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The Messenger, part 2

The dark evening is serene and calm
Though the vampire bats hover up the skies
And the little crickets quiz all around…

Many sat for dinner for it was a long day
The farms, the ponds and the big market
The smell of dried cod soup pass thru the air,
It was a favorite among the villagers
And this smell always gave away people
For the village longthroats, a feast is imminent
But it is a pleasant smell, one I savor so much
Now and then, we hear someone yawn heavily
From nearby compounds, I assume it was out of tiredness
Sometimes the moon came out, sometimes it didn’t
When the moon came out, the children gather for moon-lit plays;
Hide and Seek, Sand games or a nice folk tale
To be told by the most elderly in the gathering

Soon the blast of a metal gong goes off
”Kookokoorokom… Koorokoorokom…!”
The hamlet retires to great silence
Crying babies stay put suddenly
For the masquerades of which Maama
Always spoke of has now appeared!
Even Maama was quiet, perhaps scared
For she also paid attention to the intruder
”The people of Amaigbo, the elders, the men
The women, the youth, the boys, the girls, everyone!
Listen, I have come oo… I have come again oo!”
The messenger will call out, loudly
Waking sleeping dogs and the heavy sleepers
With those words the messenger struck again
Mercilessly upon his metal gong, two more…
Then he settled into his long message…
Beating the metal gong on intervals,
It could be about the new yam festival
A special village or Kings service request
Cleaning of the nearby streams and rivulets
Or when a group of peoples attention is required

When the messenger exhausts his messages
He leaves quietly, hitting his gong noiselessly
Allowing the hamlet to go back to her life,
The women to return their attention to the soup
The men to continue sipping their palmwine
The boys and girls playing under the tree shed
And allowing the infants to resume their crying

Commentary.
This is a continuation of a poem I wrote some years ago. The messenger or town crier, as commonly called is an agent of the traditional society or kingdom. His role is to pass information across to the people, just like the duties of the modern day TeeVee or Radio.

KoKorokrom… A sound made by hitting the metal gong.
Amaigbo… An imagined place

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My humble land

Now the morning has come finally
After the stress of yesterdays rain
This hilly land wakes warily
Our pots are full of Heavens blessings

Sweet musings and fine sights are all about me
The bees, the green hills, the swans that fly away
The vast fields of flowers which crops the Lilies
And the blue skies where the pretty birds stray

There is mixed brown and ash dusts of the Earth
Where happy green plants and trees thrives joyfully
And the look of mother Nature which makes my heart melt,
I’m filled with abundant joy which Gods creatures give me

The undulating hills of my homeland
The clean, flowing streams of Ovim
The caves, the Palm and Cassava land
Always to me it comes to overwhelm

The rocks that stay in the bamboo forest
Overlooking a peaceful flowing stream
Once in a while a fruit plunges into the current
And little fishes scatter in queer confusion

The red mud all about makes all boring
The birds twitter and trade up the palm tree
The dews are thick in the early morning
The happy children swim on the small stream

There is silver fish in the ponds
And very brave children who hunt them
There is the grasscutter and edible toads
And green weeds on the little streams

When the hunters come home, all is alive
The hamlet comes to hear their strange tales
The dogs, the kids, the other men and their wives
Everyone has an ear for the stories they have to tell

The palmwine is healthy and very sweet
The trees on the farms swerve joyfully,
When the tapper comes cycling to the market
The flies follow his trail, as his wine drip slowly

The people are very awesome
Hardworkers, doing every little job
Women are pretty, men are handsome
They till the land and graze the sheep

Now the memories of my humble land
The fears, the faith; the stress, the strengths
A fine land dreamingly made from a wand
Such that it comes alive in my minds eyes

Commentary.
Ovim is my homeland. Located in Abia state of Nigeria, it is a quiet place but full of life. The natives are known for their exploits in both business Entreprise, academia, agriculture and military. Ovim harbors forests, hills, streams and ponds, vast farmlands of cassava and yams (staple food common in the area). It is a fine place. The wildlife here are mostly reptiles (boas, pythons, lizards, monitors, other snakes), wild pigs, rodents, monkeys and birds. But some wild animals like the Alligators, the Hyena and Civets have been reportedly sighted.

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Tales of the WildWoods

Once upon a time
It was winter
And a night of bitter cold
The snow lay thick upon the ground
And upon the branches of the trees
Two Woodcutters made their way home
And when they came to the Mountain
She was hanging motionless in the air
For the Ice King had kissed her
So cold was it that evening
That the animals and birds
Knew not what to make of it
‘Ugh!’ snarled the Wolf
As he limped through the brushwood
With his tail between his legs
‘This is perfectly monstrous weather!
Why doesn’t the Government look to
it?’
‘Weet, weet, weet! Twittered the
crickets
‘The old Earth is dead
And she is laid out in her white shroud’
‘The Earth is going to be married
And this is her bridal dress’
The Turtle doves whispered
Their little pink feet were quite frost bitten
But they felt it was their duty
To say something romantic about the
situation
‘Nonsense’ the Wolf growled ‘
I tell you it is all the fault
Of the Government
And if you don’t believe me
I shall eat you’
The wolf had a thoroughly practical mind
‘Well for my own part’
Said the philosophical Woodpecker
I don’t care an atomic theory for
explanations
If a thing is so, it is so
And at present it is terribly cold’

Notes: The poem is self explanatory. Some
weather conditions can be extreme. Study

Questions:
1. Comment on the Figures of Speech used
here.
2. Do you think that the Wolfs comments
were made out of ignorance and
selfishness?

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The City: An Elegy

They call her the Peoples Elephant
Yet it sits sprawled like a mad man
Eating the debris of waste for nutrients
Driving the cattle mad so they scatter
Breaking the peoples will and mind
Into a million strange atoms
So that the Elephant is left in Ant pieces

The Sewages are dirty, messed up
The people carefree and callous
They care nothing for environmental safety
They care nothing for government properties
Like the wind they chose to fly away
Living in a personal country called Utopia
Dictating what and what not
And like a sea of worms consuming filth
The city had thrived…

The bulk of people who stay here
Live a two-faced life,
One of wealth, affluence and prosperity
Another of delusion and controversy
The mockery of the nation,
A shame to even the dwellers
A power tussle over the life of peoples
Once a pride, now a Vultures prey

Talents waste away, resources also
The principles we live for slowly simmer away
The industries close down everywhere
The roads are broken down badly
The power supply is highly epileptic
The schools lose that strict adherence of excellence
All we have now is a huge sick Elephant
Waiting to turn to a carcass
Or is there hope, now we still live?

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Commentary.
I am bitter about the continued darkness in this city of Abia State. Typical of African style leadership of abandonment, the leaders of the state has done very little to harness the potentials of this great state to its heights. Rather all they are interested is personal issues. A poem of bitterness, I must say.

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A muse: Diaries of a Traveller

Dear Diary…

It is very early morning
And I wake to go home
After a nice breakfast
Of Indomie and…
I ‘hijacked’ a ‘Took-took’
To take me to the park

Okay, it was very cold
Last night…
I warmed up with a sweater
But yet the Night was cruel
Now, it is quiet warm
Some nights, some cold…

I find my way…
Thru the rigorous ‘paths’
That lead me home
Sitting besides two girls
Who tell me they head
To the ancient city of Kano

Well, here I am…
Staring at passing trees
Trying to count as we sped
Watching the cars pass by
But the chats of passengers
Disturb my quiet peace…

The sun rose while I type this
What a spectacular beauty she is
The road is really rough,
The road is a representation
Of those who rule us I say…
Amidst peoples laughs and talks

Ehen, lest I forget
I plan another travel soon
Somewhere quiet and lonely
With me and myself
Every thing Nature can offer
To a bard…

When I pack next…
Where will I be going?
Thou shall hear from me soon

Commentary.
* Took Took: A nick for a small tricycle vehicle popularly used in India and West Africa. It is also called Keke in Nigeria. Maybe the name came from the noise made by the vehicles when they are on transit.

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Thankful Psalm

l feel your warmth Jehovah
The peace and comfort You gave
Now the sun shine thru my curtain
Strings of beautiful colors I see
Oh Jehovah, You are Awesome
The sky blue clouds stand at ease
You stand out, You are Handsome!

The love I feel, undescribable
The life I have, gracefully blessed
He loved me to love others
My voice, my warrior, my power
My strength, my icon, my Lord
My dream, my leader, my master
God my Supreme, Almighty God

For in You I see the beauty
Of all Your Creations
You are my dream and salvation
My inspiration, I am Abrahams seed
I am led to address You in African way
For people call me The Lords blessed
Ara na azu nwa, Chukwu di ebube

What if I had no color in my eyes,
What if I had no feet for my shoes?
What if… There are so many of them
But You, wouldn’t let me go that far
Your love made me absolute
And none can Your intentions mar
Your ways are mighty and astute

Good lands, valleys and hills
The rivers, skies and peoples
You cause me to behold;
I am forever grateful for Your love,
For the scentful flower and the bee,
For the morning dew with his suave,
And for a long but blessed week

Commentary.
Ara na azu nwa: Igbo language for ‘the breast that feeds a child’
Chukwu di ebube: My God is Glorious

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Sunday light in Uyo

Arise and shine
Arise and shine

This morning brings to us
Fresh dry airs, severely cold
With dew strong like smoke
Rushing thru the glass window
In a fresh bust of race,
To the green fields of meadow
Strange paintings the dew draw
Throwing up busts of free air
One of sweet vitality and life

Let the golden sun shine today
And light the paths of our ways

Breath in slowly…
Breath in Heavenly life
And let love rule always

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When night falls

When the night shroud falls across the land
The stars glitter like the tip of a witchs wand
The moon wakes to the tune of the crickets
And the people dress themselves into jackets

The windows creak with each push of the air
The mighty wind just came with her wares
To the dark clouds, a streak of lightning shine
And the tall Whistling Pines set to whine

On the rooftops, the vampire bats congregate
For any stray insect and rodent they quietly wait
The moon light gave her fluorescent light
While the surging wind swept the hamlet

The nights are like firecrackers
To the sweet dreams of a laborer
The sweet recall of the days work
Come back to one as in a snore

Once again, to the warm bed we will retire
To count glowing fire bugs of the quiet night,
And all those beings that litter the dark firmament
A time for some joyful carnival and amusement

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Four Musings: My Music, The Train, August and WordPress

1. My Music
The sweet tingling of the guitar strings
On my soft palms reminds me of a song
Which plays quietly in my heart
Without drums and strings they play
The songs call out to love
To memories which I adore
I will let this music play through the valleys
And the peak of highest mountains
Through the fields where yellow corn grow
And through the empty hallway
Believing you hear me someday

2. The Train
Nothing excites a countryside boy better
Than a steady long stream of the iron snake!
When it comes with its powerful grace,
The roadways shake and tremble greatly
With the tongues of various green grasses scrubbing
The sides of the iron snake, without drawing his attention
The goats bleat, the kids yell, men came to see
Though unperturbed with the movements about
The iron snake hoots out loud and clear warnings
Minding his business, he went on jogging by

3. August
Some holidays, some month!
Some dancing and some fun
The days are mild, so are the nights
The food warm and the fruits ripe
When it rains, the wet clay rejoice
And women gather to pick the ‘udala’*
Sweet fruit atimes but sour other times
The sun shine is beautiful,
It creates a bright atmosphere
One unrivaled just for August

4. WordPress
My days are joyful and hopeful
Full of sweet dreams and journeys
I discovered a pathway down the jungle
And threaded carefully thru the thorn
Wandering in the great unknown of the pen,
Wondering what might become of my pain
But nothing forth coming without a try
Now I answer why not, when they ask why?
And this dream won’t be complete without you
Yes I can fly high, I can soar higher with you

Commentary.
Udala fruit is a tropical fruit and well eaten in the southern parts of West Africa. The name udala perhaps is a native Igbo name. Thank you WordPress for this wonderful opportunity!

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Folk: One night, one story

It has been long I left my village
And they must have felt my absence
For the moon still shone always
But then no one to tell the childrens tales
I missed seeing the grey bearded moon
I missed the serenity of the countryside
I missed seeing the birds circle the sky
And the calls of the wild when all is quiet
I missed friendly and homely smiles
I missed the wisdom the old folk gave me
And I missed walking thru the fields
Lonely and hopeful of seeing a wild animal
I missed eating smoke fish and melon balls
I missed feeling powerful for slaying a snake
In the farm and for demolishing loaves of garri…
Hmmm I missed it, mostly missed the quietness
Of the hamlet when all left for work or the farm
***
Now I went back for some rest
An escape from the city’s noise
Oh, I so hate the hustle bustle…
***
Nothing much changed…
Save from new growing trees
And old stubs halfcut from the middle
As usual the airs were welcoming
The evenings like a sweet paradise
And the people nothing new…
Save from new born babies
Suckling away at their mothers breast
Yelling wildly at slightest provocation
The trees have no fresh fruit
I have learnt I came when the harvest
Is done- well, I missed home so much
***
”Pay attention to this little tale
Of a land far far away…
Where stays a lake, quiet and calm
And on it, lived a duck and her family
Three ducks names- Daak, Deek and Duuk
They so much enjoyed the cool lake
The serenity which was unrivalled
In the whole land…
***
‘Quack quack Daak’ she began
Turning to the nearest duck
‘You have been friends
With the old grey Turtle
You know the Lakes’ waters
More than your siblings
But I pray, tell me
How many times would
Something happen to you
And you would learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
Sure I would learn, but only
When it happen, and all times!’
The first duck answered
Mother Duck nodded thoughtfully
And turned to the next duck
‘Quack quack Duuk, come closer
You are not scared of the weeds
You even fought off the black Eels
But tell me, my little brave one
How many times will you learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
But I can only learn If it happened to me’
Mother Duck nodded thoughtfully
And she turned to the last
‘Quack quack Little Deek
You are scared of all ripples
And the neighborhood fishes
You have made only few friends
I wonder, but let me know
How many times will you learn?’
‘Quack quack mother
I won’t learn from any misdids
I shall learn from others mistakes
I shall watch the Eels movements
And all crafty ripples upon the lake
That are not made by my kind
And I shall always be careful
For to survival, one must be cautious’

Commentary:
Well said Little Deek Duck! I guess but I think she is the wisest duck I ever saw in my life!
Sometimes, it is better to follow events with wits… Not falling victim/prey to what comes our way. learning from peoples past mistakes and not trying to repeat those. Being friendly and brave might not be enough to cushion challenges/problems/issues we face… We need to be cautious.

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Color 2 for Uwakmfon Ebong and Makabongwe Luphelele

There are many colors, nice and cute
Dull and tiring, fainting and mute
Some fall by the bronze roadside
More on the greens of the field
The birds fly across the cerulean sky
With the jade hued beetle buzzing by,
On the empty dusty rocks words echo
And the ever warm and cuddly yellow-
The offshoot of the golden sun
Bring men, black or white to tan
The waters of the ocean wash the shores
But colorless are words that teach the lores
The skyline is charcoal black as night falls
The clays of the farmlands a dull sorrel
The color of a fine fish, silver
And the sweet honey a burnt sienna
The beautiful color of a cold bubbling Coca Cola
Poured out on a glass mug to create a wonder…

When we are ired we turn red
On our face and all about the head
When we get jealous or envy
Then we are said to hue green!
Now, we talk of blood and strife
When we mistakenly got cut by a knife
Or when the sons of men go crazy
And take up arms, strange and grey
We are loved when we share flowers
Amber, rose, turquoise and lavender
And what if I make a pick, one for me and you
What would you like best, an orange or an ultramarine blue?

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My Love

Onyinye Chukwum!
The pearl that shines with the sun,
Your skin glitter like pretty diamonds
Upon the darkest of nights you shine
From the Earth to the heights of Heaven
Your thoughts come to me like fine wine!

The love we share knows no bound
It is like the harp and the players fingers
A pure harmony brought to Earth by God
Nothing puts the Almightys will asunder

The songs we share, like the fable
Like the folklore sang by country shepherds
On green fields it becomes lively and able
As the shepherd walks before the hungry herd

The dreams we share, gave me a new life
A compass, a direction and a pathway
With you by my side, I soar to new heights
Your love kept me alive and brighten my days!

The love we share, a beautiful testimony
I desire your quiet look, your simplicity
A dream come to pass for you and me
For now I realize you were for real

Translation.
Onyinye Chukwum! An Igbo exclamation meaning my gift from God!

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Syria

The tears of dying children
Is the lullaby of gunships
The desert is smeared with
Grease, oil and human blood
The days turn to grieving nights
But the world knew no sanity
And those who fight in the fields
Humanity eludes,
Life is a little less than a chickens
And yet we walk free across the border
Where is this United Nations, eh?
Are we waiting for the fire
To torch the globe before we wake?

Aleppo and Damascus is on fire…
Jerusalem is not safe, so is Nice
We lack potable water in Africa
And thugs are fighting in the Sudan!
The blood wasted on the desert
Of Libya and everywhere cries out
No justice, the law has failed us
Give me peace, take your war horse
We cry to God, “Oh Lord help me, save me”
But we look to our neighbor with deceit
Each day men travel underworld
Without their will they forcefully go
Would there be an army waiting,
An army to rise from hate of love
When all human kind is gone finally?
What is the cost of ‘peaceful’ love
If the cost of a gun and oil barrel is dear?

The tentacles of terror spread
Everyday the world goes dark
Why we build war machines,
The glaciers melt somewhere
The deserts take our arable lands
The Earth goes blank with each day
Yet five powers kept watching

Will there be another day
To see another bomb explode?
When shall we be freed men?
Stop this Syrian war right now!

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The Gardeners seed

Saint-Ligoue Street

This was the idea born to me
Sometime, somewhere, August or May
The streams of thoughts come to me
The ones I may not all, say

I met a gardener down the road,
Gracefully adorned with a hat on a pinafore
Smiling, he sat on a wood log spreadagled
And I thought I met him somewhere before

Upon his face was a mix of different men
Hewn out of a stress of thousands of times
A thicket of nerve upon the facial line
And to a moustache burnt by strange climes

On his shaky hands he held a pitchfork
Letting his strength drain down the pole
“You see these hands, them work’d on the docks!”
He began as he beckoned me to a seat of wool

“I have seen the warlds greatest seeds
And the warlds best of weathers…”
He broke into a small laugh and grunted
“O yea, I have seen the Earth and her barders”

I sat down to think of it,
My mind telling me to relax into this
And listen to the fellows wit
Once I heard myself hiss

“Tell me sire, about the little growing seed”
I finally let my curiosity get the better of me
He looked at me, shrugged and loudly laughed
I smiled, though the reason for that I could not see

“Naw sit tight” he began after a deep breath
“The sammer times I go to the Seasides
Where the sun goes dawn to the Earths belt
And the walk on the sands of the shores mild

The birds; seagulls, pelicans and storks
Bathered the tranquility of the queer scenery
I faund myself, a tedious sun tanning wark
The turtles glide about the beach lazily

But I cared little less for the stray animals,
Drawing pictures on the wet sand I found a seed
Which I became fand of, and around it I made a stick wall
And all marnings I wake to attend to the weed

The warm nights grew to days
And days begat other nights
So my little seed came to wake!”
He nodded, shielding his eyes from the sunlight

“You see the golden sun over there son?
She woke all day to tan myself and the seed
For she took the seed as her own son,
Provided us with all the warmth we need

The seed grew not just for planting it
But for the love sown into every soil it lay
The beetles and weeds came to attack it
But I would let none of those spoil her

All about the soil I greatly kept,
And so is the seed of life and loving”
He smiled warmly, and allowed me feel it
“Only the seeds know the joy of growing”

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Watch the sun rise

I watch the sun shine thru my window
Throwing me a familiar wink
And painting the curtain gold
Thru the city streets the lights glow
Like the color of brew which men drink
On all faces it shone, young and old

Day breaks again in the city
My heart long for something else
My dreams point to my calling;
A wheat farm and its serenity,
A pride of Lions in their lairs
Queer birds of Africa wailing

My heart is giving to the wild
I loath the noises of the city
The hustle bustle of strange people.
The twittering of birds are mild
It defined the inspiration in me
I am part of Nature, a true example

Africa is a wonder, a haven
I am given to Gods beautiful creations
My friends are what Nature offer:
Tridax, Drumstick, Marigold, Kenya, Bean
The Leopard, Hippo, Gazelle, Zambia, Lion
Waterfalls, hills, safari, ponds, all that are to wonder

Nothing compareS to this dream,
Let’s go find another land
Let’s go see what the Lord has for us!
The morning is handsomely warm
And the sun is scanning the land
A good day to ride, if I had a horse!

And someday soon, I’ll be there

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New Days song

Awake to the morn,
Savoring the taste
Of a fresh minty day
Listening to birds call
And the feelings within

Awake to Heavens call,
A brand new song on my lips
And a gaze into the fields
As the tree leaves fall
With the burst of the wind
In fine danceful circles
The tree leaves descend

And I sing…
I sing in my heart
A joyful rendition-
My personal tradition
A special tune that soars high
To the Throne of the most High
I’m blessed
When the sun rise

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Lullaby: Rain drums

Tap tap tap tap…
The first drops fall,
Look up, and see a battalion
Rushing down in haste
Scattering in multitudes,
Causing ‘chaos’ to the city
Splashing happily, joyfully
Upon all who dare stand before it

The night rains are nice
When they come with the wind-
With a very strong wind
It made my curtains dance mad,
Throwing up stray papers
And wooing my candlelight
Which drew a shadow on the wall…

Light are the rains upon the roof
Falling like a thousand little drumbeats
Smacking away, thoroughly the roofpans
Drawing nearer the sweet echos of sleep
Throwing rain drops on my window glass
And training the fatigued to acts of slumber

Like the Qasaqasa drums their beats fall
The rooftops tremble with those touches
Millions of them, hitting the roof tops
I am left to greatly wonder
Why the Rains drums are milder
The Winds feel on the skin softer,
Even as the raindrops fall and scatter
And throwing into our pots clean water
Straight from Heavens store house!

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A Psalm: To Jehovah, Ebenezer!

”I feel a power other than mine
I feel a strenght greater than me”

The strongest winds and storms
Tell of a might,
The beauty of His love
A testimony of grace!
He gave me a yam, alright!
Haha, he gave me a knife also
He gave me a fine dream

I worship His Majesty, – Kabiyesi!
I call Him, O gburu uzo n’ozara
The one who made roads on dunes
He made all with spoken words
He makes water storms in dry deserts
And men stare mouth ajar!

Wonder, wonder, holy, holy
I must say praise to You, Nissi!
Oh how awesome, how wonderful!
The day, the nights, you made hopeful
Ebube Dike, Dike na Dimkpa
Eze ndi Eze, the Lion of Judea!
I am so obsessed, what can I say
To You that cuts oceans into highways?
Awesome Jehovah- my song
You gave me a sweet hymn
One holy, of Trinity and solemn
My pride, my power- Chimbuikem
I command the rains, haha!
For you made me a commander!
He gave victory to a strengthless me
And I march to the gates of the enemy!
El-Shaddai I am forever grateful
Odum ebo Judae, Abum ihe mbu!
Only You are God
You got the whole world
In Your merciful hands,
Only You must reign

Commentary:
I am a christian, a methodist and a child of God. I am thankful to Jesus Christ for His undying love. This poetry is my lyrics for Him Who makes this poetry possible in me. The language used in the piece safe from English is Igbo and Yoruba. And below are the translations.

Translations:
Kabiyesi: The Yoruba word for praising or hailing a King
O gburu uzo n’ozara: Igbo for The One that made settlements on desert dunes or wastelands
Ebube Dike, Dike na Dimkpa: Igbo for The powerful One, The most powerful!
Eze ndi Eze: Igbo for King of Kings
Chimbuikem: Igbo for God is my strenght!
Odum ebo Judae, Abum ihe mbu: Igbo language for Lion of Judae, I am that I am

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July

Here comes a month…

Fresh and blessed

With even a strike of rainfall

And the golden face of the Sun

Which delight, I call my imagination

The night will be as usual…

Full of cricket shrieks

And the love I always knew

 

I wish you a beautiful July

A happy new month to all my followers