REFLECT BEFORE CELEBRATE

Why was I born? Why were you born?
Into this Earth.

My birthday always makes me think. This year more than ever, I don‘t know why. The questioning thought: Everything I‘ve done in the last 48yrs, have they in any way really fulfilled the reason WHY I WAS BORN? Or have I up until now, in a deep subtle way, just been wasting my time? For I was not born in order to celebrate that birth annually. Viewed logically, that‘s a senseless feedback loop – unless augmented, nay, superseded, by a PURPOSE – and the fulfilment of that purpose – of my birth into this earth.

49 years ago, I was not here. I was not a part of this daily hustle and bustle, getting into cars and busses, voting in elections, raising kids, being earthy and doing the earthly. So, where was I? And why did I come here? Where were you before you were born? And why did you come here?

Every year the certainty that I‘m closer to my earthly death, to my departure. I just feel it, so strongly. That reduced distance. It‘s not just a piece of general knowledge that we all have: Everybody dies one day. Yes we all know this. But it is more than this. It‘s also a solid emotional perception, a physical presence that comes closer, that you can feel when you close your eyes and pay attention.

My birthday makes me think, not just of birth, but also of death.

My brother, Kwame, aged 19, died on my 21st birthday. It was a few weeks before his own 20th birthday. The person closest to me. Why did he come? Did he or did he not fulfil the purpose of it? And then he was gone again. It‘s a date we share, in life and death.

Life existed before we were born into it. It was perfect, already. Before we were created, Creation was already formed and perfect. This realisation makes me think and there is no end to this reflection. Just a clear line of perception – an intuitive perception:

You are not without a reason and not without a purpose, unless you fail – consciously or unconsciously – to discover that reason and that purpose; and then to – deliberately or instinctively – fulfil that reason and that purpose.

It‘s a serious and thought-provoking business meeting your birthday again, and still not knowing why. Or knowing if you’re fulfilling why, as best as you can. Year after year.

I don‘t need to celebrate my birthday. I need to reflect upon it.

Reflect before celebrate.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije
06. April 2022

Little Che – mid 1970s.

SPRECHENDE TATEN

Ich liebe Dich ist ein Klischee
man, so ein Klischee
ich würde es gerne ins Gesicht boxen
dafür
daß es wie Faust aufs Auge
auf das zutrifft
was ich für Dich in mir trage
manchmal kristallklar, manchmal vage
doch in jeder Lage
mit jedem Blick, mit jedem Streit
und mit jeder Tat Dir täglich wortlos sage.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije
Im Jahrzehnt der Deutschen Dichtung

Ị HỤ ỤZỌ

Ị chọọ ka anyị hụ ụzọ
Ị chaara m n’ụzọ, eee, ị chaara m n’ụzọ… –

Ị chaara m n’ụzọ, ọ bụrụ na
Ị meperela ọnwe gị ụzọ –

Ụzọ bụ nke m… ụzọ bụ nke gị… –
Bịa ka anyị chaara ọnwe anyị n’ụzọ,
Bịa ka anyị chịa ọchị ọzọ.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

FRIEND IN DEED

In the days of night
The unroaded paths
Only one only one
Was constant –

To her I pen this poem tonight

Only one only one
Was constant –

While I slept, while I woke
While I walked and while I wept
While I sought and fought and caught
And was alone

In my heart was the sound of music

Only one only one
Was constant –

To music I pen this poem tonight.

-Che Chidi Chukwumerije

 

AS IF ALREADY WE KNEW

I remember you
Almost everyday.
Do thoughts forget
Their creators? Heart
And common sense agree
In me that they never could.
I remember you daily.

Our childhood and youth
Made my heart what
It is today. And though
You’re gone who knows
Where in the Beyond,
Still my memories of you,
Brother, know no boundaries.

How many times did
We watch Joe Panther?
Little did we know that
We were watching our future.
For, like Tiger died and left Joe,
One of us would go
And the other would lonely stay.

And I remember how quietly
We sat, together, trying
To hold back and conceal
Our tears that first time
We watched La Bamba –
As if already then we knew
How it would one day feel.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.