“I Died With the Earth – A Similitude of the Days of the Destroyer” by Richard Oduor Oduku

I Died with the Earth


I saw sharks and crabs suntan on sand dunes
and turtles and tortoises toast to reunions

I saw birds – tight-lipped – on nests of shredded Bibles
and snakes, motionless, coiled on the steering wheels of dead SUVs

I saw men – listless – with flags and paper roses on deserted car parks
and women, on roadside verges, trade sacraments from ransacked Cathedrals

I saw oil wells fill with water and drilling rigs sprinkle rust on black mambas
Diamond fields gaped on drying swamps. Ferns wilted. Trees waved at thinning clouds – as the loam hugging their roots became acidic – and stumbled and fell, spewing moth to the thin hot air

I saw mankind – frail like crowned sorghum – sway to the thrust of enraged winds. I saw clusters of human hair billow to blueing skies. I saw trees, dry like matchsticks, ignite and burn. I saw grasses tail winds and billowing hair. I saw the clouds burn like petrol-doused wheat fields.

I blistered from falling embers and endured the torment of sandstorms as hungry insects feasted on my roasting skin.

Alone with a dying earth, I remembered the past – a world that was – and cried, hugged by an approaching darkness. I remembered that destiny comes to those who listen and upon a bed of ignorance, fate finds the rest. It was too late. I remembered the Days of Destroyer passed to us from the ancients and the promise that such a day will return. Not even the wise knew this appointed hour: that the circling ball of flames shall hide behind the billowing clouds of smoke, that the land shall swallow all waters and twist in anguish at cinders from the heavens

The skies burnt brightly – casting red copper hues – and fell, as dust, on my feet

I died – with the Earth.


Richard Oduor Oduku (@RichieMaccs) is a poet and writer. He studied Biomedical Science and Technology at Egerton University. He works, as a Research Consultant, and lives in Nairobi. His work has been published in Jalada Africa, Saraba Magazine, Storymoja, San Antonio Review, among others. He also writes for #MaskaniConversations in the Star Newspaper. He is also working on a novel and a collection of poems and is a member of Jalada Africa (a pan-African writer’s collective) and Hisia Zangu (a writer’s and art society).