A CERTAIN NEWNESS

New thoughts arising in colours becoming
New paths all over, all over my path
New answers falling in patterns benumbing
New friends with old faces
New ties with old places
New visions bring a new sense of belonging
Newness and calmness out from a new bath

Of old traits are few traces
Of new veins are full vases.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE BITE

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Let your life bite
And bite deep, incisive and tight
Into the lives of others,
Strangers, foes and brothers –

Let it bite
And be felt right
Inside their core
Let them ask for more
When you’re gone
And they’re left alone.

Even though now they complain
For your bite awakens inner pain,
Yet bite deep, bite deep,
When it is time to reap
They will harvest laughter
And laughter after laughter
Because you bit them not with hate,
But in love the seeds of lofty fate
You did dutifully implant –
So let them rant.

Bite, my son, and be bitten,
Smite and be smitten,
Submit to the urge
That bids your river surge
Over all obstacles, my boy,
Breaking all shackles, each like a toy
Life’s battle you must enjoy
It is the repeat of Troy.
And you’ll leave behind upon the earth
By the time death has slain birth
A quiet legacy of truth
And immortal youth.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MIDNIGHT CANDLE

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Spirit flame in the world of it-doesn’t-matter
Radiant star never-the-less in the darkness
Night is a blessing for lost dreamers
It is the world-wanderer’s permanent address

Night makes the seeing blind
And the insight sharp as blade
The fire within will warm the cold
Feet of dew

Young mind, never mind
The world well and shiny made
It is for the old
You were born to bring the new.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

INSIDE KNOWLEDGE

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It is her voice that buckles my knees
When she breaks and says please
I break and say please
This is the power of a woman
I can match her strength
But her power makes me powerless.

She might not know everything about me
But she knows the thing about me
That weakens and conquers and strengthens and completes me
This is the power of a woman
It is the power of insight
Because she came from inside.
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Learn well this lesson:
Strength is what you have inside you
Power is what you have inside another person
Even when that person is stronger than you.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

LOVE IN THE DAYS OF HATRED

Bold of heart and stonecold must you be
And extraordinary too, gentle one
If in these days the bad news on TV
Doesn’t strike fear into that heart of yours!
Because mankind is still not free.

But listen, listen to me now, lamb and dove
The hour approaches when on a dark empty street
You shall be the last lantern still shinning as from above
And no-one, not even you, will understand fully why
In these days of hatred your heart grows stronger with human love.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SELF-BELIEF

“Keep chipping away at that block
Keep clipping away at that rock
Keep knocking on and breaking that stone
Keep striking at and cracking that bone
It is their faith, their pride, their hope and strength
It is the very foundation of their self-confidence
So just keep hammering steadily away at it until
They lose every belief in themselves and their will.”

Now if you’re reading this and know what I mean,
Stand up and holler at your foes seen and unseen:
“I can’t be beaten! I can’t be stopped! Because I’ve seen through you
And I’ve seen through me, and I’m the stronger of the two!

Break me down and I’ll come back twice as strong
You don’t know my foundation, so you can’t kill my song.”

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

UNDERSTANDING VALUES

How foreign is a foreigner
In a land of foreign values
If the values of the foreign
Are native to him?

How rightful are a native’s rights
In a land of prayer and righteousness
If he claims for himself the right
To deny an unbeliever his human rights?

Democracy is a car – if you insist
That they exchange their horse for your car
How can you stop them from roughly driving the car
Like they rode their horse, out into the wild?

Religion is a house – if you insist that they
Abandon nature and make your house their home
How can you stop them from inviting their old nature
Into your eternal rigid walls?

Who knows the answer?
Religion doesn’t know the answer
Politics doesn’t know the answer
Only really human beings know the answer.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.