Challenge: Write on religion or the lack of it

Namde P.K.Wandera

Religious Pudding

When I look at my brother, I don’t see a Muslim, I see my brother.

When I look at my sister, I don’t see a Protestant, I see my sister.

When I look at my friends, I don’t see Muslims, Christians, Hindus or Pagans, I see my friends.

When you look at me, don’t see a Catholic. It is just me.

“If I do good, do not laud my religion.
If I do evil, do not condemn it either.
It is out of a personal conviction.”

Huma Kaoga Kaseu

Atheism
If God were real, I would not be unlike him
If God were real, I would not have to ail
If God were all knowing why need he test my faith?

If He knows to what extent I’ll buckle, why suffer me pain
Why have me live so I die
If that’s the nature of God then the state of the world is explained.

Ivy Mutisya

Dear God, Sir…Erm…Hi!
No, that’s not right.
Wait, one more time.
How should I talk to you?
Where do you find the time to listen?

Conceited in my prayers,
Let my vanity not take up your time.
Let’s try something new:
HELLO! Hi…How are you?
Not happy huh?
Not proud of me? Yeah?
Me neither…

Today there’s a real crisis,
But I don’t deserve your grace,
I’ve wasted so much of it already,
Still my eyes are tightly shut,
I’m searching for you.

What’s the appropriate title?
God? No…too remote, My God,
Yeah that’s it.
How about Father? Baba? Hmmm
Father Almighty! Too rehearsed,
Not that I doubt that you are mighty…
Oh boy, I’m wasting your time again.

I’ve been quiet…it’s not been easy,
You are always but a breathe away,
I know you know how I’m doing,
I shouldn’t bore you with the details,
But maybe if I explain myself…
I find myself succumbing to the floor,
Oh no! Looks like I’m gonna pray again.

Patti Achieng’

of religion and complacency

Pious zeal resonates in every step they take, conviction written all over their eager faces. Belief manifest in their tightly clutched bibles, rushing to a tickling of ears. Salute man’s innate need!
A tickling of ears, a tickling of ears, long replaced a thirst for truth, a thirst for knowledge, a thirst for faith built! So they stream to their minsters, unwittingly submitting to doctrines unproven, too unBeroean to verify dogmas, dogmas fashioned after avaricious beings, lining their already fat pockets with paper, paper the pious whine while giving, yet they don’t stop to validate what they hear!
Pugh! I say!!! Search for the truth!!!

Morris Kiruga

“Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know…”

My penance piety does not suffice
As the fray takes toll upon my mortal
As the dagger slices and dices
The fort crumbles…

Hope and pray I be reborn
To dive into the fray one other
To face demons whose fire I stoke
That my soul for peace to have
My heart for ants to feed

Yet death hath become this life I boast
All good fights have come to this
The moment on which I stand
The weapon upon my hand
Broken sheath under my feet

On this day I am born
On this day I die
I must hope and pray
That one day I learn to hope and pray

Eyes gaze beyond the clouds
For an omen I might see
This fort mine blessing and curse.

Immortality it might be
The bright light that cometh my way
Into the last good night I’ll ever see.

“…Live and die on this day
Live and Die on this day.”

Wanjiku Kinuthia

REWARD OF AN APOSTATE

“. . . Oh, that my god will none of me! That is an old sorrow! My god was Beauty, and I am all unbeautiful, and ever was. There is no grace in these harsh limbs of mine, nor was at any time. I, to whom the glory of a lit eye was as the shining of stars in a deep well, have only dull and faded eyes, and always had; the chiselled lip and chin whereover runs the radiance of life in bubbling gleams, the cup of living wine was never mine to taste or kiss. I am earth-colored and for my own ugliness sit in the shadows, that the sunlight may not see me, nor the beloved of my god.

But, once, in my hidden corner, behind a curtain of shadows, I blinked at the glory of the world, and had such joy of it as only the ugly know, sitting silent and worshipping, forgetting themselves and forgotten. Here in my brain it glowed, the shimmering of the dying sun upon the shore, the long [gold] line between the sand and sea, where the sliding foam caught fire and burned to death . . .Here in my brain, my silent unrevealing brain, were the eyes I loved, the lips I dared not kiss, the sculptured head and tendrilled hair. They were here always in my wonder house,my house of Beauty.

The temple of my god. I shut the door on common life and worshipped here. And no bright, living, flying thing in whose body beauty dwells as guest can guess the ecstatic joy of a brown, silent creature, a toad-thing, squatting on the shadowed ground, self-blotted, motionless, thrilling with the presence of All-Beauty,though it has no part therein.

,–“not with that still ecstacy of [flooding] joy wherewith my own god filled me of old, but with impetuous, eager fires, that burned and beat through all the blood-threads of me. ‘I love you, love me back,’ I cried, and would have flung myself upon h neck. Then he turned on me with a ruthless blow; and fled away over the world, leaving me crippled,stricken, powerless, a fierce pain driving through my veins–gusts of pain!–and I crept back into my [old] cavern, stumbling, blind and deaf, only for the haunting vision of my shame and the rushing sound of fevered blood . . .

Edwin Thedivinebandit Mukabi

THIS IS MY PRAYER

Jealous Almighty, loving God
Extend your arms, consecrate me
Sustain my soul, oh my Lord
Up, my spirit goes, let it be
Soon I sit on thine right hand

Closed heart, thy love sets me free
Holy One, let me live righteously
Redeem my friends, my enemies flee
Inspire me; show thine glory
Stand with me, I know you paid the fee
Temptations are at bay, do expose their folly

Light of the world
Illuminate the darkness
Vengeance is thine own, thou sayest
Elevate their reasoning; time to right their wrongs
Satan, prince of darkness, gnashing of teeth is nigh

Zaynah McAdam

A letter to God
Dear God,
It’s been awhile since we talked. Really talked. All I’ve been doing is perform the customary litany, ask for something or thank you for the general. I kinda miss those days we used to have a chat, when I could tell you anything. The days I was but a toddler, whispering something to you whenever I got the chance to.
How I miss it. When I used to tell you my secrets and dilemmas, and not just conclude you know it all like I seem to be doing of late. Remember the day two of my childhood friends had a fight? And I came to you, asking for your advice. Beseeching you, to show me how to fairly judge and deal with each of them. I narrated to you every bit of what happened, we talked over it; and the next day, you showed me the way. (Between me and you, I don’t think Ashley got over that blow to her head. You think that’s why she turned out the way she did? ) Yes, I remember it very clearly. And I’m sorry for being away for far too long.
I blame it on myself, for letting the worldly belonging and earth dwellers beguile me excessively. Being too busy and knowing too much now, is not reason enough for my truancy. Neither does having a lot in my mind excuse my absenteeism behaviour. And today Dear God, today I want to make amends. Or at least try.
Not because I have problems I need you to solve (don’t I always seem to have those), and not because I have a favour I want to ask you; but for my soul cleansing, my most satisfying benediction.
I want you to be my convoy in all that I do. I want to feel your heavenly presence once again. Trust you and worship you; Let you show me the right way. My soul desire, to rekindle what I felt before. Before everything in the world blinded my eyes and blackened my heart. I want to go back to the days when I believed entirely in you. That nothing can discomfit you. That all I had to do was let you guide me through it all. That period I believed you want nothing but the best for me. And that everything happened for a reason.
But one question I want to ask. One question my All-knowing Lord. How far should I go with our talkfest? I am certainly nothing close to your pious prophets, and cannot even compare with their most trusted disciples. I obviously know not what issues they brought to your presence. Should I ventilate about the trials and tribulations in my life? Should I talk about home and school? Can I reprimand my own friends and family? What about the date I had the other week? Is it okay to discuss about the boy I have a thing for? Or even what we did last weekend? Or, is it required of me to stick to my faith and issues concerning my piety? I’m I supposed to stay clear of the worldly possessions…
Give me a sign oh Creator of heaven and earth; for the last thing I would want to do is get into your wrong books and face your wrath. Yes, I believe in your boundless might, as much as I Don’t believe in Santa Claus. (It is my hope that no kid is reading this, if so….then too bad)
Until I get the answers to this questions oh Merciful King, all I can do is tread on thy path with caution. Until then, this letter is as far as I can go. I just earnestly hope that then, will be soon.
Yours faithfully,
A believer.

Eric Mugendi Nyaga

When I look at the stars, knowing full well that they are giant balls of light far away, and I see God. Not some malevolent man with a vendetta against mankind, or a bored old fogey with nothing better to do than to watch people make mistakes, but a shining light, a guide to life and knowledge; whose purpose is not to sanction evil done in his name, or chastise non-conformers, but to point, like a compass, to wait until we find ourselves, until we launch questioning ships into a vast, unknown ocean of doubt and despair; until we look inside for the light that banishes all darkness.
That is my religion.

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