BRINK

The world is changing under your watch
There is hatred abroad, fear is at home
Never was it easier to manipulate the future
Crowds of boomerangs are rushing out of the past
Back to the present

When events take this turn, sharply
When all the resentments flower
When cultivated prejudices become seasoned culture
All that’s needed is a reason, a trigger, a spark
There is no hiding place

Everyone has got a grudge to prove
The dark hearts will plunge the world into chaos
And watch the good people tear themselves to pieces
– Who will rise above their shadow
And solve a paradox?

Everybody has been aching for the final conflict
Woe betide us
When it finally comes upon us.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

IF THERE BE

If there be a she
Where is she?
If there was a she
Where was she?

If there be a he
Which is he?
If there was a he
When was he?

If there be a we
What are we?
If there was a we
Wherefore were we?

If there be an I
Why am I?

If there is goodness in the human race
If there is love in the human heart
If there is hope in the human being
Why are we still not there
Where we once were
When we had goodness and love and hope
In our hearts
On our tongues
And as the work of our hands…?

If I have a friend
Please help me.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

PARADISE IS HIDDEN BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW

Do not go too fast, do not go too slow, nor stop, nor stop to look back, nor look back, nor go back – walk on at a steady pace. Paradise is hidden between yesterday and tomorrow.

Do not love too far, do not love too near, love as you walk, walk as you love, forward calmly, forward calmly, nor be afraid of heartbreak. Paradise is hidden between yesterday and tomorrow.

Do not dream too much, do not dream too little, do not trust too quickly, do not trust too late, do not work too hard, do not work too soft, do not cry during the day, do not laugh in anybody’s face, do not expect that those whom you love also love you, do not expect that those whom you understand also understand you, do not assume that those whom you see not also do not see you, do not assume that those whom you love not also do not love you.

It is in your heart today, it is in your hands today. Forget the past, son, forgive everyone who ever hurt you, nor dream alone of goodness only in the future – Paradise is hidden between yesterday and tomorrow.

The person who loves you the most is the last person you would think of. Love me, dear, please love me dear. Paradise is hidden between yesterday and tomorrow. And if we let it slip away today, we will not and never find it again tomorrow, but will walk on lonely again, like yesterday.

If you love me like I know you do, please hold my hand forever.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MIGRATORY MAN

Unusual is the hand
That can count backwards
The name of the original land
That birthed its ancestors forwards

Every many generations the slate is wiped clean
You think you are there where you always have been
But most every native is a fruit of some old migrant tree
That forgot its deep roots in some distant ancient century
And some disappeared Country.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

YELLOW SUN

And we shall sing as though
There be no morning,
Hear the night sway softly along, my dear
My heart is trying to say something
But I’ve forgotten the language
Of my ancestors…

But when we sing, I remember
A time before Christmas and December
When red earth and green hill and blue sky
Were home enough for us.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SURVIVAL

What don’t I know
About you is what
I silently ask myself
Each time you ask me
What I’m thinking
As I think about you

How many wars
Have you fought, won and lost?
How many lives have
You taken, how many given?
How much hunger did you endure
To nourish so much anger?

How many loves have pierced you?
How many wounds are
Dripping a trail back to
How many acts of survival?
All I see is the smile in your eyes
And the hope in your heart.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SURROGATE MOTHER EARTH AND HER STRANGE CHILDREN OF JOY

Everything about the earth’s geological history and trend suggests the disconcerting and alienating thought that human beings were not intended to exist on it for a long time – speaking in terms of geological time. It seems we are a species, the conditions favourable for whose biological existence would, like a thin strip on the broad spectrum of earth time, be laboriously reached after billions of years of evolution, tenderly maintained for several millions of years (very short compared to the past and future age of the earth), and then gradually evolved away from again. The earth will then plunge further in its cycle into more advanced states of instability or stability, which ever way you want to view it, eventually drastically altering the delicate balance of elementary interplay that once sustained higher animal and, above all, human life upon its surface. Mother Earth, it seems, like all mothers, after bearing and rearing her children, will one day tire of them and expel them from her home.

Whereas the earth is over 4,600 million years old, the first hominids appeared just 4 to 6 million years ago, while human beings as we know them today came on the scene only about 200,000 years ago. It took 1,600 million years for the first cyanobacteria (capable of photosynthesis, thus producing oxygen) to evolve, and after that it took another almost 3,000 million years before humans arrived, and many dramatic things happened along the way. This reminds me of an analogy I once read somewhere: that if the age of the earth up until now were a ninety kilometre long motorway, humans only appear somewhere in the last few meters at the end of the final, the ninetieth, kilometre. Quite awe-inspiring to me. It however does not end there. It keeps moving forward. Discontinuing the influence of human technology, which largely – at least in the short term – seems to be putting more pressure on the earth, the natural geological changes in the earth and solar system will, within many thousands of millions of years in the future, yield an environment poor in exactly those elements and conditions that once called forth biological life. Quite simply, even if in the future the earth is spared every possible kind of accident and trauma that ever befell it in the past, which is highly unlikely, yet the earth will still eventually age. The sun too will dramatically change and become very unfriendly. It seems quite unlikely that the human race will not become extinct some day, at least on earth.

Some say this is where science fiction comes into this motion picture. According to them, science fiction of today is science fact of tomorrow. Man, the technological being, will become master over the laws of nature. Time travel will become possible. The quick traversing of large distances that normally would cover light-years will be achieved. New sources of energy, new methods of making use of energy, would have been developed. New planets colonised. A new super race of galactic humans would have been bioengineered. And all the rest of that flight of fancy. Well, it’s hard to dispute something that has not yet happened. But so far all we seem to do is put ourselves in danger and expose just how vulnerable the human species is. So, as an aside, let’s just hope the bees don’t go extinct. And yet this dogged belief in technology’s ability to secure us a future is understandable, because… what’s the alternative? – eventual Extinction someday?… Really? Extinction?… It’s a thought that’s just inacceptable to the human mind, that the human mind will one day be no more, disappeared with the human being. Because it just does not make any sense: What on earth was the rationale behind the brief physical existence of this species – Human? What was the point? To grow and to know, only in order to forget and to die? The entire species – without being able to pass all that knowledge on to… someone… anyone. Why?

Well, what about passing it on to, retaining and using it, ourselves – somewhere, somehow? What if Mother Earth is not really our mother? Only our surrogate mother? Our temporary womb.

This is the point, I must admit, at which some times my thoughts turn to that little elusive thing called Spirit. That thing of which they say that it originates in a place, in a state, in a consistency, that floats above every measurable concept of time and space, that existed before and will continue to exist after every earth has had its day. They say it, Spirit, coming from there, is eternal and that it alone is in truth the true human being. I have read that it incarnates and reincarnates time and again, seeking maturity. I have read, have heard, have even sensed, that it speaks the language of intuition and will always be incomprehensible to the intellect, and yet will always continue to silently argue with it. Because, if the earth is my mother, who is my father? I know I can’t prove anything to anybody, not even to myself, yet for sure the earth will meet its end one day, and yet there is in me something that will live on, somewhere, somehow, consciously. Eternally and forever. And I call it Conscious Knowing Joy.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.