OLD YEAR BECOMES MEMORY

Suddenly the snow came
I had waited
And watched the mountain-tops
Snow-capped

All around was a struggling winter
Asserting itself clumsily
When the skies were not blue, it drizzled

The clouds passed away
Temperature refused to fall, stood straight –

I walked deep in thought
On the Mountain, I heard the Bells
Ever and again they met in one sound
A single song. I walked up
And drove away before dawn. It did not
Snow until the airbus was about
To leave the Gate. I watched it
And recalled in my memory
The feel of snow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

COMING BACK

image by Pexels

You reap what you sow
And pay back what you owe –
Just a little rhyme to remember
When you harvest the crops in September.

Never burn the bridge you’re travelling on
For it alone will lead you back to where you begun –
Just a little thought to ponder on
Wanderer, before you wake up and wander on.

Givers never lack
Takers never give back
Because they forever lack –
The newest face has on old old back
The global highway was once a little dirt track.

We reap what we sow
And pay back what we owe –
Just a little rhyme to remember
Brother, when you await the new year in December.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

 

(Image courtesy Pexels/Pixabay)

MIRACLES

Stories.
Like the one about the sad horse
Who came upon a silver lake
And assuaged her thirst.
Tomorrow she will wake up
To suddenly find that
She has begun to sprout wings…
Yet she will not turn into an eagle
But will remain a horse
Even after her wings have matured
Because sometimes
Horses are permitted to own their own wings
If they will fly up to there
As hoped
And not just fly down to there
As feared…

I believe
In horses with wings…
In fairies that, unobserved, observe us…
In animals than can read the thoughts of humans…
In babies that knew their own names
Even before they were born…
In love that does not die

Stories.
Like the one about
Two children who climbed
An old tree
And, when they came down,
Had already become adults again.
Tomorrow they will
Become children for a second time
The children they were
First meant to be

Stories. Stories. Stories.

I believe in miracles
I believe I can fly
I believe in you, Baby
Love is a miracle of life

Stories.
Like the Oracle
That predicted its own demise
But did not live
To see whether its prediction came true or not…
Stories.
Like the three sisters
Who did not know they were sisters
Until after they had all fallen in love
With the same man…
Stories. Stories.
Like the creation of the world
The adventures of the roving stars
The mysteries in the bowels of the earth –
Like the tired old widow who
Came upon a wishing-well and
After gratefully satiating her thirst
Flipped a coin
And wished the wishing-well well..
Stories.
Like the refugee
Who asked for just a little water and bread
And got it not
Yet could not figure out how to hate…
Stories.
Mysteries.
Oracles.
Miracles.

Everybody
Has a history
But some histories
Are outside everybody

If you were to behold a miracle
Now
Would you recognise it as one?
Probably not.

Miracles
Follow me
From life to life
Place to place
Face to face

There is a Green Hill
Far far away in unsullied fields
Where there be no Death
Once upon a time
Love
There is a miracle called love.
Amen.

Thirty days to Christmas
And here I am
Writing poems
And thinking just of you, my dear.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 12

… continued from Part Eleven.

On his way home, Tony was very silent.

Outside the gate of his house, he felt the night-wind softly call, and he took out a sheet of paper from his back-pocket, and a pen, leaned against the wall and, whilst a bird sang somewhere near and somewhere far, like an ancient dream coming again, coming home, he wrote: On this we stand.

Did you love me, did you not?
My, what a heart…
Did it break, broke it not?
I do not know –

Is it ending, is it beginning?
Hard to tell…
‘Tis forever my love
Forever we are this –

This? What is this?
It is this:
Please be true to your heart forever.

*

Ada saw him from upstairs, leaning against the wall just at the edge of the gate, writing … in the dark. How could he see what he was writing?
And he was always writing.

She heard a sparrow singing on a branch in front of the veranda. It was a lovely eternal song.

“Did you see her?” she asked him when he entered. She did not see any piece of paper in his hands. She could still hear the birdsong somewhere near and somewhere far and somewhere deep within her soul, a dream on the long walk home.

“Who?”

“Ngozi.”

Tony searched for an evasive answer, then gave up. How did she know?

“Yes.”

“And?”

“And what?

“Forget it.”

“She’s travelling in six days’ time.”

“Where to?”

“Germany. University. Work. I don’t know. She wasn’t clear.”

“Ouch.”

“Yeah, double-ouch.”

Later she said:

“The poems you gave me yesterday. They were nice.”

“Hm.”

“Ngozi read some too, on the bus.”

“Hm.”

“There’s food in the kitchen.”

“Thanks, I’m starved.”

“She’s a nice person; even almost special, I somehow think.”

Tony was silent a while. Then he shook his head and said:

“It’s complicated.” – and walked into the kitchen, his mind on Ngozi.

… ***
… to find out how this delicate and unfinished love story between Tony and Ngozi played itself out, buy and read the full novella on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

– AKA TERAKA.

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 10

… continued from Part Nine.

Tony was wide awake now. Faintly on his consciousness registered themselves the peripheral sounds of morning. Over the fence, the neighbour’s pestle was hitting and rolling in the mortar with a quick rhythmic thumping, smooth but noisy, legacy of innumerable generations.
Tony purred like a cat and sighed again into the bright rays of the eager morning sun. Last night’s surprise rain had tinged this morning’s harmattan with the soothing touch of sweet wet bliss.

In the backyard, or from the boys’ quarters, came the voice of the radio. Full of mixed opinions, it jumped from one topic to another like a mad and wise and, above all, delirious mind.

He listened a bit, but his interest soon slipped away from there and reluctantly focused on the issue of Ngozi. It was something he did not want to think about for the simple reason that he did not know what to think about it, how to handle it. So, yet again, like he had done the previous evening when Ada told him of her encounter with Ngozi, he rolled it carefully along the periphery of his thoughts for a few thinking seconds and then pushed it away and began to reflect instead on what 1999, only six days away now, would have to offer.

With this turn of his thoughts, suddenly he heard and perceived the sounds and smells of Yuletide again.

Christmas period in Lagos. No wonder the sun was so bright.

The radio had overcome its indecisiveness and settled down to singing Boney M Christmas songs. Songs that had accompanied him, Christmas after Christmas, from childhood into the harsh forests of adulthood. Songs of which he never tired.

There is no time like Christmas.

A knock on the door and Ada barged in, smelling of a happy, busy kitchen.

“Tah lah!” she called in a sing-song voice, half-skipping in and throwing her arms wide open the way she did almost every morning, as if to say “I’m here!”

And she said: “It’s me again!”

“I perceive that it has not yet come to your notice that my door now swings, and most precariously so indeed, on only one hinge. It would be good to wonder why.”

Ada burst out laughing.

“A mystery for Hercule Poirot,” she replied between laughs.

“Even Hercule couldn’t solve this one. Only you can – with a simple confession; or, rather, admission.”

“Confessions are for convicted felons. As a rule, one should only confess when all the evidence point irrefutably against one. As for admissions, I leave that to presidents and the like.”

“You’ve changed o, you this woman! You now talk like a ring-leader.”
She laughed again.

“Ring-leader of what?”

“Of the things that have ring-leaders. There are many of them. They are always getting caught everyday. Infact, most channels make it a point of duty, as is easy to verify, to show us arrested ring-leaders at least once every week – ”

“And to showcase the unarrested ones at least once everyday,” she added dryly.

“You can’t blame them, when they have nothing else to show.”

“Television is all about advertising –” she began, with the voice of a school-teacher.

“So they’re advertising your fellow-ringleaders. You should be rejoicing. You people have taken over the world.”

Yes, you should know. Aren’t you the one always watching T.V.?”

Now he growled and jumped out of bed. He found himself laughing although she had just digged him again on a sore spot. He raised his clenched fists and began to bounce. She raised hers too and circled him.

“Ah, do you think it’s all this silly bouncing? It’s not like that, you have to be cool. Approach, let me teach you a painful lesson.”

“I knew today would start with a morale-booster. I just never thought it would be this good – bestowing you with a swollen countenance. But let me apologise in advance –”

As he was talking she rushed forward with jabs.

“Wait wait wait – ” he ran back and began to bounce again. “Hm, I’m warning you o! What! Are you laughing at me?? Ok!

Now they began to shadow-box in earnest, but made no contact, pulling all punches just before impact, until he began to breathe harder and then leaned against a table.

A worried look immediately came into her eyes.

“How do you feel now? I thought you said –”

“Yes, I’m fine,” he sighed. “I’ve recovered, but I’m still weak physically.”

“You fall ill too often.”

“That’s my destiny.”

They looked at each other without speaking, for a while. Then,

“I’m hungry. Ọkwọ Yuletide bonus is on the culinary way.”

“Hm! Mchm!… ” She made sounds not easy to spell and started to walk out of the room. “When Yuletide comes, you can ask him for your bonus! Me, I’m making my own normal breakfast. If you don’t want to eat it, no problem … But don’t let me catch you near the kitchen!”

He knew she was teasing. Something special was on the way.

“Ah-ah. Am I surprised?” he called after her through the door she’d left customarily ajar. “What else can one truly and honestly expect of a village-apparition…”

Her laughter floated back in, and he smiled too.

… continued in Part 11.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 9

… continued from Part Eight.

Bright, exceptionally bright sunlight, shinning in through the wide open window of his bedroom mediated into Tony’s still, relaxed form an increasing warmth until, nicely and freshly toasted, he awakened, with a dazed, wondering look on his face, into a new day.

The intensity of the rays, the glare, nay, the blare of this morning’s sun startled him and, in that brief moment of attempted re-orientation, his dream receded into the depths of unconsciousness. Too late he tried to exit again his day-consciousness and retrieve the last moments of his fast-fading supra-earthly reality… to recapture, to retain, reclaim, to remember it… there was something that had just now been happening… but what?? – – It was too late. The line had broken. He had lost it. Another buried dream.

He was again on the earth.

He sighed, rolled around, and sighed again. Wistfully. Everyday the same thing.

He rolled again, again he rolled, and sighed an even deeper sigh. He couldn’t remember the dream, yet he could remember it …, how it felt. It had been a particularly strong dream, this one. Near and far.

Yet, he knew, one day it would resurrect.

They always did.

Like Ngozi.

Dreams come back.

… continued in Part Ten.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle

TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH – pt. 8

… continued from Part Seven.

Those who long shall grow.

The night was young. Young again. The moon, half-full, was banking all alone in the west of heaven, and there was, though no clouds were anywhere to be seen, a distant smell of rain. Sweet night rain, to bear our dreams softly down from heaven and wash our fears away; wash the old year away too and water the seeds of a new one. But the night, for now, was young and eager, eager to look into the homes and hearts of human beings, to know again their story.

Tony sighed – a deep sigh – and turned in for the night, wondering at the destiny that had returned Ngozi into his life.

He said goodnight to Ada and retired to his bedroom.

Quietly Ada watched her brother’s back as he retreated into the bowels of the house in which they lived.

Softly the night crept into the house and touched, as it was touched by, the hearts, the hopes and the everyday history of the human race.

And deep into the night, between midnight and dawn, singing, singing, the rain fell softly down.

… continued in Part Nine.

– AKA TERAKA.

If you want to skip the excerpts and read the full story of this delicate, subtle love story, the novella is availaable on
amazon.com (e-book / paperback)
amazon.co.uk (e-book / paperback)
amazon.de (e-book / paperback)
amazon.in (ebook / paperback)
amazon.ca (ebook / paperback)
amazon.com.au (ebook / paperback)
or any other amazon online stores worldwide.
Available from December 2013.
TWICE IS NOT ENOUGH.

Twice_Is_Not_Enough_Cover_for_Kindle