MISSING

Where are you?
The police have looked high and low
Community watch and kind strangers near and far
Have tried your trail to follow

The orange tree we planted
Yields season after season bitter bitter fruits
That would turn sweet were you but here
To pick them off their roots

The children you lovingly bore
Daily older grow, as beautiful as you were
They ask where their mother is
Unable to comprehend how people disappear

I wish we hadn’t gone on that holiday
I wish you hadn’t taken that stroll
That night alone to watch the waves
The ensuing years have taken their toll

My thoughts spank of guilt
I should have been your guard on every walk
What happened, my love? Footsteps don’t talk
Time is a blackboard of fading chalk

Give me a sign of life
Calm my heart, let us know
You’re happy, even in the beyond somewhere
Saying goodbye, I love you in my soul

Strength is a luxury
But succour shall whisper quietly some day
All good things come together in their own day
In their own way, this I pray.

Waiting and waiting in vain
For you to return, to talk, share and to listen
Where are you, my dear? Your picture is silent
Written above it, that killing word, still: MISSING.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

DEEPER THAN RINGS

They share things with one another
Which some say husband and wife
Ought not share with each other
Yet they do –

When I asked them why, they paused
And the tables turned and they
Said we are not husband and wife
We are married only for the sake of society

In truth we are friends and enemies in one
Lovers, fighters and sojourners – born
Of the same madness, of the same truth
Of the same sadness and joy and mystery –

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

FREED

Hardly a night goes by
Hardly a breath flows, an evening
Melts
Without this thought
You brighten my life

Curly windows
When the crowds are many
I am alone

I wanted to be a nightingale
To be a flower
I wanted to be a star
The evening wind blows
I am human. Let it be…

Sometimes again
Freed from the city’s shackles
Hackles, hard tackles
I am green, bright yellow, blue as sky
Glad am I.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MOUNTAIN OF LONGING

image
In everybody’s deepest heart
Towering and strange
A something which no map can chart
And beyond every range

The mountain of longing

This must be love, this must be love
Immortally the same
Through every mile of earth it dove
Seeking nor friend nor fame

Out in the distant sea it grows
Re-calling you and me
Out in the distant fields it snows
On in infinity

This must be life, this must be life
This must be where we were
You are my heart, my joy, my wife
Here, there and everywhere…

The mountain of longing.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE DRUMS OF WAR ARE SOUNDING

The drums of war are sounding
The dead are readying to dance a dirge
Upon the graves of the living

Quarrelling woman to Solomon has spoken
If I won’t have world peace my way
Then tear the child to pieces

Those who crave world dominion
Are set to fight to the end to end
The culture of mixed opinions

The world grows dark with worry
And mothers clutch their babes to their breasts
And lovers fear what tomorrow will bring.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.