Words for My Father

Baami,
For the times your words enveloped my fear,
Times your voice echoed courage into my soul,
And you became strength for my arms,
When the weight of the world became too heavy for me to bear,

Nna,
You built an image our lives could reflect on,
And carved words into pointers to guide us,
As we journeyed through the world,
You denied yourself of pleasures,
So we could afford the luxury we desired;
A price you’d pay as long as you had breath in your lungs,

How can I forget the touch of your rod,
A few lashes to straighten us when we went wrong,
How can I forget lessons enriched in respect, integrity and diligence,
Lessons drawn from the scenes of your life,
Lessons we could hold in the palms of our hands,
Lessons that moulded us into the men we are today!

Abba,
I choose to count my flowers while the sun still shines upon your face and the wind gently caresses you,
When the air in your lungs still warms up your chest,
And your heart still beats,
Today, I choose to celebrate you for being nothing short of a father!
Happy Father’s day Baami.


And to those Father who has gone beyond this world,
We choose to remember you and say you live on in hearts!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 2022

I have 50 Naira

I have 50 naira
My favorite note.
She used to be beautiful
Blue, fragile and promising
But I still loved her.
Right from childhood,
50 naira held a bouquet of colorful promises
A plate of rice and stew
Plenty wraps of coconut candy
Fanta
Happiness

But then she turned on me
Had a makeover
Became glossy and glamorous
And slowly became worthless.

She used to command respect
now 50 naira has esteem issues,
hardly making any impact when she stands alone.
A once revered note that now only has value in its multiples
50 naira has let me down.

50 naira has now has mood swings
I only get to find out when I arrive at the market.
I just discovered that 50 naira and sachet tomato aren’t in speaking terms
50 naira and onions are no longer friends

50 naira is treading a dangerous path
The path of 5 naira… The path of irrelevance
I’ve tried to warn her.
She said her fate is not in her hands.
That it’s not her fault

50 naira is breaking my heart.
She has changed
Grown distant
I still hold her in my hands but can’t feel her impact in my life.

Damaris Akhigbe
©2021

Who I Am


What is in your hand
Hope you understand
Talent on demand
Still no special gland
Innovation and
Information crammed
The point is who I am
Too saved to be damned
Spiritually armed

Jesus in a man
Problems try to swarm
Solve ‘em up like tan
Money became the plan
Naira, Cedi or Rand
But the race that I ran
One particular man
Turned me into a lamb
A spiritual RAM
Follow up applicants
Why fight over land
When I’m heir to the stars
Why cry over yams
When I’m loved by “I am”

Nielquchi
(C) 2021

The Bleeding Heart

The blood she shed was all her own.
She’d found no way to staunch the flow
For twelve long years.
The cost to her in doctors’ care
Was nothing to her shame and her enormous fears.
Unclean and thus untouchable
She knew she’d live and die alone in blood and tears.

The world had turned its back on her
And all she saw and all she touched was tinged with red.
Denied the right to worship God,
Denied the Temple courts by law, her soul was dead.
Denied all comfort, love of friends
And touch of man, she kept alone her blood-stained bed.

Her last hope lay in this new man,
But with her touch she’d make him, too, unclean, outcast.
And should she even hope for help?
Of all the people God might heal she was the last.
For it was God who sent the curse,
The blood and shame, the loneliness, through Laws He passed.

In spite of all these doubts and fears,
Mistrust of God, she took her chance – a touch unseen.
Then, Jesus, the untainted, changed the Law to Love.
Her world became new, fresh and green.

The blood He shed was all his own,
And flowing down it covered her and washed her clean.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Love


Love is as beautiful as the smile of a new born
Love became evident when I accepted a new God
Love filled the hallow in my heart when I told sin to be gone
Love pointed a gun at my weaknesses and blew them up
From the dunghill, love picked me up
Love saved me
An heir, he made me
Exceeding joy, he gave me
A new life has certainly begun

Princess Pirinye
© 2020

Swimming in molten streams

You say your heart leapt when our paths first crossed
That my frame made you melt, shook you shoulders in spasms
You say sparks flew in our sights when they first locked
Like rough iron faces slamming together
At the start of a melding of souls

You say molten streams surged up your skin when we held hands
Roaring and smashing and battering and burning and sinking us
You say we swam and splashed in pleasant thoughts of each other
Together, woven up in skyward soars and seaward plunges
A glinting pearl of cosmic thirst for love quenched

You say I played up your craving heart like a game
Hugs for dice, kisses for cards, every moment a bet tied match
You claim I aimed for your delicate core
Where trust sits tightest, where hurt cuts deepest
And yes, you say I fractured your fragile soul with imaginings not lived out

You say you’ll be wrecked no more
So you sit beside loving hate and cursing smiles
You raise a cynic facade to mock a mirthless world
But you die a million times over on your insides
You shut sunlight out to mourn love lost in secret darkness

You’re coming round to truth now
For we did swim and splash and sink in love’s molten streams
But I became the life raft to keep your shaken frame afloat
The burden of wreck forced your pained flight from Light
But I’ve owned it as paddle to steer you back to me

Ikenna Nwachukwu Alexander
© 2019