Diwali 20-10-2017

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 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.

Kuki Gallmann


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