Sunday, February 1, 2009


By the dusty roadside, in the sweltering tropical sun
Under an old, leafless eucalyptus tree
He carefully rearranged his wares
Making some stand up facing the road, some sideways
And others in shelves- dusted off and re-varnished.

He stared vacantly far away, then pensively at the coffins.
A sample casket with artistic design on display
With a peeping glass strategically at eye-level
For the dead to take a roll call of the living.

For over a week now he has waited and waited
But not a single client has shown up.
A pick-up truck parked in front of his stall
And he jumped up with expectation…
But the driver swung his keys and hummed a tune
And descended to the charcoal stall, behind the coffins.
His heart sunk with disappointment.

Sweating from the noon day sun, hungry and thirsty
He hated the efficient bus driver cruising with passengers
He hated the fat pharmacist reclining in his verandah
He hated the white-coated doctors flitting from university to hospital
He hated the pairs of lovers romancing in the independence square
He hated the noisy children playing from school…

And, as he remembered his own children at home
Chased away two weeks ago for lack of school fees
He bowed his head and pleaded to God for a few customers.


The poets voice ~~~ said...

trading,running your business, selling goods...its a pretty tough world out there and progres can seem very slow but gradually the customers start flowin in.

I like the flow of ideas from stanza to stanza. Nyc one!
how have you been btw?

Robyn.K.Y said...

love the simplicity along the verses.This is a very honest poem

jny23 said...

poor guy.
This was so cool.

Good to have yu back. have yu healed bulngi?

James Tubman said...

what a beautiful display of artistic expression

i felt that man's pain

i understood his anger and fear

you made me feel it as if i was him myself

somebodies getting better lol

Unknown said...

Another great one.

lulu said...

wow! weow! its so simple yet so memorable, itthink the theme

eizzy.k said...

He sold coffins.
now i wasnt expecting that,on the side of a dusty road in the tropical heat...i was expecting fruits or something...
why coffins btw??
I liked it though, not the typical african trade i first made it out to be...

The sadest part is that for business someone had to die...hints at a tie between death and prosperity...

James Tubman said...

dag eizzy

i didnt pick up the fact that he sold coffins

you smarter than me and you are only 17 lol

Lyrically speaking said...

the writing here is incredible