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bring the measuring tape,
the pipette and the hourglass.
let us measure love,
grain by grain, mounds.

let us measure along the solitary river,
while white birds flap their wings,
measure along the waterline,
the wild blue of the rocks. love in all its colors.

against the sun. against the shadows.
in the chaos beneath the blue mosque,
in the pale light of the lanterns,
among the dim forest trees. anywhere.

in haunted graveyards of sahara,
where ghosts whisper
the last remnants of time,
measure the sighs. moans. stains.

stretch the lace tape
over the welt on the earth. note it down. six feet ten inches.
measure the width. the lump in my throat.
measure it.

let’s measure its quakes, its
profundity and form
its orgasmic squirms, its
canvas as it azonto upon irises, icicles
upon lips and labia

count the grains. each shiny grain,
with names trapped on them.
count it to the numberless number,
stained in sweat, soaked in sorrow.
measure it, its

altos and sopranos, in symphonies of the haram

bring the pipette,
count the drops,
the juice from the heavens,
count it to the last trace.

let us measure love.

 

*******

Post image by Neal Fowler via Flickr

About the Author:

Portrait - RedscarRedscar McOdindo K’Oyuga (@RedscarMcOdindo) is a medic, writer and chaser of dreams. He writes in both Swahili and English. His work has been published in the Mandala Journal, KUT, Jalada, EXPOUND Magazine, Praxis Magazine, Lawino Magazine, Breaking Silence (a global poetry anthology), BEST “NEW” AFRICAN POETS 2015 (a poetry anthology) and Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation’s Bodaboda Anthem and Other Poems: a Kampala Poetry Anthology, among others. His Swahili poems (mashairi) are published in Taifa Leo and/or Taifa Jumapili, Kenya’s nationwide Swahili Newspaper. He is a winner of the Fern Poetry Prize and contributes to Hivi Sasa Magazine. His work has also appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Fem, Gnarled Oak, assorted newspapers and other poetry anthologies.’

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

8 Responses to “Let’s Measure Love | by Redscar McOdindo K’Oyuga | African Poetry” Subscribe

  1. Gillian Ochieng. 2016/03/01 at 01:43 #

    Measuring love..nice flow.

  2. Chinelo Okparanta 2016/03/03 at 16:52 #

    “stretch the lace tape
    over the welt on the earth …”

    Such beautiful lines, beautiful words.

  3. Alexis Teyie 2016/03/03 at 17:00 #

    some poets are so creative. I’ve never heard of a person pondering over the measure of love, even so this beautifully. Sent me thinking about how much love (or lack of it) is found in the hearts of Redscar’s subjects – the haram, the zombies of Sahara …

  4. Temitayo Olofinlua 2016/03/03 at 17:05 #

    Wonderful!

  5. Wa Ngugi 2016/03/04 at 05:24 #

    “let’s measure its quakes, its
    profundity and form
    its orgasmic squirms, its
    canvas as it azonto upon irises, icicles
    upon lips and labia”

    I love the images, the twists and turns. Dope poetry.

  6. Jennifer Noxolo 2016/03/04 at 05:27 #

    Simple but profound words. Nice attempt

  7. Fred Joiner 2016/10/13 at 10:13 #

    you may want to check to see if these poems have been plagiarized.

    http://www.jamesmurua.com/breaking-news-kenyan-poet-redscar-mcodindo-koyuga-accused-plagiarism/

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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