Hope: spring and flow

Philo Ikonya

I surf and google to touch Hope today,
But in my memory she lies submerged,
Hope is water, hope is green.
Hope is tops, she lights up love.
And in my hut she was all I knew.

Hope in my village was that stream,
Where our dreams we spoke adrift
going where spirit refuses to break faith
As the waters bubble in our hearts,
sailing on a journey so unknown.

Riiiiara river, font soul baptism,
and Wedding vows exchanged with hope,
As the cemetery on the hill listened
to brave words, keenly spoken there,
yet again ‘till death do us part’.

Hope is my tiny canoe that sails
all the way down past jail’s cuffs,
Down Nairobi River sail on,
clean river, river clean,
without pollution, I can breathe.

Hope is the Tana clean and tidy,
Athi and Rufiji and Limpopo!
Nile blueing Africa, and greening hope,
All bananas clap and mangoes smile,
All the village streams and dreams my world,
wanting to see the Amazon clean,
Googling hope, bubbling Hope,
Up down slopes of memory so green.
Hope, hope springs and flows.

Nairobi, 2007

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