NATURE OR PROPENSITY

For people who, by nature, are partner-faithful and relationship-loyal (I’m talking Sex here), there exists in their inside a great big Why when they observe how a person who they know really loves his/her partner with all his/her heart can have a sexual interchange with a third party – one time, or for a shorter or longer period, or intermittently – and yet remain totally committed to and in love with their chosen “permanent” partner. Is it a predisposition or a weakness?

It’s like a puzzle, a mystery that defies solution.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

A CERTAIN NEWNESS

New thoughts arising in colours becoming
New paths all over, all over my path
New answers falling in patterns benumbing
New friends with old faces
New ties with old places
New visions bring a new sense of belonging
Newness and calmness out from a new bath

Of old traits are few traces
Of new veins are full vases.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BONDING

You know those walks we took
Down untarred streets and red
And brown was sand and book by book
We discussed all we’d read

You know those suns that set
As quietly we’d gaze
With hearts that knew to not forget
The orange tempered rays

You know those thoughts we thought
And knew not their origin
Yet marvelled side by side at what
Hearts bonded could be given

Nations will rise and fall
Sages will come and go
But Friendship will outlast them all
Through you, this I now know.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE

TWO MEN in search of fortune.

Said the first:
“I will stay and farm my father’s land!”

Said the second:
“I will go and find the Wheel of Fortune, and I will turn it in my direction, and I shall possess it and I shall wield it, and I shall be a controller of happenings, a decider of destinies.”

Said the first:
“You will come back and beg me for a little plot of land on which to farm.”

Said the second:
“You will seek me and plead with me to turn your fortunes around with the Wheel of Fortune.”

Said the first:
“You cannot find the Wheel of Fortune. It is not a physical thing that can be grasped with the hand or seen with the eye. It is a power which started as a concept. It is everywhere.”

Said the second:
“It is a power which started as a concept and ended up as a wheel, a physical wheel that can be grasped with the hand and seen with the eye. I will find it and I will place a firm hold on it. It shall be mine. The Wheel of Fortune. Fortune!”

Said the Spirit of Fortune:
“The sooner you start, the better.”

The years have gone by and still he seeks. Through fortune and misfortune, through pleasure and pain, he seeks the wheel of fortune, that he may become a controller of happenings, a decider of destinies.

Said the first:
“The years have passed. Fortune, which smiled at me in the first few years, frowns now upon me. The harvest is meager. The earth sits hard upon me. Where is my friend who went to seek the Wheel of Fortune? I must find him. He will surely turn the wheel in my favour, and the winds shall turn in kind.”

Said the second:
“The years have passed. My wandering feet thirst for rest, my restless heart for peace. I have searched everywhere, in vain. I must return to my friend. Surely he will find for me a little plot of land where I can seek my fortune and fulfil my destiny.”

Said the Spirit of Fortune to the first:
“The sooner you go, the better.”

Said the Spirit of Fortune to the second:
“The sooner you return, the better.”

They met again upon the Highway at the halfway point between the going and the returning.

Said the first:
“My friend, have you found the Wheel of Fortune now? For you must turn it my way. The soil is unyielding, the farm is fruitless.”

Said the second:
“No, I have not found the wheel of fortune and was just on my way to you, that you may find me a little of your land where I may seek my fortune, for the road grows weary beneath my feet.”

Said the first:
“But you assured me that the Wheel of Fortune is a findable physical thing.”

Said the second:
“And you assured me that the land would one day support both of us!”

Said the first:
“The land is a deceiver, now I know. It is the whore of fortune and his worthless plaything! I shall go now and find the Wheel of Fortune. Then shall I own the land.”

Said the second:
“Oh, my friend, but you err. Fortune has no wheel. Myths have given birth to this belief. The land is the key to fortune. The land is the wheel of fortune. Possess the land and you have grasped fortune’s wheel.”

Said the first:
“I have turned the land several times, sometimes with my pitchfork, other times with a multitude of other implements such as my shovel, my hoe and my fingers, but not once did my fortune lastingly turn, although I turned the earth repeatedly. Sometimes the winds turned, briefly, but fortune never really. Thus I act with full clarity today. You can have the land if you wish. I shall find the Wheel of Fortune and I shall posess it and I shall wield it and I shall be a controller of happenings, a decider of destinies.”

Said the second:
“When you return to me, begging me to return your father’s land to you, I shall not do so. For it is now mine! Bear this in mind.”

Said the first:
“When you come to me, pleading with me to turn the Wheel of Fortune in your favour, I shall not do so! I shall abandon you to your fate. Bear this in mind.”

Said the second:
“Oh, you fool, why will you not come that we may together plough the land?! Two pairs of hands will soften its heart. There is no physical Wheel of Fortune! It is a power that began as a concept.”

Said the first:
“Fortune is a person. He bears a face and owns a wheel. I shall find him and I shall take the wheel from him. Then shall I turn the wheel against him. My wheel.”

Said the Spirit of Fortune to both:
“The earlier you proceed, the better.”

The years passed by like the wind, and old age crept upon them. The land softened and yielded rich harvests, but Fortune and his wheel refused to be found.

Said the first:
“I am old and grey. My days are numbered, my memories rich and poor. I shall return to my father’s land and there shall I lay down, for I do not want to die upon the road.”

Said the second:
I am old and grey. My days are numbered, my memories many and few. I shall set off again after the Wheel of Fortune, that I may turn it and prolong my life and reactivate the youth in me. If I die now, all is lost and I shall be buried upon another man’s land. But if Fortune, who has smiled at me through the land, permits me now to find his wheel, then I shall change the course of my future.”

Said the Spirit Fortune to the first:
“Hurry, hurry, time is.”

Said the Spirit of Fortune to the second:
“Hurry, hurry, time is.”

Their paths crossed again, this time at the junction that leads everybody on.

Said the first:
“Why are you here? Have you not mastered the land which for you is the wheel of fortune?”

Said the second:
“I am tired of you. Please, move out of my way. Your father’s land is there. You can have it if you wish. Die on it; you are old enough for that now. I will have nothing to do with it anymore. It has brought me nothing but comfort, and prevented me from seeking the Wheel of Fortune, which was the ardent spiritual goal of my youth! Look at me: now I am an old man.”

Said the first:
“Then you shall die upon the road. I hope somebody finds you and buries you. I shall conclude my earthly wanderings there where I belong.”

Said the second:
“Rest in peace. Adieu.”

And then they parted ways, never to meet again upon the earth.

Said Fortune:
“Another twist, another turn,
And life goes on…
If they ask, or seek, or yearn
All I can do is turn and point them on…
The path they must go themselves –
The change they must work themselves
The moment they must grasp themselves –
The seeds of fortune they must sow themselves –
I am just a referee…

“Though men pass me by a thousand times
Never do they recognise me;
Nor is it necessary, as long as they heed
The Inner Voice in them that speaks to me.

“For I must obey, I must obey…
And place what they ask for upon their way.”

—–

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BECAUSE OF SOMETHING MISUNDERSTOOD

Because of something misunderstood, although constantly seen, we fought; we fought against one another. Neither of us was killed in the intense battle, but our friendship died, brutally murdered by mistrust and injured vanity and faults unconquered in you and me.

There was a word we left unspoken. Would that one had spoken it all this time, would that we had broken down the barriers, the artificial barriers, yesterday.

One day too late, yet all we see are smiles. Is it a joke, or a word of comfort, or a tale, an apology, a ruse, poetry or a bridge? Like it was when we started, like it was, is. Secrets sleeping sleep on still in the sands beneath the sea, lapping up the shores of solemn promises that may never be broken, until the sands are wetted and the rigid stances have melted, lest we break.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WE ARE FRIENDS

Not because of what you did
Or did not do…

Not because of what you said
Or failed to say…

Not because of what you know
Or never came to know…

But because in your eyes I espy
A certain thing
Which I cannot immediately define
But by which I have hope
That you will be the important one in my life…

Patience.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

PICK WITH CARE THE ENEMIES YOU BEAR

Pick with care
The enemies you bear
When the unexpected is near
They shall be there
To crown you.

When true friends
Step off the boat
Curious, how the river
Turns your coat
Around you.

Clear your throat
Vomit when no-one is looking
Regurgitated oaths
Pressure-cooking
Sunbrowns you.

If diplomacy
Be their tactless god
How shall he decipher
Your non-committal nod,
Proud you?

But brave soldier
It is the art of war
To live on in pages
Of folklore
Unbound to you.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DEEPER THAN RINGS

They share things with one another
Which some say husband and wife
Ought not share with each other
Yet they do –

When I asked them why, they paused
And the tables turned and they
Said we are not husband and wife
We are married only for the sake of society

In truth we are friends and enemies in one
Lovers, fighters and sojourners – born
Of the same madness, of the same truth
Of the same sadness and joy and mystery –

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

AT THE HOSPITAL

In the hospital waiting room
It was not the sick who were ailing
But the healthy who accompanied them

I saw more worry in the eye
Of many a mother
Many thoughts on the brow of
Each accompanying husband

I saw that love shares burdens
And carries them doubly
And friendship will go the extra mile
And family is a wordless wonder
And the heart is the deepest mystery on earth.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.