Kifaru Poetry Slam

By Siena and Emily


When we first saw it we held our poop for days,
But then we became accustomed to its natural ways.
There’s no toilet paper so we drip dry when we piss,
It’s really upsetting if we poop and we miss.
We’re no longer scared when we see just a hole,
But we are always excited when we see a bowl.

Fran’s Traveling Hair Salon, by Frances

Hair: we don’t wash it or brush it,
We don’t style it, we don’t touch it…
Except for when Fran cuts it.

So fresh, so clean –
The scissors gleam,
It’s the East African sheen.

Smells, a haiku by Ellen

What’s that awful smell?
Is it you or is it me?
Who can really tell?

Sudsy Surprises, by Emily

Sometimes they are warm,
But mostly they are cold,
Sometimes we use soap,
If we’re feeling bold.

When we get a shower head,
We smile, laugh and cheer,
But mostly we see buckets,
This method we no longer fear.

“What is that horrible smell?”
I asked the group today.
We haven’t showered regularly
Since our first homestay.

Although we might be smelly,
We’re happy as can be.
For if we shower once a week,
It’s good enough for me!

Pole, Pole (pronounced Pole-ay, Pole-ay), by Darby

Running late for school was a common occurrence,
TARDY was what attendance would say.
I was only practicing since
It’s the East African way.

Matching your shoes, grabbing a bar,
Running after the bus is no longer.
Instead, grab a seat on the tar,
You have time to listen to the songbird.

There’s no longer such a rush,
I am more PRESENT if I may.
To expect all timeliness would cause quite a fuss,
See mom, it’s the East African way.

Pole, Pole means
Slowly, Slowly
It’s the East African way although it seems
I was pretty good at it before I crossed the ‘sea’.

Movie Night, a haiku by Bradley

The night is still young
A glowing screen fills my heart
Yes. It’s movie night.

Ode to Mr. Coffee, by Lia

He wakes up like a human
But he’s not as he seems
This man’s blood smells roasted
…Of roasted coffee beans
Somewhat like a dream
He came into our sight
And gave us cups filled up
A warm caffeine delight
Arabica, Robusto
His wise words still ring true
A hike to coffee heaven
A 4G type of view
Oh dearest Mr. Coffee
We thank you for your day
Because we know you stay in bed
Unless you get your pay

Bus Food, a haiku by Mike

Damn! It’s hot in here.
Oh no! Not Chris Brown again.
One chips mayai, please.

Twas the night before… by Hadley

The students were nestled all snug in their bunks,
dreaming of snickers and getting krunk.
Ellen in her stockings and Mike in his cap,
had just settled in for a rainy season nap.
When all of a sudden I heard such a clatter,
I peaked out of my bed net to see what was the matter.
What to my wondering eyes did appear?
I was stuck with these people…it became quite clear.
Sounds of snoring and moaning rung through the room,
I just hope that daylight comes quite soon.
Tents, buses, sleeping bags and the ground,
we’ve gotten quite good at sleeping around.
Just like that our watches chime eight,
we lay down to sleep and wait, wait, wait.

Going Bananas by Darby

It’s time to buy bananas for the week,
A bushel? A bunch? 197 is what we seek.

One Hundred and Ninety-Seven,
No more, no less.
It sounds like the Kifaru Group’s heaven,
Who knows it will be quite a stress.

Day 1, the bananas are counted with care,
Each person is allotted one per meal and five to spare.
Day 3, allotment is no longer the term,
‘requirement’ has come to take it’s turn.
“Eat your bananas or else” they said,
But bananas are quite filling, especially with ‘blead’.
Day 4, “Will there be enough is the question going round.
Day 5, the group departs and there are no bananas to be found.

At the end of the week, our love of bananas has not faltered…
but we may find our clothes
needing to be altered.