I Live

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Living

I have no fear but that I may live and not have lived,
For the things that my heart know to be true.
Nothing gives me cold sweats like chasing dreams
That really were never mine; false goldmines,
That fill me with outward riches, a poor soul.
Gold of course I love, will have aplenty
Yet only a rich, hale and hearty soul,
Can make aught else I posses a pleasure.

I want to live, long and full, really live,
For all that matter: my dreams, my faith, family.
I choose to live only if when I live,
Others around me would also have lived,
Knowing and telling that I lived for more than me.
I live without fear cos I really live.
My heart bears me witness that I live true.

My Baby

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Everyday in life is special, at least for me

Still having you in mine, as mine, beats all else

And if I would choose one day as remarkable,

It’ll be the day the gift of you was given.

I have said many things to you, about you

I have written several lines, spoken in rhymes

One thing though, no words, however much, could really do:

To say all that I would, I’d need a lifetime

The mix of all you are still has me “spellbound”

Your drive, and charm, the priceless candor, so much more.

You’re not just my sweetheart, you are my friend, the best

Times, have tried us, and we’ve stood through the tests

Like I promised, I’ll stand with and for you, always

And yes, even at eighty, you’ll still be the One:😍

The One person I’ll love in so many ways.

Today, like everyday, you’re special, Happy birthday!

A little about love

colour of love

The colours of love are wonderful,
Through which we see life is beautiful.
Spiralling like a gift of rainbow,
It’s hue brightens, casting off shadows.

The smooth touch of love is wonderful.
Like lightning, its force is powerful.
Cascading like the wind over trees,
It floods the heart with fadeless thrills.

The music of love is wonderful.
Like R&B, it’s deep and soulful.
Caressing like cool breeze in summer,
It leaves the soul calm, the heart healthier.

The language of love is wonderful.
It is kind, gentle, true, not prideful
Speaking above doubts and fearful whims,
It corrects, forgives and forgets sins.

The heart of love is so wonderful,
Full of care, it makes life colourful.
Bearing the pains and burdens for others,
It barely does note when it suffers.

The fire of love is wonderful.
Pure flaming passion burn, yet peaceful
Unfading and growing each new day, It enraptures the mind in countless ways.

The true cost of love is wonderful;
Sacrifice, sometimes steep and painful.
Pondering on its deep selflessness,
You find that to be loved is to be blessed.

Hence when that day, One so wonderful,
Chose to take the place of the sinful,
He did not mull it over nor hove.
To the cross He went, driven by love.

The mind’s Voice

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Rippled sounds of my squeaking voice,
Echoes in my own head.
It bellows loud in the silence;
As I lay on my bed:

“Today again, you tried in vain.
Overhead, the night looms.
Do you see the sun pale, strengths wane?
Yet no spring flower blooms.

The frontline’s for the stern and stout.
Your place is in the shades.
All who dare, face a ruthless rout.”
With these taunts, my hope fades.

The husky voices of strangers,
Fade with each striding step.
But my heart’s own whimpering whispers,
Grow louder with each step.

These fears, threaten to sink my dream.
Words seek to make me drown.
Against my mind’s current, I swim.
It takes all of my brawn.

It’s a cycle as old as me,
A tale of void shackles.
And often when I think I’m free,
It speaks; my mind buckles.

Alas! I found they’re all shadows;
They are not even mine.
I peer in them but find hollows.
I wonder, why did I whine?

The Book was what opened my ears,
To hear beyond my mind.
Now those rippled sounds and fears,
Have all been cast behind.

SILENCE

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Photo: Nathan Wirth

Silence, you are not a good friend.
I give you my doubts and fears to mend
And you make me your prisoner.

Yet when I oft would opt to speak,
There are no listening ears near to pick.
So I am lone with you silence.

Silence, you have a real bad side.
I give you my pains and tears to hide
And my heart’s turned to a cauldron.

Yet when I did let my eyes leak,
They pelted me, saying I was weak.
Then I recoiled into silence.

Silence, you play me like a fool
I choose to leave the matter with you
And I am left to clean the mess.

Yet when I call wrongs to account,
They accuse me of seeking to haunt
And I’m pushed to live in silence.

Silence, you are a heavy stone.
See the weight I have to bear alone,
Of cares and needs I would not share

Yet I fear, no shoulders are free,
That’d gladly bear the burdens with me.
So sadly, I strain in silence.

Silence you’ll be my alibi,
While I take solace in the divine,
For things I cannot do or tell.

Perhaps I’ll find one warm and wise,
Who would listen well and not despise,
Then I’ll leave this shell of silence.

Deathly vapour

Deathly vapour

Fizzling grey clouds from burning lungs
And caustic scents of crouching tumour,
Hovers the air across the streets.
Rising high from black lips and charred tongues,
Many perceive it and humour,
Till the bodies cringe in deathly fits.
Ti’s the smoky taste of slow death
It teases your mind and steals your health

The cost is too cheap for the price
And the price is too steep for the risk
Some say it is no man’s headache,
Still many hearts will bleed when one dies.
When vital organs, hale and brisk,
Are soon gnawed away by poisoned smoke.

The old and young alike are snared,
By the manacles of tobacco.
They’re all prisoners of fire.
Blood stained smoke, trickles their burning veins,
Yet they add more wood from the shed.
The signs are there, even the death call.
But there they are in the mire,
Sinking deep in their addictive pains.

Heed the call today and seek help.
Soon it’ll become a lethal Yelp.
All flesh like grass will soon wither.
Must yours be by the flame of cigar?
If the life you have is a gift,
The least you’d do is appreciate it.
Tomorrow may be late for change,
So make the choice now, to leave this cage.

ARIKE

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Heartbeat after heartbeat, I long for you
With every breath, your aura pulls me in
Missing you is now a sweet-sad habit.
Some times mindless smiling is all I do,
When I feel your warm touch from deep within.
Hazy days are brightened by your love’s light,
And every night glows, when it’s you with me.
If my heart had a lock, I’d give you the key.

With dreamy eyes, I wake up to thoughts of you.
The morn light reminds me what you mean;
It speaks of brightness and warmth so sweet,
And echoes all the treasures of you anew.
Like DNA, you’re branded in my being.
If you were a shadow, I’ll be chasing it.
Like your name, I have found a rose to pet;
A priceless gift to love, hold and protect.

God must no doubt, love me ever so dearly
Cos this gift of you is divine and pearly.
I pray that I’ll daily be a better me;
So I’ll always hold your hand, Arike mi.

AWOOF

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He climbs through thorns to reach the ripe clusters.
He stretches an arm, they fall to the ground.
The monkey shows up, picks them and scampers.
The climber came down, leaves were all he found.
Dazed by bane, dumb with pain, he stood aloof.
Gone with another’s spoils, he ate “awoof”.

With a loving heart and strong arms he works;
He would not have his wedded bride suffer.
Yet behind him, his dear friend jeers and mocks:
He digs the well but I drink the water.
Sadly he is a fool under his roof.
In his heart, his friend cheers himself “awoof”.

Hungry souls flood the halls and fill the pews;
Sad, bruised and broken, all they have is hope.
The preacher speaks, he says I have good news.
It’ll wash all your fears away, buy my soap.
Yet all they get is brainwash, still they goof.
The preacher pats his tum, he sneers “awoof”.

His barn is stocked with huge and healthy tubers,
Countless silos spill over with fine grains.
With teary eyes he asks the poor farmers:
“Please just a tuber and some little grains”.
They share their harvest with kind-hearted grief.
In light-hearted chants, he bellows “awoof”.

Her big belly, comfort of barren years
Now in labour, she pushes for her prize.
Then she wakes up in a sad pool of tears,
There lies a child, without life in its eyes.
“Ti’s done madam; she’ll never find a proof”.
She pays the agreed price and sings “awoof”

The monkey’s fully grown, strong and swinging.
The man’s still as sneaky, now in his prime.
The woman’s as sound as the sun’s golden.
One thought they share; “it’s surely not my time”.
Then comes the reaper with his sword and stealth.
As he takes them home, he sings them “awoof”.

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‘Awoof’ is a Nigerian pidgin english term that commonly refers to something ‘free’, that which one gets without having to work for it. This often includes things gotten through dubious means even at the expense and detriment of other people. Hence it often represents greed.

The Voice

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Spaces have been empty and days just blank
This bubbling brook had failed those who once drank
My voice sank under-bed like a wet plank
I watched hours as they helplessly shrank
Unladen with ink they were blandly dank
Like a faulty freight at the river bank
I sat unused till my forlorn heart sank
I just sat there scrapping my rusty tank

My voice faded but the songs never stopped
It hummed in my head sweet and sour beats
These many days it was a load I bore
A load of lyrics to paint you the world
Its beauty its pain its love and its hate
And to be a voice as in days of yore

As I rid me of literary mildew
To kiss the fresh fragrance of poetic air
Do know that you out there are my passion
The thoughts of you make every word brand new
And since you are there I know I can dare
All I ask is for a heart to write on

Our Motherland

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Nigeria our motherland you are
And we have waited to be nourished
Importunate
To feed off your fat
But now
We weary to call you ma
With our past and present well famished
Alas you’ve broken many a heart
Dare I say as a mother you failed
Perhaps
It’s the children who strayed

Nigeria our motherland we say
Then I thought
Who mothered our mother
Who raised her and taught her to nurture
Was she groomed
Has she grown
Has she
Nay
Now for our woes
Whom do we finger
With whom lies the hope for the future
I dare say we must now cease to rant
And stop the search for gold while we plant

Nigeria our motherland will yet be
But we now
Cannot be her children
Today we’ll work with strong arms and brains
It may be too soon for you and me
To see the chicks from the mother hen
For our toils
We may have little gains
But our eyes
Must be for the ones she’ll nurse
When our motherland has fed from us

Reflections

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To brim is to be empty
And to grow is to be low
Life is not always pretty,
Yet the wise can make it so

Life ends, the story begins
The clock stops, but time’s ticking
Eighteen’s the dream of teens
There they seek the bright lining

Night fades, the world is still dark
Songs play but there’s no music
Dawn’s early but late for the lark
Where death calls, there men frolic

Tears flow, it cleanses the soul
The pain is gone, not the scars
Loveless words will take their toll
The echoes clear, not the chars

Love is there, but hearts are cold
It’s as lame and dumb as us
Truth is scarce and just as old
I wonder, what is our course

The earth’s weighty, yet it floats
But our cares, leave us drowning
Birds sing never writing notes,
Still the world’s always mourning

I write, not exactly for fun
In these lines, I bare my heart
It’s for you and me I gun,
Perhaps we’d make a fresh start

Nature’s Wonders

Canadian Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Ontario
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The sky is blue and fair,
When the dust is in the air
My eyes cannot see or tell
All my noses breathe and smell

Little birds sing of good things
The world has so many beauties
And my ears do love to hear
More gist than my mouth can share

The sweet scent of spring flowers
Skies rimmed with rainbow colours
All speak of divine wisdom,
Of beauties I can’t fathom

The warm tingly rays of morning
The songs of insects at evening,
Warm the heart and tease the mind
Their charm’s unmatched in its kind

The growl of the king lion
The strides of the war stallion
Rend hearts and leaves all in awe
I wonder, to whom they do bow

Man is always about learning,
His heart never stops searching
But I have gone to and fro
Yet how much do I know

A Child’s Plea

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Give the child your care
It can never be too much
Take him in your arms
He needs your tender touch

Give the child a smile,
Don’t rob him of it
Give the child your love,
At home and in the street

Give the child a hero
He does not need a villain
Show the child life’s beauty
He’s too young to know its pain

Give the child your ears,
He has a lot to share
The child needs a friend
He needs you to be there

Give the child a voice,
He needs to be heard
Don’t merely show him the way,
He needs to be led

Give the child your shoulder,
He needs them to lean on
The child is weak and frail
He needs you to feel strong

Give the child your all
Please do hold nothing back
Never turn your back on him
The world is cruel and dark

An Ode to The Golden Sunset

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Westward your golden smile glides the sky
With soft rays you lighten the somber lakes
You allure the mind with gleamy goodbye,
Bright slumber, red skylight, ere the night wakes

Atop the skysill, you glint mountain tops
Overhead the skyline your lucent beauty lops
Tethered to pacing time, you churn out charm
We drink in your ambience, it soothes like a balm

The anxious night awaits your graceful parade
Abashed by your shine, it must wait awhile
For that final stroll, your gleamy charade
As your endly glitters go from mile to mile

Like glowing embers, your goodbye’s warm and bright
Before your sheeny shine is stolen by night
Eyes that weary to see the sun’s awesome glow,
Solace in the enchantment of you its alter ego

A Ballad For Love

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The eyes of the dark night sparkle
Its many voices squeak and cackle
The calm of the night clearly resound
Its ambience is spread all around

Yet in my solitude all I hear’s silence
A cruel numbness caused by your absence
Sourly, night fades with sad slow beats
Each note plays, lacking all the piths

Bright rose petals and fluttering rainbow wings,
Blossom and glide in the spring garden
Cloudless azure and gold-plaited evenings,
All mirror the ineffable beauty of heaven

However, all that I see is a vapid haze
As I stroll along in this mindless gaze
Don’t think I lost my sense of sight
It is you who has with you my light

On cloudless nights, with you as my moonshine,
My life would be bright as day
And for songless times the music of your smile,
Will all my sadness allay

In your eyes I see all the colours of beauty
In you I have found a priceless treasure
If you would be willing my love, to marry
I’d ever live to make your life a pleasure

My Inky Song

Lurked behind my pen I can holler
My face hid and away from searching eyes
In scribbled black and white I tower
The murky ink’s glaze my gleeful disguise

My lines stare in your soul with its inky gaze;
Below the facial veil they scour into your dens
Googly eyes they are, seeing beyond the haze
Yet I earn no praise; those eyes are my pen’s

Yes you see me but I am not there
My ‘pen-friend’ has me well concealed
From afar I can care, tell and share
My dank pen’s all I have to wield

Whether the place’s far or the course scary,
I fill the pages and I cover the distance
Many like me may loathe the harsh and dreary
But my pointed friend will always take the chance

So my pen I sing your song today
Not with voices helped by sonic string
No my friend I’ll do this one your way
With lips of ink, that’s how I’ll sing

Musings On Dreams

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I’d soar like an eagle if I could.
To my dreams I’d fly, yes I would.
My wings would never tire not at all.
I’d flip and flap to keep from a fall.

I’d speed like a cheetah fast and away;
To reach my future all in one day.
With searching steps I’d stride along,
If I had me paws fast and strong.

To live today and die the next holds some gain;
Says the mayfly who works even in the rain.
But if I crave to have it all here and now,
It may justly be that I take an early bow.

So today I’ll dream, then work and wait,
While with sure and steady strides I’ll sate.
In place of wings and paws will come my faith,
Cos the gate to dreams is watched by fate.

Iremise Emmanuel

A Sonnet

I wake again and I find the night’s long gone
My rest was short, a painfully short rest
Now light takes to flight ere my works are done;
And those hands of Chronos I cannot wrest

This life truth is the saddest of them all;
That time is always running like a stream
Days could bore with work or nights’ calm enthrall
Yet tied to time, both are a fleeting dream

And so, I will not my life to poor time
Which morrow may be gone with all my gains
But to eternity I give my prime
And when time goes I pass on with no pains

To wake or sleep after, will hold no shame
Cos then both night and day will be the same

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The fear that comes with chasing the unreal
The silent night with a gripping shrill
The tears that flow ceaselessly on dry faces
The pain that rests endlessly on smiling faces
The truth that is borne as a burden on lying lips
The water that flows on and on, on dry lips

The questions that stare when we try to believe
The morrow that evades howe’er long we sleep
The harvests we meet and are forced to plant again
The races we do but never take a single step

The stories we live to ever retell
The choices we make only to regret
The sands that are worn from our footprints
The songs we compose but never do sing

The boy that never becomes a man
The man that never leaves the boy
The girl that lost her doll
The doll lost in the girl
The truth we know so well
The veil that masks the truth
The lies we love to tell
The tales we tell to lie

The man is his own prisoner so long he loves it so
The change that changes the man lives in him
The time to sleep or wake’s not the cloud’s to say
The eyelids may not be yet he can dream
The time for chance is the time for choice
The choice to die is the chance to live
The dead speak if we give them a voice
The earth’s a sphere for those who believe

BLACK GOLD

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Your plains have become fields of blood.
Those you blessed have found it is anathema.
Your gains have become skyscrapers abroad.
The wealth of you has left peasants no richer.
Voyaging your home keep peons in flood,
Yet these waters hold no fish for the Pekan.
Black gold, the reverie of the poor and clod,
The vial from which the rich perfume their “Kaftan”.

Your viscous beauty has stirred hearts to lust.
So many have guiled, lied vied and fought.
Ogling soldiers of fortune kiss the dust;
Queerly they become you whom they sought.
Your ebony fame has left many sons with crumbs.
Hitherto, we satiated with the pride you ring.
Now, our giant egos overweigh our empty tums.
We grope, blinded from gazing your untapped ming.

Your miners came, raped and ravished our land.
Careless about the seeds and tubers that feed us,
They robbed our soils of vigour, left it bland.
Our trees and crops were blessed with a death curse.
O black gold you who has poisoned our waters!
You black gold, have starved our children!
We cried for our soils and wept for our rivers,
The case we pled, on deaf ears they have fallen.

Will I now harangue you o black gold?
Then I would be a murderer of justice.
It’s those bulgy Guts long “Agbadas” enfold,
Who have entombed our gains and your promise;
Stealthily they have robbed you of your shine.
Now we ponder what your glory was and be.
On them this guilt must stick like grime,
Till their gloomy greed will glare for all to see.

SAD SMILES

Eight-year old Balazy gets his own back on the photographer by taking her picture himself.
Eight-year old Balazy gets his own back on the photographer by taking her picture himself.

(A young Nigerian boy mimicking his photographer)
Betty Press – Panos pictures
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The smile of the weary labourer
Whose toil is not feeding him
The smile of the white-collared worker
Whose pay does not take him home
The smile of the limping old soldier
Battle wearied his body writhes in hunger

The smiles of the child-beggar
Nurtured by neither father nor mother
The smiles etched to tired faces
Those of the homeless and wanderer
The smiles of the forgotten races
Cut off from civilization and its grandeur
The smiles of the stricken populace
Ailing from her very own leaders

The smile of the schooled job-hunting man
Standing with shivers in the rain
Zoom zoom goes the pot-bellied politician
Exotic fleet following in his train
Splash splash the squalid taint lashes on
Through the glass he sees them grin
His smiles all soggy and his gaze forlorn
He wonders when the sun will shine on him

Smiles mangled by many cheerless tears
Smiles battered by several spasmodic throes
The fruit of man’s unkindness to man
Smiles that plaster our shredded doleful yarn
Smiles that veneer my people’s reality
Smiles from hearts where joy is rarity
Smiles yes smiles but pain there lies
My people smile sad smiles