What do I have in my hand?

Exodus 4:2, 17

“And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.”

Me? Like, you mean, I?
I mean, I’m looking around me
And no one else is here.
It looks like you’re talking to…
Oh. It’s me you’re-? Okay.

What do I have in my hand?
Okay, let’s see. Errrm.
Wait. Do you mean like hand-hand,
Or do you mean it, like, figuratively?
Because, see ehn… Oh sorry.

See ehn, I have a pen, but I also have a…
Wait. Am I saying this right?
Because a part of me thinks
That you probably mean what do-
Oh. You mean like in my hand

– Like physically? Okay

Well, it’s a pen. And it’s blunt.
Sorry, of course a pen is not a pencil.
It cannot – errmm – cannot be blunt.
Or maybe blunt also means… Well…
I mean that it doesn’t write

Hahaha – hmm. Sorry.
I swear the laugh was a reflex.
I thought that you said it’s enough.
And somehow it sounded funny and-
Oh. You mean it’s- you mean it’s enough?

Sorry, what exactly is it enough for?
Oh my God! God is talking to me!
What a – what a – wait. Hold on.
This feels normal all of a sudden.
What a normal thing it is.

A God, talking to another God.
Yes, Sorry sir. You were talking.
So, my pen. Right.
You said it was enough for –
Sorry, for what again?

For signs?
Of course, who didn’t know that.
Pens are for nothing if not for
For signatures and putting down th-
Oh, not that? But you said-

Oh, you mean “Wonders.”
I wonder what You mean.
How could a pen – I mean – I bought
It from Malam’s shop oh. I just thought –
Just thought I should tell you.

Oh, you already knew that.
Of course. You’re God.
Silly me. Lol. Sorry. Wait. Is that a sin?
Saying Lol at God? Oh it’s not?
Oh well, I didn’t know. Lol.

So, you’re saying with this old thing,
This blunt little blue pen
That I’m going to – sorry repeat that part.
Right. I’m going to bring the world-
Wait. Did you mean the entire world or-

Oh, okay. The entire world, you say.
Is going to come down to its knees
In worship to the Almighty.
Hahaha. Lol. This one sweet me ehn!
Sorry. We’re being serious.

It’s not like I don’t believe you oh.
Okay, maybe a part of me doesn’t.
But – ah! – but even you check am na.
It looks too – Oh. You know, abi?
Oh, you’ll help me. Ha!

Well, if you say so.
you, from Heaven, say so.
Then, I guess I agree with you.
Amen oh.
Amen.

Nonso John
©2021

I have 50 Naira

I have 50 naira
My favorite note.
She used to be beautiful
Blue, fragile and promising
But I still loved her.
Right from childhood,
50 naira held a bouquet of colorful promises
A plate of rice and stew
Plenty wraps of coconut candy
Fanta
Happiness

But then she turned on me
Had a makeover
Became glossy and glamorous
And slowly became worthless.

She used to command respect
now 50 naira has esteem issues,
hardly making any impact when she stands alone.
A once revered note that now only has value in its multiples
50 naira has let me down.

50 naira has now has mood swings
I only get to find out when I arrive at the market.
I just discovered that 50 naira and sachet tomato aren’t in speaking terms
50 naira and onions are no longer friends

50 naira is treading a dangerous path
The path of 5 naira… The path of irrelevance
I’ve tried to warn her.
She said her fate is not in her hands.
That it’s not her fault

50 naira is breaking my heart.
She has changed
Grown distant
I still hold her in my hands but can’t feel her impact in my life.

Damaris Akhigbe
©2021

Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a goat strutting along the green path
Looking left and right as it goes
Believe In your dreams, do not give up
Raise your bowed head and aloud declare
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like an eagle spreading its wings soaring high
In the deep blue sky above unperturbed
Spread out your wings and aim high for the sky
Pursuing your goals with a little sigh saying
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a lion devours its prey unperturbed
Refusing the distractions so much around
Surmount your oppositions doggedly
Leaving behind no excuses, be reminded-
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a man pursues a beautiful maid unrelenting
Set your mind solely on your goals, be determined
Let your eyes look straight ahead unwavering
Forget your failures, they are passed, rise and say
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Try again, yet again and once again
When failures stare at you in the face
Striking you its numerous vicious blows
Let in your mind like water, these thoughts flow
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Every success comes with a story
Containing failures untold, part of the glory
Visible to the eyes often is the triumph
So when life pursuits bring setbacks so rough and tough
Get up and say yes, I can! I have no fear.

2nd Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us the Spirit of Fear, but that of power, and of love and of a sound mind”

Every success comes with a story
Containing failures untold, part of the glory
Visible to the eyes often is the triumph
So when life pursuits bring setbacks so rough and tough
Get up and say yes, I can! I have no fear.

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
©2021

Kings and Pawns

“We’re all Kings and Pawns,”
Napoleon Bonaparte once said,
“We’re all Emperors.”
“We’re all Fools.”

Funny he should say that.
We, like two Kingdoms, square up.
Blacks against Whites.
Decisions. Decisions.

What’s in your hand, sir?

King Pawn to King Four.
Small beginning steps we take
Believing we’re each of us
The only star in our own movie.

But Knight to Queen’s Bishop Three.
Counter moves from counter selves
We sabotage our own efforts
And wonder what’s afoot.

We’re all Kings and Pawns
Though each man in his own heart
Thinks himself different from all.
Superior to all the human-ness.

What’s in your hand, ma’am?

When Bishop takes Bishop,
And we face our true desires
We all deny our deepest truths
For Ego’s sake, for Pride’s joy.

What miserable life we lead
As we approach our end-games
This chessboard cleared of all
And the space evident in all things?

Queen to King’s Rook Three.
Discover Check. And trouble finds us.
Run we may, but hide we can’t.
Now matter where we turn to.

What is this you have in your hand,
Oh fallen man – son of Eve?
What is this you carry in your heart
Oh, daughter of the damned?

If King takes Knight Pawn,
I hope never again will it be said
That we sought for what we knew not
And that all man listened to his own heart.

We’re all Kings and Pawns,
A man once said to the world.
And he – that brilliant devil – he was right.
We’re all – all of us – Emperors. Fools.

Ask not what Mgbeke plans for dinner.
Wonder not when Mgbafo will get married.
What’s in your hand, people of God?
Mind your own business.

Nonso John
(C) 2021

Choose Right

A humming sound from the city beyond
Echoes of love from the promise land
Many be called, would we all respond?
For with gladness, pure joy, He beckons on us.

Redeeming grace through this wilderness
A stretched out arm with all willingness;
To help and to guide, would we leave our pride?
And reach for a grip or would we stoop to die?

Serene Atmosphere through this noisiness
A wind of peace in the chatters of Chaos
A sign post to a narrow gate, would you choose the path?
Or walk right past to your death alone?

Forgiveness trophy over bitter regrets
A resounding confidence it will all be gone,
Remind yourself no more. Would you choose to run?
Far from such past or ride along hate and keep fighting us?

All offers are free, no dime for the price
Good gift to receive, devoid of turpitude
Such pure salvation, would you rather lose your soul?
Or come now to Jesus; accepting the price He paid? 

– Jahzrhythm
©2021

The Bleeding Heart

The blood she shed was all her own.
She’d found no way to staunch the flow
For twelve long years.
The cost to her in doctors’ care
Was nothing to her shame and her enormous fears.
Unclean and thus untouchable
She knew she’d live and die alone in blood and tears.

The world had turned its back on her
And all she saw and all she touched was tinged with red.
Denied the right to worship God,
Denied the Temple courts by law, her soul was dead.
Denied all comfort, love of friends
And touch of man, she kept alone her blood-stained bed.

Her last hope lay in this new man,
But with her touch she’d make him, too, unclean, outcast.
And should she even hope for help?
Of all the people God might heal she was the last.
For it was God who sent the curse,
The blood and shame, the loneliness, through Laws He passed.

In spite of all these doubts and fears,
Mistrust of God, she took her chance – a touch unseen.
Then, Jesus, the untainted, changed the Law to Love.
Her world became new, fresh and green.

The blood He shed was all his own,
And flowing down it covered her and washed her clean.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021