Evolve

Man.
Lord of the earth, unknowing.
Born Heroes; living victims.
Black Panthers scared shitless.
Superintendents gone puny.
Sad.

Man.
So primitive. So common. Like dirt.
As is the sunrise.
Aye, it doesn’t make him, nor the sunrise,
Any less a miracle; any less a beauty.
But then…

Man.
“Ye are Gods,” I heard Him say.
Creators, made He you.
But it’s sad.
You only live as pawns on a chessboard.
And you die like mere scum of the earth.
Who knew the hashtag was truth, after all.
Men are scum, indeed.

Man.
Oh, man.
Pity! PITY!
I mean, you share a last name with Deity!
With Yahweh Himself!
Oh, that you knew thyself!
And, that, to thy sweet self, you be true.

Man.
Do not your dreams whisper to you
The destiny of your race?
Do not your superheroes, your folklores, your movies
Point towards mastery?
And power?
And love?

Man.
Does not your genius, your spirit
Nudge you ever so silently
To rule from the top of the rainbow?
To conquer the sky you’ve agreed is your limit?

Who has deceived you?
Oh, man!
“Evolve, man!
Evolve!”
Eternity screams.
Immortality beckons.

But no. You’ll read this poem, this call,
And just move on.
Sadly.
Oh!
Man!

Nonso John
© 2019

Numb

There is a numbness in my head
A searing pain that threatens to strip me of my sanity
And blur my senses of whatever hold on life they have left
So much that my hands cannot thump my chest
Cannot allow me to say it is alright and that I have help within
Groaning out to remind me of who I am and why there’s life in me, but I scream

The numb becomes a pain that only allows me see the trauma
And bitterness and anger I carried for so long
That I could not forgive myself because of
And has now taken control of who I am
The numb has spread to my fingers
I cannot touch my face, to feel the life that lives in me
Cannot feel the warmth on my skin
The blood that flows through my veins

I stagger backwards and I feel a panic rising in my chest
Up to my windpipe threatening to come out through my mouth and when it does
I gasp for air, for a breath
I steady myself by a wall and with wide eyes I take deep breaths
Swallowing as much as I can force down then the tears come
Willingly, patiently, next they become sobs, loud
Choking sobs and in that moment I feel the life seep out of me
Slowly, without a fight and my legs, weak, throb
Throb so bad I can no longer stand so I slide down while hugging myself

It is not going to be alright
It won’t be alright until I see the help right within me
Silently saying ‘it’s okay’ all the while I was fighting with myself
Telling me to stop and allow him fight because my defenses are down
With the numbness and pain
But I could not see it because I took my eyes off him and focused on me
My pain, my panic, my hurt and so it’s not going to be alright
Until I stop fighting alone

IFIOKABASI OKOP
© 2019

ETERNAL LIFE

it was so much joy
That day I joined the life
In the race of men
I gave my first smile, looking into her face who gave me life
While mouth stocked to her chest gulping out desperately a white river
A white river that would make me strong and grow

Day by day I got to know how life is
The sweetness of it and the sour it gives
How good life could be and how evil could penetrate
I only know the first life given from a woman
But as time grows
I begin to see despite life was given life itself could be taken too

I see the young and old been taken
Taken not from the woman who gave it
But taken from another life named death
Death I was told it’s also a life
Another life not to live walking
A life laying silently below the ground
Soundless, only the cracking walking sounds of termites feasting on every part beneath the ground

One morning ,I walked down with mama to a place
Under a shield filled with different faces
Looking lost but wanting more
There , I got to know of another life
Far better than the life from a woman and the life beneath the ground

I heard of the third life
A life flowing with milk and honey
A life of peace without stress
A life which know no sickness nor sorrow
A life forever more with no endings reigning with kings and Angels
A life bought by a boy called Beloveth Son
Who give to it freely with His blood
Blood bonding is as one
That whoever believeth in Him should not perish
But have Eternal life

Deeyoke
©2019

RHYTHM

I am the music
The rhythm that moves to no beat, moves to a silent fear, a fear that the music will stop
My body is rhythm –
Looking for an opening, a scar to let this bottled up angst and terror move to the beat
Wait, what beat?
-The fast, irregular, jarring leaves my hands in the air, my mouth in my heart
I’m flailing, a lost soul in an abyss
The music is spikes, needles in my brain, insanity comes, slowly, silently, holding breath, holding life
The music is ice, freezing time, freezing me –Limbo
I pause the music and I’m still, no breath, no life, still
I press play and I’m the wind
The last beat holds my breath
I don’t want to let go
If I press replay, can I stand this, again?

IfiokAbasi Okop
©2019