TENDERLY

I hold you tenderly
Like a precious thought
I sparingly share
Only with strangers

For they know not its worth
Will not rob me of it or its meaning or
Crush it to death like a writer
Crushes an idea in his mind –

Might be a butterfly
Might be a petal
Might be a story that would have changed minds –
Gone, unwritten, unspoken, unshared.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BEING DIFFERENT

UNRAVELLING THE mystery that is my own soul, I pondered and sought; I wondered about my beginning. Woman and man in a garden. Which garden? East or west? Home is best, they say.

So I went home into my spirit-man and discovered an a different person dwelling within, staring back at me with my own face but not my own eyes.

“Different person,” I asked him, “Who are you and what are you doing inside my heart?”

But he only returned my gaze without giving an answer, and I sensed that I must find the answer myself. Myself? But who is myself?

The mystery took shape, deepened, arose. I wandered from pole to pole. But each time I thought I had found my goal, I saw the different person inside my heart again, looking back at me with my own face but not with my own eyes.

I wanted to scream, but my heart rejected this. I lay me down to sleep, but sleep ejected me. So on and on I wander and sojourn, on and on I go, seeking to unravel this mystery that is simply my very own self.

And each time I think I have found the answer, I see him again, a different person inside my soul, staring back at me with my face but not with my eyes.

Who are you, I wonder, you stranger in my soul?

What are you, why are you, so different, so alien, so silent, so bold?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

MY FRIENDS

My friends are the improbable people
The ones you wouldn’t expect
Who never visit or party with me
Yet always show me respect

Who hide in the faceless crowd
And put in a good word for me
Who demand of me not company
But that I walk the path before me

Who even when we quarrel
Still never will betray me
Who tell me my failings to my face
But keep my secrets safely

Because I do the same for them
It is the way of friendship
The friends you rarely see me with
Are the ones you shouldn’t mess with.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BRAVE ONE

Your secrets
Give them power over you
When you lose your fear of your secrets
They lose their power over you

No-one is feared more
Than one who says yes I did it, so what?
You can break a warrior’s shell
But you cannot make the warrior fear you as well.

Breathe out, brave one, and live some more
Your weaknesses and your strengths are all you’ve got.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SECRET

He was a messenger from far away
This thought that I secretly caught
And wonderful tidings he brought my way
Of all the secret things I still ought
Nay, must, do, must do
To you, my dear, to you.

But this he whispered first of all
That I must meet another stranger first
And secretly yield to his inner call
He lives in me, my root intuition’s thirst
For my secret powers become free
Only after I first become me.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE WILD-HORSE MOUNTAINS

In the Distance, mysterious and magnificent
There spreads a group of towering mountains
Who, in total appearance
From left to right, in shape and aura
Looks like a wild horse,
Frozen in mid-gallop.
And there is a legend, aye there is
About the heroic wild-horses
Who, long, so long ago
Had guarded these mountains
So that nobody had been able to come near them
Or of mounting these towering rocks
Nay, Mountains.
Beautiful wild horses. Killer-beasts of different colours
Guardians of this mysterious mountain-range
From an era immemorial. – – –
Finally, an earthquake split off the Wild-Horse mountains
From the rest of our land
Such that it now floats, an Island
Barely visible miles out into the mysterious ocean
And called by everybody “The Island of Wild-Horse Mountain”.
Are the wild horses still there? Guardians!…?
What have they guarded for so long?

Seven people on one boat,
Trapped by a violent gale at sea one summer evening,
Decided to quickly beach on Wild-Horse Mountain Island
Before the sea wrecked their boat
And killed them.
Now you must understand that the legend
Of Wild-Horse Mountain
Is just a legend.
It is possible that this small island with its rugged mountains
Has ever floated right there in the ocean
And that it was all never a part of our mainland
And that no wild horses had ever existed.
But the legend claims that the Wild-Horse Mountain
Had once been on land, our land, guarded by wild killer horses
Until an earthquake turned it into a floating island
So many aeons ago.
Nobody really believed, but you know how it is:
Everybody likes to repeat legends.

It was the Silence
That first struck these seven people
When they landed ashore.
Immediately, they were gripped by a tension
And an uncanny excitement
Which they could not comprehend.
The gale at sea suddenly died
Yet they remained on the shore of the island
Gazing up in awe at the Wild-Horse mountains.
These people were three couples and one lady,
Seasoned Adventurers
And, all of a sudden
They decided to explore the mountains themselves
To see if they would find any relics
Perhaps bones or any other things
Which might perhaps substantiate or contradict
The old Legend.

So they began.
They moved in a group towards the mountains.
But night fell
And they camped and slept.
In the morning they began to search –

There are seven mountains that make up this breath-taking range,
And in six days they had explored six mountains
And found nothing. –
On the seventh day, they mounted the seventh
And, over half-way up,
Heard a strange sound below them… and,
Looking down,
Saw the entire valley suddenly
Populated by horses nobler than the noblest steeds,
Silent as tombs, with angry fire roaring out of their eyes,
Watching them…!
The ancient wild horses; the beautiful legendary killer-beasts.
Alive.
It was eerie. They seemed to have come out of nowhere.

In a flash, the wild horses
Charged up the mountain, towards the intruders.
Looking up, the humans saw a light glow on the mountain-peak
And it occurred to them suddenly
That it was a race to the top.
They just knew it!
If they got to the peak before the wild horses
Then they would be left to live…
But if the wild horses caught up with them
Before they got to the summit
Then they were each dead and gone for life.

So the race began.
Up they sped, faster and faster
Empowered by the threat of death
And the possibility of victory and life.
But the wild horses, too, continued to gallop their tested
Way so quickly and surely up this seventh mountain,
Pursuing them deathly,
And still they were all silent.
But if the horses were wild
And if the mountains looked like a wild horse
Then surely these virgin mountains were also wild.
Only now did the intruders
Suddenly understand the true meaning
Of the name Wild-Horse Mountain.
Suddenly, like a very wild, untamed horse
This seventh mountain bluntly refused to be mounted.
Ever and again it bucked
And threatened to throw
The human beings down, into oblivion.

And then…, the near inevitable happened…
One of the humans missed his footing… and fell!
He rolled into the path of the merciless wild horses
They tore him brutally apart…
His partner, seeing this, lost her balance
And pummelled down to her death too…
One by one, singly and yet in pairs
They all began to slip, stumble, fall
Thrown by the bucking of wild-horse mountain.

In the end,
Only the lady made it to the top
While the three couples fell back and died
Pursued by wild horses,
Betrayed by a wild mountain,
As all mountains, how ever tame, are actually very wild.

At the peak
She found that the light glow was in truth a path.
On it was a proud Stallion, calm,
Who had eyes that were almost human.
She mounted him
And he bore her grandly down the winding
Gently-sloping path that led into the very heart
Of the entire Wild-Horse Mountain Range…
Unexpectedly they came across the
Green Valley.

Her breath caught in her heart
As she beheld the precious treasures
The unbelievable Prize
Which the wild horses had so faithfully
Guarded from that time unremembered:

She saw a colony
Of magnificent winged horses,
Each exactly as she had always
Imagined Pegasus would be,
Only even more beautiful were these…

For the first time ever, one of us
Encountered the valley of life
Where the winged horses had been
Slowly evolving over millennia.
There, deep inside the gentle heart
Of the Wild-Horse Mountains
Guarded faithfully by unchanging unwavering
Wild killer-horses
Without fear, without question
Aided by a stubborn mountain.

Their leader’s name was Sram.
He spoke to the lady from the land of men.
She mounted him, he beat his wings, and, together
They visited awhile the Land of Tomorrow
Where, one day, the Earth will also be…
And noble animals will roam the earth again
And noble human beings will bestride the earth anew
And the winged flying horses
That the lady saw in the valley of life
Will make a friendly abode with humans on earth
For a long time
Yet to come.

When next you see a wild horse
Do not try to tame it
But remember:
That wild streak in her
Is the sole guardian
Of a beauty
That yet sleeps, silent,
Within the heart of every human being.

– AKA TERAKA.