She flits about from flower to flower,
Of the shrubs and plants in the bower,
Here and there dipping,
And from the dainty nectar cup sipping,
Juices fit for the gods and kings,
Her colorful pollen-clad wings moving so fast it rings,
A halo of ethereal light round her form,
That she seems to defy the gravity norm,
She dances around in the warm sunlit morn.
MY LOVE IS AWAY
I sit and stare,
My eyes a-brimming,
On the lake beyond my window,
I watch the geese a-swimming,
The sunny dusk fades and is gone,
The fingers of night stealthily reach in,
Dark shadows fill the rooms,
The chairs and contents all dimming,
My love is away.
It’s a Friday, TGIF day,
It would’ve been his night for steak,
On his way up, bag on back
I’d be scrambling his dinner to make,
But alas tonight there’s no key in the door
I wonder how much Alone can I take?
The thought of days without him
Oh the fear of it makes me quake
My love is away.
Each day I wake to the joy of having you by my side,
Is like a precious dream. Forever,
An exquisite gift-wrapped parcel clad in swathes of the rainbow and wisps of cloud.
Too priceless to value, Inestimable
Too perfect to comprehend, Mysterious
An Enigma, Unfathomable,
I wonder, I marvel
at The Wonder of You.
Pain that only I can feel,
Pain the kind that’s sadly real,
Pain that really has no pill,
Pain they say can never heal.
Pain. For sure I think I’m through,
Pain the sort that comes with two
So much pain, yet there’s no cure
So many tears, I’ve cried them all and more.
Pain, for it I’ve learned to cry
Pain, it makes me want to die.
Pain, that turns my love from me,
Pain, I pray you’ll never see,
Pain, from my presence he flees,
Pain, this brings it back to me,
I’m all alone. No one to bear this pain,
The world is good and living is too
Why can’t my GPS find free parking for me
Why can’t my car pick me up from my door so I don’t have to walk in the snow and wait freezing till it warms up
Why can’t a cheap machine make lovely little braids from my kinky stubborn hair
Why can’t a ray of light from Heaven pick out my Mr.Right from the crowds…
(to be contd)
MOVING FORWARD (Ever)
I was In the world, and Of the world,
With fears, frustrations, fibs and failures,
With sin, sex, searching and Sold,
On man’s meaningless lies, lips and lures.
I wallowed in the very depths with Evil,
With crimes both of the body and mind.
I swam amongst the forerunners for devil,
Till I saw the light of a God so kind.
And now, with faith lucifer do I bind,
Embarking on a searching spree
I promise never to rescind
As I race for souls to free.
To me it had been Life lived to the full,
Meaningless parties, new gear and all
Not knowing that I was a fool
Never understanding that I thought so small.
I was asleep, now I’m awake,
I see real truths and the purpose of Life,
With clearer sense of self, I ache
To Share the Word that saved my life.
UP-SETS WITH GOD
At times I feel high, know I’m doing all right
I seem to have all victories; Life is flowing jes’ aiight,
Then suddenly out of the blues,
I fall with a thump,
Vibrating like the flues,
Smooth sailing clumps a bump.
Then I remember, get myself back and muse
Life’s unpredictable, unexpected, gives you no clues
But when I walk with the Lord,
I can dance on water,
He bridges every fjord
‘Cos I’m His Daughter.
I see your building plans, they look fancy and all,
You envision us in there, really having a ball,
But Wait! …Though I know you’re smart,
Unless He builds with you,
All will come to naught,
Subject your plans to His Will.
Only Him can seal this deal.
I have a hunger,
I have an ache,
But always and forever awake,
I hunger to know you, my Lord,
I ache to quell my yearning,
There’s this void that only you can fill.
Come and show me, All I need to be learning.
I hunger, please feed me,
I ache, please sedate me,
Keep me going on this path,
Keep me strong in my heart
Only you can stop my search,
Only you can fill my heart,
Now towards Your grace I lurch,
Onto Your grace I latch.
Only You are my true love,
The being of my existence,
Bane of my sin, banisher of my demons,
Come in and stay, Lord
I don’t wanna lose this,
I hold on to this ache
I don’t know The End of this hunger,
But I don’t wanna go back to sin.
1) O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me,
And all things else recede,
My heart be ever closer Thee,
From sin be daily freed.
2) Now passerby grieve not,
For the pauper I seemed to be,
Into this world cometh I clothed not,
Neigh, well-drest do I leave.
3) Why think small when you have a BIG God,
Why stress when you have done your best
Pray, stand proud, He IS THE Lord!
In faith, stand by and let Him do the rest.
4) The world’s truly full of ups and downs,
And this do I lament,
With silver-spoon in mouth came I to earth/life,
Now I leave with a mouth-full of wool.
5) With a skin worn thin by a thousand creams,
She scrimps and primps to achieve her dreams.
1) I’m Home
It’s my first morning back! Freshly in from the white man’s land, the shrill cock-crow at dawn had hastened my early awakening. With my mouth brushed and feet stuffed into slippers, i throw on a t-shirt and step off my grandparents’ verandah. I know my destination and eagerly walking towards the market, I begin to be welcomed, bathed by a delightful bouquet of smells, sights and sounds.
The smell of fresh-baked agege bread wafts by my nostrils, borne on the heads of quarrelling sellers. The stench of cassava fermenting mingles with the odors of kpanla fish frying and sweet bolle plantains roasting right alongside, all underneath the boldly-risen tropical sun. Fruit ripening on trees catch my eye, interspersing with the sights of sawdust being bagged for transportation and drying leather on wooden planks.
As I walk on by, I’m listening to the peddlers singing out their wares, their necks swaying side-to-side, sharp eyes like those of pounce-prone eagles seeking out hapless prey to swoop on. So many housewives arguing with unseen faces hidden under mammoth umbrellas, alternately outraged and grieved hurried tones bemoaning high prices of breakfast. Already-dusty children eagerly squabble and struggle for tidbits from their mothers’ purchases as stressed-faced men in suits hurry by to catch buses to the city.
The clamor rising from the noisy early crowd mixes in with the clatter of crude carts bearing gallons of water-for-sale trundled by sweaty abokis. The dry and raw harmattan air rasps through my parched throat and I smile.
I’m filled with wonder. There’s an exciting feeling of freedom and space that leaves me breathless, even in the midst of the cacophonic claustrophobia-inducing rowdiness all around me. So different, so old and yet so new. So forgotten and yet so reminiscent. The air hums and throbs with expectancy, pregnant with all the possibilities of today and people’s hopes for tomorrow!
The smell I seek stops me, I almost missed my destination. Turning to the left, I behold my craving. Fresh akara and solid pap-agidi wrapped in banana leaves, breakfast combo of the gods! I stop and bend down, ready to start my haggling. Now I know I’m home. It’s December, Christmas season and it feels good to be back to where I belong. Nigeria. The land of my birth.
1) agege bread: Agege is a place in Lagos, that became known for producing and selling cheap, dense, super-soft bread on the streets. Agege bread is any cheap, dense, super-soft bread of its kind.
2) Kpanla: A kind of skinny oily fish.
3) Bolle: Roasted plantains.
4) aboki: Hausa word for “friend”, usually used to refer to northern Nigerians.
5) akara: yummy puffs made from a freshly ground thick paste of beans/black-eyed peas, onions, pepper and spices deep-fried in oil.
6) pap: a porridge made from fermented fresh corn sediment.
7) agidi: solidified corn pap wrapped in banana leaves.
THAT VASSAL IS ME (The plight of the Nigerian Vassals) – Helena C. Eke
What can you say when there’s no one to listen?
What do you do when you look upon the begging masses?
In traffic their eyes plead with you, as you sit behind the wheel,
Of the air-conditioned bullet-proof luxury Jeep.
Your heart reaches out but your hands are tied,
Your brain is shouting but you dare not speak,
You are a mere servant,
Cursed to be meek.
As you drive, you watch your masters,
Callously cheating and stealing,
Crippling the kids; shooting the youths,
Underpaying the workers; ignoring the pensioners.
What can you do? You need to be “The Man”,
Hold on to a demeaning job with meagre pay,
The bread-winner providing for his family,
While you shrink and loyally watch ‘Oga’ maiming the people.
Your conscience pricks, you struggle every day,
As you drive, you hear them plotting, laughing in the back seat,
About the billions and how they’re moving it offshore,
You wonder, you ponder but your hands are tied.
You wish you had the power to leak this information,
Their stealing, it’s killing,
The country you hold dear,
Family, friends, there’s so many starving out there.
A downpour starts, it’s harder to see and drive,
The deluge envelops my thoughts and Me,
My rheumy aged eyes peer ahead in the night,
I gotta keep silent, Can’t afford to start The Fight.
– April 1st 2014
Demure, unpretentious, intelligent, beautiful, Amazing
Without her, I would never be.
Priceless, virtuous, honest, religious (is she),
Handpicked by God to birth/deliver me
Confident, shy, unassuming, strong, African
The one who makes me know that “Yes I can”
Devoted wife, Amazing mother, blessed grandmother
Admired leader, the Chief’s wife, the widows’ help
Pride of her parents, crowning glory of her husband
So rich is her love, unconditional
Boundless, patient and kind
Who else cares for me like you do?
Who else would stand by me despite all/what I do
My blood is of your blood
My flesh unformed except for you
Every fibre of my being, cells netted with your DNA
Who would I be, without you?
My sunshine, my bridge over troubled waters
The guiding star I strive to emulate, my North Star
My Mother, my All.
He steps out
Into the blinding sunlight,
And stands still, perfectly still.
With eyes shut. Tight.
To savor the burn of the sun on his head,
He tilts his face up to relish it now on his face.
Creeping across each inch of skin
Burning like a million pinpricks cauterizing each pore
On his pale drawn face
Tired from too many years of too much rest behind bars.
A slight breeze comes, caressing the remnant tendrils of whitened hair,
Bearing on it a solitary leaf which hits him once on the face then drifts on to continue its flitting journey.
This light touch is enough to jolt him out of his mind trance,
He opens his eyes, afraid of what he will see. An altered world?
The sky dims, then darkens. Time passes
Still he stands there,
Taking in the sights and sounds
Of frying kenkey and sizzling suya.
Trucks trundle by in clouds of dust, laden with goods,
Tired marketwomen heading home after the day’s sales
Still he stands there
A rumble, a drop of water and then another, becoming a steady drizzle from above
Reminding him of the first day he stood here, 40 years ago
A young man in his prime at the age of 28, sentenced for a crime he knew nothing about
Now he’s out.
A new source of drops starts up, salty offspring from his eyes, then several in quick succession
Mingling with the sympathy of the heavens
Still he stands there, bereft of all, home, family, friends or possessions.
Nowhere to go, penniless, abandoned by “decent” society
The once-crowded street empties quickly
Jostling streams of humanity hurrying indoor to their warm homes and meals in the company of people they love
No one stops or cares, stoops or dares, to speak to the shrunken little old man
Shriveled and standing hunched over, Homeless and alone
In the street, he stands
Then steps forward,
Into the world,
A “reformed” man,
Deformed physically and emotionally, by four decades in solitary,
Devoid of friends or sunlight,
Filled with ill-health, pain and hard labor.
They call him reformed, but really, What is he?
Only Time and Fate will tell..
A shirt, a pair of trousers. A few hundred naira
That’s it. Banished from jail and set free on the world,
I step out of oppressive darkness back to life’s crazy choir
My eyes squint, then slowly relax, pupils constricting.
They widen, To encompass the blinding sun/light
Reconciling with/Widening to the world and its long forgotten sight
My nostrils quiver, resisting the stink
But getting hooked on thick exhaust fumes, stagnant gutters, frying akara,
The stench of fish rotting in the sun borne on wafting winds from the nearby beach market.
Nasal passages widening to encompass the world and all its long forgotten smells.
My ears are more hardy
Being used to screams of pain, wardens’ shouting, quarreling cellmates,
The crack of the whip on cell doors, the clanging of the grates…
However, my 5 senses perk up and I marvel
So my skin can still feel after all the torture?
My eyes still see after the dank darkness in solitary?
My nose is not dead from the constant stench and putrefaction?
My ears not blocked by the years of disuse, clogging grime and dirty speech.
The 5th yet remains, unsatisfied and yelping for attention.
Swallowing tears of joy, rising up my throat
I step out, to seek a feed, my nostrils twitch as I turn
Towards the sounds and smells drifting from the beach and its many restaurants
Into the world again.
I Search for Souls
I was in the world and of the world,
With fears and frustrations, fibs and failures,
With sex and sin, searching, yes SO sold!
On man’s meaningless lies, lips and lures.
I wallowed in the very depths of evil,
With crimes both of the body and mind.
I saw among the forerunners for devil,
Till i saw the light of a God so kind.
But now I’m of faith, lucifer do I bind,
And promise never to rescind.
As I search for bound souls to free.
To me it had been a life lived to the full,
Meaningless parties, jewels and all
Not realizing that I was a fool
Never understanding that I thought so small
I was asleep, but now I wake
To comprehend the truths and real purpose of Life
I feel a clearer sense of self and ache
To sahre my new beliefs amidst all strife
I will die for my Lord even face the knife
Like Agueda of Guam, patron saint of many a wife.
For my Lord gave His all, he died for Me.
It’s tough to live
In a loveless world
Solo and poor in love, purse and family,
Fatigued from the constant fight with that dreadful voice convincing/urging me to end my sorry existence
It usually hurts to wake
To yet another empty day
Pregnantly teasing with possibilities
Today could be that, but today’s different, I arise with a senile whoop
It usually hurts to leave
The dank old house
These secretive walls, covered with senescent etchings
But today’s different and I emerge, squinting into the happy yellow lies of the sun
It usually hurts to hobble
Amidst teeming hordes
Present, unseen, nonexistent, yet another immaterial bod,
I often limp from my war injuries, but today’s different, I barely feel the pain
It usually hurts to know
That no one cares
I was lost, well alone on Earth
A sad victim of mistakes and misfortune, but today’s different, I am barely here
It usually hurts to eat
My teeth gone with the Bad Years
I sit and suck chili, at the nuns’ shelter
Relishing the taste, ‘cause today’s different, my last meal here
The time is here, I totter off,
It’s tough to run on painful swollen soles
But run I must
I can’t wait, for destiny calls to me with an alluring promise/voice
I arrive at the golden gate/bridge, aroused by my mind’s clear absence
Excited for the first time in a long while, my adrenaline awake
I can’t wait to leave this life, end it all
I hurtle over bridging the gap
Traveling between death and life
Racing to end it all
Fearless, it’s fun to finally almost fly
Hurtling through space,
Like a puff of mace
The End rises, rushing right up to my face.
Cape Coast, the place
Where village heads bartered lives for salt, tobacco or gin
Where war captives were traded for gunpowder/weapons of more destruction
Where youths/maidens happy/excited, returning from the day’s chores/farmlands/or the stream/their family/fetching water
Where kidnapped without a trace
Sold/dragged into a life of disgrace
Cape Coast, the land
Where my caught cousins were carted away
My bought brothers were bound in chains, forced to eat their excreta for sustenance
My African sistas were viciously raped
Disvirgined and torn till they bled,
Robbed of a future with their betrothed/beloved.
Impregnated and thrown aboard before foreign land was reached
To hide the telltale signs of the white man’s lust for black flesh,
To prevent the birth of brown babies with skin the color of tallow/whose flesh would yell out the dirty secret
Whose skin will forever scream/accuse “One of you raped my Mom.”
Cape Coast, the seas
Home to countless bones
Of human cargoes flung overboard
All through the long… month long journey to the white land
Bodies of the aging/old, the young, the weak, the strong/proud, the sick
Cape Coast, I see the slave dungeons
Some placed directly underneath the “Christian” chapels
Where “Christian” soldiers and their families worshipped a blind/ed God/an unknown deity
Some underneath the schoolrooms where children were taught racism
I see the dungeon walls, scratched upon in desperation by so many helpless captives waiting for the next ship
To cart them off to torture and death while building a great America
While treated in/made subhuman fashion, whipped, chained and set upon at will by dogs
Females raped by their subhuman captors and found pregnant
Flung overboard to the sharks
Cape Coast, the Coast
The Gold Coast, on which/whose wave-tossed rocks I now stand
Gazing out across the seas
That once teemed with ships of gruesome cargo
The shores with washed-up bones
The angrily fierce waves still tossing as the tortured spirits long released into it
Humans in chains treated as sub-animals
Torn away from all they cherish, love and hold dear
Gone, borne with/on the winds.
Stolen royalty, robbed innocence, proud black skins stolen from their Gold Coast,
Forced into slavery, to misery, pain and eternal ridicule.
Stolen (“black gold”) from the Cape Coast
Dear God, please teach me to love unconditionally
To unhide the roiling affections sheathed beneath my stoic face, my burning love for my Only sister,
While she’s with me and when’s she’s not.
Help me to love even when I don’t feel respected,
To not feel dejected and sunken even when I’m disregarded
To be patient and kind, seeking no reward, even when I’m hurting inside
To hold my tongue when I want to lash back at her harsh words and share some of my pain/the misery loving her gives me
To hug her and hold her tight, at least her hand, knowing that any moment could be our last
To not be too proud to breath in her fragrance whenever she is near
Or play with her hair, like I used to, when we were younger. She’d lie on my lap and I’d comb her long hair.
To not shy away from offering to give her a foot rub, wash her feet and paint her nails.
Those are things I dream of doing, a way to express my love for a loved one, why not for my Big sister?
I think, Someday. When we get closer, but…
What if that day never comes?
Lord, teach me to make each second spent with her count, each memory sweet
To relish her presence when she’s near so that I do not cry from the misery of time wasted when she’s gone,
So that we do not feel remorse and regret when our time together is spent/over.
To remember that no matter how harsh our words to each other, our hearts brim with unspoken/unvocalized love
Though our words sometimes break our hearts, our bond of love remains unbroken,
Teach me to keep seeking her approval, even if I never get it
Teach me Love Unconditional, Lord. May I love her just as she is.
Dear God, please teach me to love her now, not Tomorrow, not next year.
Even amidst our overburdened doses of our Life’s pains, teach me to be the best sister I can be.
To not envy those who get her undivided attention and time, but to savor the blessing when I get my share.
When she wants/loves to talk, let me listen without feeling unheard
If she wishes to keep her things one way, Father give me patience not to rearrange them.
If she asks me a zillion questions a zillion times each, Father make me love questions/responding.
If she needs anything I can give, let me Lord.
You blessed me with her, my precious Bijou.
Let me be her best friend
Let me be her ally/first companion
Let me truly become, as I am
Her Only Sister.
In the misty dawn,
My eyes alight on Zuma Rock,
The Great Rock, the slippery one,
Its smooth top now clad in wisps of cloud,
Hovering around its broad rim,
And I imagine this Mighty rock,
Being the seat of God.
Multiplied in size on Judgment Day,
Before it I now stand.
An early pilgrim,
What if the trumpet now blows
As I stand and ponder?
What if the clouds split and reveal heavenly sights?
What if a great pair of feet emerges
To rest upon this Rock?
If I am the first here,
Will I be pardoned into Heaven?
Or banished to Hades?
With a skin worn thin by a thousand creams,
With eyes deep sunk and kohl rimmed,
She stalks the sidewalk tigress-like,
Hoping to net an able Tom, Dick or Mike
Or a callow schoolboy’s wallet milk,
All around her mates of equal ilk,
Strive to achieve a similar aim,
Tall, short, dark or light,
All are ladies of the night.
Catwalking, out for a purse to maim,
Walking, walking endlessly,
Some succeed to get a catch for the night,
But some walk up and down fearing,
That a no-meal day is dawning,
Praying to Eros and Cupid,
To send a forever lasting love,
Or at least a wealthy patron,
With whom they stay till morn,
Praying, waiting, watching, wanting
And walking endlessly walking.
Recession survivor (2010)
I see the writing on the wall, with my brain’s eye
The rumors have been in the grapevine for a while
The day is here. Again.
The first Wednesday of the month, whispers Jane.
Sitting in our office, I hear the whispers, hushed phone convos
See the furtive glances, deserted hallways
Hear the familiar dead silence of layoff day.
It’s always awkwardly intense, the larger the quieter
A day of mourning for the living.
My GM tiptoes by and whispers to us
“In strict confidence, We are letting go of Suzie. She was just told this.
She is taking it well and will be escorted out of the building by Security
We are really sad to lose her especially after all the great work she has done.
She was a very valued member of the team and will be missed
I wanted to tell you in person. This is a hard time for all of us…”
Blah blah blah and Bull shit!
Who said you had to let her go? We all know you never liked her.
She challenged your thinking.
Who said a company earning billions had to fire thousands at the first mention of recession?
Who said we have to send fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, to the pavements and Unemployment centers?
Living beings with school loans yet unpaid, mortgages waiting, sick parents and dependents needing Daddy’s paycheck?
All casually disposed of, like used tissues/Kleenex?
Who said you should terminate an employee whose excellent program was launched company-wide last week?
Her ideas and work have won so much praise and endorsement from all, even Executives?
And now, you “just don’t have the budget”…”She’s been here too long”…”Stuck in her ways”…
Blah blah blah and even more Bullshit!
Oh shut up with the excuses.
It’s politics. Corporate America at its worst.
It’s the rat race, the survival of the cunning and sacrifice of the honest/callow.
This is not for the team it’s for more money, it’s for you. Bitchwork.
It’s not performance-based, it’s often retaliation. For something you can’t handle
It’s not justified, it’s you. Bending your soul to the winds of capitalism
It’s not necessary, it’s Greed. Cut the souls and bring in more machines.
Fuzzy, unstable, I roll over out of bed
Tumbling onto the floor
Onto the tangerine peels squishy and moldy from abandonment four days ago
Onto beer bottles from consecutive nights
Unstably stumbling, I push myself up to stand, Swaying like a wind-tossed tenderling/mangrove
I barely see, but I know it’s out there somewhere.
Time. I think it used to exist
But now time is timeless and my days bleed into the next
Time. A reminder of it. My alarm clock. Where is it?
I peer towards the bedhead where it used to sit but don’t see it.
Contemplate digging for it beneath my duvet where it must now be
But bending is too much to ask from my migraine-laden head
And so I turn away
In a strange land, alone, with no (one to) care
No one to care for and no one to care for me
Who am I? A failure. A failure at Life, a failure at Love
A failure at giving, a failure at living
I would leave if only I could, but I’m scared to wear my own noose
Scared to pull the trigger, scared to die
But too inept to live a lie
So this is how it is
Leaving. The feelings of fear first overwhelm you
Fear of what is to be, what will be, what will be lost
Trepidation seizes you and you wonder,
Who will I become, how will i survive, how will i feed
Peace comes, a strange peace, a false sense of calm
How can this be real? You who have always been a star
Fired? Not you.
On the heels of peace comes joy,
Walking out in the midst of a work day while others just like you stay mired behind their desks,
Slogging away at unending tasks
The mundanity of it all suddenly strikes you
So those piles of work you’ve sacrificed all your past days to, can really be done by someone else?
So those projects you were fretting over just a few hours ago, are no longer your responsibility?
Shaking your head at your previously uncomprehended dispensability,
You walk out to a sunny day outside, filled with opportunities
At last you are free, free, free at last!
You drive away hopeful, brimming with stuff you can NOW get done,
Hobbies you can NOW freely pursue
Leisurely trips around the globe become a possibility,
No worries about time off, business needs and job abandonment, you just get up and go!
Your head is now abuzz!
Yup, finally you can take up that painting class, learn French, take violin lessons
Ah, the joys of having been paid very well and staying frugal.
Yes! This is the time for that trip around Europe and Asia,
Skiing in Antarctica, sailing in the Caribbean, zip lining in Central America, safari in Africa…
There’s so much planning to be done,
Now you can’t wait to get a notepad and plan everything this very instant
But first a drink to celebrate, you stop by the local pub.
(And next day, the cycle begins all again..
Fuzzy and unstable, you roll over out of bed)
You ask(ed) me Why?” and I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you right now.
There, I said it. The forbidden word.
The unmentionable and “non-african” affliction.
‘How?’ you ask, ‘How? With suitors vying for you, with a fab job and family, How?’
‘I’ll tell you how, now.
Of the lovers, none has my heart.
My job pays but the money can’t buy happiness.
And the family you mention? They are all on other continents,
Far far far away, at home and at work with their own struggles,
None of them is from my womb or put a ring on my finger,
None is bound to me via cord or via vows.
They are too far away to be felt. I am alone.
That word, which once seemed so impossible/unfathomable.
A curse I never believed in.
The plague of my life for the last 5 years
The constant companion who lives with me, walks with me,
Whose words compel my thoughts and propel my inactions.
The shadow who crawls into bed at night with me and rises with me at noon.
The ‘spirit’ who has turned my rich life into a pallid existence.
Ah! Do I know it? It’s become my frenemy/only friend.
I live/I’ve become used to living like a breathing corpse.
A cadaver pickled in formaldehyde.
A zombie with normal skin and complete limbs,
Too tired to sleep, too sleepy to rise,
Too weak to pray and too listless to care
Each and every day. Yes, Depression.
It is no myth.
It is not a figment of the white man’s imagination.
It exists and can creep in unheralded, into any life.
It creeps in and sucks you down, pulls you off your pedestal and strips you bare,
Of caring. Of success, of a job, of energy, Of Life.
And it often starts with one bad decision, one wrong choice,
one stroke of misfortune, one hater, one accursed sentence,
one moment that forever mars the rest of your life, mars your memories of that time and maligns who you really are.
The invisible enemy, the antidote to living, the antithesis to happy matter
I salute you, o great Depression.
I HAVE NOT SEEN GOD (2012)
I have not seen God and yet as I stand still swaying in swirling seas of sorrow, I am told to call on Him.
I am told that He is near, hearing me and yet waiting to hear from me.
I have not seen God, but I hear He made me, just like Him and yet nothing like Him.
I am supposed to understand that I have a Father who is always near but never here.
I have not seen God, but they say He feeds me daily with bread, and fed some people long ago with bread from heaven too.
I wonder how to survive on a mono-nutrient diet? If that is truly all we need, why do we starve?
I have not seen God, but I am told I should not dare to challenge Him/ask him such questions, or else he could ever strike me down.
I ponder why a loving father would strike down His child for asking questions?
I have not seen Him, and I wanted to, but I hear conflicting things. They say He is kind and loving, full of mercy and forgiveness.
They also say he is a God of vengeance, fearful and created an eternal burning lava-pit for people who didn’t understand His way.
I have not seen God, but they say all faith, grace and (spiritual) wisdom comes from Him and He’s given it to all, good and bad alike.
When He doesn’t give any the grace that only comes from Him, it’s still their fault. They won’t be one in 144,000.
I have not seen my father, but He made Judas to carry out a purpose that had to be carried out.
When it was done, he was filled with such negativity and driven to hang himself.
They say he went to Hell for betraying Christ, so I ask, “Why is He in Hell for carrying out God’s purpose for his existence/a most key role in the heavenly plan?”
I have not seen my father and was curious to meet Him, but did he really stage His only son’s painful, prolonged torturous death, to save lives. That scared me already but what confused me is that this happened over 2,000 years before my birth so…was it really for me?
I have never seen this perfect God, but I heard He knows everything and made the world from nothing.
When I asked “Who made Him and where did He come from?”, Teacher sent me to the back of the class for misbehavior.
When I asked, why so many people were dying of sunstroke somewhere and others of extreme cold elsewhere, my Sunday school teacher said, “Because that is His will”.
When I asked why there was so much pain in the dying world that my Unseen father created, I was told, “We all are purified through pain”. But why is He making it hard if it doesn’t have to be, if He is indeed kind and loving? Who says Pain is necessary?
As I grew up, I had more questions to ask,
If He was a wise God and a loving God, why was He giving babies to people who would abort, kill or throw them away while so many others begged Him in anguish for just one baby to call their own?
If He truly knows my every need, why then do I have to suffer so much to put food on the table or get some warmth in winter?
Is He a Christian God for Christians, and if so, does it mean all the Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Atheists and other denominations are all going to Hell? Would there be many Heavens and Hells differentiated per denomination and doctrine? Or was Heaven and Hell only for people who had ever fortunately (or unfortunately) heard His “Word”?
If He knows my every thought, what will be my fate for thinking of, nay even daring of write of these things?
As I grew up in the poverty I was born into, I watched devout parents, ever-hoping and praying for prosperity that never came, eternity in a heaven none had ever seen and seeking wisdom I never saw.
For their sakes too, I want to see God, because I have many questions only He can answer.
If He sees my open letter, my silent cry, will he smite me or see me?