Bernard Muhia

Poet and Writer. My poems have been featured on CNN International, my play on the UN website and by MTV EXIT.

My new blog is on at

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy new website

To celebrate the launch of my website, Poets have another chance to win a thousand Kenya shillings.

After a successful first round, here comes the sequel in what will be a long series of the Fern Poetry Prize. I would like to big up our first winner Jennifer Noxolo Musangi and her poem titled ‘This poem I refuse to write’.

To enter the competition follow the guidelines on

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the winner is...

Hi Everyone.

After weeks of waiting and tons of poems submitted for the poem of the week competition, it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the poem of the week prize of Ksh. 1,000. And the winner is Jennifer Noxolo Musangi! Her poem titled 'This poem I refuse to write' is a provocative sex-themed poem that explores the female body and procreation.

Few poets are daring enough to be provocative when it comes to matters of sex and procreation but Jennifer has dipped into the belly of the beast with this poem.

Here it is...

By Jennifer-noxolo Musangi

This poem I refuse to write
this poem that refuses to be silent
no, this poem, I shall not write

if I write this poem, they shall say I’m gross
if I write this poem, it will be called graphic
if I write this poem, a woman's poem it will become

but I want to write this gross poem
I want to leave out no details this time
I want to describe this rhythm in rhyme

the rhythm of blood and fluids
the blood and fluids of childbirth
but no, that is just taboo.

I shall not write about blood
for blood is better spoken of in war
and vaginal blood disgusts you

but I want to speak of the cut flesh
the flesh of my vagina cut into my ass
but this maternity talk irritates the male ear

and I refuse to write this poem
because to you that is trivial
and not good enough for a poetry anthology

this poem I refuse to write
because it's time women writers got serious
and wrote about things that matter

this poem I shall not write
for men need protection, protection from such ugly flesh
the flesh they want fit for the next f...

Friday, October 29, 2010

So you hide

By Benson Kabugi Wamwea

He called you fat
After he met a skinny girl
And forgot about your curves
The very curves that drew him to you
So you hide
You hide under baggy jumpers
Hoping to conceal the imaginary folds
Yet you hide your figure
The frame of your beauty

He called you black
After he had seen a bleached face
And forgotten about the suppleness of your skin
The very skin he so loved to touch
So you hide
You hide behind layers of make up
Hoping to conceal the imaginary pimples
Yet you mask the nature of your visage
The pride of your glamour

He called you controlling
After he met a reckless broad
And forgot about your nurturing care
The care that reminded him so much of his precious mother
So you hide
You hide behind a stern face
Hoping to hide the imaginary naivety
Yet you conceal your loving nature
The warmth of your persona

He called you weird
He called you old fashioned
He called you outdated
He called you an idealist
He called you a hopeless romantic
And you ran.
And you wept.
And you hid.

Now another has appeared
But he looks like him
So you hide
He reminds you of him
So you hide
He voice is just like his
So you hide

You hide behind the plastic smile
While you cower inside
You hide behind the busy day
While you are lonely inside
You hide behind the brave words
While you are scared inside
You are afraid he will lie like the last did
So you hide
You are afraid you will cry like you last did
So you hide
You are afraid to run like you last did
So you hide

The closer he moves, the farther you run
The nearer he draws, the deeper you hide
The more he calls, the tighter you curl
He must wait longer
Because you hide
He must call louder
because you hide
He must smile broader
Because you hide
He must try harder
because you hide
He must pay for the other's sins
So you hide.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Beloved

By Kiarii Wainaina

My beloved you are mine and I, yours,
Hold my gaze with your mysterious blackness
Enchant me with the mystery of your darkness
For the shine of your face is like polished ebony
Like an African night in a moonless sky.

Bewitch me with the mischief of your wink,
And the flutter of your lovely lashes,
While your eyes twinkle like stars of my black skies.
Bind me with the beauty of your look,
And the love so intent in the look of your eyes.

Undo me with magic of your tongue,
In a sweet love ballad, a lazy whisper,
And the curl of your lips as you pout,
In a mock sulk, like the baby you are-
A young heart in a woman’s dress.

Blind me with the shine of your smile,
And the glint of your teeth in a merry grin,
In mischievous sneer or unbridled happiness,
Bright as a milky way in a moonless night,
Lighting my night when the moon won’t shine.

Mesmerize me with the dance in your step,
And the sway of your hips in measured walk,
The heave of your bosom in unbridled laughter,
The angelic crane of your neck, like a painter’s model
And I’ll paint you on the tablet of my heart.

I am amazed by the humility in your heart.
And the genius of your sober mind.
Though fairer than most, even all,
Like a bridled horse you rein your pride,
In measured words and careful steps.

My beloved I am yours and you, mine
A willing captive of your endless charm,
I’ll ever explore the mystery you are.
My beloved I am yours and you, mine,
To ever love, to ever cherish and forever hold.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Poets, win Kshs. 1,000

Poets, win Kshs. 1,000 when your poem is selected as the poem of the week!
As promised, the poetry competition is on and popping. Poets now have a chance to win a thousand Kenya shillings in appreciation of their creative works. To enter the competition, send your poem to
Only poems sent to this email address will be considered. The winning poem will make its debut along with my new website on the 15th of November 2010 -Grotesque!

Submission guidelines:

1. Include the title of the poem in the subject of the email as well as in the body of the email.
2.Include your names, as you want them to appear in the credits.
3.Only one poem per email.
4. All forms of poetry are acceptable.

The deadline for submissions is midnight November 5th 2010. May the freshest poem win.

After the November 15th launch, this poetry competition will be a weekly feature of the website, so keep participating to continue winning.

Monday, October 18, 2010


The love you professed was
A seething stockfish studded
Pot of soup whose aroma
Could be smelled from afar
But the latest oozes a sell out stench
That of a saboteur's territory overrun
With ease by an army of occupation

A tactical change of guard effected
A swift and stunning operation
Rules, regulations and laws overturned
With cowing decrees flashing red
In one eagle-like fell swoop

Your heart now on parade
Is but a decoy
The device of an Intelligence Chief
Your allegiance of yore having been moved
To dwell with a strange private
Your secret made naked by your coldness
And the void in your nude eyes
The mirror that exposes the devious
Designs and devices of your heart
Sold cheaply to a stranger on rampage

An open classified information
It is that that half of you
 That was me is in protracted coma
Being strangled by your indifference.

The Other Side of Darkness

The last shreds of my restraints
slip away at the mere sight of you
They constantly warn me against you
But they don't know or understand
Its that darkness in you am attracted to
Its that dismal deviousness am drawn to

The halo on my head tips
every time I am close to you
Cos of the thoughts
that take refuge in me
The wings on my back withdraw
and in their place, two horns grow

I swear its the way you look at me
Awakening the redundant shame in me
Its like you've taken me
in every way and every form
Like my dark desires
are open bare to you

I try to stay away
but you always find me
And when you do,
you strip me off my guard
leaving me defenceless to your charm
Creating in me a thirst
only you know how to quench

We're two opposing forces
We're naturally made
to work against each other
Where you hurt, I heal
What you break, I make
And where you are, I am

Each time you leave my embrace
A little darkness is left in me
Slowly by slowly
you turn me against my course
And I can see myself
doing the same to you

We question our masters
We dare think of betrayal
Knowing treachery
is punishable only by death

Yet questions stare naked at us
How much longer
can the other side of a star stay blue?
How much longer
can the dark side of the moon stay concealed?
How much longer
must daylight follow night time?

More benign,
How intimately
does one need to know another
before the intimacy consumes them?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

You inspired me

By Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga

you focused on my strengths, always
accepting me for who I am, and
respecting the choices I've made.

you reached deep inside my heart
and replaced the rain and darkness
with the sunshine of a warm smile.

you inspired me, reminding me of the
beauty of the sunset and making me
see beyond my own narrow world.

you encouraged me to follow my dreams
and even when the road was rough,
you always cheered me along the way.

you never gave up on me - not for a
single second - even when I was more
than ready to give up on myself.

you devoted your time to me and
remained a constant in my life
even when the world was changing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My Rose

By Kiarii Wainaina

A sprout, frail and green,
Into a firm stem grows.
Such promise it shows,
When a bud is first seen.
Into a rose the bud grows,
And a beauty never seen.

A rose, red and preen
When the morning sun shows.
In the moonlight it glows,
Though daytime’s already been.
Ever prettier it grows,
A lovelier rose has never been.

A fragrance for a Queen,
Is thy scent when the wind blows.
Thy beauty as sunset glows,
Is the beauty of a teen.
Endless as a fountain flows,
Thy praise has always been.

My rose I’ll be ever keen,
Thy fountain ever flows from whence thy beauty grows.
Thy petals forever keen,
Never to dull their royal gloss.
Though a thorn on thee grows,
To hold thee I will be ever keen.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Remember me

Written by Kiarii Wainaina

Sing a ballad for me,
In the quiet of the night.
Sing lullabies for me
Tell bedtime stories, me
When sleep flees me,
And dreams take to flight.

When night like a pilgrim,
In a black hooded cloak,
With warmth for a lover,
Shall enter so bold
Pray be a dreamer,
Of our memories of old.

The sweetness of the pain
When thee Cupid claimed,
The magic of his portion,
Oh, the beauty of his wound!
His rugged blessed arrow
I beseech forever adore.

Dream memories of old:
by the stream we first met
The rocks like men of old,
stars winking, like naughty peers
The crescent smiling, like a content mother.
The waters humming, our sacred love song.

Like a young sun at dawn,
Beautiful and warming,
And the full moon at harvest
A face full of promise
A thousand stars in the night,
Is the vastness of your mystery.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,
Lovely eyes in the dark,
Gently, gently in your arms
Hold me closer to your heart,
Softly, softly like a babe,
Lull me slowly till I sleep.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Poetry to the people!

I meet ordinary people who tell me that the last time they listened to or read a poem was back in high school. I’m usually not shocked because even today, most students don’t care much for poetry, save a few in the drama and music club. For a few years now, poetry has been for a closed society of poets who meet at poetry nights (myself included) to share in the latest poems that they have been writing. This is alright, but just like any other form of art, poetry belongs to the people and should be presented to the masses for them to enjoy. Thus my goal from now on is to take my poems out of the poetry nights and on to the masses. I intend to do this using wedding ceremonies as a platform.

The good thing about weddings is that you don’t have to worry about bringing together an audience; the bride and groom have already done so. Secondly, weddings are a time when everyone’s emotional state is heightened because it’s a romantic celebration. A love poem thus fits effortlessly into such a setting as it encapsulates and portrays the prevalent feelings in the atmosphere. Poems enable us to say what we would otherwise not have the words to express. They let us speak in the language of the gods and transport us to a Utopian space. Have a poem at your wedding ceremony and enjoy the divine energy that is poetry.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Joy of pain..
Added by Ann Kamoni

the pains were gone..
and the screams were low,
it was finally over,

for it had just begun.....

with a loud cry,
the world opened up to me,

Tears of joy,
sarcastic laughter filled the bright room
a baby had been born..

Far into the horizon,
lay a journey..

shattered and fulfilled
kept and unkept

to hold my hand and break my heart,
true and untrue..

my smile dimmed not,
for i knew,

even in a long tiring journey,
there will be time to count the stars
and smile...
at a world so cruel.

Friday, August 20, 2010


By Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga and Misses Noel Poet-Freestyle

Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels upto the head:
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into bed

Misses Noel Poet
i wish mine would have a heart,
it alone goes with me everywhere
who would know me by every step than my shadow?
like my gaurdian angel
always at my side

Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow-
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India- rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

Misses Noel Poet
sometimes i wish he could talk
i could replace him for my diary
sometimes my tears are my only solace
but a companion is what i crave for
he would hold my hands
even when i speak not
for he is like my better half

Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga
He hasn't a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

Misses Noel Poet
guess it has no choice
but to be my body guard
in the morning stands out tall at my side
at noon it hides beneath me
in the evening tall besides me
but at night it hides in the cave
for it is an enemy of the dark

Redscar McOdindo K'Oyuga
Every morning, very early, before the sun goes up,
I rise and find the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
He stays at home behind me , fast asleep in bed.

Misses Noel Poet
i would love to swap bodies
me being a shadow
without a heart
no break ups
no heart attacks
no fear of the dark-
for anway i would not exist to testify
the cold brutalty that looms in darkness

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


By V3rse ('Verse' Wordsmith)

I wrote this for you and made it tight like shoe strings. Choosing each word right, just so your facial muscles get tight… and the way you’re light, must have been first on sight; because at the beginning God said let there be light! When I board that flight, relax; I’ll be back soon like conjugal rights.

I can’t replace you with even pronouns; because you stand out like Chinese pronounce. You make me weightless like an ounce; you make me wait less at your house. ‘I love you’ I proudly announce, and I mean it like 60 sec is a minute. I am easy when am with you like 96.3; so at ease, I day dream of a night dream. Our bond is like James, let’s call it ‘double 0 seven’; it was born soon after 2007. We’ll always stand tall like twin towers; as God did on the seventh. I pray for the day, we raise our left hand to the reverend; f**k September 11th.

I pour my hearts intestines with similes and metaphors, writings and microphones, assisting my spirit unfold. Untold story now told; uplifting like hands up in a show! If we dint meet, I don’t know… like shooting, ‘am blank’. I’d be confused like sperms that are shooting blanks. This isn’t a rap but I think I’ll call it a wrap. A picture perfect end as if I attached my snap. Yours truly; my soul to your heart!

My composure while composing this verse was composed. My pen unopposed what my heart told, so instead of a full stop; I finished with a pause,

Monday, August 16, 2010


By Lawrence Njuguna

Its name kenya
an epic of the Kenya i know
my beach people its shore
it's boundaries, walls for this our house
neighbours hatred animosity hostility arouse
happy i am on this diet though unbalanced
plate full but my tongue not tranced
the kitchen is in chaos and tension
broth spoil cooks, cooks i have to mention
leaders play catch with our hearts
our actions massaging there guts
the nation is in flames of fire
unemployment,disease,poverty woods to sire
first world, IMF, World Bank donations, water to extinguish
thought beggars would ride on horses oh! wish

is it shoot to kill
or shoot to still
people bull's eye for the police stray bullets
wonder if graves to guide and protect
assisted suicides illegal and illicit
but aren't our hospitals and doctors the institutions fit?
education to furnish my mind
but corruption sacred and virtue of a new kind
weak in society to procreate and labour
no application of yourself love as your neighbour
nothing for yourself have
look in expectation for the one above
in soul and body dry and in famine
economy of the stomach is decided by the rich all is fine
theft by way of tax
perturbed by our government our pocket axe
sites,parks,animals our names high hold
mountains,lakes and culture our natural gold
our athletes raise our flag
tribalism,greed and politics cause it to sag
justice be our shield to defend
courts, prosecutors of truth and contraceptive till end

stagnant no development as it swells like yeast on pastry
yet presence of trade democracy health technology and industry
its capital city of complete capitalisation Nairobi
to each according to his work no A.O.B
you can despise it, love it but never know it no
The world's chameleone colours change in a row
not because of the government i live
but the almighty up and down my chest heave

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mrs. Muhia

Scared of losing myself to her,
But also looking forward to a spiritual communion
Scared of growing old alone,
But also scared of relationship drama
Looking forward to the physical communion,
But also scared of ending up a divorcee
A chance to establish my legacy,
But risk expecting too much from my children
She brings perspective and attention to detail,
But also brings nagging and perfectionism
A girlfriend would have been for a season,
But Mrs. Muhia is till death do us part.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lend a helping hand

Caring about the welfare of others is as selfless as one can get. Even Christ shared this while He was on the planet through the famous words ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’. Charity and charitable causes are as old as the communal settings we used to live in during the caveman era. The survival of the species was hinged on protecting fellow tribesmen and women from the vagaries of the weather, from hunger and from wild animals.

In today’s world however, it is an individualistic and capitalistic mindset that is favoured above all else. More people are disenfranchised now more than any other time in history. From emotional disenfranchisement to financial disenfranchisement, the world is full of it. There are more street children than we care to count, more poor people than we care to give a second glance to. And some of our policies ensure that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.

Where can we strike the balance between profits and exploitation of workers for instance? Where can we strike the balance between handouts and empowerment of the poor? Where are we heading as a human race when we spend more in military defense than we do in food production? We want to keep our citizens safe from perceived external threats but we aren’t keeping them safe from hunger or disease.

Won’t you lend a helping hand today, won’t you donate some food items to that local charity that runs an orphanage. Won’t you help cover the medical bills of that poor child that needs open heart surgery? There are many ways to lend a helping hand. The world could use a few more genuinely caring people like you. There are more natural disasters now more than any other time in history. Help that family whose house was destroyed in a storm, help pay school fees for that bright student whose parents cannot afford to take him to university. Be a mentor to that young girl who is deciding which path to take in life.

Think of a way of lending a helping hand this Ramadan even if you are a Christian, Hindu or Buddhist. Charity has no religion, nor specific time that it should be performed, strive to do it always.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Muslim girl

She usually sat next to me in class
A cunning fox with a very light skin tone
Hair covered but with the face showing
A black laced buibui over ordinary dress
What I liked about her are the long flowing skirts
I always respect a woman with self-respect
And who leaves a lot to the imagination
She was frankly surprised at my savvy
Because I had my lecture schedule on my phone
That’s the first time we spoke, about lectures
From then on we became inseparable classmates
However, I was more afraid of her culture,
Than I was of admitting that I liked her

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A happy poem

I’m sick and tired of writing dull poems,
That will turn your smile upside down poems
That are emotionally draining and exhausting poems
Rather I want to write me a happy poem
Make your stomach smile at lunch poems
Make you fall in love with somebody poems
I want to write a poem so good and happy
That you will want to make babies to poems
Make you call up your moms poems
Even smile at strangers in the street poems
I want to write me a feel-good poem
Make you wanna be friends with your boss poems
Nothing political, nothing religious, but celebratory poems
Make you wanna buy your friends a round, poems
I want to write a poem that’ll make you feel alive
I want to write a happy poem for once
Like I woke up on the right side of the bed poems
Like there was no jam at rush hour poems
Like my coffee had two sugars and extra cream in it poems
Like a scarf around your neck on a chilly day poems
I just want to write me a feel-good poem