Words for My Father

Baami,
For the times your words enveloped my fear,
Times your voice echoed courage into my soul,
And you became strength for my arms,
When the weight of the world became too heavy for me to bear,

Nna,
You built an image our lives could reflect on,
And carved words into pointers to guide us,
As we journeyed through the world,
You denied yourself of pleasures,
So we could afford the luxury we desired;
A price you’d pay as long as you had breath in your lungs,

How can I forget the touch of your rod,
A few lashes to straighten us when we went wrong,
How can I forget lessons enriched in respect, integrity and diligence,
Lessons drawn from the scenes of your life,
Lessons we could hold in the palms of our hands,
Lessons that moulded us into the men we are today!

Abba,
I choose to count my flowers while the sun still shines upon your face and the wind gently caresses you,
When the air in your lungs still warms up your chest,
And your heart still beats,
Today, I choose to celebrate you for being nothing short of a father!
Happy Father’s day Baami.


And to those Father who has gone beyond this world,
We choose to remember you and say you live on in hearts!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 2022

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

Can I trust you?

Can I trust you?
Trust you enough to behold my nakedness,
To come before you bare-
With engraved scars and a broken soul,
Can I trust you will hold my brokenness,
And make a sculpture out of me,

Can I trust you?
Trust you enough to let go,
And drown me into your vessel,
Guiding me through the waves life throws at me,

Can I trust?
Enough to abandon all I have built,
Pillars of sweat and blood,
And follow you to the promised land,
Though alien to my eyes but familiar to my heart,
I hear how it calls out to my spirit,
And sings sweet melodies of what my future would be like!
This rhythm soothes my soul,
But fear has gripped me by my spine
And has crippled my faith and numbed my feet
So I ask, Dear Lord,
If I give you my hands to hold,
Can I trust you?
That you will never let go
Until these songs of the future
Become a reality I dance to!
Can I trust you?

Adeleye Olaoye
©2021

Holy Gist

Yesterday was quite cloudy
It felt like the travelling rain
Decided to stop at my terrain to greet
But it didn’t
Flashes of lightning like swords fight pushed through the thick black clouds
It was an intentional scare I thought
And my thoughts slept with me

Now I’m thinking about it
How is a God whose voice is louder than the thunder speak so softly
That you could hear distinctly in stillness?
I remembered a time
I also wondered what lights really is
You know
Stepping into that flash of light as in the lightning
Light in light?
No shadow of turning?
How is that even possible?
How will light so fill a place
That it will cast no shadow

Hold it! what could Holy mean?
All white, flurry, smells like sweets?
Holy!
Set apart!
Yes, I later learnt what it meant
Separated for the divine
Who is actually The Vine
The one from whom we got our alias – the Branches

I was told that the Vine isn’t just a fruit tree
That it’s a tree that creeps
Better put infiltrate
It takes over
Just give it time
It’s so beautiful that after it’s done with the host
All you can see is vine
Branches faithful to the course
Actually bring forth the fruits
Occupy till I come
For you are a chosen generation
A holy priesthood
They are the ones
That become the Light in the light
The ones that there is also found no shadow of turning
God is light, in Him there’s no darkness
You are of God Little Children
The glory of the vine had made us one
As they are one
Abiding in Him as He is in the Father

How did I start this gist?
I hope it still rains today
Who knows it could make me think of another gist tomorrow.

Pearly Thoughts
(C) 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

Mary’s Cross

Scandal has tingled the villagers’ ears
And engendered the gossip mother fears.
I find her, alone, dissolved in tears
From what she’s heard in the marketplace.

When I go for water, my ears start burning,
As I shop for fish, my feet start turning
To run, but I’m gradually learning
That their hisses can’t rob me of God’s grace.

They tell my father it’s a shame.
They tell my mother she’s to blame.
They whisper to others that I’m a stain
On the high reputation of this godly place.

A swollen belly can’t be hid
Nor the depths of disgrace into which I’ve slid.
Next, my marriage vows they’ll try to forbid
And work to see me exiled from this place.

In the angel’s words it was God I heard
He’s wiser than the scoldings of this world.
I’m told if I faithfully follow His word
I’ll hold the Creator of all time and space
In my arms.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021