For St. Patrick’s Day, and for Poetry Friday, here’s Green, perhaps the best poem I ever wrote:

Oh, and here’s me reading it, too, over here:

Dec 5, 2007

My favorite color?
Well, the question lacks context
and therefore meaning.

My favorite sky is
sharp aching blue,
the kind of blue you can
cut your fingers on
until they bleed into
and African Sunset
and plunge into a
deep purple African night,
with the diamonds of
faraway worlds scattered
like the dust thrown up
by the passing herds.

My favorite sea is
gray-green-blue stormy
swirling seaweed churned
from depths beyond imagining,
the sky a reflection of a
reflection of infinity,
winking back at you from
a million million miles down.

My favorite earth is the
dark maroon red brown
of the Maasai clay
brittle and cracked
under the Tsavo sun,
gummy sticky under the
monsoon rains
sweeping up from Victoria,
thundering past on their way
to green the highlands,
glisten on the tea leaves,
pound the coffee flowers
from their branches,
and drench the faces
of the beautiful children
running around in what
God dressed them in,
laughing and shouting
in a language I will never know
but that sings fluently
in the memory of my heart.

So, you see,
the question is unfair.
As well ask a man
to choose one food
to live on forever,
one wine to drink,
one song to sing,
one painting to gaze at
for all my days.

But if I must choose,
I choose the green
of the Kericho fields,
stretching to the horizon,
the beginning and ending
of my world.
The green of a
1952 Ferrari Barchetta,
with its greedy grinning grill
sucking in the wind
of a winding Italian mountain road
tires squealing around the corners,
flashing past a
sleeping countryside
content to be stuck in a simpler time.
The green of
the foothills of Ngong,
acacias and baobabs
clawing at the
dark, angry sky,
promising threatening delivering rain,
the hills singing to my heart,
come and walk our paths,
come and feel the
wind tugging at your hair
come and
lay on your back and
watch the clouds dance
across the sky,
dance from one end of the sky
to the edge of the world,
where the
blue falls back once again
into the red dust
of the far Mara horizon.
The green of my voice,
singing across the years,
telling my stories to
the attentive ears,
the deep green eyes
of the friend of my heart.