Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘A Black Webbed Wasp’ and other stories

By: George Munyasia

A Black Webbed Wasp

There is a black
webbed wasp fidgeting
in the thick wintry
light, determined to free
The predator
draws closer. The poor prey
flaps the half-broken
wing one more time.
One more time.


In Memory of Victor

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the
I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.
—Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

Paled star of my rich night that shot too far into the good night.
Thorough shearer and picker of bur-strung
hairs. Good pipe songs do not grace this side of plains anymore.
Grazing fields are now an abandon.
The orphaned sheep leapt

into the meadows,

and ran too far
away the paddock of that rich flockmaster, George Fox.
The hay is now a good slave
of the tempest.
Lambs do not frolic anymore, afraid
of the dew-clad Sunday mornings. And their frail
limbs cannot carry them up
the mountains, or hold them back
from the steep

It happened that day, the dread
of every sheep. Like a lamb that wanders and jumps
over rocks of some distant field, and wait
for the pipe, he is full of expectations
for his pasteurized milk. But the shepherd had gone,
further up the mountains.

The soothing melodies, wrought in Levitic artistry,
live rent-free in the minds of your flock.
Your hums still echo throughout the land and lull to sleep
all sheepfolds at nightfall. The great Asaph
will forever rejoice in Heaven,
for not every day does the lordly choir get such a talent.


Fall of a Nation

There is a sad
coo above, of a once-told tale.
Of two birds that flew abreast
into the northern mountains, a yard away Mount Kenya.
By daybreak they built a homely nest.
At nightfall, one lit a fire,
to brave the cold.
In the morning behold, hatchlings lie in cold flood.


Virgin Blooms of March

Here comes a new season, heralded by new growths.
Bright blooms will grace these banks. But this untimely
clime is harsh against your soft skin. Do not fear,
oh lone rose by a dead
sing to those unborn shades of red.

Wake up
from the warm shoot and court the course
of your heyday. Cheer up and stop the falling
foliage –
happy is the garden whose prickly stalks spare
the morning blossom.

Slowly, colors rise upon the sunbaked shoot,
lithe cups of your breed, shy of premature birth,
come alive to be admired
and dance in the dry light
of March, and kiss the seeker of early nectar.


How to Plan Your Death

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And laid me down with a will.
— Robert Louis Stevenson “Underwoods, Book I”

In my lonesome latter days when my frail bones
persist in weakness.

When I amble away from the world.

Church bells grow distant.
I am on my way,
good Friend.

Take away my weariness and strengthen
my soul again. Let the wisdom of old scriptures refresh
me as it did in my youth. Let me grow younger
with each sun, and laugh
more heartily. Let my appetite
grow bigger
and take away days of my deathbed.

With the day’s tasks ticked,
take away my spirit from earth.
Send me away on a sunny
day, sound asleep.

At the Heaven’s Gate,
smile at your beloved and welcome me home.

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