Eve of 2011

Philo Ikonya

Joy has been calling me
making me know that I must
now always be standing on top
of my little mountain.
That in every situation
I can only think of winning.

You lit many candles there last night.
Then we watched in deep prayer,
Spirit clinging on to spirit, silence.
Some young ones moved in to hold tight,
to your faith in humanity making humanity.

I will remember all the prayers:
For Russia and for Norway,
and for Africa, there Ivory Coast for
In Nigeria a new election face for Afrika.
Praying for centers and cities to work out peace.
The Middle East is in my chest.

Working for peace behind the scenes,
not making news but taking every wound,
and trying to prevent another rush of hot blood.
I know my moments flood with doubts,
when no one knows how many die,
you have a clean bandage for my pain,
with it I can wipe my tears of blood in words.

There is a mosque in your courtyard.
I took off my shoes to peep there.
Little ones take refuge here.
Their names have been soiled by
fundamental lists.
Their souls want living peace,
their faces are crying with fear.

There is a mosque in your
Christiania home, peace rises like in
Bhuddist temples become homes of surgery.
You have experts in taichi,
Discipline the world and teach it urgency.
This first candle is for my son,
making courageous turns.

Different Horizons

philo Ikonya's picture

Philo Ikonya is a prolific poet and novelist. She has been described as poet who claims history and creates futures passionately. Philo was first a school teacher and later taught Semiotics in Tangaza College and Spanish at the United States International University, (USIU) in Nairobi Kenya., Between 2007 and 2009, Philo Ikonya, PEN Kenya president, was arrested brutally several times for speaking out against corruption and the foiling of freedom of expression in her country. Born in Kenya, Philo lives in Oslo in exile from 2009. She is respected by the people for being vocal and loved, but resisted by those for whom the bitterness of truth is too personal. Within the context of power, human rights and freedom of expression, Philo is in her element. She has been described by poet Shailja Patel as “Rejecting silence and refusing simplification as she battles corruption”. “This author describes what she is heavily involved in, and she manages to portray it so that it concerns us all.” Per Ole Kallestad, Norwegian poet., Philo Ikonya is the author of two novels: Kenya, will you marry me? Langaa, Cameroon, 2011, and Leading the Night, Twaweza Publications, Kenya, 2010. She authored poems translated into German and published in a bilingual edition titled Out of Prison: Love Songs (Aus dem Gefangnis Liebesgesange) published by Loecker Austria, 2010 and This Bread of Peace (Lapwing, Belfast) 2010. She has written three young readers books: We met a Grasshopper and Other Poems, The Lost Gazelle (By East African Educational Publishers) and The Kenyan boy who became President of America translated into Norwegian, Med røtter fra Kenya I det hvite hus published by Libretto, Oslo.

Last updated July 14, 2015