Kenyan Morning

*

Is it possible to yearn for a place and time
solely for its colors?
Green is my favorite color
so familiar, but not in our old garden
Everything was an out-of-this-world green
looking out our backdoor in western Kenya
nothing could match the crackling vibrancy
of glowing full-blooded chlorophyll
it seemed too good to be true
Open the back door, imagine a valley
shrouded with luminous mist abuzz
with electric life. The fragrance, a
floral-fruit-basket of plumeria, guava
passion fruit, banana, avocado, papaya
and mango permeate our morning nostrils
Roosters cock-a-doodle-doo
about four-thirty, one begins then
those cocks are cocky sobs;
a persistent crew never give up
joined by "pleep-pleep" weaver birds,
white-jacket "pied" crows who spy
nosy, croak-talking us awake,
shouting cadence-like chants
from a variety of hornbills
some have absurd bills
the size of their whole heads,
in an ancient baobab, guttural laughing
from a giant blue turaco, all together
sounds building--BUILDING--
the crescendo of a wild roaring symphony
add the percussion
of the grumbling lowing of African cows
& the constant bleating of goats
in herds jangling bronze bells
Something is always going on--
vivid like a spinning kaleidoscope, yet
laid-back, serene, tranquil as lazy sky &
the rich dark soil which grew everything,
elephant-ear leaves slow-wave keeping time
Against the backyard fence, African kids pilfer
passion fruit hanging from our bushes like
myriad glossy purple Christmas ornaments,
but I smile at them snitching too. After all,
the land here owns us, never us, the land
so incredibly generous it is
in the Kakamega Kenya backyard
that once-upon-a-time
borrowed us.

 

*

 

Limericist 2021

colorsKenyaLongingmorning air

◄ We Sat There

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Comments

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keith jeffries

Wed 10th Feb 2021 09:54

Brian,

Your strong emotional attachment to Kenya is something often felt by those of us who have lived and worked in other parts of the world. Such an experience is an education in itself. I lived in the deserts of Oman for ten years and even longer in Spain with a few years in the Caribbean. It is hard to settle back here as a part of us yearns to be back in to those places much loved and cherished. I too learned Arabic and Spanish and entered fully into the life of the world about me at the time.

Your poem touches the nerve ends of my soul as I too recall such incredible vistas and some of the best people I have ever had the joy of knowing.

Thank you for this
Keith

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Brian Hodgkinson

Wed 10th Feb 2021 06:44

This one is like a time machine for me. I cannot help but get choked up with longing for those wonderful times we enjoyed there. How rich we were, and are, because of the experience of Kenya, East Africa. We spent fourteen years there -- not back and forth -- no. We lived there, learned the language, culture, food, and received and gave love from the marvelous Luyia people of western Kenya. I hope to visit there again one day before I meet our Maker.

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