Builders

Yesterday they were fighting On the incomplete second floor Of the soon to be rental houses   Shirt bunched up in fists One almost threw the other Over the unfinished floor To the hard stony ground below   They were sent home   Today they climb up the stairs One ahead of the other A […]

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FATIMA

The dusty terrain became more and more beige as the sun rose higher across the vast landscape of sand and scanty acacia. They were here. Ahmed sat up straighter, his aching back cracking in relief. They drove past the first of many white tents that stretched on either side of the bus windows. Dadaab. Ahmed […]

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THE 2 DOLLAR MASK

In about a centurywpid-2013-08-31-18.09.35.jpg
They might find this mask
Buried someplace
Eaten away
Old and chipped

And they’ll cry
With flourish
“It’s an antique!”

And put their money on it
Time, brains
and all manner of scholars
Scientists, historians
And up to date technology

They’d trace its roots as African
Kenyan
Throw around a number of names
Of possible carvers
Nominate one
Of the prominent ones

Then write books speculating
What it might have been used for
And list all manner
Of possible rituals

Good luck charm
The gods watching
A shaman’s mask

Because it is African
And  cannot have been
For mere decoration

They’d place it in a museum
Somewhere
Or to the highest bidder
Sell it at millions

And all because
It is old

Pity
For The future
To seek precious golden meaning
And look upon in admiration
In what’s drab
And ordinary
In the present

Shame
The artist is celebrated
When his heart cannot swell
Warmed by admiration
And well deserved adoration

That a thing must age
To be gold

And that the past becomes precious
Because it is lost

 

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WOMEN WHO STAY

(because the children are usually forgotten) He slapped her sometimes When they were courting He apologized each time Dates, chocolates Teary, on his knees She came home one day Way past midnight With scars of past fights And a new black eye He came searching for her I refused to let him in My friends […]

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