Balcony

A good journey is made up of few events,
but one important thing
Is a happy and relieved ending.

I have seen
The journeys the men of my country,
And seen that they have
only begun to stop fighting like animals.

Now we fight a different way.
But to fight like that is not expected of my journey.

Yet this balcony of exclusion
While keeping me
Safe from the journeys of other people,
keeps all the stories I would learn away from me.

Okay, I’m going inside

The Niel
© 2019

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Numb

There is a numbness in my head
A searing pain that threatens to strip me of my sanity
And blur my senses of whatever hold on life they have left
So much that my hands cannot thump my chest
Cannot allow me to say it is alright and that I have help within
Groaning out to remind me of who I am and why there’s life in me, but I scream

The numb becomes a pain that only allows me see the trauma
And bitterness and anger I carried for so long
That I could not forgive myself because of
And has now taken control of who I am
The numb has spread to my fingers
I cannot touch my face, to feel the life that lives in me
Cannot feel the warmth on my skin
The blood that flows through my veins

I stagger backwards and I feel a panic rising in my chest
Up to my windpipe threatening to come out through my mouth and when it does
I gasp for air, for a breath
I steady myself by a wall and with wide eyes I take deep breaths
Swallowing as much as I can force down then the tears come
Willingly, patiently, next they become sobs, loud
Choking sobs and in that moment I feel the life seep out of me
Slowly, without a fight and my legs, weak, throb
Throb so bad I can no longer stand so I slide down while hugging myself

It is not going to be alright
It won’t be alright until I see the help right within me
Silently saying ‘it’s okay’ all the while I was fighting with myself
Telling me to stop and allow him fight because my defenses are down
With the numbness and pain
But I could not see it because I took my eyes off him and focused on me
My pain, my panic, my hurt and so it’s not going to be alright
Until I stop fighting alone

IFIOKABASI OKOP
© 2019

Water is wine

Day by day
My broken will and dream cry unto me
Fighting, screaming loud for a better way
But futile is this game, all is lost to me

Tell me who knows, who knows
The real definition of birth and living
Tell me who knows, who knows
The open mystery of death and parting
Often I’ve heard men say
I’m not pragmatic, not practical

Often I’ve seen women point this way
Whispering be strong, be spiritual
Men and their subtle ideas
Have rightly led me astray
And I am not more or less
But a rotten carcass on a rugged way

The wisdom of king Solomon is good
But our Shepard’s Will is excellent
For by the cross and its humble blood
Water is wine, weakness is strength
Despair is hope and death is life in Christ

Ugwu David. C
© 2019

Slavery

I spoke to Runs girl once,
She said her anger is her source
As she was forced to this life
By her Uncle who came like a thief in the Night and her virginity was the casualty
So the penalty is death for all those who now commit the crime of sleeping with her
She blames they, them
For the mayhem she cause their Marriages
‘I wouldn’t pay for damages when my case has been adjourn’
Everyone I told turn a blind eye to my hurt
Now my heart burns with hate
If you stare at me, your fate might be a night to that hell I have been put through
I and my crew will screw all of you till you forget your wives and call us Boo
She like many others are Nigerian avengers
Fighting the ghost of their abusers
And I too felt her pain
A slave to a past that had been stained,
But can be snow if she chooses to let his light glow
Even if life has given her a low blow as she wrestles with her past demons
She can tag him in
He will guarantee her the win
Then the will to talk of his saving grace with pride
Everywhere she goes, she sows seed of hope to girls like her who are still slaves to rippers of souls
Tell them the past matters but the future is what they want to see and behold

Victor Isoje
(c) 2018