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Mountain Top, by Caroline Njeru
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Mountain Top, by Caroline Njeru.

Let us go up to the top,
to the top of Ngai's home.
My grandmother taught me,
my grandfather practiced.
They all revered Ngai's home,
his dwelling place holy.
No man was clean enough
even to walk on the forest edge,
he gave them the foothills
where they set up their homes
right under Ngai's eyes.

Greeting them every morning
with a thick smog that covered
the mountain top and cleansing them
with fog rising from the fields around,
by noonday the peak could be seen
shinning, clothed in a dazzling white
from whence flowed many streams
and rivers of crystal-clear water.
Their life's source,
for man,
animal
and plant.

Occasionally going up to the forest edge
when they sacrificed the fattest cow
or the whitest clean goat and sheep
in thanksgiving and repentance,
that they may live in harmony
with Ngai,
nature
and fellow man.

They cut a tree only when
they needed drum and wood,
they killed animal for
food and clothing,
going up to the forest edge
only to draw mineral water
for man and beast.

But today
we fell the forests for money,
kill the animals for space,
go up the mountain for fame,
we have no harmony left
we die of hunger.
We have sent away the rains
the seasons have long been forgotten.
Our greed is killing us,
we suffocate in our own pollution
embracing foreign disease
from all the chemicals we buy.
We forgot the wisdom of the old,
we have ignored the education
of our forefathers,
our generation begs for food
our pride is choking us.
The wisdom of old
is too old-fashioned for us,
yet we fall off the face
of this earth
each new day.
Let us go to the mountain
and clean up our streams
planting back the felled trees,
rejecting all chemical.
Let us claim back the
inheritance for our children
that God freely gave us,
the garden of
Eden!
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Mountain Top, by Caroline Njeru