Who I Belong To

I’ve heard of the sweat and essence
Of loved ones
Worn in a vial around the neck
Wrapping them in the fragrance of love

I’ve heard of a lady’s favour
Worn on armour
To protect the soldier in battle
And surround them with home

I’ve heard of love marks
Left by lovers
Like dogs marking their territory
Each tiny red welt saying “mine”

I’ve always wanted one of those
I’ve always wanted to feel owned
And belonged to
And belonging to

This craving has drove me into the arms
Of pharaohs and philistines
And mad scientists and thieves
Who plunder and take and take apart

I seemed to have forgotten
I did belong to One
Father, Son and Spirit

I wore the fragrance of His peace
My heart was His favour
Worn around His ‘holey’ palms in pride
His Spirit was my love mark
Shining through my words and my eyes and my prayers
Screaming “Mine!”

When I did remember
My world was alright again.

Ifechukwu Miracle
©2020

THE GAY MISCONCEPTION

It is routine for the ‘boys’ to take turns in getting the bill after each hang out. Today, Ugonna got the bill and after the jabs and hearty humorous perks, it was time to go home. As they got up to leave, Arinze with a smirk placed his hands on Ugonna’s shoulder and said, ‘Thanks dear’.
‘God punish you there’, said Ugonna violently shrugging off his hand.
The rest of the group exploded in hysterical laughter including Arinze. Ugonna joined in almost immediately. There was a silent understanding of what just transpired.

Something similar happened some time ago at work. My colleague and I noticed two guys holding hands. We fixated on their hands waiting for them to unlock their grip in time for us to conclude it is usual but they didn’t indulge our expectation.

‘I thought guys don’t hold hands for too long’, my colleague whispered. ‘Perhaps they are gay’. On another thought, I added ‘it may
be a normal thing’
. We went about our business and forgot all about it.

And yes! I should mention a particular encounter that I am still mad at myself over. Women hardly give me lifts (no, that’s not what I am mad at). I may be wrong to presume men give women lifts more than women give women lifts but that has been my experience. On this particular day however, a pretty lady gave me a lift. She seemed a bit older so when she asked if I was going her way, I said ‘yes ma’ and hopped in. ‘Please use your seat belt’. I fastened it instantly. ‘Are we supposed to wear these leg chains on the right or left leg? I noticed you are wearing yours on the right. I usually wear mine on the left leg’. I then relaxed, I giggled and told
her I didn’t think there are any rules to how it should be worn. We got into discussion on people’s perception of it as a trend and her perception of people’s perception. We talked about self-consciousness. By the time I got to where I was going to drop, I had already decided I like her and wanted her to be my friend. What do I do? Collect her number? I thought that may be
weird or overstepping of boundaries. I knew I should collect it but before I made up my mind on how to go about it, I had already said ‘thank you and have a nice day’. I watched her drive away wishing she asked for my number and only then realising we didn’t even ask each other’s names.

I wonder if this way of thought we have is as a result of societal conditioning. I bet it would have been easier to ask a guy for his number. Ugonna would have thought it cool if a girl called him ‘dear’ with a hand on his shoulder and there shouldn’t be anything gay about two guys holding hands or lingering in a hug. At a point in life however, there is usually a self-awakening for the open minded when he decides to live in accordance to his convictions irrespective of how unconventional it is.

The beauty of our individuality is masked by societal construct. Tomorrow we’ll talk about the damaging effects of living in accordance to societal expectation. Today let’s focus on not letting its rigidity infiltrate our minds with perversion.

– ChyD
(c) 2020

Book Review: Beauty from Ashes

Author: Hope Stansberry
Pages: 280
Reviewer: Beatrice Ani and Godswill Ezeonyeka

Advanced Review Copy (or ARC) on Reedsy Discovery: https://reedsy.com/discovery/book/beauty-from-ashes-hope-stansberry

Trauma has a way of lingering. Letting go of the pain is what we want most but, in most cases, it is this need that makes us stow away our pain and give it life for longer than is required. Hope Stansberry presents us with an intense story of triumph over trauma and its bewildering effects. It is a story of love and discovery that surely would give the reader the much-needed healing and entertainment they might be in search for.

Just like every other romance novel, this Christian romance fiction will make one lose track of time until the last page is read. It’s an absolute page-turner. Stansberry captures a vivid picture of love in the very familiar and endearing pursuit of Cameron for Natalie’s friendship. Friendship blossoms into romance but in the most unlikely way and this journey delivers to the reader a relatable story of redemption, trust, faith, recovery and how our suffering produces perseverance.

This is not the ideal sappy romance fictions, but it does tug at one’s heart. However, for those looking for a story that portrays the bitter and beautiful parts of healing, this is an ideal read. The pain that Natalie and Cameron have had to deal with and will go through is very well portrayed and this makes their characters stand as perfect mirrors for anyone going through pain. Christian readers will find the focus on how God heals to be very familiar and endearing however, non-Christians can also relate to how we all react to love regardless of what we believe. Hence, I would definitely regard this book as a good read for anyone that is willing to. It is not preachy and definitely gets the message across. My only critique would be the length, possibly Stansberry may want to give us a sequel?

Beauty From Ashes is a book I will recommend for any person above childhood (however that is calculated these days) because it speaks to one of our primal needs which is healing from pain. It is a beautiful balance between reality, faith and romance. As earlier said it is quite a quick read but it is sure to leave you reeling and loving every moment, every word and wanting more.

From This Moment


I have made up my mind not to lie
I will not quarrel with anybody till I die
I will restrain my tongue from speaking evil
and any word rooted in the devil
I will not despise anybody at any level

I will sing a new song to the Lord
I will make memories with no sword
I will keep my heart stayed on him
and my love will flow beyond the stream
I will crest his word on the tablet of my heart

I will preach the gospel with all boldness
I will proclaim that I have His life in fullness
I will listen to the still small voice in me
and I will put all of my trust in thee
I will shine my light for the whole world to see

Ogochukwu Nancy Peter
©2020

The Upgrade

I love you Lord;
For your voice means the world to me;
Say it, I’ll do it,
I needn’t understand
For you have made your dwelling with me.

O Lord you will lead me through the valleys,
Of the shadows of the death of me,
You O Lord puts the word in season in my mouth;
You have made my tongue the pen of a ready writer,
For you have chosen me for deeds noble.

I will never really understand your love,
How you choose to love an adulterer,
Or make prayers in folded palms,
For the ones whom a hole,
They drilled into your palms,
Or choose to let a kiss betray you,
And yet still gave your life,
As a sacrifice! All for what?
To prove your love for me,
Yes, I have denied you more than three times,
Yet, you choose to love me,
I guess my eyes will always see love differently,
Love that crossed my I’s,
Love on the crossed-eye
love of God, for I!

How do I tell this story,
A tale as old as two cities,
Before time could even speak,
My brain never seems to figure out the math,
Of how you could love scandalously,
How a Prince gave up everything,
To love a low-life like me!
My scars didn’t scare Him,
Rather He kissed them!
Now I see nothing but love!

And when I kept at you,
You looked at me so tender
You said, “spread your mercy abroad,
To the good and to the ungrateful,
You’re like me that way,
What I do for my living,
This is the upgrade you need”.

Olaoye Adeleye,
Favour Omeje,
©2020

Drive Past It

I stopped driving at 16 when I had my first accident. The cost of it all made me decide to let the keys go, like lovers on some bridge in Paris, after adding their locks to the teeming number that will cripple the bridge.

This is not a poem. And it is not about lucks or keys
or a kiss or about spoon feeding emotions
or trying to have a relationship
or driving a career worthy of a Fast and Furious adaptation or a Shakespeare narration.

This is to the one who has felt heartbreak close up but, like one of the blind asked to describe the structure of the elephant, will take my words with a pinch of salt. Add it to that part of your wound that a heartbreak caused, cover your cracks with it, do an Nsibidi inscription on your sensitivity.

Heartbreaks are bad for your Health.

Remember when I said I stopped driving, well, I will drive again, and again and again and again. That is how hearts get broken…and heal.

You love or trust or have certain expectations for/from people, their inability to meet up or match your expectations leaves you hurt, and now I have been summoned from Frankenstein’s grave to tell you this;

Don’t stop loving, don’t stop being optimistic, don’t stop expecting the best from people.

Don’t stop believing…
Don’t stop loving…
That is how hearts get broken…and heal enough to heal other broken hearts.


Ice Nwa Ǹkwọ
©2020

Don’t Be Deceived

He came not for the righteous preachers
but forsook the glory to save lost sinners
from destruction of the night
into God’s marvelous light
…they that be whole need not a physician
but they that are sick.”

He came not to condemn
but here to usher you
into a new realm of love
that’s more sacrificial than a dove
“for when we were still sinners
Christ died for us..”

He came for reconciliation
of men to their God
not for humiliation
of men by the Lord
“…for I am come not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.”
then He taught them to live in true obedience.

Don’t be deceived:
He offered us liberty
to be law-free.
He gave us grace
to be performers of His holy scene
not as a licence to sin.
“For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Don’t be decieved!
Christ is here
calling you to believe
inviting you to live.
leave fear,
Come“, Love says.

Josh’ Oloyede Oluwafemi.
©2020

Clouds

I wear these sunglasses to see
The shadowed paintings of the sun meet
My ever-wandering thoughts;
These wintered trees I fought.

I wear this fainne as though I’m at peace with my past
A broad smile, loud laugh like a ship’s mast
Then hug myself twice a day
As a promise never to let my mouth say

I shake hands with tomorrow
Afraid of all it could bring; love, joy, hate and sorrow
This bromance that refuses to align to a scheme
Like the clouds of this year in multiple themes

Symolean Mikado Goodest
© 2020