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)

EXERTION IS SELF-PRESERVATION

Sometimes you have to be humble
And accept help when you’re down
But sometimes you have to be proud
And reject help, and help yourself

The first will save you in an emergency
And steady you for one day
The second will prepare you for eternity
And save you from extinction

Adversity is the friend of development
Challenge is the wake up call of genius
Obstacles are the partner of survival
Life’s true wish is to awaken us

Our time in this world will end one day
Father Sun and Mother Earth
Were just a temporary bridge God built
To teach us how to walk.

Endless Aid is a silent Killer
It is worse than AIDS and worse than Ebola
If you want God’s help along the way
First you have to be walking upon the way

The way of search and of exertion
For exertion alone brings self-preservation
Not help, not aid, not running away
Because you can’t run away from yourself.

Humility and pride are not mutually exclusive
This pride is not the synonym of vanity
For when you become too proud to take it
You humble yourself and learn how to make it.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

REGRET IS SWEETEST AT NIGHT

See there, a stream
It flows only at night
How can this be?
Who melted my frozen pride?

Who taught me how to cry
When the night is singing?
The book of my life
The pages start revealing

Every petal of blossoming pain
The seed was mine, I broke the ground
And sealed it over with a pound of pride
Not a drop of remorse

Or so I thought.
Yet see, there, a stream
It flows at night in my loneliness
Pride thaws and falls like rains of regret.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

FREEDOM SPIRIT

I am on the bird’s wing,
When it beats they say
It is my heart.
Where are you going,
Prodigal Son?

I am on the lion’s tail.
When it twitches they say
It is my pride.
Where are you going,
Rebellious Brother?

If you put your ear
To the ground
All you will hear
Is the Spirit that
Rides within.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BRAVE ONE

Your secrets
Give them power over you
When you lose your fear of your secrets
They lose their power over you

No-one is feared more
Than one who says yes I did it, so what?
You can break a warrior’s shell
But you cannot make the warrior fear you as well.

Breathe out, brave one, and live some more
Your weaknesses and your strengths are all you’ve got.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BITTER

Do you know that never-ending road?
Do you know that ever-increasing load?
Do you know that pain when you receive pain?
Do you know that pain when you give pain?

Do you know that quarrel that can’t be settled?
Are you sore? Bitter? Embattled?
Do you want to hurt them back?
And hurt each time you hurt them back?

How elusive it is, no matter where you look
The last page stays missing in a riddled book
Vengeance will drive you to the ends of the earth
But won’t show you the way back to your hearth.

Revenge is its very own bittersweet revenge
The irony of the avenger – cruel, sad and strange:
To be trapped, a victim of your own vendetta
And wonder why it still doesn’t make you feel better.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RETIREMENT

His pride is on sale
And his shame
And on his broad frame
You can see him bearing his fate
With a brave face on display

Seventy years of age
All his fears have come of age
His hopes, dreams, plans, crumbled
But now he’s picked himself up again
And sits at the south train station

Easel, paint-brushes, stool, low table
But he holds his head up high
Give him a smile and a coin
And he’ll paint a portrait of you
That will stand the test of time

He: You speak good german
I: Can I write something about you?
He: Yes, but no names please. I
Have a granddaughter in Darmstadt, who
Doesn’t know what I do to survive.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.