Tag Archives: poem

Unbranded!

Reprisal to Nneoma’s branded

By

Chinedu Ifechelobi

I was yours! Right from the start. I saw you years before you saw me. In my dreams, all perfect in the cotton fields, everything sweet, me longing, arms wide open, you smiling, gliding towards me to hold and never let go…

I knew you years before you knew me, in the car with your parents, going to church, singing at the Sunday school, dancing and floating in the air, draped in laces, adorned with braces. I loved you

I loved you, even before you noticed me. I was young wild but wise from the start I knew you were all mine, smiled from a distance but you didn’t notice, waved as you passed but you didn’t look, called out but you ignored you were mine but you didn’t know. So I wandered, my sweet little heart in search for you but in the wrong places, I came back all broken and battered wishing you would see, notice and know, only to see you also in my state, weary from the same journey…

I came for you ready to make you see, ready to die for this cause. Seeing I had nowhere to go, seeing you were all I had, seeing my weakness, you opened your arms, not to mend my bleeding heart but for the desire to own, to brand. I smiled, you saw deception. I opened my arms, you saw a trap. I gave my heart, you saw a bargain, I smothered, you saw seduction. I spoke of dreams, fantasies and a future we could own you saw an explorer waiting like a predator to pounce on his prey. I gave you my heart, you offered your head. Many times I tried, I pleaded, screamed and insisted but you were consumed with your need to brand and to possess. Many times I gave in to you so you would see that love was not all about getting your way, but the more I gave in the more you pressed, the more we were headed for the loveless abyss. Many times I walked away hoping that the loneliness would remind you that love was all that was needed. You couldn’t be bothered, I was made for you and you for me, so I always came back. The world was cold, hard and wicked without you.

So many times I came back, for all my heart needed, was you. As many times as I came back you sent me back to the wolves. All I wanted was to love, to share to give, to lead and to build. We could have, but all you wanted was to play, to own, to dominate and to brand and I knew from my sojourn with the wolves it was all they wanted too. So when you sent me back this time, I found among the wolves a sheep! She is neither all I want nor all I need, but she’s my heart’s balm. She takes me for me, stares in my eyes like she sees stars on a lonely night, sees through to my heart when I speak, loves me to the last jagged straw. She’s not all I wanted but she has become my all, she’s not all I need but she meets all my needs. For this sheep among wolves has become my ride to die chick. This could have been us but you wanted a place to put your stamp but you failed to see  that the last piece of my remaining heart had no space for stamps; UNBRANDED

PUPPY LOVE

puppy love

When I finally gave up, it was because everyone else had given up, everyone else had submitted to long hugs, kisses and affection. I would never have pegged myself as a ninny, changing to suit the crowd but I had become an oddity. A rare object to be showcased in glass and scrutinized. I was not admired, I was inspected over and over again, looked over for faults and flaws. Some declared that they would not have nothing to do with me they thought my uniqueness ugly. Some admitted that I had rare charm, but my charms soon wore off in the face of my resolve not to give up.

Like the rest of my kind, I was born cuddly, lovely to behold with heart melting features, despite the lovable qualities, I was born to be strong, to be fierce, to be steadfast and to guard what was mine! For acceptance and for affection, the rest of my kind shed their stronger features till I was left on the shelf, the lone voice wailing reminders of our other qualities.

The world came to me like they came to Job, “Condemn yourself” they said. “Curse your nature and accept our love” they cried. They said they could not bear to watch my constant rejection, my loneliness. They hated the pain I endured and they couldn’t bear to see me picked and dropped over and over again, cuddled for a while, then left to face long periods of wintry cold.

When I gave up, it was to find acceptance. None of my kind still looked like I did, none of my kind still bore the deep marks we were born with. I gave up to look like the rest of the crowd, I had suffered too much pain for being different. I remember the last time I was picked up, I was admired for a while and I basked in that admiration. I was loved and cherished for an oh so short while. I was dropped when others of my kind came by, all cute, cuddly, adorable and inviting, all the things I was not! My next potential lover did not even pick me up, I never even enjoyed the warmth of his arms, he never stroked, never cuddled, just inspected and rejected!

My heart ached with each rejection, was it any wonder I chose to give up? I gave myself up to the ministrations of an opportunist lover. I was groomed by my lover, decked out and prettied up too. He pampered and oiled my coat, he fed me choicest meat till I was cuddly and chubby, he clipped and filed my claws to blunt smoothness, he put colourful ribbons in my hair too. All through my change, I never barked nor whined, I wanted to be like other puppies.

He offered me up for sale after he had loved me, after he made me lovable, he turned his face to younger puppies just waiting to be molded. I did not mind when he turned his back for I was snatched up the second he dropped me. I looked like the rest, I smelled like the rest and finally, I was loved like the rest!

IF YOU WERE KIDNAPPED

If you were kidnapped, yes you, gi nwa onye m bu n’obi, gi nwa bu ezi oyi m, if you were kidnapped

I would be very pained

I would be bothered and be downright uncomfortable

Tears would spring to my eyes and spill down my cheeks at the thought of your torment

I would worry endlessly about you, I would wonder if you had been harmed,

If you were in pain or if you had been tortured

Situations would revolve in my mind and I would picture you in them all

 

If I heard you were kidnapped, I would ask, why, who and what for?!

If I was told boko haram took you, I would shake my head and wear a straight face

I would shout, mba! Nkea akali go!

I would scream for your return

I would petition the government and security agencies to demand action

I would call on all human rights groups to fight for your rescue

 

If you were kidnapped, I would understand the pain your parents would feel

I would feel their heartache, their sorrow and their loss

I would feel their confusion, their hurt and their despair at their sad lot

I would feel their pain as keenly as if they were my own parents searching for me

I would call up your parents, sit with them, cry with them, say words to make them feel better

 

 

If you, my friend, were kidnapped, I would never forget

I love you, you are a part of me, I wouldn’t take your loss kindly

I would do all in my power to get you back

To make sure that memories of you never fade

I would always listen for news of you

I would attempt anything and everything to get you back

Your memory will never be lost, not to my other interests, not to epidemics, not to other cares and worries

 

If you were kidnapped, I would want you back

I would want you back because you are precious, because you are priceless, because you are an important piece of me

 

I would do all these for you my good friend,

If some females in some obscure part of the country were kidnapped

I would not be bothered, of what use are they to me pray tell?

My passion to bring back missing people only extends to people whose loss affects me!

Any other person, I will forget!

 

 

Note: “Gi nwa onye m bu n’obi” – “You that is dear to my heart”. “Gi nwa bu ezi oyi m” – “You that is my good friend”. “Mba, nkea akali go” – “No, this is too much”

 

 

UNREACHABLE

By Ken Inemiimages

Stars light up the dark lonely skies

Shining brightly all through the night

Sometimes I wish I could reach out and touch the light

And see if it feels as warm as it shines

But there must be a reason for this distance

And who knows what delight could be put to flight If we always had what we want in life

So maybe I will sleep content for the light

That glows softly from this distant star

And wish it would always be out there shining for me

Until I can face a new dawn which would surely come…

BEDMATES

images

You settled for it. It would not have been your first choice or even your second. You picked it after you looked and there were no other options.

It was the last blanket on the rack. It was either pick it or be left without a covering.

You settled for the last and dragged it to bed unwilling. It barely provided the warmth it should have, you could hardly bear to let it do its job. You found its touch irritating to your skin, its attempts to warm you felt like a leprous hug.

 Sometimes you threw it off the bed in disgust. Other times you refused to take it to bed. Your nights were nightmares. You shivered with cold and still wouldn’t take up your covering. You preferred the cold. You hated the choice you had made and you wanted to make another. It suffered too. It felt useless.

 You only picked it off the rack because you would have been left with nothing if you didn’t pick it. Your group of friends all had blankets. Beautiful colourful blankets. They told stories of how they snuggled up in their blankets every night, how it warmed them, how they couldn’t wait to get under it every night and how they couldn’t bear to leave it every morning and of course how they ran back to the warmth of its embrace everyday. When they told stories of their warm beds and awesome nights, you shut your mouth for shame.

So you made a choice. You took the only available one left. Alas your story was not like theirs. You hated the choice you had made; but you were saddled with it. You wished you had endured the cold. The covering on your body was punishment.

At first you consoled yourself, you had picked the last blanket off the shelf, many other people did not get blankets. You tried to be thankful that you had grabbed that last one and you had something. Then you walked into a new shop and saw racks and endless racks of lovely blankets that suited you better!

You wished! Oh! How you wished…

 But the only law in the rule of bedmates says “you spend life with the one you pick! No purchase is returnable”

 

N.B – Am not talking about blankets. No prizes for guessing what am talking about but I still want to hear from you! Decode this!

Photo credit: Google

…JOYS OF A LAGOS MORNING

…JOYS OF A LAGOS MORNING

 

The joys of a Lagos morning

Bottlenecks inching in every direction

Rickety buses creaking down to destinations

Drivers breaking traffic rules, urged on by impatient commuters

Bus Conductors shouting destinations at the top of their voices

Sometimes for no reason other than to call attention to themselves

Private cars joining the snail pace glasses wound up, air conditioners obviously in full blast

Young Ladies painting on their faces, gearing up for the daily show

Young men catching up on sleep in front of buses, mouths open, drooling too

Ever present LASTMA hopping around praying for defaulters, not bothering to keep the peace

 

And on the duller insides…

Food vendors setting up shop, frying, peeling and screaming invitations

Motorcycle and Tricycle drivers, making their early shuttles

Private cars, swimming the canals and moving towards the major road

Shops and places of business opening their doors, just opening

The toll, swinging open and close, emitting dirty money and slowing the pace

Weary faces by the road side, mourning another morning?

Then the students at the bus stop, most of them shabbily dressed,

the children of the middle class do not board buses…

 

Washed bodies and unwashed bodies married by one bus drive

High and low brought together in the morning rush

Purpose on every feet, good or bad

 

The city opens

DANCING AT HER FUNERAL

Onuoha I.S.N

She danced at her funeral

She had never had that much singing in her body even in life

She had never had that much fun

Songs of her praise dripped from every tongue

People gathered to celebrate her life

Her wealth flowed and fed them all

She had never been as attractive as on that day that she lay still for all to look upon

People struggled for a glimpse of her still body

They rushed to make certain she had finally given up

 

Then the real celebrations began

Dancing and singing and twisting and moans

Frenzy, bodies rushing about, sometimes slow, sometimes fast

Her spirit rose and soared to the sound of singing – her singing, their singing

Everything was perfect at her funeral, in her lifetime, she had never lived like this

She danced and she danced, she couldn’t be stopped

Such new life!

 

Then reality dawned, the frenzy ended

The people who caused her to dance opened the grave they dug while she danced

They boxed her and dropped her six feet to be covered with sand

They struggled to be rid of her

Understanding dawned and confusion cleared, the celebration wasn’t of love, it was entirely selfish, they had come to feast on her remains

 

She died a second time, she hadn’t known it when she died the first time

But she was very aware of the painful finality of her second death

 And she wished she had not danced so much at the party to kill her again!

*Note – This is a riddle, am definitely not talking about death! Now just guess what am talking about and I’ll give you a nice spot on my blog for ONE WEEK! Oya people lets do it immediately.

Photo Credits: #BigHstudios