MUSICIANS

When the sadness
Coloured the smile
Of the musician’s sunshine
I saw that his joy
Had just got deeper
And the unshed tears
Longing in his eyes
Were less bitter
Than they were bittersweet
To my ears
Music to my heart
Water to my soul – his sorrow
Became the joy of my spirit flame.
That was when I saw him smile
That broke my heart.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

FAMILY

Is it those that smile at you
Or those that frown at you?

Is it those with the same blood
flowing through their veins
Or those with the same thoughts
springing from their hearts?

Is it those who want nothing from you
even when they’re there
Or those who always want something from you
even when they’re not there?

Is it really a bound tree
With invisible tangled-up roots?
Or is it an open sea
Rolling freely in all directions?

Does the departed soul really stop and turn back
Or does it hurry away into another life?
Are all those who call themselves family
There to bind or to free each other?

Is protection sometimes limitation?
Is liberation sometimes abandonment?
Is a kiss sometimes an embracing of betrayal?
Is severity sometimes an anchorage of love?

Only the sincere should read your inner book.
Only the sincere should read your inner book.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

CONSTANT CRY

He lived with us very briefly
When I was still a child
My father’s elder brother

When we prayed before our meals
And made the sign of the cross
He teased us, Protestants, about having gone Catholic

When he shaved in the morning
He explained to us the mysterious science
Of shaving stick, cream and blade

Other than that he didn’t talk much
A quiet quiet quiet man
Hurt no-one, thoughtfully kept to himself

Very different from the others
Never preached, never argued, never moralised
Never scolded, just silently observed

Three decades have passed
Rarely our paths ever crossed again
A short Hello each time, nothing more

I’m still trying to understand
The pain I’ve felt all morning today
Since I heard of Uncle Joe’s death

It doesn’t make sense
Someone I hardly knew
Just a few childhood memories

Just a few memories
That remind me of a time
Rich in memories and childlike insight

And a few memories
Of a quiet adult who never found a voice
In a culture of big egos, loud voices and aggression

His silence was louder, calmer, more lasting
So deep that only his death
Would open the deep wound of memory in my heart

His middle name was Ahamefula
Meaning “May my name not get lost” –
No, dear Uncle, it will not.

In loving memory of
Joseph Ahamefula Chukwumerije
1935 – 2013

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

INTERNET: MAP OF THE WORLD

A place where minds meet
Don’t expect kid gloves pulling punches
They make minced meat of unminced words

Minds clash harder than bodies
Thoughts don’t need the nuclear code
To damage love in every heart they poison

Where the like-minded find themselves
And divide into real homogeneous Groups
They need no Constitution to know their Aim

No visas to guard their borders
And when you cross the boundary into the darknet
You are at home

Finally we have an inner Picture of the world
That is accurate – It is the Internet
Where the Soul undresses itself without mercy.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE SEASON OF THE SECOND ME

In order to survive
I birthed another me
Long long ago

When the first feels disoriented
I pull him back
And let out the second

The second is uncontrolled
Full of propensities
And hungry to do it all

But he’s all I’ve got
Suicide is not an option
The journey’s not over yet.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

NO LAWS CAN SAVE A NATION

The simplicity of reality
Drag me down to earth
Some mistakes can be corrected
Only through death and rebirth

But it takes even more strength
To live with your unrectified error
And if you can no longer change your path
Then go it with virtue and valour

The outer Change is not as important
As the inner Transformation
If individuals stay inwardly corrupt
No laws can save a Nation

And when you lose your fear
Of mockery and condescension
You’ll see that most People are simply Followers
For fear of ostracization.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REAL PAINS ARE REAL JOYS

Caught in the middle of two worlds
Am I their divider or their uniter
Or lost in the middle?

Torn in the tangle of many loves
Am I their comfort or their hurt
Or they mine?

Rooted at the crossroads of four callings
Am I interpreting it wrong or right
Or just a tool?

Laws confuse me. Love comforts me.
Lord, don’t make me a preacher
Just make me genuine

No matter the pain
I don’t want to be fake
I just don’t want to be fake.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

EVEN A NOBODY IS STILL SOMEBODY

Though you seem foolish
And out of touch
Keep on being who you are,
Neither life nor nature’s laws
Was created by human beings.

Though the politicians seem to have all power
Though the freedom-fighters seem to be the only brave ones
Though the intellectuals seem to know it all
Though the popular stars seem to be the only dream-achievers
Yet always remember…

Every single Thought you think
Every deep Intuition you perceive
Every Word you quietly say
And every Little Action in your life
Has an effect Somewhere, Somehow…

For nothing goes for nothing
Nothing gets lost in life, in nature, in Creation
And the fact is that while we’re all so busy
Running around the place
None of us really knows what it’s really all about.

So: Ye Unknown Ones, be brave
And when your Inner Sensing leads you away
From everything the world proclaims “Great” and “In”
Then forsake the world’s ways and quietly, quietly
Find Peace and Joy within your Hearts.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.