Archive for the ‘Competitions’ Category

Challenge: Write prose or poetry without using the letter “e”

Danny Wasonga Junior

At crossroads I stop thinking
Lying on my back my mind blinking
What was it? I start asking
Why was I caught up in this ring?
Chains of pain all up my chin
With no gain it was to bring
Or did my soul trick that I am daring
My body all too busy to grasp
That down into raging abyss I was sliding
I bury my worry and cling on
Hang on to this painful passion
And fix on humming this song
For it was raining as I was born
And saw my living almost drown
But now away from all that
I boast of joy so profound.

Ivy Mutisya

A war of sorts,
A clash of mammoth proportions,
A mirror and its point of focus,
Not a sign to distinguish an individual apart
Up till now his soul stays hungry,
And his body shows not a sign.

A hollow so vast,
Gulping down by the black,
His hunt gains vigor,
His lust grows,
His body says no,
Panic arising from frustration
A girl awaits his act,

Withdrawing into his conscious,
Praying his body to action,
A woman in want,
A man with a will,
A body in insubordination.

Timothy Mugambi

Quit it, am not tripping,
I just hit a rock.
Drunk on thin air,
making of storms out of vivid mist.
To slay a lazy giant as it lay.
I know I am, simply put a clown,
making fat kings laugh.
I lay a Lilly to morn a fading day,
as I drink to a falling sun.
Laugh at a rising moon.
I shall cloth tonight with stars,
and tomorrow with dark clouds.
A blind man , a drunk fool,
a king without his kingdom,
a man just wasting away.
Girls giggling in sight of a cat.
Clumsy words on a torn patch of cloth.

Кевин мутуа

Officially idling, whiling away
Staring blankly at cursor,
Ignoring critical affairs, to author this with flair.
Hand stroking through hair,
Doubting , I’ll maintain this train of thought without the symbol.
Such fallacy, this rhythmic word manipulation.
Failing vocabulary, dwindling acuity, a distinct mortality!
Hair pulling, dictionary surfing
Lacking synonyms to finish this canto
Sitishiki hata kama Kiswahili itabidi
This task I must fulfill, truly and madly silly at this crass trial at iconic status.
Brain on hiatus, clout diminishing
Platform crashing, spirit diminishing, trivial thoughts of a lost sojourn into thought and brood on what may.
Hurt ego, smiling though at finishing.

Edwin Thedivinebandit Mukabi

Haphazardly I scroll, looking for the portrait of this lady.
Up and down, I ransack my annals till tidy.
I cannot find any whiff of this mortal.
This girl haunts my thoughts and my survival in total.
I hunt for this icon in the harsh world that is my brain.
I am through with this as my adoration drains.
I am conscious of this pain as I fail to imprison this passing illustration.
I cannot apply this damn skill on this workstation.
I click through social contours but still turn up with nothing.
I find an old communication and straight away my spirit starts to sing.

Jonathan Paul

If I had a short list of locations that I would want to visit, it would start with Italy, for nothing brings out joy than an Italian sun. Brazil would follow, just so that I can look at football stadiums all day. South Africa, I am told, is not that bad; with long sandy strips and its amazing local roast lamb, who is to say that I would not want to visit? Finally, I would bring my vacation to a halt in historic Mombasa, sipping a cold drink by a pool, watching clouds and with a broad working my joints.

Morris Kiruga

Murmurs
Two thumbs and four-by-two digits, hitting a laptop as a lunatic would.
Fifty-by-two words to transport a soul far and back,
Crack of dawn or rhythm of dusk , a duty to fulfill.
Grammar is a way to kill villains and maim protagonists.
Sit or stand and wait until

Authors pour soul in a myriad of plots, paragraphs, and posts that kill.
All and sundry with a knack for words and art.
Who brood of glamour and war with blood and wails and torn ducts.
Anchor of a small mind is out and a full brain mill now paints
A faraway horizon that lilts to music that is not.
A port of calm in words for a cast that traps such out of will.
Sanaa, making addicts of us all!

Nyambura Muhia

IT IS ALRIGHT TO MOURN

And in frustration dripping with fury I shall adorn a sack cloth, yank out my hair, soak and roll in hot ash and walk on flaming coal. I will watch as I punish this body, watch as I cry out, watch as I proclaim my sins to this world and watch as it turns its back- oh such bigotry!

Still I shall mourn- until all this saliva is spat out, until my throat is dry, until all this poison spills, until this villain is brought to nothing. Nothing!

Hallo numb. Hallo apathy. Hallo survival. Hallo CATHARSIS..

Stephen Dimolo Ashers

Dan was dating Mandy. Still, Nkatha had guts to dart Dan. Milly who is Nkatha’s pal – was also probably aiding Nkatha to land Dan. Dan is a ‘crow’ and as such starts two timing Nkatha and Mandy. Milly (Nkatha’s pal) wants to land Fridah’s brother Muli. Fridah though is into old guys, and want’s to nail Milly’s Dad. Milly’ also thinks that Fridah wants Marvin. Muli though, thinks that Marvin wants Mandy.

As such Marvin co-habits with Milly. Milly gossips to Mandy that Muli’s Mum said that Mandy was having coitus with Dan. Milly gainsays this. Mandy too gainsays this. As such Mandy’s Mum blows up in fury.

SanaaBookClub ’12

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Challenge: Use the words: “Peppermint, a Broken Wristwatch and a Hug that was too Long” in prose or poetry

Danny Wasonga Junior

A smile has never been this genuine. That’s what went through my mind when a 6yrs old street kid approached me in town with a weird gesture, that of a hug. Not many street children moments touch our hearts, this one right here scratched my soul, for a minute I experienced pure love, that which I wanted to last forever and which my old broken wristwatch seemed to aid. He wanted no money, my attempts of offering him a half-eaten packet of nuts were turned away, I wouldn’t even dare remove my leftover papermints for him. I lived for a minute more than I have for a year, left there tenderer at heart but troubled whether I actually live or merely exist. Love.

Morris Kiruga

“Next thing I know, I woke up naked in the middle of the street…”I couldn’t remember a thing, couldn’t even tell the time, bloody wristwatch had broken many years before, no need to even check it. I stood, headed to the boulevard and sat on the flowerpot. From here I watch you pass, everyday, the man who feeds on peppermints, the child who’s late for school, the girl headed for a blind date, the teen who is just about to hit the streetlight as he types, the baker, the lady who always lets a hug linger too long, the loud preacher, the beggar who never sleeps, the barman who takes coffee, the driver who jumps the red light, the tense lady standing across the street, I see you all…

Stephen Dimolo Ashers

She: I know that I am not smarter than you.
He: Then how did you catch me?
She: You had disadvantages.
He: Disadvantages? What disadvantages? How did you figure out that I was the Peppermint Killer?
She: You had disadvantages.
He: Was it the broken wristwatches next to all the victims?
She: No, you had disadvantages.
He: Was it the hug that went too far?
She: No, you had disadvantages.
He: What was it then?
She: You are insane.

Ivy Mutisya

She sits in her thinking chair. The ticking, that had long filled the space of her bedside drawer, silenced. Her son sits across her. How had he found it? Why had she kept it? Irrelevant now, here they are. Back to weaving stories. “Yes, it is your fathers watch. I was waiting for you to turn 18. You are ready to have it. Of course you have to restore it, maintain the legacy of integrity left by your father…” mimicking pride she bestows the watch to him and wonders back to the man who snuck out of her bed at the crack of dawn. The only evidence of his existence reunited across the table in the form of a young man and a now broken wristwatch.

Jonathan Paul

I had just lost my job, yet I still felt calm. After my parent’s demise, I had figured that it could never get any worse, I was always proven wrong. I trod home and walked into the open hut; grandmother was reeling at the far end, blind from the stinging peppermint leaves she had plucked her entire life, and drunk, having sold off almost anything we had to feed her thirst for brew. Bewildered, I pulled her into a hug and clutched tight to her broken wristwatch in my pocket; sobbing on her shoulder, tonight, we would join my parents.

Kagure Njagi

In one hundred words I want to be abstract, I want to tell you of wristwatches and their symbolism of broken moments – of lost love never to be recovered…replaced but never recovered.
I want to tell of peppermints fresh in her mouth as she leaned in, as she kissed, as she caressed. And as he shivered from being washed over by an uncontrollable wave of tingling, burning desire he held on too long, in a hug that should have ended before it even began.
Yet, instead I’ll tell nothing of this tale. I’ll write not another word…not another word.

Wamahiga Muhia

Mama shook his hand and turned to face me as I stood next to a hanging peppermint flower pot. There before me was a funny faced bald little man with gory eyes that notoriously twitched and a nose that looked erroneously placed. He had tiny crooked teeth drowned in a mouthful of gums and a consuming pungency of mixed smells hovered around him. I stretched my hand towards him but he held me and hugged me a little too long. This was the man who had destroyed our lives; the man who had robbed me of the only sister I’d known with my last memory of her being a dangling hand with a broken wristwatch; the man I should have called Papa…this was him, pale, frail and sickly, a shadow of his old self trying to make peace with his past.

Patti Achieng’

I should have seen it in his glazed eyes that day,
As the evening dragged to its end, to the night giving way,
Night embraced us in it its splendor,
Captivated by this beautiful strangers’ peppermint breath,
Unwittingly laying on my tombstone a wreath!
I should have felt it in the hug a minute too long,
As his broken wristwatch pressed against the small of my back,
Flirting with my senses as he passed me a smoke,
Now hook, line and sinker I’m gone, ever since I’ve been broke,
I only see mama through the bars of my rehab cubicle!

Eric Mugendi Nyaga

He knew what time it was. His useless watch was stuck at 12:30. The train had become his alarm clock. Morning toot meant that it was 6:30, time to get up; evening blare announced her usual daily arrival. She got home, lit by the evening sun. Her love, like the dying day, was slipping away. She knocked. Strange; she’d never knocked before. He lingered when he held her. Was it their last embrace? Beginnings, like endings, were not his favourite. He held her, kissed her, left the taste of green PK on her lower lip, and disappeared into the dusk.

Bernadette Muthoni

Anxious glance at her wristwatch
maybe today she could fight the urge
hands start to tremble,
tremors..chills…
no use trying.
She heads to the balcony
rolls up her sleeves
slips off her wristwatch
slips on the gardening gloves
reaches for her stash
carefully concealed in mum’s potted peppermint
mum swears it’s THE herb
she couldn’t agree more!
The exhilaration…

Doorbell rings.
Momentary panic
how long had it been?
Glances at her wristwatch,
lying broken on the floor
‘Rids scene of evidence’
slips off gloves
slips watch into backpocket
Gets the door
Receives mum with a longer than usual hug
as a sense of guilt,shame washes over her.

Timothy Mugambi

Seated somewhere on a bench in the middle of an over rated park,
wondering how on this blue green earth You stooped so low as to give in.
Give in to the peer pressure of the , now in “fashion”, on-line dating non-sense.
Today You meet her, and the only thing You can hear vividly, is the sound of laughter in Your head. Ten minutes past and You suspect Your breath to be foul,so You scramble for some money in Your pocket and get a pack of pepper mints. They taste horrible but You ignore it, as You try to remember her face from her profile photo, and look around.
Damn, “She’s here already!”, so You walk her way, and hope not to look like a fool.
You tap her shoulder and she turns, the odd intro and the awkward hug follow. Then the silence… “She actually looks good”, fool You said it out loud. So, she smiles… You look at the time, “Oh my! My wrist-watch just stopped”. …
How does that work.

Edwin Thedivinebandit Mukabi

He was an online prince charming.
From Facebook she thought she found her darling.
Dinner was exquisite.
His peppermint breath swept her off her feet.
The pounding of her heart made her grow faint.
As she licked her lips and gave him a hint.
On the way home it was dark.
But she felt safe as he held her hand.
A prolonged goodbye hug, clearly he wasn’t a jerk.
She was falling slowly like in quicksand
Too late she realized he was pushing her to the ground.
At the scene of the crime only a broken wristwatch was found.

SanaaBookClub ’12

Challenge: Write on “Unrequited Love”

Ciku Njongo

Timing is everything. She left just as everything in me yearned for her. No words. No soothing of the soul to a point of acceptance. Just a harsh merciless silence of breath and body. And pain. Pain is a curious lover. Latching on loudly and without warning. Matching resistance with grip. A flaming tentacle for each broken fragment. Then departing almost unnoticed. Leaving behind only visions of darkness; an unabashed lust for true light; the strength to repel anything less. Pain is a curious lover…brutally beautiful… beautifully brutal. And so she came back…just as nothing in me desired her.

Edwin Thedivinebandit Mukabi

As this closed door I dread. On this ashen earth I tread. Y’all know she refused to bend. Lean on the corner post of my bed. I’m no longer the winner of the bread. She saw IT and she fled. I fell down and I bled. Didn’t know what went through her head. Yes, she was against head. Pardon me for all I have said. It’s just that I’m seeing red. Our hearts were never wed. Our souls were never fed. Our vows were never made. And now we lie here hash tag DEAD.”

Henfrey Munene

A COLD JULY

On a cold July morning, I duel the frigid ambience nature spews forth. The cold brings back memories of a time not long past, a time when I beheld what was, and is, without equal the most beautiful form to have assaulted my senses. Memories of her hold my tranquillity of mind hostage. Her praetorian never left her side, reaching for his swords without restrain, every time I summoned the courage to put to words how her beauty could make consummate fools of Kings. Her memory, still embossed in my mind, drives me to anguish, on this cold July morning.

Ivy Mutisya

Your hands on my bare skin…touching…searching and unknowingly finding my essence. I retreat into myself, banging down the doors of my conscience, screaming down its corridors DETACH!!! Don’t enjoy, don’t love but as you explore me further my screams turn into whispers….I can’t fight you, I don’t want to. I close my eyes. I do it as much for me as for you;to save you from my tears and to spare me my pride. I steel myself, don’t cry; this is better than nothing. Maybe this time love will awaken within you as you sleep…maybe…maybe next time…

Jonathan Paul

A letter had come in for her, she was the envy of the class, it was from him.It read, in summary we hope, ‘Dear Julie, it was really nice to meet you at the drama festivals,you have a really beautiful soul’Was that it?Wait,another note inside,but addressed to Angela?(NOO! wait, maybe they are related,let me peep inside)’Am sorry I never got your last name, but you’ve been in my mind since, I think I love you…'(She collapsed)She had painted the most beautiful portrait, and given it to a blind man!

Morris Kiruga

Golden doorknob. Turn. Enter. Eyes raised. Question. Word. Scream. Noise. Question. Location. Activity. Time. Lipstick. Noise. Question. So Sexy. Eyes Searching. A Step Forward. Noise. Question. Socks. Cheating. Shoes. Gifts. Flowers? Valentines! Originality! Yes flowers, maybe chocolate. You don’t love me like you say you do! Scream. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Wish you were dead! Slap! Say Something! Bastard! Noise. Screams. Pounding. Aching Chest. Ribs. Don’t just stand there like a statue! Tears, crying, wailing, self-pity. Why? Pain. Kids. Fathering. Bad Fathering. Children. My friend’s. Pain! Sex, Orgasm, snoring. Pain. Get out of my life! Tears.

Stephen Dimolo Ashers

She is on that side; and I am on this side,, The gate is swinging,, Am trying to remember what she wore, she wore a smile,, What she wore on a night that never happened,,
Am trying to remember what she felt like, but I can’t,, It is dark, but I can see the gleam in her eyes,, A touch that never was,, A girl that never existed,, Barks in the background,, I could have sworn that she was here,, I swear I felt her, I swear I touched her,, I can still smell her,, I have my scarf around my neck,, And yet am shivering,,
It is not the cold, it is not the night, it is not the wind, She is tugging at my shoulders,, yet she is not here,, She is lifting her heels, to get to my height,, yet she is not here,, I have to lean down, to get to her height,, yet she is not here,, She is lifting my shirt,, yet she is not here,, She is pushing her hips forward,, yet she is not here,, I can feel the small of her back,, yet she is not here,, I swear I can feel the small of her back,, My thoughts are complex and sputtered,, My body is warped as taut as a string,,
My heart is as light as the wind,, And my feet are trembling,, A night that never happened,, But the emotions are as fresh as today,, A touch that never was,, But the marks are drawn across my back,, A girl that never existed,, Yet I have a strand of hair with me.

Timothy Mugambi

Another reason to drink Your liver into a crystal ball, and attempt the impossible while at it; drown Your pain in an alcoholic pool of some indescribable mix of weirdly named spirits and common overly distilled vodka. The virtue of love turned into a simplified vice, just to save the ignorance of a man’s reasoning, “She doesn’t feel You”. It seems dumb to wait for the inevitable for four, plus, years… hoping that the tide would change, in Your favor that is. Won’t happen. She just took You for a ride and You didn’t know it. You turn out to be the fool, after the living leave You high and dry. The only carbon footprint to the use of Your lifetime resources, and emotional strength is what is left… You’re myth of Atlantis, drowned in some unknown place in this our universe. Pick Yourself up, she freed You, when she left You. Fly on Young Phoenix.

Wamahiga Muhia

He passed. She stared. I swallowed hard. Impeccable, suave and polished; he winked, she smiled back, I teared up. The day I bear the most hidden of secrets; my love for her. Enough of the silent what-ifs, enough of the dark fantasies, enough of the humiliation. She didn’t notice me, never did, and never would. She had her chance, she mocked me. She let him touch her; that should have been me, she disappointed me. He groaned, she moaned, I wept. He screamed, she yelled, I froze. Blood on the floor, two lifeless bodies and the pain of unrequited love.

Wanjiku Kinyua

It was love at first sight; His smell so intoxicating it made me almost sick with excitement His smile so radiant it made me heart explode into numerous burning stars; *sigh *every time. Yes love it was true love sensual, effervescent, satisfactory sweet like honey soaked milk, potent all so intoxicating, at least on my part it was. On his part my childlike adoration was amusing somewhat entertaining even a little hilarious at times Silently he mocked my pure and unadulterated offering of affection. The writing was on the wall, like egg on my face it was there for all to see. The writing was the little voice inside my head; The little voice inside my heart that went on and on like a Buddha’s gong The little voice I chose to disregard; you know he don’t love you back But I never gave up, never gave in. Relentlessly, resiliently, whole heartedly I pursued him; if only to catch even a whim of his scent a glimpse of his pure smile I became the tree
behind his house, the lady crossing the street, the painting on his wall the scent on his jacket. The gods should have given me a premonition of the heartbreak in the horizon a glimpse of the hell that would become my very existence .The hell that is unrequited love.

Wanjiku Kinuthia

TAZAMA JUA MPENZI

Kiwiliwili chako kilifanya roho yangu kudunda, macho yako ya samawati yakipenya mithili ya panga yenye makali kwa roho yangu. Je, mbona Maulana hakumtuma malaika wake wa mapenzi kunionya? Je, mbona hakuwaeleza ndege wa mbinguni kuwa nyimbo nilizokutungia zilikuwa kelele tupu? Lo! Mie kiumbe duni cha dunia nifanyeje na mahaba kanitia pingu? Nitatazama jua. Miale ni mahaba yangu isiyofifia. Mwangaza ni upendo wangu wenye ahadi ya furaha. Joto ni hisia nitakayo hisi mpenzi wangu ukinipa busu na kunikumbatia. Na kama jua linavyoishi milele, haya mapenzi ni ya dhati, hadi siku yenye utagundua, hakuna lingine unalohitaji, isipokuwa mimi mpenzi.

SanaaBookClub ’12

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