Walk on Water

The lessons of the gears that power the universe
Pour forth in ambitious drips into a bowl
To build an ocean from simple watery smears. 

From Egypt slavery one was chosen to show the signs, 
And staff and cloak he led the scowling whole, 
Across the river; he parted it to stay dry from brine. 

Before reward for courage to preach against the abhorrent,
The prophet chanced upon the Jordan's deadly bowl, 
And with his student, parted it for dread of its current. 

But when the promise long foretold at last came to pass
God Himself, didn't take a staff, or cloak, 
But let the water be, and showed His friends His glory. 

(c) nyonglema


Speak again wind, blow through the virtual hair of my head. 
I hear my children's voices in the yard,
I hear them gone on the stairs. It's hard,
But I can't touch them anymore than a jump to the ceiling.
They became beard-faced altered versions of me bustling
Through the challenges of life, baritone on the phone
Ordering me around, but basically never around.

I hear their children's voices in the yard,
I hear them going up the stairs. It's hard
To believe yesterday's a shadow I throw over dinner when
We meet to walk back to the plaid sheets I tugged over them:
Baby smiles, baby cries, dancing around to close baby eyes.
All those I have bottled inside, like chutney on a shelf.

(c) nyonglema

Falling #RegimeEnd

The reign is falling on the pain at the window, 
The "Hail" didn't come as royalty crawled
Out of its chair, senile and broken, like a widow's
Golden anniversary in black. Heroes sprawled
In the canoe, going to nowhere in the torrent.

The reign is falling on the pane of my window,
As I watch time unfold the end as scrolls
From the Dead See, anachronistic and cold,
Yet reel. Nobody foresaw the end of the troll
That brought so much destruction on the roots.

The rain is falling on the pain at the widow's:
Chaos spells letters of clouds over the silver lining
It's a bright loud zigzag that dares to show
And scare the crowds. There's hope for less pining
When the seed dies and a new reign renews.

(c) nyonglema

First day of school

The smell of freshly dried paint, 
New plastic, new rubber, and new stuff
Fills the air. In the distance, faint
A familiar silhouette, a little less scruff
Waves a smile in my direction.

That direction has changed, it was
A different door and teacher
Last year. My pulse sings a chorus
I don't comprehend, metered
In fear and joy mixed together.

Together with teachers, parents console tears
From older versions of me
But younger, and scared of new peers
Unaware this we've lived, but glee
Now fills us to be here with them again.

(c) nyonglema

Sleepy in class

The sun is up, and rubs itself all over my skin, 
Yet I feel no flames, just lead filled with lead
Hanging from my bottom eyelids, swinging.

Sunshades usually cast shadows on eye pain,
But this time, the sun can see right through me.
Nothing can save me it seems, sitting on this bench.

The sunshades cast shadows in the teacher's mind:
Sleeping? Not sleeping? No need to check, I suppose.
The lead's getting heavier, and pulls my head down.

The lead's getting heavier, and lulls me, eyes shut,
Head bent. The teacher draws on the board,
And all I remember is that I sleepily missed it all.

(c) nyonglema


Where do they find their solace when time takes toll? 

Choices that is. You know, when a fur coat seems better than a wind-breaking
piece of plastic in a shop where the browned decay of the sales lady’s teeth
hint at the bad breadth of its shoulders, and the colours seem off, but you’re
worried about the environment, so you lean towards it and away from dead animals.

Where do they find their stretch when time takes toll?

At one point you’ve got many, and at another the page is blank. Even the word
to start a poem hides behind the distractions of the day, and your choice to watch
Infinity Wars till 2am, and be up to your employer’s hobby, your livelihood, by
4am, which meant that your brain factory remained littered with yesterday.

I’ve noticed how choices impact choices, no troll!

It’s like the Mahjong possibility counter, and the kanji sign you just clicked
to reduce it, or when you go for a piece further off to the left, and the counter
goes up the sides of your cheeks, like to say you did the right thing by chance
or by calculated meticulousness.

My daughter stares me in the eyes as I get daily old:

I answer her that every action from that first cry she made hanging upside
down with amniotic coat has determined where she stands now, and every
action she freely wills will determine the amount of freedom she can exercise
as time takes its course and my hairline reduces my freedom of hair styling.

My son stares at my lies, head cocked like “It’s getting old!”:

I tell him freedom comes from sacrificing freedom, like Isaac on an altar, or
Joseph in a well, or me writing this here, or Jesus on a cross, or hitting a campaign
or running trail, or studying for a test, or digging up fossils, or just helping a
neighbour: the more of your freedom you forfeit for the right reasons, the more
you’re ready for the fullness of more freedom to forfeit.

(c) nyonglema

The End #live

The End is at the start of every movie like winter and snow.
Like Autumn the most, the rest will surely surly follow
While you frown. There are things an eraser must allow
And things tattooed next to your eye, just below the brow: 
The End is at the start of every movie like winter and snow. 

It’s easy to ignore the metal chipping away as the engine churns, 
Or the magnets slowly turning away as the Earth turns. 
Even Kobe knew his jersey was meant to be hung off the floor
The fire from the line tamed, and yet it’s easy to forget, for 
It’s easy to ignore the metal chipping away as the engine churns. 

But let not the day be your friends opening the door with hats, 
For there’s no cake, no replay, no rewind, just you and the facts.
Facts haunt you in that instant: your beds in disarray, unmade
Are where you must lay, and they bring you acrid lemonade, 
But let not the day be your friends opening the door with hats. 

So be ready, for every movie like Winter and Snow
Has its moment, and you’re the artist putting on your own show
And when the Producer pulls the curtain, we want rounds of applause
Let the next act with no drawn-out we-‘re not ready pause ’cause
The End is at the start of every movie, like winter and snow. 

(c) nyonglema

Fly butterfly, fly

Fly butterfly, fly. In the past you slugged
Across the wood to catch some leaves.
You painted yourself colours that would shrug
Off the creatures who see only food
When they look at you.
The acid rain beat your coat, like the
Tears you shed for your digested siblings.
But on you went, midrib to midrib,
Waiting for the day you earn your reward.

Gripping the branches, you’d slip and restart
The journey to the green, from the ant-laden ground
Where a bird took one brother then another;
But you never stopped crawling
You’d always hear destiny calling:

“Die, butterfly, die!” And you accepted the cross

So, fly, butterfly,fly!

(c) nyonglema

The Monkey Series: David and the Painter by Balla (8y old)

Once, David the monkey was breakdancing in the woods. Then he saw a building; he asked himself: “What type of building is that?” when he went closer he saw it was a painting shed. The painter was Peter the evil dinosaur. Peter wanted to trap the heroes to take over the world.

David asked: “Please may you paint a picture of me?”.

Peter said: “No, unless you give me a dollar.” He needed a dollar for his machine to work to trap the heroes because when he is painting he was actually turning gears for the trap. David knew his plans, so he said: “Team Jungle, I need you guys!” Suddenly all of his friends came.

There was Tornado Flash, Basher, Undercover Car, Pouncer etc. Tornado Flash made the fastest tornado. He does that when he is angry because Peter has an evil plan. Basher bashed the shed. It fell in the terrible ocean where sharks live. The heroes decided to make a plan to trap Peter instead. Undercover car scared Peter, he landed on a trampoline. Peter bounced really high. Pouncer jumped and pushed Peter even further and it was the right time because Peter’s cage was going to trap Peter. Peter said, “You’ve not seen the last of me team jungle!”

The animals and the people thanked Team Jungle for saving the city in the woods.

The End

(c) balla