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

Power Source

As the antelope flees from the hunters gunpowder
As the boat drowns by the sea’s power
As the smokers eye fillls at the opium hour

Fire softens the beans for all devourers
Heat is what we produce to roast our beef at the tower
Looking down from great heights we don’t cower
Like the petals of a flower
Like lift from a stranger
We are helped and protected in dark and trying hours

Call it showers
We bask in the blessings of the Father
Safely hinged and bowered
To a God who has granted us dominion and power

Imani Dokubo
© 2020

RESCUE

I found rags to cover up
I take the lonely road home
Trying to hold back tears
– Mum will be so angry –
I’m at the front door
And I can’t ring the doorbell
The door clicks open and Mum gasps
– What happened? –
– I don’t know –
I sob and drop to my knees
– Don’t worry honey, let me clean you up –
She picks me up and takes
Me to her bathroom, peels
The rags off me, picks out
The dying petals from my hair
And cleans off the ashes from
My body. She gently sponges
Me and shampoos my hair
I let out the tears
– I’m so sorry Mum –
– It’s okay honey, you’ll be fine –
I nod
– I love you, you know that right? –
I nod
When she is done, I look at
The bathroom mirror and touch
My face. I see the glow come into
My eyes, I smile and clean off my tears
– I love you –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colours; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colors; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

BEAUTY

Beauty.
There. The name I call you.
When I think of your romance.
The honey droppings you coo
Taking me to heights of pleasure.
Blissing me out.

Beauty.
The colour of pollen sprinkled
On the ovary of my mind.
When You sigh, when You speak.
Impregnating my soul with little You’s.
Birthing futures untold.

Beauty.
It’s the avatar of Your words
Taking shape, casting shadows
On the walls of my beating heart.
Making my petals into wings
Teaching butterflies in my tummy to dance.

Beauty.
From down in the brooks and rivers
All through the scrolls and letters
As the Great Nebuchadnezzer
Witnessed, No book had ever
Recorded Your fullness. Ever.

Beauty.
There. The name I call you.
When I remember Your intimidating love.
Of how Mighty You are in all things but one.
Your need and desire for me.
Beauty without Flaw.
My Yahweh.

Nonso John
© 2019

GRACE PETAL

He is a flower of love, I’m a petal of grace.
Race me to the hour, pedal my race.
Resonate my soul to your orbit.
Traded pains… Salvation was the profit.

Drain my sins into the ocean of flames.
’cause names run off the book of life, feels like an erosion of names.
My veins were overflowing with lament.
But you made it all ferment, now my joy clouds the firmament.

My heart feels like a beating lake
’cause no emotion flows.
This vacuum you filled… I will scream till even a dumb fish in the ocean knows.
Soul once felt like a vault of darkness.
My days were spiced with the salt of sadness.

I stepped on thorns and you turn them into rose petals.
You take the drive out of my foe’s pedals.
On raging waters you left your footprint.
Your infinite love is a blueprint.

Kruise
© 2018