The sun danced into the room through colourful louvres,
While you smiled at me and held my trembling hand.
Fear showed me my face against the ground, not feet
Yet you pulled my hand to rise off the bed,
Towards the novelty of hope.
And you succeeded right there
To start a new colony of dreams:
Going new places with the newfound strength
Seemed the only reason the muscles moved in tandem.
My leg lunged forward, and you slowly matched that step
And I watched keenly to learn how this would feel later.
Then you took another step, and I nearly took you down
With my weight and St Peter's weight on my shoulders,
My leg lunged forward, and you again matched that step.
The hum of the air conditioner bounced off the white walls,
And the news sad as usual on TV couldn't outdo your smile
To me as you watched me overcome doubt along the way.
Who needs to be ready in such circumstances? Just go.
So my leg lunged forward, and you slowly matched that step,
Smiling, clinging onto my hand trembling no more.
I wasn't going to let you go.
I would succeed.
I had done this before:
Back in Bamenda on baby Bata shoes,
You led the way, I followed.
This time I led the way, you followed.
We didn't fall.
We didn't miss your hospital bed.
We didn't cry.
We lunged our legs forward on an adventure to bring you back,
I led the way, you followed
To give your sinews renewed vigour, renewed life.
I know those sharp nails gushing down the stairs for my heart
As if from a loud speaker at the hospital emergencies;
That peculiar pitch which laughs my day’s stress into shards
Turned into painful shrieks I hear, shrieks laden with insidious neurosis.
She must be alone. No: lonely in the grip of a crowd of white coats
Seeking the via for the intravenous treatment of her bacteriosis.
The nails sink deeper with each step towards the coats
Loathing to see the sounds bringing back all Nollywood horror stories
To my mind. My daughter’s writhing in pain
And I, helpless, can but acerbate her confusion
With a forehead kiss, while she thought I was boon to the bane;
My cooperation with the nurses is surely not her idea of gumption.
The confused stream pouring down her salty-with-wailing cheeks
Fuels pain within my hardened-with-reality-but-fragile soul,
For to be there but unable to put an end to her shrieks
Makes my spirit bend to the point I feel I’m losing my all.
Love or lust cast you in the heavenly mould,
Where the Breath that heaves this chest mine
And those two breasts locked in their romantic hold
The night you first became human,
Filled your unicellular can
With life. And your mother could sure feel the sign.
But hate or mistrust casts you in the deadly cold
Without cloth or hope nor breathing equipment thine
As the doctor – ironic at 9 months birth you he would –
Pulls you from your Earth to space,
The vacuum you aren’t equipped to face
To take that life away as mother and/or father your fate decline.
Cry not as your electric pulses die with your parting soul,
But cry for the comfort of myopic mum murdering with confused mind,
For purity fills your innocent soul leaving the fleshy fold
To rise to Heaven
Loved, hated, unleavened.
Cry but that your early death may be last of its kind.
Go well brave You, until we meet on the other side.
Two thousand years later, and we still long for the star
Of Bethlehem shining over our worn with work eyes.
And though love and joy and hope may seem far
Remember this season that: Love can thaw all ice,
That joy falls aplenty like a paddy of rice
That hope was born that day, but never it dies
If you share the love, joy and hope like He who brought that star.
To you and your families and loved ones, near or far,
(To the lonely take the joy to other lonely lives),
May He be born this Christmas within your hearts and hearths
To guide and guard. Merry Christmas and Happy New Life next Year.
Hi Readers, Let me share this poem I wrote way back when I was 16 years old. I have held myself back from re-working it at all….let’s call it a trip down memory lane 😉
So it is a love square that turns into a love triangle …with weird ending …enjoy
“Oh Amanda, your heart regulates mine.
One second without you is like a lifetime.
Were’t I wasn’t wed, we’d be forever in this time.
But fate had it otherwise, now this love is a crime.”
At this point Idyllia burst in, started crying,
Caught her man enlaced by a girl lying supine.
“Why you had to lie to me again?
My heart is yours, love. Stop this pain.
You swore you’d be my high, not my bane.
But you’re playing a game that keeps the rain on the pane.”
But forgiving as she’d grown, unlike Cain,
She forgave, forgot the pain and stayed on the scathing lane.
“Why did you forgive that bloke?
A jerk that can’t even keep an oath?
There are a thousand worth more than that goat!
Why do this dumb deed; stick with a cheating crook?”
Went her best friend, holding a secret hope.
Of course Idyllia didn’t care, because she loved.
“Oh Amanda, my sun, my earth, my sky.
Last time was an error; please don’t cry.
Things are getting better, Idyllia’s sick while
We savour this instants of elixir.” Nine
Days later Idyllia got the 419.
She cried alone, cold, watched joy pass her by.
“You promised you and long-hair was finished game,
But you ran right back into her arms, in my pain.
Why play this game, acting insane?
If you love me no more, make it plain.”
He feared her reaction so much he couldn’t but claim
He still loved her, while his heart craned.
“My word! You are the stupidest bloke.
He’s not worthy of you, he can’t play a man’s role.
Drop him go for one who’s not a casanov’
I’m your friend, girl, it hurts to hear your sobs.”
Sure Idyllia wouldn’t listen to these notes
But her man wouldn’t pity her, though she loved.
“Oh…Amanda…you pregnant? Are you out of your mind?!
No, stop crying. I’m kidding, love; all is fine.
What said the doctor? On ultrasound, is all fine?
Is it a girl you would name or a petty Brian?”
News soon reached Idyllia’s ears, milked her eyes.
She looked to the sky; one question : WHY?”
“You wouldn’t listen to all my wise words,
There you ago again! Take a dekko;
His baby girl growing in the whore!”
Words as fake as she who spoke.
Scornful look at her friend. She was on
Replacing Amanda, Idyllia; life was a lilo.
“Rhoda, incarnate of the beauty on a Queen Anne’s lace.
So honoured to be here with you in this place.
Just two of us. Oh! How perfectly chiselled is your face.
I wish I could restart life’s race;
Reincarnated, never known Idyllia nor Amanda’s face.
Simply know no face but yours, my wish.
“Rhoda?! Oh cruel earth; even my best friend lies
To me, cheats! Wish I had never received life;
A poisoned gift it was. Mum, tell me why?
One reason why should stay alive; no cyanide?
Honey, it’s over! That was the last slice.
I am gone, wish you happiness down the aisle.”
“My word…you are the stupidest bloke.
Under your nose all the while; loving looks
Winks, my kinky outfit each time I come.
Not even the change of voice when I talk
To him? I had it long going on,
Go cry your sorrows away, toilet roll.
“Rhoda incarnate of Mercury’s dishonesty,
Yet icon of an Ostrich’s stupidity.
Never would you conjecture in your worst dream
That only Idyllia is going to win.
Yes a sick child grows in a sick me;
A disease carnal nights passed onto Pete.
Long had he considered Idyllia unworthy
Of sharing his bed, and has transmitted
To me and you and me instead.”
Can you describe a baby’s smile? Let me try:
A breath of fresh air while the sewage tanks are drained;
That momentary silence when gunshots fill the air;
Cool palm oil on your tongue after your first crab curry;
when you shut your eyes to stop incoming traffic glare;
when a persistent cramp finally disappears;
Taking off your blistering work shoes when the day is done.
The pureness of the lines, and the innocence written in an infant’s smile cast all my stress away.
Unrestrained, untainted. The pure expression of appreciation that says: “Yes, you count”, “Thank you!”, “I love you” without uttering a word.
Those 5 seconds where everything means so much more, where nothing else matters than how happy this human being is of the mutual expression of love, as you smile back.
In the comments, tell us what your baby’s smile is like to you….