Bitter winds blow; clouds drift towards the horizon
Reeds shuffle; the cold river murmurs on as it flow.
The hillside is empty; guavas are out of season.
I wander alone; I have no companion.
In the secluded path, old leaves are yellowing
Year after year I think of you as I watch hatchlings grow wings.
At twilight I return to my bed
I feel so lonely; tears dash from my head.


A young beauty delays me with whispers and play
She pleads with me to keep her company till dawn.
Curtains up roll; scented candle weeps away.
Low Winds rustle; old mist dim down the town
In the stray moon light and before a set bed, I watch her shed the gown.
The night is both deep and slow
Behind an egg-shaped window we toast and drink up;
Music and delicious food keep us aglow.
My home is far away from here; before morn, off I set.


By a gurgling stream, I’m seated on a prominent rock
All alone in a bamboo bower; I’m miserable.
The sky line is clear, but I’m homesick.
I still remember her kind lips flanked by shy dimples;
Reading aloud to her admirer, time would pass unnoticed.
Startled birds take wing in a noisy manner,
Before I’m aware, my heart burns with nostalgia; I’m depressed.
The clear stream flows on till it empties into the mighty river.
Wild raw fragrances burst up in my nostrils; clouds heave as if to weep.
My longing is still steep!


Posing for photo I notice her hair grey

Frail and with wrinkles, I can barely recognize my companion of old.

Beautiful flowers and grand scene makes us delay

On a narrow path flanked by tall trees, wild fragrances are mild.

When young we roamed those hills without care;

Straining our steps, our old age is full of woe and despair.


Thick snow and dense frost impede my homeward sight

In the twilight, as if in sorrow, I see a thousand trees hang down their heads.

Real criminals are those opposed to anti-imperialism fight,

From Caribbean to pacific, exiled spirits still mourn for the dead.

There are many consistent heroes and heroines struggling since days of past:

Freedom from state violence is a must!

In a dream, I’m in a home-bound vessel,

Since the colonial days, how many martyrs have faded without trace?

‘Change, like death, is inevitable’;

at the shore, I’m come to pay the price.

Those who lead the country without the mandate of the people are our foes,

Let the proletariat up- rise with hidden daggers, guns and bent bows.


A young lady impedes me from my homeward way
Over a tiny junction, the night is descending swiftly.
A restless cricket chirp; in the long grass, a pair of mice play
My heart is still wrapped in misery!
She insists on supporting me in my drunken stupor
But I’m rather ashamed of my sorry state;
My pate is dizzy, and breath leaks with liquor
Tonight, what sort of hour is this that I find a suitable bed mate?


Mwanake nĩ kĩenyũ kĩa Ngai
nanĩtwĩtĩkĩtie mwana wa kahĩĩ kuma igũrũ nĩ igai.
Kĩhoto kiunaga ũta mũgeete,
Nanĩtũĩ kũrũmĩrĩra kĩhoto ti ngero kũgera;
Nyita thenge mwanake thakame tĩrinĩ,mũgumoinĩ tũite,
Wĩhĩte mũgwanja maita , muma ǔugie mbere ya ita,aira.
Kuohũo,kũnyarirwo,na kuonjio nĩ ũndũ wa kũgĩa na mworoto rĩ ;
Mwanake maya magerio rũgendoinĩ nĩũgũtũngio nĩ thũ cia kĩama, rũrĩrĩ.
Wa-iregi,umĩrĩria thĩna na ironda, ĩtĩkĩra kinya gĩkuũ kĩa mwĩrĩ;
tungatĩra mũingĩ na kĩoo na makĩria ciana,ithaka na tĩri,
na makȋria tũmunye thata cia bũrũri.
mageria nomo mahota!
Nanĩtũĩ kwaria cararũkũ ti ngero kũgera,
Mũrũ wa iregi, ũkia mũkengeria ũtwe na ũmaa na kĩhoto cira!


Sudden Mountain winds combs through spreading strands,
Over the shoulders, locks dash freely till hands.
A freedom fighter recruited for liberation war,
A forest solder oathed for stubborn war,
In Nyandarwa, I roar hard gun to the pole-star.
Braving two grave battles a week,
Till the invader’s spirit is split, the colonialist blood must ceaselessly leak.
Our Generals are both brave and fierce
Enduring bombs, jiggers, lice, cold, hunger, difficult terrain and severities,
For land and freedom, our gallant patriots delight the gunpowder to face.
The platoon oath we swore on prompts us to fulfill our national duties
Till the Union Jack fall in disgrace, our battalions are ready to pay the bitter price.


Nĩngũririkana mwendwa iharũrũkainĩ cia cania,
Rũng’ĩka-inĩ rwa rũũĩ, hakuhĩ na ndia;
nĩwahahũrire na rũrĩrĩmbĩ rwa ciugo njororo ciaku.

warȋ mwambȋrȋrio wa kȋmera kȋa njahȋ,
Ta gȋkwa na mǔkǔngǔgǔ rȋrȋa twa hȋmbanȋirie na mǔhahȋ
ithanjĩ –ini tǔgȋthathaiyana kinya mũthenya ũgĩkwa ku!

No thȋna nȋ mǔru; ǔgitahwo ǔkȋndiga
Rȋu no kȋeha na maithori; ndǔire ngǔrȋragȋra
Wǔǔi! Wǔǔi! wanyenjeire iriku


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