ONCE WE WERE LIGHT

Once we were light
But the world weighed us down
Drowned out our cry of resistance
And put a bandage over our eyes

A desperate cry for help
Before we fell silent
And started to look silently at our children
The way once our parents looked at us

Now we know what they were thinking:
Retain your magic! Retain your lightness!
Even as they said to us worriedly:
You have to learn to fit into the system –

Knowing it was not the way
But knowing no other way
Or knowing it but not having the heart
To push us off the cliff –

Because not everybody grows wings
When falling through the gap.
The generation gap.
Now we watch our children worriedly

Wanting them to become like us
And wanting them to stay themselves too.
Once we were light
But the world weighed us down.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

YOUNG AND OLD

Suffer not the young with belief in their ignorance
Thinking only the old can with wisdom be soaked
Watch: and see kids give to hidden truths substance
For what is a child but an adult cloaked

And seek not in the old for the seat of all staleness
Sure that, with youth passed, all vigour is lost
Look past the frame at a quicker, higher freshness
For what is an adult but a child unveiled

The child is the parent of the out-born adult
The adult is the parent of the in-born child
For up looks the earthling and up looks the moonling
And each sees nothing but the other in the skies

So suffer not greatness with the label of complexity
Nor suffer ordinariness with the verdict of the rejected
For where the great and the ordinary meet, simplicity
Is born, adult and child unite, and Perfection is reflected.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BABY

He’s lying in the midst of his toys
And what language do they speak
To one another? They seem to understand
Each other. It’s his smile
That makes me strong.

I’m glad he can’t interpret my frown
When I look out of the window
Into the world, into the times –
Yes I’m glad for him
Let him store happiness in his heart today.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije..

COURAGE AWAKENING

Shades of morning
Mantles of night ascending
Ghosts, like fears of the past,
Lay down softly to sleep at last.

Fear. Will whisper.
A thousand reasons to be a coward.
Until your inner man comes calling
The ground is so close
How come you’re still falling?

Beauty, soft kiss of dawn
Quietens you for a moment of tenderness
Before you shed your final skin
Of fear and pain
And stand up, never to crawl again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REMEMBER YOUR DREAM

You’ll never be a better man
Than the boy you once were
So, when you lose your way
The answer you seek is not far:
Remember the dream you once had
Between child- and adulthood
When the boy you once were
Had just awakened from his dream
And the man you now are
Had not yet forgotten that dream.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE NOISY CHILD

I walk the streets, the broken streets. I encounter people, broken people. I see the materialisation of broken dreams – and suddenly I understand a-deeper, that a child was silenced at dawn. Ssshh! Keepquiet! Shutup! Don’ttalk! Can’t you see that adults are talking! Stopthat! Standthere! Standstill! Obey before you complain! You’re just a child! You’re still a child! DO as you’re told! You will understand only when you’ve grown… – But by the time they grow, poor children, they’ve forgotten whatever it was they once wanted to say or what once they wanted to know… – – – I walk the streets, the broken streets. I encounter adults, broken adults… noisy… empty… silent… silenced. I see the forgotten memory of the broken dreams blowing in the evening wind under a sad sun. And I understand once again, that once upon a crucial early time, a child was told to be still… stillborn.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

EVENING WALK

Kidnapped
Is there still hope for me?
The sun sets sadly as slowly as he can
By the last light of day
Find my way

Did you see the baby that was stolen?
Did you see the boy that was broken?
However hard you look, you will see
No resemblance at all between them and
The man now woken, now walking.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.