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

Mary’s Cross

Scandal has tingled the villagers’ ears
And engendered the gossip mother fears.
I find her, alone, dissolved in tears
From what she’s heard in the marketplace.

When I go for water, my ears start burning,
As I shop for fish, my feet start turning
To run, but I’m gradually learning
That their hisses can’t rob me of God’s grace.

They tell my father it’s a shame.
They tell my mother she’s to blame.
They whisper to others that I’m a stain
On the high reputation of this godly place.

A swollen belly can’t be hid
Nor the depths of disgrace into which I’ve slid.
Next, my marriage vows they’ll try to forbid
And work to see me exiled from this place.

In the angel’s words it was God I heard
He’s wiser than the scoldings of this world.
I’m told if I faithfully follow His word
I’ll hold the Creator of all time and space
In my arms.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Country of our dreams

They say our country is going to seperate,
They say our country is a failed state,
They say we should run abroad because we will never run towns,
They taught us our suffering in silence ensures a graduation gown;
We were just trying to build a roof, but they said we are all bark and no bite
We were just trying to find some food, but they said we can’t eat what they haven’t…

This journey to the country of our dreams will not end us…
I do not pray for some future blessing, or that one day “e go beta”…No!
All we need is in us.
God, each other, tomorrow…

I do not pray for some wave of death, or that our enemies don’t make it to our comfortable
All we need is in us.
You, each other, tomorrow…
Tomorrow is asleep in the palms, three tiers can’t tear what God has joined together.

I pray that we see ourselves in each other’s eyes…children, all trying to breathe between sobs.
I pray that we accept each other’s differences… together, redefining the meaning of color.
I pray that we find each other, unity, and recognize how successful we are to have gotten here.

All we need is in us.
This journey to the country of our dreams will not end us…because Love is our true beginning.
And we’re just getting started.

The Niel Quchi
© 2020

😞God is so forgetful

In my preconceived days, 
Death of one was permitted by one for all.
I arrived, malnourished: 
Flourished in my mother’s nature before I was held bound by love. 

It started-on good, 
Until the material part of me danced onto pride,
All because I did well in Christ.
Beckoned on Grace to harbor my shame and all I got was, 

FORGIVENESS!!

Why?
For what it’s worth 
I hurt your trust 
But this…

You forgot!

It never ended with pride.
Sometimes lust came through,
Hate approached enticingly, 
Anger slipped in,
And yes I gave in.

How come all you did was FORGET?

Adedatryts
(c) 2020

Worth

What’s a life worth?
Birth, mirth, and death
At best?

What are dreams for?
Fuel to fight, run, and soar
To empty summit?

What will wealth bring?
Fame, friends, and bling
Things fading, dying?

Where then, is worth?
Beyond means, dreams, and death
Infinite Life, God.

– Ikenna Nwachukwu
(c) 2020

Do not touch

I may not be liked but I do lovely
So people love me even though I don’t place my value in their stead
Some have tried to run me over
Because they are amazed at the incredible things I do which they call nothing
I might not be the best today but I know my worth
And so,
I look forward to playing more competitive games not just ‘whot
And when I beat you again, all you can exclaim is ‘what the hell!’

The Niel
©2019

Escape

So like fugitives,
You plan to run far away?
To miscarry your mission?
And end the vision?

I too would’ve espcaped
Even before I made
The beginning, the sky and you
But a circle has no escape route.

I am the perfect circle
And I cannot hide from myself.
I am so sorry that I made you
But I made you as myself.

Fear is wisdom
And heroes a times flee.
But why go on hiding, panting
Look up to the wounded cross

And feel the glorious sight,
All nightmares are over.
Go back to your Mission
And fulfill all you can see.

Ugwu C. David
© 2019

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For the Team