My Baby!

It was dark and she could barely see her hands in front of her face. The night sky was covered with a thick blanket of rain laden cloud hiding the stars beneath it. Occasional flashes of lightning cut across the sky followed by deep rumbling thunder.

The wind was howling, and several dogs were barking in the distance. An owl hooted nearby and the cicadas were chirping noisily. She paid no heed to these noises however, her attention was focused on another sound, one that made her blood curdle with fright. It was the shrill cry of a newborn piercing the night air.

She ran blindly into the thick bush on the right side of the path that led to the stream not feeling the pain of the blades as they lacerated the skin of her arms and face. She was unaware of the blood streaks mixed with sweat dripping down her face. One thought rang in her head.

She had to find the baby.

A streak of lightning flashed across the sky then, illuminating her path for a few seconds and she saw something white, a few meters from where she was standing. She rushed towards it.

‘That must be the baby’ she thought as relief surged through her ‘poor thing, not having anyone to care for it’

The white object turned out to be a cellophane nylon. Sadness washed over her and she stood staring at the nylon.

She heard the shrill cry again and her heart beat picked up speed and fresh panic seized her. She had to find the baby! Simultaneously, the rain started falling. It came in torrents and in a few seconds she was drenched and shivering.

She ran as much as her legs could carry her and with each step she took, the cry became louder. She was near.

She burst out into a clearing in the bush and stopped in her tracks. Everywhere was deadly quiet. The air was still and the ground was dry. There was a bundle at the foot of a tree 20 metres from where she stood. She moved towards it, feeling a sense of dread enveloping her.

She picked up the bundle and unwrapped it and let out a shriek of agony. The baby stared at her with glassy eyes and blood all over it. Her legs could no longer support her and she fell to her knees and clutched the child to her bosom and rocked to and fro.

‘Too late’ she thought with despair ‘I couldn’t save it. Poor child’

Her heart squeezed with pain so intense that she gasped. She could feel her heart turning to stone, and her body growing cold. She clutched the child close to her chest and sang to it. She was never letting go.

“My baby” she whispered, and the tears began to pour. Soon she was screaming and crying loudly. “Give me back my baby! Don’t take away my baby!”

Then there was blood everywhere, on the floor, on her dress and her hands. She couldn’t place where the blood was coming from. The baby moved in her hands and she looked down at it. It was covered in blood and its eyes were closed. Then it opened its eyes and smiled at her, a full toothless smile.

She screamed.

And woke up.

It took a few moments before the fog cleared and she realized that she had been dreaming. Her cloth was drenched in sweat and her eyes were wet with tears. A sound to her right drew her attention and she glanced to see her husband sitting up in bed his eyes holding hers and saw in them the emotions coursing through her.

Her eyes went to the cot next to the dressing table.

“My baby” she gasped, the realization of her loss crashing in on her all over again, and burst into tears.

 

Dedicated to all mothers grieving the loss of a child.

 

abortus

Abortus

They die ‘ere they are born

Their spirits hover never leaving

Giggling, niggling and roving

And mocking.

They are everywhere and nowhere,

They fly before they can be picked;

The ever elusive butterfly,

Taunting with its beauty,

Flitting away to the dismay

Of the observer.

They litter everywhere,

Still births, half formed and formless;

Sad reminders of what could have been

Their beauty evident even in their deformed state.

The mind weeps,

Its womb cannot carry ideas to term;

They die and wither

And all that is left is a barren wasteland,

With unmarked graves of

Masterpieces aborted.

 

 

image source: Flickr

mama

Poem for Mama (and Mothers)

Mothers.

Delectable creatures carved out from God’s own heart

Angels placed on earth to show in vivid colours what love is

Receiving nourishment from the fountain of emotions

Right from the throne of the Almighty.

Mothers.

Precious.

Treasures encased in clay

Fragile in body, harder than flint

Solid and dependable

Reflecting God’s nature.

Mothers.

Words fail me

To paint the masterpiece;

Resplendent in their glorious imperfections

Of lava hot emotions of affections

And unflinching dedication

From cradle to grave.

Mother.

Priceless.

Pillar.

Pinnacle.

You take my breath away.

Mother.

Beautiful.

Bold.

Boulder

Your children arise and call you Blessed.

mama

image courtesy flickr

Mother.

Sweet

Strict

Sublime.

I can wish for none other

Mother.

Mama.

Maami

Ma Mere

Many happy returns.

Happy Birthday Mother.

I love you

More than you can ever imagine.

You are the best!

Voice of god

 

There is a voice in my head

It is the voice of the gods

Gurgling, giggling, gushing

Thunderous and soothing;

They say I am mad,

What do they know?

Their fully clothed bodies

Belies their naked minds

Roaming about the streets

Of ignorant bliss.

 

I am a habitation of the gods

My will is not mine

I am a vessel chosen

To do their bidding;

They say my mind is broken

They couldn’t be more wrong,

Whoever claims to be in control

Of their minds is insane-

Free will is an illusion

We all do the bidding of the gods

 

I have been to the mountains

Crossed the seas, lived in caves

Dwelt in darkness;

They call it exorcism

I laugh at them,

At their sacrifices and rituals

Skin markings and incantations;

Their frenzy to strive for normality

Settling for mediocrity

Under the guise of sanity.

mutiny

Mutiny

Till I met you

My heart was quiet

Dutiful and obedient

Subservient and always

Listens to reason.

I was in control

My actions were guided

By logic and common sense

 

Now, there is anarchy,

My heart has become willful

And acts without thought;

It has chosen to stay with you

Against all rational logic;

It has refused to come back

To me, and I am here lonely

Missing my heart and your love.

 

 

images: Flickr

I Remember

Today, I remember.

On most days I forget, the memories hidden beneath the boulders in the darkest and deserted part of my unconscious lest the gall spill forth and poison my entire existence.

But every now and then I remember, snippets, fleeting events and images. They sneak up on me and wrap their icy hands around me taking me on a journey to another time.

I remember being punished by you, kneeling down with my arms raised for hours. I must have been bad for you were sweet and would never hurt anybody.

I remember the burns on your body as you tripped over baby brother crouching behind the curtain doing God knows what and spilling the hot water you were carrying in a bowl all over yourself. I felt for you deeply.

I remember that one time when you allowed a stranger into our house and slept off on the couch. I remember your cries as you received strokes after stroke for your error of judgment.

I remember your screams of agony in the early hours of the morning of that fateful day as you held your head in what was the beginning of an agonizing journey towards Never Land leaving behind spent parents emotionally drained and bitter, bewildered siblings too young to understand fully the complexities of life and its brevity and ephemerality. Sometimes I wonder if it was all a dream: did I really have a sister? Did she really die? Why did she have to die? The gem of the house, the glue that held the family together and the apple of her father’s eyes.

I remember your smiles, forever immortalized in the still images printed on glossy papers. I wonder where they are now. It became too painful to look at them at a point and they had to be buried under old discarded clothes at the bottom of the trunk box. It had to be done, mother won’t stop crying. It was killing her. It killed me, of this I am sure.

I remember the nights spent outside in the cold, lying on hard benches, at the back of churches trying to move the hand of God to save you. I remember wondering why we were not at home under the comfort of warm blankets and the softness of the king-sized bed in the children’s room.

I remember witnessing the horror of that night. I was the only other person with you when it had started. I was confused and powerless to help you and just froze on the spot. I didn’t know it then but I think I do now, that night scarred me for life. It was the beginning of my face off with the cold, hard and brutal side of life. Since then, I have had many face offs. I don’t know what to make of the battles but I only know that I am still alive and breathing.

I remember the last time you walked out of the house, frail, thin, a shadow of your former self yet you walked tall as much as your strength could carry you. You were strong and fought to the end. I am not strong, I am falling apart.

I remember your favorite dress. A violet flowing gown with a sash at the waist. Or is that my last image of you? I can’t tell. I can’t remember beyond these details or maybe I don’t want to remember. Maybe I need to forget to stay sane and to keep it together or at least pretend to keep it together.

You left and everything fell apart. Mother is not the same again. She tried to be strong for us and did her utmost best and now she is spent, aging far more than her years. But it is all good, she has us to carry her now. Father misses you too, you were his favorite and he hardly ever had time for us. He needed you to love us but you were gone and he couldn’t love us. His love was tied to you and you took it with you.

I wished you hadn’t left us. I could have used a big sister, someone to look up to. Rather, I am all alone, drifting ashore life’s waters with no guide and fighting to stay afloat, trying to chart a course amidst the tempest.

It has been hard.

Funmilayo, you lived up to your name and brought joy to us but it didn’t last long.

I wished it did…

I had a sister once…and I miss her.

Not meant to be?

I cannot love you

however much i want to

My heart belongs to another.

 

She read the words over and over again and allowed the feelings of sadness wash over her. She felt like her world was on a stand still- her heart had stopped beating and everything was frozen in place- and she was looking at the scene from a place far away. This was not real, this was a nightmare, a very vivid and bad dream.

Then the moment was over. The words were like the waves of the sea crashing against the shore. No, this was more like a tempest, a very angry sea, roaring with fury; like a wounded lioness mourning the loss of a cub.

The words reverberated and echoed so loudly in her head that she feared she was going to run mad.

I cannot love you…the words played over and over in her mind like a song on repeat in a music player.

She shut her eyes so tightly, trying to force the mantra to stop but it didn’t help. Rather, tears, hot and burning trailed down her cheeks. Soon, her whole body was shaking with sobs, with moans punctuating the silence as her heart shattered into a million pieces.

For her, this was the end. She was sure she would never recover from this. How could she? She had given her all; had loved him with all of her heart, and with every cell in her body.

God, it hurt! It hurt so badly. She was getting short of breath from the pain in her chest. Her heart was literally constricting in agony and she was sure she was going to die.

She laid on the bed and curled up into a ball waiting for death to come.

She did not hear the incessant ring of her cell phone nor the loud bangs on her door. She lay on the same spot for a whole day.

It was on the same spot that her friend found her on the evening of the second day. Her friend had let herself in with a spare key that she had given to her when she had first moved into the apartment. This was the first time her friend had used the key, when all her calls had gone unanswered.

She had been lying there and staring unblinking. After much shaking, her eyes flickered and gradually focused on her friend. When she spoke, her voice was hoarse and raspy.

“He left me. He said he couldn’t love me”

Her friend gasped and drew her into an embrace, wrapping her whole body around her and rocked her gently. The tears had come again, quietly trickling down her eyes and slowly building up to a torrential downpour. She didn’t know she still had any more tears left.

***

It had taken a week before she had the strength and will to leave her friend’s house. She had gone to the office to sign some documents and then take a two week leave. Her friend had insisted on it. She needed to get as far away as possible.

All through the arrangements, she was like a zombie. She acted like a dutiful child that did as she was told.

The first three days of their vacation, she had spent it indoors, just sleeping and eating and staring at the TV. She had refused to go out nor even leave her bed.

She pitied her friend who was at her wit’s end and frustrated trying to get her out. She was grateful for such a good friend.

So, on the fourth day, she agreed to go out to the beach. Her friend had stared unbelievingly when she had agreed at the first request. She had managed a weak smile which even broadened when her friend had whooped and danced at the new Kemi.

That was the beginning of her first step to recovery and healing. By the time they returned from their vacationing, she knew she was going to be alright. It was going to be hard and tortuous but she was determined.

****

The moment he pressed the send button, Dele, knew he had made a mistake. A grave one.

How could he be that cruel? He berated himself and smacked himself on the head.

“Oh Dele, you are such a dumb guy”, he muttered over and over.

He picked up his phone and dialed her number but it rang and rang but she did not pick and then the call was disconnected. He dialed her number again and again. He lost count after the tenth unanswered call.

He had panicked. He had been overwhelmed at the intensity of what he felt for her and it had scared him shitless. He didn’t know how to deal with his growing attraction for her and he had typed such a horrible text message to her.

If only he had thought things through.

Would that have changed anything? He wondered. Somehow, he felt he had taken the right decision but still it felt bad, and he felt sad. He really did like her and he may have led her on.

That was the ugly part. He had been too self-absorbed in his enjoyment of her company that he hadn’t given a thought to her feelings. Even when he had begun to notice, he hadn’t paused to ponder on it till yesterday when things had changed.

He had been watching a movie when he had heard a knock on the door. He had frowned as he paused the movie and moved to the door wandering who was at the door. He hadn’t been expecting any visitor. A smile had broken out on his face as he opened the door and stared at her wide smile.

She had looked gorgeous in a lemon green flare gown that stopped a few inches below her knee, accentuating her long legs which was adorned in a black wedge open toe shoes.

‘God, that smile’ he had thought with a sigh as he hugged her and caught a whiff of her perfume, Heat by Beyoncé. He had once told her how much he loved the smell of it. A potent pheromone he had called it eliciting a throaty laughter from her, a sound he never got tired of hearing.

It had been a pleasant surprise. She then joined him on the sofa and they settled to watch the movie together. Somewhere in the middle of the movie she had moved close and laid her head on his shoulder. It had felt good.

Absent-mindedly, he had played with her hair and then stroked her head gently. He had heard her sigh and close her eyes. His own heartbeat had picked up pace and his throat had become dry. Her smell had assaulted his nostrils as she snuggled closer and waves of hot and cold had washed over him making him to shudder. That was when the alarm bells had started ringing in his head.

He had shifted on the seat and the movement made her to turn her head towards him bringing her lips close to his. Their eyes had locked for what seemed like eternity but had only been a few seconds and the emotions that had been reflected in her eyes had sent every rational thought out of his mind. She had placed the palm of her right hand on his chest and then leaned forward and planted a kiss on his lips. It had been feather light and brief but was enough to ignite the flames of passion.

It had been in that moment that he had realized that he had always wanted to kiss her full sensuous lips and had wondered how her lips would feel against his. Now he knew. He also knew he wanted more.

He had held her face and kissed her tenderly and gently. The kiss had lasted forever and when they broke apart they had been hungry for more. What had followed was an intense and passionate love making, wild and yet tender. As he climaxed, he knew that he had fallen in love and that he wanted more.

So much more than he should ever hope for.

****

 

broken pieces

Broken Pieces

Bomb blasts shakes the foundation

Of our existence,

Knives are thrust into the back

Of friends when they are least vulnerable;

Hope is stretched thin, to the breaking point.

Anarchy reeks, the stench suffocating;

Religion is a weapon of mass destruction in the vast

Armory of the leaders and laity alike;

Mourning welcomes the morning daily.

 

image via google

african woman

African Woman

African woman

Paint a picture of the African woman,
Preserve her beauty for ages to come,
Show forth the elegance of her features;
Her full mouth, luscious and inviting
The lines of her jaw depicting
A quiet, understated strength;
The hint of a smile around the corners of her mouth
The light in her eyes, giving a peek into
Her spirit, strong and resilient, not bowing under pressure.

Paint the lines of her neck delicately,
Capture the swirl of her hair
The curls dancing softly to
The cadence of the wind;
Her ample bosom, from which
Her young find nourishment.

Paint the tapering waist,
And her well rounded hips
And delicate curves that
Tingle the loins as she
Sashays down the street, fully aware
Of her feminine allure;
Don’t forget to show the poise and
Grace of her carriage.

african woman2

Paint the sheen of her ebony skin,
Like burnished oak, delicate and majestic;
Capture the frown on her face
As she frets over her young,
The soft lines that grace them
As thought of her loved ones serenade her;
Her smile like the early morning sun
That warms the heart as she watches
Like a mother hen, her family gathered around her.

Paint a picture of the African woman,
A still form, frame it, hang it
Tell on a canvass with your
Brushstrokes of her beauty
That transcends her physique;
Rather, a reflection of her spirit
Such beauty that takes the breath away.

blame the gods

Blame the gods

blame the gods2

The gods are on a rampage;

Segede has struck our children

And they now wear swollen

Necks like a bull frog;

Igbona has left them delirious

And with a spotted skin;

Atosi has rendered our young men

Infertile and makes our old men

Groan when they pee;

Ete, the flesh eater

Has afflicted the village beau;

Sopana, is killing hordes by

The day and we watch, helpless;

Our yams are exhausted

And the bleating in

The barns ceased;

The priests are dumbfounded

And stare helplessly,

Their tongues have cleaved

To the roof of their mouth;

The crown royal is perplexed,

History is been written

But not in the books of greatness;

The village is dying

The gods are mad.

 

 

 images: Flickr

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