ETERNAL SUNRISE

When the Darkness wakes up in the morning, the first thing it does is to look out of the window, see the Light shinning outside – and become full of anger, envy and rage all over again. 

Because yesterday when night fell and it went to sleep, it made the great mistake of thinking that the Light is now dead.

The Light is never dead. It will rise again. It is we who turn our backs on it.

But it will rise again.

 – Che Chidi Chukwumerije 

STRIVING

I strive
Therefore I am
I am not
Therefore I strive

Striving is the beginning
And striving is the end
And when the end is over
And I am over with striving
I shall ascend
A smile on my lips
Because the end is the beginning
And the beginning is the end
So long as I am the made
And not the Maker

Besides “Dawn can never be reached
Save by the path of night”
*

And there again I shall strive again
For striving is living is joy.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

(*Kahlil Gibran)

IN THE MORNING

The things we know in the morning
The moment we awaken
And from somewhere else are returning
But not yet quite retaken
By the world of thoughts that ever crowd around us
During the hours while we are fully day-conscious
Those things we know as sleep departs
Are as true as true can be
The Hour of Awakening to us imparts
The starkest clarity

It may be painful, may be pleasant
It may be quite surprising
But it is always true and doesn’t
Require verifying
Because if you did awake aright into this certainty
Events themselves will prove to you their authenticity
My thoughts are clear as sleep departs
And I see without guile
Displayed before me all those hearts
With whom I frown or smile.

————–
che chidi chukwumerije
————–

YOU WILL NOT SEE THE SUN YET

After the Still of the Night, if you are listening, you will notice that the birds have begun to twitter, the dogs have started to bark, the cocks to crow. Looking out the window, you will notice that the sky is a tinge less dark and the stars and moon, though clearly visible still, strangely are fast fading too. You will not see the sun yet, but a stranger within you will tell you that the sun is stirring somewhere over an eastern horizon, and the world is waiting with a heart full of wonder, holding its breath, and every yawn is an awakening not a retiring. A quiet energy begins to brew, like a yearning.

Opening your heart, you will perceive that the heavenly song, echoing still on within you, retreating, has faded quietly quietly away again. And, your open heart still open, you will perceive that the harsher vibrations of an embattled intellectual species, human by name, are surging out once more – through windows, doors, walls and hearts and reawakening chaotic minds, through opening unseeing eyes and resettling restless souls, bodies crashing densely out of bed, self-locked plans and plots in mind, they prepare to explode upon the planet, yes, ready and about to punish a guiltless world again with another day of desperate madness starting now just when nature and the natural world would so deeply like to smile the smile of dawn.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

APRIL

Her glance was taffeta
Smoothed down my trembling hands
Smoothed down my trembling hands
Oh morning glory
Oh these tremors have passed and
I’m asleep again on a Saturday morning
In the birth cradle of April.

Fresh rain, burgundy tears sprinkle sun, sprinkle dawn
Rainbows, silver and gold fingers
Then palmgreen sprouting hope hope
Then palmgreen sprouting hope.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MUSICIAN’S MORNING

EARLY IN the morning Egwuobi practised the minor chords on his box guitar, his best friend, whom he called Freedom. His soul was full and empty. He gripped the strings with his heart and gradually played, first arpeggio-style, then a-strumming, slowly changing from one chord to the other, one key to the higher.

Each time he caused the strings to vibrate, each time there arose sound from the instrument, a breath of calm seemed to sink into his soul. He did not want to stop.

By the time it began to grow bright outside, he had gone through only a third of the exercise. With a sigh he dropped Freedom lightly on his sparse, rough bed and arose.

For a few moments he remained motionless on his feet. His chest rose and fell, lightly. A look of gentle, dreamy reflection was trapped upon his face, a hard, rocky face with full lips and a strong, pugnacious forehead. He had an angular skull, radiated an intense and awkward, almost overpowering crude handsomeness. His observant grey-black eyes were turned inwards, his profile was angled towards the window.

It dawned on him again, like it did every once in a while, that destiny is like a skin. It wrapped itself around you even ere you arrived. It encapsules, encloses, protects and undermines you. Captures you. Teleguides you. It limits you. It links you to your world. It is hard to shed and hard to change. It lasts a lifetime.

Once again a wry smile was his reaction to this ever-recurring moment of recognition. A wry and sad smile. Yet it was a smile of amusement. No wonder snakes shed their skin. His humour was sometimes dark, sometimes light. He suddenly remembered that he had written something into his diary sometime in the middle of the night, something about train tracks, cocoon and the birth of butterfly. He remembered the feeling of the struggling butterfly. He reached across his bed, lifted his diary, opened it and read it again. Everything came back, the nocturnal stab of clarity that subsequent sleep had temporarily blotted out. It was the same recognition that had just come back again in the skin analogy. Now he felt calmer.
He emerged, composed, out of his reflection and went into the bathroom. A normal prelude to another abnormal day.

This was how it always started – with music, unfinished, and a startling recognition that would fill him all day long. This was the cycle of his life.

An awakening musician.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

AWAKENING AFTER A DREAM

Awakening out of a deeper reality
A dream of music, philosophy, poetry
Still ringing on in me, but fading fast
Each new second retaining less than the last
The dream fades away like an improbable past –
A populous sea into which a porous net is cast
The intellect tries to find again words, details
From each finishing dream but maddeningly fails –
Words which I just wrote down, somewhere, somehow
In a dream I was having sometime just right now
Melodies I was humming, natural realities I saw
I feel them still in me, but see them no more
For the heavy cloak and mind of a small and rigid earth
Have imprisoned again my consciousness, like once at birth –

For as swiftly and surely as we once forgot the baby tongue
As we grew from baby to child, yet remained young
So do words, connections given to us in our dreams
Oft disappear during Awakening, magically it seems
The harder the Intellect tries to affect their remembering
The faster it hastens their forgetting –
Even while we are still lying, freshly awake, in the morning bed
Watching one thing fading, another taking over, inside our head
As one sun rises, another sun is setting gently –
The glass is unclear, twilight illuminates faintly
Dawn and Dusk together were breaking…
Wish I could remember who I really am, upon awakening.
Not acceptable, this unending sleep
Of an eternal consciousness in the Deep.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije