Kings and Pawns

“We’re all Kings and Pawns,”
Napoleon Bonaparte once said,
“We’re all Emperors.”
“We’re all Fools.”

Funny he should say that.
We, like two Kingdoms, square up.
Blacks against Whites.
Decisions. Decisions.

What’s in your hand, sir?

King Pawn to King Four.
Small beginning steps we take
Believing we’re each of us
The only star in our own movie.

But Knight to Queen’s Bishop Three.
Counter moves from counter selves
We sabotage our own efforts
And wonder what’s afoot.

We’re all Kings and Pawns
Though each man in his own heart
Thinks himself different from all.
Superior to all the human-ness.

What’s in your hand, ma’am?

When Bishop takes Bishop,
And we face our true desires
We all deny our deepest truths
For Ego’s sake, for Pride’s joy.

What miserable life we lead
As we approach our end-games
This chessboard cleared of all
And the space evident in all things?

Queen to King’s Rook Three.
Discover Check. And trouble finds us.
Run we may, but hide we can’t.
Now matter where we turn to.

What is this you have in your hand,
Oh fallen man – son of Eve?
What is this you carry in your heart
Oh, daughter of the damned?

If King takes Knight Pawn,
I hope never again will it be said
That we sought for what we knew not
And that all man listened to his own heart.

We’re all Kings and Pawns,
A man once said to the world.
And he – that brilliant devil – he was right.
We’re all – all of us – Emperors. Fools.

Ask not what Mgbeke plans for dinner.
Wonder not when Mgbafo will get married.
What’s in your hand, people of God?
Mind your own business.

Nonso John
(C) 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

Who I Am


What is in your hand
Hope you understand
Talent on demand
Still no special gland
Innovation and
Information crammed
The point is who I am
Too saved to be damned
Spiritually armed

Jesus in a man
Problems try to swarm
Solve ‘em up like tan
Money became the plan
Naira, Cedi or Rand
But the race that I ran
One particular man
Turned me into a lamb
A spiritual RAM
Follow up applicants
Why fight over land
When I’m heir to the stars
Why cry over yams
When I’m loved by “I am”

Nielquchi
(C) 2021

EVEN IF FOR A SMILE

As I gaze the blue sky with my tired eyes
Swimming in the ocean of my mind
Word draining and words building
My tired soul in complete disarray

Will I rise again like these ocean waves?
Renewed with strength that won’t cave in
But this weary soul needs some hope
My tired mind, helpless as all look lost

Would you like some pie sir, a whisper?
My eyes alight with a new glow at the smile
A petite brown haired girl with green eyes
With the brightest smile I ever saw

Yes please, little smiling one I croaked
I stretched forth my tired hands
My grieving soul a teary-eyed. My wife and
My little girl will not return, alas

Oh what a pain untold to lose your world
But this smiling one renewed my hope
Not to end it on this deep blue sea
But to start all over again even if for a smile

Galatians 6:10 “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
©2021

FLAME ON


Isn’t it sad how in a blink of an eye, your world can just flipped like a light switch
You were once top draw now it seem like you have been relegated to the bottom
You thought you had finally carved a niche for your self
That your art will set the world on fire
That nothing could stop you from climbing that pedestal and get higher
Suddenly reality hits you like a drunk driver
That sometimes, the only thing you get higher on have now become dark clouds forming in your lungs
Or drowning your pains at the depth of the green bottle
You wish it could take your thoughts far away from this world like a space shuttle or shield your mind from harsh reality’s sun but even that ain’t strong enough

You have come to realized that Life can become that bully always ready to treat you
But all you ever desired is a soft landing
Become Superman so your skin can be tough
But you see these streets, she no get Joy
What was once beautiful like Helen of Troy
The streets will destroy
Plant a decoy to take your gaze from your goal
Throw mirage of fame and fortune, her aim is to cajole
Sinking you deep into depression and locking you in her hole

Your heart is finally empty, she has stolen your soul
Now you are wandering loose like a kite
Looking for who to take away this noose off your neck and free you from your plight
But in all these struggles, one thing must be gained
That Flicker of hope and faith that you must refuse to extinguish
That call to turn on your human torch and continually show the world what you are fantastic for
That call to distinguish yourself from the lot
That call to tear up the old story and write yourself a new plot
To drift your mind from the norm into certainty

This should always send excitement bubbling on your inside
That you can’t wait to Ex yourself from your past life
You can’t wait for this cross to become a source of strength
Can’t wait to flame on and set the world on fire
Can’t wait to speak resurrections to those souls that have wallowed too long in this graveyard
Can’t wait to help heal minds that have been marred
To clot hearts that have been scared
Yes, your hurt is what’s burning now but no pain is eternal
You can rise from these ashes like a Phoenix
And if you don’t like the song life is singing, just hit her with the remix
Never forget that you are that fire this world has been waiting for
So what are you waiting for,
Flame On!!!

Uba Isoje
©2021

It was the happiest day of my life

It was the happiest day of my life when I allowed Jesus into my heart. My heart was flooded with joy and unspeakable peace. In Him I found a friend like no one else would ever be. Just like new lovers, I was always seen with Him; talking, praising, worshipping – I couldn’t get enough.

Day by day, he came. He entered the parlour, went into the dining room. Oh, the dining room! There were lots of breaking of bread. He opened my eyes to mysteries. I learned, relearned and unlearned. I just couldn’t get enough. Every minute with Him was priceless.

Until one day, an old friend came knocking. I peeped and asked what he wanted. “Just a few minutes, then I’ll be out of your hair,” he said. My heart told me not to, but his dazzling smile, pleading eyes, and obliging countenance were enough to compel me. He smiled and entered.

He was with me when Jesus came. I quickly hid him in a little room. Jesus came in, looked at me deeply, and asked. “Is there anything you would like to tell Me?”

“No.”

His countenance fell.

Our fellowship was not so sweet. But I bothered not, I was eager to conclude the story I was being told by my old friend.

When I was alone again, I ran. To the small room. Where he was. He invited me to a party the next day. I agreed.

The next day, I felt very awkward at the party. I missed Jesus. But I can’t bring Him here. This is not really His “thing”. As I was contemplating leaving, my old friend came and introduced me to his other friends. Little by little, I warmed up to them. I forgot the time.

When I got home, Jesus was waiting for me at the dining table. “It’s time for our breaking of bread,” He said. I dragged my feet to the table and half listened, half slept. Jesus suddenly stopped. 

“You were late today. Where did you go?” 

“Oh,” I said uneasily. “Out with some friends”.

“Can I come with you next time?”

“Oh no, never mind. It’s not your thing.” 

“So why would you go to a place I can’t go?” He queried.

“I can go wherever I please. I don’t need your permission. I’m done with today’s fellowship. Please let’s meet another time,” I said.

Jesus, my ever-gentle friend, did not argue. He picked up His scroll and left.

It broke my heart to see him go. But I was too proud to call Him back, to tell Him I was wrong.

The next day, I went late again. I dropped a note at the doorknob for Jesus. You can start without me. I will join you soon.

The next week, I dropped another message. Please, Jesus, can you not use the dining room? Some friends are coming over. The guest room is all yours.

On and on it went. I stopped bothering to check the guest room. I was so busy with my old friend and his friends. 

One day, while reveling with my friends, I remembered MY FRIEND. I asked for help, but none came. I dragged myself outside. My old friend came out and saw me. “There’s more for you here. The party’s just begun. Come and join us.”

Then I saw the loop: I was reveling in discontent, reveling in sadness, reveling in emptiness. I shook my head with a firm “NO” and trudged on home. 

The night was cold. The wind bit into my skin. I was tempted to go back but I soldiered on. Home. Jesus. Warmth. 

I got home. Looked in the guest room. Saw Him, with His oil lamp. Waiting for me. As always. He looked up at me. “You came today. Welcome.”

A tear slid down my cheek. I went to Him, knelt and sobbed. No words. “I am here for you, I love you,” He said

Like a lamp bursting forth, I broke down in tears. After an hour of reconciliation, I gave Him some keys.

“What are these for?”

“They are the keys to my home, my heart and everything I have. I surrender it all to you. I can’t control my life right. But you can. So, I surrender all.”

Jesus smiled His oh, so loving smile, touched my head and said.

“All is forgiven. You are free”.

I have never regretted that decision.

EMENIKE CHINWENDU VICTORIA

©2021

The Bleeding Heart

The blood she shed was all her own.
She’d found no way to staunch the flow
For twelve long years.
The cost to her in doctors’ care
Was nothing to her shame and her enormous fears.
Unclean and thus untouchable
She knew she’d live and die alone in blood and tears.

The world had turned its back on her
And all she saw and all she touched was tinged with red.
Denied the right to worship God,
Denied the Temple courts by law, her soul was dead.
Denied all comfort, love of friends
And touch of man, she kept alone her blood-stained bed.

Her last hope lay in this new man,
But with her touch she’d make him, too, unclean, outcast.
And should she even hope for help?
Of all the people God might heal she was the last.
For it was God who sent the curse,
The blood and shame, the loneliness, through Laws He passed.

In spite of all these doubts and fears,
Mistrust of God, she took her chance – a touch unseen.
Then, Jesus, the untainted, changed the Law to Love.
Her world became new, fresh and green.

The blood He shed was all his own,
And flowing down it covered her and washed her clean.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021