Category Archives: poetry

Crime and Punishment

Village woman


Have you seen that man

whose penis injected venom

into my daughter's virgin cave

and made her stomach swollen like an inflated ball

have you seen him

he that made her drop out of school

by making her 'nurse' at twelve

tell me

have you seen him?

Village elder


With my naked eyes

I have seen him

whose penis respects not our children's privacy

Pleading guilty in a court of law

I have seen him

Bowing his head to receive his sentence

Twenty years was too short for rape

and i wanted to cut off his manhood

But the soldiers restricted me



Have you seen him

who broke into my house at night

taking with him my only hen and goat

have you seen him

Who 'harvested' my corn in the dark

and left me at the mercy of this drought

Tell me

Have you seen him

Village elder


with my naked eyes

I saw him

whose hand harvested your corn at night

and took away your hen and goat

Set ablaze in the streets of the city

for snatching a phone

from a lady in broad day light

And i wanted to save him

But i remembered

How he ran away with your corn

So i let him pay, dearly with his life



Have you seen him

Whose mouth swallowed our healthcare programme

Whose hand scrapped off our women's maternity

Have you seen him

Whose hand grabbed our precious lands

To build up a private leisure park

Have you seen him

Tell us

Have you seen him

Village elder


With my naked eyes

I have seen him

who swallowed our healthcare

and grabbed our precious land

Seated comfortably in his expensive mansion

With soldiers everywhere to guard his territory

I have seen him

taking pills of a dreaded disease

A punishment from the gods of our fathers

images (6)

©Stephen M. Mutuku

The Face of Tomorrow

we have learned to enjoy the fumes of teargas
and to seep its smoke with audible pleasure
as if it was a nicotine drug
we have learned to dance under the sound of gunshots
with bullets hovering above our unkempt heads
like flies swarming around a fresh heap of human waste
we have learned to bear the pain bullet wounds
and lick blood to nurse our naked souls
we have learned to bury our dead in silence
but remain to curse the source of the stray bullet
which leaves us short of an innocent soul
we have learned to wake up in defiance
begging for a bullet to relief us the burden
of sweating for children we never sired
because their parents were translated in the bullet race
we have died trying to save our nations
and left our offspring to face our tomorrow
when the world will have an uglier face
I see our children dancing under the sound of bombs
I see our children forced to the front lines
to fight a war they know nothing about
I see them lying lifeless over their land
with no one left to bury their corpses
wiped out in a nuclear fight
I see vultures feasting on human flesh
and hyenas satisfied to eat again
I see ravens and lonely doves
racing to bury our fallen sons
i see weaver birds singing a million dirges
hanging on burnt branches
with no grass to build their beautiful nests
I close my eyes and see
the ugly face of tomorrow
——Stephen M. Mutuku———

Wishes and Dreams

i have slept and dreamt
that she and me were one
but when the sun lit my hut
i cursed the linen on my beddings
and wished my dream was true
as if wishes were riches
i have slept and dreamt
that my life was a success
but when the morning came to be
i cursed the bugs in my bed
as if they knew the source of my woes
i have slept and dreamt
that my pen was a might
mightier than a smoking gun
to wipe away the tears of violence
but when the night died away
i found it tattered and dry
its ink smeared on paper
and my page spoiled to the latter
i have slept and dreamt
that my poem changed the world
but when the morning came to be
the world had changed my poem
then i sat down and saw
that i just dreamt and slept
———Stephen M. Mutuku———


Its a lukewarm evening in Dandora
Some breeze blows through the window of my room
all over the neighborhood is blaring ghetto music
Competing with the stench from the dump site
Am lying on my bug ridden bed
Silently scrolling through my mobile
hoping that the late night speakers
Will soon go to their sleep
and wake to blast their ghetto music
when the morning comes to be
I want to listen to the drunkards
May be,they will have a sweet lullaby
to lure me to sleep like a child
for a ghetto night is always long
rat-a-tat!comes a loud gunshot
the drunkards withdraw their lullabies
and the tavern gets mum at once
“Aisee kila mtu chini!”ª¹ orders a fearless gangster
Somewhere a glass shatters
followed by a painful groan
I guess he was hard to get
and off goes the merciless gang
In the morning whispers will fill the air
as the police carry off the corpse
a maid will scrub the bloody floor
and boom! the tavern will be back to life
———Stephen M. Mutuku———
ª¹ an order to lie on the floor

Continue reading Dandora

I Don’t Want to Write!


because i didn't want to 
You forced me to write this
when i didn't want to
but once you laid an eye on it
you said it wasn't meant for you
to you it wasn't meant for you
to me it was meant for you
yes! it was meant for you
yes! i don't feel like writing
yes! the guitar was a dung powered oven
yes! a dung powered oven
yes! it baked three of my fingers
yes! it gave me new tunes when i played it
yes! tunes tunes of sorrow
tunes which made me hollow
tunes about the woman of my heart
but she will never reciprocate the love
yes! the love i have for her
that's why i won't write
what i have already done
please don't force me to write
because i don't want to!

———Stephen M. Mutuku———




i sat among a group of mourners
dressed in a black attire
our heads shaved clean
and our faces dull because of mourning

In front of the pregnant coffin
stood a hungry open grave
ready to swallow the coffin
and a heap of fresh soil
ready to embrace it in eternal warmth

vroom vroom vroom
came the screaming fuel guzzler
distorting the calmness of the graveyard
beyond its tinted windows
came a pharisee in white robes
and the mourners stared in confusion

he took the microphone to address us
his crocodile tears mocking our mourning
as he blurted out empty stinking political promises
the nearby trees grumbled
and the angry corpse farted
and the filthy stench made him faint
and the wind laughed at him

the master calmed the corpse down
with a spray of strong perfume
but the intruder had left
with his guzzler spitting smoke
like a snake spitting venom

————Stephen M. Mutuku———

Roadside Judgement

i stood by the traffic jam
a bunch of bananas in one hand
and a packet of sweets on the other
hawking them to the monks
behind the wheel of fuel guzzlers
some would buy a banana
others would wind-up their tinted windows
fearing i would snatch their smartphones

an owl hooted nearby
someone shouted
then i turned around
and saw a boy of twelve
running to cross the road
he stumbled over a pothole
and fell in the middle of the road

a rain of stones fell on him
and rendered his body lifeless
a mechanic produced a worn-out tire
and another a can of gasoline
ready to cremate the boy
then i signaled them to stop
and knelt before the corpse
and unfolded its clenched fists
only to uncover two small sweets
not even worth a dice

then i lifted my eyes
to look at the agitated crowd
their faces turned dull
unable to withstand their guilt
for pronouncing a death sentence
to a innocent young boy
as they turned to leave
i saw a rhetoric question
scribbled in bold letters
on their backs as they hurried away.

————Stephen M. Mutuku————


Putrid oppression

 it's women
 who are enslaved
 and made victims
 of domestic violence
 and some are translated
 by their cruel hubbies
 like a putrid heap of rags
 burned down into ashes

 it's women
 who are labeled sluts
 and other putrid names
 seen as weak objects
 for giving sexual pleasure
 and simple natural machines
 for mass production of kids
 by their libidinous kinky men
 worth a putrid heap of rags

 it's women
 who get pregnant
 for nine good months
 in this putrid world
 and endure all the pain
 the pain of giving birth
 which men can't survive
 even for a single minute
 but can survive a pungent smell
 from that putrid heap of rags

 it's a woman
 who gave birth to me
 and through her i understand
 that women are strong
 beautiful and elegant
 lovely and caring
 and not like that
 putrid heap of rags
 and am always wondering
 why men oppress them!

 it's women
 who should be adored
 honored and respected
 secondly after God
 for they are small gods
 and if you can't adore one
 then go and eat shit
 from that putrid heap of rags
 for even the bible says
 "he who finds a wife
 finds what is good
 and receives favor from God."

 ———Stephen M. Mutuku———

Protest Against Domestic Violence.

There is a River…

there is a river

that flows in between my heart

and cuts through my soul

a billboard stands in the middle

bearing the following inscription

swim here to reach the hunchbackª¹


i always jump in to swim

trying to reach the hunchbackª¹

but it’s strong waves push me

onto the bank under a mugumoª²

and look back at the inscription

swim here to reach the hunchbackª¹


I will not lose hope

I will put more gallant efforts

when in this river of life

and I know that I will

swim here to reach the hunchbackª¹


———Stephen M. Mutuku———



  1.  Hunchbackª¹ – The name of God as used in Okot P’ Bitek’s, “Song of Lawino.”
  2.  Mugumoª² – A natural tree which the Kikuyu community of Kenya believe to be their traditional place of worship.

Talking Chalk.

when chalk enters our class

he talks

talks and talks

forty minutes no break

always talking insanity


the board grumbles

chalk’s talk too long

always an empty talk

full of chalk’s sweaty dust

a talk that chokes

our brains to insanity


we hope for  Mr. death

to take talking chalk

away with his talk

and clear chokes of chalk

from our choking brains

to restore sanity in our talk


———Stephen M. Mutuku———