Before the sun toughens, the morning’s shrewd
A stretch of road lies parallel to a stretch of railway
A brook of raw sewer runs parallel to the railway
Make-shift growers subsidised to water their greens
A junkyard adjoins the trio from which throngs of
Pied crows and hogs thrive from the junk-pile
A crossroad cuts across all four essentially trimming
The drive between Umoja Estate and cbd of Nairobi
Commuter train, bus, and cycle link and thrive from here
Hawkers, peddlers, beggars scramble to meet target

Out of the jungle of things rattles a locomotive engine
Led by roaring trumpet and two glaring headlamps
Rips a tunnel his size through the air and splashes gusts
Of recycled air and shrapnel of dust along old, squalid estate
Rumbling, trembling, he clumsy dares intruders
Motorists scurry lest the train whelms the level-crossing
Prompted and agitated by impulse to kill
Like man-eater of Tsavo he roars and hammers
The diesel-powered engine casts a metal-crushing note
Long, live, bulky like a slope in motion croaks and grunts
Dark coils of carbon from combustion mode
Subserviently, a bus driver thirsts for fairness barred in
The sandwich of cars in front and trails behind
Regular, assured, growling monster made for
Triumph, made to subdue, made to make money
Absolute power’s a blend of shortcomings

Less skewed to instant brake the monster clunks!
Bus driver limps off the cabin and melts into the crowd
In abrupt change of course the mighty joins the meek
Wailing and groaning with distress, the beast
Away from the fond interface, affectionately grants her
Over hundred metres of ride, goring and trunk-lifting
Made to create wealth, she can’t work from home
Trembling with savagery, the train engine’s idling
Grooming bloody carcass like lion grooms a gazelle
Coupled with vestibules the segments look mesmerised
Vagrants and vendors scuffle in sorting out valuables

Men troop to get a first-hand perusal of the grand union
Good Samaritan administer the First Aid to the casualties
Some ferried to infirmary while the dead laid by the rails
In atonement for human error and trembling with tremor
The bus driver ruminates, totters his way to the priest
Locomotive driver unharmed and unalarmed surveys
The magnitude of ruin
Calm face ranks him off the wavelength of reproach
Not the first encounter with the kind of lawbreakers
Two drivers commission citizen for heaven express
A dozen souls rally in unison to the glory land

Two fire engines with siren gone off
Standby for any eventuality
Two rescue vans with strobe light on
Two police trucks with sodium lamp lit
Police cordon off the scene of interface and load
Bloody corpses on the trucks till we meet again
To grace the final rite
Muslims poised to get buried before the sunset
Christians stuffed in morgues pending
Post-mortem data and distant kith and kin.

Poet:  Michael M Njoroge

About this poem

Synopsis This poem is entitled Interface and it plays ridicule on men who label their shortcoming as “human error”. If men would revere the Creator and regard their duty and role as morally ordained of God, the Earth would be homely and sweet to us all. Three positions, among others, need top our list of appreciation: 1. Health and Wealth. 2. Looking on us as Unique Creation. 3. Being Grateful to the Creator for the Opportunity and Ability to carry out our daily task. The poem is made up of five stanzas. In the first stanza, the speaker describes the public place with plainness from which we derive a negative and insipid picture. With the residents of the City of Nairobi, there is little to sing and prance about. This is brought forth by corruption, embezzlement of public resource and wanting management in the running of the City. In the second stanza the speaker, with no giving in, stretches his studious description for objects around here. Rattling, clunking, hammering, rumbling and  

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Written on June 01, 2022

Submitted by literaturedon707 on September 29, 2022

Modified on March 05, 2023

2:25 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 2,887
Words 484
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 11, 16, 11, 11, 10, 1

Michael Maina Njoroge

Biography Birth: Murang’a in Kenya, September 7th, 1972. I am a poet, novelist, online writer and a tutor for Literature. Vision: To compose 500 poems, 07 novels and 50 short stories. Work done: 50 poems, 02 novels and 16 short stories. Abilities: To create a poem from any sense of mind by the impact of vision, audio and perception. Hobbies: Football and ping pong. Hero: Professor Ngugi wa Thiongo, Kenyan novelist and professor of Comparative Literature & English at the University of California, Irvin. Most loved books: Novel, A Grain of Wheat by Prof Ngugi wa Thiongo from Kenya and Coolie, by Raju from India and Nicolai of Russia play called The Government Inspector. more…

All Michael Maina Njoroge poems | Michael Maina Njoroge Books

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1 Comment
  • kemaeljo
    I like the descriptiveness of this poem. I can hear its sounds and almost touch its scenery, as if I lived there, or else dreamed of it.
    LikeReply1 year ago


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"Interface" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jul 2024. <>.

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