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


I can’t sleep
Nor can I weep
If sadness were a grey cloud
I am the bottomless lake from which it arose

I miss your laughter, your mirth
Like dawn misses a birdsong
On a cold concrete city street
Before it fades away

Each time I burn pain into you
I burn pain into me; but if I
Were to not bite and hurt you so deeply
How would you continue to think of me?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


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.



A smile is made up of many wounds
A road is the sum of innumerable restless feet
Love is the pain that pleasures
And victory is defiance in the heart of defeat
But what is spirit?

Spirit is
The stranger that walks the earth
For whom death is birth
Sleepwalker swaying at deep’s edge
Unfulfilled, the promise, unremembered, the pledge.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


I chanced to look near dawn
Out of my sorrow
And indigo was the wall
Outside my window

Surprised, I looked away
From night, my widow
Then stole another glance again
At my tomorrow

Tomorrow was in mute concert
Briefly I am my cello
Confused at my own melody
My poem, my strange bedfellow

But night is sheared now finally
Soft day echoes my hello
And as I rise, my waking thought
Sinks away into my pillow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.


My eyelids are falling
Like felled trees in the forest
My words are milky like drunken clouds
My breathing is slow and heavy like
A market woman’s feet in the evening

I am sleepy, drowsy, swimming and
I am about to fall awake –
Do you think I’m dreaming right now?
I can’t tell the difference
Do I write poems in my dreams

And forget when I awake?
The dream is the poem, a poem is a dream
I must leave you behind in the dream now, my love
Where my words will live on while
I wake asleep in the morning, in the morning.