In Sickness

You were supposed to have his back,
Be his anti-body in this sinful world,
He broke the tablets of our hearts,
When he left us for you,
You had him looking above this cloud,
This cloud of flaws hovering over humans,
You were his mentor; a star guiding him into this Perfect life,
A view obscured and inverted to our hearts,
But a clear and perfect reflection to him,

He never for once ignored your call,
Remember when he housed you with his sisters; Mary and Martha,
He never for once judged and questioned you,
But when he needed you,
You were far from home,
You could have used one of your tricks,
To race against time and space,
But you didn’t, instead, you chose your work over him,
I guess he was always a second choice,
A means to an end; the path to our hearts,

Four days! He has been dead,
This tomb now clothes his lifeless body,
The passage to the afterlife,
And here you come with your twelve,
Wearing sad faces and tears,
Like a kid who lost his candy,
If only the news of his sickness,
Had quickened your feet,
To behold your friend on his sickbed,
Maybe he would have seen another sunset,
Maybe I would have felt his lips on my forehead,
Maybe his Aunt would embraced his warmth one last time,
Just enough for us to bid him farewell,
But you abandoned him,
You broke your vows,
The communion of promises you both shared with one another,
Sleep on Lazarus,
Your friend, Jesus is here,
To say goodbye to his dear friend,
Whom in sickness, he abandoned!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 2020

Who Am I?

I have sought a definition
A sentence that could give me full expression of who I actually am

Am I a girl?
Is my life best expressed in the gender
In the XX of my genotype
Or in the comely form of my phenotype?

Am I a youth?
The leader of tomorrow; the pillar of today,
Am I one of the millions of jolly fresh faced persons
Brewing with passion but lacking in knowledge,
Just hustling to make it?

Am I a Nigerian?
Do I get my identity from my southern roots
Trying to fit into the mold of societal stereotypes?

Am I a graduate?
Is that laminated certificate in my box my identity card
Such that I am quick to shove my titles in peoples faces
Using that as a basis for unhealthy comparison…
But deep down I know
I am not my profession and my profession is not me
So help me answer this question who am I?

Guys, it took a long time to realize who I was
To understand that I couldn’t find myself by looking inward
but looking outward
that I would only see my true reflection
when I look in His mirror
that my true life is wrapped in his death and glorious ascension
that my life is not about the external but the eternal

but that my real identity is in JESUS
not in gender or status or nationality or age or education or skill
so who am I?
I am a child of God, a joint heir with Christ
I am a spiritual, supernatural, extraordinary human being
Trust me,
I am not just a girl, I am not just a youth,
I am not just a Nigerian, I am not just a graduate, I am not just a poet…
I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

Damaris
© 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

ETERNAL LIFE

it was so much joy
That day I joined the life
In the race of men
I gave my first smile, looking into her face who gave me life
While mouth stocked to her chest gulping out desperately a white river
A white river that would make me strong and grow

Day by day I got to know how life is
The sweetness of it and the sour it gives
How good life could be and how evil could penetrate
I only know the first life given from a woman
But as time grows
I begin to see despite life was given life itself could be taken too

I see the young and old been taken
Taken not from the woman who gave it
But taken from another life named death
Death I was told it’s also a life
Another life not to live walking
A life laying silently below the ground
Soundless, only the cracking walking sounds of termites feasting on every part beneath the ground

One morning ,I walked down with mama to a place
Under a shield filled with different faces
Looking lost but wanting more
There , I got to know of another life
Far better than the life from a woman and the life beneath the ground

I heard of the third life
A life flowing with milk and honey
A life of peace without stress
A life which know no sickness nor sorrow
A life forever more with no endings reigning with kings and Angels
A life bought by a boy called Beloveth Son
Who give to it freely with His blood
Blood bonding is as one
That whoever believeth in Him should not perish
But have Eternal life

Deeyoke
©2019

A hand with a cross

These crosses the empty zones
Like a flying drone
A game of the weak with the strong
Not exactly a contest
But an interest, a request of a savior.

A game for the peak and a tale of the wrong
This is about the struggle
That rumbles with man’s eternity
He has been a warrior since the day one
Faces persecution
Stoned by test and trials
Wandered away from the rally of deceit into the valley of shadow of death
Yet a hand bared the cross

In the realm of sleep
Wars, battlefront
Wrestling
Against the devouring clone
With hopelessness and darkness
And at the tip of condemnation
Rises the hand that bares the cross

And when flaws
Had risen and fallen
Like a raging sea
Waging war against itself
Beneath the surface of reality
Grew strength
To move on that narrow lane
For he who bared the cross
Has render all flaws useless
And had broken all chains by His blood

(c) The Alchemist
2019

The Cross

A hand with a cross
These crosses the empty zones
Like a flying drone
A game of the weak with the strong
Not exactly a contest
But an interest, a request of a savior

A game for the peak and a tale of the wrong
This is about the struggle
That rumbles with man’s eternity
He has been a warrior since the day one
Faces persecution
Stoned by test and trials
Wandered away from the rally of deceit into the valley of shadow of death
Yet a hand bared the cross

In the realm of sleep
Wars, battlefront
Wrestling
Against the devouring clones
With hopelessness
And darkness
And at the tip of condemnation
Rises the hand that bares the cross

And when flaws
Had risen and fallen
Like a raging sea

Wagging war against its self
Beneath the surface of reality
Grew strength
To carry on
Amidst those circumstances
For he who bares the cross
Has render all flaws useless
And had broken all chains by His blood
Freedom oh kingdom!!!

The Alchemist
© 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