LIVING & LOVING

Some people claim love does not exist

But let me let you in on a little secret I know

I have firsthand beheld love’s true being, I can tell where it lives

Hold your horses, don’t be hasty without no compass in my hand

I will reveal love’s abode, I will tell you where it breeds

 

It lives in the morning tea we take together at our table

The prayer we said to our father before we left our comfy rest

It lives in the goodbye we say longing for more minutes but looking forward

To the beauty of the evening when work would have hid its face

Producing fruits we would together feast on – our satisfaction found at home

 

It takes us by surprise as the little boy that has now become ours

The smile that spreads through our eyes as he speaks songs strung from our heart

It is the worry that lines our face as we tend to a skinned knee, a broken heart

It is the conviction we instill, the purpose to fulfil, the truth we teach and live further and farther

It is in looking back at those years, watching amazed as a son celebrates our love, father and mother

 

  • Ezeonyeka Godswill
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Barren Mother

I have an empty well of a belly.
My womb has known nothing but dying blood all my living years.
I have thought of no one but myself,
Fed no one but myself,
Placed no one before myself,
How do I have a womb except it was made to bear another, and yet
I have no idea what it means to pour a part of myself into another.
“A breast feeding mother?”
That’s a foreign name to me.
“A bread winning father?”
Who dares call me?
I am my own hero,
My own salt,
My own light in a shady place,
Come with me and I’ll lead you into the darkness.
I’d snuff the life out of my light because I do not want to share it.
I’m an evil already happening,
A menace waiting to be uncovered.
My tactics are new everyday
Yet my mind is old.
I am a dirty, dirty soul with a clogged up heart and a rigid body.

This is why I have come before the Rock of Ages,
Before The fire that purifies without consuming to ashes.
My tears produce more salt now than I have ever thought to produce.
I do not know when I ever took lessons from the ocean
But my ill will like waves come crushing over me.
I am caught up in my own dirt web,
Spun in my own fear.
I have come to you as a barren womb in need for a child.
I was born to be mother, now may I know a child?
I have come as a fruitless tree in its season.
As hungry fire,
I’m desperate.
As a docile branch,
I submit.
I accept defeat.
Let your rains fall on this arid land again, Lord.
I admit nothing was ever my own;
As I am left with nothing now I am reminded where I come from.
Give me one child, Yahweh ‘tis All I ask.
Surprise the quick-to-conclude with Your quick-to-deliver.
Let them know when their calling-me-barren tongues call me mother,
Let them know from every side of the flipping coin earth,
That You make the Barren Mother.

Adaobi Chiemelu
(c) 2018

A Portrait of Sacrifice, with Blood as Paint

A band of butcherers chant,
As they drag crying sheep through,
Smashed rocks and dirt clouds,
Swarming, to slaughter point,

Its fluffy coat sheds, to mingle,
With mud puddles and grim slime,
It swims in darkened blood,
And sways, to torturers’ feet stomping,

As shredding skin paints the path,
To the altar, with red hue,
A portrait of life takes shape:
Suffering, to death,

But if through its last cries,
It sees losing self could be worship,
It’ll fall, to paint its dying as,
Living worship to God, “Sacrifice Infinite”.

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2018

Questions Crossed Out

My wailing,
What does it weigh,
Against the sighs of seven billion souls, each,
Digging wounds into my already shattered depths,

My breathing,
What does it matter,
When it’s lost in waves of first winds drawn and last gasps sown,
Lashing earth for eons,

My living,
Is it a rare gem or a speck of dust,
Amongst countless weddings, empires collapsing,
And the universe’s billionth galaxy collision,

The answer,
Is a death to cross these questions out,
The meaning of existence, hanging on a stake,
For my sake.

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2018

MISS FORTUNE

This is a story about a girl in her twenties and a guy in his twenties; late.

They went
On a date when every other person walked into the mall hands in hands and shoulders;
That’s today.

Their fates already sealed by the late mr Kori and little Miss Kate.

So I know, and you know that he would be leaving this evening with a no,
And she would have dodged another bullet of a man sent to rent what’s left of the tattered clothing of her shadowed past,
Park into her heart with no rent.

Brothers and sisters, you relate with this right?

How often do we already decide what he intends, from the last person we met who was from the same tribe?
Has the same look, with a similar beard, same complexion, from the same country;

How we now act like everyone with the same ‘dark’ name plays the same bad game has left me wondering;
If this field will ever be fair.

I mean, long before I came along your path someone, somewhere already did my name a smear, so all I do with whatever I do, or do not, would be to remind you of him, how awful?

And when you can’t seem to box me you still find a box to box me, your low blow finds a way to make ‘all men, all women, the same’

Dear dearie;
Just because we all carry the Y chromosome doesn’t make us the same with your EX, the same way your X doesn’t make you miss Kate,

Our meeting was not a mistake.
I am not Mr. Kori.
I wouldn’t choose quick seconds over the trust you give;
I wouldn’t love you and leave;
Or maybe I would, but please

Let me not pay for what he did.
And don’t let him pay for what I did,

And if you can do this for me, I promise to hold up my own end of this bargain, and not think you only came for the money,
not let you pay for all she did.

No I’m not saying ‘snap out of it’, I know you still hurt, you are human so you should feel;
but let’s consciously drink from these bars tendered to heal;
And in a short while from now,

A little walk from this bar; we would have drunk to fill.

For only then would we walk into the mall, hands in hand,
And maybe, I would be fortunate enough to get a ‘Yes’ by the end of the night, this time from the real you, on this date, the day we finally let go.

Let’s face it,
Nobody is really real with all the weight;
So we can lose the hate, and plan to love again, today.

I = LIFE

It came in a flash like some Allen knew exactly what was on my mind.

In the midst of 2 strangers in a BRT bus, one looked like another normal guy, and the other like a boss.

*Lagos my location, but I had thoughts in heaven.
So I felt heaven on earth, well that’s what you get for being in Him.

Have you ever wondered how lovely it would be to spend a whole day without bad mouthing anything, anywhere or even anyone?

Like No…
Bastard; playfully said
or
Fool; with a lovely pat on the head

No…
‘You will never amount to anything’ from a mother to a child and perhaps;

No pastor would lead a congregation of well meaning followers to a battle ground that makes a post of ‘deaths to whoever’ and then tag God in prayers like he was a supporting cast in this horror movie on a steady loop in their mind.

But they don’t see it,
We don’t see it,
I mean how black can a heart get before truth can no longer wash it?

I wish we can all set a day apart;
A day when we will all agree to rather trade punches than hurt with our words

A day when we will be focused enough to not let any slippery dark word go unapologized.
A day when we stop using these black knights to bat men, but rather;

Step into the light and use white to bathe them.

A day, when we master love
Then We try a week,
Then a month;

And soon it becomes abnormal and weigh a thousand tons on our lips whenever we try to muster the courage to plant a word that will grow into a scary tree from these our mustard seeds.

So I decide daily, surely, purposely;
I choose to believe differently
To fight differently
To speak differently
See differently

And actually stop playing the devil’s hate game with him.

Since we are buddies, let me play a little with God;
For I am in Him
And He is in me
Heaven in *Lagos;
LIFE!

I will be that one drop of oil that will float above stormy waters.
I will fight alongside anyone I can, till my heart goes silent with its beats.

It’s who I am, it’s what I give,
LIFE!

 

*Lagos is a major city in Nigeria.