Categories
anger

Immigrant President

Immigration brought America its first black president. 

Sitting with this pen between my lips, as dad
Said not to, I'm twiddling and thinking of
Tigers looking into a mirror.

Do they see just the beastly muscle to rip flesh
Apart, or can they see the black, gold, silver, orange
Calligraphy of a meadow, plucked to glorious
Melody like a guzheng serenading the prey
Before Medusa's magic mars their future?

Do parrots notice the pale sparrow's envy at
Its militarily-decorated plumage which holds
Divine discourse with the sun rushing past
The leaves to caress a masterpiece chirping
Away under a pale green canopy craving its
Variety splash of colors upon itself?

Sitting and twiddling this ink, I'm thinking.
Are "precious" and "scarce" synonymous?
King Midas turned everything ordinary to something
Now ordinary, and by returning them to their
Ordinary state they became precious.

Could this be why I now miss the hair I hated to comb
In painful strokes? Or why I would prefer scrolling
My Twitter feed than feeding off my son's glorious
Imaginary worlds whence crazy stories spring,
But which I miss, because this is here, that is there?

Could this be why thrust from misery, to slavery,
Then to a land of freedom and opportunity whose
Prowess the paler countries of the world cast
Envy upon, wishing the variety splash of colors,
And music, and glory, and gold upon themselves,
The American from Africa focuses on the "African",
Missing the "American" in "African American"?

Could this be why other Africans come to America
And seeing the plumage, seize the Value in "American"
Live the American dream walking to Pennsylvania Avenue,
Saying "Yes we can!": but most Africans don't listen?

(c) nyonglema

Categories
love

Shiny shiny

A voice calls out in the wilderness, preparing
The way for Salvation. 
The plan is laid out: the plasma'll start circling
Around His feet, as the notes melodramatically 
Change, raising a cloud of multicouloured dust. 
The rock LED-struck would lift up in those clouds
And the clouds of fairy dust would produce bread. 
The crowds will watch in awe, hearts will turn. 

Then standing haloed on the edge of a cliff
He would increase peril by facing the crowd
To meet the Pisa, but only falling to the rocks
Below. 
But the drum of the beat will change 'fore his feet
Hit ground, as a flash of the S-chested angels
Whisk him up, leaving levitation to draw out 
Cheers, kowtows, conversions, repentance. 

Then foreseeing the weakness of the cross, 
Bleeding, helpless, He would kneel. 
Three years of wasted ministry prevented 
By the brave act of trading this simple act
For the salvation of all the kingdoms of the Earth, 
('Cause, you know, he who never lies said so.) 
Having been assigned leadership to the King of 
Heaven and now Earth, all souls would cheer 
"Hail to the King, Hail to the King"
And Mission Accomplished, the Son would return. 

A voice plans this all in the wilderness, 
But it isn't the Baptist. 
It's the bearer of all that's shiny, 
Bearing light as a beacon to trap fickle hearts. 

See how our Saviour chose the scenic route: 
Not the glamour of human expression of worship, 
       He obscured the message with long boring
       Parables, that contradicted the common-
       Sense of the day, and mocked academia,
Nor the Hollywood-like production of miraculous
Miracles, spiced with convenient back stories; 
       He healed, resurrected but asked to 
       Keep such under lock and key until 
       The Cross had been revealed that 
       The focus be kept always on Love
Nor comfortable choices to make the journey
Of pain less painful than it needs to be. 
        He taught climbing out of one's skin
        To remind us that human strength doesn't 
        Get good mileage, but a shared yoke
        Kills usurper guilt forever, 
       
He chose a cross, a quiet wooden cross, 
That we never forget the Sacrifice:
For us, 
But about the Father, and to the Father. 

(c) nyonglema

Categories
love

Do it for Love

"One day you'll fall in love"

I heard the knife stab my ear drums
For that word had wheels with sturdy spokes
And rolled away from the bleeding guillotine
With the hearts it had stolen, then broken. 

Romeo fell up the balcony while the bats
Roamed the sky, catching the bugs in his 
Poetry. The melody cast a shadow at Juliet's
Door and with his head over her heels, 
Her heart was gripped by the lyrics 
Pouring into the secrecy of that instant. 
The crickets sang the background, and 
Everything heaven seemed to hang in the air, 
The breeze waltzed her hair, her dress 
Throwing shimmers to enthralled Romeo:
Never to part, they'll live the ever after ...
Romeo's dead, then fall Juliet. 

Over and over the Poison and the Dagger 
Start as toddler Egos, wanting what they want
And nothing else. Led by the fear of 
Being on an island, we seek to put the 
Other in a cage, and have them lark 
Out our favorite songs to the rising 
Sun, with pretty feathers, as pretty 
As the bars that we have offered them 
To look out through. Who wants to be alone? 
So Romeo dared choose the suicide of women, 
And Juliet that of men, each conquering fear of 
Their worst death to defeat their worst fear, 
For who wants to be alone? 

Maybe it wasn't love after all? 
Maybe the judges gavelling unknowing children 
To a future of multiple homes, fathers and mothers
Or single homes, with guns drawn across the parapet
Aren't breaking love, but something else? 
Maybe I shouldn't fear the word as I've been taught
By decades of soap operas, movies, stories 
And by this dog-eared blue and read Oxford dictionary. 
Maybe we're all wrong to think when we own 
A person, we are doing it for Love?
Maybe love is giving it all, and even more
Till we have no more blood to pour?
Maybe Love has given it all, and even more, 
So we know how to love our neighbour? 

(c) nyonglema








Categories
sadness

Socially Mediated Tyranny

Rivers have always flowed from frosty 
Caps on lonely mountains, down through tired
Valleys, washing debris, trees, and bringing 
Life wherever they go. Splashing around, 
The water winds round rocks that would stop
It. 
But it continues, tunneling through hills, 
Unstoppable. 

The river of life gets dashed against rock
But also smiles round the same rock. 
Smile, camera. 

You switch on your phone and the f
Calls your fingers into a world of glossy 
Glam. Flowers are more flowery, 
And trees are more greenery, 
And meals are more beefery, 
But teal seem to be in the tealery
As each image tells you this truth: 

"You ain't sh....opping at the right shops! 
Your meals are too ordinary. Even your 
Guardian angel must be a frail-looking 
Nerd without the brains to match the title, 
But with just the brawn that can't lift an axle. 
You too don't have the six pack to share 
With friends; the thumb icon seems to point 
Down just for your life, Hearts for their smiles, 
Smiles, camera. 

Who cares where the river runs really straight, 
Uneventful, looking lazy, like mere luck? 
My Geography teacher, with his spitting glasses
Told me (while I covered my face from, you know...)
And showed me the meanders, the rapids, the water-
Falls, the deltas, oxbow lakes, tributaries, 
And I asked: "What do we call this straight part?"
And as he spoke, my mind floated away to possible names:
"Never on social media episodes"
"No need to take a picture moments"
"Too ordinarily nice for TV"
"Guttural silly laughter, not smiles"
"No smiles, no camera"

For we only pause to take a breath at 
The punctuation, 
That fills the river, the river, of life. 
Then we extrapolate from those singular 
Moments of beauty, happiness, whateverness, 
And assume that the tree bark is just 
As green as the leaves we glimpsed.
Walt Disney figured this out really fast, 
And Mickey danced on the pages. 

You ain't sh... owing your talent. 
They are. 
Because that picture said so, 
And a less-than-a-second capture of light
Is worth more than the ebbs and flows of your life,
Like that punctuation wasn't part of 
A longer sentence... 

Oh! That we may all see that
The river of life gets dashed against rock
But always smiles round the same rock.
Smile, camera

(c) nyonglema
Categories
love

Special

What would the world wield for me without you? 
The sun will only set grim and blue
The rain will batter my glasses too
The clouds will hide the joys I knew
The wind will dash my hopes of something new. 

You met a geeky boy with glasses screaming 
"Neeerd", and yet you gave me shot, 
You built me from a little clay pot
Straight from the potter's spinning top 
Adding dashes, lines, colours and dots

I met a special pearl, all polished, and 
Polished as well for near perfect as 
You were, no creature ever has 
Not needed a touch of more. More sass, 
More glitter in the smile below your stars. 

On this day so special for you and me, 
Nothing I do can match what I mean 
To say through the gestures you've seen, 
For there's nowhere else, no-one else
I'd rather be than here with you.

My love, as the clock adds grace to each 
Day you live, I pray your smiles grow 
Larger, that your flowery eyes glow
Much brighter, That our seedling love hold
Much longer than we promised 11 years ago. 

(c) nyonglema
Categories
love

Cancel Culture

How does a mustard seed appear before us? 
Not as a tree, with leaves tickling falling 
Sun rays into laughter in greens and yellows, 
And rainbows in beautiful forest lushness. 

A man once invited his friends to cannibalize
Their way to heaven; offering himself to them, 
And their stomachs popped out their eyes
And spun them round to perceived sanity, 
And muttering they walked away from their belief, 
Now too gory to hold, leaving without any grief. 

Sensing danger, he tapped the hands of the tag team, 
Where temptation was strong, and the flesh 
Was being torn for fear of tearing at its seams
On the way to the renovation store up the hill. 
Oh how sound they slept and ignored his behest, 
And slept and slept like all this was just a test. 

As time stood still to catch his final breath 
Of pardon, as Word became Word, and flesh stayed
To feel the Earth shudder at this one death, 
Darkening, rending, only three teared, dismayed.
From 12 and more, just 3 saw the spear hit mercy 
Between the ribs. Only 3 dared to show their faces. 

As the body formed after a miracle three days later, 
And those who feared came back to said body, 
Renewing their faith, his uncle had to make encounter
With truth while walking away from perceived insanity:
As muttering, he and partner walked in disbelief
At this so-crazy-to-behold story told to hide grief. 

How does a mustard seed appear before us? 
As a mustard seed. 
It feels the tree eager to burgeon, 
And comparing itself to what it must show, 
It knows the truth, and as the world lies 
With counter-examples and stories of revenge, 
It holds the truth. It doesn't call for the help
Of other seeds. It knows who made it and where 
Allegiance, hope and growth lie. 

How does a mustard seed appear before us? 
One seed at a time, for it's not how many, 
But if any would stand for God, for Truth
Even as the hill promises you Gehenna.

(c) nyonglema

Categories
sadness

Juneteeth

The waves pull at the lugs of the wind-smiling boat
Where jokes are thrown, and hope of home stays afloat. 
But beneath the wood, in dark damp despair
The souls piled in bodies in chains gasp for air. 

Captured in fields of butterfly-filled chanting grass
Where children's smiles once lit love in these paths, 
Now wishing death, escape, drowning, as the waves tossed
Their past away, carrying them to the land of the lost. 

Finally off the cramped hell of human faeces and decay, 
On a dais where bids are called, and theyget whisked away
To serve the farm. This was freedom from seaborne pain
Just to be enslaved, and cut and hurt once again. 

Their brothers off to Arabia, or further to the same fate
Had warned of this predicament, and now they're in their state
Hoping for a day when a heart is changed and the impossible
Becomes blood on this continent to unhinge their shackles.

                 ***********

What's freedom? 
The shackles have fallen off the scars 
That held back my breath. 

Opportunity smiles the seduction of the 14th of February
And I say yes, reach out, looking to a future, looking 
Beyond to joy, beyond death. 

The eagle soars to survey and seek its prey, as I ride 
Peacefully building a future where my kids will be eagles
To pray the prayers that freed my heart, to dream the dream 
That Washington, Lincoln and Martin Luther King dream, and 
Put the whip back into its sheath. 

                 ***********

But my brothers are still stuck. 
I watch as I soar how the nest of worms appeals to them. 
The chain is gone. 
They seek a new master to shelter them from the 
Predators of the world; 
They call to this master to take their cross, and bear 
It, and give them some cotton to feed their fears. 
Melanin comes to the table. 
He builds a bull of gold, and they bow. 
"Oh Melanin, you brought us out of the slavery in Egypt
Out of the Slavery in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait
Out of the bowels of the slave ships on the Atlantic, 
You brought us out of slavery, 

Now enslave us to your will. 
Make us wholly thine. Where you command we will go"
So he did. 
And beautifully decorated by their bull,
Now, their lives matter. 

(c) nyonglema

Categories
love

I Matter

Not because of the carbon complexes that 
Stuck in my skin block out some rays 
And hide me in dark pictures or from sad days. 

Not because my nose is lots different from 
Your pointy one, my nostrils swim 
On my face, arms spreading at my every whim

Not because of my hair, so fine it weaves 
Itself into landscapes of rolling hills, 
Or tangos as tightly as two lovers' wills

Not because I'm different from you, and like him, 
Not because I'm not from where you are, where 
They don't look like me when I look everywhere. 

No. 

I matter because I breathe a breath not mine. 
I matter because of the will I have received
Which is mine, to drive this body so a-grieved
By the rain of darts that life piles on me. 

I matter because nobody tells me what to think 
Or whom to hate, carrying their lead in my heart
Like Newton's hair, to folly and the coroner's cart. 

No. 

I matter because once one so crazy bore a cross
That I may matter, no matter what I looked like. 
I matter because I can forgive and reach across. 

(c) nyonglema
Categories
anger

Pick your heroes

Does the victim deserve justice or medal?
I'm in the confessionary as petals
Fall off the flower of my redemption.
The litany's long, but who cares if one
More sin piles on, for this cleanses all.
Knee caps listen to my sins as vocal
Chords chirp them out, petal by petal

Till the bud shrivels and browns away,
Promising me hope for a brand new day
In the death of what was, to what will
Grow. As my breath ceases to spill
I glimpse my sins start to melt away.
Now glorify, forget my worst crime days
And adorn you garments with my face.
Start frays, may your kids live my way.

(c)nyonglema
Categories
love

Patience #NoahArk

Flap away and as your wings survey
The drying death below, tell me:
What do you see?

Do the bloated barks of leafless trees,
Brown in death, and laden with grief
Seem anew to breathe?

Do the fungi grow in coloured sheathes
On trees that felled by water swam before,
But now rest ashore?

    Oh Raven, Raven, only water above all else 
    You saw, all around you one ocean swells?

Flap away and as your wings survey
The drying death we know, search around,
For dry ground.

Do the torrents that tossed us far and wide
Now slow and ebb as the tide begins to drop
Beneath mountain tops?

Do the oceans now divide like post-storm clouds
Up above, and sip back behind the rocks
That held them locked?

    Oh Dove, dear Dove, only water above all else 
    You saw, all around you one ocean swells?

Well flap away and once again survey
The drying death that haunts us night and day
And find a way.

Oh, you found an olive start to live again,
As the sun bedazzled each leaf in emeralds
Set in gold walls?

Oh, you found strands of green to build a nest
To start anew nature's run which took a break
For 40 days!?

    Oh Dove, oh Dove, if only again the emerald shone through day
    Once again to say the fear has been whisked away with pain 
    And humans can carry on life in a new akin to the old way 
    Out of the nest, to neighbours to love and break bread again

(c) nyonglema