What in the world

What, in the world, does a plus sign
Have to do with Redemption?
Like, this math is flawed.
Go figure.

What, in God’s heaven, does precious gold
Have to do with street grounds?
Like a mat is, floored.
Go figure.

Dem dey go, dem dey go, mass choir.
Singing Hallelujah. Trumpeters.

Join the congregation.
Don’t miss it.
Because, flawed as it is.
The maths will begin
When this mass is ended.

And we’ll go in the Peace of Christ.
To love and serve the Lord.
Amen.

Nonso John
©2019

TALES

Tales,
Story!..story
By the hitting
Of the night’ light
On the sleeping-
Untroubled soil,
An assurance for another day,

Speaking
Of the hope
Of course unconcealed,
The elders’ failed,
god we call-falls on its slippery heels,
Codeines on a sleepy pills,
Given to these squanders
I mean-the poliTRICKians,
Paying you for our lives,
Edges up in the bigger-bitter collar
Which soon be tears-sucked,
We drink not
Water but crude oil
As species yet discovered,
Circumstance you wrought on us,

Though our waters contaminated,
We choose not to be
In all these,
Leaders of morrow
We live in are made!

Thank you!
Yours faithfully,
Tunde Michael

TM Sungs
©2019

Your pride

I searched her face for a sign: something, anything to convince me about the Principal’s statement a few seconds ago but there was none. I couldn’t feel my legs anymore as I dropped back into my seat and Mrs. Hakeem rushed for me.

When I got a call from the office of the Principal through his Personal Assistant stating that I was needed urgently, a lot of thoughts fled through my mind. I had just returned from lunch at the office when the call came in. I didn’t know what to think. Was Simisola sick? Did she have an accident? Did her father show up –as he had been threatening he would—at her school? It just didn’t cross my mind that Simi, my only child would be involved in bullying of any sort. So I was amazed when the Principal said, “your daughter flogged a child into coma.”

As soon as the call had dropped, I picked my purse and keys, locked my office and left the building in a haste. I only remembered on my way out to call Mr. John, a colleague, and ask him to tell anyone who asked that I was called at my daughter’s school.

The drive to Simi’s school that afternoon was filled with mixed feelings. Unlike the normal excitement and ecstasy I felt when going on the usual monthly visits, I was filled this time with fear and rage. What had happened to her? I feared. “Oh, is it that man, her uncaring father who had come to take her? I raged. Whatever it was, I would soon find out.

I hurriedly pulled over at the Visitors’ park and didn’t notice the windows were still wound down. The security tried to call my attention but I ignored him. It was Harmattan and there could possibly be no rains. The dry winds blew harshly on my face and on my thoughts. I was almost sure by now that it was her Dad, he had come for her.

As I walked to the Principal’s office, I met a few members of the staff. We exchanged greetings. Their faces wore expressions of sympathy and shame. My heart got heavier. I didn’t have an idea what the problem was, so I hastened my steps. In the office, even as the Principal tried exchanging pleasantries, I remained worried. I wanted him to spill the beans as soon as he could. It was until he asked that Simi and the house mistress, Mrs. Hakeem be called in that I began to think, it may not be her Dad after all. Yet I still knew it was a serious matter. I began praying inaudibly.

In a few minutes, Simi came in with head bowed, shoulders slouched and fists clenched in front of her. Mrs. Hakeem walked in, after her. It was then that the Principal started talking about why I was called. He started by saying that Simi had been a good girl. I nodded in panic and saw  Mrs. Hakeem nod too. Then, he said that he was disappointed in ‘my daughter’. She had flogged a 13-year old JSS3 student mercilessly. I sprang up before I knew what I did.

While I was still trying to understand where such behavior came from, he made the statement. “your daughter flogged a child into coma.” That was when I slumped back into my seat and began screaming, “Simisola Ogechi Akala has killed me.” “Madam, calm down, calm down Ma.” I heard Mrs Hakeem say as she rushed for me. Her plea wouldn’t console me.

After about thirty minutes, I am sitting in the car with Simi. I parked my car after I drove us a few meters away from the school gate.

“Simisola, what is your problem?” I ask, not looking in her direction.

My cheeks feel cold from the tears dried up by the harmattan wind and my eyes sting: hot and teary. She doesn’t respond. I pick the envelope that the Principal gave me. I didn’t open it then because he already told me its content- a suspension letter- but now, I open it and pull the letter out. I give it to her to read aloud. She does. I barely hear anything she reads because she is muttering the words.

When she is done, I take her face in my palms and look her in the eye. She begins to cry profusely. I let her go and ask her why she did it. She says the junior girl was rude to her and her classmates were looking to know what she would do.

“So it was your pride that put someone in the hospital and I have to foot the bills now. Eh?”

“She was asthmatic.”

“You shouldn’t have beaten anybody!!!”

“I’m sorry mum.” And she bursts into another round of tears.

“You are a child of God, Simi. Even though your dad is far away, which is best for us, you know how your dad…I point to the car roof, behaves. Love is God’s nature. It should be all you do and know. You would have let the junior go and reported her to the house mistress. Your classmates and some other students saw you right?” She nods.

“They would have witnessed for you. Pride is a very stupid emotion to act on. The Bible says God resists the proud and because you know God does not hate anybody, you understand that he hates such character and attitude. Everything done in pride doesn’t give glory to God. Why are we created?”

“For His glory”

“Good! You didn’t give God glory. You acted in the flesh!”

“Mum, I’m sorry.”

“I know. So what do we do?”

With a voice shaken from crying, belching at intervals, she said, “We will go and visit her in the hospital. I will use all my savings. You say what is best for us to buy.”

I hug her tightly, and say a word of prayer in gratitude for God’s word and His work in our lives when we let Him.

Kendra Okpara
©2019

Hello Ladies

They asked us out after the age we intended to marry
They begged us to wait until they were stable before we become soul mates.
Our hearts desires to be sisters to our daughters and sons have been crushed
How would our offspring understand us?
We’re left with the gate of loneliness when they leave or when he dies as the case may be.
But this was not how it was written…
They waited together and got their promise
Her clock got better with age even after menopause
She died before him and he was never lonely
So when God is on your matter it becomes an adage
It would always be done deal as long as God is on gear too.

Kapiché?

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

THIS IS LIFE

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life
This is life that you see one who gets along with your thoughts
This is life that you meet your necessary complement who aligns with God’s thought
This is life that you live abundantly
That there’s someone who resonates in the same frequency of your being
One who has the boldness to take you from what was once called harmony into a bigger family

This is life that life find one who sticks with you closer than a brother
Who fights side by side with you against your betrayals
This is life that you have one whose leading and guidance is of the Holy Spirit who completes your sentences
Whose night intercession wakes you up and challenges your day to make sense
This is life that when the night gets darker, your light shines brighter, and bigger, and better
And men will see your heavenly Father
And there’s more…

There’s more to life than meets the eyes
This is life who listens to you even when you are wrong
Who treats you right and decorates you as his bride
Who holds you even when you can’t hold on
Who lavishes his mercies upon you and gives blessings beyond you
And there’s more…

There is life who weeps with you
Guards and then carries you
Who smiles and watches the joy that lit up in your eyes
Who taunts your stalkers and troubles your mockers
Who see beyond your needs and strengthens your feeble knees
And there’s more…
That at the end, you’ll be holding hands with God’s precious gift as your Makers says to you,
“Well done!”
You lived a good life
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

You are worth fighting for

For a people yet to find true purpose
For those hurting hoping to be healed
For those hurting, not hoping that they’d be healed
For anyone whose effort doesn’t work out as expected
For that someone who has accepted being unaccepted
For you that has belittled your abilities

For the me that has assumed the front seats are for the bright ones and the back seat has my name on it
The me that suffers from low self esteem
Who say that I’m not worth the life I’m living

Less of myself, less of what I had dreamt
The torment of my nightmares becoming my realities…
My dear,
It was for you that the Messiah got slapped, got mocked
Got those scars
He scars are meant to scare the scarecrows in your path
Your name was part of the names he had in mind for each whip received

You are worth fighting for
An outstanding conqueror
There! I said it!

What scales have blinded the beautiful sight of how God sees you?
What ears? Ephaphtha! Be open!
He him call your name
As a people set out to break these cycles and dominate
You are washed sparkling white with his pure blood

And as Ezekiel Azonwu once said ” Pure blood is not in vein vain”
Have this invade your mind
You are worth the fight!

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

Dear God #2

To follow you
Anywhere
Anytime
Anyhow

2

I’m on a boat sailing to the shore where you are
The waters, still, remind me of your love –
Unwavering and completely overwhelmimg
When I’m stuck and can’t go any further, you still believe in me
I’m sorry for not trusting you enough
For not doing the little crazy things you want to me to do
For not completely giving in to your desires
I’ll listen to those little nudges inside and obey your voice
I am not going to hide the light that you have put in me
You know what you’re doing
You know what’s best for me
From now on, I put all of my faith and all of my trust in you
I see your hands stretched out to me
I love how warm and safe it feels
I don’t want to ever be in a place where you aren’t
I want to follow your lead

Your darling

– Ifiokabasi Okop (2019)

Dear God #1

Eyes that see
Ears that hear
A heart that knows
A life that does

1

I’m stuck
I don’t know how to describe it
I feel numb and distant from you
I searched for answers in a world that proffers lies
I’m sorry I didn’t trust you
I’m sorry I doubted you
Distance from you is seeping life out of me
I look for meaning and reasons to live
Dad, it’s vague, dark, empty and I’m loosing myself
Please show me
Give me eyes that see you in everything
Ears that hear your reassuring, soothing words
A heart that knows you, all of you
Let my life do your desires, be your heartbeat, live your life
Your Zoe

Your lost daughter

– Ifiokabasi Okop (2019)