USING SELF-CONFIDENCE

The most powerful thing you can give people is confidence. Self-confidence. But some people, once they have it they turn around and use it against you, who awakened it in them.

Next time, you feel like leaving people wallowing in their pitiful inferiority complex.

But a part of you still goes ahead and keeps on strengthening people who need it everywhere you meet them. What they later do with this strength and self-confidence is their business.

You have done yours.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

POEMS DON‘T CHANGE

Places change people
People change places
Places change people
People change places

Races change people
People change races
Races change people
People change races

Faces change people
People change faces
Faces change people
People change faces

The person who started this poem
Is not the person who finished it.
Poems change people –
But people don‘t change poems.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

BOYS TO MEN

The older I get,
The more I miss my father.
The more knowing I grow,
The more I miss him.
The more I know him.
The more I understand him.
We live life forwards,
But understand life backwards.
When it‘s too late to change anything,
That’s when we understand everything.
The young shall grow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
(I just feel like remembering today)

YESTERDAY’S FACES

YESTERDAY, IT WAS as beautiful as the early morning sunlight dancing upon a rose. My heart was not my heart, but myself; and my face was not my face, but the shimmering reflection of my heart.

As I was striding once, I saw a figure hovering in the Air. But she had no wings, only the longest, most gleaming braids I ever saw, but gleaming not as bright as her eyes, eyes a-smiling straight into mine.

“Come, my friend,” called she to me in voice of purest gold, “Follow me awhile and I will show you distant places of light and harmony, yes indeed I will!”

I nodded and right there and then her words lifted me up into the magic-coloured sky where, I by her side, we flew over two crystal mountains and one silver lake and then hovered a while above a garden where children wiser than the wisest men were building beautiful castles not in the air or sand, but inside their own hearts.

And then we flew off once again and this time when we paused, a circle of beautiful winged horses with talking eyes came flying up to meet us. We mounted two and journeyed on… but where we went from there I know not anymore, for I have lost my memories of then…

Because now I wonder, like one blind, in the dark and earthly worlds of modern men. And ever, when the sun is a-dawning, or a-shinning but not burning, though it be noon, or a-setting down, I ever and again go on long, gentle strolls, as though I were trying to recapture that glorious journey which I barely remember…

And today as I wandered through dingy markets I saw a face… a woman selling decaying fish, eyes materialistic and cunning, impure seduction. Of course she was not that beautiful Maiden of my all but forgotten past.

So why then does she look so familiar? And what was it that startled her when our eyes touched? Unsettled her. But of course she cannot be that same beautiful female spirit of ancient days who I left up in glorious heights yesterday…

I hope.

– che chidi chukwumerije..

LEVELS OF UNDERSTANDING, MOUNTAINS OF CHANGE, AND NO HORIZONS.

amazon cover copy there is always something more 2015

THERE IS a land without a horizon. If you stand upon this land and stare with a keen gaze far into the distance, you will see, not a horizon, but at the farthest, most visible line, a mountain range.

And when you have arrived this Mountain range and climbed these difficult and painful Mountains of transformation you will, at their top, find yourself upon a plain, a plateau, which to your amazement you will realise to be the level surface of another land, another level, upon which you may stay and experience, or further wander. And when you again cast your gaze far into the distance, towards the East, there from where the light comes, you will one day see again, not a horizon, but another Mountain range…

And so we wandered, a band of insatiable restless seekers, from one level to the next, slowly coming to comprehend that life and development is an inner journey of many stages, arranging themselves like a flight of stairs in ascent, or descent, one step, one level, of maturity following upon the other. And as you climb the Mountain which is the end of one reality, so you ascend the Mountain which is the lowest point of another.

There came a day when we paused upon a plateau and, looking back, saw our past descending like a flight of giant steps behind us, curving gently downwards like a winding stairway round and round an invisible pillar of life, around which our gazes also bent. And as we followed the sight of the descending steps of our former levels, so did each of us recognise his and her own distinct footprint left upon each plain, silent, unobserved by those former friends and newly sighted wanderers we could see trudging down there upon those lands, standing around or shuffling left and right. For where we had seen Mountains and sought them, they had seen only a misty future and a horizon of clouds. And where we had felt restless, they had felt at home.

Like indelible lines on forgotten pages of an old book, our tracks marked the landscape of yesterday’s land wherein our friends yet lived, waiting for changes they would have to bring about themselves. Then I understood why the old book keeps on changing from reader to reader, generation to generation and writer to writer – when you change the present, you change not just the future… you change also the past.

Like seeking thoughts groping their way through the lines of a sealed page, looking back I saw our former comrades wandering sightlessly round and round the footprints we left behind.

And then a few of them would notice the footprints, and maybe feel something happen inside their souls, and follow then them footprints with their eyes curiously… until, with a startled surprise, one or two would make out far in the distance, a mountain range where formerly they saw only a misty final horizon. Amazed they ask themselves where these mountains suddenly came from. Each mountain will be a hard climb, my friend, for with each upward step you must also actually climb over an obstacle which you bear within.

A word of hope for them. A word, a strong wish that flies back, like a bird, over to them; but not everyone will see the bird – only those looking up will. For these eastward-gazing people with a question gleaming deep in their eyes we whispered a word of hope…, and then we turned around again, to experience this new land upon which we stood.

Hard had been the ascent through the Mountains that led into this land, and one or two had fallen behind, trapped still in these mountains, unable yet to complete the transformation. But a few of us had indeed found the plateau at the top.

It was a strange land, for gaze as we may into the distance, on this one we saw no new mountains in the distant future… only land and clouds and a seeming horizon. It was a beautiful and mysterious land… and years have passed now since it has held us in its embrace. We have forgotten to look to the East, seeking the New… This new land has become, finally, our home. For many years now.

Some, I tell you, meanwhile have become bored here… and journeyed back down to their haunts of yore, welcomed back by many a comrade on a recycled rung, horizontal heroes of their own yesterdays. But the most have remained here on this new won plane, experiencing and experiencing…
Years of experiencing, experiences that satisfied some… but left a few seeking for something new. These few increasingly bear a thoughtful look upon their faces. Until one day they said to the rest of us, “Do you see these footsteps that disappear in that direction?” They pointed towards the clouds.

“No, we see them not,” we replied, after following their gaze.

“And do you see those Mountains far away in the distance?…

We raised our eyes and saw only clouds at the horizon.

“No, we see only clouds. There is nothing more, nowhere further. We have reached the summit.”

But these Few would not be satisfied, and one day when we woke up, they were gone, restless souls, towards the cloudy mists in the future.

Often have I stood, silent, on my own, and gazed after their footsteps, for one of them, Kulie, had been my good friend. And I have gazed and gazed towards the Light coming through the clouds in the East. And sometimes when I intently gaze, my heart full of longing and a quietly persistent question, the clouds seem to disappear, and I slowly make them out, vaguely, rugged mountains of reflection, far far away. While on other days, when I simply curiously look across, all I see are clouds hovering above a final horizon. Quiet thoughts cross my mind.

I wonder if upon a mountain which I cannot yet see, a spirit pauses at this very moment, and turning around, sees me upon this level which he has left behind, sees the question in my eyes, and whispers for me a word of hope.

More and more, such questions arise within me. For as much as I love this strange and beautiful state of being, this mature level of thought, this comfort zone and stable throne, and my circle of friends who inhabit with me this point of view, yet stirs within me an old restlessness anew, urging me again to think ahead, to look up, for there is a new perception somewhere and no horizon comprehensible to me.

What are those mountains I increasingly seem to see there, in the distance? Inviting and imposing at the same time. Peaceful and rugged. Why should I brave them if indeed they do exist? But, if they do, what land lies again upon them? Maybe somebody stands upon them now and whispers words of hope for me. And maybe these thoughts I think, and think are mine, in truth are his, calling me, talking to me –

“Seeking spirit, be sure of one thing: There is always something more…”

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

From my book:
There is always something more.

 

THE FLUTTERING

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW there fluttered a bird…

I opened the window and in it flew. It alighted upon my table and became a story, a book of many pages full of emotion and history. Poet, poet, you anchored the story and it became a masterpiece that fed and accompanied human hearts from generation to generation.

There is an old book that began at the dawn of history and has no end, for from generation to generation there is always a poet to receive its next pages, humanity’s rebirth, return of inspiration and guidance. The mystery, it seems to me, comes always in the shape of a bird and survives in the shape of a flower in the desert.

The bird kept on singing, narrating; I kept on listening, the poet kept on writing, the poet in me. When the last page emerged and the bird disappeared, a day of sharing passed, and I fell asleep.

A century of slumber passed again. Again again the night dawned and swallowed up the world. From the depths of my sleep a sound extracted me, the flutterings of a bird. Outside the window, woman or bird? Woman and bird? A woman stands behind the bird. With sleepy eyes I her behold, a waif of moonlight, standing outside my window, an ephemeral beauty, a strange maid…

I desire her. My desire becomes the magic wand with which she hypnotises me. I lose interest in the bird, the bringer of my stories, the being of my inspiration. Instead, I open the window and walk to the woman. Dimly I was aware of the bird that flew in through the open window of my soul into my chamber of secrets even as I walked out of it, into the hungry night. The glass door shut behind me, Noah’s ark sailed away sans poet. There she stood before me, the night’s promise, unfulfillable. A thousand pleasures she would give to me, but none quenched my thirst… Until it dawned that she was the thirst itself, cyclically renewing itself, fawn Sisyphus.

Wearily I dragged myself back to my window; shut. It was shut, long shut, with me on the outside. Looking in I make out, upon the table, another book, another distant story, buried in my heart. Like a visitor at a glass tomb, thoughtfully I look back in time.

It used to be a bird, a bird that once flew to me. Sadly I gaze at the scroll through the infinity of a glass window. I can see the book deep within my soul, but I cannot reach or read it. I stretch forth my yearning hand, but all I manage to do is scratch the window pane with with my fingernails. Poet, poet, awakened and then distracted, unable to anchor your story, the very reason for your awakening. How does it feel to gaze upon your calling and be unable to enter it?

Weary and more you search until you find the door, and re-enter your inner home, but generations have since passed… the table, it is empty.

So here you go, sleeping again. A century and many more of restless dreams. Then, one day, you hear it… a familiar sound… outside your window… the Fluttering…

The night is dark, the moon is pale and sceptical, the glass is scratched, the witch is calling and the bird is fluttering…

Do you remember? It has been a long sleep. Memory has become a distant memory. Who is this moon? What is this woman? Why is this night? When is this window? How is this bird?… Even yourself you do not know anymore. Long was this sleep.

Poet, poet, you move in my heart, like a bird fluttering outside my window. Time is my window. If I open it and let the bird fly in, I will see and remember that it is no ordinary bird, it is a memory being, a fountain-pen, a poem, a story which, anchored, will grow wings and fly into the hearts of those who are thirsty outside…

Poet, poet, you speak in my heart. Forget that woman and face your true love.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije