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

I Am Enough

This feeling of inadequacy is clogging up fears In my throat I’m struggling to breathe in ENOUGH air for a day
I’m struggling to see the light my ART shines in dark tunnels
I’m struggling to see the FREEDOM bursting like light in many hearts

I stare at the stage and wish I were behind the pulpit
Spewing sleek words that must have been dry-cleaned for years
I yearn for the cameras to click on my face as I sashay even though I know my art isn’t a hundred percent

I forget I’m enough at where I am because I take my lessons
That I don’t have to prove a point, I only have to study and write my tests so every day, I can look at the score sheet, at the improving grades
And thump my chest, knowing, believing in the goodness of this PROCESS.

Everyday, I’m enough
I’m enough as who I am and who I’m evolving into

Ifiokabasi Okop
© 2020

Culture Shock In Christianity

Science says freezing hot food causes freezer shock
But since we don’t do Lukewarm
Luke warms the food back to back
Or freezes it till hell freezes over.
Let the freezer shock if it must.

The day I told my mum I won’t go to hell
Even if I die fornicating
She shouted ‘chi’m egbu’m ooo’.
‘It’s funny-Kate how the devil is fighting for your life’.
Old people think they are wiser
But I have read my history books back and forth
And the devil lost the battle a long time ago.

I tell people not to bother using a mechanic
That I have a transformer that can transform
Their wretched Volkswagen to a Ferrari
But they are afraid to hug transformer
Even if it will only zap them to eternal life.

They say trade by barter is our culture
And the church continues trading her Joy.
Even after Christ said it’s not for sale,
They still couldn’t take despite their starvation.
Instead they borrow wears they can’t afford
Snapping and posting with two fingers up
Captioned ‘for the culture’

Chy’D
© 2020

LOT’S BROTHER-IN-LAW

Take me back to Gwags;
Let me remake the lags and crags that tripped me forward into UNN.
I thought myself a goner, no Arsenal, and yet I won the war with a few good men.

Barely two years into
UNN my issues
Pointed me to people
Who would grow me into
Feet that would fill great shoes
Burst ma brain, no pimples
I ran into you people
Now I’m pretty grateful

So if you take me back to Gwags
I won’t need the swag
That once was a must-have
No, right now, I have Christ
That sure peace I roll on
That faith is my profession

Tertiary choices once lay ahead of me
A barrier between
the now then and this
I chose first indeed
But God will have his

Abrahaming through lands,
I was my own Isaac – the Son was in the Man

God asked for my sacrifice
I kept dodging all his eyes
I thought that I was wise
Arguing through all his whys

But let me remake
The crags and lags that made
me trip into UNN
Let’s see what happened then…

The Niel Quchi
© 2020

His Will, My Will

I love my freedom, it is my human right
Nobody can take it from me – they mutter
This attitude to life resonates “It does not matter”
Bringing in its wake much piercings and hurt

The human will though a beauty to behold,
Allows us to be who we want to be unperturbed
And to do what we want to do- undisturbed
Left unchecked, wounds multitudes untold

Truly, the world is filled with so many evils
Emanating from some freedom gone wild
Evils perpetrated by men of consciences-seared
Leaves behind so much sorrow and ills

Over 2000 years ago, someone thought of himself less
King of kings and Lord of all came visiting, cloaked in humility
Left his domain, came to our wicked world proclaiming liberty
Freedom from sin, replaced with dominion previously lost

When I placed my faith in Jesus, he gave me power over sin
His will now reigns supreme above my freedom- so cherished
Now I can say yes to my father’s revealed will – as my savior did
Making my world safer, brighter than it had earlier been

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
© 2020

Hello Fear

Hello Fear!
Dear dear! I know you well.
I saw through your charade especially the times you sounded like you cared.
Yet I gave you room in my mind.
Grace found me and faith came with him so there’s no more space for you.
You were never really my friend, for you held me back from being the best version of me.
You clouded my dreams and blurred my visions.
You made clever speeches about how you’re shielding me from disappointment and hurt.
Your truth is all a sham!
I’m free from your grip now and I know you, you’ll never give up.
But I also know your voice too well to open up again and let you in.
Take your walk of shame with every sense of pride you’ve got,
IT’S OVER!

Ijeoma Obi
© 2020

Who I Belong To

I’ve heard of the sweat and essence
Of loved ones
Worn in a vial around the neck
Wrapping them in the fragrance of love

I’ve heard of a lady’s favour
Worn on armour
To protect the soldier in battle
And surround them with home

I’ve heard of love marks
Left by lovers
Like dogs marking their territory
Each tiny red welt saying “mine”

I’ve always wanted one of those
I’ve always wanted to feel owned
And belonged to
And belonging to

This craving has drove me into the arms
Of pharaohs and philistines
And mad scientists and thieves
Who plunder and take and take apart

I seemed to have forgotten
I did belong to One
Father, Son and Spirit

I wore the fragrance of His peace
My heart was His favour
Worn around His ‘holey’ palms in pride
His Spirit was my love mark
Shining through my words and my eyes and my prayers
Screaming “Mine!”

When I did remember
My world was alright again.

Ifechukwu Miracle
©2020