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?
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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