About Stephen Partington

Stephen Derwent Partington is a writer and a teacher who works as the head of academics at a small school outside Machakos, where he lives with his wife, Mutheu, and their young family. He is also the author of the earlier Phoenix Press (Kenya) collection, SMS and Face to Face. Stephen’s poems have appeared in a wide range of reputable international journals. Stephen has written newspaper articles for the Kenyan national press – both The Nation and The Standard – on literary and educational issues. He also writes the cheekily satirical poem in The East African. Read more about him here

Desert date tree


The Desert Date is a wary tree,
all thorns and implications.
In a gentle breeze, it shivers like temptation.

A giraffe’s evolved, or it’s evolved
to eat its leaves/resist the tongue.
Whichever, neither ever seems to win.

It’s no coincidence: giraffes are very wary,
all long limbs, insinuations.
Merest sounds will make them flee in apprehension.