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

FLAME ON


Isn’t it sad how in a blink of an eye, your world can just flipped like a light switch
You were once top draw now it seem like you have been relegated to the bottom
You thought you had finally carved a niche for your self
That your art will set the world on fire
That nothing could stop you from climbing that pedestal and get higher
Suddenly reality hits you like a drunk driver
That sometimes, the only thing you get higher on have now become dark clouds forming in your lungs
Or drowning your pains at the depth of the green bottle
You wish it could take your thoughts far away from this world like a space shuttle or shield your mind from harsh reality’s sun but even that ain’t strong enough

You have come to realized that Life can become that bully always ready to treat you
But all you ever desired is a soft landing
Become Superman so your skin can be tough
But you see these streets, she no get Joy
What was once beautiful like Helen of Troy
The streets will destroy
Plant a decoy to take your gaze from your goal
Throw mirage of fame and fortune, her aim is to cajole
Sinking you deep into depression and locking you in her hole

Your heart is finally empty, she has stolen your soul
Now you are wandering loose like a kite
Looking for who to take away this noose off your neck and free you from your plight
But in all these struggles, one thing must be gained
That Flicker of hope and faith that you must refuse to extinguish
That call to turn on your human torch and continually show the world what you are fantastic for
That call to distinguish yourself from the lot
That call to tear up the old story and write yourself a new plot
To drift your mind from the norm into certainty

This should always send excitement bubbling on your inside
That you can’t wait to Ex yourself from your past life
You can’t wait for this cross to become a source of strength
Can’t wait to flame on and set the world on fire
Can’t wait to speak resurrections to those souls that have wallowed too long in this graveyard
Can’t wait to help heal minds that have been marred
To clot hearts that have been scared
Yes, your hurt is what’s burning now but no pain is eternal
You can rise from these ashes like a Phoenix
And if you don’t like the song life is singing, just hit her with the remix
Never forget that you are that fire this world has been waiting for
So what are you waiting for,
Flame On!!!

Uba Isoje
©2021

Mother Hen

Above the city Jesus wept. “Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Don’t turn away, Jerusalem! Come close to me,
my children.
“I am the mother hen,” he cried. “Beneath my wings
you all can hide.
There you’ll find warmth and life and love,
my little chicks, my children.
I’ve longed to gather you to me, Jerusalem! Jerusalem,
Please let me mother you! You’ll die
without my warmth, my children!”

We hear his call but turn away, for we are all
grown-up today.
We do not want a mother now. We’ll be
nobody’s children!
But as the cold world closes in, we think
about Jerusalem,
And what it’s like to walk alone, scared,
mother-love-less children.
No one lives through these dark, cold nights
without the warmth, the love, the life
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, gives gladly
to his children.

I trust we know enough of sin, to realize the bind we’re in
When even though we say we’re old, we’re acting just
like children.
And as we turn to leave the nest, convinced our choice
is for the best,
He hopes to see us come again, next time in New Jerusalem.
No one retains their innocence without the strong,
bright broody wings
That Jesus Christ, dear Mother Hen, folds softly round
his children.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

It Makes No Difference 2

It makes no difference
That we project ourselves
As believers
But we so much
Believe in the blatant Lies
Of Deceivers

Again, they call their preacher
Maniacs
Yes! the maggot mouth
Of Covid 19
May turn the world
To a Morbid Canteen
But the Word of God stands still…
…Still enough to be a
Statue of Liberty to those
That will die living in it

It makes no difference
If you believe not the Word
Because your disbelief
Will not alter the plans of Divinity
Believe it or not
We still have Mortals
Possessed with the Spirit
Of Immortality
Those whose time will not end
Till they see the end of time

It makes no difference
Living in the natural
And beefing the Supernatural
Because Life is not all about
What you’ve seen
It’s all about
What you’ve not seen

In the Labour room
Of this Lockdown
Is a Primigravida in Labour pains
Pushing to give birth to the likes
Of Meshach’s and Shedrach’s
Sons that will pledge their lives for the Word
Sons that will grow like Abraham
To become Fathers of Faith

In a time
Where the Wisdom of the wit fails
And Fear Factor is the Main Actor
It makes no difference
If we(believers) are not different
Because if we die is the Word,
We live is the Word
IT MAKES NO DIFFERENCE

King Uwe
© 2020

TOES

The slow walk began with a step
As we tethered on to a certain future

We are uncertain

For we could turn back and still be walking in the same direction
All the love we heard mentioned are but echoes of thunder from the cloudy skies that never rain
We wonder
If the future is a path worth threading
When we barely have enough to mend what’s left of our faith

These shoes hurt on many sides
No one should be allowed to walk in our shoes

I have wondered when the colorful pictures we are painted in would stop being a shadow of itself
Seems the only shade of truth is the color of our reflections

But I’ll walk on in those shoes
No matter how tattered they be worn
This I have sworn
To keep believing past where my eyes can see
Till the day comes
When I’ll walk past my failing faith to belief
I’ll keep patching, tailor my feet on a straight path till I am dead
For an uncertain future is brighter than any certain past I’ve thread.

UcTruth
© 2019

FADE

Spotlight’s on me
I look around
Hoping these eyes
Aren’t staring at me
Suddenly the dress
Mum picked out
Doesn’t feel that
Glamorous anymore
The flowers in my hair
Are falling off, dying
The petals crumble
Colors; white, gold, purple
Slowly fading
No one’s staring anymore
I’m forgotten
But the spotlight’s still on me
I run but the light follows me
I stop and scream
– Let me go! –
I hold up the dress but
It’s in flames
From the hem up,
It turns to ashes
I run into the bathroom
– This is a nightmare –

IfiokAbasi Okop
© 2019

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL – Part 1

The most beautiful girl my experience taught smiled at me today
It has been a long class and I thought I was following till that smile
I have myriads of questions but I fear my mates might have a comic relief
So I try moving my shivering lips apart in an attempt to smile back
My grades are average so why the warmth in her smile?
My grades are average so I must be missing something a brighter student can point out
Soon after class, a tap on my shoulder, and I turn to see a pair of joy-flooded eyes
I can’t hold her gaze, my legs are trembling and I have a sudden urge to pee
I sit down, clamp my legs together with my hands between them
She seem to notice my discomfort so she pulls out my hand and holds
“What have I got myself into”, I think
Without mincing words she tells me she likes me and would want a friend in me
On the 3rd attempt at trying to talk and not recognizing my voice
I clear my throat and all I can mutter is ‘okay’
I could change classes and routes and never see her again but she has other ideas
She walks me home, my palm in hers
With each laughter and chatter, I feel at home
She tells tales too beautiful to be true about herself;
Describes her thoughts of me in ways my exposure has not afforded my imagination
I unpack boxes I leave packed because I was always on the move
Now I am home

ChyD
© 2019