How to Describe Nature


I like to collect descriptions other people have of life. I keep them on a big spreadsheet that I’m constantly updating. I read a lot and I pay attention to how my fellow authors get their ideas across, how they create pictures of scenery from their words. I’m in awe of people like Peter Matthiessen with his nature descriptions and Margaret Meade with her emotion-invoking portraits of people.

Here’s my collection of nature. I’ve drawn many of them from the following authors:

  • Matthiessen, who I think is the quintessential writer on our environs
  • Margaret Meade–to her, people don’t exist outside of their habitat. I agree
  • Barry Lopez–a beautiful nature writer

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The Sin of WRATH

Danny Gregory

For the first half of my career in advertising, I would often have irrational feelings of anger during a creative briefing. I would resent being given the assignment. Then I would be pissed off that I had to sit in a conference room with loads of other creative people while the strategists took us through the brief.

I simmered with impatience. I would ask critical, acerbic questions. I would strain against the deadline.

The monkey would tell me that the people briefing us were idiots, that their insights were lame or wrong, that I already knew more than they did about the subject, that it was wrong that we creatives had to compete for the assignment, the playing field wasn’t level, that the whole project was a waste of my time, blah blah and blah.

It was pretty crazy — and incomprehensible.

With time, I became sufficiently self-aware to identify…

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histology-endocrine glands

You remember the two major objectives;

  1. To know the histological shapes, organisational structure, contents, and various constituent cell structures of endocrine organs.
  2. To be able to relate the histology of these organs to function

Remember the thyroid gland and its anatomical relationship with the parathyroid, that this relationship is too depicted in histology.

Was it enough for you to appreciate the structure of the thyroid tissue? Or the pituitary gland or the pancreas? What was your primary objective?

If you are studying endocrinology, it is inevitable that you appreciate the microscopic appearances of the glands involved, however, note that this approach may not bring to you the actual message of histology.

The real purpose of histology is achieved first, when the interpretation of the images is guided the principles of microscopy and staining techniques, secondary when you attach interpretation to physiology.

It is necessary that you do histology when you are being intrigued by expectations. Know what you need to see, know how it might look like, and know what it does. It is important that you study an image with such expectations. This will enable you realize the interesting relevance of histology in your course.

If you have appreciated the structure of the pancreas, what meaning have you attached to it? Did you have any expectations and did you draw any conclusions? What impact has the structure of the pancreas made on your knowledge of the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is about secretion, how do you blend the concept of secretion in histology?

If appreciating just the microscopic structure of the endocrine organs was enough, then you missed out the real message of histology.

But am sure you should have had rich expectations stretching from just microscopic structure to the cellular composition and relationship to function.

I wish you the best.

My power point is available in the link hereinendocrine histology

Cathy’s smile

 Its not a theory that a smiling woman would make me feel how special I am


There is a glimmer of white dental lining that beams through two red plump lips.

The whispers to my ears, as though it’s only mine, a smooth, gentle hand creeps around my shoulder, I wait to hear. ” Mathew. Good bye. It was nice meeting you.” am not aware I am smiling to someone” She smiles again.

The day is deluged with an obsession of her images, the night am sure awaits that I slumber in thoughts of her charming smile. And I hope am not about to lay off this infatuation. It will still linger in my memory for the next few days.

I met her in bus en-route to Jinja. She was combing along the stretch of the bus when she paused in perplexity as she figured out where to sit. In my eyes, it was more likely that she would eventually zero in on my line of seat than being far away from the driver’s vicinity.  (Its normally a strategicseat-you can travel while enjoying a wide coverage of scenes). So I was just waiting that she makes up her mind to be my immediate neighbor. In fact, it was itching me to make a humbling gesture that I was dying if she dared sit away.

I would never imagine having such bad luck, envy and “everlasting” torment of seeing Cathy in amusement of another man for the next hours of our journey.

Cathy is a small girl, of 20 or thereabouts, of beautiful, enviable attributes, of sophisticated poise, of a charming and  truly feminine demeanor.  I subtly struggled to capture clearly her face though Igreat-smile (2) could not bring it out entirely since her forehead, the neck and the entire margin of the face was concealed in her hair-an array of beautiful, dark hair resting on the back of her shoulders. 

She did not smell a strange perfume though but generally she was smelling sexy.                                    I hate shaking hands but that day it was nothing to go by. I craved for a chance to get how soft and tender her palms would feel. I never had that chance. Nonetheless, from a point, at least my eyes could keep peeping at her long finger nails painted with a shining rouge color.

She did not say anything to me but I hoped may be later she would. I reached to my headsets, covered my ears and constructed a semblance of a peaceful silence.

Well, it wasn’t peaceful. I was only worried that for the first time I traveled, Jinja could be the shortest distance. So Am poised to break the silence. But how? I would wait if perhaps upon a hump of sorts, I could then rant something. Obviously at that time all the good questions will disappear and only such as ” Do you like humps?”  are the quickest to arrive on the mouth. Cathy would be silent not because I imagined she might be cunning but as long as I could figure out the right question to break the ice. It was high time that I was not responsible for the silence.

I was beginning to question my popular antics before I swung low my headsets. I wanted her to know that I have taken the headsets off my head.  This time I was earnest and since I trust that I am not this kind that will let go of such purported charming ladies,

Here I go.  “Hello, Am Mathew. Nice meeting you” blah, blah, blah….

Cathy’s reply was anchored by one of the most beautiful smiles I have ever seen. She spoke with such a seductive rhythm that would plunge me a daunting space to keep me worried about my next conversation. So i kept numb, but while in my silence I was grappling with a scary amount of words until i deemed them fit for such a charming girl.

I started my conversation and I never looked back. I touched Cathy,s hands I felt how I desired to feel, I touched her hair I felt how I wanted to feel, but one thing, I saw her smile and desired how I never felt. I desired to feel enough looking at Cathy’s smile. I am not yet gone over it.


The dreams I have not had in a long time come tonight. Its a beautiful dream when i see her there, seated right next to me.

Her smile does beyond the loving, graceful and humble face. I see from it coming a beautiful message that is filtering inside of me. She is giving me a beautiful reason to write a story today.

She smiles and for sure, a soft fond rhythm passes all over my body and I will feel her message that shes willing to get me charmed by her heart.

So spontaneous with barely a reason to feign it. Its so magical in my eyes that makes a real difference and deeply influences how I regard it. And I will denounce it. Its so real!

Her smile lies to me about her. Her flaws have been veiled while flaunting her innocence. I have been blinded by the glamour of a smiling face that I no longer recognize the errors of her words.

Its not a theory that a smiling woman would make me feel how special I am.

Uttermost praise I sing among all the unsung gifts of life.
It’s the only obsession that never grows old.
Her smile gets me think that her shrewd face will be concealed forever.

That gentle smile, makes me feel like you are holding my hand and saving me from rage.
Sailing me across, and wandering away from resentful and vengeful waves .

You steal from me the afflictions, the pain of my soul and cast them away.

You broach on my failure to smile, but grant me a conviction to -of which I make a humble offertory.

Your smile is a silent voice that tells me how worthy of you I am. How freely you open your world for me. To see what I desire.

That smiling face awakens me from bondage of despair, and gives me redemption that soothes the pain of my loneliness.

Upon your smile, your happiness rises at dawn above the distant mountains and sets on the other side when you wave to me a good bye.

When I see you smile, your sweet charm of vitality fills my whole and seals the crevices of my crumbled shell of yesterday.
I feel myself whole again and a peaceful aura defies my urges of silence and envy.

Whenever you smile, your soul is exalted in me. I see your eyes rejoicing. I see your teeth shinning more and more and your jaws spanning to a taste of times.

If you knew what your smile made me…


I hope you like a tale of a beautiful smile. Follow more stories on Deliverance

The Sin of LUST

Danny Gregory

Ironically, the classic bio of my favorite painter is called Lust for Life. But lust is a sin that has sabotaged loads of great artists too. Lust is any intense sort of intense and uncontrolled desire — be it for sex, food, drugs, money, fame, power or freshly-poured, frosty lager. Society loves to depict the artist as a lusty, carnal creature — snorting, boozing, copulating, and then self-destructing at 27.

Uncontrolled. Undisciplined. Lust replaces thoughtfulness with raw impulse. You cave in to self-destructive abandon. Instead of doing the necessary work you are distracted. Instead of drawing the model, you drool on him.

Lust makes you myopic. It distorts your normal perspective and gives you tunnel vision, tuning out everything but the object of your desire. And what you see is not real. It’s a thickly veiled concoction of your fevered mind.

Perhaps you are slender and celibate and sugar-free and…

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The Remarkable spree of Kampala Writers’ conference


Writers need each other and the world needs us                           

I remember.

I saw a bubbly poet. She was standing left in the circle. Her mouth poised to a shout of a poem and her arms laden with a stack of a poem, her legs troubled with the follies of ballerinas. Before I could discern the foolishness of poets, her flair for poetry was slowly filtering into my sensory data, my eyes opened, I fixed her with unwavering stare and saw her again. She was welcoming members with a dessert of warm ups.

Ife Piankhi.

I remember looking around. The room strewn with Small, medium, large size novels, memoirs, books. I could not help to regret having come like a dust man. How could I forget to come with me just a literary piece? And yet aware I was lingering in the world of writers

I remember identifying faces with those that have come from all walks of life. The feel of the aura of silvery voices, exotic accents, sophisticated poises, and modish dreadlocks, trendy dresses, pants and shirts. Only I could, gradually blend in a complexion of literary artists.

The ambiance- brimming with glamour and brilliance of a writer’s demeanor- was truly defining the fine art of men and women who stop their cars by the roadside and pull out their pencils and paper to quench their thirst.

By this time, I could see the world beckoning to me to become a creative non-fiction literary guru

I remember the curiosity of meeting our faculty.

I remember the fear of the rumor that she might miss. And beginning our first sessions almost without her. What a day we begin! And when she came, I knew I was just about to encounter with the tower of strength that would in the literary stretch, broaden and ennoble my literary horizons.

I remember the infancy of our sessions, the short stories, recitations, the proficient remarks of Rebecca Brown and when she said; “writers need each other and the world needs us”and the humour, the joy, the smiles, the laughter, the pleasantries, the credits, the gestures and the energy. The thrills of writers.

I remember the tears that streamed down the cheeks, the silence that ensued as members shared a heart-rending recall of memories from their dairies.

I remember the simple and yet sumptuous mélange of tender vegetable, fruit and hot coffee that revived my vitality in the morning, in the evening.

I remember the sundown of the long but rich and lively day. The good evening interlude that lured me together with Jordan, Beth…to comb through the neighbouring street to fetch a Dutch courage. Ha-ha! (Exaggerated), we also bought along a few sodas.

I remember seeing the sparks of flames blaze in the dusking sky when we sandwiched the bone-fire and glazing in awe at the magical splendours of the poetry slum and open-mike stars. These men and women were throwing huge lumps of poetry in the air as we cheered and bolstered their art.

I remember her romantic whisper when she told me she was shy to expose her gin. She would maintain her bottle drawn clandestinely to her mouth as she laid her hair down with the amusements of the poetry slum. Ha-ha! You might not guess who she was.

And then there was a peaceful end

The night would fall and the next day was a whole different taste.

I remember the hot sunny day when we hoped on our vans heading to inspire the young literary enthusiasts of St Peter’s SS Nsabya, Kololo SS, St Mary’s Kisubi, St Joseph’s girls Nsyambya.

We talked right into their faces and breathed in them the spirit of poetry that would hopefully lead the way to their most revered literary ambitions.

I remember the selfies and the groupies that we asked for, leaped for and jumped into. The nobility of keeping memories was each one’s ingredient. We could desire to see our friends and feel their presence always time after we can no longer touch their hands.

I remember the eve of our departure, I remember missing to go on spree with Jordan and company and the following morning they came wondering how I could have…That night which I imagine was analogous to the movie “Stomp the yard” is probably one those once in a lifetime moments that I never saw.

I remember the fare well. All good things had finally come to an end however as we packed our hacksaws, harmers, blades and sand pans, we had erected an unwavering monument and adorned it with the finest art and dazzling colours of poetry and then pinnacled with an indelible mark of literary wisdom.

That was the epitome of inspiration and experience I for one desired to have. The invaluable input of our faculty members; Beatrice Lamwaka, Ife Piankhi and Rebecca Brown, the rich spirit of the participants from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Canada and USA, without forgetting all the work of the organizers Jordan Hart, Ronald Ssekandi, Amber Aiello

I lay on my back, looking up into the sky, with my knees straight, and my arms parallel, remembering; that whenever I used to laugh, I laughed with somebody, wherever I sat, I sat with some body. When I needed to recite my poem, they sat and listened and sang praises, when I needed to know, they taught me and all that, they have done to make me write my world. All of them I remember so that they would not have been totally in vain.





The Sin of ENVY

Danny Gregory

According to Dante’s Purgatorio, if you get sent to hell for the sin of envy, demons will sew your eyelids shut with wire. Ouchy. You get this iron mascara treatment because you spent your days on Earth getting a kick out of seeing others in pain. Now, you just get to see total blackness and writhe around on a spit.

Envy isn’t just garden-variety, green with jealousy. It’s meaner. Envy means you don’t just resent someone else’s good fortune — you want to take it away from them. It’s not enough to wish you’d made that great painting. You have to rip it out of the frame and jump up and down on it. In other words, you need to become a critic.

Envy is another sin born of fear. It begins when you see someone else making something great. Instead of just enjoying it, you feel threatened by it. The monkey…

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The woman of the time


Of our fore fathers
When their ideals truly were to them.
norms, rituals, dreams predetermined their fate.
And woke up to their premonitions
Or waited for good omen

On the wrong side of the bed
they woke up to the birth of a baby girl
when she was neither a blessing
nor a gift to the world
the woman of the time

She was a like a shoot that sprouts
And buds in the trunk
at the base of the tree
She was only lucky to be born
But barely thereafter

She would live
And was sent to the well
Climbed to thatch the hat
Napped the babies all day
Sorted grain
And jumped the rope

And when she was at piece
She was as calm as a lamb
Tranquil like an eagle hovering in the air
Singing the ballads of fairy-tale
africa2While she lay her hair down

Basking in the ambiance of the morning sun

That time when she lived
That was her freedom
All she had to enjoy
And waited on her day to end
And to see a day that would come
To give her a different taste of life

When the breasts emerged
She was beautiful, virgin, finely textured
And gorgeous like a zebra
And then the sun would rise from her toe
And would set upon her hair

When her day would come to denounce her secret love
To flee from the bondage of solitude
To feel the savor of lovers’ romance
Get the dreams of her night real

In the darkness of the noon
The father in-law took charge
And her dignity would crumble
When he roared
And needed to be the novice of their matrimony


The sun would set
Waited the dawn of a hopeless day
And dignity was never again
Choice never a gift
When independence was unimaginable
And freedom inconceivable


She worked, but never would at her own pleasure
Worked her goodness and Kindness
Beauty and talent
Goodwill and charity
Loyalty and royalty
All virtuously she would feed her master


There was no education
There was no knowledge
There was no reading or writing
There was ignorance
There was no power

But there was joy, there was happiness

Grief and pain
And there was hope
The day was grim
The heart was empty

But there was faith


But there was love
There was tenderness
There was compassion
There was beauty

Of mind, body and soul
And there was as mile


In their love, compassion
tenderness and innocence
And the time was changing
To fought a war
The war that would end
To taste a different error


A beginning of their liberation
The men pledged to give to them
To decide on an equal footing
To serve and to be served
And to love and to be loved
They believed so much

In the end of the war
That there would be freedom
There would be dignity
Education and knowledge
They believed so much
In peace and tranquility
And in equality of mankind

And eternal harmony

This poem is a recall of fairy tales of sorts passed on to us by our loving mums. It has a start and a transition from the indigenous dignity to a modern one.

poem excerpt from nsimamukama’s literary pursuits-I hope you will like it



“I would tell you that I love you tonight, but I know that I’ve got time on my side. Where you going? Why you leaving so soon? Is there somewhere else that’s better for you? What is love, if you’re not here with me? What is love, if there’s no guarantee? What is love if it just ups and leaves?”

That is an excerpt from V. Bozeman’s rendition of What Is Love from the popular Fox TV Show, Empire. Why am I writing about this? Why am I asking this question? Well, two days ago, I was asked if I believed in love. And now, I ask you, my readers, the question I have posed to myself many a sleepless night with no success. What IS love?


Some may say that love is sacrifice, others say that love is pain and pain is love. I don’t know what it is…

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