I see a mountain
In the distance
A mysterious mind
Over matter
The birds that circle its heights
Like higher thoughts
That hover above a dreamer’s mind
Seeking to make contact
For oft the thoughts we think
And think are ours
Are borrowed
Upon a lazy afternoon, somewhere
In Creation.

A child sits somewhere unseen
Locked in an old body
Each time it smiles
Rainbows and rainbows of new thoughts
Surge out, unite, swing forth, to go seek out
Like-minded wonderers dreaming lazily
Upon a quiet moment, somewhere
In Creation
Blindly receiving the seeds of new thoughts
And thinking the thoughts they think
Are theirs alone
As if the mind of a dreamer
Were not a fertile garden too.

– che chidi chukwumerije.


The earth is not my home
Although she ever seems
To weave fine birds that her heights roam
Like I do in my dreams

The earth is not my home
Although she always tries
To spread bright hues across her dome
Like in my home’s blue skies

The earth is not my home.
However hard she plot
To dull my homesickness with foam
She in the end cannot

The earth is not my home
And yet I wander here
And know that when my end is come,
Strange, still I’ll shed a tear.

– che chidi chukwumerije.


I fear
The daily commute
To the valley of the mute
The echoless cry of my silent flute
Digs a hole in my soul
Wringe me mad
I fear

Mockery sticks his head around the door
You no waving yo flag no mo?
Blackhawk down
My dreams, stranded shipwrecks
Scuttle each hurriedly into safety
Hiding they fearfully await the scorching passage
Of the locals’ raging raid –
Some will be caught, shot, mocked
Some will sacrifice themselves
That the finer ones may escape the drape
For tomorrow’s blossoming

Quiet now
Wait for the Sign.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


I touch my intuition
Every morning
And at night I remember it
Like a friend from long ago
Far away
On the riverbanks of dawn
I forget what I saw in the soft bright sunlight
Of nightly dreams
Sometimes during the day
It will beat
Like a weak heart
I barely hear, barely feel
Quietly inside
Between conversations of How are you?
How are the revenue figures doing?
Very poorly. Stop. And look into the water
And feel your life
Trying to flow back to you, in little ripples
Of intuitively perceived memory
Of the blue island.

Don’t shake your head
And tell me you don’t understand
I know you simply don’t remember…
But I remember you; dimly
Like a friend from long long ago
Far far away
On a blue island….

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije


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.


Our dreams do not die, but when we misinterpret them, we make fools of ourselves. Big fools. But it is love again that maketh the biggest fools of us all, especially of poets and dreamers.

I dream my dreams, I write my poems, but still the nearest I come to the love in my heart are these words on paper that I write. And it is not me that you love, but my poetry. And fools continue to dream and poets continue to write love-poems and I continue to change.

But I do not believe the myth, oh no. The younger you are, I know, the deeper you love. Love does not make fools of youths, only of adults.

My chest hurts. It is cold somewhere strange and far…

How really good are the things I write? If you knew the amount of pain and loneliness, the pressure of gleaned recognition, the deep sorrow under which I write them down, my friend, you would read them gently and tenderly and with a thought for all those who labour away but are called fools and dreamers by those for whom they also write. Aye, if you knew the pain mingled with the ink which write these lines, you would weep for everybody on earth and beyond.

But do not cry for me… when I write, I shed my pain.

But she never goes away, my love, like a deer. She is only shy and a little wary of strange men, and all men are strange. I’ve been to many places, but no place ever confounded me quite like the heart of the woman I love. It was a room of mirrors and all I see was myself everywhere. But so would everybody else too who found their way into her – and yet her heart does not lie. It only reflects the truth. So I got mad and smashed her heart… and – what do you know? – instead of hating me for causing her pain, she loved me fiercely for freeing her from her loneliness and fear.

Poets seek love – and find poems…

Fools seek love – and find dreams…

Seekers seek truth – and find love…

Love and poets, fools, dreams and seekers.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


Like the fields
Do yield
A piece of you
For the season of ripening
Is upon your feet.

All your old sins, and new too
All your old fears are new too
Even your old hopes will become new
Strengths, thoughts and dreams
Have rested long enough, it seems
Have rested long enough, it seems

Like the fields
Do yield
A multitude of fruits and roots
And all were offshoots
Of just one seed

So, yield to your need
And be the seed
And the fruit
And be the answer today
To the question you asked yesterday
Become one with your longing.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


This night’s moon
Is wet and red
Pensive, heavy
Soaked in a silent mystery
And a bloody cry as of hunting wolves
Unheard of and staining
The blue-black canvas of the tree-dotted nightscape

She struggles
This fascinating moon
To lift herself above the palms
And jab
Our consciousness
With wishes from the embers
Of the invisible weavings of life

The faithfulness
Of the ever-returning moon…
Soon the tree-tops
Who now stare levelly at the moon
Will also have to raise their eyes up
If they want to see
Her face…

O lovely awesome red moon
Rising above the palm trees
Ascending again
Sink like the silence of peace
Deep into my breast.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.