral and they go after not even bothered to keep in touch or ask the family of their well being, splendid job with this my friend. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
    #Eagerly waiting for your book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, dearest ❤❤ I also wonder too why people behave that way. It’s not right at all and deserves a reshuffling. The best kindness and love are shown to one when they’re still alive. Thanks for your insight. And it pleases me indeed that you’re looking forward for the book. I’m much pleased, dear 💐❤❤💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daphny Aqua says:

        You’re most welcome dear! It definitely is not right, imagine how much better this world would be if only we start to show kindness when one is alive and still with us. ❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This would have indeed been a better world were it that way. But as it seems, and sadly, people only care about death, many people if not all. ❤❤❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Daphny Aqua says:

        How true, I think this is one topic we should talk about more.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yes we should. It is a poor culture that has remained stuck up in a time warp all over the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Daphny Aqua says:

        I totally agree with you.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yes, dear.👍

        Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful and heart-felt poem! It’s interesting how people are like this all over the world when it comes to the death of a family member. Good day, Lamittan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is disturbing, right? Oh I find it too wrong. Thanks for your comment, my friend. Good day too. 💗💗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a powerful and touching piece, my friend. Love it. Congratulations on the book. It looks fabulous.💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you many times, my dear friend Grace. I’m glad to read these noble compliments from you. 💗💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Always a pleasure, my friend.💕

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Jaya Avendel says:

    How gorgeous this delicate and atmospheric piece is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quite encouraging and wonderful of you yo say, dear. Many thanks to you. Always. 💗💗

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Richy says:

    I’m so glad I listened to your recording rather than just read your poem for as poignant as your piece is, the musicality and emotion in your voice were perfection. Absolutely beautiful, Lam! 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, dear Nancy. I’m glad you enjoyed listening and loved it. Your comments do motivate me to do more. I highly treasure them. 💐

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nancy Richy says:

        You have a soothing and evocative speaking voice, Lam – wonderful to hear. A lovely job! 🐘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you once more, dear. That’s a noteworthy and gracious compliment that has found the softest spot in my heart.❤❤❤

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Jeff Flesch says:

    That’s a lovely and heart wrenching poem, dear Lam. Congratulations on all of your upcoming books and projects. Exciting! I’ll be sure to get a hard copy of your newest book, when it is a available. ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend Jeff. I’m glad and feel much honoured that you will. I feel much obliged for your continued support and encouragement. ❤❤❤

      Like

  9. what an incredible poem Lam! I can sure relate to this one but I can’t listen cuz i’ll wake my hubby.. lol I’ll come back later. So excited for all of your new endeavours.💖💖💖👏👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much dearest. I’m glad you love it and could relate. Of course, you shouldn’t wake up your sleeping hubby 😄 Aw, so glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Like

  10. Beril Atieno says:

    Woooow,,,, this poem has reflected what our society is made up of indeed, people only come to help when the deceased is gone… this is a well done job.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you many times, siz. It’s joy to me that you actually like it. 👍

      Like

  11. Tut Yashar says:

    Really beautiful, and interesting to learn how each culture is so different and so similar too

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you’ve learnt something in between. Many thanks to you, Tut. Always.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Eugenia says:

    What a reflective piece, Lamittan. I never quite understood why there is such a grand turnout to celebrate the life of someone that has passed. Where were they when the person was alive? Congrats and much success on your new book and projects! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also just wonder. It’s the most unusual yet well accepted thing on the face of the earth. Thanks for your reflective comments, dear, and for the good wishes. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eugenia says:

        You’re welcome, Lamittan. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  13. michnavs says:

    You’ve spoken so well of the reality when someone dies in the family…this is very relatable and i love how you did with the spoken word..❤🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mich. I’m glad you liked it. 👍 💖👍

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Beautiful piece, and sad too.

    We need to do better as a people, brotherhood/sisterhood be shown to the living not the dead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I think should be done. When someone’s dead they’re gone and untouched. Thanks for your reflective and supportive comment. 🌺

      Like

  15. KK says:

    I can feel the love, grief, and emotion here. So well put. It’s a touching poem. All the best for your endeavours 🎉🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad it spoke to your heart and emotions, KK my friend. Thank you for the good wishes too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KK says:

        You’re more than welcome 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Jules says:

    Both death and wedding traditions differ in the worlds vast cultures. It is hard to break out of molds that we have lived with all our lives.

    Continued success with all your writing. I’ve been a bit delayed on my responses. I hope to catch up soon, but with odd scheduals we will end up watching our grandson some days this coming week. This weekend is our unofficial start of summer. Though we do not have anything planned.
    Most folks have B-B-Q’s and enjoy parades for our Memorial Day. Personally I’m enjoy crowds less these days. I’m sure some parades might even be televised.

    We have family that served in both our Army and Navy. We will remember them. Memorial Day celebrates those who have passed, our Veteran’s Day (in November)celebrates all the living who serve who serve and Labor Day (in September – un unoffical end of summer) celebrates all workers (I list these to also clarifiy for myself). As I listen to the radio and there seems to be holidays for any and everything. Some even silly things. Humans like to celebrate. Now if we can just get together and help heal the world. …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, funeral cultures are different, ours just sad to me 😢. Glad at least you people celebrate the living too. That’s important. I’d rather buy some one a shirt than a coffin 😌. All in all, love comes in many ways and the most important thing now, as you put it, is to step forward together and help heal this terrible world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules says:

        That would be the answer to many prayers if we could all work together for healing. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I concur. Would certainly be mine too 🙏

        Liked by 1 person

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