Smile

The only medicine that has no prescription
No unpleasant taste
And cost no vortex of energy
Is to always smile
A take with incredible equanimity
Your generosity comes in times of scarcity
Done brazen facedly
Am vaccinated by you against infection
Because you give me a sense of humour
To maintain Stoic indifferent
And also impervious to the chilly wind of scorn
You become an aid as to a good riddance to the poor
And as a scaffolding of hope to the hopeless
A charmed strewn of sunlit shard
To lovers in happy relationship
Within the dying ashes
You blow the sacred spark
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark
You send happiness and a million pleasant thrills to the heart
To parched souls thirsting for love
In the vast desert of human affairs
Playing aide of rhythm to
Encouragement in circumstances.
A therapy used regularly to heal
Persons with varied ailments
With wonderful tonic for life’s ills ..

David Darby
© 2019

RESCUE

I found rags to cover up
I take the lonely road home
Trying to hold back tears
– Mum will be so angry –
I’m at the front door
And I can’t ring the doorbell
The door clicks open and Mum gasps
– What happened? –
– I don’t know –
I sob and drop to my knees
– Don’t worry honey, let me clean you up –
She picks me up and takes
Me to her bathroom, peels
The rags off me, picks out
The dying petals from my hair
And cleans off the ashes from
My body. She gently sponges
Me and shampoos my hair
I let out the tears
– I’m so sorry Mum –
– It’s okay honey, you’ll be fine –
I nod
– I love you, you know that right? –
I nod
When she is done, I look at
The bathroom mirror and touch
My face. I see the glow come into
My eyes, I smile and clean off my tears
– I love you –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colours; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colors; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

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

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