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Showing posts from October, 2011

Can I make a living out of poetry

There are two kinds of artists, both right in their choices; those who do it for the love of their work and those who do it make a living out of it. In all ways as long as the artist does not forget his passion, it is art. I mean even dentists and lawyers are artists in their professions.

“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve are a direct result of his own thoughts”.

James Allen

Many people complain that poets in Kenya are getting too commercial hence moving away from free soul in poetry. I do not blame poets for turning commercial or making money from their work… only unfair people would especially in these hard time. So what is one supposed to eat? his words? Poetry can be a career too.

Where poets go wrong is that in the quest for money, we forget our passion. Poetry is an expression of feelings whether our own or of someone else; very few people nowadays are successful in making the audience believe them. This is to say, poetry like acting needs to convince t…

What makes a good poem?

According to R.Pettinger, several things make a good poem; for instance it must be well written with a concise and accurate use of language. It is basically the use of words to express a feeling or an idea. Prose seeks to explain, poetry merely states.

Good poetry is not an argument but convinces the reader through its own power. It should be able to lift the reader out of the ordinary and give glimpses of a more illumining reality. It should express a point and convince the reader to its message. Writers like R.Pettinger and W. Blake argue that a good poem should have powerful lines that play with the imagination of the reader. Great poems engage the heart of the reader, they stick in the mind and are songs to the lips, it should be more than mere intellectual cleverness. Even the great Nelson Mandela memorized the words of William Ernest Henley in one of the greatest poems of the world called 'Invictus.'

"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punish…

Celebrating Change

Perhaps one of the hardest things in life is accepting change; while it is one of those things that we cannot do without. I always say, change is an animal so tough to tame. It could tear you from the ribs of feelings and moments that the hoped for future had planned for you, or introduce you to heavens joyous orgasms.

The world is full of surprises, of tulip beauty’s and ogre ugly. Yet each time it gives us its hand, we have to accept the good and the bad. I believe that everyone is a living story, unread book, a poem or a song waiting to be told and heard; so among the many gifts given to me by the creator is the power of the ear. We have adopted a new adaptive mechanism to survive; individualism. It is so sad that we have allowed ourselves to be cocooned in our little shells and close the doors to those around us.

They always say start with the bad and finish with the good, so I will. Just the other day I saw this young girl of around five, playing with running unprotected sewer…

Black Man!!! if you dare

Ladies and Gentlemen I hope this poem fulfils the purpose i wrote it for!!! (edited version)



We look at our history to gauge our future
If we erase our past stories, then we are as good as dead, we won’t make it to the next chapter
The present is only a hidden time bomb like a steaming pressure pot
Yet it is the cruel as the monster, consoling us that it is okay to take the path of great disaster
Black man, life is never a fraction it is a whole
The answer to Adams mystery is in the rib found in Eve


The desecration of mama Africa in the past, robbed her naked of her wealth by greed and lust
Her beliefs and way of thinking were considered as pagan values, that should be buried under the dust
The African concept of the Great creator was never understood, never appreciated and never put first
'They' saw no similarity between the God they preached and the African One Supreme Being
We were lost in sin, hopeless in darkness, no education, no chance of getting ahead
They colonized …

You are me

There were times I fought with self defeatism and it almost won over, till I remembered my Lecturer Mr. Majany asking in class, ‘What is the purpose of living if you have already been defeated by life?’ I loved Media Ethics, not because I was doing the course twice but because the class permitted thoughts and opinions to meet and question law. Every word this man said in our discussions stirred up my mind with ideas and questions. It is from these class discussions that I came up with ‘You are me’

You are me

Teach me to change
Teach me to yearn for change
Teach me to love without limits
To see good in people and to believe in people
Teach me to believe in myself
To never underestimate my impact, or my potential
Teach me to be hungry for greatness
Teach me to influence people positively
Teach me to be of value
To add value to the society
Teach me to have personal initiative to do right
Teach me to acquire knowledge in abundance
So as to offer the proper guidance
Teach me agree to be …

Friends, Fans and Artists

It really has been a while since I updated this blog, Thanks to a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Klaus Hornetz, I was working under a project that incorporated me doing a book; a collection of my poems so most of my energy was pulled there. The Kenyan publishing industry is not a very good friend to poetry as I experienced, among other problems. However I decided not to let this break my heart, if I did, then what kind of person would I be?

Another big development is that I have been planning for a show........ yes... I want to do a show and perform my poems. I have been working on them and think that it is about time. I have proposed December the 10th but the decision lies with the venue holders (Safaricom). So friends, fans and artists........ be ready the poetess is about to land again!


© Namatsi Lukoye