MISSING

Where are you?
The police have looked high and low
Community watch and kind strangers near and far
Have tried your trail to follow

The orange tree we planted
Yields season after season bitter bitter fruits
That would turn sweet were you but here
To pick them off their roots

The children you lovingly bore
Daily older grow, as beautiful as you were
They ask where their mother is
Unable to comprehend how people disappear

I wish we hadn’t gone on that holiday
I wish you hadn’t taken that stroll
That night alone to watch the waves
The ensuing years have taken their toll

My thoughts spank of guilt
I should have been your guard on every walk
What happened, my love? Footsteps don’t talk
Time is a blackboard of fading chalk

Give me a sign of life
Calm my heart, let us know
You’re happy, even in the beyond somewhere
Saying goodbye, I love you in my soul

Strength is a luxury
But succour shall whisper quietly some day
All good things come together in their own day
In their own way, this I pray.

Waiting and waiting in vain
For you to return, to talk, share and to listen
Where are you, my dear? Your picture is silent
Written above it, that killing word, still: MISSING.

– 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.

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY THAT HAPPENED…?

What is it exactly that happened
In the moment
That we met ourselves again?

A very strange thing
Stranger than strange
A strange change
Came upon you and me
And now we are one.

What is love?
What is this love
That is greater than us?
What does it want with us? What?
I miss you.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MIRACLES

Stories.
Like the one about the sad horse
Who came upon a silver lake
And assuaged her thirst.
Tomorrow she will wake up
To suddenly find that
She has begun to sprout wings…
Yet she will not turn into an eagle
But will remain a horse
Even after her wings have matured
Because sometimes
Horses are permitted to own their own wings
If they will fly up to there
As hoped
And not just fly down to there
As feared…

I believe
In horses with wings…
In fairies that, unobserved, observe us…
In animals than can read the thoughts of humans…
In babies that knew their own names
Even before they were born…
In love that does not die

Stories.
Like the one about
Two children who climbed
An old tree
And, when they came down,
Had already become adults again.
Tomorrow they will
Become children for a second time
The children they were
First meant to be

Stories. Stories. Stories.

I believe in miracles
I believe I can fly
I believe in you, Baby
Love is a miracle of life

Stories.
Like the Oracle
That predicted its own demise
But did not live
To see whether its prediction came true or not…
Stories.
Like the three sisters
Who did not know they were sisters
Until after they had all fallen in love
With the same man…
Stories. Stories.
Like the creation of the world
The adventures of the roving stars
The mysteries in the bowels of the earth –
Like the tired old widow who
Came upon a wishing-well and
After gratefully satiating her thirst
Flipped a coin
And wished the wishing-well well..
Stories.
Like the refugee
Who asked for just a little water and bread
And got it not
Yet could not figure out how to hate…
Stories.
Mysteries.
Oracles.
Miracles.

Everybody
Has a history
But some histories
Are outside everybody

If you were to behold a miracle
Now
Would you recognise it as one?
Probably not.

Miracles
Follow me
From life to life
Place to place
Face to face

There is a Green Hill
Far far away in unsullied fields
Where there be no Death
Once upon a time
Love
There is a miracle called love.
Amen.

Thirty days to Christmas
And here I am
Writing poems
And thinking just of you, my dear.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

NEEDING BAYS

No, my love, my passion
Did not run astray
I was the ocean
Washed up on many a needing bay.

The furrows of your frown
The wrinkles of your smile
Handlebars holding me down
For a short – only a short, fulgurant – while.

Wide wide inviting shore
I came in only once
Sometimes I yearn for more
When I’m far away under foreign suns.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.