MAN IN THE MIRROR

when my teacher
asked me then what
i wanted to become
when i grew up,
i told him,
i wanted to be
everything
i wanted to be this,
and that

my teacher,
with the fury
on his face,
looked at me and
yelled in anger
his voice cracked
like the roar
of a lion
and he yelled,

“I said, what do
you want to be
when you grow up”?
he asked with
a strong harsh
tone
and goosebumps
moved down
my body like a
cold

Sir,i replied
when i grow up,
i want to be…
i want to be.
to be

but you see
back then,

i was a fighter
and i wanted to be
a world champion
boxing world champion
like mike Tyson
so i could fight
and box
my way through life
undefeated and
fierce

i wanted to be
lucky dube
and sing about
freedom
of speech and expression
of how prison cells
would replace schools
maybe
be Nelson Mandela
because
my freedom was under
siege
men in combat
and whizzing bullets
had ruined
my innocent childhood

i wanted to be a doctor
doctor Mathew lukwiya
to stain my hands
not in regret
but in a bid for
humanity
maybe then
my name would
be tattooed
on peoples hearts
not to be forgotten
we love you Mathew

but look at me now,
years have passed by
and when i look
myself in the mirror,
what i see is
the man who never crossed
my mind then

so when i ask the
man in the mirror
WHO ARE YOU?
he stares,laughs
and says;

i am chinua Achebe
man of the people
who is no-longer
at ease
and like okonkwo,
my life falls apart

am not sure
i understand his
point so i
ask again
WHO ARE YOU?

And he replies,

I am okot p’bitek
in a deaf world
my ink bleeds
only to be blown dry
by the winds
of divided attention

but you see,

The man in the
mirror has taught
me so much in life
he has taught
me that a man
will only be
what he chooses
to be

and if my teacher
asked me today
“what i wanted to be”,

i would still say
what i said to him
back then
i would say,
i want to be everything
i want to be this
and that

but only this time,
i would make it
a little longer
and
tell him,
i want to be wole
Soyinka
because still
i must set forth
at dawn

close up photography of human left hand
Photo by Tuur Tisseghem on Pexels.com

*Okello August

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REST IN PEACE

silhouette photo of woman during dawn
Photo by Alexandro David on Pexels.com

Lets all lay our wreath
On caskets of democracy
Eulogize every piece of shit
Rest in peace,
Peace
Whose life was taken away
Triggered by tribalism

We’ll pay tribute in silence
Rest in peace
Truth
Who was consumed by greed
Agreed for the love of money
Many didn’t matter
Till we meet again
Let me gain

From dust you came
Unto dust you shall return
Rest in peace,
Relationships
Love turned lust
Broken vows
Till money do us part
Partners for riches

Rest in peace
Rest in peace
Fidelity
Hope you find love
In your after life
A place far
Far away from lust

Rest in peace
Rest in perfect peace
Church
Children of God
Turned to business
Gods word a commodity
In a market called church
We’ll miss you religion

Rest in eternity
Morality
Succumbed to modernity
Diagnosed with prostitution
A culture lost
Living in immortality

©Okello Chris August

STILL

i still think about you
In my dreams still,

still when i close my eyes
still its you that i see still

still your moon eyes steal
my attention when
i look at them still

still your smiles sway me
away still

your first kiss that still
resides in the corridors
of my lips still

still i talk about you
As if time stood still

still i miss you
still this love you instill in
me still never fades still

still you walk away
but still i hold
you still in my
little tender heart.

©Okello

.

TWENTY FOUR (24)

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August 28th 1963
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his i have a dream speech
just as martin Luther king had a dream,
i had a dream
a differed dream

August 28th 1995 24 years ago,
i kissed this world hello
a humble soul
all i had was my little hands
gripping tight on my mothers breast milk
and a fathers endless Love
Young,dumb and innocent
it was all about family
In my teens i started to think more about
my life
Like how would this journey get
would it be thorns or roses
will i wake up one day at 20 years
and am still grounded in my fathers house?
or ill be hustling on these cruel streets

it was no longer about childhood
not about presents but who was present
i was getting into adulthood
Each year,a new challenge
and when I fail, I’m sure I fail
many times as a man
with many complex weaknesses

But through the hardships,
i have traveled,
with God on my side,
and conquered in stride.
and today marks yet another year
another year of handwritten
chapter of dreams to pursue
Today am twenty four (24)
and today i still hold a dream

OKELLO @24

BLACK ROSE

When asked to eulogize her late husband,
she stood up with the help of her eldest
son and her brother
the room was silent and you could feel
his absence

her shoes squeaked as she approached the alter
with her two pillars of strength besides her
The only two people that would remind her
of her late husband and keep her strong when she broke down
and there he was
right in front of the alter
in a shinny silver casket

the same alter upon which
they shared their best moments
moments that would take nothing but memories
He was dressed in his favorite
navy blue suit as thou he would
still wear it in his afterlife
and his fingure still had his wedding ring
the vows were real after all

for better,for worse
in life and in death
Till death do us part
and yet there he was
in death
her husband, her late husband

in her speech,
as her tears rolled down her cheeks
like an erupted lake
she gathered her strength to speak,
wiped away her sorrow in a white handkerchief
and for the first time she hid her
heavy heart in a fake smile and she said

“My husband was my rock,
(went silent for a minute)
upon which we shared deepest love,
happiest marriage
and truest partnership
and in his absence he will
He will always have a place
in my heart till the day they would
lay me to rest besides my love”

he reminded her
of beautiful moments in her sad moments
his petals might have wilted
but his scent will always be
in her breath even when
he will be long gone
and crumbled into dust
a black rose in her rose garden
he will always be

Okello

HOPELESS LOVE

If your reading this,
I’ll have drifted
miles away from the embrace 
of your hopeless love,
My love

I’ll have learnt
to balance the weight of this world
And swim
through air to find a new home
A new home
that won’t feel empty no more
and won’t be filled with broken pieces
of my tainted love but gathered pieces
of my brokenness in stitches

My wounds will have healed
And my memories erased
of your horrors
A relationship that faded away
in oceans of memories
My soul will be at rest
and my heart will have started
to beat steadily
I will have found refuge
in your betrayal
A place where
the weeds of my past won’t find way into my lawn

In your absence I’ll be home sick
Home sick of the arms that didn’t want
to hold me
Those that held me back
and cut me deep to bleed

Your hopeless love,
My love was like seasons
Nothing but a bait
It grew hot and grew cold
When all my heart asked for was
To lay and cuddle a little longer
You became a weapon of terrorism
Another bullet wound from your
Hopeless love i found

© Okellofb_img_1565120442034

A LETTER FROM A GRANDSON

Dear Grandpa,
its been years since we talked
how are things over there
you are now settled for good
you feel rested
hows grandma
they laid you next to her
final resting place
i never met her
did you tell her i miss her
that i never got to share
her love,
a grandmothers love
i heard she had my eyes
and all i have of her
memory is her name
Abuba

 

i saw the moon smile
at you last Sunday
it was Eid
she spent the night
as yo guest
i guess she got used to
yo silence
did you watch over us
did you intercede ALLAH for us
do you still pray for us?
your absence stifles me

 

i saw birds at your graveyard
they sung on flowers that bloomed
protecting you
watching over your rest
they whispered in your ear
and brought you news
every moon fall and sunset

 

did the birds tell you everything
did they tell you
that i discovered poetry and
always wanted to write about you
but these emotions overshadow me,
they paralyze me

Did they tell you that,

I finally got that degree
That bachelor’s degree
In Business
That we always talked about
I didn’t get it in first class tho
But i wrapped it in better grades
Exactly what you would have
Wished

 

That mum lives in the
rhythm of your memory
she talks about you all the time
and feels the burden of life
in yo absence
and that she has a grandson now
your great grandson.
he makes a month tomorrow
and his name is Giannis.
Giannis Killian Pirwot

 

A pillar upon which happiness
is built
a warrior and a true luo
hes not “mutir
and i hope one day
i get to tell him of a great man
you were
so one day he venerates you
as the great grandfather he never met

Yours Grandson
August Chris Okello

xrs

IF HEAVEN HAD A TELEPHONE

It was on a cold Monday
morning march 9th 2002
when my best friend Dan
lost his mother
she passed on
in her sleep
no complications,
no nothing
no goodbyes
and out of the blues
just like that
she was gone
gone forever
that must have been
hard to take in for
little Dan barely 7 years
of age
who still needed
his mothers love
she needed to watch
him grow into a man
and he needed to
watch her go grey
at a tender age
his heart was never
ready for a sad story
to tell
seeing his mother lay
lifeless in her bed
eyes closed
cold like ice and stiff
was the worst nightmare
his dreams were never
the same
for every time he closed
his eyes,its only and
only his mothers smiles
he saw and her voice
he heard
he wished heaven had
a telephone
so he would call
and tell her everything
everything he didn’t
didn’t mention to her
before she passed
every time he saw
her pics on the
sitting room walls
he sobbed and thought
and wished and wished
and wished
he wished heavens had
a telephone
so we would call in
call in
just to hear her say
good morning my
little baby boy
but she was gone
and he was in agony
its been 17 years
since she left his sight
and i met Dan on the
streets last night
tall and handsome
with eyes just like
his mothers
that must be the
only memory of her
she left with him
we visited his
mothers graveyard
the next morning
to pay our respects
at her forever resting
place
and i whispered to his
ears
“you know she loved you”
how have you been DAN
for which he replied
i have been good
but,but,but
i still think of her
every time i close
my eyes
Dan still wishes
he wishes heavens
had a telephone
so he would tell his
mama everything
coz he loved once
but the world took
away everything he
ever loved
©AUGUST CHRIS OKELLO
xrs

TALES OF AN EDUCATED HUSTLER

Its 5am in the morning
as the cock crows
and the dusk slowly
fades to a new dawn
the stars disappearing
in the clear blue sky
and the sun brightly
takes the moons position

birds singing joyfully
in the sky
as the toads take a break
from their all night
symphony
another day just
like yesterday
for the daily hustles

his Thoughts drifting
through time
years back in school
when he thought education
was key
but the world had
strong locks on

it wasn’t the sweet
pure heavens
and promised land
as the teachers once said
not the white collar
job in a state of the
art office with
a rocking chair
and cool air conditioners
as he once dreamed as a kid

his destiny was twisted
but it was Gods plan
as his christian mind
told him
the streets are tough
and his feet on the move
hawking cold drinks
and bites through bus
windows to travelers
under the hot
scorching sunshine

because his honors
degree couldn’t do
him the honors of
a descent job as he
once imagined
to put a meal on his table
and get his bills paid

and as the sun goes to sleep
and the moon is up
its just another end of day
just like yesterday
to sustain a new dream
different from
his childhood dream

as he makes his way
through the busy
and congested evening
traffic to get back home,
in his right hand is
a black polythene
holding his well spiced
kikomando” he bought
from “Lalokas
chapati stall along
main street for his supper

this is the Tale
of a Ugandan street
hustler
along Gulu-Kampala
highway and many more
who chose hustling
over unemployment
and i just want you
to know i respect your
daily endeavors

©AUGUST CHRIS OKELLO

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