PENSPEAK 2018 | SHIP WRECKED BY DoeBi

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Running Back Home

Hey Daddy,

Something I have to tell you

When I was in school I did something you said I shouldn’t do
I dated someone and his name was Curious
Curious was mad and I wanted to be mad with him
But on the road I missed my way to madness and he left me behind
Now I’ve come running back home to you.
Daddy, I’m running back home to you.

Adaobi Chiemelu
© 2019

Barren Mother

I have an empty well of a belly.
My womb has known nothing but dying blood all my living years.
I have thought of no one but myself,
Fed no one but myself,
Placed no one before myself,
How do I have a womb except it was made to bear another, and yet
I have no idea what it means to pour a part of myself into another.
“A breast feeding mother?”
That’s a foreign name to me.
“A bread winning father?”
Who dares call me?
I am my own hero,
My own salt,
My own light in a shady place,
Come with me and I’ll lead you into the darkness.
I’d snuff the life out of my light because I do not want to share it.
I’m an evil already happening,
A menace waiting to be uncovered.
My tactics are new everyday
Yet my mind is old.
I am a dirty, dirty soul with a clogged up heart and a rigid body.

This is why I have come before the Rock of Ages,
Before The fire that purifies without consuming to ashes.
My tears produce more salt now than I have ever thought to produce.
I do not know when I ever took lessons from the ocean
But my ill will like waves come crushing over me.
I am caught up in my own dirt web,
Spun in my own fear.
I have come to you as a barren womb in need for a child.
I was born to be mother, now may I know a child?
I have come as a fruitless tree in its season.
As hungry fire,
I’m desperate.
As a docile branch,
I submit.
I accept defeat.
Let your rains fall on this arid land again, Lord.
I admit nothing was ever my own;
As I am left with nothing now I am reminded where I come from.
Give me one child, Yahweh ‘tis All I ask.
Surprise the quick-to-conclude with Your quick-to-deliver.
Let them know when their calling-me-barren tongues call me mother,
Let them know from every side of the flipping coin earth,
That You make the Barren Mother.

Adaobi Chiemelu
(c) 2018

Saved

I like that you wear clothes that keep you warm.
They keep you warm enough so that I can hold you in my arms.
If they didn’t and you were cold I would be afraid I may smother you.
In my struggle to keep you warm and breathing I may smother you to death as cold as itself. It would be a shame. I’m sorry. But I cannot bear to hold you in my arms when you are cold cause I cannot.
If I tried I would override you.
My feet would stretch over your cold feet stroking it so that it yields. I may strike it off totally, knocking your bones off structure. And my arms over yours in a bid to keep them from being cold I wouldn’t stop wiping or swiping until I would have swiped their very skin off. No one would laugh at the funny bones cause they would be dreadful to look at. I’m not kidding.

Your face. My hands wouldn’t stop. In a bid to save it from the cold I’d rub and scratch. Ridding it of every make up or DNA matches. Your chest would be so cold I would stump on it. I wouldn’t take it. Your tommy I would try to fold it to keep it as warm as possible but no I would be tearing it apart. Your back I would try to keep it warm but it would prove too hard I would break it. I would rip you apart. I would reach for your cold, crusted lips. Try to bring it back to life, saliva for saliva, tooth for tooth. I would sweat. But you wouldn’t yield. My want would have drowned you. Stripped you…

I’m glad you wear clothes and they keep you warm. Warm enough for me to hold you in my arms. I love you. And I wouldn’t want to hurt you more than I would want anything else for you. I care that much that’s why I recommend them for you. You may not trust it much but then you would never know how cold you would have been without them. Cause you would be alive, warm and breathing so much so you wouldn’t know what it felt like to be cold. Clothed in your own beliefs, your own defense of yourself, your own pov, everything wears warm about you, from your thoughts on your sleeves down to the socks of articulate speech wrapping the ankles of your feet. And if your body is a house, you’re house warming until your fans have blown the skin of your face such that your lips react by spreading upward on your face like an omelette cooking in a pan.

I like that you wear clothes. They keep you warm and comfortable. I like that because that way, you can smile. But if you were cold, I’d never have access to your mind no matter how hard I scratched. I know that so I’m really glad you wear clothes. I am. Because now I can really hold you without the fear of losing you when what I really want is to keep you.
Signed
Jehovah.

(Let Jesus be the clothes, let the warmth be the love shed abroad our hearts. Rom 5:1-5)

Adaobi

(c) 2018

O fish alley

I’m officially capped to do this.
Okay. Here’s the thing. You have to promise me something. Three things, four.
You know this is freestyle Friday so yea…
First permit us in this alley. We know fishing is not allowed but common our bait are for words. The hooks held by our fishermen are made of ink. We fetch our words from peace like from a river overflowing so we can catch men by the pull.

Next give us an audience. We need an audience to be caught by our wide nets weaved of words and punctuations to mark a good start with our fishing business.
We heard there are ghosts in your alley. Some have even nicknamed it the haunted alley. We understand that’s a legit reason for the ban but do let us face our fears ourselves. If we call ourselves fisher men give us the benefits of being adequately clad for the job.

And finally, don’t leave us your equipment. If they worked in ghost proofing the area it wouldn’t still be haunted would it? We have come from a dimension of torch lights that spell victory with the name of the Christ. And from this watch tower, Life is not too good to be true, it is true.

Adaobi

(c) 2018

Heads

Heads of garments, heads of fruits, heads of people… Heads. Heads.

You can gaze upon my face all you want. But to have a look into my head, no you won’t.

Cause you can’t.

And You’ll never know the strings of vessels that work hand in hand with strands of ligaments to pull this through. You’ll never know the gaps that had to be filled with cartilage or red blood peels all to keep this up; this straight looking, up-faced, high standing figure called a head. You don’t know.

You don’t know what it takes to clean me up. Floss after floss of cotton balls dangling up down and across my pores in zig zag motions, all to clean me, wet, dull and clingy, sticking right up to me telling me how I’m a story without a clean stop when I’m bleeding. I wonder if you really know where I’m heading at cause you don’t know me. You don’t know what it feels like to be me.

That’s how you can sincerely look forward to appreciating me with nothing. You’re expecting me to continue to spring up all of a sudden, give a genuine laugh all the time all of a sudden, have many reasons to always sit up and think for you when you would have me sit up and think for you because you’re certain doing nothing is your part while all I must do is sit up and think for you. But you have not been sincere enough to genuinely follow up my system. Now you can’t back me up.

So you accuse me and abuse me, all rightly. You treat me lightly yet you expect me to perform brightly. You conjure up your own magic and yet you can’t spell me. When Paul said to pray for our leaders, he was not speaking Anti. In the spirit he was true and he was matter-of-factly. You know we…dress up our lives with Makeup and acting, yet actually we pretend to know what our leaders are really facing. Forgetting they also have faces and dresses to act in. Believe me…

You don’t know the heart of the matter until you’ve listened to its beat. You don’t know the stomach of the warrior until you’ve fed it. You don’t know the bone of contention until you’ve chewed on it. You don’t know the joke of the oesophagus until you’ve told it. You don’t know the favorite joint until you can beer it stretch. You don’t know your own guts until you’ve spilled it. You don’t know the skin of trouble until you’ve felt it. You don’t know the slippery nature of butter fingers until you’ve heat it. You don’t know how elastic your ribs are until you’ve cracked it.

And you don’t know the breath of his shoulders until you’ve cried on it, taking in deep breaths till you can measure it. So why are you waiting? We never measured up to this, this beautiful privilege of the Good News but, the good news is He is waiting to take our hands and comfort us and equip us beyond measure in the power of His Spirit.

So He sealed it. If you know it, you can live it and get it into your head.

Adaobi Chiemelu

(c) 2018

Poetry in Pottery 2

 

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I held each piece in my palms, one piece at a time as if examining each piece.

“Read it out loud, ” said the potter. “what good is poetry if it is not read out loud? ” Scoffing he added, “It is no prose! ”

I picked one piece up and aloud I read :

Some things I’m going to do today
I’m going to look back tomorrow
And find them funny

Then I’ll ask God, why do I find these things funny?
And He’ll reply, ”You’re okay”
“Hmmm,” said the potter, urging me on.

I picked up another piece and again aloud I read :
Every child leaves a signature behind
A mark that says they were once here
That they had grown up there

Being upset over a child staining a sheet for example
Is as empty as getting furious over the natural order of things

 

haha “You see it? If parents are capable of overlooking the mess of their children, how much more capable is God!”

Picking up another piece, I read on :
I have often wished I could rewind tapes of time
That I could check in back in time and unsay that word

Unfall in that love or unwalk down that lane
Unbreak that certain plate or unbutton that passion, at that time

But it never happens
It is at such times that I know it is only God
Only Him can truly do all things
“And this is all my handwriting! In fact it seems I’ve been reading out my own life!”

“Did you think I would give you someone else’s life to read out? ”

I was so awed I wanted to take the pottery pieces home but I figured I already have my life.

On my way home, looking back for a second at the house , it appeared as though it was the one up for sale 😀

I blinked and saw it had been a product of my imagination, perhaps an aftermath of my magical experience some minutes ago.

A woman walked out of the house, holding up a clay jar in her arms, with a child tagging along, and I wondered if she was shown what I had been shown.

Then I thought:

Everyone gets to be taught
In a way they can uniquely understand.

Poetry in Pottery

 

I went to the potter’s house today ( not the one up for sale :D)

When I got in, the potter welcomed me and I got to see around. Then he set colorful pots before me.

“Poetry in clay jars”, he had said.

Poetry? Was being presented to me? In clay jars? images-1I watched him set them and I found they were in the order of the colors of the rainbow. I marveled as the white light shone on them and yet they reflected different colors. (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“Select one.”

I pointed at the one I selected. I’d chosen the yellow pot.

“The Yellow Poet”, he said smiling.

The pot was suddenly raised before me and left to hit the ground in a ‘thud’. I shrieked, “But why!”

“Take a look at the jagged pieces. You’ll see how God’s strength is shown in our weaknesses.”

So I looked on the floor and at the jagged pieces. There were pieces of different shapes and sizes. I looked at the jagged yellow particles. Some were rounded and big enough to hold water. Some were just too small and yet they were an indispensable part of the entire pottery, and sharp enough to prick the sole of one’s foot. Some others were just jagged enough; not too small, not too big.

But they all had poetry inscribed on them. Poetry pieces that comforted (stood the test of time, held water), dilapidated strongholds (hit the nail on the head, pricked), and there were pieces that just fed ( preached, were for just the right time and place).

“What do you see?”

“Poetry in jagged pieces! ”

I was happy. All of a sudden I was filled with joy and I began praising God.

“You feared for the broken pottery but you forget I am the potter and I know the purpose behind the moulding of each pot. If these clay jars, for instance, are not broken, how then can you find the poetry inscribed in them?

These clay jars are the height of my beauty and power ( Psalm 139:14) but they must be broken if their real purpose is to be met.” said the potter to me.