The God Factor

Onwu emeh onwu za Abazi

As a little boy, my paternal grandmother gave me a pet name. Being given a pet name or an alias or even called after an older family member is quite common where I come from. The name was in my tribal dialect and just did not sound nice or cool in my ears – Onwu emeh onwu za Abazi.

In my mind I thought, does it mean there were no other cool derivatives from my legally given name? I mean, there were a lot of derivatives I could think of myself. Em, Emma (as my childhood friends called me), Emmax (as I later nicknamed myself in my teen-ages). Surely, there were other options. Or, if she wanted the name to be in my tribal language, were there no other names that was shorter or sound cooler? I pondered more.

So, after grudgingly bearing the name for a while, I summoned the courage to confront my grandma. “Mma Daddy” as we call her, “I do not like this name.” I was too young to care about her feelings or the consequences but I do remember she obliged to stop calling me the name and that was the end of it. Oh, the relief!

Over the years, as I reflect on so many things, this name plays in. And as I look at my journey so far; a small Port Harcourt boy with tribal affiliation with the Oron people, how I’ve grown. Grounds I’ve marched on, people I’ve met, places I’ve seen, achievements that are growing… mind you, this is not the crux.

I reflect on the name my grandmother used to call me and indeed it was a prophesy in itself. My journey, as much as it’s easy to mark it as an element of my smartness, intelligence, tenacity and sheer grit, there is an ingredient I will like to acknowledge – the God factor.

Everyday, somehow, the universe conspires to align me on a level higher, and the accumulation of that means each passing year finds me growing, rising above challenges, overcoming setbacks, failures and disappointments. Through it all, I prevail. Onwu emeh onwu za Abazi which means “nobody loves you more than God” highlights the God factor and its significance to my growing success.

Lord’s note: unlike most of my work, this piece is a true life reflection.¬†


Image credit: Ancient Origins

Tipping the Hat

I think of my teacher
I make more than her
but she gave me the foundation
so she’s got more than me.

My father and mother
on their shoulders I stand
making me look taller
I could have been a dwarf.

My partner whose affection
decided,with me, to share
I’ll be poorer in company
if she chooses to go away.

Family, friends and well-wishers
I see them as streetlights
imagine how dark the night will be
should they switch off.

The Lover That Couldn’t Mourn

He caressed my breast in dark nights
When lovers legitimately unite
To express unworded emotions
That failed them during the day.
The smell of his skin made me long
Like the aroma of my mother’s food
Made me hungry instantly.
I wanted him, I wanted more
So I invited him again
To the dance in my flower garden
As we played and rolled like babies
Until day break when he’d put on his suit
And wear a new persona
To go on with his other life.
Recently I heard he passed
His mother cried
His sister was sad
Wife and family saddled with a loss.
I peered through my window
As his casket was taken away
Frozen by the pane
My grief will never be shared.

Image credit: Trendhunter

I Feel You

I understand support
from those times it felt like
the ground underneath me wasn’t holding
and no one could hear me scream;
so when I see your outstretched hands,
just know, my brother
I’ll do all I can to pull you through.

I have felt loneliness from
some of the coldest nights ever lived
walking through frozen, snowy path
with fingers finding warmth in jacket pockets;
so when you feel alone,
always remember, my friend
in my heart you have a great company.

I know the feeling of having good news
with nobody to share with.
Ears around pretending to listen
but minds so black you could see the envy;
so when you turn around to share a smile,
you can rest assured
I relish your success like mine.

i_feel_you_sister_by_chiili-d6yuznz
Image credit: Chiili on DeviantArt

We Used To Be Humans

Days fly by like flying cars
you’d almost forget there was an era
when time was a little slower
and a month felt like two quarters.

We were more natural back then
more like humans
the pain sometimes looked insurmountable
but the tears were cathartic.

Then, I could look into your eyes
and feel your heart beat
you could sense my yearning from the embrace
we were symbiotic.

These days, with all our advancements
we stand sophisticated but isolated
dressed smart but stare like zombies
disconnected from the ground
but well-connected to the cloud
and when I try to reach out
in your eyes I see a bright screen
display an error 404 message.

One Question

At 65, Pa knew everything;
how the universe works,
the dynamics of humanity
and the propeller of greed of corporations.
His wisdom was clear as summer morning
his words crisp; couldn’t be mistaken.
He narrated the ordeals of the people
their plight – in a chronological timeline.
Emotions were evoked, listening ears froze,
the mind of the audience took trips
immersed in deep thoughts
as Pa’s voice echoed like a talking drum.
But one mind in the crowd had a question,
scrambled to let out so he could speak up
managed to get to the centre where Pa sat
to pull the string of his whole gist.
The question was shot, ears raised to catch
and it went:
“Pa, with all this wisdom,
why didn’t you change a thing?”

Image Credit: RiverWilderness via Wunderground

Factory Rejects

I pause to wonder about the others
Like the cow without a tail
With nothing to drive away the flies
That persistently hover and perch
Leaving frustration and irritation
that eventually has to be gotten used to
Because unlike the rest of them
There is no tail to swipe and swat the irritants.
What compensates for such shortcomings?
Is there a blessing in disguise?

Perhaps we can acknowledge unnoticed blessings
Like the breath of life
Or trumpet the hopes
That comes with a functional brain.
But of what use is breathing and hoping
When the reality is that
The pyramid has already been decked with concrete
So that the cow without a tail
Is only left for God
To drive away the flies off its body.

Image credit: clipartfest.com“>here.

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