What Faith Wears

Faith wears
Knowledge as an anklet, a jungle boot
Saves your thorn trudging soles
And lights your thistle-bush swamped soul
With glints, glimpses of rays
From the Heavens

Then faith wears
You out
Makes you see yourself as a lion
Starving in the jungle, mocked
By an abundance that attacks your tongue
A world wrestling to claim your eyes

Faith offers you sight
Makes you lay down in green pastures
To be killed, to die, and die again
As you preach peace
In a world where wild fights
Fill the heart with joy

Chukwu Simeon Chidiebere

Ikenna Nwachukwu
© 2019

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CHRONICLES OF A DROWNING MIND

Dead zone
Broken soul
Scary shadows
Those are rhythms of a poor old kid
Whose ways never pleased anyone, not even herself.

No hope
Buried grace
Weak for the race
Those are top list words recorded in the word billboard of her mind
She used to be of the royal line
But now goodness turned to lime
She sees God’s intentions as the least
Her faith so rusty and loosen like an abandoned screw
There she becomes a beast that feast with the devil.

Records of heart failures
Impotent to believe the best inside
Drenched with the thoughts of discovery
Draining in the memory lane of no understanding
Tears from the sole of the heart dripping down like flood yet none sees these flood of questions buried in tears

Travelling alone in travail… I weep in smiles…
Because in my green days have I grown grey because am yet to discover the me in me

In silenced smiles I’m drown in fears because my mind has become aged in thoughts

Hold my weeping mind
Embrace my tears in warmth,
Caress me with words of rescue
Carry me in the wings of warmth understanding
For I drown in silence

Oh…save me from this destiny device
For I transit into the groove of eternity
My powerhouse drowns
I plead for restoration if that exist
I seek for redemption for this battle is beyond me

Nonye
The Alchemist
© 2019

Dream

Deep in my slumber
I heard the audible whisper
A persistent voice searing on my drums
Arise ! Arise ! Arise !

I closed the lids and tried drifting to sleep
But the tone came like the bleat of a sheep
A bang to the ear; It was a raging storm
All I saw was an image without form

Standing like a statue I boiled in red
My mind soaked in dirt and fusty
I tried hearkening to the voice I heard
It was all cloudy and musty

Then came the shimmering beams
And I heard my soul singing
So clear was the message ringing
Live the DREAM!

Ugwu Vincent
© 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

Slavery

I spoke to Runs girl once,
She said her anger is her source
As she was forced to this life
By her Uncle who came like a thief in the Night and her virginity was the casualty
So the penalty is death for all those who now commit the crime of sleeping with her
She blames they, them
For the mayhem she cause their Marriages
‘I wouldn’t pay for damages when my case has been adjourn’
Everyone I told turn a blind eye to my hurt
Now my heart burns with hate
If you stare at me, your fate might be a night to that hell I have been put through
I and my crew will screw all of you till you forget your wives and call us Boo
She like many others are Nigerian avengers
Fighting the ghost of their abusers
And I too felt her pain
A slave to a past that had been stained,
But can be snow if she chooses to let his light glow
Even if life has given her a low blow as she wrestles with her past demons
She can tag him in
He will guarantee her the win
Then the will to talk of his saving grace with pride
Everywhere she goes, she sows seed of hope to girls like her who are still slaves to rippers of souls
Tell them the past matters but the future is what they want to see and behold

Victor Isoje
(c) 2018

Barren Mother

I have an empty well of a belly.
My womb has known nothing but dying blood all my living years.
I have thought of no one but myself,
Fed no one but myself,
Placed no one before myself,
How do I have a womb except it was made to bear another, and yet
I have no idea what it means to pour a part of myself into another.
“A breast feeding mother?”
That’s a foreign name to me.
“A bread winning father?”
Who dares call me?
I am my own hero,
My own salt,
My own light in a shady place,
Come with me and I’ll lead you into the darkness.
I’d snuff the life out of my light because I do not want to share it.
I’m an evil already happening,
A menace waiting to be uncovered.
My tactics are new everyday
Yet my mind is old.
I am a dirty, dirty soul with a clogged up heart and a rigid body.

This is why I have come before the Rock of Ages,
Before The fire that purifies without consuming to ashes.
My tears produce more salt now than I have ever thought to produce.
I do not know when I ever took lessons from the ocean
But my ill will like waves come crushing over me.
I am caught up in my own dirt web,
Spun in my own fear.
I have come to you as a barren womb in need for a child.
I was born to be mother, now may I know a child?
I have come as a fruitless tree in its season.
As hungry fire,
I’m desperate.
As a docile branch,
I submit.
I accept defeat.
Let your rains fall on this arid land again, Lord.
I admit nothing was ever my own;
As I am left with nothing now I am reminded where I come from.
Give me one child, Yahweh ‘tis All I ask.
Surprise the quick-to-conclude with Your quick-to-deliver.
Let them know when their calling-me-barren tongues call me mother,
Let them know from every side of the flipping coin earth,
That You make the Barren Mother.

Adaobi Chiemelu
(c) 2018

Flying shadow

Black bird, d’you wanna fly?
D’you wanna take my blackness with you?
Would you rather take my darkness to the sky?
Or would you stay here too?

I’m caught in the midst of things I don’t wanna do,
Wings to fly I crave but don’t have,
I rend my clothes into halves,
And bare chested I stand in fear of you,

Lend me wings to fly,
No!
Take me with you to the sky,
No!
Heal my broken soul,
No!
Please make me whole,
No!

Flap flap flapped,
And off she went,
Flapped and leaving me a-trapped,
With my back bent,
And my soul sapped,

Black bird said no,
But at the horizon our shadows met,
And at the horizon my shadow flew.

Steven Kator

© 2018

S.H.E

Maya Angelou said she knew why the caged birds sang;
Well, I know something else,
I know why the virtuous woman remains a legend,
A fictional character of sorts,
She is the dream and goal of a young lady’s heart,
The epitome of indefatigable femininity,
We are told as soon we care to ask,
Yet she is trapped in the sands of history,

She is impeccable and all we must aspire to
And even before we start to allow our clay into the Potter’s wheel,
We know innately that we will never be her,
We will never be good or enough,
She is our adult version of Wonder Woman,
Good for stories and such….but only such,
Never moving beyond the Kodak pages of scripture,
That so perfectly capture her…

She is safe,
She is healed,
She is empowered,
She spells the word SHE,
And puts the definition in the word woman,
So she stays a legend,
We believe her to be with no knowledge of bitter or ugly,
She is eternally too good,
Not as soiled as we are…..

Now listen,
I come to dispel the faux,
That the virtuous woman is one with no past,
No scars and no torn dresses,
I write as one who was once like you,
And now is becoming She,

I dare to proclaim,
Little miss goody two shoes wasn’t always so little,
Her tush shoes weren’t always so good nor did she choose speech,
That sparkled with grace,
Her dress wasn’t always pristine nor her reputation divine,
Her hands were bloodied once,
Same blood cried out to God for justice,

And there were men buried deep in her scars,
The ones on her back and at the back of her mind,
Her innocence was raped off…by the clammy hands of life,
Call her Gomer, Tamar, Rahab or Mary….
She wears different faces in different places,
United in essence by the sameness of her struggles,

I hear she met Someone,
I hear Someone met her at the well,
Offered her water to quench the never ending inferno in her soul,
I hear Someone cast out her seven demons,
I hear she was bent over, broken and dying of silence,
Yes, the same Someone held her hand and commanded death to
‘ Loose her and let her go! ‘
And just like that,
This domitila from hell becomes the angel of proverbs 31.

I dare say she has a past,
Why else does she work so hard,
Funny thing is, she not trying to outrun it,
No,
She stands at her window on the wall, and waves a scarlet thread,
Her house is on the rock, the only unbroken part of the wall,
She runs to tell you to run,
Run!!!

Come, taste and see a Man who has told me all about myself,
Who evicted the demons and filled in my souls blank spaces,
And if only you drink of His water,
This need not be your present,
I need not be a legend….
Hear her voice echo over the horizon of history…..
‘You too can become S.H.E!!!’
Safe, Healed, Empowered,
Now ask me how,
My simple whisper….Jesus.

Chika Chikeka.
© 2018