Happy birthday Mums, I wish you more years.
But I am scared of when you die.
I know it is part of life
Nobody knows that I died a long time ago.
But she would have known,
Even from the slab at Melen.
She just slept.
She never liked hard surfaces,
Preferring the 6 cushion couch
Of red yellow and orange circles of my childhood.
I still remember the watery smells that danced the Burlesque
Of firefly magic from Lake Wum on my childhood days.
The chairs sat under a family of 20 with 1 mother.
Yes, same chairs followed us to Yaoundé, where
She'd start the TV shows with me and then slip away.
Then I like a bad dream would slowly touch her skin awake:
"Mum you should go to bed now".
The show was over.
She would rise then go to sleep.
In a 6-foot hole in Baligham.
The Angel offered to seize it all:
Your peaceful days gathering water
Your anonymity doing God’s ways,
Waiting for your spouse to take you
In order to save an ungrateful people.
You said yes!
The governor forced you on a census, with
Baby pressing your bladder,
With back ache, spots on your face
No room to calm Braxton Hicks
Just you Joe and the animals
And the grass the animals ate
And when it was time to push,
You said yes!
The prophet embarassed you with your newborn,
He promised you the grace you knew
He promised you lots of pain new
And you pictured the sword, your heart
And figured greatness breeds pain
And looked at Joe’s encouragement,
And said, well, yes!
And at Cana, where the harps hung on empty cups
You turned to your baby boy
All grown, all full of hope,
And bade him do them a favour.
Yes, you set it all up, for his
First miracle, and the Lord
And throughout his ministry, he would taunt you with denial
To teach love of neighbour beyond family
But you were the first disciple,
You rode his pain, you shared his joy
And I can picture the conversations of
Mother and son, advise shared, wisdom shared
And through rain, sun, hail, gale, miracle,
You said yes!
And when his coronation came close on a donkey and palms
You saw the blood that would end
The journey of love; you saw the manger
The temple, the sermons, the crowds,
The miracles, the thorns, the cross,
The blood that would end it all.
Yet, you said, yes!
And as John watched your tears reflect his blood, whence
You couldn’t parch his raging thirst
Nor re-nurse those childhood wounds
Nor hug the pain out of infant tears
Nor sing a lullaby to ease the sleep
Nor rub his back to heal the pain,
Your tears said, yes!
And as they took the nails out his hands, as he lay on you,
And love slithered to constrict your chest
And the tears bubbled out to heal his death
You sought to comprehend it all
And prayed the roles were reversed,
And God said, you’ve done well my child
For the salvation of many, and again,
You said yes!
I had to share this little jewel from my 8-year-old son; something special he wrote for his precious mum. It’s so unexpected that he came up with something so special…and she loved it.
So here goes: A tall mountain top, by Balla.
A tall mountain top
As tall as you can see
With lovely flowers
Grass and trees
I love to
climb up there
It’s so tall that it nearly
They say glass is made from sand, and I’ve witnessed
In documentaries how men take the so-rough-and-ugly
To make these marvelous pieces, that hold the best
Wine, whiskey, temperature, treasure. I had treasure once;
It wasn’t made of glass, but I lost it by my fault
And watched it pour into oblivion ounce by ounce.
I watched it freeze away, as my heartbeat slowed to nought,
And my smile blew away in the breathlessness of the air
Whispering to some distant mage: “This once I sought”
Injury of the soul beyond your finger on a sharp glass slice
And yes, I could feel the stitches coming lose where it dashed
For me. But the voice to save me is gone behind closed lies.
You know, lies like “I’m still here”, “I’m just sleeping”
Meanwhile the wood sips my warmth away, and nothing responds
To my smile calling away the tears, as all around me are weeping.
Where are those smiths to make a diamond from my broken hour glass?
Since glass holds the best, can I add some salt from my heart?
Oh, how it drills into my whole
That As my light the glass holds,
Leaving me in the dark staring into my resting past
It’s just a mirror for you and me, lost and forever apart.
This is for my dear mum Gaffo, gone to the Lord in 2009. I’ll never forget staring at her lovely face through the glass of her coffin, smiling at her, and so hurt that I’ll never see that smile again, that she will not smile back.
I’m mostly skin-colour blind, but in this post I want to reflect on the struggles within the black communities.
You know that moment you have to protect your kids from some particularly mean neighbour? Well you won’t be protecting them if you did the same to them would you? The question to most blacks is: “How much do black lives matter to you?” More than your money? More than your tummy? More than playing life with that fine body? More than greed?
The title is inspired from Don Cheadle’s line : “Another Dead Niggers Association”, while talking to Kendrick on Kendrick Lamar’s hit song D.N.A. This song looks at the heritage of the black communities and the conclusion is quite poignant: “Sex, Money, Murder – Our DNA”. You can read more about it on Genius.com.
Einstein is asleep in a Bepanda rubbish heap.
Newton is learning how to swim in Soweto poop.
Shakespeare is slumped in a car with extra lead
Losing the grams he suddenly gained on a Vegas road,
Then Dumas does same: different street, same oozing scenery.
Is it a case of which or is it that each black life actually matters?
The geniuses seem to be electrons in the society’s first chapter,
Then the atom goes positive in self-wrought treachery
You took Dube for his car, Njawe for his mouth, Lumumba for his mind, Pac
For his revolution, X for his convictions, Luther for his wisdom, Sankara,
For his vision, And their names scream from an unending roster in front of Peter.
Dead Negus Association
Then our mothers turn preemptive and kill
The next Mozart for fear of hunger, dump
The next Leke for fear of parental anger.
Where are the tears in these instants where the now seems better for all?
How to un-wrench my heart when the news comes out the radio speaker,
And the souls fly around one last time before going unaccomplished back home?
The miracle of the genetic mutation that brings genius to uplift our communities mostly gets lost earlier than on the blueprint:
Each gone by a gun or its mum.
People will treat you the way you treat yourselves. May blacks love their neighbour more so that hating you doesn’t look anymore like something you taught everybody. Love black lives
The kitchen slab of long ago, with veggies and onions
And meat and knives and a utensil stack
And water and stock and “kanwa” and skills like a surgeon
And love and will to chop and then hack
Till pieces are ready to be put in the cauldron
Of oil of olive and salt and more
And make my meal, no a meal for me and the squadron
Of 2 bigger boys and 1 girlish bore,
Comes to me now in stabs and jabs to my sore bones
When I pause to think of your smile
For gone are you and the skill and love and scones
And we won’t see you for quite a while.
I still remember when you were but members kicking in the air,
Reaching for my hair, my glasses, mouth bare, wide stare
Living life to the full without a fear, and very little care:
Your empty stomach, full diapers, or when dada or mum’s not there.
Yes, your gums gleamed for the future white to grow there,
And the first push through brought your mum-mum to crazy cheer,
And brought you and gramma and mum to some hospital chair,
To tend a fever…shame most of these times I was on foreign stairs.
The pictures brought me joy too, and I showed each peer,
Like “Check that out, the teeth are showing” to their blank stare
Of non-understanding, or about-to-jeer, or I-don’t care.
But that little trophy was mine and mine to carry everywhere!
Then they multiplied: more incisors premolars and each year
There was more to show in your mouth than in some trade fairs!
We were proud, but I bet as high as your head was your care
For the diamonds pushing through your gums as if fore’er.
But now I can feel the stab of the salty streak of each tear
That poured out as four years later the incisive pioneer
Lost its hold and you panicked and at that time we weren’t there
To guide you on this change that to you was a great scare.
But but how could you have…but but….Mummy….
How could I have known that things strong one day leave?
How could I have known that this time it wasn’t a pet peeve
And that that last heave for breath is the last you’d give?
How could I have known that so soon we would all have to grieve?
You were decisive and strong, standing through the toughest
And the roughest weather you brushed off your body’s surface,
And put on a warm face, smiled to heal the pain in my sore nest
Where the eggs of hope were being infested by hornets.
Like my little boy living life not thinking about the whites,
I loved deep but saying “I love you” was an Isaac sacrifice,
And by your bier, staring through the glass at shut made-up eyes,
I’m saying “I love you” as if to thaw your face and skin of ice.
5, 10 and 15 are the hours my body chooses to remember:
Waking up abruptly to the hateful chorus of mechanical clocks
To face the day at 5am with short thermometer fluids.
Then at 10am the buffaloes stampede to the stream, the slide,
A swing overworked while a throng stand and wait to turn,
Unable to see 10h30am where the fun all ends. The balls are working too,
Until all have to wear sad faces at the classroom door.
15h00 to familiar aromas, tastes, visuals, and instead of homework,
I’m studying stage 2 of Super Mario Bros with A-B-C, then X-Y, then L-R
Hoping dad and mum are late enough that I finally make it over
The mathematical complexity of leaping over this gorge!
However, between the 5, 10 and 15 is the treasure my brain will remember.
Glue, match sticks and cardboard were Picasso’s iceberg tip, like me
Then letters like weird glyphs found meaning in a word ballet
On the pages, chalkboards, white on black wisdom screeching in the heat
And my eyes were still sleepy from late night Nintendo adventures.
The smiley faces became ticks, the ticks became grades, the grades
Became appraisals, and each aimed to keep me from straying
And make that other kid proud that he stayed furthest ahead of the pack.
The pressurized air bounces around the room sans-echo:
Years of research presented to my ignorant brain in seconds
And over and over again, I finally get it, and scorn those blokes
Of years past who couldn’t figure out that the apple WILL fall down.
Do it like this, not like this! Manners, planning, praying:
I soaked them all up in floating waves around my ears near my peers,
Till soon I was so filled, I was letting them out to other sponges.
Sadly, none of that ever fixed the chicken scratch I call handwriting!
5, 10 and 15 those three numbers which represent all you were to me:
End of nursery, end of primary, end of secondary and start university!
At each junction you stood, waiting to direct me, and whip…mean correct me.
Thank you the teachers who’ve made me who I’ve become today,
Who shaped the words I’ve chosen to write
And the way I say the jokes which make the souls of friends light.
You’re the garden of the world, for all that is dark and all that is right,
The under-looked power changing the world with red pen, white chalk and black board.
R.I.P. Mum…you’re the teacher I miss the most, till we meet again!
AT last AT last!
I’m so happy for you. I know for sure that you’ve fought your internal battles and are ready for the journey of love.
Love is a choice, a decision which you have thought through and are making on that beautiful day. The next 100years of your happy lives depends on both of you (and the kids on the way 🙂 ). Make the best of them. Communicate communicate communicate. Talk to each other at least thrice a day…talk about everything, your fears, joys, pain, temptations. Share your projects, plans, hopes, dreams. Be each other’s mentor for growth personally, and professionally. Be great in bed, and advise each other on how to make the experience more pleasant for each other. Live the beautiful adventure of life together. Eliminate unnecessary distractions and noise that could steal the precious moments in each other’s arms.
Love love love is the key.
The future indeed begins now, and no matter what the world tells you, you shall be happy if you believe, and work hard at your couple, together. Don’t procrastinate the hard talks, don’t let anger let you say horrible things to each other. Always try to have a calm conversation, get angry but not for too long. Stay honest on your feelings to each other. Know we men are more introverted, and get us to tell you we love you, because some of us forget. Plan events together, get the man on board the projects, and get on his projects. It’s the 21st century, but men still need to feel in control of the home…give him that without becoming a slave.
Love love love is the key.
What more can I wish you but pure unrefined concentrated saturated happiness….so much of it that it overflows from your heart onto your kids and family and friends. Girls night out? Gone…replaced with cosy evenings with your heartthrob. You’ll have to relinquish some of your past, to enjoy the present. The chick must leave the comfort and security of the egg, to experience this world if he must become a brave singing cock. On the that day your life really begins, my daughter!
Love love love your husband and let him love love love you. Doesn’t matter who loves more, as long as both hearts are on the same boat to the same destination of happiness‼
God will show you the way…just a little faith will do…just a little!
Congratulations on such a great step. Blessings on the journey.