Which Way

The broad way is tempting.
So spacious, it feels liberating
This disguised bondage
The broad way seems like the logical option
The right answer, The convenient choice
The broad way is the new cool, the celebrated path

And the narrow way seems too lonely
Not wide enough to walk in properly
So I’m always stumbling
Falling head over heels
Trying to keep up with God
Looking up to religion
The author and finisher of my misery
The tormentor of my soul
On this middle ground, my body is in Canaan and soul in Egypt.

I make choices that betray my words
I take steps that draw me back
I’m a little bit of both
But not quite of any
What do you call light with a dash of darkness?

I was on the brink of desperation
Ready to resignation to fate
Surrender to my mistakes
Let myself go
Then He spoke to me, reminded me of what He had said
That His love was louder than my drowning voice
That His grace was stronger than my weak resolve
His Word outweighed my will
His promises infinitely greater than my grave mistakes.

Nothing compares to the safety net of His love
That He would never leave me
He’s right there with me
Not shaking in anger, but extending his grace
That saves me from the sinking sand of religion
In His grace I find strength
To overcome, to live His life
to take a sharp turn off the broad way
to the road less travelled
The path paved by His sacrifice alone

So in life or death
In sickness or health
In my lowest or my highest
I rest easy because
Nothing compares to the promise I have.

Damaris Akhigbe
(C) 2022

Redemption Memo

It began like this…

Clad in purple and linen, cat-walking with stiletto strapped feet,
I miss my steps

Fall into a gully of mud
Stumble into the midst of men mouthing profanity

Stench ooze from me like box of putrid egg

I become crafter of maleficence, of deeds done in darkness

Yet, I am of tender days than to perpetuate impurity
You, of purer eyes than to behold iniquity.

Lord, seems mother said you do not appose your eyelids like the sons of men?

But why are these befalling me
Or why should I be falling?

Like Martha, this is how I feel:
Lord if you had been here, my soul would not have been ensnared in the tempter’s trap

Now I come with a bunch of sins, my back bent into a hunch

Have mercy on me, Lord, have mercy and vanquish this vile!
Let these things cease, like when you stilled the storm

Will you discard the memento of your purchase?
The one you stamped by your blood on the tree, like Rahab’s scarlet cord hung over the window in Canaan?

Up till now, the spies are over the gate of my soul, watching, waiting to devour & divide me as a spoil—this moribund mortal

But the redemption of my soul is costly,
And in it, you promised sin shall not have dominion over me

This is why tonight, I recite to you the memorandum of my redemption
I hope you heed my cry and help me.

Ayooluwa Olasupo Ìmísí
©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

The Changed Man

Behold all things have become new
and the old lie in a forgotten heap
childish memories of me digging
underneath my bed on a Sunday morning
for where I’d tossed in my old pair of shoes
nowadays the changed me keep them up neatly
on a rung of wooden stiles the carpenter calls a shoe rack

Bible sleeps on a bedside stool
for a constant bath in Holy words I reach
across to it as often as I go
drink in words that lead, that guides
same letters in the book, a new meaning on the morrow

I remember mom’s narration on Joseph
please tell Dolly Parton
I share same story with her Coat Of Many Colours
only I took mine to many tailors
at the price of my chopped sandal soles
shoes on worn out feet
grazing gravelled road as they bleed
thank God, praise God I sing
because no longer do I handpick rags
all I see are tailor-made suits
my wardrobe is a rainbow of clothes
none having no holes

Nonetheless what I have outgrown is
the filthy old man inside of me
that cheated at elementary school
and purloined mum’s ten kobo
when she was busy at the hearth
One day aunt Betty suffocated my wrists inside mum’s purse
and gave me her two kobo
number eight of the decalogue says, ”Thou shalt not steal”
I hear you ma, my heart thumps with complete remorse
Tell that to the birds, coo that to baby lions
Whisper that in the ears of insensitive politicians
and the starved masses reaping where they did not sow
maybe they’ll pause then retrace their steps
and make way for the new experience.

Rebekah E.
© 2020

And Grace Found Me


And grace found me at the foot of the steps where I stumbled
He led me into a reverie of affections
And taught me how to make love with my emotions

And Grace found me picking doubt from my rag toothed skeleton
He asked me how I’d survived without the love of Christ
In the oxygen depleted pond of atheism

And Grace found me remunerating inside the tunnel of avarice
For the love of money is the stem that upholds deception
Broken dry Reed called Egypt that can’t be any souls trust

And Grace found me lingering about the field of blood
Waiting to retrieve the thirty pieces of silver
Instead of shouting maranatha with the 120 in the upper room

And Grace found me in the valley of mundane things
Brazilian hair, iPhone 6x, faultless make up, designer dresses
And all those cravings that sounds strange to Holy Mary

And Grace found me yet he wasn’t judgmental
He asked me why I was still babbling in unknown tongues
Instead of fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit

And Grace found me with the gift of a clean shave
Got rid of my eagle-feathered hair and bird claw nails
It’s been seven millennia wandering in the field of unbelief
I’d never imagined going through such quick transformation
Like Joseph’s speedy status change
Until I was discovered by Grace

Rebekah E.
© 2020

In Sickness

You were supposed to have his back,
Be his anti-body in this sinful world,
He broke the tablets of our hearts,
When he left us for you,
You had him looking above this cloud,
This cloud of flaws hovering over humans,
You were his mentor; a star guiding him into this Perfect life,
A view obscured and inverted to our hearts,
But a clear and perfect reflection to him,

He never for once ignored your call,
Remember when he housed you with his sisters; Mary and Martha,
He never for once judged and questioned you,
But when he needed you,
You were far from home,
You could have used one of your tricks,
To race against time and space,
But you didn’t, instead, you chose your work over him,
I guess he was always a second choice,
A means to an end; the path to our hearts,

Four days! He has been dead,
This tomb now clothes his lifeless body,
The passage to the afterlife,
And here you come with your twelve,
Wearing sad faces and tears,
Like a kid who lost his candy,
If only the news of his sickness,
Had quickened your feet,
To behold your friend on his sickbed,
Maybe he would have seen another sunset,
Maybe I would have felt his lips on my forehead,
Maybe his Aunt would embraced his warmth one last time,
Just enough for us to bid him farewell,
But you abandoned him,
You broke your vows,
The communion of promises you both shared with one another,
Sleep on Lazarus,
Your friend, Jesus is here,
To say goodbye to his dear friend,
Whom in sickness, he abandoned!

Olaoye Adeleye
(C) 2020

Focus

In this time that is critical
If your Christianity is not radical
You cannot be classical

And for you to be classical
You’ve got to be practical

Your phone number
Should not be available to the devil
Because your steps are on a higher Level

Status is changing
Instead of declining
Keep inclining

Better days ahead
So focus your head….

Dr. Uwe
© 2020

WILL YOU BE?


The trickle of salted water
Opened up the flood gates of its tap
The fiery gaze of hurt and pain
Like boiling blood
Will you be the hands to wipe off?

The bleeding of the shape I call love
The grief of the cut in two
The loss of the pieces fixed to it
Will you be the one to mend?

Like stones hurled at one
The weight you can’t bear
The pricks it leave behind
Of fear, of poor esteem
Will you soothe my ears?

Steps higher steps above
In doubt and fear
With skills but no grit
Will you be the one to urge on?

My love my perfect
Imperfectly perfect
Frail, grace and calm
Will you hold my hand?

When my eyes are covered with fear
And my hands quiver in despair
When my Feet drown in doubt
Will you be my Anchor

When the day wears a black gown
And the Sun refuses the smile
Hiding the face of the moon
Will you be the voice hope?

Oraegbu Philipa Ada
Olaoye Adeleye
© 2020