MY LOVER AND I

Every day, I wake up with a smile
Knowing that while I slept,
Oblivious of my surroundings
My lover was wide awake
Watching me all day long
Yes! All day long

On some days, life happens
I sometimes withdraw in fear
As my adversaries gain ground
A whisper of comforting words
I am with you always- my lover says
Yes! With you always

I could become careless
Going astray in my utter foolishness
Desiring to be free, I get enmeshed
Confused, bitter and lost
Then he finds me – He was looking for me all along
Yes! Looking for me all along

I love him but He loves me more
I give to him but he gives me more
The ultimate he did on the horrendous cross
Freeing me from sin and death
Making me His forever
Yes! I am His forever

The Lord has appeared of old unto me, saying, yea
I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31: 3

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
©2021

What do I have in my hand?

Exodus 4:2, 17

“And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.”

Me? Like, you mean, I?
I mean, I’m looking around me
And no one else is here.
It looks like you’re talking to…
Oh. It’s me you’re-? Okay.

What do I have in my hand?
Okay, let’s see. Errrm.
Wait. Do you mean like hand-hand,
Or do you mean it, like, figuratively?
Because, see ehn… Oh sorry.

See ehn, I have a pen, but I also have a…
Wait. Am I saying this right?
Because a part of me thinks
That you probably mean what do-
Oh. You mean like in my hand

– Like physically? Okay

Well, it’s a pen. And it’s blunt.
Sorry, of course a pen is not a pencil.
It cannot – errmm – cannot be blunt.
Or maybe blunt also means… Well…
I mean that it doesn’t write

Hahaha – hmm. Sorry.
I swear the laugh was a reflex.
I thought that you said it’s enough.
And somehow it sounded funny and-
Oh. You mean it’s- you mean it’s enough?

Sorry, what exactly is it enough for?
Oh my God! God is talking to me!
What a – what a – wait. Hold on.
This feels normal all of a sudden.
What a normal thing it is.

A God, talking to another God.
Yes, Sorry sir. You were talking.
So, my pen. Right.
You said it was enough for –
Sorry, for what again?

For signs?
Of course, who didn’t know that.
Pens are for nothing if not for
For signatures and putting down th-
Oh, not that? But you said-

Oh, you mean “Wonders.”
I wonder what You mean.
How could a pen – I mean – I bought
It from Malam’s shop oh. I just thought –
Just thought I should tell you.

Oh, you already knew that.
Of course. You’re God.
Silly me. Lol. Sorry. Wait. Is that a sin?
Saying Lol at God? Oh it’s not?
Oh well, I didn’t know. Lol.

So, you’re saying with this old thing,
This blunt little blue pen
That I’m going to – sorry repeat that part.
Right. I’m going to bring the world-
Wait. Did you mean the entire world or-

Oh, okay. The entire world, you say.
Is going to come down to its knees
In worship to the Almighty.
Hahaha. Lol. This one sweet me ehn!
Sorry. We’re being serious.

It’s not like I don’t believe you oh.
Okay, maybe a part of me doesn’t.
But – ah! – but even you check am na.
It looks too – Oh. You know, abi?
Oh, you’ll help me. Ha!

Well, if you say so.
you, from Heaven, say so.
Then, I guess I agree with you.
Amen oh.
Amen.

Nonso John
©2021

I have 50 Naira

I have 50 naira
My favorite note.
She used to be beautiful
Blue, fragile and promising
But I still loved her.
Right from childhood,
50 naira held a bouquet of colorful promises
A plate of rice and stew
Plenty wraps of coconut candy
Fanta
Happiness

But then she turned on me
Had a makeover
Became glossy and glamorous
And slowly became worthless.

She used to command respect
now 50 naira has esteem issues,
hardly making any impact when she stands alone.
A once revered note that now only has value in its multiples
50 naira has let me down.

50 naira has now has mood swings
I only get to find out when I arrive at the market.
I just discovered that 50 naira and sachet tomato aren’t in speaking terms
50 naira and onions are no longer friends

50 naira is treading a dangerous path
The path of 5 naira… The path of irrelevance
I’ve tried to warn her.
She said her fate is not in her hands.
That it’s not her fault

50 naira is breaking my heart.
She has changed
Grown distant
I still hold her in my hands but can’t feel her impact in my life.

Damaris Akhigbe
©2021

Gifts

When life maze feel so twisted
And hope looks bleak and faded
That all you think of is giving up
What is your hands?
And I’m not just talking about the lines!

When you have searched for help
Looking for job here and there
With no success story or record
What is in your hands?
And I’m not just talking about the lines!

When you desire to help that neighbour
But alas silver nor gold you have not
Nor them have you
What is in your hands?
I’m not just talking about the lines!

Only when we look again, we see
That the creator left no man empty
He gave gifts to all
So when next you face a crossroad
Look again to see what is in your hands

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
(c) 2021

I Am Enough

This feeling of inadequacy is clogging up fears In my throat I’m struggling to breathe in ENOUGH air for a day
I’m struggling to see the light my ART shines in dark tunnels
I’m struggling to see the FREEDOM bursting like light in many hearts

I stare at the stage and wish I were behind the pulpit
Spewing sleek words that must have been dry-cleaned for years
I yearn for the cameras to click on my face as I sashay even though I know my art isn’t a hundred percent

I forget I’m enough at where I am because I take my lessons
That I don’t have to prove a point, I only have to study and write my tests so every day, I can look at the score sheet, at the improving grades
And thump my chest, knowing, believing in the goodness of this PROCESS.

Everyday, I’m enough
I’m enough as who I am and who I’m evolving into

Ifiokabasi Okop
© 2020

Culture Shock In Christianity

Science says freezing hot food causes freezer shock
But since we don’t do Lukewarm
Luke warms the food back to back
Or freezes it till hell freezes over.
Let the freezer shock if it must.

The day I told my mum I won’t go to hell
Even if I die fornicating
She shouted ‘chi’m egbu’m ooo’.
‘It’s funny-Kate how the devil is fighting for your life’.
Old people think they are wiser
But I have read my history books back and forth
And the devil lost the battle a long time ago.

I tell people not to bother using a mechanic
That I have a transformer that can transform
Their wretched Volkswagen to a Ferrari
But they are afraid to hug transformer
Even if it will only zap them to eternal life.

They say trade by barter is our culture
And the church continues trading her Joy.
Even after Christ said it’s not for sale,
They still couldn’t take despite their starvation.
Instead they borrow wears they can’t afford
Snapping and posting with two fingers up
Captioned ‘for the culture’

Chy’D
© 2020

The Changed Man

Behold all things have become new
and the old lie in a forgotten heap
childish memories of me digging
underneath my bed on a Sunday morning
for where I’d tossed in my old pair of shoes
nowadays the changed me keep them up neatly
on a rung of wooden stiles the carpenter calls a shoe rack

Bible sleeps on a bedside stool
for a constant bath in Holy words I reach
across to it as often as I go
drink in words that lead, that guides
same letters in the book, a new meaning on the morrow

I remember mom’s narration on Joseph
please tell Dolly Parton
I share same story with her Coat Of Many Colours
only I took mine to many tailors
at the price of my chopped sandal soles
shoes on worn out feet
grazing gravelled road as they bleed
thank God, praise God I sing
because no longer do I handpick rags
all I see are tailor-made suits
my wardrobe is a rainbow of clothes
none having no holes

Nonetheless what I have outgrown is
the filthy old man inside of me
that cheated at elementary school
and purloined mum’s ten kobo
when she was busy at the hearth
One day aunt Betty suffocated my wrists inside mum’s purse
and gave me her two kobo
number eight of the decalogue says, ”Thou shalt not steal”
I hear you ma, my heart thumps with complete remorse
Tell that to the birds, coo that to baby lions
Whisper that in the ears of insensitive politicians
and the starved masses reaping where they did not sow
maybe they’ll pause then retrace their steps
and make way for the new experience.

Rebekah E.
© 2020