DISTANCE

I have a longing for intimacy
Not satisfied by sex
A craving for voyeurism
Not quenched by porn
A yearning for universal entanglement
Not gratified by orgies
And a need for intense borderlessness
Not staked by perversity
What is it?

I have an itch for mystification
Not calmed by lying
A desire for friction
Not stilled by confrontation
A propensity for destruction
Not quelled by murder
And a burning for escape
Not silenced by suicide
What is it?

It’s like I am separated from myself
And watch myself through a window
And everything that I do
Is actually being done by my shadow
While I wait for something real
Really really real.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

PAIN LIKE A STREAM

Like a stream runs this ancient heart of mine. I write truest and best when I am in pain and all alone; this is when I write down tomorrow’s pieces. Not when I am happy and relaxed; lazy, immature me.

When I have comfort, I forget, I become complacent. When there is peace, I laugh, which is good, but I also fall asleep, which is dangerous and wrong.

Maybe two thousand years from now I will be mature enough to be happy and be inwardly mobile simultaneously –

Pending this day, however, pain will be the helper of the Poet and of the wanderer. Pain and love and longing. To Keep me awake, to drive me onwards…

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

VOICES NEAR

Has Music jarred you through and through before? I don’t mean the base, coarse Music of now. I’m talking about the High Trumpets of the Immortal Realms. Have you heard them before?

Have you heard your heart beat before? I mean not the muscle. I’m talking about the leap of the flame in you when Heaven gave you a Name. What’s your Name?

Show me your friends, man, and I’ll tell you who you are – your real friends. Show me your Palms and I’ll teach you your destiny.

Have you ever before been blinded by dazzling Sunlight? Not the sun in the sky, but the Sun Above All Skies. – Show me your face, sister, and I’ll read a Million things thereupon.

Yesterday gave birth to today. Today yields tomorrow, the known unknown.

When I am alone, alone, sometimes, I remember my brother faraway… Not he who died recently, but he who has never once died. The Immortal Spirit whom I knew – before we were born as brothers on earth – in a blue Kingdom far so far away. A Kingdom whose Name, if I ever knew it, I have long forgotten.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DADDY DEAR

Ashes to ashes…

Dust to dust…

Spirit to spirit…

Have mercy, o Holy Ghost!

CDKC

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

Another anniversary of the day I beheld for the last time the noble countenance of my father. Then we closed the coffin and confered his cloak into the warm arms of Mother Earth. And set the spirt free for the Flight back Home. Always in my fondest Memories, Daddy dear… 22.5….

(Pic: my first day in Boarding School, Sep 1995 – King’s College. Lagos)

LOST PLANES

Like the lost letter
I sent to you – the postman never said
It never arrived
And I’m still waiting
For your unsuspecting reply
And yet it is you who are waiting
For me on the other side.

How can coplanar souls lose sight of each other?
Their calls echo leeward and die unheard.
How can planes fly into the wind and disappear
And leave gaping wounds behind
Lost at sea?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SOFTLY, KILL

Not like that.
Crown the valley.
The hilltop is smoking.
Smoking gun.

Chewing gum.
Nonchalantly tracing and caressing your
Archipelago of feelings
Like a toy ship

Boning the corset
Gargle your gift of gab
Smiling to the ravine
Love is an aspic

Softly, steer
Softly, stir
Softly, pick
Softly, kill.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ACHE

There is in me a longing
For a place
A longing which no place on earth
Can satisfy
Because I long for Home –

There is in me a yearning
For a love
A yearning which no human love
Can satisfy
Because I yearn for the Light –

But, on the other side of
The mountain peak
There is a woman to whom my
Heart belongs…
But there she is, beyond my reach
Just a tear away –

But I do not know how to cry.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BIRD OF PASSAGE

5 minutes of midnight
5000 midnights of missing your moon
may your return be soon

you crawled like a gecko
all over my surface
and you kept on nodding and running

a crowd of summerlovers is heading south
the winter has beached north
airport is breath-short, what’s a goodbye worth?

wherever you go, think of me
like a plane that ever returns
like a bird, like a thought, like seasons and the night.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THOSE WHOM WE LEAVE BEHIND

When we love, we move…
When we move, we leave someone behind –
Whatever happens to those whom we leave behind?
I have often wondered
But I truly do not know
If I will recognise them
When I meet them again in a new time.

When we love, we move…
When we move, we leave someone behind –
Whatever happens to those whom we leave behind?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.