Poetry, ViMP

Life-death

50 bright youths full of hope
Came to LBS to convoke
Five days full of knowledge
Of hard work, of laughter
They go back whither they came from
Who knows, who knows

Knowledge is power they say
Well armed these 50 were
Most things can be worked at
Some things can be sweet-talked
Does this power extend over all?
Who knows, who knows

The duality of human life
Body-soul, life-death, day-night
Some things are inevitable
They can’t be wished or prayed away
How long they will wield their power
Who knows, who knows

As the 10 green bottles on the wall,
Once 50 youths full of hope
Came to LBS to convoke
What happens when one falls down?
Do you see nine or forty-nine
Who knows, who knows

Here comes he who knows
Seeing, you believe
Loving, one is more powerful
Well is Maths puzzled
When it perceives the answer
He knows, he knows

Though one bottle is down
There are not nine but fifty
Body-soul, life-death, day-night
The fallen is not lost
Life is changed not ended
He is only on the other side

Dedicated to a fallen coursemate. Rest in peace, bro

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Musings

Losing you!

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What would our world be without the simple two-syllable named being – Mother {nnem in Igbo language}. I remember your screams and cries when we learned that Chinonso had been washed away by the rain and we became incomplete, from half a dozen to five only. Floating as fresh as ever is your smile as you read my letter apologising for constantly bedwetting at the age of thirteen. The many councils of children you called to decide the fate of a defaulting child. ‘What shall we do with Uche who has acquired the habit of picking from others?’ you asked and when we replied ‘pardon her this last time’ you acquiesced and Uche got one more chance before the gentle whips of your cane. You never kept a cane, nnem. One simply materialized when the need arose and it did so rarely. I laugh now as I laughed many years ago as your palm landed on my back because I had been very naughty, only to end up crying when the after effects of the slap reached home. You never flogged us, lengthy sermons was not your method either. Short pieces of advice here and there, a good and strong example and plenty of prayers were your style. Who can forget the delectable cat fish pepper soups you usually made to celebrate one of our small victories – first prize here, a coming of age there? Those bags and corners where you hid your little everyday things; remember how we used to joke that one day you will forget where you hid those things away from our prying eyes and grasping hands. Who except you will ask me perpetually to visit home? Who but you will accuse me of forgetting her? Who will weep on the phone when I playfully throw back that same accusation at her? Very few fears I have and none of them deep at all. One only I am sure of – losing you! God, keep her long for me.

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