“Self Employed” …… Sorry Dad, I lied.


By Tabitha Makumi,
I will be straight with you. Me and poems have never been tight. I am more of a prose kind of girl. I like long sentences, I dig short sentences and I relish a captivating story line. Don’t get me wrong, I have read couple of awesome poems. Even written down some. They are probably in a shoe box somewhere collecting dust. I can imagine my grand kids unearthing them someday and realizing how twisted grandma was in her younger years.

I got my first collection from my old man. I can’t remember much about them or the title but the collection had a lot to do with sailors and military men. The cover was possibly worn out and if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough, I can still smell that good old scent that comes with most
books. Come to think of it, dad, if you are reading this, I never lied about liking Bob Marley’s or Michael Jackson’s songs but those poems? Dang!

But forget about me. I’ve got mad respect for people who like reading or writing poetry. They are like those kids who made us look bad in Algebra class. You know the studious kids who would strut to the front of the classroom and within seconds solve X. Leaving us the slow broods to wonder if our mommas dropped us a couple of times. You know, messed up with our heads in the process and that’s why we couldn’t put 2 and 2 together and find the flipping X.

But I embellish. Poetry wasn’t as bad as math. I wasn’t a complete ‘danda’ (complete moron) at least I could understand what figurative language was/is and know the difference between imagery and metaphors. But for the life of me, I never found the thrill in poems…until recently 

Vincent de Paul is a Kenyan poet with a whole load of poems under his belt (people still say that, right?) The book comes with a catchy title of “Holy Crimes”. My first reaction when he told me to look at this collection was… “Dude, what are you trying to do to me!”  “Not again… dad, is that you trying to convince me to read anything I can get my hands on?”

So I put the book on hold. Told myself I would get to it when I got to it. Caught up with the entire season six of The Walking Dead and read about this new show called “Stranger Things”, started watching that as well, (verdict is still out on whether it’s worth your time or not) then in the dead of Sunday night, after stuffing my face with unhealthy junk, I remembered I should be doing something else. Have you ever been in that situation? You know you are supposed to be doing or to have done “something” but god help you if you know what that “something” is.

I know! I am getting to the point in a jiffy. If I have to choose a favourite among the 66 collection of poems, it will have to be “Self Employed”. In today’s society, we embrace the entrepreneurs. They are on your daily newspaper; they are on the cover of that glossy magazine in a supermarket rack. You know you want to buy it but the price makes you pull your hand back as though you’ve touched a hot pan. Chasing paper, building your own empire…what’s not to like about such stories?Then there are the untold stories. Tales that give a dark meaning to the word “self – employed”

“Everyone calls me the black sheep of the society
I never stand un-accused in the court of piety
My name is Mira, they just call me Lulu
Say I am Physically repulsive, morally reprehensible
I’d just turned thirteen when I moved to sin city
Childhood was over, adulthood just began.”


See that, so much happening in those few words. No fooling around with 667 words (which I am currently on) and no pussyfooting with meaningless adjectives.

If you dig poems or if you are in transition like me… check out Vincent’s poems on Amazon, Goodreads and Mystery Publishers.