POEMS DON‘T CHANGE

Places change people
People change places
Places change people
People change places

Races change people
People change races
Races change people
People change races

Faces change people
People change faces
Faces change people
People change faces

The person who started this poem
Is not the person who finished it.
Poems change people –
But people don‘t change poems.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

YESTERDAY’S FACES

YESTERDAY, IT WAS as beautiful as the early morning sunlight dancing upon a rose. My heart was not my heart, but myself; and my face was not my face, but the shimmering reflection of my heart.

As I was striding once, I saw a figure hovering in the Air. But she had no wings, only the longest, most gleaming braids I ever saw, but gleaming not as bright as her eyes, eyes a-smiling straight into mine.

“Come, my friend,” called she to me in voice of purest gold, “Follow me awhile and I will show you distant places of light and harmony, yes indeed I will!”

I nodded and right there and then her words lifted me up into the magic-coloured sky where, I by her side, we flew over two crystal mountains and one silver lake and then hovered a while above a garden where children wiser than the wisest men were building beautiful castles not in the air or sand, but inside their own hearts.

And then we flew off once again and this time when we paused, a circle of beautiful winged horses with talking eyes came flying up to meet us. We mounted two and journeyed on… but where we went from there I know not anymore, for I have lost my memories of then…

Because now I wonder, like one blind, in the dark and earthly worlds of modern men. And ever, when the sun is a-dawning, or a-shinning but not burning, though it be noon, or a-setting down, I ever and again go on long, gentle strolls, as though I were trying to recapture that glorious journey which I barely remember…

And today as I wandered through dingy markets I saw a face… a woman selling decaying fish, eyes materialistic and cunning, impure seduction. Of course she was not that beautiful Maiden of my all but forgotten past.

So why then does she look so familiar? And what was it that startled her when our eyes touched? Unsettled her. But of course she cannot be that same beautiful female spirit of ancient days who I left up in glorious heights yesterday…

I hope.

– che chidi chukwumerije..

MASKS

I saw suddenly one day that there on our face is a mask. Strange, but it moved. It spoke. It smiled. It frowned. It scolded. And it watched the world obliquely.
And the last thing it will tell you is that it is a mask.
And only love can break into this mask and comprehend its bearer. And only love can break into this mask and be comprehended by its wearer.
And then to my horror I saw that every continent has its masks. Every race, every group and every face. But whoever is unmasked by love is masked by love.
And love can speak, can comprehend every tongue. And on the day we have all learned to speak the language of true love – respectful, selfless love – we shall have no more the need to mask our hearts anymore.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RUNNING WATERS

The story you told in the west
Is not identical
With the laughter you laughed in the north
Nor with the song you sang in the south
Nor with the thoughts you expressed in the east…

The language you spoke on the mountain
Is very different
From the tongue you mouthed in the valley
And from the violins you bowed through the woods
And the ballad you composed upon the blue-green meadows…

The roar you let out as you charged past us
Has a different meaning
From the groan the desert drew out of you;
And the whisper which you sighed in this grateful heart
Is not the same cry with which you flow into the sea.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.