Himmel!

Ein Zug klopft in meinem Kopf
Mein Herz schlägt
Stark

Meine Augen öffnen sich kurz
schließen sich wieder
Ich bin allein.

Die Angst lähmt mich
Sorge verwirrt meine Gedanken
Die Hoffnung umarmt mich zart, ich bin inruhig
Wolken, grau, schweben über mir
ich sehe den Himmel nicht mehr.

Hebe den Fuß, Mensch, und schreite fort!
Ich höre die Stimme klar, zwar
doch ich habe Angst.

Wo ist der Himmel?

Stimme wieder, Stimme wieder:
Mußt du wirklich den Himmel sehen
um dich daran zu erinnern, daß er
da ist? Er ist immer da.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DISHARMONY

There came a time in my life when I prayed to die. Not because I had no food to eat, but because I had no gratitude with which to eat the food. Not because I had no bed on which to rest, but because I had no rest to place upon the bed. Not because I had no one to talk to, but because I had no friendliness to offer. Not because I loved death, but because I hated life.

Then I met a journeyman inside my soul, full of humility, laughter and ordinariness. And of the boisterous acceptance of the reality of things.

I am still trying to fathom this journeyman, to understand who he is; to come to grips with the simple realities of everyday life, like everyone else also does, none of whom is less weary of the toil than I am.

To become a man, Nigerians say, is not the job of one day. It requires time. Think I not that only I long for Home – every other Wanderer does so as well. Every.

Mayhaps if we made the Earth a better place, the journey would not be so unbearable afterall. Or what sayest thou?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DIE ANGST

Wenn du zu schnell gehst
dann stürzest du…
Wenn du zu langsam gehst
dann kommst du zu spät an…
Wenn du zu froh bist
dann denkst du nicht klar…
Wenn du zu ernst bist
dann bekommst du keine Freunde…
Wenn du alleine bist
dann denkt man, daß du komisch bist…
Wenn du mit der Menge gehst
dann verlierst du deine Eigenpersönlichkeit …
Vorsicht… Vorsicht…
Du willst doch nur das Richtige tun…,
Lacht die Angst.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

PAIN LIKE A STREAM

Like a stream runs this ancient heart of mine. I write truest and best when I am in pain and all alone; this is when I write down tomorrow’s pieces. Not when I am happy and relaxed; lazy, immature me.

When I have comfort, I forget, I become complacent. When there is peace, I laugh, which is good, but I also fall asleep, which is dangerous and wrong.

Maybe two thousand years from now I will be mature enough to be happy and be inwardly mobile simultaneously –

Pending this day, however, pain will be the helper of the Poet and of the wanderer. Pain and love and longing. To Keep me awake, to drive me onwards…

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DAS KOMISCHE

Das Komische
ist, daß ich es nie erkenne
bis es vollbracht ist
immer

sondern glaube stete
noch beim Letzten zu sein
das allerdings schon längst vorbei ist
lautlos

Mich traf kurz vorher ein Blitz
Eine Erkenntnis –
Ich wollte aber als erstes mir den Titel besinnen
Aber bis mir der eindämmerte
war wieder weggeflogen bereits das Gedicht.

Das Komische
ist, daß ich es nie erkenne
bis es vollbracht ist… und heim geflogen –
Immer.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

RUNNING WATERS

The story you told in the west is not identical with the laughter you laughed in the north, nor with the song you sang in the south, nor the thoughts you expressed in the east…

The language you spoke on the mountain is very different from the tongue you adopted in the valley, and from the violins you played through the woods, and the ballad you composed upon the blue-green meadows…

The roar you let out as you charged past us has a different content from the groan the desert drew out of you; and the whisper which ye sighed in this grateful heart is not the same cry with which ye flow into the sea.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

LAUF, MENSCH, LAUF

Mein Bruder Kwame sagte mal zu mir: “Beim Jogging, wenn ich müde werde und mich verlangsamen möchte, laufe ich schneller! Bis ich der Müdigkeit entlaufen bin.”

Das war sein bisher unausgesprochenes Geheimnis. Seine Augen lächelten und lachten und er ruhte in sich.

Kurz danach starb er und lief hin an…

Wenn ich müde werde, erinnere ich mich an seine Worte, und laufe schneller… bis – sonderbar – ich nicht mehr müde bin.

Das war eins seiner Geschenke an mich.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

VOICES NEAR

Has Music jarred you through and through before? I don’t mean the base, coarse Music of now. I’m talking about the High Trumpets of the Immortal Realms. Have you heard them before?

Have you heard your heart beat before? I mean not the muscle. I’m talking about the leap of the flame in you when Heaven gave you a Name. What’s your Name?

Show me your friends, man, and I’ll tell you who you are – your real friends. Show me your Palms and I’ll teach you your destiny.

Have you ever before been blinded by dazzling Sunlight? Not the sun in the sky, but the Sun Above All Skies. – Show me your face, sister, and I’ll read a Million things thereupon.

Yesterday gave birth to today. Today yields tomorrow, the known unknown.

When I am alone, alone, sometimes, I remember my brother faraway… Not he who died recently, but he who has never once died. The Immortal Spirit whom I knew – before we were born as brothers on earth – in a blue Kingdom far so far away. A Kingdom whose Name, if I ever knew it, I have long forgotten.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.