Mary’s Cross

Scandal has tingled the villagers’ ears
And engendered the gossip mother fears.
I find her, alone, dissolved in tears
From what she’s heard in the marketplace.

When I go for water, my ears start burning,
As I shop for fish, my feet start turning
To run, but I’m gradually learning
That their hisses can’t rob me of God’s grace.

They tell my father it’s a shame.
They tell my mother she’s to blame.
They whisper to others that I’m a stain
On the high reputation of this godly place.

A swollen belly can’t be hid
Nor the depths of disgrace into which I’ve slid.
Next, my marriage vows they’ll try to forbid
And work to see me exiled from this place.

In the angel’s words it was God I heard
He’s wiser than the scoldings of this world.
I’m told if I faithfully follow His word
I’ll hold the Creator of all time and space
In my arms.

Pamela Urfer
© 2021

Letter to Ola #5

Dear Olaedo,

On Prayers

I wish I could write ‘PRAYER WORKS‘, drop the mic and hope you would understand enough to appreciate the depth of that truth.

Perhaps, after I tell you the story of my friend, Onuegbu, you would understand better. To protect his identity, we’ll call him Onuegbu. He and I became friends in 2013. He calls me his best friend although I don’t feel worthy of the title. His life is devoid of true friendship which perhaps is why he considers the little I offer the best he has ever had.

Onuegbu has a beautiful heart and sees only the good in people. I have never heard him talk ill of anybody even when people constantly leave his back fiercely itching after he has done a thorough job scratching their backs.

Nobody wants to drown with a drowning person.

Life is not as fair to him as he is to life’s benefactors.

Onuegbu has sickle cell anemia and ordinarily, he may have been able to cope comfortably if well treated but his financial state is so unstable, he could barely eat, let alone afford medications.

His health got so bad that his family abandoned him and he was left alone to cater for himself. Being his friend has its dark side. He always needs company. It helps in distracting him from the pains of stiffening bones and excruciating pains.

I think talking about his problems is a form of therapy for him so even when my own life is crashing, I would stay on the phone for hours and listen to him complain.

The difficulty in feeding is the most heartbreaking part. He would call and ask for as little as a transfer of N500 to eat as he had not eaten all day.
I prayed first in 2015 for his healing. Oh well, it continued. I prayed again in August 2020. This time, I fasted for 3 days.

He wanted to give up. He was ready to commit suicide. His hustle has been fruitless. The lack of capital wasn’t helping matters. Each time he got a little money to put into something, his health would knock him down and he would use the money to pay hospital bills.

He was in so much anguish and I couldn’t take it. I prayed and fasted for a way; for something to work for him. I kept asking how he felt from time to time as I prayed but nothing changed. (Ha. I was tired oh. What’s all this nah?)

It can be frustrating when you can do little to alleviate such pain from a friend’s life. The darkness is contagious. (You don’t contact the sickle cell silly. You just drown in misery alongside him).

This was us until we got a glimmer of hope yesterday.

I replied to a tweet by Ozzy Etomi on Twitter yesterday and talked about my anemic friend and his ordeal in a brief yet explicit manner.

It got a lot of reactions and comments from people sending their love and light, and other anemic people saying that sickle cell anemia can easily be lived with but with medications and good food which involves money.
One particular man replied and asked me to give his international number to my friend to contact him as he would like to be of assistance!
Glory!

We’ll be calling our man ‘Godsent’.
Onuegbu chatted up Godsent on WhatsApp and after a long talk, GodSent said he will set up a business fully for him.

Did I cry? Yes. The pieces of my thankfulness were all over the place and I wished I could mould it into a clay medal of thankfulness and present it wholly to God.

Instead, I sang ‘Great is thy faithfulness’, then muttered words in tongues, then exploded in laughter after which crying followed.
The crying and laughter started happening so concurrently that I couldn’t differentiate my laughter from my cry.

Long pause.

Tongues again.

Plain words of gratitude.

Blast of memories.

Feelings of inadequacy because I could not mould a perfect ‘thank you’.

I curled up and breathed softly knowing that even my breath was drawing invisible strokes of thankfulness in the air.

Your Mama


ChyD

©2020

Hope

Look through the pixel of faith
Cos light travels in this path
Live on and labour through
Make pictures amidst tears
Of unforgotten struggle and be happy
Dream amidst fears

Draw near the place where once you were redeemed
Relent not on the seasons that go by
Not on morning, noon and night
But give thanks always
For everything works together for good

Hold Love’s hand and don’t be in haste
Walk with Grace and don’t make a waste
For work without hope
Draws effort into a sieve
And hope without work cannot live

But to assure you..
There is hope in the hopelessness
Of HOPE – Hold Onto Purpose Eternally
That after To-day
There will always be a day..

Davidgospel
© 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

Grace

Only you know the house I built
It’s your love that erases guilt
Humans point fingers past the point
But it is to you that we are joint
Faithful

Raise me up from the dust of my work
It’s your grace that makes me work
Life is like the sea to my boat of breath
But it is for you that it all exists
Selfless

After the storm you are still King
It is said that there is God in everything
I have faith and I’m counting results
But it is as Son that I walk the soils
Adventurous

No one heard the messages
It is us that forget things we’ve seen
Safety is vain for the immortal
But if I have family it’s one for all
Responsible

God over everybody
Leg-over the enemy
Laughter on my family
But sacrifices set the scene
True

Every time I trust in you
You seek me above the flu
Silence isn’t you ignoring
But I will listen to your echoing
Predestined

Niel Quchi
© 2020

It Makes No Difference

It makes no difference
If we are so different
That the nozzle
Of our presence
Does not exude reverence
Or give preference
To the one that gave life
It’s essence

It makes no difference
That we’ve become Workaholics
Busy with the work of the Lord
Without having time to fellowship
With the Lord of the Work

An Usher
That has not developed
The receptacle to usher in
The presence of God
Is a bouncer

A church member
That keeps a seat in Church
But does not keep in touch
With the Word he hears
From the church
Is a “Chairman”

It makes no difference
If we are not different
From the world
We were called to change
Instead, we rejoice and be glad
With our hands in chains

Why will a creature
Be forming Socrates
That he becomes so creative
In denying the existence
Of his creator

Why will the media
Become the truth
We crave to hear
Than the very Word
That gave “hearing”
To the ear

King Uwe
© 2020

Blister Ring

So much to say but it all seems shallow
What is it that I have made that time didn’t swallow
Now I say I made when I make it to a heart
Lord knows I am no longer at the start

But I live life like I’m a responsible baby
And most of my blood fam don’t know the QuChi
The only time I cry is when I make a battle cry
And when I crack after conquering the pressure

So much to type
But I’m not the type
Seen beyond the hype
I’m a prototype

“Come to me, all you who are heavy-laden…”
But my brothers still prefer to attack the Kraken
I have plans but I can’t foresee the next day
So do research when your fixing to advice me
Sold at the park, yes I was only beaten by rain
Give me a mic, yes you’ll see just how much I trained

But sometimes the swiftest feet are defeated
And the arm of the mighty get deleted
I put my trust in God, not environment or state
I put my hands to work, some are celebrated late.

The Niel
© 2020