POETRY | Holy Thursday Blues by Kariuki wa Nyamu



Holy Thursday Blues


the urban flock

intently went after shepherd

to sacred sanctuary

for consecration of all sins, seen and unseen

then Love was proclaimed

a mark of undying love

of God and Mankind

on Holy Thursday!


and as we meekly

said loud silent prayers

as children’s choir let out melodic tunes

the Gikuyu-speaking Italian priest

blessed the oil of Chrism

went down on his knees

washing off sins

reenacting olden days of Kristu

and on that Holy Thursday

we chanted love that surpasses love

recited prayers,

knelt down, up, down, up, down, up, again and again

and said ten thousand loud and silent creeds

and hallelujah hosanna

was sang by our little kids

‘Hallelujah hosanna’ filled the air

on Holy Thursday!


but folks,

of what relevance

was the washing of feet of twelve

when actions rebelled with the Word?

Actions too deafening

that ‘twas hard to hear words!

Dealings full of jealousy and egotism!

Of what significance was

the handclasp of Peace?

Corroborating that they’re

devil’s advocates

of malice, credulity and callousness!

A people too fraudulent, ravenous and ludicrous!

Leading hallowed procession, readings and Eucharist

on our Holy Thursday?


and on that day of days

disappointed with mankind

we left divine arena

vowing never to sin again

and for the first time in years

we proclaimed loathing for sin

after all,

debt of sin had been ransomed!

And love that surpasses love

had been reenacted

by washing of feet of twelve

on Holy Thursday!


Kariuki wa Nyamu is a passionate Kenyan poet, radio playwright, editor and high school teacher. He studied English, Literature and Education at Makerere University, Uganda.  He has won Creative Writing competitions at school, university and national level. He is published in A Thousand Voices Rising, Boda Boda Anthem and Other Poems, Best New African Poets 2015 Anthology, Jalada Africa 04, Praxis Magazine, Parousia Christian Magazine, Dwartonline Blogazine, Nibstears, EGC’s 31 Days of Poetry 2016, The Wagon Magazine, Poetry Potion 10, Experimental Writing: Volume 1, Africa Vs Latin America Anthology, Best New African Poets 2016 Anthology, and also forthcoming in Multi-Verse: Kenyan Poetry in English Since 2003, among others. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Literature at Kenyatta University, Kenya.  Above all, he is a practicing Christian and attends the Anglican Church.



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