Kings and Pawns

“We’re all Kings and Pawns,”
Napoleon Bonaparte once said,
“We’re all Emperors.”
“We’re all Fools.”

Funny he should say that.
We, like two Kingdoms, square up.
Blacks against Whites.
Decisions. Decisions.

What’s in your hand, sir?

King Pawn to King Four.
Small beginning steps we take
Believing we’re each of us
The only star in our own movie.

But Knight to Queen’s Bishop Three.
Counter moves from counter selves
We sabotage our own efforts
And wonder what’s afoot.

We’re all Kings and Pawns
Though each man in his own heart
Thinks himself different from all.
Superior to all the human-ness.

What’s in your hand, ma’am?

When Bishop takes Bishop,
And we face our true desires
We all deny our deepest truths
For Ego’s sake, for Pride’s joy.

What miserable life we lead
As we approach our end-games
This chessboard cleared of all
And the space evident in all things?

Queen to King’s Rook Three.
Discover Check. And trouble finds us.
Run we may, but hide we can’t.
Now matter where we turn to.

What is this you have in your hand,
Oh fallen man – son of Eve?
What is this you carry in your heart
Oh, daughter of the damned?

If King takes Knight Pawn,
I hope never again will it be said
That we sought for what we knew not
And that all man listened to his own heart.

We’re all Kings and Pawns,
A man once said to the world.
And he – that brilliant devil – he was right.
We’re all – all of us – Emperors. Fools.

Ask not what Mgbeke plans for dinner.
Wonder not when Mgbafo will get married.
What’s in your hand, people of God?
Mind your own business.

Nonso John
(C) 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

EVEN IF FOR A SMILE

As I gaze the blue sky with my tired eyes
Swimming in the ocean of my mind
Word draining and words building
My tired soul in complete disarray

Will I rise again like these ocean waves?
Renewed with strength that won’t cave in
But this weary soul needs some hope
My tired mind, helpless as all look lost

Would you like some pie sir, a whisper?
My eyes alight with a new glow at the smile
A petite brown haired girl with green eyes
With the brightest smile I ever saw

Yes please, little smiling one I croaked
I stretched forth my tired hands
My grieving soul a teary-eyed. My wife and
My little girl will not return, alas

Oh what a pain untold to lose your world
But this smiling one renewed my hope
Not to end it on this deep blue sea
But to start all over again even if for a smile

Galatians 6:10 “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
©2021

PRESENCE


A Place as quiet as a grave but becomes a city of risen bones
Place of fortitude
Place of guidance
Place of tranquility
Place of Joy
Place of exaltation
Place of increase
Place of light
His presence is that place
Oozing with fragrance that sticks so the world can perceive his glory
Build you up like a fortress
His presence is a foundation your faith is built on, it will stand strong
Withstand the turbulence that this world brings
His presence is where you ought to be
His presence is where you would see him

Uba Isoje
©2021

Nostalgia

She said I write but it is not poetic
I guess I just recognize a selling point
Point me to the past I’ll be back at it
That first day I saw Godswill

Mmm


I’m emotional I beg your pardon
The things that connect when you meet a God person
I can at least afford to pay attention

All of that bed dressing
But I am not done with the lesson
Cedars got on stage like “We are the best thing”
Masks on my wall, I forgot to call Kizi

We grew from one location
To going on tour and we’re just beginning
They tell me “Bro, one day you go blow”
I smile and bow a seed will die to grow

I could make an anthem for the kain ship
You guys make me feel so fancy
There are stories that I daren’t tell
Movies make my head swell
Eating cabbage like it’s fresh bread
Being Nigerian is a king thing
I just kill all the dread
Luck or is it grace that I’m mehd
if you don’t walk on water
You’ll be doing so soon
What you are is enough
When it’s time don’t you bloom?

Don’t you bloom?

The Nielquchi
© 2020

Culture Shock In Christianity

Science says freezing hot food causes freezer shock
But since we don’t do Lukewarm
Luke warms the food back to back
Or freezes it till hell freezes over.
Let the freezer shock if it must.

The day I told my mum I won’t go to hell
Even if I die fornicating
She shouted ‘chi’m egbu’m ooo’.
‘It’s funny-Kate how the devil is fighting for your life’.
Old people think they are wiser
But I have read my history books back and forth
And the devil lost the battle a long time ago.

I tell people not to bother using a mechanic
That I have a transformer that can transform
Their wretched Volkswagen to a Ferrari
But they are afraid to hug transformer
Even if it will only zap them to eternal life.

They say trade by barter is our culture
And the church continues trading her Joy.
Even after Christ said it’s not for sale,
They still couldn’t take despite their starvation.
Instead they borrow wears they can’t afford
Snapping and posting with two fingers up
Captioned ‘for the culture’

Chy’D
© 2020

Mary’s Cross

Scandal has tingled the villagers’ ears
And engendered the gossip mother fears.
I find her, alone, dissolved in tears
From what she’s heard in the marketplace.

When I go for water, my ears start burning,
As I shop for fish, my feet start turning
To run, but I’m gradually learning
That their hisses can’t rob me of God’s grace.

They tell my father it’s a shame.
They tell my mother she’s to blame.
They whisper to others that I’m a stain
On the high reputation of this godly place.

A swollen belly can’t be hid
Nor the depths of disgrace into which I’ve slid.
Next, my marriage vows they’ll try to forbid
And work to see me exiled from this place.

In the angel’s words it was God I heard
He’s wiser than the scoldings of this world.
I’m told if I faithfully follow His word
I’ll hold the Creator of all time and space
In my arms.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021