I WANT TO THANK YOU

I want to thank you
For letting me grow when I needed growth
And letting me go
When I needed space
And letting me be
When I needed the chance
To find my way back to you…

I want to thank you
For being my heart quietly beating inside
For being my mind
Mercifully sparing me the torture of unsolicited thoughts
For being my laughter
And my hope and my comfort
And my certainty that the sun will rise
And for being my home
When I lost my way.

I want to thank you
For believing in me when I lost faith in myself
For waiting for me
When I was searching for myself
In the fields of everything I am not
But think I ought to be
For planting your sadness like a quiet seed
In my heart
And reaping it with your joy
When it bore rich fruit
Because I understand.

And for many more things I want to thank you
Which I have no words to say…
Yet you understand.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

AT HOME

When you already have
What you’re looking for
What are you still looking for?

What are you still living for?

Some live to find – when they find
Their life finds meaning

Some live to seek – when they find
Their life loses meaning

They must seek a new meaning
To their lives

To appreciate what you already have
To cherish it, to nourish it, to
Protect it, maintain it, value it and
Valorise it
Make something more out of something less.

Sometimes there is nothing better
Out there.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BEING HUMAN IN A SERIOUS AND HAPPY WAY

Walk with me
Down quiet paths in the woods
Hold my hand
Tell me about yourself…
I’ll listen and give answers where I can
I’ll listen with my heart, the heart of an honest man…

I don’t want to take advantage of you
Everything that was good in you
When you were a child
I want it to come to the fore again
When you walk by my side…

And if somewhere along the way
We lie down in some secret grove
Then it’s just me and you, baby
Being human in a serious and happy way…

I want the child we have together
To be a reflection of the child in you and me
I want our old age, our life’s evening
To be again like childhood, in the beginning…
Look into my eyes as I look into yours
Let’s hide nothing from each other, let’s have nothing to hide…
Let our quiet walk in the woods
Last longer than our life on earth…

And if somewhere along the way
We are laid down in some secret grove
Then it’s just me and you, baby
Going up our path again together
Being human in a serious and happy way.

– 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.

INTIMACY

How many people live in
Your household?
Just you and your partner and
Perhaps your children too?
Love children of all types.

Or do your friends too
Live with you there?
And have your parents and families too
Openly or secretly moved in and
Joined in your decision making?
And are strangers the ears of
Your intimacy?
And is the world with you in
Your privacy?

And yet you continue to wonder
What went wrong on the
Threshold to Paradise
And where did the intimate home go?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MARRIAGE

A woman loved a man
And a man loved a woman
They vowed the sacred vow:
Marriage.

Then the woman balked and
Suddenly decided to ask her brother
First… –
She asked him
And he promised to give her the answer
The next day
For he was baffled by the question.

Then he went to a wise man
And questioned him thus:
“Please, Sir, if your sister asks you whether
She ought to marry a man whom
She says she loves,
What would you tell her?”

The sage studied the man’s features thoughtfully
For a while, then with an introspective look
Said:
“I would tell her not to marry him.”

“What reason would you give her for this, Sir?”

“Truly, I would give her anything
But the true reason,
For that would render it meaningless.”

“And what, Sir, is the true reason?”

“Marriage is a sacred, mysterious bond which,
Once taken,
Is embedded forever in the eternal Silence!
It therefore concerns only three:
The man, the woman and the Creator!
Once one of these two humans
Requires the opinion of a third human
To take this step
Then he or she is not yet ready
For Marriage!”

And so, the next day
When the man’s sister came for an answer
He told her mysteriously
Wisely nodding his head:
“My sister, in your best interest
I advice you not to marry
Your fiancé.
But ask me not why. Just believe me.”

She became destabilized and confused, very…
For she loved her fiancé
Excruciatingly.

But she had her own restless, defiant sage
In her own heart too;
And she decided that her brother was wrong
She went ahead and married her loved one
Resolutely, calmly
Proudly.
Wondering how she could ever have doubted
Or asked a third person,
A stranger to their love.

Invited to her wedding soon after
Her surprised brother,
On arriving
And meeting her fiancé for the first time,
Suddenly became deeply confused…
And now he addressed his sister’s laughing husband again:
“You?… You!
Incredible!
But I thought you told me
To tell my sister not to marry you?”

But the sage laughed
And said
In a voice full of respect:
“It turns out that my wife
In the end
Believed her heart
More than she believed the words
Of the forbidden third human…
Because she loves me.”

And, so saying,
The young sage went home joyfully
With his wise new wife.

-Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

I SAW LONELINESS

I saw loneliness tonight – she
Was sitting in the corner, in her fifties
Smoking a cigarette and watching
Laughter dancing on the young dancefloor.
For a while, her husband sat next to her
And she smiled and joked with him and
His friends. When they left to get a drink
She sat quietly in her thoughts and
As her eyes roved quietly over the
Dancefloor, our eyes met. And then I saw
Loneliness.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.