Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Whispers from the Niger Delta

As the bullet tore into his flesh, Efemena gave a loud cry, “my children! my children!”. He slumped to the ground where his fellow village elders’ lifeless body lay. As he stare at death’s gruesome face, his thought wandered to his soon-to-be orphan children who had lost their mother to cholera, two years ago. He couldn’t stop the tears from pouring.

Another bullet pierced his sides.

His face contorted in pain as thick balls of blood drip from his lips, impeding his speech. His assailant – one of the uniformed men, trampled on the corpse of the slain elders and stood over him with a pointed gun. Efemena could only whisper through a splutter of blood, “God save my children” as his brain exploded.

Onanefe’s scream cut through the lone night like a bullet, puncturing the once serene ambience and frightening the feasting mosquitoes away from their nocturnal preoccupation. A greedy blood-drunk Anopheles whose tiny legs could no longer sustain the bulging thirty-three litres blood tank meant for an abdomen was squashed to death as Edafe wrapped her frail arms around her trembling brother, reminding him that it was only a nightmare. But Onanefe never got over it!

From the chink in the town hall, he had watched those uniformed men massacre his father alongside several village elders under the guise of national dialogue. That morning, they came beaming with smile, with their guns dangling from the side. As they converged at the town Hall, the village elders wore faces brightened with hope. They chatter away like excited kids until the guns put them to sleep. They muzzled them to death with rains of bullets, leaving the villagers fatherless. No doubt, the uniformed men were national assassins!

For years, Onanefe was haunted by that gory sight. Not even the intense African sun could heal the wound caused by such treachery. The seed of hostility evoked by that act of betrayal and nurtured through those nightmarish nights, awakened some sort of dissent – a quest for justice.

In the creeks, small groups of angry youths, without a home to hide when dusk settles have started gathering - learning to trigger the gun!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

When truth is true...

Nagging thoughts drone incessantly on my burdened heart and like a heavy cloud, the imaginary weight on my head cast a shadow on the plain white sheet in front of me. ‘I am the man’ I whispered and so, should I mask my face with a smile while swallowing the bitter pill of pain? I rolled my sleeve up one more time - pen in hand, ready to give a voice to my lingering thoughts.

As my bare pen kisses the virgin white sheet, it appears that in their union, my worries take flight as I behold a spectacle - my pen and the sheet, entangled in a bridal dance!

A familiar rhythm rents the air, fanning the embers of a budding love.

I watch in awe as my old faithful pen do that romantic swing with the pretty white sheet who flashes seductive smiles, like a bride savouring each moment with gleeful pride. They danced through the night, unperturbed by my towering presence. The lone moon kept vigil as twinkling balls adorn the sky, in readiness for such rare celestial union. Against this background, my soul rest so profound…

I woke up!

I laugh at my illusions, but that laughter soon turned sour in my mouth when I found the same old faithful pen and the plain white sheet, lying peacefully on my bed-side table.

As I reach for the pen, the plain white sheet slips from the table; ferried by an ambitious wind, it drifts helplessly before it finally rested on the floor, close to my feet. Something caught my attention. The virgin white sheet has been deflowered!

The pride of her wall has been taken over by that ancient groom- the pen. Scribbled against that once virgin wall is the line:

"Forgiveness is therapeutic when truth is true"

Friday, 10 April 2009

His birth!

Today, I add a year.

As callous men descended on him with whips and clubs, urging him to make that suicidal plunge on Golgotha’s lonely path, mother felt a sharp pain in her lower abdomen. The life in her womb seems to leap for joy. No doubt, her time has come.

Crestfallen, his frail frame shuddered under the weight of the cross as balls of crimson sweat trickles from his wounds, yet; they led him on, lashing out on his battered skin. He trudged on, not for the cruel kisses of their whips or the threat of imminent death but for the joy that lies ahead.

In that symbolic room marked “labour”, there where life is given and sometimes taken, mother lay toiling. She clenched pains in her teeth and drank patience from the midwives constant jibes. As her body ruptured in pain and her strength seemed to drain, she fought tenaciously, not for her life but the life of the one inside of her. She endured the perpetual agony of labour, knowing that a bundle of joy awaits her.

On Golgotha, he crumbled. Merciless men drove nails through the palm of his hands and feet, amused as he writhe in pain. Crucified, blood trickled down the cross and with each drip, life is drained. Yet, with his dying breath he prayed for his murderers and declared the work of redemption completed.

In that same instance, amidst the growing pain, mother gave that one final push and a new life was brought forth!
In his death, we find life everlasting.

Tear drops from a weary eye,
cease in its drizzling track;
faltering hope from a dying heart,
learn to soar in the morning breeze
when God's love, my broken heart finds.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Greatest Show of Love

Whoever said innocence is a vice,
let him probe the guiltless stares of infants
who giggles as mother writhe under pain,
after hard bites on her tender tits.

Yet, mothers offer forgiveness, not smacks
knowing that such acts in innocence,
are the greatest show of love.

Pix from GettyImages

Friday, 20 February 2009 more

They left us...
Their morbid curiosity gratified;
But in our heart, a wound
The African sun never can heal!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Before I die...

Please read Murderous Intentions before you read this post.

Dear SHE,

I bleed.

In my hand is a gun, pointing to my head. In my heart is the dagger of words, buried between those bulging halves that beat with life. What hand drives the handle? What venom rides on the wings of words, tearing by heart apart? Waiting for that moment, that sacred moment when all becomes still and life becomes but a drifting lullaby fading with each seconds. Then we wake on the other side, if there be any. Either way, I am a dead man!

But before I am declared another feast for famished worms, let me break this sullen silence whose clouds are beginning to gather. Let me, on this platform unearth a maze of events that time has failed to heal. For who knows, in death, I might find my life’s long quest. And who knows what great benefit this revelation would in its rising tide, accomplish.

I have wronged you.
I am as guilty as charged. In this court of conscience, I have been found guilty. I have caused you much pain and in death would I not cause you more, if I by your hand kiss this world goodbye? Would human laws not find you guilty? And even if you escape the short hands of the law, can you escape the ever vibrant court of conscience? If forgiveness be far from you, then let me die, not by your hands, but let me with my own hands, end this miserable life of mine. For I do not wish to cause your healing heart more pains.

One more thing before I become history.

Is it true that a part of me -a part of us, now grows in you? If this be true, then my heart fails me. My hands no more can pull the trigger. My heart bleeds the more for that innocent life who would soon be rendered fatherless. This innocent soul who knowing no wrong would have to pay for a sin she never committed. I wish things were different. I wish I could give her the happiness she so deserve. I wish…

One thing I ask even if I don't deserve it but for the sake of what we shared, never make her a part of this sour tale.

I wonder what you would you tell her about me? What if she finds out that her beloved mother, murderered her father? What if…?

Better I end this tragic tale now!



Friday, 30 January 2009



I search for answers. Walking on this lone and dusty path, knowing where I am going but knowing not where this trail - this silent travail leads. This road; I was told should lead to Eden. But here I am on life's almost fading track and time seems to have gone mute to my endless pleas and advances.

I am sinking. The ground beneath me seem to be shifting. Like a leaf cut off from its branch, I am left to drift helplessly. I can't understand why I am sinking so deep. I can't explain why I am falling so fast!

In the midst of these woes, I wonder where God is. I wonder if he is watching. I wonder if he cares. Will he catch me before I reach the ground?

"God, if you really care, please don't let me fall by the way side"

I guess there are a million others out there saying these words. But, how long do I have to wait till my morning comes? How long till he sends me an angel? How long?

Inspired by Ruben Studdard's "I need an angel"

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A New Dawn...

I felt something in the air.

First came the instrumentals, creating an ambience that sets the soul in motion. Then came her voice, light as the tender flight of a butterfly; pure like the innocent smile of a baby, piercing through the stillness of the evening. My soul ballooned with ease in the evening breeze. For the first time in several weeks, I felt such peace as I have never before experienced.

I listened as one enchanted. Like a piece of metal flung into a river, the lyrics sank deep into my subconsciousness.

Her voice shot through my veins like a dose of marijuana, tippling thoughts from a mind already brimming with questions. The air echoed her voice. But my heart, with each throb, resounded her message – Ojumo ti mo, mo ri re o.

From a distance, I heard as though it were in a trance - the charade of supplications, drifting in through the winds, clogging the wheels of pleasant melody. I paused. It seemed like a congregation of drunks, who, having sucked from the enchanted bottle, now rant in a spate of senseless rhetoric.

I wonder how heaven cope with the endless stream of supplications that invade his privacy. Do the angels ever get tempted to close the door when provoked? Do they even get provoked? I sometimes imagine them, trying to shut the windows of heaven to stop those pestering peeps who would not mind exhausting the “blood of Jesus” if it can be exhausted. And God, thundering from his throne, would say, “Suffer not these ones to pray unto me, for the blood is sufficient”.

Sometimes I ask, is it the intensity of the supplication that determines who gets an answer? Or is there some sort of ‘churchy’ explanation to the unusual restlessness characterizing those fleeting moments that witness the demise of a year and the rebirth of another? For while we rejoice in endless spew over the birth of a year, we mourn the death of another.

And now the drum rolls, another year is born!

I felt the dove of music, perch lightly on my seeded heart and as it flaps its wings, the thick darkness of the night gradually gave way to the fresh smell of dawn…

…welcome 2009!

Inspired by Asa’s song “Ojumo ti mo”