YOUR UNCOUTH TONGUE AND NARCISSIST MIND

I spoke at length with Nelson on the phone and listened to him narrate some things he was going through. At the end of our conversation, he asked if I had any advice for him and I said no.

I take your pieces of advice to heart you know. I remember when you said my sandals were ugly and that I had a bad sense of fashion. I never wore sandals again till date and I gave away those set of clothes you complained about. My mother was angry because those clothes were designers and she bought them from the United States.”


Father Lord,” I screamed, “when did I say that one? Please limit this fabrication“.


The day we went from Shoprite to Celebrities to see Ezinne.”

A flashback came to my mind and I vaguely remembered saying that.


To be sure, I asked again, “did you say you stopped wearing sandals on account of what I said seven years ago?” He nodded.


I slouched and heaved quietly while I entertained fifty shades of conflicting emotions. I apologized for saying what I said and the effect it had on him. He said I shouldn’t apologize because it made him mindful of what he now wears but I saw it damaged him rather than helped. It wasn’t about finding out the worth of the clothes but the insensitivity behind my actions of condemning his choice of clothes was mean.


In an angry but casual feat, my close friend, Mark, said I was self-centered two days after a conversation we had and he later ghosted me. I asked our mutual friend, Cynthia, and she revealed she used to see me as self-centered but stopped focusing on that because it was ultimately who I was.

I had an amplified emotional breakdown but most importantly, I did a self-reflection to see what about me was selfish. I didn’t see a thing but I believed them because my two best friends could not be wrong about me.

On a quest to be a better person, I told my mentor who made me narrate the situation that warranted such accusation. When I did, he said there are always two reasons for criticism; one is to put a person down and the other is for correction. He said in the context of my situation, it was to put me down and it tells more about the person than of me. I asked Cynthia to tell me specific acts that portrayed my selfishness and she couldn’t recall any.

The thing is, that an aura of not letting people walk all over you can easily be perceived as different negative things including selfishness. Sometimes, people call people they can manipulate, “kind and nice”.
We are too eager to speak without reservation and too ready to accept condemnation from others without reflection.


I should have asked Nelson, “don’t you think sandals go better with shorts or striped shirts better with plain trousers?”.

As a matter of fact, I should have resisted the urge to “shalaye” because of my snobby fashion sense and I may have been wrong. What do I know about fashion?

Mark should have said he felt I didn’t care about his welfare when we spoke a few days ago. He should have told me he was sick and I didn’t care to check up on him. Cynthia should have said, “I once thought you were selfish but I don’t think so anymore; perhaps, it’s because I understand you better now or I got close enough to know you better“.


Whose report do you believe?

ChyD
(C) 2020

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

Who Am I?

I have sought a definition
A sentence that could give me full expression of who I actually am

Am I a girl?
Is my life best expressed in the gender
In the XX of my genotype
Or in the comely form of my phenotype?

Am I a youth?
The leader of tomorrow; the pillar of today,
Am I one of the millions of jolly fresh faced persons
Brewing with passion but lacking in knowledge,
Just hustling to make it?

Am I a Nigerian?
Do I get my identity from my southern roots
Trying to fit into the mold of societal stereotypes?

Am I a graduate?
Is that laminated certificate in my box my identity card
Such that I am quick to shove my titles in peoples faces
Using that as a basis for unhealthy comparison…
But deep down I know
I am not my profession and my profession is not me
So help me answer this question who am I?

Guys, it took a long time to realize who I was
To understand that I couldn’t find myself by looking inward
but looking outward
that I would only see my true reflection
when I look in His mirror
that my true life is wrapped in his death and glorious ascension
that my life is not about the external but the eternal

but that my real identity is in JESUS
not in gender or status or nationality or age or education or skill
so who am I?
I am a child of God, a joint heir with Christ
I am a spiritual, supernatural, extraordinary human being
Trust me,
I am not just a girl, I am not just a youth,
I am not just a Nigerian, I am not just a graduate, I am not just a poet…
I AM A CHILD OF GOD!

Damaris
© 2020

Love Would


Love would bring you before a garden

Fill your nostrils with scents of wild flowers,

Knock out your reasoning…

Then put you in prison.
Love would make you see tomorrow,

Blindfold you against today,

And the little dry leaves you place before fire

Get you animated

Then disgrace you as an animal before people you never met.
Love will be your solace,

When the whole race crown you a sinner,

Deprives you the freedom to love,

Yet claim they belong to the kingdom of love