WHY WE SORROW, WHAT WE KNOW

Why we sorrow, what we know
No tomorrow, yet we sow
Because this night, because this night
Because this night
Will crack

Light, light, I see tomorrow
Through a crack so slight and mellow
There’s a tiny track

The pain, though great
Will end.
The rain, though late
The rain, though late
The rain, though late
Shall bend
Our way again, this I know
Though we sorrow, yet we know
We’ll smile again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

LONELY FOOTFALLS

How deep must be the night
Inexhaustibly deep
To awaken such endless restlessness
In countless sleepless souls

And there you see Love
Wandering in lonesome search
Like a homeless stranger on earth
Restless, tireless, nervous

Moving from heart to heart
Knock knock knocking on human’s door
‘Tis not the love of partner pleasure
It is higher, it is Compassion

And through the restless night
Quietly in spirit we search
As though we were desperately listening
For love’s footsteps in our hearts.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MOON IS IT

I cherish the sight
I cherish the night
Moon-crowned… moon-found
The Poetry is so profound
That strikes the Deep
Out of its Sleep
When the fortnight is twice over turned
And the Full-Moon has returned.

I hear the lone wolf again
From the stillness of the deep and the pain
Howling from out of my Heart…
Howling from out of my Heart…

The moon…
The moon…

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ODE TO QUIETNESS

Good morning, Quietness,
I remember how with surprise
I felt your absence last night.
And did I thirst for you? First I thrashed about wildly,
Clutching at every suggestion of you,

Then, exhausted, like a leopard I crouched, still,
And lay in wait for you – awake, listening,
Until the morning came… My life rolled before my inner eyes,
Awakening you from the depths of my heart –
Good morning, Quietness, as I fall asleep at last.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MIDNIGHT CANDLE

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Spirit flame in the world of it-doesn’t-matter
Radiant star never-the-less in the darkness
Night is a blessing for lost dreamers
It is the world-wanderer’s permanent address

Night makes the seeing blind
And the insight sharp as blade
The fire within will warm the cold
Feet of dew

Young mind, never mind
The world well and shiny made
It is for the old
You were born to bring the new.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

IRONY

Life can be a study in irony
The more people I know
The fewer friends I have
And when the night loves me
It fills me cruelly with loneliness
For it wakes me up in the dark quiet hours
But makes no effort to satisfy me
And the more I get the things I desire
The more I realise that what I really desire
Is something that already I have.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SIRING

Beautiful is the song of siring
In haunts of wanting
In gaunt bellies of starving need
My roots will ravish your burning greed

And then turn again, midnight
And accept the other side of the sun
Thrust out the other cheek
And if it hurts, let the pain make you weak

The weak will inherit the night
And the strong will be on their knees
Begging for more of yesterday
No to power, yes to play.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WHAT IS NIGHT?

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What is night?
Who gave it eyes
To see my soul?

Who gave it ears
To hear my inner voice?
Who gave it the sense
To smell my fears?

What is night
After midnight?
Who gave it arms
To hold me?

Who gave it words
To answer
The questions in my soul.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

Illustration “What Is Night?” by Swana van Schaardenburg.