Mother Hen

Above the city Jesus wept. “Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Don’t turn away, Jerusalem! Come close to me,
my children.
“I am the mother hen,” he cried. “Beneath my wings
you all can hide.
There you’ll find warmth and life and love,
my little chicks, my children.
I’ve longed to gather you to me, Jerusalem! Jerusalem,
Please let me mother you! You’ll die
without my warmth, my children!”

We hear his call but turn away, for we are all
grown-up today.
We do not want a mother now. We’ll be
nobody’s children!
But as the cold world closes in, we think
about Jerusalem,
And what it’s like to walk alone, scared,
mother-love-less children.
No one lives through these dark, cold nights
without the warmth, the love, the life
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, gives gladly
to his children.

I trust we know enough of sin, to realize the bind we’re in
When even though we say we’re old, we’re acting just
like children.
And as we turn to leave the nest, convinced our choice
is for the best,
He hopes to see us come again, next time in New Jerusalem.
No one retains their innocence without the strong,
bright broody wings
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, folds softly round
his children.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Requiem for the Disarmed Forces

I have always admired soldiers
Just like I have always ignored Valentine’s Day
But on the day, I make a statement.

Not because my silence isn’t sweetin me
Not because I am obligated to speak.

I have always admired soldiers,
as their sacrifices vary
from patriotism to sheer employment
from investment to raw adventure

I don’t just remember soldiers on a remembrance day,
especially because I am Igbo
a tribe that has forgiven genocide and discrimination.
I don’t just remember soldiers on a remembrance day,
especially because I am Nigerian
a country that has forgiven military dictatorships and coups.

I don’t just remember soldiers on a remembrance day,
especially because my friend Eric is a soldier,
a man that shares history, hopes and happiness with me.

I remember soldiers,
the fallen and the standing,
especially because guard-room is real,
and no reward is enough for the soldier;
Except for Freedom and the heat of battle.

From God is true freedom…
but when it comes to battle,
Arise, Oh compatriots…

The Niel
©2020

WE, THE INDEPENDENT ONES

We are they that ride on the waves,
Of ideas, beautiful manifestos of the 50s,
The very spittle that our mother told us if dried before the 60s,
Our navels would rot,

We are the child born in lies,
A fatherless child of 250 fathers,
A child that reminds our mother of this rape called amalgamation,
The child who is half of everything,
Whose strength should be in being everything,
Yet one thing rules: the cancer of corruption,

We are this child in dependence,
To the blind, senseless man that knew how we were delivered from,
This very deep inferno between our mother’s leg,
We encourage ourselves with hopes in things,
Things our reality tells us can never be,
We are married to Religion,
These new Masters that promise us mansions and virgins when we,
Like the worms, cringe and bow out of this stage,

We are hungry,
Milk and honey we dare not wish for,
Our elder brothers eat honey,
They told us to pray,
If we dared stared too long into his plate, he would slay,
The nascent dream we have,

We are independent,
Masters of our own,
Slaves to our elder brothers,
Who constantly tell us that the rudders will be ours one day,
Yet make their sons our master when,
Need be…..
Happy Independence Day.

Chukwu Simeon Chidiebere
© 2018