THE WAY OF THE DRAGON

What was strange to others, was ordinary to us. When other kids went for children’s parties, we went for training and competition in martial arts and swimming. That was our father’s way – and it was the only way we knew; and looking back now, God bless that man. He was just unapologetically himself. He gave us a different world in which to live because it was the only world he was convinced of. A world of discipline, simplicity, hardwork, scholarship, modesty, frugality, brotherhood and fraternity. This is the root of our bond today – my siblings and I.

The most horrible thing that can happen to any person, to any family, to any society, is to think that there is something wrong in being different. For, then, there will neither be change nor progress. Just be yourself, even if it is different – nay, especially if it is different. Earth thrives on diversity. And diversity is only guaranteed when each person has the courage to be himself/herself. Thus, courage is the protector of our future as a human species. People, BE BRAVE.

Our father wanted to strengthen bravery in us, so he threw us into the martial arts, where you are alone in the ring and only your own fearlessness will see you through – and, win or lose, will cement your character and your legend. Just fight fearlessly. That was his message: Let fearlessness be your blood; that is all I ask of you. Win or lose, please my child just fight to the end.

When we turned it against him, though, it caught him unawares. Maybe he unconsciously hoped everybody was burning to be a public servant, or a socialist, and things like that, like himself. But I just wanted to be myself, to answer the call of life in another context – and he had taught me the courage to do so. But myself, at least in that period, was everything different from what he wanted for and from me. The irony and riddle of doing what is expected of you and thereby going against what is expected of you. The split was unpreventable, unavoidable and – for many decades it seemed – unhealable.

But Time, that great Mender, was Merciful. And Love pushed its stubborn head through and I will forever be grateful for the three beautiful years we had until he died.

Well, what on earth is this life all about? Who really knows? Is it politics? – Not everyone can be a politician. Is it the professions? – Not everyone can pursue one. Is it family? – Not everyone will make one. Is it ideology? – Not everyone will feel inclined to one. So what on earth is this earthlife all about?

In the end, it is simply whatever is in you that has to come out of you. And all you need to do, to make that happen, is simply to BE BRAVE. Brave enough to follow your innermost voice, no matter what!

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BEING BAD AND BEING GOOD

Simultaneously..
How does that work?
When the moon is the only light
She must not be ashamed of her nakedness

If the sun feels he is so great
Well, where is he at night
When we need him the most
To keep away?

Look not upon your faults
When you laugh, let it come
From deep within and make
Your tears jealous.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

CONSCIENCE

Brave fool
You spoke the truth
Now it’s fallen off your shoulder

Breathe easy
When you look into the distance
Your eyes aren’t distracted by your thoughts

You see the observant trees
The bird minding its business
For your conscience is clear

Heavy is the hand that holds the knife
That strikes you down
Heavy is not thine heart. It is light.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

COURAGE AWAKENING

Shades of morning
Mantles of night ascending
Ghosts, like fears of the past,
Lay down softly to sleep at last.

Fear. Will whisper.
A thousand reasons to be a coward.
Until your inner man comes calling
The ground is so close
How come you’re still falling?

Beauty, soft kiss of dawn
Quietens you for a moment of tenderness
Before you shed your final skin
Of fear and pain
And stand up, never to crawl again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

YOUR OWN NOVEMBER

Those trees
Changing leaves
Changing their minds
Turning times

Redressing time
But there’s an hour when
Fear leaves
Turned red

Fall yellow, weak, finished, all said and dead.
Then you change your mind too
After the thoughts are fallen
Your fearlessness stands naked hard in the bolding cold

Do you fear your own freedom, your own self-dependence?
Are you afraid of your own courage?
November strips the brave of their cowardice
And the cowardly of their bravery.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DIGNITY

He threw all the standard colourful
Discriminatory bigot remarks and innuendo
At me, then stepped back with a smirk
And waited to see it shame and hurt me

I knew this one had run out of arguments
And was fishing for the killer-blow
So I let it pass by without contact or impact
And leaned back and watched it confuse and hurt him

Some lines of attack grow old and stale
But some people just don’t get it
I speak back when speaking back will hurt you
And I ignore it when ignoring it will hurt you

Once upon a time, a man was humiliated
With fear and the theft of his dignity
But before he died, he whispered to me – You
Are my victory. Let my history be a lesson to you

Never go down without a fight. Never beg
For mercy when the killer points his gun
If they’re fair to you, be fair to them
But if they hurt you unprovoked – always always always

Somewhere
Someday
Somehow
Hurt them back.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.