MUSICIANS

When the sadness
Coloured the smile
Of the musician’s sunshine
I saw that his joy
Had just got deeper
And the unshed tears
Longing in his eyes
Were less bitter
Than they were bittersweet
To my ears
Music to my heart
Water to my soul – his sorrow
Became the joy of my spirit flame.
That was when I saw him smile
That broke my heart.

– CHE CHIDI CHUKWUMERIJE.

THE MOON IS TWO WOMEN

If ever there come upon you the shadow
Of the widow on the moon’s dark window,
Resist the urge it will urge upon you
To put the knife to your own heart
And die –
If you cannot resist it
Channel it into the bowels of the sea –
Remember:
The shadow will pass away someday
And you will be brighter than ever before.

The woman on the dark side of the moon
Will be out-done by the woman
On the other side of the moon,
The bright side,
Where the light of the sun has ever dwelt
And never died.

There is a woman on the lightside of the moon
And she is coming, and coming soon.
Just hold on, dear, just hold on a while,
A little while longer and soon we’ll smile.
If you go the first mile,
I promise to go with you the extra mile.
Just one more mile, and soon we’ll smile.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

DISCERNING

I fear
The daily commute
To the valley of the mute
The echoless cry of my silent flute
Digs a hole in my soul
Wringe me mad
I fear

Mockery sticks his head around the door
You no waving yo flag no mo?
Blackhawk down
My dreams, stranded shipwrecks
Scuttle each hurriedly into safety
Hiding they fearfully await the scorching passage
Of the locals’ raging raid –
Some will be caught, shot, mocked
Some will sacrifice themselves
That the finer ones may escape the drape
For tomorrow’s blossoming

Quiet now
Wait for the Sign.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

PICK WITH CARE THE ENEMIES YOU BEAR

Pick with care
The enemies you bear
When the unexpected is near
They shall be there
To crown you.

When true friends
Step off the boat
Curious, how the river
Turns your coat
Around you.

Clear your throat
Vomit when no-one is looking
Regurgitated oaths
Pressure-cooking
Sunbrowns you.

If diplomacy
Be their tactless god
How shall he decipher
Your non-committal nod,
Proud you?

But brave soldier
It is the art of war
To live on in pages
Of folklore
Unbound to you.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ONCE SO DEEP, NOW SO SHALLOW

Once so deep, now so shallow
Once never walking the path I now follow
My farm lies fallow

Another dimension
Same old sung in a new key
Sharps, naturals, empty flats
We’ve moved house, you, I

I like it that there is no barrier
In between
My view into your eyes, your view into my heart –
It gives me hope
Furnishes me with counterproof more powerful
Than the deliberations of thoughts

Did you renounce anything for this love, this hour, this
Life? – The words grow stronger
The more I write; the light grows brighter
Within the night, beneath the descending Halo.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

WRITING IS THE HAPPINESS OF SORROW

Writing is the happiness
Of sorrow

The immortal spirit
Of mortality

The voice that needs
No mouth

The painting whose canvas is
The reader’s mind.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

———-

In 2013 I gave myself the luxury of publishing two books of poems on my birthday – today 6th April.
One is titled “WRITING IS THE HAPPINESS OF SORROW“, the idea for which came with the poem above which I wrote some time ago.
The other is “THE BEAUTIFUL ONES HAVE BEEN BORN” which is specific to my continent Africa.

In 2015 I reprinted them.

HATRED AND HOPE

Branded roses
Blood is your dance floor
Beast is the yeast of your flour
Your moist garden is the handle of my door
And your soup is dour.

I saw a stranger, dressed in black,
Quietly step back from your door –
I saw you, a black bird in grey skies
Flapping, rising
Hatred flaming in your chest like
A torn rose.

Yet I kissed you, don’t
Ask me why – your lips parted and I tasted
Hope on your tongue
Like a squirrel hiding in the bush.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.