Nairobi, 20 October 2017
Diwali or Deepavali
is the Hindu Festival of Lights Celebrated in Kenya in the Autumn – with fireworks, lights, gifts, special sweets, and festivities.
It is tonight.
In this night – now in a Nairobi of skyscrapers and helicopters incessantly crisscrossing the sky, above the treetops of my forest garden still dripping with the late afternoon shower of the short rains, I listen to popping fireworks lighting the night, and remember.
I found again this poem written by a younger me, one night of Diwali, 30 years ago:
Nairobi, October 1987
Diwali dots the night with many fires.
Far away the country of foggy nights and silent frogs,
Venice – forgotten dream which fades at night,
My men – as gentle ghosts
who talk no more.
The silence which is left
leaves only peace.
Or questions, unanswered.
Or tears, unshed.
Or the solitude
which has names,
but no more faces.
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