THE MIRROR’S BOTTOM

The mirror sang from side to side
Somewhere over the rainbow an old guitar
Picked up a young musician,
Awakened in his heart the desire
To be a Bridge.

And he is still wandering
looking for himself –
When the masquerade dances
not earthly drums move its feet
but the worlds underneath.

When your heart moves
Close your ears to the kora you hear
Look for the mirror within
For the mirror swings
from side to side.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

LOST IN THE SWITCH

Alas! Treble now sounds
Like bass! Gold shines
Like brass! Who dulled
The taste of water?
Who turned sons into
Wailing daughters? Alas!

The wrappa moans
Look at me I am now
A pair of trousers, split in two!
Hush! Zip up your swollen lips
Cries the warrior’s breastplate!
Look at ME! I am now a Bra.

There is an owl howling
Melancholy in the night
A road has split in two
Causing confusion
Because the ground has
Disappeared.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

MEMORY OF TRUE LOVE

Those days were magic
I was a boy but already a man
You were a woman but still a girl
We understood each other.
No matter how much they dig into our past
They’ll never really understand it today

You cannot understand a fairytale
With your intellect.
You have to be a child at heart
To understand magical love…
There is a grove
therein a cove

therein a light
therein a dove
therein a mystery.

Memory becomes an elixir.
Our hearts were broken
By the logic of separation

Perfection had to be
Enshrined
For future reference.
The sanctuary of blueprint
Guard it, a secret. A desecrated deity
Cannot be appeased by sacrifice.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

ODE TO POETRY

I’ve been biting like a volcano
Poetry has been crying lava
I’ve been biting hard

Stop! Stop bleeding me! Stop breaking me!
I want your nipple
Your lip, your ruthless restless tongue

Your thigh
And above it, your most tender secret
I want to reveal it, stop starving me.

The eruption was a corruption
Of merciful silence.
You should never have woken me up.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
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MY FATHER

When the rock was walking stoically
Through the mountain of time I was
On its back, and thought the ground was still
Beneath my running legs –

Restless was my heart
For I felt yours beating in it
And mighty were the loud congas
Drumming out my thoughts.

Yet there is one quiet thought
Too deep to be breached
Too quiet to be heard
By any but me.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.