YOUNG AND OLD

Suffer not the young with belief in their ignorance
Thinking only the old can with wisdom be soaked
Watch: and see kids give to hidden truths substance
For what is a child but an adult cloaked

And seek not in the old for the seat of all staleness
Sure that, with youth passed, all vigour is lost
Look past the frame at a quicker, higher freshness
For what is an adult but a child unveiled

The child is the parent of the out-born adult
The adult is the parent of the in-born child
For up looks the earthling and up looks the moonling
And each sees nothing but the other in the skies

So suffer not greatness with the label of complexity
Nor suffer ordinariness with the verdict of the rejected
For where the great and the ordinary meet, simplicity
Is born, adult and child unite, and Perfection is reflected.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

YESTERDAY’S FACES

YESTERDAY, IT WAS as beautiful as the early morning sunlight dancing upon a rose. My heart was not my heart, but myself; and my face was not my face, but the shimmering reflection of my heart.

As I was striding once, I saw a figure hovering in the Air. But she had no wings, only the longest, most gleaming braids I ever saw, but gleaming not as bright as her eyes, eyes a-smiling straight into mine.

“Come, my friend,” called she to me in voice of purest gold, “Follow me awhile and I will show you distant places of light and harmony, yes indeed I will!”

I nodded and right there and then her words lifted me up into the magic-coloured sky where, I by her side, we flew over two crystal mountains and one silver lake and then hovered a while above a garden where children wiser than the wisest men were building beautiful castles not in the air or sand, but inside their own hearts.

And then we flew off once again and this time when we paused, a circle of beautiful winged horses with talking eyes came flying up to meet us. We mounted two and journeyed on… but where we went from there I know not anymore, for I have lost my memories of then…

Because now I wonder, like one blind, in the dark and earthly worlds of modern men. And ever, when the sun is a-dawning, or a-shinning but not burning, though it be noon, or a-setting down, I ever and again go on long, gentle strolls, as though I were trying to recapture that glorious journey which I barely remember…

And today as I wandered through dingy markets I saw a face… a woman selling decaying fish, eyes materialistic and cunning, impure seduction. Of course she was not that beautiful Maiden of my all but forgotten past.

So why then does she look so familiar? And what was it that startled her when our eyes touched? Unsettled her. But of course she cannot be that same beautiful female spirit of ancient days who I left up in glorious heights yesterday…

I hope.

– che chidi chukwumerije..

FOLLOWING YOU HOME

When the woman goes away from the home
The home goes away with the woman
And then the home goes away from the woman too
And returns to the home

Remember this before you go away, my dear
The home will return to you
Because you are you
The home

Anchor the boat to your heart
And then float away with me
And I will follow you home, dear sweet baby
I will follow you home

Remember this before you go away
I will follow you home
A poet is born somewhere tonight
I will follow you home.

————–
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.

THE PURE FLOWER

Everywhere I sought it
I sought in every land
To know if Nature’d wrought it
Anywhere ‘neath her hand
But though I searched with all my might
And though I looked forever
I’ve never seen before my sight
An ugly flower ever.

Although she’s rare to see
Or on the earth be seen
Through land or on the sea
As though she ne’er hath been
Yet when ever a Flower blossoms
When a Flower blooms
Pure beauty’s all I see in dozens
In all my heart’s rooms.

Did Heaven ever come to earth?
Did Beauty ever give birth?
The pure woman is Heaven’s flower
Heaven’s beauty, Heaven’s grace and Heaven’s power.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SHE WAS A WEIGHTLIFTER

She was a weightlifter
They found it unseemly
But she was a shape-shifter
Their disdain was a lighter burden to bear
Than her fate.

Slum lady. Carried mud and bricks
Bore stones and sticks
Firewood, rusted water in weeping baskets
The stretch marks of impatient thirsty men
Bunched up her muscles.

Owned by all, never owned a thing
The madams’ slaps, the masters’ secrets
Nothing was too heavy a load to carry
To snatch, to clean, to jerk off –
Each jerk. Very ordinary.

Today, when she steps out unto the mat
Under the lights, there you see
Sunset in one eye, sunrise in the other –
It’s not heavy weights she’s lifting
She’s carrying hope.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

BEFORE I DIE

Life is a vineyard
I’m thinking of wine, you know wine?
Internalise life in little sips
Don’t rush me, don’t rush you
Life even then is strong enough.

Life is a graveyard
You pass it by, reluctant to look in
It scares you
Littered with the memories of the reflection
Of your certain destiny
It brings you into deepest reflection
Most sober. Life, you scare me to death.

Before I die I want to love somebody
I need to love somebody
I cannot just come and go like that
I want to love somebody with all my heart
With all my heart
At least once in my life.

And then I loved somebody and it
Was still not enough. And then I knew:
Before I die, I need to believe in something
And fight for something and live
For something more important to me
Than my own self. To be myself is
To become selfless.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ACHE

There is in me a longing
For a place
A longing which no place on earth
Can satisfy
Because I long for Home –

There is in me a yearning
For a love
A yearning which no human love
Can satisfy
Because I yearn for the Light –

But, on the other side of
The mountain peak
There is a woman to whom my
Heart belongs…
But there she is, beyond my reach
Just a tear away –

But I do not know how to cry.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.