Prank

Look at me!
I’m not some frail human you can get rid of
I’m not as fragile as I seem
Let that sink in, it’s a decoy
I’m planning, making significant moves you don’t see here but somewhere
More trophies for every mark
Mark my words!
What do you see when you look at me?
Those blooded eyes you see are on a rampage
I don’t come in peace
I inspect the pieces good enough to pierce your mind
Hah!
I won’t give you the satisfaction you need
I intend to become indifferent with every of your whip
I’ll strip you off your carnal confidence
It’s either the plank or the rope, so you think
Hear me now, it’s eternal life on the skin

,

Azubike Hannah
© 2020

Why do You fear the stars

I do NOT fear the stars
I fear the sky’s span, its depth and breath, its embrace that swallows everything my size and yours and makes them disappear into insignificance.
Do you have the slightest idea what the sky does to you, mortal man?
That scape up there, it makes you marvel. It lifts a smile unto your face, drives awe into your heart. Your feelings twinkle with the stars. You feel fly. Fly like a firefly, a little dot of light persevering in a dark world. You feel like a peacock, strutting its gaily colored stuff. Just before it gets slaughtered.
The sky’s beauty is a stolen garb woven from a trillion diamonds, the stars that hide the cold, dark, unfeeling universe beneath its ‘skin’. The rule of that universe is selfishness, its path is self-preservation, its goal is self-elevation. And no mortal has ever won against its brutish march.
Neither will you.

Neither will the stars.
Like you, millions have tried to soar past the skies. They pierced it with towers, crossed it with rockets, coursed about it with satellites.
Like you, trillions have burned bright, over eons unfathomable. They gave light and life to worlds innumerable. They were the suns of their age, the stars that stunned our forebears.
Today, they are gone. All of them. All shredded trillion bits, devoured by the same universe. And the sky, this pretty mask of a cold dark monster, keeps its sunlight front, its fraudulent smile.
And the world keeps spinning.
I do not fear the stars. I fear the wretchedness they hide.

Ikenna Nwachukwu Alexander
© 2019

Swimming in molten streams

You say your heart leapt when our paths first crossed
That my frame made you melt, shook you shoulders in spasms
You say sparks flew in our sights when they first locked
Like rough iron faces slamming together
At the start of a melding of souls

You say molten streams surged up your skin when we held hands
Roaring and smashing and battering and burning and sinking us
You say we swam and splashed in pleasant thoughts of each other
Together, woven up in skyward soars and seaward plunges
A glinting pearl of cosmic thirst for love quenched

You say I played up your craving heart like a game
Hugs for dice, kisses for cards, every moment a bet tied match
You claim I aimed for your delicate core
Where trust sits tightest, where hurt cuts deepest
And yes, you say I fractured your fragile soul with imaginings not lived out

You say you’ll be wrecked no more
So you sit beside loving hate and cursing smiles
You raise a cynic facade to mock a mirthless world
But you die a million times over on your insides
You shut sunlight out to mourn love lost in secret darkness

You’re coming round to truth now
For we did swim and splash and sink in love’s molten streams
But I became the life raft to keep your shaken frame afloat
The burden of wreck forced your pained flight from Light
But I’ve owned it as paddle to steer you back to me

Ikenna Nwachukwu Alexander
© 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

A Portrait of Sacrifice, with Blood as Paint

A band of butcherers chant,
As they drag crying sheep through,
Smashed rocks and dirt clouds,
Swarming, to slaughter point,

Its fluffy coat sheds, to mingle,
With mud puddles and grim slime,
It swims in darkened blood,
And sways, to torturers’ feet stomping,

As shredding skin paints the path,
To the altar, with red hue,
A portrait of life takes shape:
Suffering, to death,

But if through its last cries,
It sees losing self could be worship,
It’ll fall, to paint its dying as,
Living worship to God, “Sacrifice Infinite”.

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2018

STILL I STAND

Does your mind say the opposite of what your faith says?
That the strength in you cannot rise above the fear clutching at your throat, threatening to squeeze out the already faint voice that says ‘I don’t have the spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind.’

The fear cowering your defenses, making you more vulnerable than you already are, telling you, yes, the night is dark and that you’re about to step into the blinding, discomfortable darkness. The fear floating like the night breeze; not chill, not cool, not reassuring but restless, defiant, whispers one ear into the other, ‘you’re alone, look, you’ll trip, there’s definitely a pit and you’ll fall into it.’

The voice gets louder, harsher and you scream out, ‘though I walk through the valley and the shadow of death hovers over me, I’ll fear nothing.’ You will say it till your mind and body and every hair on you skin stand in obedience, taking down iotas of doubt.

Someone once your faith is doing the opposite of what you fear.

Fear comes in when you are at your lowest, tells you you are human and that humans fear but you look at it in the eye and tell it, ‘I’m not human, I’m superhuman because what I have in me is superior to the power that’s in you.’

You tell fear, yes life breaks people, takes them through storms and losses and pains and makes them clutch their hurting hearts wishing life could seep out of them, wishing they could be free. You tell fear, STILL I STAND.

Still I stand through the failed courses, dead CGPA’s, empty bank accounts, biting hunger, depression, hospital beds. I stand through the days I feel like hiding under Vet Mountain and not let the sun see your tears. I stand through the days I feel alone and lost and completely forgotten.

Still I stand, holding on to that hope that says ‘do not fear, because I am with you.’
The one that tells you, ’walk with me, watch me and learn the unforced rhythms of grace.’

You are a miracle God is building into a story the world will go on telling even when you’re up there with him. A story that will hold up people battling with fear.

My friend once told me this and I’m telling you, ’you are many things, but you are not afraid.’

You are strong, powerful, full of faith and light. You are full of God’s strength that does not bow to fear.

IFIOKABASI OKOP

(c) 2018