Shacks without roofs

Roofs without walls

Walls without doors

Doors without locks

Locks without keys

Beds without mattresses

Rooms without floors

Floors without walls

Walls without roofs

Roofs without cover

Doors without a hinge

Without hinges or latches

Sway and creak to and fro 


Sprawling ramshackles of

Hand-made structures

Recycled and panel-beaten to meet

Every pocket

Randomly huddled together

Feel the way the match sticks

Must feel squeezed inside a matchbox


Sheets of iron are firmly glued


Oxygen comes at an extra fee

Stick, mud and soot are mashed into


Moulded, baked and plastered tight

Light is a luxury, still decades out of


Cardboard and ragcloth

Are intricately sewn and held

On pegs and thumbtacks

Windows hung on the outside of the



Visitors, uninvited come calling:

A regular downpour pounds the roof


Carries away the shreds

A nasty whirlwind slams the door

Shattering it to the other side

A sour flood, rushes in, on piggy-back 

Ferries the loose floor to another 



A truant flame

Still smouldering from a neglected

cigarette butt

is playfully tossed around by a breeze

an insensitive gush of wind picks it


spark flares

lights up the gloom of the night

up goes one fiery, smoking inferno

of iron-sheet, cardboard, wooden and

plastic pegs


In a month, or thereabouts

The imprints of the makeshift


Ragcloth and thumbtacks are back

As it has always been, for those who

call this home


The oxygen, the light and the


Would you believe it 

Still hung on the outside of the



Hajaambi Kang’ara

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.