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What am I doing here,besieged in this enclosure of darkness
With these questions that twist and mystify as fast as my
mind sharpens
They say you should never fall, cos now, this happens.
Thoughts squeak and tweak through these misty paths,
Like heavily laden carriages on old rusty tracks.

Is it our faulty hearts, or our weakness for beauty,
Is it the comfort of a knowing hug or the nectar from a sensual lips?
That keeps me prisoner, unchained but not leaving,
out of my own will.

Am enchanted, poisoned by this spell-set twinkle in your eyes
And then you smile, charming mischief written all over your face.
You enjoy every minute of it, but I guess it will only last its while
A little longer, maybe not; before everything starts to fall in place.

And I know it will, because there is something strange
about the air tonight
There is this feeling I have, that terrifies my stomach.
This thing you do, what is it’s purpose.
Would you rather have these butterflies turn to caterpillars
and eat these roses?

Itz not the letting go that pains the most
Itz the mile of nostalgia that encroaches for every mile I lose
Itz the time we waste when the skies could be our muse
It’s the thought of not fulfilling Aphrodite’s last wish.
It’s the feeling that Ero’s shot would end up only as a scar,
instead of a new beginning.

I really dont know what else to say,
I guess it’s more than I can squeeze into these lines,
Well, maybe your horse is too high for you to appreciate the picture,
Maybe you’ll never know

But I will still take these shots in the dark,
Long after the day has gone to bed with the night
And Hope all these worries fade from grey to black.

# Hope the sparrows be kind enough to wake you this Morning
# Cos I don’t know if they feel the Same Way.
# Can’t Hold It Down If Nothing Makes Any Meaning.

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Lost, sitting alone and gazing at the moonlight,
Counting the strange shadows pass down the roadside
Whilst humming a tone of solitude;
Life could depress you when it bears.
Itz a worked filled with people in a hurry, and no one really cares.

Once upon a time that was me, before you came,
Maybe down from the heaven where angels are made.
Then I knew I could be lost and wandering no more.
Bathing my heart with glow, you came and everything became clear again.

Love told me to search for grapes, I did and found a vineyard.
Exquisite things in little packages, Cupid finally gave me a present
In you my mornings can start without the Cock’s crow, my day glitter with sunlight
The world is beautiful when I see it’s reflection in your eyes
And whenever you blink those pearls, you skip a million hearts.

Those strawberry lips and that rose velvet tongue
Anyone you ever kissed would come back for more
Those hips that Michelangelo himself couldn’t make something close,
Carved like grooves that beautify waterfall slopes.
In your bosom would I love to rest when the day goes
Cos now, I am found and would never leave.
My adorable one, with you I feel new.

#Inspired by you. Hope you smile when you read it.
#Love that Star gusty aura around you.

    Finding the alluring you.

Lost, sitting alone and gazing at the moonlight,                                                     counting the strange shadows pass down the roadside                                            whilst humming a tone of solitude; life could depress you when it bears.                Itz a world filled with people in a hurry, and no one really cares.

Once upon a time that was me, before you came .                                                    maybe down from the heavens where angels are made                                        then I  knew I could be lost and wandering no more                                                 bathing my heart with glow, you came and everything became clear again.

Love told me to search for grapes, I did and found a vineyard                             exquisite things in little packages, Cupid finally gave me a present                           In you my mornings can start without the Cock’s crow, my day gliter with sunlight       The world is beautiful when I see it’s reflection in your eyes                          And whenever you blink those pearls, you skip a milion hearts.

Those strawberry lips and that rose velvet tongue                                                  Anyone you ever kissed would come back for more,                                        Those hips that Micheangelo himself couldn’t make something close        Carved like grooves that beautify waterfall slopes.                                           In your bosom I would love to rest when the day goes                                           Cos now, I am found and would never leave                                                                                         My adorable one, with you I feel new.

#inspired by you. Hope you smile when yout read it.

# Love that star gusty aura around you.

         Five Golden Rings.

I had yawned for the umpteenth time. Today, the rehearsal seemed to drag on forever and as I ran my tongue over my lips, I felt a quick stealth pain that dwindled gradually. My lower lip had obviously added another crack to a growing string of mischievously stinging ones. It was a particularly uninteresting day. The French teacher was assiduously trying to prepare us for the foreign language drama we usually had at this time of the year.Some of the kids were keen on learning their lines, but this made very little sense to me. They were kids from rich homes who had probably been to a French speaking country I supposed. That was the only logical reason I could fathom. If not, why be this enthusiastic about the play?. And ‘why were we acting a French drama in a school that had barely ten people who understood the language properly’?. I could not wait for the rehearsal to be over and while it lasted the weather made it more tormentous- with the vicious Harmattan wind running its dry hand through my under-sized uniform that Dad had promised to change the previous year, and robbing me of the little moisture I had on my body.

Soon enough the bell went off and it was time to go but then another teacher entered. Today was one of those tiring days and it was not letting us off that easy.

The ‘music teacher as we referred to him separated the guys from the girls and instructed us to sit. Then he brought out some printed materials from a yellow file and passed one to each of us. 

I look back at this event with a special kind of fondness. Obviously endearing, being my first ‘Choir practice’, if I am allowed to call it so, and even more significant to me because of the invaluable lesson I learnt in the one hour spent in that room.

The music teacher gave us a few minutes to go over the material, and then the practice began. It was a Chistmas song titled ‘The Twelve days of Christmas’. It started off easy; something about ‘My true love’ sending gifts to ‘Me’. But soon everything became smudgy, the words were stranger and the meanings- more confusing. We were more than half way into the practice and it was becoming clear to me that I would not be able to memorize the song in time, for the presentation. This was not solely because of its complexity to me then; eventhough that played a part, but also due to the fact that the song did not resonate with me and I failed to connect with it.

I grew up in a place where Christmas meant buying ballons, setting off knockouts, and going around to ask uncles and aunties for Christmas money, which we called ‘Ego Christmas’. It was that simple. If we ever sang a hymn, it was ‘Jingle bell’ or “Christmas eru go, Papa gini ka-anyi ga eri”. And we had the whole of our childhood to learn the song.        Now here I was, expected to learn twelve different events in their chronological order. It seemed nearly impossible, yet these other kids that somehow loved the French drama were already in tune with the song.

That was scarcely comforting. I was not taught to give up or to believe that something was unachievable, so in what can be best described as an adrenaline-geared drive or rather rush, my senses became curiously heightened, till I picked out something that made sense in the whole song. And it was the ‘Fiive Goolden Riings’. Maybe it was because the song slowed down here or because we all echoed it at the top of our voices, that I cannot tell. But, here it clicked. I had gotten a grip. The ‘Five Golden rings’ had this flair about it and I hardly forgot it. From here, I gradually got to memorize the first four gifts.

About a week later we had the Christmas Carol and when it was time to sing the ‘twelve days of Christmas’, I was there, standing in the second row, smiling and beaming with confidence. I could see Dad and mom seated among the audience; and you could diasagree, but I don’t think that there is a greater joy for a primary school pupil than being so sure of making Ma and Pa proud.

And I did not fail

Half of the song was still fuzzy in my head but I never missed the ‘Five golden rings’. I would with great showmanship lip-sync the unclear gifts  and their days and wait for them at the fifth gift. From here to the first I was comfortable, and I can assure you that anyone that watched  that day could bet a million of whatever currency he or she uses, that I was among the lead singers.

Now, before you get me wrong and accuse me of eulogizing pretence, let me make things a bit clearer.

In that one blessed hour spent practicing that song, I learnt and forever better understood  the act and importance of survival. I could not allow where I was coming from, or my inability to pick the song as fast as the other kids stop me from participating in the presentation. I also could not let it make me appear all lost and confused that day in front of my parents. So I took a line out of twelve and built on it. I couldn’t put every part of it together but I rallied just enough to pull off the presentation.

Ever since, I have come to realise that sometimes, all that matters is survival. You will not always be in your comfort zone. You will always meet people you are better than at something and people that are better than you, and you might feel threatened. But if you must ‘Succeed’ first you must ‘Survive’.

You cannot always be the best at everything, but you must always always keep your head above waters. You are permitted to stumble but never to succumb; because if it boils down to survival, then you must reach deep into you, cause within you lies the keys to surmount every challenge.

And that time you find the Key becomes your ‘Five golden rings’ moment.

Happy Christmas to you all.

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#Photo credit to Anne Geddes. Thanks for that lovely picture.

Thoughts….. Just thoughts.

I picked up my notepad to write and a lot of thoughts came flooding into my head. The country is much worse than it was yesterday and maybe better than it would be tomorrow. Yeah, I could be wrong ,I understand but am not being pessimistic am only being realistic. Take a walk down to your local store and see how costly things have become in the past three months. I know how depressing it is. Everything seems to be on the rise. I mean ‘EVERYTHING!’, well ,maybe not your salary.

The country has metamorphosed into a river bank and we have turned into Achebe’s ‘Chike in a deal with Professor Chandus’. Nobody gives a hoot anymore. Be it tragically dramatic as it may, it’s still the simple truth. We are Nigerians, we are risk takers. We would rather play with a keg of gunpowder than fold our hands and die a boring death.

Now I hear the Federal government is pretty worried.I am surprised ,amazed, and shocked at the same time. That is the most humane thing I have heard them do in a long while. It’s a miracle to find out they still have a beat somewhere in their hearts.

But isn’t it a bit too late trying to save us from ourselves?….It’s a little I think, and even much more hypocritical if you ask me.

I called a cobbler the other day and he demanded a pay much higher than the usual. Why is that so?..I enquired. Oga it is because I would be using sterilized leather to mend your shoes…he said.

It was very amusing, there was this feigned seriousness on his face and I just could not help the laughter.  A second later he smiled and made that pleading face of ‘you should understand now’. And of course I did.

What happened to that cliche?.,Yeah, the one on how greedy and cunny the Igbo man is. It’s ridiculous. I wonder how people feed themselves on such sentimental outrageousness. Isn’t it obvious yet, that every Nigerian at one point is ‘DECEPTIVELY’ trying to make ends meet…and he could be Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or from the middle belt.

Sometimes I get really vexed. We worry about too many little details and miss the greater picture there.

Last night was really funny. I was skyping with camellia over there in the US and she seemed to be very troubled. It’s been a while Trump won the election but a lot of people still seem to be agitated over it.     Certainly, it felt like coup, nobody saw it coming, but aren’t you surprised no one is talking about rigging?..There have been plenty of protest… I know… but nobody is talking about making the country ungovernable.

All those people moving around with nicely drawn placards that reads “LOVE TRUMPS HATE” or “TRUMP LOVES HATE”. It’s been brilliant and beautiful if you ask me. Those guys seem to be having a party down there. I haven’t heard of ‘streets being washed in blood’ or ‘heads rolling’. It has just been a pretty protest, very few arrest and very few deaths.

Camellia was really worried and I tried to be supportive because I couldn’t tell her how I felt. I think she is very lucky, but saying that seemed too harsh. I understand that we are all humans and we sometimes want to see our problems as ‘Unique’ and ‘Bigger’ than it is.

But it never is.

Camellia says that her family plans to move over to Canada. I don’t think that’s a bad plan, but I know that it is probably a fanciful thought.

Last year when Buhari won, a lot of folks said they would be moving over to Ghana…  but those guys are still very much around.

I can’t say everything on mind in a post,or in one day or even in a year. I could only say a bit at a time. Small enough for you to read in that very short break of yours and jump back into your ever busy life.

These thoughts are oceans creating waves at different speeds and I try to harness its energy as much as I can and still keep my inner peace.  I may never understand it all, but I can hope and pray and be thankful when I am are blessed enough to break bread.

#PEACE.

Blackmailed

I live in a country haunted by demons that were set loose when the Lugards Christened and amalgamated a body that would never be one.

I live in a country where dreams remain dreams and any hope of its transcendence into reality is frequently crushed by the maniacal grips of our overlords.

I live in a country where we celebrate electricity, where good roads is an extravagant request and quality education only but a luxury.

I live in a country whose very name inspires suspicion, a country governed by kleptomaniacs who somewhere in their childhoods had their consciences die.

I am not angry because they loot our lands, embezzle our resources and starve our children. No! Not for any of that.

I am angry because they lie to us, I am angry because they have lost the ability to feel and am even much angrier because I have lost hope on them and the ones that would come after they have gone.

Yesterday I stood at the park, and watched a pregnant woman sell peanuts with a child strapped to her back. I saw her dart around chasing to be the first to approach the customers.

I was transfixed at the spot examining the acerbity of her condition. IT WAS AN ABJECT STATE. A plight that could move a strong hearted one to tears.

But there I stood, sad I offered her nothing but pity, whilst nursing that anger-that same anger we all share.

And whenever you turn on the night news they would appear, in their ever majestic robes. Great raconteurs, all they do is craft out Cock and Bull stories. Perfect settings and grandiose plans of how the next four years would evolve.

Do not believe what they say, avoid their appropriate talks and soothing television discussions. It will drench your senses with the liquor of deception.

Venture deep yourself, experience those stories they rarely paint vivid enough. Live it and inhale the desperation, walk the streets and share a moment with them. Put a face to those lives you have read about and save your imagination the stress. 

You might never see it all but you would see enough. Enough to purge the lies you were fed. Africa must be sick and dying if I live in its heart.

In the end, I hope the kids of times to come, would find a place in their hearts, to forgive late Harold Smith and many more on that list, for the seeds they sowed with their teams.

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I am sorry officer for having to tell you all this, I live in a country that isn’t trully mine. Mine was strangled just after its birth.

That is why I felt blackmailed when you called me a Nigerian. I am an honest African who means no harm. All I want is to board this flight, Cos a better life is all I seek.



When they take…and take it all

Mom told me that anyone who steals all that a man has is heartless and not to be trusted. Then she added that if she ever caught any of us steal a penny,that ‘that day the person would be one finger-less’. I didn’t know why she repeated those long sermons from time to time, but whatever her reasons were,it stuck to the back of our minds. Her lessons were like buildings on a virgin street. I had witnessed its birth and its completion. I knew when each of them had appeared, each unique in its own,except for one thing-they were all roofed with the same material and that was obedience.                                                                 Then it  was a lot easier. Life was pretty straightforward. We did what Dad or Mom or the priest said was right.There were no conflicts in their teachings and if there was a few, our young and innocent minds totally missed it.

It’s been more than a decade and half since those early days, and a lot of things now strive to pull the roofs off those houses in that lovely street.                              I now have a much stronger and conscious will. A WILL that now does not totally conform to the Obedience that it was thought;  certainly not because of foolhardiness, but because of the complexities it finds itself intertwined with-the ambiguities of our daily lives, the intricasies which I can best explain with the last four months of my life(and of many others who tow the same path)

From very quotidian days to rigorously planned and regimented days our lives had come to know, but it never prepared us enough for what was about to come.                                                              We were about to face the toughest test of our lives yet; because of the Sui generisty of everyone’s tale let me divulge solely into mine which I can perfectly relate to.                                                                                                                                           ***      ***     ***      ***     ***     ***     ***      ***      ***        ***                   The days were inundated with studying, the nights with coffee, little sleep and more studying. This was on for days without end. The weekends approached with a little succour, well maybe because of the extra sleeping hours to savour.     The weeks had dragged on,slowly and lazily,and every week that passed left its own scar.                                                                                                                                            One morning I wake up totally tired, wondering if am just to stressed out or down with malaria ‘the second time in a month!’. In this state of confusion my mind goes into a dilemma. I start to contemplate who am to obey…should I obey Mom she said ‘I should always take it easy’,…and then my body aches and all I can hear it scream is ‘I have had enough’.. Should I obey the priest who says ‘never kill yourself over the things of this earth and always know that………..                                                                                                                           As I drifted out of this state resolving to trust and obey my inner self, my instincts and convictions, I looked back on the advices I was given and saw that neglecting them had meant disobedience. And what if it meant disobedience but still yielded positive results. Does it mean disobeying sometimes is not bad after all.                                                                                                                                        The answers are choices for us to make. In the end I believe we are the creators of our actions but not the sole judges and that whatever we choose to obey or disobey should be aligned to reaching a just cause.                                                    

Now I lie on my bed reminiscing;the scars of yesterday have turned into beautifully engraved tatoos; the roofs of those houses have a new coating which is will-the ability to choose your actions. There’s a nostalgic air to it.

Am about to sleep and as I turn to the side to rest my aching back ,the masters call on me again,’sighs’…and request that I begin work soonest.                                       It seems I am drifting; am I entering into this dilemma again?. The just cause is once again clear to me… But would I reach it by obeying or disobeying?.                 It is reasonable to me when the masters demand to take… But do they have to take it all?

My mind is rebelling reason; with all of these questions going through my head it is getting confusing and “I am not understanding”.