Which Way

The broad way is tempting.
So spacious, it feels liberating
This disguised bondage
The broad way seems like the logical option
The right answer, The convenient choice
The broad way is the new cool, the celebrated path

And the narrow way seems too lonely
Not wide enough to walk in properly
So I’m always stumbling
Falling head over heels
Trying to keep up with God
Looking up to religion
The author and finisher of my misery
The tormentor of my soul
On this middle ground, my body is in Canaan and soul in Egypt.

I make choices that betray my words
I take steps that draw me back
I’m a little bit of both
But not quite of any
What do you call light with a dash of darkness?

I was on the brink of desperation
Ready to resignation to fate
Surrender to my mistakes
Let myself go
Then He spoke to me, reminded me of what He had said
That His love was louder than my drowning voice
That His grace was stronger than my weak resolve
His Word outweighed my will
His promises infinitely greater than my grave mistakes.

Nothing compares to the safety net of His love
That He would never leave me
He’s right there with me
Not shaking in anger, but extending his grace
That saves me from the sinking sand of religion
In His grace I find strength
To overcome, to live His life
to take a sharp turn off the broad way
to the road less travelled
The path paved by His sacrifice alone

So in life or death
In sickness or health
In my lowest or my highest
I rest easy because
Nothing compares to the promise I have.

Damaris Akhigbe
(C) 2022

Redemption Memo

It began like this…

Clad in purple and linen, cat-walking with stiletto strapped feet,
I miss my steps

Fall into a gully of mud
Stumble into the midst of men mouthing profanity

Stench ooze from me like box of putrid egg

I become crafter of maleficence, of deeds done in darkness

Yet, I am of tender days than to perpetuate impurity
You, of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.

Lord, seems mother said you do not appose your eyelids like the sons of men?

But why are these befalling me
Or why should I be falling?

Like Martha, this is how I feel:
Lord if you had been here, my soul would not have been ensnared in the tempter’s trap

Now I come with a bunch of sins, my back bent into a hunch

Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy and vanquish this vile!
Let these things cease, like when you stilled the storm

Will you discard the memento of your purchase?
The one you stamped by your blood on the tree, like Rahab’s scarlet cord hung over the window in Canaan?

Up till now, the spies are over the gate of my soul, watching, waiting to devour & divide me as a spoil—this moribund mortal

But the redemption of my soul is costly,
And in it, you promised sin shall not have dominion over me

This is why tonight, I recite to you the memorandum of my redemption
I hope you heed my cry and help me.

Ayooluwa Olasupo Ìmísí
©2021

Broken ceramics

I have faint memories of my mother
I remember her as a cup
How she always found a way to hold it all together, just before she leaks
Trickles of water falling beside her straight slender figure, ceramic
Till the day daddy pushed her from the table and she broke
Pieces of her piercing little me, till one little pointy mummy tore through my left eye

Now I half see.
Deformed, they think I am
But with what hands would you erase memories’ scars?
With what hands would you race memories cars?
The speed limit of the past experiences dangling in your face before you even make the obvious decision
Those past experiences
Become the obvious decisions and so

I still cannot resist slender girl
Especially when they comment on my eyes
The one blue pupil that’s always learning new ways to shatter ceramic;
Hearts.
My past, present
How I with my fingers have rewritten daddy’s story on many lives.
If they never let go of their past
I’ll always be present, right on time
Before their next decision.

I wonder
If mummy would be proud that the vengeance I sought for her has made me Potter many more ceramics;
Broken
From tables, broken tablets, broken tables of laws
I have become ten plagues walking and everyone wants to chase from Egypt till they drown in a pool of their own tears tricking when they are full.
Maybe we give too much power to all the hurts that have Moses’ed their ways into our lives, dear lions forget about your pride and let his people go!

Finance peace,
UN-till the ridges you’ve prepared to plant hate
Until its roots can’t take in your heart any room.
So that any room you enter.
You’ll leave memories of water. Washing clean from dirt smeared hands, hearts, spirits, bodies, minds. Ceramics.
Set this on your heart
And set the captives free from Egypt.

God has called you, now lead, and let his people go.

UC Truth
©2021

He Loves Me

You loved me
Even before I could spell love

You loved me
Before I loved me

You loved me
Before I knew you love me

You loved me still
When I thought bad of your love

You loved me
Before I said ‘I love you too’

You’ve loved me into accepting
That you love me
And that you’ll never stop loving me

I can never really understand
The depth, height and breadth of your love

I am satisfied
with this continuous falling, growing and expanding in love for you
Because I know, I’ll never get to the end of your love’s end

Thank you God for loving me endlessly.

PearlyThoughts
©2021

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

A chip of ice- for mum

Your teardrops would battle fiercely
From the corners of your eyes
They would force their way through
The rigid, unyielding valley of your eyelids
And when they fell
They would stab your cheeks, twist your nose
And sting the recesses of your jaw

Yet when they fell,
They were like the sudden rain that mocked the Sahara
Like the mango tree growing in the Arctic
They were a wonder, and so were you.
For you loved me
Like icy cold, angry waters hammering on rocks
Falling

From unbelievable heights, through the distance between us
Screaming, raging and filled with the frustration
That your decades had fed you
As you crisscrossed naked open seas, flogged by the sun
And through lush green forests
With dwindling mud tracks and filthy streams
Falling

Defying boulders and meanders that had beaten you into thin ice
And kept you on your tiptoes with your back bent
Trying to meet my needs
Through cold, dark nights when you slept
With the biting in your belly
With the uncertainty of worry
Yet you flowed, silent and rapid
Falling,

Through the secrets you swallowed as you went by
And the hurts which never made you cry
And the sorrows you fought to bring forth life
With a charming smile on your face.
You shamed the hardness
That shaped your life
And you crashed against my rocky heart
With the weight of ages of ice
You flogged me, you tore me, you tested me
In my blindness, you were my foe
But I have received the warmth sparked
By the slap of your coldness
And I have melted in love
Your love is hidden in my heart of ice

Ndubuisi Chioma J
© 2019