Wangari Muta Maathai

Mother Earth embraces you

You the true daughter of the soil

True daughter of the environment

‘Mama miti’[1] as fondly known in Kenya

A woman of substance

African icon, great African woman

          Daughter of the universe

          Your name is imprinted in all the forest of the world

          Your passion for the environment is felt all over the world

          Mother Earth welcoming embrace

          Ululations filling the air in joy

          Flapping leaves of grey and gold

          Clapping with joy to welcome you home

With gentle whispers, Mother Earth acknowledges you

Her serene whisper caressing your listening ears

In gratitude for your love for her

Mother Earth your loving companion she had become

          Wangari Muta Maathai

          Mother Earth rewards you

          See her run to meet you

          Her green cloak now faded brown all over

          From the daily launder of new technology

          Destructive hands that wring life away

          Day by day smothering her delicate life away

Wangari Muta Maathai

In Mother Earth’s abode

Intertwined like a tendril on a strong oak

You and mother earth have embraced once more

In this embrace you listen to Mother Earth telling her stories

Stories of pain and joy

Of goings and comings

Life and death

Dreams of today and tomorrow

Her dreams of a new world

A world whose beautiful collage

Inspires the curious mind

What has become of this world?

          Mother Earth cries out

          Why the yearning for mighty sounds of falling trees

          Creative formations of human drones as they search the skies

          Skies whose clouds are filled with blood not rain

          The burdened earth with rivers of blood

          Of men and women, young and old from the five continents

          Mothers fleeing as their frightened children clutch to their breasts

The youth with lifeless eyes lying on a carpet red all over

As heavy boots and butts of automatic guns aim

Not missing their targets, the brains that have refused to die

The questioning brains

Nourished and nurtured by Mother Earth

The questioning brains refuse to die even in death

          Wangari Muta Maathai

          Lie peacefully in Mother Earth’s gaze

          You are a star that rekindles the faint hearts

          Role model to daughters and sons of the universe

          You are indeed the humming bird

          In Mother Earth you have found a home

          Mother Earth holds the present and the future

           In cracked patterned hands

           Weaving tapestries

          Together a story is told

A story of a new world

Where in dying and resurrecting

Mother Earth unyielding calls her children home

To nourish, nurture and put a new song of hope

A song of unending peace

Where all humanity and Mother Earth embrace

In unending song rejoice

Eating and dancing, as the rays of the crimson sun

Unbowgable,[2] shows her smiling face

The silhouette of two lovers

Humanity and Mother Earth

Announcing their new found love

The beginning of a new dawn.

Wangari Muta Maathai

You have trod ‘the road less travelled’

You are indeed the humming bird you had always desired to be.

Written on 6th of October by Wamuyu Wachira (IBVM)

(Doctoral Student at the Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK)

[1] This is Swahili for Mother of the trees or forests

[2] This is taken from the Dholuo (one of the ethnic communities in Kenya) word ‘bwogo’  which means ‘fall’ hence in this context it is used to mean one that does not easily fall, hence is reliable and dependable 

*This tribute should NOT be reproduced without permission from the author.


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