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.

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
————–

GRACE AND POWER

Everywhere I sought it
I sought in every land
To know if Nature’d wrought it
Anywhere beneath 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.

Sometimes it might seem to be
She‘s hidden and can‘t be seen
Through land or on the sea
As though she never hath been
Yet when ever a Flower blossoms
When a Flower blooms
Pure beauty is all I see in dozens
In all my heart’s rooms.

Did Heaven ever come to earth?
Did Beauty ever give birth?
Womanhood indeed 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.

THE SONG OF HEARTS

image by Unsplash

A woman there was
Who by music was made –
Music conceived her
And made her
And set her free

And lost she wandered
Uncomprehended and lonely and
Confused for many a day
Until upon a morning, dawn tore
Out of her heart a haunting melody
And she learned that she could sing

Then did she, joyous of heart, compose
And sing and release to the world
Like a bird-being set free
The very song that fashioned her
And daughter became mother
Nay, traveller became bridge

I am a song
You are a song
We are all heaven’s song.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

COURAGE AWAKENING

Shades of morning
Mantles of night ascending
Ghosts, like fears of the past,
Lay down softly to sleep at last.

Fear. Will whisper.
A thousand reasons to be a coward.
Until your inner man comes calling
The ground is so close
How come you’re still falling?

Beauty, soft kiss of dawn
Quietens you for a moment of tenderness
Before you shed your final skin
Of fear and pain
And stand up, never to crawl again.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REMEMBER YOUR DREAM

You’ll never be a better man
Than the boy you once were
So, when you lose your way
The answer you seek is not far:
Remember the dream you once had
Between child- and adulthood
When the boy you once were
Had just awakened from his dream
And the man you now are
Had not yet forgotten that dream.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

CHIMERA

The moment she stopped being a chimera and became a human woman, memory and experience kicked in – my fascination waned, my hot blood cooled, my wild pursuit slowed down, and I hesitated… – Do I really want a real woman? Where is my chimera? Give me back my chimera. I want a strange thing that haunts my imagination and promises the unknown and knocks me out of my senses and makes me feel strange things. She looked at me and shook her head and said: Be careful what you wish for; learn to be grateful for the simple things you get.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

A DEEP AWESOME SILENT MOON

This night’s moon
Is wet and red
Pensive, heavy
Soaked in a silent mystery
And a bloody cry as of hunting wolves
Unheard of and staining
The blue-black canvas of the tree-dotted nightscape

She struggles
This fascinating moon
To lift herself above the palms
And jab
Our consciousness
With wishes from the embers
Of the invisible weavings of life

The faithfulness
Of the ever-returning moon…
Soon the tree-tops
Who now stare levelly at the moon
Will also have to raise their eyes up
If they want to see
Her face…

O lovely awesome red moon
Rising above the palm trees
Ascending again
Sink like the silence of peace
Deep into my breast.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.