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Kilimanjaro: Poems by Hana Njau-Okolo


The train rolls into Peachtree Center Station,
Passengers alight.

Thick black braids projecting
North South East and West.
She heads south on the platform.

Moving in step behind her
Trusting her built-in compass
A coiffed hair-do and
A proper bespoke suit.
His meeting is southwest
At the Ritz Carlton.

Black mascara over blond,
Stiletto heels and all.
She has time to kill at
Café Hard Rock.

Ping Pong paddles in tow,
He heads west with alacrity.
The World Congress Center has
An All-Star show.

The comings and goings of folk
In this spherical gray passageway,
Dry coconut husks adorn
Solid gneiss walls
Cut from the strata of the earth.

A moving stairway towers ahead
Continually rising
To a bright light in the sky.

Multitudes of screaming blue tiles
Plastered to the left and to the right
Cry out in the light
And die in the solitude of darkness.

Lips pursed,
She sucks unrepentantly
At the marrow
Lodged between her teeth.
No. 3 at KFC.
Who’s scared? She quips.

The two-minute perpendicular ride,
An ascension that kindles
Heart-racing secretions in the gut,
Reminding folk of origins
120 feet into the crevasses of the earth.

Refined or not,
Folk share a
Common understanding
Within the body of humanity.



You are
I am

Those patterns etched into your face
Are tears carved under my eyes
Draining through the mask.

A glacial screen
The landscape of my life
Frozen into the familiar.

Washing away
As men in their folly
Plunder the spoils of the earth.
Face-to-face you say
Do not weep for me
Weep for yourself
And for your children.
For the Sahara
And its spreading.

For your soul
Marooned on an
Island of dreams

Copyright © Hana Njau-Okolo.  All Rights Reserved

Hana Njau-Okolo
Hana Njau-Okolo
Hana Njau-Okolo was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. She currently lives and works as a Legal Assistant at a national law firm. Hana is Vice-Chairperson of The Association of Kenyan Professionals in Atlanta, a non-profit whose mission is to promote the wellbeing of its members through the mobilization of resources and talents. Hana is also founder of a non-profit cultural organization engaged in promoting African culture and education for children, the Njau Foundation. Hana is the daughter of pioneer African artists: author Rebeka Njau and artist Elimo Njau; she writes poetry and prose in her spare time. She and her husband live in Atlanta, Georgia with their three beautiful children.


  1. Where did this wonderful new writer (Hana Njau-Okolo) appear from? How come I never heard of her before, this Hana Njau-Okolo? Truly impressive. I will be following your fascinating work very closely. Want to see if you have books, poems and or novels out there in print. Your language conjures wonderful imagery and your grammar impeccable. You must have a terrific imagination. Keep on writing. By Enascoh S. Lee Bollowor

  2. Brilliant!
    And the great mountain will hear the wailing of her children, and just as it has been for millenia, she will reshuffle the dried bones of the children into her belly, as she did with the rash greens of dinasaur land that now lay in the guts of the Sahara

  3. this work contain excellent command of nature expression,and eclectic piece,which describe beauty of creativity and genuine intent of the creator.

  4. About time you got recognized globally, too talented to be secluded!!. Love it, excellent as always!!. I am always looking forward to reading all of your work!!.
    Thank you for sharing.

  5. What a touching poem I am realy soothed wih your poem kililmanjaro,may also read mine also titled kilimanjro

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