ROCK STARS

Did the sun give birth to the earth?
And the earth to the moon?
Is the moon childless?
What are we doing here
On this strange rock
In the middle of billions and billions
Of other strange rocks?

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

RECIPROCAL ACTION

It will come back some day
For from me it’s home and source
Once it went forth into world
To heal or harm or help or hurt another
Or pass them all touchlessly by –

And when it comes back to origin
Some will call it destiny, fate, fortune, karma
Some accident, some unfair, some design
Serendipity or plot or providence –
But I will call it by its name: Justice.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

IT’S A PLANET

It’s a planet
Because it’s all about
The plant
Each and every one of them
The way life planned it

So what’s our plan now?
Bring back the plant to planet man
Solution in resolution
A planet in a plan
Universe in verse – reversed.

The planet lungs to breathe again
Plants expiring on planet man
The screen is green
Reality ours to imagine and make
Plant a good seed

Breathe out
Greenscene is backdrop
Every drop will wrench your thirst
Drop back
Because it’s melting

It’s a planet
We did not plan it
And yet we dammed it
But it’s all about the plant
If it’s a good seed, plant it.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

BOATRIDE ON ULLSWATER

Boatride on Ullswater

A life I’ve lived before?
Or just a summer lore?
These Cumbrian hills that float past me
Fade away, misty, like a memory

If greens could speak of all they hold
Unbroken sap, unspoken, old
Unwoken, untapped, a silent audience
Events absorbed in quiet clairaudience

What tales untold of eras lost
Would now unfold, unthawed of frost
Unbound by dust; behold, forever green
The mist has parted as though it had never been

Ullswater, whose water first watered your past
Whose feet were those that were the last
To tread that dry ground that is now your wet floor
Before that time vanished foreverevermore?

The boatride, like a gentle slide, into a strange intuition
A short sad season of startling fruition
Goodbye again, Watervalley, deep within your heart
Remember still my footsteps, there they did start

Mist and misty, mistier than thought
Misty mysteries yet they are not.
A heart is a storehouse of long forgotten memories
That sometimes arise cloaked as imagined stories

What do I have more precious than my heart,
My past’s library, my future’s chart.
Silently we walk, simple human beings
Yet mightier each than the sum of all worldly things.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
(One of my Lake District poems)

NIGER DELTA

There used to be a village quiet
One of many of the same childlike face
Faces of native fisherfolk
Of contentment in nature’s ancient cradle

A village on the river
Somewhere in the labyrinth of the Niger Delta
The songs they sang on their swaying boats
Put to sleep the fish in their nets’ embrace

Sweet was the voice of the water
Clear, her heart, clear, her mind
But, treacherous, the land bore a secret treasure
Deep within her precious heart

And they came, they came, thirsty
For the dark oily secret in her laps
And they drill, they drill, deeply, and spill
And until today they’re coming still

The village, it is no more
The river’s song is choked slowly to death
Crude and dark and slimy and viscous
The oil has smeared the water and defiled the land

But, unquenched, the flames of caustic lust
Still they burn, still they yearn
The bright acid fires that char our skin
Burn our throats too and poison deep our thoughts

Our colourful birds are burned into memory
Our fish, our beasts will be future-fossilized
There was a tree, it was the last of its kind
May nature preserve our footprints still formed

And the villagers now are refugees at home
Seeking other shores and other huts
Seeking rivers where they can again sing their songs
As they outcast their ancestral nets

And in their hearts they never forget
That once upon a not-so-distant time
They had a land, they had a river, that hid
A precious dark secret beneath its soft breast.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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