Read Poems by
Feather of Death
Mutuma was alone in the forest,
busy piling up his beans harvest
in his favorite sisal basket.
As he was about to lift his basket,
a feather from nowhere fell
on his basket, with a soft
landing. He could tell
that this was a strange event.
“How can this be?!” he asked himself.
The forest was not an abode for birds,
especially the ones that had blue, as a chief
color! “I’ll become mad!”
Before he could run away from this mystery,
an elf appeared right in front of him!
“Don’t be afraid. I have great secrets and mastery
of all world languages,” the elf told him.
Mutuma was told if he called out a person’s name
and dropped the feather, the person would die by sunrise!
“Maybe it is my destiny to tame
my fellow villagers of all the evil that they have absorbed
in their way of living, like white cotton in dye,”
the boy thought.
As the Sun set, Mutuma called each name he felt
carried deceit, malice, hatred, gossip, and many other vomit
of the Evil One. Exhausted from calling out names,
and bending to pick up the feather,
Mutuma returned to his village, and slept in his hut.
When the Sun later woke up, the boy noticed
something strange. His village was as silent as a dry well!
When he visited his parents’ hut,
tears and guilt welled in his heart.
His knees became so weak, that
he knelt on the ground.
Some villagers lay lifeless outside their huts!
All the elders sat breathless around their fireplace!
“You could have refused my offer when you had the chance,”
Mutuma heard a whisper. It was the elf’s voice!
“I am sure that now you are aware of the feather’s power. It drifts
in thin air, but brings down thousands and thousands of people!”
“You should also have known by now that everyone, including you,
has some evil in his or her heart”…..
The poor boy was appalled when he later learnt that the elf
had conspired to kill every villager around him,
so that he could be the destined possessor of the feather.
“Immortality will be your blessing;
loneliness will be your curse,” the elf
once again whispered to him.