Skip to content
Home » Poetry » Issue 2 » Harare by Bus

Harare by Bus

Dawn     broke
Day        break 
Time:   four        thirty
Luggage           heavy 
Distance           massive 
Temperature    unfriendly

       Luggage contains:
Clothes  nuts   pumpkins
Dried mushroom 
Dried sugar cane.
My favourite, Chicken-Inn
Roadrunner fried
For the long road ahead.

Two hours
Our walk to bus stop
Got there   tired   
But    happy 
Ear    to ground   sound of:
Bus    coming 
Bus    not coming

Finally,  bus arrived
Thunderous bellowing sound
Thick dark smoking puffing out
Instantly polluting the environment
The bus hissed towards us
Chassis dangerously bent
Front  facing   us
Wheels going west
A big loud hoot –
A stop
A shout 
Luggage atop!
Luggage atop!
Goats     sheep   bags
All atop
Inside the bus
We were dust & dirt 
Only eyes visible
We joined the Nyau dancers in resemblance 
After a long struggle  with the gear lever
The driver finally won and
we left

Off to H-town
No worry 
We’re in no hurry
Slow but sure
For me the joy begun
Sight seeing 
Trees racing 
Conductor conducting 
I marveled at his conducting prowess 
Leather bag in neck
Money in bag
Pen in hand
Book in hand
What a job!
When I grow up I wanna be a conductor 
Even the girls were envious
Pick and drop
Pick and drop 
Pick and pay
Pick and pay
            We went
Until my  favourite time  came
Four hours into journey
Recess! Shouted the  conductor.

It’s toilet break
It’s Chicken-Inn 
It’s Coca-Cola
It’s biscuits, Choice-assorted 
It’s candy-cake 
The journey I loved
Harare by bus
A whole day’s journey.

After two hours of feasting 
Engine  resting 
Driver    resting 
The driver goes up front to crank the engine 
With a long metal rod
The engine responded
With a thick  dark  smoke
All bodies rushed back into the locomotive
We hit the road again
Pick and drop
Pick and  pay   
A game
A business 
A journey 
Another five hours to destination 
Long drive to destination 
Littered  with events & incidents 
Fights I witnessed
Cows I saw
Thieves we encountered
Romantic genesis.

A journey to Harare
A city where they don’t sleep
Sparkling  lights 
Sunshine  city
Salisbury the name they gave
I wondered if it meant burying-souls.

Seven        thirty 
We entered Harare
Nice things all over
Harare never disappointing 
Oceans  apart from the village
A city, you could tell;

I wish Salisbury could return 
But with the hard-won name Harare
And all the treats of yester-years 
Less racism
More equality 
More humanity.