Refugees

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If we are to be Gods we must,
Musk,

Be life forms using noses and spectrograms,

Be blue animals,

Hurtling through space, dentists
Doxologists,

Cobblers mending hard drives,
Therapists,

Slippers,

Saving the world,
Changing the climate,

Becoming responsible politicians,
Setting safe harbour as we go.

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Pansies, Holly and Twinkly lights

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The brown bee,
Big as a bear,

That visits my Polyandra,

Flies meticulous patterns around morning blooms
Dispersing pollen,

As easily as the hummingbird next to it,
Serenades hibiscus.

We spend time collecting memories and ornaments like,
Christmas bulbs have no lifetime,

We miss Pansy’s and Holly’s and Twinkly lights,
At Sundown,

When closets shut,
And tears are caressed by lovers or husbands,

Beautiful lives spent,
Draping balconies and seasons;

Bumble bees for a time.

Picturelaurieanichols

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For a special friend, at this time.

After

Cancer, palliative

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We spend our days,
Getting ready for tomorrow,

Hoping the past will not catch us,
The bad eating, the saccharin juices, when

Now is the only moment, to

Love, to
Speak,

Re-pack your life, forgive –
Go,

On an adventure or,
Simply state your piece,

It will be alright.

We may yet,
Save the climate.

♦photo♦ – High Museum Art of Atlanta

 

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For my friends battling Cancer.

Office Lover

 xPWRd3p

Dreaming of;

Colorful balloons on an African plain,
Hot air rising, with

Rich people making eye contact,
Heaving brandy glasses at the bar by the salt-lick lake,

Making new friends with,
Levitating boobs or

Buoyant balls,
Out on the reef, whilst;

Putting out lurid spread-sheets,
At the office photocopier,

With Sam,
And his dark blue eyes,

Hoping buoyant balls will crack it too,
That male or female,

Cleavage wins,

That bobbing balls will sway him from the levitating boobs of Caroline in the corner,

Will bring Sam round,
With his dark blue eyes,

To dreaming of African sunsets with me.

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Fine Dining

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Do chickens hold their food in their feet while they are eating?

Some birds actually do,
The Ornithologists have declared,

Actually hold their food in their feet whilst they are dining,
Fine dining,

Eat with their hands,
Astonishingly,

As do a vast array of mammals.

 

♦photo♦ Jason Reed for Reuters

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Office lover

xPWRd3p

Dreaming of;

Colorful balloons on an African plain,
Hot air rising, with

Rich people making eye contact,
Heaving brandy glasses at the bar by the salt-lick lake,

Making new friends with,
Levitating boobs or

Bouyant balls,
Out on the reef, whilst;

Putting out lurid spread-sheets,
At the office photocopier,

With Sam,
And his dark blue eyes,

Hoping bouyant balls will crack it too,
That male or female,

Cleavage wins,

That bobbing balls will sway him from the levitating boobs of Caroline in the corner,

Leaving dreams that on the African plain,
Bouyant balls can look like levitating boobs,

Will bring Sam round,
With his dark blue eyes, to

Dreaming of African sunsets,
With you.

 

 

 

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We don’t dance anymore

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We don’t dance anymore,
And it happened so quickly.

We sold our souls on the galactic market,
For peanuts.

The Earth recovered though, its
Nature.

We sold everything to be together,
We did, and

Life happened.

This far down the line, we’re all that’s left and
You still are,

The most beautiful thing about me.

♦Photo:  Mary Pendergreene

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Touch-screen

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He kills,

While we are touching everything else,
Touch-screens everywhere,

Apparently God kills,

In Catholic Garb,
Violet,

In Coptic yellow, in
Jewish robes,

God kills surreptitiously,

At sunset,
On bridges, through

Garrulous Muslims,

It is a mistake to believe that the only touch-screen around,
Is email.

God is a touch-screen.

We do not remember friends, we
Remember enemies,

We do not remember being appreciated, we
Remember being insulted.

Our thoughts on the environment create the environment and our thought,
Is momentarily polluted.

We want intelligent whales and emotional elephants yet we kill in God’s name, we

Poison one another and blame it on God, where
God is not the problem, we

Instead believe the sycophant –

Touch,
Screen.

 

♦picture♦ Brian Snyder, Reuters

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Hanging out with my father, and my brother and sister

 

Prof. R. J. Olembo, UNEP

robin-cook-african-american-angel-smoking-cigarette

So I thought about my brother and sister a lot this weekend. It’s not like me at all. You don’t count on people just, sort of vanishing. I’ve been talking about death since I was born, so with my Dad it was kinda different. I knew he was dying.

It was strange. We both knew and we had to skirt around these two issues – I was gay and I was making films, not money.

You know, I’m Kenyan. We’re both African men. I’ll leave that there.

I remember telling him, immediately I found out, in some London pub. This gay thing had almost totally destroyed everything, and it’s not true that you know when you’re born.

I didn’t find out until year two, University.

The steak dinner was pushed around the plate. My Dad was frustrated at the UN – nobody was fighting for the animals, the earth, everyone just wanted the Red Passport and for him to run for Parliament.

I think he was frustrated at the glass ceiling – he was trying to learn French. Imagine. I found it funny. He couldn’t stand it. And spoke French like a Luhya. I laughed. In hindsight, I wish I had gone to classes with him – he never told anyone.

As you get older as an African man, you don’t tell anyone what you’re going through for your family. You don’t even tell your spouse.

Anyway. We called it a night. In the morning, at the airport (we were always meeting at airports) he looked at me and said – if you’re going to be a pioneer, it’s going to be very difficult, and I don’t think you’re strong enough. But I see God in you, so you must go on. Do me a favor though, don’t tell your Mum.

Of course I told my Mum as soon as I saw her. She threw the Bible at me and I threw the damn thing right back – I’d just finished reading it. The. Whole. Book.

This post isn’t about me, or my Dad or being gay. It’s a post about my sister and my brother.

Lumumba never judged me. And we fought only once, in all our lives, and that after some drunken evening.

Caroline didn’t care what I did, she loved me completely and thought Michael Jackson was lucky I was born Kenyan.

Without Caroline I would never have made it anywhere. Her self-esteem was impenetrable. She taught me that who I am, is enough; is still teaching me now, that who I am, is enough.

So when she lost her baby, we cried together. It was a bitter, bitter loss. All other women seemed to have choices. Caroline had one shot at it, and lost the girl at full time. Justine was her name.

My mum says we were talking when we were born.

I can tell you the moment I knew she was dying. It was the same moment as when we split to go for University. She told me she had cancer, and I told her that she can act on the other side – that it would be OK.

We never spoke about it again. It was like when she got married. I had to step aside. Still, we were always, kind of, one person.

Lumumba took me completely by surprise. He was my Dad’s best friend.

They both died on the same day, Coroline and Joe, and that was it. I went to India and found his University, and tracked down his hospital, and sat in his room.

For all three, I did not grieve, and for that I am thankful. Death does not frighten me, it never has, I know what lies on the other side – yet I live here on this side, and Caroline is not here, and neither is Joe.

Their phones don’t work.

I bought a very expensive Nokia to use in Kampala for my sister’s wedding. Uganda was ahead of Kenya for the briefest period back then. I buy expensive phones ever since…a little too expensive.

Joe.
When I just want to take him out, I can’t find him.

So I thought about them alot this weekend. This big man, Dad – larger than life – his best friend Joe – man of the people – and my precious twin, Caro – my friend.

I thought about them, and I thought about migrants, and pictures of father’s crying, and Gaza, and Syria, and addiction, and Cancer and murder. I thought about the people gone, and those left behind, how it always, always changes everything…

I thought about these things and felt a smile.

You see: if you get it right this time, this one time, you’re going to die well, and be alright when you do.

If you can think – I am beautiful, I am free, I love you… If you can think – thank you, I did my best, I need no apologies… If you can think this way when you wake up, when you interact with the people you love, when you encounter those you don’t – you’ll be alright.

You’ll be OK.

♦pictures♦ Richard Cook at Stock Illustration  & Professor R.J. Olembo at UNEP

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Nipponia Nippon

Nipponia Nippon2

Grown men cry saving birds in nests perched high,
Teeter on long bamboo poles,

Fighting snakes,
and extinction,

Cry in despair when a chick dies,

Cry in joy,
When two,

Shake tremulous crowns, childhood plumes,
So tenuous,

Parents squacking overhead in the damp,
Damp valley,

Valley so high on the dull,
Dull mountain,

Afraid of the snake that comes at dawn,
Through the leaves,

In the tall, green forest,

Tall trees, Nipponia nippon, and
Men up the tree,

Up,
Up,

No thought for slackline or failure,
-the snake almost had them the last time –

Grown men cry,
Cry saving birds,

Cry heavy, heaving sighs, cry,
Conservationist.

♦picture♦The IUCN list of endangered species

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Cli·ché

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We garden together, He and I,
Uprooting rocks, chiseling Fuchsia,

We,
Argue a lot, and;

Framing roses in gold, morning light or,
Flaming red sunset,

Helps cool raging fires.

Birds join us when we are not too loud,
Sipping iridescent water from clay pots,

Serenading nectar onto rhamphothecae;

We squash fat slugs accidentally,
And bitterness.

pictureKevin Truong @TheGayMenProject

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