If we stay any longer

paddling in these currents

they christened life

we will go under

sink like the anchor

we are always calling upon.

We will go down to find it there

where hope met reality and birthed despair

and all our steady beseeching

will be nails upon a coffin

and we will be pregnant with the taste of life

filled fully,


and that they will call Destiny

we will be heavy with Destiny’s child

come back twice.

This river will be our Genie’s Lamp,

and when they that are clothed in sky,

douse these banks in Chang’aa

we will drink

drink fully

be fulfilled again

this time with the depth of despair

in bottomless crack-lipped cups

of a people who went beyond crack

and now fall between the cracks

of jobs not got,

rent not paid,

fees not met,

when not even pity

would convince

a crumbling Huruma wall to stay up.

Crack! Crack!


Till Mama Pima heals their eyes


10-shilling absolution,

saved the sight of so many

yawning cracks.

-Gathoni Ireri, ‘Cracks’.



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