REMEMBER

There are days …
… when my bedroom is a cell
… when the sun has a frown
….When my words are to heavy to tell
…And my bed is quick sand pulling me into the ground.

There are nights…
…When the stars like everyone’s eyes, looks down on me
…When even the moon backbites
…When life crafts shame into a crown for me
…When even my candles lack light.

There are times…
…when life is a school yard bully,
a dictator,
an abusive partner,
an evil warrior.

On these days….
On these nights…
At these times….
I must remember,
I am more than conquerors.

Brown Da Poet
© 2019

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

In Focus

One of the best things I have read in recent times was in Joyce Meyer’s words – “Life is in the journey, not the end”. This like many other variations of this wisdom tells us to not miss out on the beauty going on around us because we are so fixated on the goal.

Boy do I agree with this thought. However, just like every journey, sometimes you are going to look out the window and all you see is trees after trees… and then some more trees. It gets boring and soon enough sleep is the only option you are left with.

In this moment, you really need the end in focus. I think this why God is in the character of showing us a glimpse of what the end will look like, because times will come in the journey where you will question the use of the monotony you have to live with and when they do come, your eyes have to leave what is right in front of you be set on the things that are to come.

This in no wise suggests that the journey should not be enjoyed. However it should not be the focus, it should not be the inspiration. There is a point to all of this, an end, a purpose. Think about it often, plan for it and when life doesn’t make sense, remember you are on a journey to somewhere and it is worth all the trouble.

I wish you grace and strength in all you do. See you at the finish line!

– Ezeonyeka Godswill
#NowThink (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

THIS IS LIFE

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life
This is life that you see one who gets along with your thoughts
This is life that you meet your necessary complement who aligns with God’s thought
This is life that you live abundantly
That there’s someone who resonates in the same frequency of your being
One who has the boldness to take you from what was once called harmony into a bigger family

This is life that life find one who sticks with you closer than a brother
Who fights side by side with you against your betrayals
This is life that you have one whose leading and guidance is of the Holy Spirit who completes your sentences
Whose night intercession wakes you up and challenges your day to make sense
This is life that when the night gets darker, your light shines brighter, and bigger, and better
And men will see your heavenly Father
And there’s more…

There’s more to life than meets the eyes
This is life who listens to you even when you are wrong
Who treats you right and decorates you as his bride
Who holds you even when you can’t hold on
Who lavishes his mercies upon you and gives blessings beyond you
And there’s more…

There is life who weeps with you
Guards and then carries you
Who smiles and watches the joy that lit up in your eyes
Who taunts your stalkers and troubles your mockers
Who see beyond your needs and strengthens your feeble knees
And there’s more…
That at the end, you’ll be holding hands with God’s precious gift as your Makers says to you,
“Well done!”
You lived a good life
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

You are worth fighting for

For a people yet to find true purpose
For those hurting hoping to be healed
For those hurting, not hoping that they’d be healed
For anyone whose effort doesn’t work out as expected
For that someone who has accepted being unaccepted
For you that has belittled your abilities

For the me that has assumed the front seats are for the bright ones and the back seat has my name on it
The me that suffers from low self esteem
Who say that I’m not worth the life I’m living

Less of myself, less of what I had dreamt
The torment of my nightmares becoming my realities…
My dear,
It was for you that the Messiah got slapped, got mocked
Got those scars
He scars are meant to scare the scarecrows in your path
Your name was part of the names he had in mind for each whip received

You are worth fighting for
An outstanding conqueror
There! I said it!

What scales have blinded the beautiful sight of how God sees you?
What ears? Ephaphtha! Be open!
He him call your name
As a people set out to break these cycles and dominate
You are washed sparkling white with his pure blood

And as Ezekiel Azonwu once said ” Pure blood is not in vein vain”
Have this invade your mind
You are worth the fight!

Azubike Hannah
© 2019

Golden Boy

One step in front of the other
I watch you plant them
Like a weary traveler who has lost his way
Your back is burdened with a sack full of disapproval
And a lifetime’s worth of disappointment and doubt
But you shoulder it like it’s nothing
You smile at me, golden boy
And make me believe there is beauty to
The cracked burden of the tortoise

You’re just a little eccentric
I tell myself, every time I catch a glimpse of your pain
I believed I could heal you
You made me believe I was,
And I trudged behind you gladly
Cherishing every moment you put the pack down
And opened it.
But you never got rid of anything in the pack, did you?
I think you loved the sweet torture
Of owning exquisite pain
I learned to appreciate the beauty in pain
And see the hope dressed in disappointment

So I did nothing
Till you slipped right off the edge
And scattered in a burst of gold dust
Slapping my face with the truth I should have seen
had your beautiful, golden smiles not blinded me;
That I had no power to make you happy
That love could be as strong as pain
Or could be its equal

So as I stand at the edge of your cliff
I want to hate you
But I don’t
I will remember us as we were
And I will choose to be happy, golden boy
For both of us, I will choose life.

Miracle Ifechukwu
© 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