PRISONERS OF LAW, CITIZENS OF LOVE

Sunday morning
The homeless beggar throws his plastic sheet off his destitute form
Steps out for a moment from under his bridge
Takes a dry bath in the warm sun’s rays

The off-duty policeman
Who tomorrow on duty will evict him again from under the bridge
Walks past him on his way to worship
Throws him a kind smile and a coin into his bowl.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

HARD TO GRASP

ONCE UPON a time, a man woke up and gazed upon a thought hanging in the air above his bed.

And the longer he looked at it, the more it confused him. And when he looked away, he forgot it.

Through the day it disturbed him, a memory he was trying to remember, but could not remember what he was trying to remember. But this he remembered: I am not who I think I am.

So this thought – I am not who I think I am – stayed with him for many hours, each as long as a decade, as he tried to fathom its meaning. Verily, it became his very name. His very aim.

Many hearts. In which one lies the answer? So he broke them open and left them behind, ravaged, the sought unfound.

He is written about in the books of men. His character has been copied and reproduced in stories down the ages – the raging, ravaging beast that consumes hearts and upturns nations. In truth he is a tireless seeker, and always giving. In shrouded truth. Love and peace cloaked in battle and tears. Shredding hearts to pieces with merciless thirst. How many times has he altered history, chasing the mirror? Thus has his troublesome picture been painted before him repeatedly. Thus too does he see himself, hours later.

But all I want is to find the key. Burning Flame, you are not who you THINK you are. This thought nags in him. Remember.

I am a warrior. No.

I am a lover. No.

You are a bridge. Just be.

Just be.

There! There it is again, the morning-thought, hanging once more in the sky above his mind. Hard to grasp:

Just be.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE FIRE WITHIN

Life
The bud struggling with itself
Longing to burst into flower
And sacrifice herself to the light

Nations locked in inner turmoil
Searching for the other half
Of the yellow sun

People thirsting for freedom

And then a Cadillac rolls past
A homeless person under the bridge
Their eyes meet in shock of recognition
They are the same

Or soon will be.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

AFTER PAIN

And after pain comes joy
If you let the pain have its way
And yet you conquered it

And after pain comes love
If the pain washes you truly clean
And yet you conquered it

And after pain comes life
If you walked hand in hand with pain
And conquered it

Your pain is not stronger than you
You are stronger than it
That is why it tries so hard to hurt you
A little
Because it will not last long

Wait a little longer, baby
Just a little –
Pain is our bridge.
Do you see the morningland
Waving in the distance?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE SONG OF HEARTS

image by Unsplash

A woman there was
Who by music was made –
Music conceived her
And made her
And set her free

And lost she wandered
Uncomprehended and lonely and
Confused for many a day
Until upon a morning, dawn tore
Out of her heart a haunting melody
And she learned that she could sing

Then did she, joyous of heart, compose
And sing and release to the world
Like a bird-being set free
The very song that fashioned her
And daughter became mother
Nay, traveller became bridge

I am a song
You are a song
We are all heaven’s song.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.