Change



I like people and how they change, It reminds me of home. Of how one person won’t make it to Christmas next year, and forever. How this might be the last time I’ll tell aunty Chinenye that she’s my favorite. That her hair is beautiful and her smile is radiant. That being the only person in the family with dimples must mean that she was special. That I’ll come for holidays when she got married. That I love her. Before I run away with the plate of corn and _úbé_ she roasted for me to show my mummy.



New people remind me of old people. Of the promises of forever that lasted till worth became what my worth was never. “See finish” is myopic. It assumes that who I met today is better than someone I’ve known for many years. Forgive me for being old fashioned but I believe that the years matter. If our bubble lasts a year, then we have beaten time and seasons that I’ll cherish again and again. Because while people change, you’ve changed and I’ve changed, but somehow we haven’t changed enough to no longer feel the other is less their worth. I have a habit of remembrance. Of beginnings.



I like taking strolls. A slow walk down memory lanes. I like seeing how first hello and hi morphed into not being able to do without. I like change. It has never scared me. That’s why I am never afraid of death. How people leave without a word’s notice. How they change. From being there to being mute. How someone who would kill if you shed a tear will lie there and sleep through your million wails. Tears changes people. Maybe the saline fluid washes a part of ourselves with it when it falls. When we clean it, we don’t just clean it. We erase something too. A trust, a love, a care, a joy, a part of us.



People change but I don’t blame them. I’ve heard people say the stories of their journeys. It’s why I want to make movies. So many untold stories. We judge too hastily for people with the ability to cry so much. And we hold grudges for people that fall short so much. I never got to visit aunty Chinenye because she never got married. Mummy will never see my wife, daddy too, with his funny mustache and remarks. Aunty Faustina will not make good on her threat to tell the woman that I’m stubborn on my wedding day. They all changed. Just like people do. They fell like flowers plucked from life’s petal, to wither on dusty earth. So go ahead dear, change all you want, I’m used to it.


Uc Truth
(C) 2022

In Sickness

You were supposed to have his back,
Be his anti-body in this sinful world,
He broke the tablets of our hearts,
When he left us for you,
You had him looking above this cloud,
This cloud of flaws hovering over humans,
You were his mentor; a star guiding him into this Perfect life,
A view obscured and inverted to our hearts,
But a clear and perfect reflection to him,

He never for once ignored your call,
Remember when he housed you with his sisters; Mary and Martha,
He never for once judged and questioned you,
But when he needed you,
You were far from home,
You could have used one of your tricks,
To race against time and space,
But you didn’t, instead, you chose your work over him,
I guess he was always a second choice,
A means to an end; the path to our hearts,

Four days! He has been dead,
This tomb now clothes his lifeless body,
The passage to the afterlife,
And here you come with your twelve,
Wearing sad faces and tears,
Like a kid who lost his candy,
If only the news of his sickness,
Had quickened your feet,
To behold your friend on his sickbed,
Maybe he would have seen another sunset,
Maybe I would have felt his lips on my forehead,
Maybe his Aunt would embraced his warmth one last time,
Just enough for us to bid him farewell,
But you abandoned him,
You broke your vows,
The communion of promises you both shared with one another,
Sleep on Lazarus,
Your friend, Jesus is here,
To say goodbye to his dear friend,
Whom in sickness, he abandoned!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 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

Why’s Intro

The goal is to sell myself to Life,
But Life said come back when you’re dead,
Commas behind zeroes; I just wanted tomorrow,
I valued it more than the now and the loot oh,

So much Carnage is possible!
But some came from the rubble
Worth are you when I ask
Otherwise it’s your task
Get a thing into time, that will live till it’s killed

Blessings are a present,
that means they are present,
Sometimes I forget
My Spirit will be present

Niel Quchi
© 2020

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