LAUGH

Laugh, when your feet is aching
When your heart is breaking
When life storms seems to make your faith shaken.

Laugh, deeper than your pain
Louder than your fears
Laugh for he has taken your cares
and his joy is yours to gain.

Laugh, smile, jump and dance
Spare not these worries a second glance.
Laugh for your strife was won by his stripes
Laugh and let victory be forever your stance.

Laugh…

Brown da poet
© 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

Smile

The only medicine that has no prescription
No unpleasant taste
And cost no vortex of energy
Is to always smile
A take with incredible equanimity
Your generosity comes in times of scarcity
Done brazen facedly
Am vaccinated by you against infection
Because you give me a sense of humour
To maintain Stoic indifferent
And also impervious to the chilly wind of scorn
You become an aid as to a good riddance to the poor
And as a scaffolding of hope to the hopeless
A charmed strewn of sunlit shard
To lovers in happy relationship
Within the dying ashes
You blow the sacred spark
And make the hearts of lovers
To leap against the dark
You send happiness and a million pleasant thrills to the heart
To parched souls thirsting for love
In the vast desert of human affairs
Playing aide of rhythm to
Encouragement in circumstances.
A therapy used regularly to heal
Persons with varied ailments
With wonderful tonic for life’s ills ..

David Darby
© 2019

So many times

So many times I get my heart disturbed,
Disturbed with vanity with things of this world,
World called earth that isn’t forever,
Forever I keep thinking of the blessings I want to get,
Get lost to pains, frustration, uncertainty,
Certainly wavering in faith neither did I know,
Know that I was gradually broken to pieces closer to ashes,
Ashes of dust back to Genesis,
Genesis creation was in His image and likeness,
Likened unto Him that created thee,
The truth have I forsaken,
For my sake He made it to the cross,
Crossing my heart to His,
His ways should be in my dose,
Dosing daily His pills,
Pills to make me whole again,

Okelola Oladayo Joseph
(C) 2019

Church Chairs

These wooden bars kiss more butts on Sundays
According comfort while they stay lay
They hold not a few, void of potter’s clay
Deciding the direction of heads, lined up like plays

Oh! This old rooky object
Which beyond weights carry burdens
Sits firmly
To support a broken heart

These pews are not for saints alone
Neither are they a symbol for show off
The first row does not signify superiority
Neither does the last state a lack of commitment

Nor those occupied by priests portray holiness
Theirs could be different but we are all one
The color white doesn’t promote purity
Neither does style infer ungodliness

Chairs should be what they are, chairs
Nothing more
A support for comfort
Whether in church or at home

In Africa or in Rome
They should be to the pope

What they are to his congregation
An object for resting butts

Adedatryts, Imani Dokubo (c) 2019

WHEN TROUBLE COMES

When trouble comes
When the storms gain the heart of raging beast
And comes charging with such ferocity

When sweet dreams become nightmares filled to the brim with adversity
When the night becomes a drowning ocean
And burdens feel so heavy; all movement is in slow motion

When life is a long line of lapses
And fear is a marksman
Who just loves using my heart for target practice

When trouble comes to me,
I will smile, I’ll laugh , I’ll dance
I will drop a legwork allover the devil’s failed plans

I’ll treat my hands like an orchestra
l’ll turn my voice into a hundred man choir
And give the Lord a full worship concert

I’ll rejoice , for my solution arrived two millennia before trouble came
When I met Christ, there was an exchange of an old life for a new
And through him God’s spirit came too

When God’s spirit became the active ingredient in my composition
My point of view was re-positioned
So as to see beyond the fear illusion

For when he is at work in you, in that instant
The odds against you are variable
But victory remains constant.

When trouble comes I will activate the divine spirit I received
When trouble comes, I may not even see it coming
But I will surely watch it leave.

– Ini Brown (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)