Suncolor's Blog

the last evening

Posted on: November 10, 2010


 john otim
(excerpts from the novel
dream campus)

The Last Evening
No one that ever saw it
could fail to see
that the day was out of
the chronicles of the gods
or that the evening
when it arrived
was out of Arabian nights

The dream campus rose
and got going
before the crimsons
and the majesty
of the dawn hour
the city of leaning buzzed
with joyful sounds
of celebrant youths

Everything commanded
the sense of beauty
the sense of wonder 

 The day after
everyone were leaving
some never to meet again
it was hard to imagine
this could end

“I’m leaving on a jet plane
don’t know
when I’ll be back again
I’m leaving oh babe
I hate to go”
(John Denver-leaving on a jet plane)

The elements
so mean and wild lately
…. vengeful storms
… hurricanes …
unleashed furies
wrecking havoc
… now even now
turned sweetly pleasant
**

Throughout
the morning hours
fairyland showers
barely visible
to the naked eye
washed and cleansed
the city of learning

At the approach
of the royal hour of noon
surprise of surprises
the dawn hour returns
a blushing bride
draped in soft embroideries
of gold indigo and violet
stupendous

By even tide
brilliant blue skies
decorated with streaks
of green-gold-cream-silver
painted on the canopy
a work of art of
rare magnificence

The count down
to the hyper event
of the school year
now drawing to a close
the count down to
the show of all shows
was on

The grand show
whose memories would linger
a thousand years
treasure piled upon treasure
– additions
to the store of legends
of the great school
**

And now arrives
what all awaited
what the day was all about

The Empire heiress
bursts upon the scene
a light upon the eventide
the Queen of Sheba
would have understood

In the fading rays
her face was brighter
than cosmic constellations
her radiance triggered
shockwaves
along the breadth
and length of the arena

All eyes were upon her
time stood frozen
… she parts her lips
light of lights
raining spacious lyrics
upon the night air

A cluster of vibrations
animations
acrobatics and dance
to melt the mountain walls
of the Nanga Parbat

“I heard he sang a good song
I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him
To listen for a while
And there he was this young boy
A stranger to my eyes”
(Roberta Flack-killing me softly)

The very anthem
of the celebrants
… fire in her eyes
she sang in a voice
passionate
and tender
the crowd grew wild
… and wilder

“Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song”
-Roberta Flack

Other singers and performers
came on board
there was a girl from Kenya
rumored to be a Masai
a modern day Venus
everything girls dreamed of
and a voice to kill for

She puts all this
into the rhythms of the  eternal hymn
the love anthem from the birth place
of mankind
the unforgettable malaika
years ago immortalized
by Miriam Makeba

“Malaika, nakupenda Malaika
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika
Nami nifanyeje, kijana
Mwenzio
Nashindwa na mali sina we
Ningekuoa Malaika
Nashindwa na mali sina, we
Ningekuoa Malaika “
(Miriam Makeba-Malaika )

The evening long ago
on a roller coaster
breached the final frontiers
headed to the farthest stars
spitting fire upon endless
light years
shading lasts drops

The night grew soft and livid
a moment came
the dream campus
utterly consumed
melted and dissolved
into a timeless zone

“Imagine there are no countries
it isn’t hard to do
nothing to kill or die for
and no religion too
imagine all the people
living life in peace

“You may say I am a dreamer
but I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
and the world will live as one”

As he listened to the words of
John Lennon
he encountered again
the rhapsody of
the Burmese girl

And he felt again
the heady motions of
those early days
on the dream campus

And he saw now as though
a Picasso laid on a wall
the visions
of the Burmese girl

A world without boarders
united in celebration
of the harmonic
and the beautiful
**

Later in the night
long after the music stopped
long after the dream campus
had gone to sleep
the golden dome even now
radiated
grandeur incomparable

The city of learning was
a scene from Arabian nights
‘even a deathless god
would look in wonder
hearts filled with pleasure
were he to come upon’

Westwards across the vast
expanse of  play fields
… the exploding skies
signs the storms
the hurricanes
would come again

Eastwards towards the groves
rose a daintily
freshly minted moon
adorned in layers of veils
bride of the East
bashful
on her maiden voyage
to the bridal chamber
**

Years later when semblance
of normality had come back
to his shattered life

When dashing towards
city center
along uhuru highway
by uhuru park
from his base at the foot
of Ngong Hills
a poster caught his eyes

Paragon Pictures Presents
The Last King —

It hit him like a bolt
he thought the past was
well – all gone
now when he entered the city
he saw everywhere
young people
pushing and shunting
as only the young can

Snapping away tickets
for the pleasure of caned images
of the great leader
a kaleidoscope
seen through the eyes
of a young Scottish adventurer
on the tropics

Paragon Pictures Presents
The last King of Scotland

Some things never change
he said out loud
surprised now at the sound
of his own voice
as he pondered rave reviews
spewing from
channel after channel

 

From scores of print pages
of the great weeklies
strewn about the room
on tables and chairs
as though
a mad man had cast them
other reviewers teased

Powerful
Thundering
Colossal
Brims with charms

Do not miss this movie
Bloody and funny
**

I can’t stop loving you
useless to say
I’ll just live my life
in dreams of yes

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