For Love of Country, part 1

by zolah verd


I see you through the eyes of others

Whose written words are clear images

Of places I have yet to visit

And smells and sights and sounds I have yet to encounter

The soft whoosh of the leleshwa

And the scent of mimosa

Are foreign to me

Whose senses have known mostly the choking smell of ‘DSL’

The stench of burnt wood

And, on occasion, the earthy scent of rain-soaked quarried stone

My eyes long for the highlands that Delamere set eyes on

The vast fields that Blixen espied from a biplane

The beaches that Kuki and company flew to

After feasting on the breathtaking views of the lake

That jade sea, so far in the North, yet as much a part of you

As the southern salty lake of Magadi is

Your bounds, drawn up by strangers from afar

Ensured within a mix of flora and fauna

A bounty so rich in beauty and splendour

That even the early ‘pioneers,’

Whose trekking and surveying and subsequent track laying

Brought them to swampy mile 217

Were in awe of the mix of bush and game; the zebra and eland and lion and giraffe

The acacia and grasses and native flowers

That called Enkaare Nyrobi their home