ONCE WE WERE LIGHT

Once we were light
But the world weighed us down
Drowned out our cry of resistance
And put a bandage over our eyes

A desperate cry for help
Before we fell silent
And started to look silently at our children
The way once our parents looked at us

Now we know what they were thinking:
Retain your magic! Retain your lightness!
Even as they said to us worriedly:
You have to learn to fit into the system –

Knowing it was not the way
But knowing no other way
Or knowing it but not having the heart
To push us off the cliff –

Because not everybody grows wings
When falling through the gap.
The generation gap.
Now we watch our children worriedly

Wanting them to become like us
And wanting them to stay themselves too.
Once we were light
But the world weighed us down.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije

THAT SAME OLD GOAL

Parallel worlds. The Radio is whispering coming war – cultural, civil, religious, racial. It’s in people’s eyes, there’s no love for strangers anymore, and suddenly they are everywhere.

Revenge. It’s time to correct history. Power. It’s time to attain victory. And it fills you with despair because humankind never learns. They wait a few Generations, build or buy more lethal weapons, radicalise themselves and their children some more. And then they try again.

Weapons of mis-communication; weapons of mass-Propaganda; weapons of mis-education; weapons of asocialization; weapons of radicalisation; weapons of mass-destruction. Weapons of war.

And if they fail again, they’ll think it’s because their weapons, or their tactics, were not lethal enough. They’ll never question their motives or their hatred. They’ll wait another couple of Generations, and build or buy even more lethal weapons, and perfect their tactics and strategies some more. And then try again. And again.

Until Humanity destroys itself. Completely.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RIGIDIFICATION

Basically to do with respect – or the lack of it. A disrespect that has its roots in an unexamined, unquestioned presumption which a person has grown up with from childhood.

The presumption becomes the basis for all further interactions with and reflections upon the people or places to which the presumption applies. This presumption forms the bedrock of the basic attitudes the person develops towards the object of consideration. It stands like a wall in the face of a reappraisal of the people, object, situation or place; it is wielded as a weapon, held up as a shield in one’s dealings with them.

 A common tendency towards lethargy might then prevent one from examining the presumption, which may also be called a prejudice. To examine the prejudice means facing the danger of encountering and acknowledging its incorrectness or partial incorrectness, and taking the trouble to build up a new view of and relationship with the discriminated – and thus making an about-face.

 So it becomes a matter of pride. And, passed on from generation to generation, it will stand through the centuries like the Rock of Gibraltar, and no-one will know its beginning anymore.

 Pride is a drug. It offers you comfort and succour, with gentle paws and steely claws that entrap what they embrace.

 – Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

GENERATIONS

A lonely sunset bird walked home
We watched him go
Then we strolled until we came to the field
The empty field
The barren field

There the old man stopped and pointed
It used to be a forest once
We felled the trees, to make of it a garden
But someone forgot to plant the seeds
The rains, they came in vain

Washed away
And now the sun burns away –
And as we strolled away again he said
That field is another wasted generation
That fruitless field.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

THE ELIXIR AND THE MUSE

Joy is my elixir
Sorrow is my muse
When one is not there
The other I use

The mountain-top of poverty
Will give you a clear view
Into the character of humanity
And make a sage of you

The dark depths of wealth
Will expose you to propensity
To indulge in all things that tempt
And to understand vanity

You will see needy nations
Full of natural born resources
Of lazy corrupted wasted generations
Raining on each other backward curses

You will see greedy nations
With the mastery of bright inventions
Choose instead to perfect division
And to invent and sell deadly weapons

You will see great minds
Of science, religion and philosophy
Brainwashing weaker minds
Into believing everyone different is their enemy

You will feel the cold power of politics
In high and low places
And learn to respect the simplest tricks
For they win the most complex races

You will despair and turn to the dark side
And hear its mocking laughter
You will look for the light far and wide
And severity will be its answer

Illness will teach you
That your body is not all of you
There is eternal life inside of you
It is the real you

And you will learn from disgrace
How fickle are our human ways
When you’re up they’re quick to praise
And quick to damn you in your fallen days

Wonder above wonder
The flight of technology
Cannot take you any further
Than truth, hope and simplicity

Trust is still a riddle
Treachery a talking drum
Death still waits in the middle
Of the life you can’t escape from

Only love, only love will understand
And bring you strength and succour
Even as it holds in its tender hand
A little joy, a little sorrow

The power to open our eyes
To the little acts of kindness
That tower above parochial ties
And cure the heart of its blindness

To civilise joy with purpose
And pacify pain with message
For just as poetry elevates prose
Goodness preserves youth in age

Some bend the word
To achieve selfish aims
Diplomacy becomes their sword
So who are we to blame?

Joy is my elixir
Sorrow is my muse
When one is not there
The other I use.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.