Kwame, you would have turned 47 today, but that dream died a long time ago. You didn‘t even quite make it out of teenage.
But, brother, your few poems have long made it unto the pages of our hearts for all eternity, like footsteps on the sands of time.
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)
If heaven were but a grain
Of those arms on which I was once lain
And only a mere faint echo
Of that inspiration which has become my life-long shadow
Then claim me kiss of death
That upon your hearth
Mother Again will be my first breath
And I’ll never crave rebirth.
It is between Scylla and Charibdis
For me to start to describe what it is
To eternity in the warmth of a bossom
And the gentle resourcefulness of a flower in blossom
So comforting and caring
So loving and true
This comes straight from my heart:
Mother, I love you.
Che Chidi Chukwumerije
I wrote this poem for my mother when I was 16. Today, almost three decades later, the words still hold true.
The beach was a friend
Whose waves like fingers
Wrapped themselves around
The hooves of the horses on
Which Kwame and I flew across wet sand
And Daddy took lost pictures
In the background, barefooted
While Mummy and Azuka
Laughed at us cheerfully.
Bar Beach on a Saturday
Long gone away.
Another anniversary of the day I beheld for the last time the noble countenance of my father. Then we closed the coffin and confered his cloak into the warm arms of Mother Earth. And set the spirt free for the Flight back Home. Always in my fondest Memories, Daddy dear… 22.5….
(Pic: my first day in Boarding School, Sep 1995 – King’s College. Lagos)