STRIVING

I strive
Therefore I am
I am not
Therefore I strive

Striving is the beginning
And striving is the end
And when the end is over
And I am over with striving
I shall ascend
A smile on my lips
Because the end is the beginning
And the beginning is the end
So long as I am the made
And not the Maker

Besides “Dawn can never be reached
Save by the path of night”
*

And there again I shall strive again
For striving is living is joy.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

(*Kahlil Gibran)

IN THE MORNING

The things we know in the morning
The moment we awaken
And from somewhere else are returning
But not yet quite retaken
By the world of thoughts that ever crowd around us
During the hours while we are fully day-conscious
Those things we know as sleep departs
Are as true as true can be
The Hour of Awakening to us imparts
The starkest clarity

It may be painful, may be pleasant
It may be quite surprising
But it is always true and doesn’t
Require verifying
Because if you did awake aright into this certainty
Events themselves will prove to you their authenticity
My thoughts are clear as sleep departs
And I see without guile
Displayed before me all those hearts
With whom I frown or smile.

————–
che chidi chukwumerije
————–

INSOMNIA

THERE IS a frenzy in the air. The world is dark and bloody like an ominous sunset. The land is full of cogitation. Everybody is fired up, wired up, wound up like an electric train, toy trains on their permanently defined tracks. There is a sad desperation in their every chug and hoot, in their every wailing whistle, a longing for a freedom that will never be, must never be, because this freedom, freedom from these tracks, this prison, would mean the end of destiny, the termination of purpose and of life.

This is the continuum in which I live. A dark and dirty cocoon. But who dares to break out? Who dares risking the encountering of the recognition that, truly, all one might be is a toy e-train on toy tracks mounted on a table in the children’s playroom? Who shall risk this dare, in the hope of finding another reality, the celebration of birth of butterfly?

A longing, hard to define, was long the taproot. The root of roots and hope of hopes. The dream unremembered in the clamour of urban dawn. Generation gap after generation gap. Yawning emptiness. Your blood is much too soggy. It weighs you down and is choking you to death, dear continuum. You are more than city, more than state, more than country, more than region, subregion, continent or subcontinent, even you are more than world. You are continuum. And I hate you. Hate you for holding me, for binding me, for being an extension of me and a limitation of me. I hate you because I hate loving you. I love you but I don’t like you. I hate loving what I don’t like. I hate hating you. I wish I could stop hating you and start loving loving you. I am afraid of you. You make me sick. You make my heart beat with a deep quietness that I know to be peace.

Why? Continuum of urban disconnect, why? When the sun rises you will wake me up from my insomnia and refuel me with your frenzy. I flee into the deep.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SHIVER

The quiet quiet of that night over there
Look, that night is waiting over there
What a night! Quiet and black
The blackness swallowing up the fullmoon
It is a blind night
With a will so dark it smothers
It’s starry children
And blinds its one bright eye.

I shiver
As you approach
I shiver
As you reach out to me
I shiver
As you approach
Baby, I shiver.

I hesitate to look out through the window
Into the distance
At that night waiting for me
Me and my heart, my sojourning heart

The eerie cat is silent with fear
The snake slithers hastily away
I fear that night, but I must approach it
With my heart of flames – I am the sun
The cold sun.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije..

REGRET IS SWEETEST AT NIGHT

See there, a stream
It flows only at night
How can this be?
Who melted my frozen pride?

Who taught me how to cry
When the night is singing?
The book of my life
The pages start revealing

Every petal of blossoming pain
The seed was mine, I broke the ground
And sealed it over with a pound of pride
Not a drop of remorse

Or so I thought.
Yet see, there, a stream
It flows at night in my loneliness
Pride thaws and falls like rains of regret.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

GOODBYE, LAUGHTER

Have you ever listened to
The night talking to itself
While you lay there beside one another
And not a word occurred to you?

You see the end approaching
Like a boat coming to the shore
To take you away
Away from a laughter called love

And as your worlds drift apart
In the space of one short night
Strange, but no words occur to you
To adequately say goodbye.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

URGE

I don’t know where I’m going with this
I am a footprint in the dark night
That keeps repeating itself
Endlessly, yet it’s going somewhere

It is a mystery to me why I ask
You to trust me, although I know
Neither the way nor the goal –
I know only the stubborn Urge in me.

And I know you are a part of this Urge
When it hurts you, it hurts me
I don’t know where I’m going with it
All I know is you’re coming with me.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

TWO URGES

When the sun comes up
You will regret the night
For the world is ruled by two strangers
And they both live in you

The night awakens one stranger
Seducer, traitor, philosopher, poet
Broken hearts heal sweet wounds
Everything is allowed

Illusion. When the sun comes up
The strangers change places
You cannot undo the night

You can only regret it
Or secretly savour the memory
Of it.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

A THOUSAND ETERNITIES

I see the sun rising
The horizon is no longer far
We have met each other halfway
The horizon is now the road.

The smell of your breast
Is a miracle
The touch of your breath
Is a poem

That ceases never to enchant
The undulating sands beneath which
My desert is overpowered
By your thousand flowers…

I am born anew
When you gently wake me up
In the night
Just to look into my eyes…

Heaven.

Heaven be your name
And though memoryless we wander
Far away in this blue grass under
The heavens,

Yet you pull me up where I see you
Calling me, reminding me, admonishing me
With your eyes in the middle
Of the night.

Heaven be our home
A thousand eternities from now
Far Beyond yonder horizon
We see.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.