Look Up

(For Geoffrey Githaiga 1987 -2015)

 In rugby, as in life, play what’s in front of you.

Few things are more embarrassing than being the forward marking the base when a scrum half throws a dummy pass.

The idea of writing tributes is confusing. Words are not enough to capture essence, or to pick you off the ground after the scrum half makes the break on your inside shoulder.

What’s in a name? No one’s really sure – Shakespeare argues that roses show significance. Still, I’m yet to see a rose that can wear a number 9 jersey.

If roses could play rugby would we still lay them on your grave? Or would we mourn in sequence.


Memory is the real cloud. How many times has your essence been stored in the cloud? Did you swing by, collecting a video montage of passes off the ground? Did Katsumi the boatman read out your statistics as he rowed you across the sea that leads beyond what the living know?


If a tree falls in the forest all the other trees gather and mourn in silence. The sound scares birds from branches, worms come out of the ground in wonder. Slowly the tree feeds the forest and rebecomes part of it. If a tree falls in the forest, the forest grows. The forest is trees falling in perpetuity and the trees continue to mourn. In many ways, the forest is a place of mourning dead trees.

Is the tree dead? Friends and family are yet to confirm – a forest holds its breath.


We listen to the forest for the sound of fallen trees. A song floats to our ears “is he higher than the highest mountain?”

There is no response. So we collectively hold our breath hoping that this too, is a dummy pass. That hope feeds and slowly rebecomes us.

But the dust refuses to settle, and the wind tells no lies – a forest mourns.

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