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Counting the Stars

by Tendai R. Mwanaka

As I lie on my back at night,
Stars scattered in the eastern hem,
Do they know each other?
I start counting them,
That they might know each other.
Only after a few counts
I get mixed up and get lost.

Then I start counting again,
That this time I might succeed.
I have left another one, there,
So I start again from the south.
There seem to be few from there,
From that end it seems easier.

There is that one shining bright,
Promising to be an everlasting light
Just like Connie, that bright flower.
But one day Connie was no more,
A mistaken identity, a dark patch stayed.
So also stayed brown-beaten faith,
But we grope again, don’t we?

We grope again, counting:
There is that one, dull but countable.
Why doesn’t it shine brightly and clearly?
Is it sad and weary of life’s never clearing
Tragedies, tribulations and trials?
Don’t they say, “Once beaten, twice shy?”

Oh, where would I begin again?
Maybe to the west or to the north.
Or stop everything, forget everything.
Whichever way, I have another left.
But how many times do we get mixed up?
So many times there is something we forget,
So many times we lose our way.

Haven’t we overlooked something?
Isn’t life made up of
Counting both losses and wins?
We get down to the table.
Can we look back and say
The going has been easy,
No stops, no staggers, no regrets,
That we have triumphed
Over everything?

Copyright © 2013 by Tendai R. Mwanaka

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