BREAD OF LIFE

I’ve seen the rich
Hustling to breathe
For a living
I wish their wealth
Could afford them good health
But money failed

I’ve seen Damsels
Adorned in White linen
Married to the morgue
I wish all that glitters
Sparkles forever
But beauty is vague

Why the quest for fame
Why the bloated ego
Why the cravings
And exaggerated feelings
If all that fuels our pride
Fails the test of time

What’s the use of the lungs
If it does not long for air
A salt without it taste
Is a domestic sand
A life without the Maker
Is hanging on a live wire

No matter the bliss
In the dinning table of affluence
No union is greater than communion
Until you eat the bread of life
Any other bread you eat is Agege bread

A life without Christ
Is a life of stasis, vices, lysis and Crisis

King Uwe
© 2020

LETTER TO THE BRIDE OF CHRIST


Dear damsel of Honour
A few words for you that may not hurt
Your role is quite exquisite
Therefore you must be all it takes, no exceptions
A gentle heart, quite accommodating
Large enough to fit in all the lost sheep
You must know how to tend to a shoal of fishes in an unbroken net
Making dinner is a routine
Please no recipes in the wrong sauce
Only serve at tables with your hair dyed a deep red
A prove you have been sealed with the blood of the lamb
You should be an epitome of beauty
Something competitors can emulate
You need a Joseph’s store of patience and obedience
To last till the troupes waiting in line linger
Your eyes must only be on the Lord
Don’t glance elsewhere, they’re all dead mirage
His instructions must be your delight
A rebellious mind he does despise
Please fill your soul with the deepest love
Leaving no void for another to fill
Pride will leave you where the Nephilims’ are
Don’t hesitate to fall at his feet
You have to be a perfect mother
Who knows the secret remedy to all her children’s whims

Rebekah E.
© 2020

Waking


I’m waking up again
I used to write mornings till I grew too cocky to crow at dawn
The sentences without blemish I’d pen to grow
I stopped for some reason I can’t fathom
I guess I wanted more style, or fact driven
I chased earnings becoming more consequential
I feel the reign coming, thought clouds from deep within evaporate into bare paper

I’m waking up again.
A flood alarm,
The flood I am, it’s not my time but I can’t wait.
Horns in hand, my head grows obligatory weight
Alcohol isn’t the only thing I drink responsibly

My aunt Chi told to watch out;
That when my eyes are too much,
I’m getting selfish
And so I close my eyes when whenever I write
It takes a toll on my poetry, and my pride too.

Or should I say “used to?”
I’m waking…

The Niel Quchi
(c) 2020

Hello Fear

Hello Fear!
Dear dear! I know you well.
I saw through your charade especially the times you sounded like you cared.
Yet I gave you room in my mind.
Grace found me and faith came with him so there’s no more space for you.
You were never really my friend, for you held me back from being the best version of me.
You clouded my dreams and blurred my visions.
You made clever speeches about how you’re shielding me from disappointment and hurt.
Your truth is all a sham!
I’m free from your grip now and I know you, you’ll never give up.
But I also know your voice too well to open up again and let you in.
Take your walk of shame with every sense of pride you’ve got,
IT’S OVER!

Ijeoma Obi
© 2020

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

FALL


Should you fall
Should the devil try to be your warden and sin your prison
Should your burdens become so heavy you can’t stand tall
Or Should guilt flood your mind and drown your reason

Should you fall to your own pride.
Moonwalk into iniquity.
Fall over the dark side
And bow to its ubiquity.

Should you lie or cheat
In fear or deceit.
Should you steal or even kill
So much that your seems fate sealed.

If you should fall, then fall.
But fall for God’s love and his sacrifice
Fall into his embrace For grace has paid your price
Fall to your knees and commune
Fall in love with him and to the darkness, you will be immune

If you must fall then fall
But why not let the solid rock be what you fall for
If you must fall then fall
But fall for Christ and fall no more.

Brown da Poet
© 2020

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

A letter…

Dear Boss of the Ship,

My Man, I have carried the name on my Instagram
even had it flying with the tweets
Cap_quchi for more than a few weeks

I have lost and gained my pride in writing
A couple of times; looking for rhymes
I found that I could lose myself in trying to get lost
And never find the things I have found about things:

New Techniques stay undocumented
In the old days there’d be government
At the very head of the endeavour to exploit
Now we taunt them

Tell me that you knocked on doors
Let me show you how high gates get in Abuja

But please, I apologize for digressing
Every time I speak, I’m the first learning
That makes me new to me although I think I knew me.

So I put God first and his yes or no
When I turn to walk away, they watch me go

He brings me back to the races
When I leap right over the gates
He’s made surrounding me to face his enemies
It’s plain to see I am thinking I am so enough,
Yam dipped in blood red anointing oil;
Is it the lamb today or the lion?

I hope you read my mind on this “write” thing
I will continue to propagate the writings
Stick the Word in it and let The Lord speak
My imagination defeated before the Lord’s peak

Every time I speak, I’m the first learning
Even when I read what I don’t remember knowing
The trick is to stay grateful, it’s calming

The thesis should be NielQuChi is growing
And he teaches me how to love and to war
How to defend and how to trust or
Do things they will later tell as lore
What has God not seen before?

Me, I think I’m a bit enough
to give a life of this writing stuff
Even when I read what I don’t remember knowing
The trick is to stay grateful, it’s calming

Thank you for the opportunity, 

– The Niel (2019)