HUTUS, TUTSIS, YOU AND I

African wars 1 

The Crack was so loud
We actually failed to hear
The piercing cry
We are dying even whilst they die

You struck me hard
You were hellbent on killing off
All the love in me
So that you could point at my corpse, my heart
And me the coffin housing it
And declare:
You see! He was dead all along!
And everybody will nod wisely
You cannot murder a dead man.

Africa vanished like smoke in the wind
And left Africa behind
Battling the barrenness you and I…
Strangers stood back
Watched us tear one another to pieces
And when we’re through
They’ll step in calmly and calmly pick up the pieces
And build anew an other Africa again
Their Gain
Empty of all Africans
Hutus and Tutsis, brother
Biafrans, Holy Warriors, sister
Nationalists, Traditionalists, you
And all that will remain
As a memory of a people that once was
Is the poem we
Left behind…

– che chidi chukwumerije.

ANTENNE

Nicht meine eigenen Gedanken
Sind meine, sie sind fremde…
Unendlich ist die Endlichkeit
Es gibt nichts unendlicheres –

Zum Glück bin ich noch froh, trotz
Dem vielen Schreiben; ich hafte mich nicht an
Ich laß los – – Sind doch nicht meine Gedanken
Die ich denke. Denn auch ich denke

Nichts mehr.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

PAIN

If you avoid pain, you avoid life
If you avoid life, you avoid youth
If you avoid youth, you avoid love
If you avoid love, you avoid experiencing

If you avoid experiencing, you avoid growth
If you avoid growth, you avoid change
If you avoid change, you avoid strength
If you avoid strength, you avoid happiness

If you avoid happiness, you avoid disappointment
If you avoid disappointment, you avoid movement
If you avoid movement, you avoid adventure
If you avoid adventure, you avoid surprise

If you avoid surprise, you avoid bravery
If you avoid bravery, you avoid horizon
If you avoid horizon, you avoid knowledge
If you avoid knowledge, you avoid yourself

If you avoid yourself, you avoid beauty
If you avoid beauty, you avoid challenge
If you avoid challenge, you avoid night
If you avoid night, you avoid dawn…

Do not fear Pain. It is the proof that you live,
The outgrowing of yourself
The door that separates you from your dreams.
Cross it.

The acceptance, experiencing and mastering of pain
Is the seed out of which the tree of life shall blossom
In all its rich manifestation…
For you.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

LOOKING FOR ART (A Duet)

van gogh 1

There are days
Grey is my colour
My fist is an empty net
My loneliness is trapped within
My lost lines

There are nights
Black is my colour
My mind is full of melancholy
My heart remembers it’s broken
My hope gone

Blue is the island
An oasis of seeking shade
Shade of hue and colours somewhere
On the horizons of intuition
Beckoning

Yellow is the fire
A symbol of promised growth
Rays invisible yet warming
The seed pushing towards light
Determined

For in my every dark hour
Every colour is comfort
Every form is transformation
Spirit, never stop looking
For Art.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije and Dormis Aeternitas

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This Poem is a Duet I wrote together with Dormis Aeternitas, a wonderful poet.

Visit his blog to read more of his enchanting work.

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Picture: Section of Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”
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TOUCHING A FLOWER

THERE ARE friends you know that you have stored deep within your heart. These friends are blown in by the wind, borne in by a river… a golden river. There are people you know that even if you were parted from them, you would never forget them… There are spirits which share with you a part of your wanderings through creation. Those to whom you entrust your secrets, knowledge about your faults and questions and contradictions… and you know that you are one. That you share so many similar things.

A flower. Who can touch, who can break, who can soil a flower? Who dares? A speaking bird once said to me: “Life is a forest, a jungle, full of wild trees, wild fruits and wild beasts, wild sounds and hunters and preys and the sounds of the forest. You will meet everything, each thing in its own place. Separated according to their species. But there is one thing which you will see everywhere. Always you will see a flower somewhere.

“It will appear unexpectedly from beneath hidden rocks, betwixt twisted trunks, hover above unreachable branches, glow in the rays of the moon, there will always be a flower somewhere.

“Think not that every flower you meet you are permitted to touch…

“Though they warm your heart, raise your spirits, brighten your soul, relieve your mind, inspire you and encourage you…, yet think twice before you touch a flower, consider well before you pick one off its stem. Maybe the simple pleasure that the sight of it has given you, is all it is supposed to bring you. Ask yourself: are you worth it? Will it blossom and bloom in your hands as beautifully as it blossoms and blooms on its own? Is the soil of your heart ready to keep a flower alive? If not, wait… wait for when you will be ready to touch it and plant it in your heart. There will always be one flower waiting for you…

“And should you wander into the desert of life too, your longing to see a flower is what shall see you through. Yet shall your longing not be in vain. For you bear your flower within. Always within. Watered by your love, sunned by your gratitude, rooted in your heart, it will always bloom by your side.”

And so I set forth… but I confess that her words I forgot. Many a flower that delighted my heart I snapped and inhaled and left to wither by the roadside. So crashed I triumphantly through the jungle like a King, littering the path behind me with the fading sadness of flowers I had touched and crushed and left to wither in my restless memory.

In the desert it is eerie and burns like a furnace. Thorns bleed my bare feet, one for every flower I once carelessly crushed. How I long now for a flower, for the sight of a flower again. This eternal desert which the forest has become. I remember all the flowers that litter my past. Would that I had planted just one inside my heart, in my life.

Yet there is one. Brief had been our meeting, short my sight of her. I had reached for her, but strong branches had kept her beyond my reach. The speaking bird had hovered on the branches around her, singing into her ears. Her smile was all I got, and oh how this I treasured. She alone comes back to my mind now, over and over and over again. And as I trudge on through the desert, following the bird that appears and disappears, it is the hope of seeing her again that keeps me alive.

The one flower I left unhurt is the one that shall heal my wound.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

THE DAILY TRAINRIDE

In the skyline grey
Memory hung
The future gone astray
Emptiness stung
Hung with reality in the greying city
The dying trees, the loveless pity
Duplicity and winding and twisting, reflecting
The beast in the best of the robots erecting
Their concrete phalli, their bull’s I’s, to scratch the sky
The insatiable itch, impotent ambition, try and try
And try as you might, your might is the limp cloud
The wilted grass, the lonely office, the empty crowd
The quiet madness, the gory glory
The daily trainride into another same story
The casual business of getting by
Between yesterday and tomorrow
A moment of reflection, gone, a sigh
Of something neither joy nor sorrow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

I WANT TO THANK YOU

I want to thank you
For letting me grow when I needed growth
And letting me go
When I needed space
And letting me be
When I needed the chance
To find my way back to you…

I want to thank you
For being my heart quietly beating inside
For being my mind
Mercifully sparing me the torture of unsolicited thoughts
For being my laughter
And my hope and my comfort
And my certainty that the sun will rise
And for being my home
When I lost my way.

I want to thank you
For believing in me when I lost faith in myself
For waiting for me
When I was searching for myself
In the fields of everything I am not
But think I ought to be
For planting your sadness like a quiet seed
In my heart
And reaping it with your joy
When it bore rich fruit
Because I understand.

And for many more things I want to thank you
Which I have no words to say…
Yet you understand.

– che chidi chukwumerije.