LET IT BE LOVE

When a flower is touched by the rays of the morning sun, it opens up, touched by love; and one says that the opening was done in love because it was opened in the daytime, by the light.

But when a flower opens up in the night, it too might have been opened up by the light, the soft moonlight or the warm embrace of a gentle night wherein lives quietly love too. For some flowers love the day and some flowers bloom at night.

But a brutal Hand, a treacherous laugh, a cruel hungry storm, will not wait for day or night; it will prise open its stolen prize, and pride will pay a heavy Price, for it will be broken. So, let it be love, dear. Because nature wants to take her course, not give her curse.

At the right time
In the right way
In all simplicity and naturalness
Gentleness and in trust

My dear Child, let it be Love.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REFLECTIONS ON TRANSITION

The earth is the mother
And the physical body the womb
In which the soul incubates and grows
Before birth into the beyond.

Each time we on earth are born
We have but been sunk
As a seed into a surrogate mother’s womb
To grow there a little strong.

Death is but the midwife
Dying the throes of labour and pain
Someone misses you each time you are born
Something receives you back at death again.

And all the things you did on earth
Shall be as a dream in the womb
So heed your spirit even while in the flesh
For it alone remembers its home.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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.

WHEN THE MOON IS GONE…

Like a soulful cry
On its own
Gradually spreading itself out
Through the vastness
Of the heavenly skies
So is the loneliness in my heart
When the moon is gone…

The hour of the full moon is gone
The setting suns
Leave moonless skies behind
Deep into the night
Once again…

Yet we bear it
Because
After the moon is gone
A different charm rules the night…
Until the moon
Another Moon
Another one
Comes again –

But I will never love this way again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BLACK SHEEP

Upon the fields and meadows
Saw I two black sheep
Alone, together
Feeding, side by side

And then evening was near
The shepherd
Slowly shaved the wool
Off one of them
And led it away

And now when I look into the fields
And meadows
Of my youth
All I see is one black sheep
Grazing alone…

Brother
I still miss you –
Except that the fields and meadows
Have become bare
And the second black sheep is gone too…

And the wind is cool
Upon the mountain-top…

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

CLOSURE

They say a time will come
When upon this earth
Evolution will girdle its gains
Back again around its girth

Many a wondrous tree
That we cherish and deeply love
Will, year by year, with time
Evolving slow dissolve

Many a beloved animal
Continents, rivers, plateaux
Even man, the so-called crown
Yes, our body too will go

And one day, even she
Heaven’s gate and heaven’s door
The lovely lovely rose
On earth will be no more.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE SILENT THINGS IN OUR HEARTS

THEY HAD always had an eye for each other, ever since their primary school days. Naturally, neither had ever given even a hint of this to the other, but each had carried his and her own slumbering love silently, unspoken, unsubstantiated, deep within each heart.

The primary school days ended and they separated, each going to a different secondary school. Six years of separation and in that time neither had any idea where the other was. And yet their love continued to grow, to wax soft and strong, tender and untouched and sacred, in those recesses of the heart of which even the mind itself is barely conscious.

Every once in a while she would float into his thoughts and he would remember and vaguely yearn and long… then forget again and continue, like other youths, with the demanding task of growing up – until the next bout of longing.

Nor did she ever completely forget him either. And being genuinely of the deep female gender, her ability to call forth his memory in her heart was even stronger. Often she wandered where he was; was he still alive? Was he fine? Was he in love? Would they ever meet again? Would he recognize her? Did he ever think of her? There was no reason why he should; he had hardly ever looked at her in their childhood days. Foolish me, she would think, dreaming hopelessly…

Thus did the years pass by.

He grew up into a young man at the tail end of his youth, matured by love affairs, ideological battles and heartbreaks come and gone.

She grew up similarwise, and if he had loved deeply, she had loved twice as deeply… and if he had believed blindly, she had believed even more fiercely… and if his heart had been broken, hers had been dispersed, ground, into the winds.

Thus did they suddenly meet again in the university.

Who recognized whom? Who was more – or less – eager to let show the fact that silent, unconfessed love had long smouldered in fiercely hidden embers deep within the heart?

Often he would visit her in her room in the evenings and they would crack many jokes, and slowly came they to also like one another. But if he was seeking company with which to cure his loneliness and erase the memories and after-effects of earlier heartbreaks, then she for similar reasons was reluctant to unite again too quickly with a member of the male gender. It was a subtle cat and mouse affair, nothing ever actually spoken, yet both being fully aware of exactly what was going on – and while these things were happening silently in their hearts, outwardly they continued to crack their friendly jokes.

But tensions build and pressures mount and something somewhere must always finally give. And, for hesitation, the tide untaken at the flood, it sort of wilted and softly broke, the potential lost its momentum, the attraction lost its orientation, and it died between the two of them. Gradually they began to see less and less of one another…

One year then passed, during which their paths did not once cross.

She had meanwhile exchanged her room for a new one which she shared with another female student with whom she had quickly become good friends. But never had she voiced it to anyone, not even to her good friend and roommate, that there was someone whom she silently, painfully, loved. –

And no-one could have prepared her for the shock she got when she one evening opened the door of her room upon a visitor’s knock and saw him standing there. They stared at one another with bewildered looks of surprise on their faces.

And then, from behind her, from deeper inside the room they shared, the happy voice of her room mate called out loudly, brightly:

“Oh, Zubi – hi! Finally… you’ve come.” And, bounding forward with barely suppressed excitement, her roommate turned to her of whom this story is about and, taking Zubi’s hand, said:

“Efe, meet the guy I’ve been telling you about… and, Zubi, meet Efe, my room mate.” –

With pain almost impossible to bear, Efe watched her roommate Awa hug, and be hugged, tightly, by him, Zubi, the silent owner of her heart.

Over the next couple of weeks it became clear to her that Zubi and Awa were in a serious relationship and loved each other deeply.

Nor was there anything for her room mate Awa to know or ever suspect in connection with the two childhood friends, Zubi and Efe, for there was nothing that existed or ever had existed between them, was there?

They were just , as always, two casual acquaintants who happened to have known each other in their childhood days and who, today, whenever they met in Awa and Efe’s room would, as usual, aye, as they had always done, simply crack light friendly jokes with one another.

And if they felt anything else, anything deeper, for one another perhaps, then it spoke not, nor loudly, but remained, silent, as it continued to reside in the deep quiet places within their hearts.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

image by PublicDomainImages

Our hearts are broken in our youths,
The pain is deep and deeply buried
Beneath our adult ways and fashioned truths;
First love and first death never are forgotten…
First hopes and first dreams, of our young hearts begotten,
Within our innermost souls are ever carried.

Our hearts are shaken in our youths,
Our melodies tempered, our vision stirred…
Amidst all in the world that hurts or soothes
We sometimes slip back again into old times
And see young smiles and remember dead rhymes –
Our backward glance is never completely impaired.

Our hearts are made and formed yesterday,
And today we continue to actualise
The longing that awakened with the early morning ray…
And though yesterday is all done and gone away,
Yet we have it with us always in our hearts everyday
As we boldly heavenwards continue to strive and rise.

Yes, our hearts are awakened in our youths,
And who or what can stop a heart?
It wants to grow; like a stem it shoots
Towards light and life, towards stimulation –
And we shall make it, through trial, tribulation
And whateverelse it be that ever be on our chart!

Forever, forever, the candle is flaming…
And laughing and rising and working, remaining the same.

Our hearts are strengthened in our youths,
If we truly choose to live!
Yesterday, today and forever are booths –
We exit one and enter the next;
And hope and promise shall always be our text,
Yes, Father Above, and our gratitude to THEE we give!

Our hearts are born wild, live wild; until the taming
Gives us depth, dimension and the truth behind our naming.

Yesterday, today and forever…
Alive today, dead never –
We flower forever.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

 

Image by PublicDomainImages

THE INVISIBLE PEDDLER OF HEARTS

image

“WHO STOLE your heart, dear?” a woman said to another
“I don’t know,” replied the disheartened woman, “I just don’t know…
One minute I had it, the next it was gone;
And who the thief was, I simply do not know – “

Finally I had compassion on her
And, making myself visible, confessed to her:
“I stole your heart, dear – “
“You? But who are you?”
“I am the invisible peddler of human hearts.”
“I want my heart back!”
“That’s not possible, dear,
I’ve already sold it to another woman
At a very high price
And made a huge profit for myself,
Especially when one considers the fact that
It wasn’t at all hard to steal it from you.”
“What! What! What!… you you…
And you exchanged my heart for just money?!”
“No, it wasn’t just for money at all, really…
The other woman was suffering terribly.
You see, her heart had been broken
And it refused to heal…
She needed another, and quick,
So she appealed to me in her heart,
Me, the invisible peddler of human hearts.”

The disheartened woman listened in shock and amazement,
Then asked:
“And how much did this other woman pay for my heart?”
“She paid with all her carefreeness
And so, now, though she has a heart
And though her pain is gone
Yet she has no real joy as well anymore –“
“Terrible! You monster! And then me! What about me!?
I need a heart too!
You can’t just steal and sell hearts that way!”
“You should have guarded your heart better, my dear.”
“I want to have a heart again,
For there is in me a creeping coldness now
Which I fear will eat away all my remaining warmth.”
“I can get you a new heart,
But it will cost you a lot – “
“I don’t want a new heart, I want
My old one back.”
“That will cost you much more,
Indeed almost everything you have,
Because the woman who has it now
Has placed it tightly under lock and key –
She has barred it up very securely indeed
Because she does not want it broken, or even
Scratched, in any way damaged, like her first one was.
Hearts are precious, and yours is especially beautiful, you know.”

The disheartened woman said:
“I don’t care what it costs me,
Just get me back my heart – “
“Okay, “ I replied, for she was in earnest.

At nightfall I returned to her with her heart – unscathed –
She reached for it –
“Oh no,” I said… “first you must
Marry me – “
“Marry you?! You thief?! Never!”
“Don’t be so heartless, dear maiden, please.”
“Don’t crack jokes about the aching gap in me – just give me
Back my heart, for I am not heartless…”
“Marry me.”
“I cannot.”
“Why not?”
“Because I do not love you.”
“How can you speak of love when you have no heart?”
“My heart is in your heart, please do not drop it.
I ache. There is pain in me, coldness and loneliness –
I need my heart back.”
“How can you speak of loneliness when you have no heart
with which to feel it?”
“My heart is always my heart,
Whether it be in your hands or
In another woman’s possession –
It is my heart
And when it hurts I hurt –
Please give me back my heart;
Our separation makes us lonely.”
“Dear woman,
Heartless though you are,
Yet are you precious too and clear –
Perhaps not all heartless people are evil,
Just disheartened…
But won’t you now share your heart
With the other woman – ?
Hers is sorely broken, it bleeds day and night
And her agony knows no end –
Won’t you help her? Give her a little of your heart?”
“Who or what could have so badly damaged a heart, I wonder…?”
“It was a lover that did it long ago,
One who loved her too much at the start
And too little at the end –
This confused and frightened her…
And she lost her balance, sought it desperately and briefly,
Found it not, and tripped over…
Her heart slipped out and fell –
Her heart is broken.”
“Then let us share mine, she and I,
At least until hers heals again – “
“Then I shall take you to her
and you shall, out of the fullness of your heart,
Comfort and strengthen her and teach her how to
Dance again.”
“So, you shall give me back my heart then… – ?”
“Aye, verily,
Even as I took it from you, whilst you were not looking,
So have I already given it back to you, even now, whilst we were talking
And you were again not looking……
Guard it, guard it better, dear, please, it’s a good heart;
And now come with me:
Let us go to the woman with the broken heart
So that you may fulfill your own part
Of the bargain –
If you will not marry me
Then you must heal a broken heart
Like you want to,
And you will thereby learn many lessons too,
And reap, too, a heartful of joy.”
“… my heart feels so different in me now… why?”
“Very simple, my dear. It has tasted love, loss and pain,
Has learned what it is, to give
And to need
And to be needed.”

And together we set off for the Broken Heart
And, just as she had promised to do,
She taught and comforted her and helped her
To dance again even with her heart…

And, job completed here, I made myself invisible again
And travelled on once more, another one in my heart,
Another heart in my destiny,
And I just as ignorant as before.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.