Your Star Doesn’t Even Come Close

His smooth tone feeds you feels
Sugar rushes, belly butterflies
And a heaven
Where you are night, and his eyes, stars

So when his gaze falls, your world wobbles
Glorious twinkles, violent flames, you’re there
Scorched when he scowls
And dimmed by him downcast

So when he wanes, you’ll wither
Be dying satellite, drifting in space
Till you’re drawn to another sun
Dependent orbit, all over again

But you want a better star
You need no fail, no light fades
You crave bright, steady and sure, no supernova stories
That’s God, your star doesn’t even come close

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2019

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Best Syllable

I have envisioned, read and learned
I have traveled, heard and lived
But the best syllables is that of a dying
Man, who is near to a new beginning

His tones are calm like gospel
His eyes peace, reconciliatory, transitory
Forgive is all he says
Forgive is all he repeats

For friends and foes alike
Are criminals condemned alike
Both entered the prison the same way
Both will sleep someday.

Forgive is all he says
Forgive is all he repeats
For man has nothing since
The beginning but his nakedness

It is only Allah that generously gives
And it is I AM that takes away
Forgive is all he says
Forgive is all he repeats

I have traveled and learned
But the best syllables of life is that of a dying man, who is near to a new beginning

Ugwu David. C
© 2019

Death and the Imago Dei

God says
I AM; space
shape-shifts on
His constancy
swinging and swerving in
and out, like flames
lit, waned, relit
by undying hands

Existence is
His filling , pouring
His infinite into
finiteness, a
creating, a
gaining fade, a death
process climaxed on
a Roman cross

His dying is living
life, is glorious
process played out
In moulding perfect
man, with His blood and body for
water and clay, art
and sacrifice, creation’s
true portrait

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 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

A Portrait of Sacrifice, with Blood as Paint

A band of butcherers chant,
As they drag crying sheep through,
Smashed rocks and dirt clouds,
Swarming, to slaughter point,

Its fluffy coat sheds, to mingle,
With mud puddles and grim slime,
It swims in darkened blood,
And sways, to torturers’ feet stomping,

As shredding skin paints the path,
To the altar, with red hue,
A portrait of life takes shape:
Suffering, to death,

But if through its last cries,
It sees losing self could be worship,
It’ll fall, to paint its dying as,
Living worship to God, “Sacrifice Infinite”.

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2018

False-Truth

I’m not good enough,
Daddy is taking Ada out for the third time because she aced her exams and I did not,
It’s the 4th time I’m being dumped for the better one who happens to bear my second name,
Yes! I took the pain to please my team and they chose David instead to take the lead,
Right now, I can’t look my wife in the face because I was not strong enough to rescue our only son before the car exploded in my face,
It’s 5 of 5 times I gave my opinion only to be overlooked by Tunde my coworker,
Who later brushed it up at the board meeting and was given a cool offer,
I even bet my life savings on the victory of my soccer club and the other club won,
And now I remember that it was momma who never believed a word a say because of the lie I told when I was two,

So, before I take my baby steps to death,
let me tell you that life has left me bullied by these thoughts and actions and betrayals and my pride with many rejections,
I even resulted to alcoholism but.. wait,
My religion abhors it so I’m formerly depressed,
These are the few I can tell,
I don’t want to tingle your ears,
And so far, all gesture given to me have been a clue for my escape away from this wicked world,

This was my life until I met one who told me I was made for so much more,
“Though the world’s pressure be heavy on me?”
But one sure word,
“Though I have been tagged as a sore looser and my dreams are dying”
But one true word,
“Though the stem of a tree be cut off and it’s roots wither but with the scent of water…
..That tree will grow again”

So before you pull the trigger to your brain,
Or drink that mixture,
Or have a last look at the beautiful skies as you sink in to the deep,
Or tie that rope to your neck,
Or write your last letter,
Give me the chance to rescue the hero in you,
Let me a minute to whisper to you that you are the one the skies have been waiting for,
Allow me to give you this scent of hope that there’s one who believes in your breath,
Your scent, your accent, your color, your posture, your smiles,

I mean your tears a so treasured so much that every drop sends a signal to the one who created you,
Truly you’re the apple of his eyes,
And these misdeeds are remodeling you into a masterpiece,
Your past do not define your future,
You are equal and more to that problem you’re facing,
You’re the champion waiting to happen,
So don’t give up, hang in there!
And just before another ‘false truth’ comes knocking at your mind’s door,
Accommodate this one truth,
“You are good enough!”

Azubuike Hannah
© 2018

S.H.E

Maya Angelou said she knew why the caged birds sang;
Well, I know something else,
I know why the virtuous woman remains a legend,
A fictional character of sorts,
She is the dream and goal of a young lady’s heart,
The epitome of indefatigable femininity,
We are told as soon we care to ask,
Yet she is trapped in the sands of history,

She is impeccable and all we must aspire to
And even before we start to allow our clay into the Potter’s wheel,
We know innately that we will never be her,
We will never be good or enough,
She is our adult version of Wonder Woman,
Good for stories and such….but only such,
Never moving beyond the Kodak pages of scripture,
That so perfectly capture her…

She is safe,
She is healed,
She is empowered,
She spells the word SHE,
And puts the definition in the word woman,
So she stays a legend,
We believe her to be with no knowledge of bitter or ugly,
She is eternally too good,
Not as soiled as we are…..

Now listen,
I come to dispel the faux,
That the virtuous woman is one with no past,
No scars and no torn dresses,
I write as one who was once like you,
And now is becoming She,

I dare to proclaim,
Little miss goody two shoes wasn’t always so little,
Her tush shoes weren’t always so good nor did she choose speech,
That sparkled with grace,
Her dress wasn’t always pristine nor her reputation divine,
Her hands were bloodied once,
Same blood cried out to God for justice,

And there were men buried deep in her scars,
The ones on her back and at the back of her mind,
Her innocence was raped off…by the clammy hands of life,
Call her Gomer, Tamar, Rahab or Mary….
She wears different faces in different places,
United in essence by the sameness of her struggles,

I hear she met Someone,
I hear Someone met her at the well,
Offered her water to quench the never ending inferno in her soul,
I hear Someone cast out her seven demons,
I hear she was bent over, broken and dying of silence,
Yes, the same Someone held her hand and commanded death to
‘ Loose her and let her go! ‘
And just like that,
This domitila from hell becomes the angel of proverbs 31.

I dare say she has a past,
Why else does she work so hard,
Funny thing is, she not trying to outrun it,
No,
She stands at her window on the wall, and waves a scarlet thread,
Her house is on the rock, the only unbroken part of the wall,
She runs to tell you to run,
Run!!!

Come, taste and see a Man who has told me all about myself,
Who evicted the demons and filled in my souls blank spaces,
And if only you drink of His water,
This need not be your present,
I need not be a legend….
Hear her voice echo over the horizon of history…..
‘You too can become S.H.E!!!’
Safe, Healed, Empowered,
Now ask me how,
My simple whisper….Jesus.

Chika Chikeka.
© 2018

SUICIDE

I’ve written lots of things and deleted it,
I’m short of letters, talkless about words,
I’ve crumpled the pages of my notebooks,
written lots of doodles, smile at one minute,
And then cry at the next,
But now I’m just typing,

I smile at things that make me happy,
I frown at uncertainties,
Should I? Shouldn’t I? Can I? What if?
Questions…….
Afraid to take a decisive step,
I sit and sit,
Becoming a smiling mannequin,
For all and sundry,

I strive to make everyone smile,
All the time,
At the expense of my piece of mind,
Hey you, Be this……….
You there, Be that…….
Come on, I think you’re better this way……
On and on, they say,
Till my world spirals and gets sucked up in “voices”,

“Voices”,
Till I became dead to the VOICE,
Seriously, I can’t even hear HIM no more,
I’m at the end of the rope,
Teetering on the brink of sanity,
Toying with, no, relishing the thought of going over the edge,
Falling down, down, down and down,
Smiling at the very thought of it,
Dying,

Dying??
Why?
For whom?
To what end?
To punish who?
The voice said.
Myself, I reply.
Myself, for being a fool.
For hating myself.
For being a piece of dead leaf
Being tossed to and fro by the tumultuous wave.
For not loving myself., I answered,

And then what next, He asked?
That, I don’t have the answer to,
I’d be dead already,
Okay, you worthless piece,
Since that’s how you see yourself,
That’s what I’ll call you,
You were not put in the world to just breathe in its air,
Drink is water, eat it’s food, enjoy its holidays,
Spend its monies, and just give up like that,

You exist, you don’t just live,
Love yourself, not just others,
Don’t exchange peace of mind with piece of friends,
It ain’t worth it,
You are worth more,
Ah! So much more than rubies,
So much more than money,
Because of just one thing,
I love you!
So, get down from that cliff,
Sit down, breathe 3,2,1, there you are!
Stand up, dust your shoes,
The world is waiting for you!

Emenike Chinwendu

© 2018