Tom MuyungaMukasa

Namiryango Hill - Poem by Tom MuyungaMukasa

There is a land in Africa whose extensively undulating hills touch heaven,
bound in a nursing ritualwith the milk-white fluffy churn,
Upon Rubaga, Mmengo, Mulago, Kololo, Buddo, Namirembe and Kibuli many did spy,
of the glory, grandeurand grace of boundless horizons,
from Rubaga an emissary bore tidings on behalf of Kabaka Muteesa,
and before Queen Victoria heralded of a flint-laden land
and soon these flints were struck into sparks,
whose light still shines and replaces redundancy,
with an ever growing energy,
thus is the nature of Kabaka Muteesa's Spell,
now they dare and many vie
to compare what brought this splendid countenance about,
those hills are but a moral touchstone to the crowned and the laborious,
from which they draw their lessons,
for to the hills they turned to craft and be crafted,
Mmengo mightiest of them all is adorned in shield, spear and drum,
Namiryango like other hills stocks her wares,
part of a cast whose retinue includes,
a forest donned in thick African oak and elm trees,
Nnamanve one of the many guardian sentry garrisons,
groves of the Great Nile basin,
itself a saturated garden of profuse diversity,
above this hill and forest one in flight,
beholds the vast flourish of nature,
a luxurious display of elegance,
wings buoyed by winds to auspicious height,
charted ways and haughty paths are penned,
the limbs made bolder in drawing the fancies of the eye,
each swift clap captured in form and substance,
until an unruly idea becomes a contract,
committing duty to service,
to a repository retained for perpetuity,
Namiryango was among that sacred pile, so vast, so high,
whose components reached the sky,
with dreams forged into foils of reality,
reality repurposed for the next generation,
on this hill many hands aspired to touch the sky and write on the cloud,
many challenged their own shadows,
they bravely reached and soared above them,
it was possible to turn a biro into an assembly line, harness time and fire,
here zeal was a raw material for intrepidness,
a boldness channelled into pockets for future use,
fear was embraced and security became a song,
played on harp, lyre and xylophone,
the centre held the east and together their stretched arms,
reached to the north, west, south, up and down Uganda and Africa,
proud alums cast nets beyond this hill with skills gained from hereabout,
the seed is traced back to the motto: Nisi Dominus
(Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum, in vanum laborant qui aedificant eam)
in those words so much lay hidden,
but so much is revealed,
reverence to Divinity,
that be the seed of all daring,
Except the Lord build the house, they toil in vain that build it;
unless the Lord guides, the wayfarer's journey is in circles,
there were fitful venturings out,
to draw from the sweet waters of Nnakabwaana,
whether during the early mornings,
when the cold mists rose from the ground,
during the high noon,
when the great coiling snake basked in the sun,
in the evenings,
the large spotted feral cat whose paws never touched the ground prowled the valleys,
they counted and no myth nor lore would have stopped them,
the train chugging on the Mombasa-Kasese line would claim a passer-by,
then a lull would keep many in the walls of the Hanlons of this place,
the lore was connected to season of the year
thereby rightly giving esteem her right of place,
the postmortem revealed a case of crossing under the influence,
As it may with life,
lived experience is anathema to shelter,
bounding leaps and runs are mixed with bruising falls,
for this is how knots of life are done or undone,
knowledge becomes wisdom,
on this hill caution is given in abundance,
and so is guidance and the habit of teamwork,
a thin line exists between foolhardiness and ruin,
or conscientiousness and reward;
as hills are not without their valleys and plains,
which themselves are shared by other hills,
not to mention an added verdant abundance,
only do we find our purpose,
a happiness of sweet rejuvenated content,
a boldness seeking to know,
to ask for help is to reconnect,
that is how nature does and wants it,
there is beauty, strength and bounty that swells thereof,
potential is made apparent,
with prompts and prods to experiment,
buffeting and extending a helping hand,
until one stands boldly before bottomless precipices,
and no form of horror to scare
for between fright and flight,
they are aware is fight,
and behind lies a ready might,
and bound in humble knowledge one forges on,
thus Namiryango produced all those desirables,
armed with meekness and duty,
who bore themselves to grander heights,
to be the torch-bearers upon which is a pompous load,
than which, a nobler weight no back bears,
from there a relay from one to another was set in motion,
when the light was shone every other hill unleashed,
wisdom and power which not only advanced,
but took with them the object of their fancy,
in this kind of trance the wayward is doomed,
for that is the nature of a Majestic Spell,
the same that is fate, fame and flame,
royalty, country and citizenry,
good for goose and gander,
that is nature's way,
the hills caress the sky,
share their broadsides,
provide water-holding crucibles,
shared by forests and plains,
the streams in this Eden,
instructional inundation,
so that well used,
the cradle becomes crown, foil and prize,
Muteesa that noble prognosticator reinforced the age old practice,
of courts engaging in virtuous causes,
at Kasubi interred,
but forever this lesson remains,
a raised arm of mighty power,
flint in palm brought down,
in a single strike let loose,
sparks of victories, hope and vanquished fear,
Kasubi is now bedecked in shield, spear and drum,
one move gave rise to eternal emblems,
and so is this inheritance Namiryango,
touched by the Muteesa Spell,
tucked away in all inheritors are those emblems,
The Kabaka was desirous of an emancipatory wisdom
one that went beyond the palace,
a wealth unleashing possibilities,
for the treasure of the subject was his luxury too,
he never balked at venturing beyond Rubaga,
thus he opened up to a vulnerability,
but still ventured and behold,
an impregnable force protects his kingdom,
a royal shield, spear and drum,
for all ages are stationed in those hills in Africa,
The shield to motivate,
the spear bearing forward,
the drum to round up more,
to partake in the charge of the Spell
knowledge having no bound,
forever in advance
a wisdom the repository of experience,
and duty to rebuild and revitalize
Muteesa's Spell,
which Moslem and Christian,
young or aged,
Black or White,
Educator and educated,
share alike,
a catalysis, provision and optimization,
colonies no longer,
dominions relegated to subservience,
the colonized no more fodder,
listed as delicacies,
on some haughty carte Blanche,
Namiryango epitomizes the beloved,
rational desirable purveyor of impartiality,
the hill whose broadsides guide with purposeful force,
a river through troughs and plains,
of a common enriching basin,
so that Black can work with White,
such was Muteesa's Spell,
which in service passes into eternity,
life, joy and dignity,
the profuse from a Kabaka's humility,
for in that cradle harmony arose,
the Kabaka was unsettled and an internal discord perturbed him,
in reaching out to another Kingdom,
a new form, order and beauty flowed henceforth,
Muteesa knew of the closeness of dew and blades,
as well as the coldness of indignity and poverty,
he knew that pain will no longer subsist,
the horrible destruction of diseases would subside,
in their place a gentle calmness would prevail,
the thirsting depraved in the kingdom,
will be sate by the pure and clear streams,
to be gazed upon as capable and dependable,
among the plains the youth will give chase,
and pose with mien of nobler carriage,
chisel and mallet in hand cutting away at lofty claims,
crafted in disarming treaties that benefited the few,
who expected deferment and while for many,
even the little they had was taken away,
depredations fueled by selfish interests and desire,
gauging pleasure with duty and praise,
and cautious of the dangers of greed,
alert to machinations and cunning ploys,
that produce demagogy and despots,
sequels that need testing for firmness,
not accepting anything at face value,
ground in level headedness,
stand to face lawless power,
and remedy it with dignity affirmation,
give liberty and love,
service which rejuvenates the cradle,
collecting more waters from which duty resides,
and possibilities are drawn.

Topic(s) of this poem: school days

Form: Panegyric

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, November 9, 2019

Poem Edited: Friday, November 15, 2019

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