The Charge of The Light Brigade

This is one of my favorite poems ever. Written by Lord Alfred Tennyson about the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Limping for food – true story

Limping along the dusty road

Shivering beneath the cold night sky

Frankie wandered about the dark

Searching for a bite to buy

 

Hours ago he fell for a nap

Broken by the weight of the day

“Two hours and no more”

He closed his eyes but midnight clocked

 

The blaring of music from room next door

The screeching of a child denied whatever

Pierced through his body and woke him

But none more than the riot in the belly

 

And now he limped back to his abode

Bearing buns and scratch phone cards

In the lonely scary night he says

“I shall write about this if I live”

Of Swines and Gentlemen

Sixty seven barrels and not a drop more!
Chants echoed through the hot country air
Bring back ours and leave by the door!
The youthful bellowed at their old mayor

In light of the resurrection of what wasn’t,
I stood by the old town post and wept a brook
Plumes of smoke covered the dust present
No more of what wasn’t. No more of the crook
But what wasn’t was bound to be sent
Now the town is all nothing by the book

Drunken with joy and belching out greed
The Devil strayed by my side and cheered on
“Look what the sons of men have agreed
Angered by the works of a partial cheer Don
Havoc they wreak! Lies they speak!
Swines! A day goes and they roast on sticks
The next nightfall their hunger turns to steaks!”

Cry babies! Envious of the gentlemen
Cranberry are virtues of the latter men
Swines and gentlemen. Swines and gentlemen

Too Lazy To Yawn

The sun set and darkness grew
Still he sat as a man that’s dead
Humming as sweet as a female negro
To the last of rays, a farewell he bid

As slow and sure as a man with wit
He moved his body by one or two
As he balanced his torso upon his feet
I saw a life with nothing to do

As darkness pitched upon the night
He struggled past an old bailey
Then stopped fixated upon a light
That dimmed and flickered lazily

Hands akimbo and eyes squinted
He flinched as a man that’s holding pain
Contorting his face as one that’s painted
He yawned lazily and saw me by the  pane

Leave to live

The clock ticks as the bricks erode
Faces of pain from the night before,
Read my thoughts and sprinkle onto walls
Graffiti! The sour trickles of my wails

The lanes are wide enough for 4-Wheel drives
By they drive and spit thick fumes of anger
Inciting the lazy drunk to wield razor sharp knives
Heart once molten, hardened towards the stranger

The young fight hard for what they love
The elders keep grasp on what they have
Too little to keep! Too little to give!
Don’t swindle my keep and expect me to forgive

Lines are drawn when weapons are drawn
In tears they drown those worthy of the crown
For reasons uncertain they drag the lines
Or cross to the side that’s rigged with mines

Life is a game or a story or neither
A fool at a time but never forever

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Africa and not a thing unlike

They crawl from sleep and drink with ease
Battle the beasts of Tsavo to appease
the gods that thirst the blood of twins,
covered in loincloth and fed on beans
picked from the wild and roasted on spears
They beat huge drums made of skin
of past beasts fallen and preyed by a kin
pounding their chests for a bride
grounding their feet in pride
till dust brings the day to dusk

And when the owls and bats are out
be certain the wild is up and about
so one by one they pile on another
not for pleasure and not by gender
and slumber till the sun recovers

And off they wander the wild with dogs
fed on cat bones and bred by the gods
caring less of the count of the dead
caring not of diamonds in the rock bed

Oft once in a while they smile
for a little gift of sweets and style
then crawl beneath you bound in cuffs
former masters having failed their vows

“Son, that is not a thing I saw
But if and when you visit them
Say not a word unlike I did
That is Africa, not a thing unlike”

You son of a bit! Part I

*This poem is not themed and not intended to. It’s in fact a complete waste of time – there wasn’t any time wasted really since the other option was to do nothing – and an insult to the spirits of poets. I pray you do not read it.*

Rage not like the less witty
Cry in the night and empty your tear bowls
Oft less and less I shall care
Till I pick the axe for peace
Fill out this butt hurt form

Stand not upon the shoulders of giants
Climbing down is a death trap venture
Leaping forward shall end your breath
So said the Lord to Moses
Before choking him to dust

Stare hard at the imaginary lines
That cross the sky and surround the earth
Mad men that curse the gods’ pains
Have drawn these to insult your birth
Shift the lines
Make them ragged

Walk along the train rail lines
Making sounds like happy dinosaurs
If you can’t then try some wines
Or just try matooke with Chinese sauce

You waste your time reading my thoughts
Which are just some sons of bits
You son of a bit!

A Kiprotich Poem


I do not really care for sports and games. I believe they give a nation false belief in progress. I have often mentioned that if the money we inject in sports in Uganda was diverted to constructing and financing laboratories and research centers, we could be winning these games much easier 10 years from now. I know I am right… but Kiprotich’s win is a whole different story. I do not think it is a great achievement for Uganda but a great one for Kiprotich. Every one has a dream. I respect that. I admire those who achieve theirs however much they mean nothing to me. Here is a poem for Kiprotich.

To win or to win
That wasn’t the question
A caption of faithful portrayal
Feet paddling foreign ground
Not akin to the earthly home
He resolved to figure the answer

To win or not to lose
That wasn’t the question either
A generation hadn’t bothered
Gold glittered like sarcasm
Yellow was a color of the petals
He had figured the question

To win
That was the answer
And boy did he smile
And laugh his strides to golden glory

Here’s a beautiful blog post by a friend on what it really meant for a Ugandan

A Draco from the East

This is a poem i.e my thoughts, on the West-China battle for Africa. I hardly watch TV and I have a toddler’s interest in politics, but watching CCTV a few days ago I couldn’t help but pick interest in this battle. Why? Well, maybe it’s because I prefer Chinese literature to Western literature; or it’s because I think the West cares more about Africans than the Chinese do; or it’s because I am plain confused and irritated about all this; or maybe (not just maybe) it’s true that I am writing a movie script that strongly relates with this…

Fists unclenched
Jaws loosened
Eyes widened

We fought for glory
Changed the door lock
Gave away the keys
To the old masters

The spy eyed men knocked
Entered through the crumbling window
Replaced the old leaking roofs
A door at the back
And gave us the keys

Fists unclenched
Jaws loosened
Eyes teared

The Weary Blues – Langston Hughes

I love this poem so much I do not want my girlfriend to ever find out. Yesterday I was in the lab and it just kept playing in my head. I could picture a performance and little by little I got lost in that weary blues world in my head. I was there, the stage was there, the ambience was perfect and black and white Black men with saxophones were… then someone interrupted. Turns out I was actually dosing. Yeah, circuits are not always fun too.
 
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway . . .
He did a lazy sway . . .
To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man’s soul.
O Blues!

In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan–

“Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
And put ma troubles on the shelf.”
Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more–

“I got the Weary Blues
And I can’t be satisfied.

Got the Weary Blues

And can’t be satisfied–

I ain’t happy no mo’
And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

A day in the life of a lazy engineer to be

Time Check 07:00

The gods of slumber depart from my midst
A disruptive sound fills my ears
Threatening to liquefy my hearing organs
Why, oh gods, did I buy this machine
That angers gods of slumber daily!
Time Check 09:00
I apologize to the bird screaming at me
Perched on a branch I oft forget to cut
Today I crushed two other birds to be
Sooner or later it’d have been eaten by the cat
Time Check 10:00
I arrive as a slave in the medieval times
Crawling under windows lest I am seen late
Heaven is a place called the lab mines
Components, computers and Facebook. Hate?
Time Check 12:30
The gods of electronics shun my intelligence
As I depart to get tortured by the healer
They do not sympathize despite the shocks of glory
That I achieved after weeks of circuit poetry!