Categories
Africa education Igbo culture languages Nigeria

Igbo Language Alphabet

This is to respond to your requests for a clearer, easy to read Igbo Alphabet, and we’ve come up with this which we believe is simplified. It’s important to take your attention to the structure of the alphabet because it’s the key to unlock your understanding of this beautiful language. Basically 27 distinct letters are contained in this whole 36-letter alphabet, so in every word we can say or write in Igbo language we only use 27 letters. There are times however we need to make certain meanings but the 27 letters on of their own cannot deliver unless one letter tag itself with another (diphthong) for example ‘g’ for ‘gaa’ = (go) and ‘w’ for ‘wete’ = (bring) and ‘gw’ together for ‘gwakota’ = (mix). Also ‘n’ for ‘nata’ = (receive) and ‘y’ for ‘yiri’ = (wear) and ‘ny’ together for ‘nye’ = (give), etc.

Summary:

Igbo alphabet = 36 letters in all, 27 of which are self-sufficient but can also partner with others in 9 different ways for 9 different sounds and meanings.Notice also that letter ‘c’ is the only letter that is not in the alphabet but is married to letter ‘h’ = ‘ch’, which can be used in the word ‘Chineke’= (God the creator).

Categories
opinion reflection thoughts

Thoughts on Global Tension

An African proverb goes thus: when two elephants fight the grass suffers. The only issue in the case I’m about to discuss is that both the elephants and grasses suffer.

News
Before the advent of novel corona virus, the world knew some peace. I mean there were wars, civil unrests and some economies wobbled on unsteady legs, but the world never came close to this level of distrust, hate, and xenophobia towards one another. Before corona virus we could sit and reason on the same table but this is not the case anymore.

Each day I wake to heart breaking news. Nations isolate, build wall boundaries as the US did across its southern border with Mexico and Brexit from the EU. Other nations focused on territorial expansion and conquest: China, Pakistan and India in Kashmir and Lakda; Israel and Palestine Territories; Greece and Turkey; China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR and South China Sea. Spying and economic sabotage is the new. Corona virus for example crippled some economies. Suddenly more satellites are sent into space, more equipment are purchased for armed forces. India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and other countries are purchasing military equipment. Lands (and islands, previously without military presence) are rapidly fortified. Economic guru’s say the world economy is sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Countries retreat into their shells, to withdraw from alliances and agreements. Nationalism are on record high. It had overtaken common human reason. The human selfish and greedy nature is awoken. Nations pledge loyalty to their benefactors or brethren. Communism and capitalism engage in a ruthless tug of war. Yet the world is faced by other pressing issues like rising poverty levels and insecurity, unemployment and lack of quality education. Lebanon’s economic woe has more than our eyes see. Hong Kong, an important international financial hub is no longer under the influence of the West and this is causing ripples globally. Religion is persecuted and minorities silenced or sent to camps in Asia and Africa. Freedom is gradually suppressed. At this time, things don’t look good for the human race. The truth is that the world is heading for a conflict.

What am I really talking about?

I’m no politician but I follow political trends. I need no gainsaying to know that the world is very sick. I also don’t need a soothsayer to tell that corona virus is not the major bone of contention. Why should America and Europe bear the brunt of the Corona virus disaster while China, where it came from record lesser cases? I don’t want to buy into theories. Not yet.

Every nation and region has a fair share of internal disturbance. This shows that no national ideology is perfect. So we must stop trying to impose on others our ideologies. America and the rest of the world is still contending with racism. Recent global riots on racism and black life matter protests attest to that. China is grappling with human rights violations like the case of the Uighur muslims. The EU has shown its weakness by taking biased decisions. The UK is not perfect, Scotland is dissatisfied and nationalism is growing. The German, French and Italian economies are not that strong anymore, Brussels has a big job to do. Talking about economy, Venezuela, Lebanon, Zimbabwe and some other nations suffer from hyper inflation. Does it look like someone is testing how inflation rates will look on selected samples from each continent? Sine Fein wants political and economic unification of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Middle East is divided into factions; Iran and Saudi Arabia leading different factions. The war in Yemen is one of selfish interest and does not reflect what the average Yemeni wants. Turkey is fighting for her interests in Libya and currently having a roll with Greece. From Burma, to Thailand and Malaysia human rights abuses are recorded. We don’t need to talk about North Korea, it’s a very secretive country. Siberia just like Biafra and Catalonia demand their independence and liberties from Russia, Nigeria and Spain respectively. This is a global uproar.

To summarize, I have few questions that I’ll like to answer. First, why the sudden land grabbing, territorial expansion and intent to exercise economic and political influence over other people? I know this has been happening before now, but why the sudden intensity? In my opinion, I’ll say with the look of things, it seems that some nations are grabbing resources and spaces in preparation for something. What is this something? Whatever it is, it won’t spell good for anyone.

I’ll end with a rhetorical question: do you agree with me that there are forces anxiously fighting to destroy the global economy and possibly ignite a worldwide conflict?

Categories
quotes reflection virtues

Four Quotes on Humility

Perfection is impossible without humility. Why should I strive for perfection, if I am already good enough? Leo Tolstoy.

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. Bill Gates.

True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue. Martin Luther.

I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men. Lao Tzu.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Love and Christianity love poems Poetry

Poets Corner: What is Love?

Love

As a growing Sunday School kid I learned a lot about love. Love can be defined when we explore it’s qualities or characteristics. Yet love is complex in every angle you chose to view it from. It is a mix of emotions, behaviours, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.

My dictionary offered some definitions about it:

  1. An intense feeling of affection and care towards another person.
  2. (uncountable) A deep or abiding liking for something.
  3. (uncountable) A profound and caring attraction towards someone.
  4. (countable) The object of one’s romantic feelings; a darling or sweetheart.

What is love from a Poet’s view?

Poets have different opinions on love. Let’s hear what some has to say.

Lucky Johnson puts it beautifully thus: “Love is loving those that hate, visiting the lonely, catching those that fall, being selfless to the selfish, forgiving the unforgivable, helping the helpless, and travelling long for a short visit to someone in need of a hug.” Elseta Campbell says that love is selflessness. The courage to show care unconditionally. The ability to see the person first before seeing their faults. Love is maturity. Love is forgiveness and freedom from bitterness. Love encompasses the physical and tops in on the spiritual. Love is purity of heart. This is insightful. Kiid Kgothi has this to say, “Love is hurt and disappointments that always break your heart. Love is a dangerous thing that has the power to build a relationship and a lifetime of happiness together or it can make someone give up their life because their hearts never stopped bleeding”. For Sara Elizabeth, “love is a term used to describe the deep underlying affection that is always there regardless of how you feel on the surface. To be in love is to be in thrall with one another in a psychologically and yes sexually satisfying way. To fall in love over and over means that you mean so much to each other that you always come back around to that place where you are in thrall and experiencing the release of oxytocin that draws you into that person. To love is to nurture, grow and find contentment within the lives you share. Being in love is a cycle of thrall that diminishes and swells on the hormonic wave of nature and passion”. Maybe you will agree that Sara is being too scientific with her definition of love. Tebogo Mogashoa said that love is a mystery unsolved. For Saul Mendo, love is connection. Everyone is an individual but we need to come together, out of love. Tina Layne said “the indescribable and unfathomable dance of the spirit.”

Marachimso Ajuolachi Chimenka said that love is a feeling that occurs unnoticed. Eduardo Ibacache Rodriguez opined that love is the reason poetry exists at all. Siti Atie Atka says that love is a noun and verb. Masiye Theledi supports Siti in this view. For Ntombi Vutomi Monareng, love is putting someone’s needs before yours. Love is a doing word not a naming word, you can’t always say “I love you” without action. Lulama Mbonambi puts it thus: it is starting to feel like nothing than an idea which materializes into whatever I imagine it to be. Pity most of my imagination is influenced, but the beauty in it is the infinite possibility. Like everything else in life. Joe Hall has this to say about love: “If you can confine it accurately, it’s not love. If it can be manipulated, to conform to desires it’s not love. We’ve box love; categorized, villianized, sexualized, therorecallized, all purposes of love until the purest form of love is invisible humbly before us in innocence and humanity. Steve Rawlingson says, love is as real in a poet as it is in any other person, only the poet may describe it out a little better. For Chris Hiatt, love is just a word. It’s the feelings of those people close to you that the word invokes which defines our karma. Nikki Jauron says love is learning to turn your failures into flecks of gold. Michael Munroe shared his thought: I believe that for anyone, love is when you put something or someone else above yourself. Tamar Millernas said it depends on which poet. There are as many different kinds as there are poets. As for Hudson Roper, love is ambiguous, there are many different types of love e.g. The 4 or 5 Greek words for love.

Latoya Chinnery offered that love is something you can’t explain, because words are unable to define love. No words can give love enough justice that it requires. “Love stands firm in the face of adversity… It’s not something that revels and shine during the sunshine and hide during the rainfall.” For Santa Flaviapa, love is a feeling that is usually over-imagined and over-stressed. It contains so many elements of feelings and emotions that its most important ones are often overlooked, such as commitment, perseverance, caring and caring for, union of spirit and soul, longing and needing each other. Things like joy and happiness and desire may be present or not, but are not love. Honestly I loved this particular definition. The Dreamy Idealist said that, for poets, love is accessible to all form, all perspectives side by side, love is deep emotions, feelings, for someone. Poets imagine their love in a way that no one could ever see. Unity of soul and body do not describe love in its completeness, but probably love is that part which forgets everything in the world except the soul mate. Poets imagined their love and live their own way.

Featured Poetry

Josh Gold, (untitled)

Love is not that great
Love can love to hate
Love can hurt and cause tears
Love is an alcoholic and their beers
(With all fairness there are lots of good things about love, but I think people miss the fact that it’s more like desire than universal principal of goodness)

What is love to you?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love love poems Nature nature poems Poetry

Flight to Summer – Poetry

There’s a symphony of joy,
See it roar up bright skies!
Emissaries of the aging day
Graceful flights over Africa!

*

It float above the countryside
Leaving to fresh, green fields,
Above those endless forests
Where hope still lived ahead

*

Each journey is to an unknown promise,
Somewhere between joy and pain
But fly they must: the fair geese
Up the blue clouds, a life only known to them

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems opinion Pastoral Poetry

Courage

The breadth of earth lay wet
But the sun rise from the east,
From vague sights and mists

The dark jungles, hot and serene
Yet lions stride through the green
Fearing neither man or faun

A shriek up the skies…
Eagles soar high; many miles
Hopes high, they seeth thru’ times

The wind surfs wild oceans…
Whale’s horn blows far beyond
All tremble, sea-dwellers and stray crustaceans

Now if the skies were conquered by a bird,
And the jungle by a fearless king, crowned,
And the waters by a giant strongly revered

Then this little piece is written specially for you
To bring you a blessed combination of these virtues


This is a thank you poem for all my readers and followers. You guys are awesome. Let’s do more.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Poetry

Sunset in Ovim

I stand by these rocks and hills, ancient
To enjoy again a beautiful moment of sunset

I’ve a new song to sing each time I behold the sun set
A song sang by my father and his father’s father

A song that echo through the hills,
Like smoke dispersing from mills,
Ancient like mud where palm trees grow
Cherished by all people who till and sow
A song enjoyed while treading this blessed path
One that my father and his father’s went
I am glad to sing for my hometown,
To make sense of everything around,
To dance alongside happy leaves of cassava
Or to admire the beautiful butterfly larva

When the skies are blue with her painting
I hear the sweet voice of evening wind sing,
With her multitude of insects, bugs,
Wailing infants and barking dogs
Happy palm wine tappers sing this song
When they wait on raw wine that trickle into kegs
Vast clouds sail across the horizon
From those heights they sing along
I watch while the blessed sun set
Down the hills that kept my path
Now familiar faces greet ndeewo
I’m ready to hear a good story or two

I stand by these rocks and hills, ancient
To enjoy again a beautiful moment of sunset


I just saw a beautiful sunset here in Ovim. Normally I would take an image. But it’s much better to experience this than to word it.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love haiku love poems nature poems Poetry

Muse: Let good paths…

Memories become tales untold
Hope are dreams in soft shield
If all passes into a sort of legend
Then let good paths never fade

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Love and Christianity love poems Poetry

Reflection: Power in Unity

Grandma’s Cooking Stove

Grandma was a good cook. I always enjoyed her meals as a little boy. School holidays was fun for me as I had to travel home to her. She contributed immensely to those happy times. (God rest her soul.)

Whenever she made her delicious soup I usually sit by her traditional stove. I watch raging fire lick the wood. The metal stove is constructed in such a manner that there are spaces to plug in firewood and charcoal. I remember the way she worked expertly on her stove. Thrusting wood in and out, knowing when to pause, when to add more ash or charcoal and so on.

Well this little reflection is not just about my Grandma’s cooking but the lessons I got while I observed the burning wood in her stove.

Five woody brothers

Once I closely observed Grandma’s cooking method. She placed many little sticks and five strong firewood on the stove. When she lighted them the flame grew hot, gradually. It wasn’t long when the flame became fiery. I noticed that the five wood pieces had a stronger flame and whenever Grandma took out one or two to adjust her stove, the flames died down.

While reflecting on this, it dawned on me that unity is a powerful force. When the wood burned together they produced a huge flame but take them apart they can barely give much heat. I took home this lesson on the power of unity. We won’t make much progress while we are disunited. Unity is a powerful force indeed.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Rain drops on the Glass

I love the sound of rain when it hit my windows
When multitude of rain drops descend from the sky,

Splattering, crushing the Earth’s crust, moulding her clay,

Throwing up sweet scents, one unaccustomed to man

The beats create a regular rhythm that may turn to a song,

Caressing window panes, pushing mild airs upon them,

When rain fall on glasses droplets merge into balls,

Which silently rush off in joyful ecstasy and haste

Categories
folklore Nature nature poems Pastoral

Amuse: A Letter to the Squirrels Living in my Roof

New landlords

Okay guys, I traveled to my country home or just say my village. I was welcomed by squirrels racing on the rooftop. I thought it was a cat at first but cats don’t fly on tree branches. I finally saw one skinny squirrel holding his chin. It wouldn’t wait for me to get my camera. Honestly I have heard about snakes on a plane, puss in boots but not squirrels on the roof. So I’m going to write a nutty letter to this squirrel mafia, terrorising my rooftop.


Nutty squirrels,

First of all, I’m not mad at you. I’m not in any way mad. I wouldn’t blame you too. Though I love trees, I blame them for growing too close to my house. The branches shoot over my roof and you now have a new playground for your family. Your tree-barn has become too little, not enough for your nut provision that you introduced your nuts to my rooftop. My roof is your barn now.

I arrived home to find you my roof’s new landlord. You brought your siblings and your kids maybe. And they are all naughty, yes they are nutty. You probably expelled some of the lizards that pack in to homes left for long. So you are up there, feeling invisible – out of my brooms reach. Throwing nuts through cracks down my room and bed. I sometimes wonder how you summoned this courage to live in my roof, exercising vigorously at my disadvantage. You squirrel is something else, beautiful and surprisingly strange. I had never seen squirrels live in rooftops.

During your noontime play, I caught a glimpse of you, holding your chin with those broom-like hands and maybe thinking about your nutty economy. Dear new landlord, I’m grateful that you sleep at night, just like myself. If not, I would burn this roof and watch your nuts disappear with it.

– A distressed squirrel tenant.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nature nature poems Pastoral Poetry

Stars – Poetry

When I wait under the old mango tree
I count the glittering stars far away
And laying on soft sandy soil
I get a better glimpse of the dark skies
The wind is my guest,
She rent her cold self to me,
She whispers tunes of nature
And drag tree leaves to fan me,
It’s an evening of quietness and cold,
Moments of thought wandering,
Of travel through stories and time,
Now the cold night draw nearer
I will watch my beautiful stars glitter

Categories
folklore Pastoral Poetry

Another Tale from the Wild Woods

image

There’s a land behind those ancient hills
Hidden in the thick greened forest,
One of mighty foliage, brushes & roots
Dark green shrubs gather by the riverside
Ripe fruits plunge into the quiet waters
And fish schools scatter in excitement
Brown and black crabs meet to get drunk
Squirrels watch them, amused from treetops
The forest is awake, nature’s fine circus
At all times, the quiet cloud is navy blue
And king of forest do fall in love with it
When the cloud blush it rains softly; mildly
And little creatures which live in the land
Look up to the ever smiling forest king
‘Oh, how handsome his face look’, a cricket said
‘He is really in love with the selfish cloud
But we won’t understand why she always refuses
To love the handsome king back!’ some pigeons answered
‘I tell you that she is possessed, who should resist the forest king?’
The wolf alpha added, as he looked up
‘The forest king won’t talk yet, all he did is stare and smile
How savagely awful!’ Some pine trees whined
‘If for nothing but admiration is the reason to love
I choose not to love’, the philosophical Woodpecker concluded.

Start your blogging experience here.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore Nigeria opinion Pastoral Poetry

To my childhood…

I like to watch the sun rise, to wait while she cast her beauty on earth,
So I wake early to fly my kite, to gather the stray bugs, worms and locust,
The fields are my playground, a partner to hides and seek,
I watch the sun, her golden smile, and light it brought to my community,
I adore pretty butterflies that dress in fine hues and dresses,
I dig holes for my little flower stalks, hoping they grow in no time,
I wait for the moon to rise at night, peeping through the window
With hope that when it comes, it will wait far into the cold night,
And if she came I would watch her shine through those dark skies
I danced alone in loud evening storms, raise my hands
To grab slippery raindrops as they fall mildly upon me
Even when lightning sang and her cousin thunder clapped,
Each day and night was always a new beginning
Memories of home are joyful and happiness

Categories
opinion quotes reflection

Quote: Dream big

You’ll never know… Just dream. Dream big.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love culture/tradition education folklore Nature nature poems Nigeria Pastoral Poetry

Poetale: The Nomad

When twilight came
I took a walk, for some air
And down the roadside I went.
There a young man stood
Bearded heavily unlike myself
Throwing corn seeds into his mouth
And grinding them with such relish
That his brown teeth showed off
He stood a little close to my fence
And I decided to go chat with him
He smiled when I came close
He doesn’t look like someone from here
Yes, I seen those tribal marks somewhere
He must be from the North,
Sannu!‘ I hailed
Sannuku!‘ he replied
Eying me carefully
‘Do you wanti some agwado?’
‘No thank you.’ I replied
I saw his garment flow up,
Sailing with the mild breeze
Like a kite on rampage
The dress leaned deep into his flesh
And his muscles exposed
Kai, do you speak Hausa?’ he asked
‘No, very poor in that regard,’ I answered
‘Okay oh,’ he turned to call his cattle
Then I realised he was a shepherd
I relaxed a bit, wearing a new smile
My new friend must have something
To tell me about his travels and animals
He saw my smile and grinned
‘Tell me about your best and worst times,
Of shepherding and your herd’
I started without thinking…
‘My best time is when my herd feed
On a valley full of healthy green grass’
He said in nearly perfect English
‘When the sun is high above the firmament
When cows give birth in the dead night
And when I hear my favourite calf moo,’
He closed his eyes to remember more
‘What about your worst moments?’
It seemed I shoved him back from his dream,
For he suddenly opened his red eyes
And shot a blazing stare at my mouth
‘Why are there wars in Africa?
Why men kill each other?
Why are streams dry
And oceans rising?’
He asked with a frown.
‘I was born into such society
That settle disputes with violence
There’s hate, tribalism and distrust
Tribe against tribe, people against people
And hate is substituted for love…’
He pulled a twig off the long grass
‘How can we live in a society without love,
Without faith and trust for one another?
Why fight and not dialogue to achieve peace?
Why bomb a land already stricken with drought?
And cause lack of food and drinking water?’
The air grew colder…
‘I tell you I have seen things. It is time to go home…’
He said painfully, holding his stick back
‘Well as for my worst moments
I see people suffer, Yes I have
For nothing sake, I hate to see children suffer
And people suffer for other people’s crimes and atrocities
It makes little sense to me but that is the world,
We love and live in. Injustice, inequality, intolerance, ignorance…’
I could see through his pain…
‘It is only love that can save us all,’
He said as his flock gathered together
Tssski-ing, he called them, making a clicking sound from his tongue,
Hanging his long stick and hat behind his back,
He waved heartily and marched off, leading his cattle away,
I realise that the world still have some beauty and good in it


Commentary.
Sannu… Hausa salute
Agwado… Corn in Hausa


The Hausa/Fulani is a tribe spread across West Africa and predominantly in present day Northern Nigeria. They are known for their unique culture, tradition, arts and food.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nature

eSwatini, Kingdom of (with images)

eSwatini: meaningThere’s an African country with a name that sounds similar to Switzerland. Swaziland now eSwatini has its name changed to celebrate its 50 years of independence from Great Britain. eSwatini means land of the Swazis or a place for the Swazi. In April 2018, King Mswati, the third announced the change. eSwatini is sandwiched in-between South Africa and Mozambique. Notice how the country name is spelt! History and geography scholars might want to take note that this country’s name start with small letter ‘e’.Here below are images from eSwatini’s beautiful parks and nature reserves from Njabulo Nkambule. They were taken from the following parks and reserves:- Hlane National Game Reserve
– Mlilwane Game Reserve
– Mkhaya game Reserve
– Mbuluzi Game Reserve
– Malolotja nature reserve
– Mantenga Nature Reserve
– Mlawula nature Reserve
– Sibebe Rock resort


Njabulo NkambuleNjabulo Nkambule which means happiness is an open minded and hardworking poet from eSwatini.

Njabulo Nkambule

A Prayer for Healing by Njabulo Nkambule

As days goes by

My life racing, my whole body aging,

While my bones are getting exhausted and cracking.

My heart slowly beating,

To realize that it’s just a new day,

Yet another day on a calendar.

I’m overwhelmed with so much sorrow,

As the darkness still haunts my soul,

Questions asked but answers still pending.

2.

There’s still so much hidden,

As my life is still unfolding,

Unfolding the dreams you sowed in my heart.

Permit me to serve you,

All the days of my life,

Raise me to do your bidding every day.

3.

It’s a prayer for healing

I ask you to grant me the serenity

To accept everything I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can

And wisdom to differentiate between both.

I know, hardships are a bridge to peace,

I accept them as they are.

I surrender to your will,

For I know you will definitely make things fall into place for me in no time.

4.

I need you by my side to light and guide,

To rule and guard my life,

Create a smile on my face,

A heart filled with so much love,

Strengthen all my weaknesses,

Remove all the burdens on my shoulder.

I have so much to be grateful for.

Show me the way

This feels like a night

I ask for a light in my life to free me from everything.

This is a prayer for healing

Categories
folklore Pastoral

The Traveling Musicians

Gather around the fire and read this story with me. It’s a long bedtime tale.


An honest farmer had once a donkey that had been a faithful servant to him a great many years, but was now growing old and every day more and more unfit for work. His master therefore was tired of keeping him and began to think of putting an end to him; but the donkey, who saw that some mischief was in the wind, took himself slyly off, and began his journey towards the great city, ‘For there,’ thought he, ‘I may turn musician.’

After he had travelled a little way, he spied a dog lying by the roadside and panting as if he were tired. ‘What makes you pant so, my friend?’ said the donkey. ‘Alas!’ said the dog, ‘my master was going to knock me on the head, because I am old and weak, and can no longer make myself useful to him in hunting; so I ran away; but what can I do to earn my livelihood?’ ‘Hark ye!’ said the donkey, ‘I am going to the great city to turn musician: suppose you go with me, and try what you can do in the same way?’ The dog said he was willing, and they jogged on together.

They had not gone far before they saw a cat sitting in the middle of the road and making a most rueful face. ‘Pray, my good lady,’ said the donkey, ‘what’s the matter with you? You look quite out of spirits!’ ‘Ah, me!’ said the cat, ‘how can one be in good spirits when one’s life is in danger? Because I am beginning to grow old, and had rather lie at my ease by the fire than run about the house after the mice, my mistress laid hold of me, and was going to drown me; and though I have been lucky enough to get away from her, I do not know what I am to live upon.’ ‘Oh,’ said the donkey, ‘by all means go with us to the great city; you are a good night singer, and may make your fortune as a musician.’ The cat was pleased with the thought, and joined the party.

Soon afterwards, as they were passing by a farmyard, they saw a cock
perched upon a gate, and screaming out with all his might and main.
‘Bravo!’ said the donkey; ‘upon my word, you make a famous noise; pray what is all this about?’ ‘Why,’ said the cock, ‘I was just now saying that we should have fine weather for our washing-day, and yet my mistress and
the cook don’t thank me for my pains, but threaten to cut off my head tomorrow, and make broth of me for the guests that are coming on Sunday!’ ‘Heaven forbid!’ said the donkey, ‘come with us Master Chanticleer; it will be better, at any rate, than staying here to have your head cut off! Besides, who knows? If we care to sing in tune, we may get up some kind of a concert; so come along with us.’ ‘With all my heart,’ said the cock: so they all four went on jollily together.

They could not, however, reach the great city the first day; so when night came on, they went into a wood to sleep. The donkey and the dog laid
themselves down under a great tree, and the cat climbed up into the
branches; while the cock, thinking that the higher he sat the safer he
should be, flew up to the very top of the tree, and then, according to
his custom, before he went to sleep, looked out on all sides of him to
see that everything was well. In doing this, he saw afar off something
bright and shining and calling to his companions said, ‘There must be a
house no great way off, for I see a light.’ ‘If that be the case,’ said
the donkey, ‘we had better change our quarters, for our lodging is not the
best in the world!’ ‘Besides,’ added the dog, ‘I should not be the worse for a bone or two, or a bit of meat.’ So they walked off together towards the spot where Chanticleer had seen the light, and as they drew near it became larger and brighter, till they at last came close to a house in which a gang of robbers lived.

The donkey, being the tallest of the company, marched up to the window and peeped in. ‘Well, Donkey,’ said Chanticleer, ‘what do you see?’ ‘What
do I see?’ replied the donkey. ‘Why, I see a table spread with all kinds of good things, and robbers sitting round it making merry.’ ‘That would be a noble lodging for us,’ said the cock. ‘Yes,’ said the donkey, ‘if we could only get in’; so they consulted together how they should contrive to get the robbers out; and at last they hit upon a plan. The donkey placed himself upright on his hind legs, with his forefeet resting against the window; the dog got upon his back; the cat scrambled up to the dog’s shoulders, and the cock flew up and sat upon the cat’s head. When
all was ready a signal was given, and they began their music. The donkey
brayed, the dog barked, the cat mewed, and the cock screamed; and then they all broke through the window at once, and came tumbling into the room, amongst the broken glass, with a most hideous clatter! The robbers, who had been not a little frightened by the opening concert, had now no doubt that some frightful hobgoblin had broken in upon them, and scampered away as fast as they could.

The coast once clear, our travellers soon sat down and dispatched what
the robbers had left, with as much eagerness as if they had not expected
to eat again for a month. As soon as they had satisfied themselves, they
put out the lights, and each once more sought out a resting-place to his own liking. The donkey laid himself down upon a heap of straw in the yard, the dog stretched himself upon a mat behind the door, the cat rolled herself up on the hearth before the warm ashes, and the cock perched upon a beam on the top of the house; and, as they were all rather tired with their journey, they soon fell asleep.

But about midnight, when the robbers saw from afar that the lights were
out and that all seemed quiet, they began to think that they had been in
too great a hurry to run away; and one of them, who was bolder than the rest, went to see what was going on. Finding everything still, he marched into the kitchen, and groped about till he found a match in order to light a candle; and then, espying the glittering fiery eyes of the cat, he mistook them for live coals, and held the match to them to light it. But the cat, not understanding this joke, sprang at his face, and spat, and scratched at him. This frightened him dreadfully, and away he ran to the back door; but there the dog jumped up and bit him in the leg; and as he was crossing over the yard the donkey kicked him; and the cock, who had been awakened by the noise, crowed with all his might. At this the robber ran back as fast as he could to his comrades, and told the captain how a horrid witch had got into the house, and had spat at him and scratched his face with her long bony fingers; how a man with a knife in his hand had hidden himself behind the door, and stabbed him in the leg; how a black monster stood in the yard and struck him with a club, and how the devil had sat upon the top of the house and cried out, ‘Throw the rascal up here!’ After this the robbers never dared to go back to the house; but the musicians were so pleased with their quarters that they took up their abode there; and there they are, I dare say, at
this very day.


Good night 😊

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Poetry

Before Moonshine

Just before moonshine
Three little mice ran,
Up the hills they went
Six pairs of legs fast,
Working tirelessly
Towards safe solitary,
Away from barn owls
And every lurking evil


This poem was inspired by A. D.
Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems

Winter Love by Robin Bliss

Looking at the plum tree.
Seeing the dark bare,
Skeleton like branches,
Black against the dreary clouds.
Stripped by Winters cold,
Of its blanket of leaves.

The ashen, dingy clouds.
Are dripping raindrops.
This fine misty rainfall.
Is moved forwards by a,
Languid, lethargic breeze,
Coming strait from Antarctica.
This bitterly cold midwinter day.

But! You and I my love are,
Sitting together on the couch.
Our arms are around each other.
Bodies snuggled close.
In this warmly heated
Lounge room, in love.
You smile at me.

I smile at you.
No need for words.
Two happy contented people.
Very deeply in love.
Deeply in love
With you.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Poetry

Hope a poem by Ashok Gupta

If winter comes can spring be far behind?
Without hope, patience is not worth a dime!

All that seems wise
has already been said
A hundred times.
Let it stand alone
Without the need of a guise.

Evaluate it then within the recesses of your own mind.
All thoughts need some context to be meaningful
And applicable to your own life.

No thought can be absolute.
Only Truth is.
But what is Truth, who has known?
Has it ever been, in words told?

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Poetry

Divine Grace by Rajan Varghese

Embracing beauty and power
Musical melodies of divine excellence
Grace and smile composed
By the finest artist in brilliance

Destiny follows you like
God’s will
Man often ordained as
master of his own work and
destiny to receive honour
And power!

As the divine grace
granting new life
with a new name and
blessings!

Like a shepherd
Named Jacob
determined, wrestled
with God and nature!

Through out the night
To hold on the Divine
Till the day break in
faith and meditation!

As the shepherd loved
knowing the Divine Name
The Divine in turn
Blessed him with
A new name Israel!


@ RajanVarghese
Trivandrum Kerala
India . July 09, 2020

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love Nature Pastoral

African Zebra

An extraordinary land

Africa is a land of diversity and extreme beauty. From the rising golden sun to swift flowing rivers and peaceful, grazing black wildebeest spread across the brown and green savannah, one can always have a glimpse of nature’s beautiful paradise. And nature has a way of healing everything…

If you ever had the chance to visit Africa, you will have a life-long memory to cherish and will be glad you did. Don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourself.

Diverse wildlife

One beautiful thing I love about Africa is in its diverse wildlife. There are numerous species. There are lions, leopards, wild hogs, crocodiles, wildebeests, panthers, alligators, turtles, tortoise, jackals, zebras, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, buffalos, cheetahs, wild dogs, foxes, skunks, springbok, honey badgers, porcupines, giant anteater, spotted hyaena, civets, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, tapirs, lemurs, ostriches, and different species of snakes, apes, birds, insects etc… and there are flourishing vegetation all over the continent. You can see many species in one location. What can be more exciting? Africa is indeed blessed.

Just like the kangaroo which is native to Australia, some species like lemurs, zebras and more are native only to Africa and so may not be found elsewhere. Of all quadrupedal, I love zebras most. I took special interest in this beautiful single-hoofed animal when I fantasized riding one as a child. But when I learned that it could bite and kick, I reconsidered and respected their distance.

The African Zebra

Now the African zebra is related to horses but you wouldn’t want to ride one. Zebras are strange examples of the saying: looks can be deceptive. It is aggressive and in several occasions had killed lions and other cats with its kick.

With black and white stripes, it is a spectacular beauty to behold. Scientists say the stripes act as camouflage; predators may not know the exact number of individuals when they stand together in a herd. Also, the stripes blend with their habitat. Each zebra stripe is unique.

They are very fast animals when they run and can reach up to 65Km/h. As herbivores, they move in groups or herds feeding on fruits, leaves, grasses, barks and roots. There are many species and they occur in different locations.

Grevy’s zebra

Most of zebra population is primarily found in Southern Africa. Individuals occur in West and Central Africa. South Africa, Namibia, Angola and Eastern African nations record most populations. They are seen in protected parks and reserves.

Zebra’s natural predators are mostly the big cats, crocodiles and wild dogs. Man, unfortunately kills zebras too for food. Measures are being taken to protect them as they go extinct in some African countries.

I invite you to visit Africa, maybe you will be lucky to bump into a solitary zebra or watch the herd head towards a waterhole to drink after a long sunny day.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Inspiration/Motivation lifestyle Love and Christianity

Legacy: Larry or Harry?

Legacy

Life is dynamic. It changes each time we look at it from different perspectives. This is a story you might know. It tells of two opposites: selfishness and generosity, greed and contentment.

Larry and Harry

Larry and Harry, two homeless men were given a chance to travel to a third world country on an all-expenses paid trip.

They were told to carry nothing and to return with nothing. They were to make sure they spent all that was given to them. Provision had been made for their expenses and welfare which they would get upon arrival at their destination. The only caveat was that neither of them knew when they would be asked to return home.

When they arrived, they were both given a huge sum of money and a credit card with no limits, but reminded to spend it all before returning to their home country. At this, they became instantly wealthy by local standards.

Harry thought to himself. “Wow! This is my opportunity to live like a king for I don’t know how long this would last”. So he went and rented a Ferrari and rented the best room in the best hotel in town. He went to the best stylist, shaved and transformed his looks. He had parties everyday. Everyone in the city thought the cars and the wealth were his and they loved and respected him for it.

But at the back of his mind, Harry knew he would go back home someday and leave all of it behind but he didn’t want to think about it. He just wanted to live the moment and enjoying himself to the fullest.

Larry, on the other hand rented a small Honda to get him around town and stayed in a modest inn. He thought to himself. “This money will not last and I don’t know when I am going back so I have to do something tangible with it.” He decided to use it to change some people’s lives while he had the time. So he got busy, went out on the streets and started making a difference. He didn’t just give away money, rather he tried to help people to be self-sufficient. He paid off all the school fees of some promising young ones to enable them get an education and take care of themselves and their families. He found some responsible adults and funded them in a business that guaranteed they would be able to take care of their family and create employment. He devised a means of helping some of the homeless people get off the street and getting them into a trade for he thought “I wish someone would do this for me when I get back.” In short Larry spent his time changing lives.

Then after two months they were suddenly notified that it was time to go back. They hadn’t even finished spending all the money but still had to leave it all. They both said their goodbyes and headed for the airport.

At the airport they were given their original clothes to put back on before boarding the plane back to their country. Harry reminisced on the good times he had but wasn’t too happy that he was going back to his old life.
How would he readjust to being homeless?

Larry on the other hand felt good. He came with nothing and is leaving with nothing, but he at least helped others with a chance at life and that alone meant the world to him. Readjusting to being a homeless person wouldn’t be a problem because he never lived like the wealth was his anyway and always had it at the back of his mind that he would leave it all someday.

But little did they know that each moment they spent on vacation was being secretly recorded and they would be rewarded accordingly.

Now, which one do you think would be cast back out to the slums as a homeless person and which one would be entrusted with large sums of wealth and position of authority?

The same goes with our lives. We are here on a mission and will return empty handed except for the recordings of our dealings on earth. Many walk around thinking that the wealth they have is theirs to keep forever. When we look at the mirror, we think that what we see will always be there, forgetting that everything is temporal.

Have a good day of reflection.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems Pastoral Poetry

Love Poem: Let’s Dream Away

Your voice wakes the wild nature in me
When you sing the lyrics gladden my soul
I adore those moments you look over your shoulder
To catch my happy stare; as you dance away, laughing

***

You dress like tulips that grow on the farmyard
Fresh, delicate pink, lively as green bean pods
Scenting the room with your flowery perfume
When we walk on the beach, you lead this scent

***

So when night come upon our weary selves,
You make me close my eyes and dream away

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love love poems nature poems opinion Poetry

Art of Divine Poetry By Bhagirath Choudhary (Translated to Italian, Filipino, Albanian, French, Romanian, Spanish, Serbian)

Art of Divine Poetry

Poetic imagination
Praises beauty of creation
Giving words and voice
To every human nation

Poet feels the pulse
By his poetic impulse
Bard’s heart resonates
With loving sonnets.

Loving poetic spell
When rises well
The ordinary mortal
Becomes divine poetry portal.

With sacred passions
Poets dress up naked nations
Bards like holy masons
Build temples of civilizations.

All rights reserved
© Bhagirath Choudhary
June 11, 2020


Translation into Italian by celebrated Poetess Patrizia Girardi

Arte della divina poesia

Immaginazione poetica
elogia la bellezza del creato
Dando parole e voce
Per ogni nazione umana

Il poeta sente il battito
Con il suo impulso poetico
Il cuore dei vati risuona
Con sonetti amorevoli

Amorevole incantesimo poetico
Quando si alza bene
Il comune mortale
Diventa il portale della poesia divina

Con sacre passioni
I poeti vestono le nazioni nude
Ai vati piacciono i santi costruttori
Costruisci templi di civiltà.

© Patrizia Girardi


Translated into Filipino
By: Eden Soriano Trinidad

Sining ng Banal na Tula

Matulaing imahinasyon
Pinupuri ang ganda ng nilikha
Pagkakaloob ng mga salita at tinig
Sa bawat bansang kinabibilangan ng tao.

Ramdam ng makata ang pulso
Sa udyok ng pagkamatulain
Puso ng makata ay nakikiayon
Na may pagmamahal ang bawat tula.

Gustong gusto ang nakakaakit na tula
Kapag ito ay hinusayan
Ang ordinaryong mortal
Nagiging banal na daluyan ng panulaan

Sa masagradong damdamin
Dinaramtan ng mga makata ang kahubdan ng mga bansa
Mga makata ay tulad ng mga banal na mason
Nagtatayo ng mga templo ng sibilisasyon.

Translation in Filipino
© Eden Soriano Trinidad


Translated into Albanian by Seli Murati

Arti i Poezisë Hyjnore

Imagjinata poetike
Vlerë e bukur e kriesës
Me fjalën dhe zërin e bukur
Për çdo komb njerëzor

Poeti e ndjen pulsin
Për nga impulsi i tij poetik
Zemra e Bard rezonon
Me sonete të dashura.

Dashuri magji poetike
Kur ngrihet mirë
I vdekshëm i zakonshëm
Bëhet portal i poezisë hyjnore.

Me pasione të shenjta
Poetët vishen kombet e zhveshur
Bardha si muratorë të shenjtë
Ndërtoni tempuj civilizimi.

Të gjitha të drejtat e rezervuara
© Seli Murati
July 02, 2020.


Translated into French by Gordana Saric

L’ ART DE LA POÉSIE DIVINE

L’ imagination poétique
Apprécie la beauté de la création
En donnant des mots et une voix
A chaque nation humaine.

Le poète sent le pouls
Avec son impulsion poétique
Le coeur du bard résonne
Avec des sonnets d’ amour.

La magie douce d’ amour
Quand il monte bien
Le mortel ordinaire
Devient un portail poétique divin.

Avec une sainte passion
Les poètes habillent les nations nues
Les bardes en tant que saints maçons
Construisent des temples de la civilisation.

French translation by Gordana Saric
©Gordana Saric
July 01, 2020


Translated into Romanian by Georgiana L. Gheorghe

Arta poeziei divine

Imaginația poetică
Laudă frumusețea creativă
Oferind cuvinte și voci
Fiecărei țări.

Poetul simte pulsul
Din impulsul poetic
Inima bardului răsună
De sonetele duioase.

Frumoasa vrajă poetică
Când crește mare
Omul nornal
Devine portalul poeziei divine.

Cu pasiuni sfinte
Poeții îmbracă națiile goale
Asemeni sfinților pietrari
Barzii ridică temple de civilizații.

Toate Drepturile Rezervate.
Bhagirath Choudhary
11.06.2020
(Traducere în limba română: Georgiana L. Gheorghe)


Translated into Spanish by Tony Delgadillo

“El Arte De La Poesía Divina”

La imaginación poética
elogia la belleza de la
creación, dando palabras
y voz a toda nación humana.

El poeta siente el pulso
por su impulso poético.
Su corazón de bardo resuena
con sonetos amorosos.

Amando un deletreo poético,
el mortal ordinario se eleva
y se convierte en portal
de poesía divina.

Con pasiones sagradas,
los poetas visten naciones
desnudas. Los bardos, como
santos edificadores, construyen
templos de civilizaciones.

Todos los derechos reservados
© Bhagirath Choudhary
11 de junio de 2020
(Traducción al español
y conversión a prosa: Tony Delgadillo.


Translated into Serbian by Ljiljana Samardžić

Umjetnost Božanstvene Poezije

Pjesnička mašta
Hvali ljepotu stvaranja
Dajući riječi i glas
Svakom ljudskom narodu.

Pjesnik osjeća puls
Svojim pjesničkim impulsom
Bardovo srce odjekuje
Sa voljenim sonetima.

Kad se voljena pjesnička čarolija
Dovoljno uzdigne
Obični smrtnik
Postaje božanstveni portal poezije.

Sa svetim strastima
Pjesnici otmjeno oblače gole narode
Bardovi kao sveti zidari
Grade hramove civilizacije.

Translated from English to Serbian by Ljiljana Samardzic
© Ljiljana Samardzic

Categories
Inspiration/Motivation Lessons from Experiences lifestyle opinion reflection

Abraham Lincoln’s Story

Abraham’s Humble Story

When Abraham Lincoln became the president of America, his father was a shoemaker. Naturally, egoistic people were very much offended that a shoemaker’s son should become the president. On the first day, as Abraham entered to give his inaugural address, just in the middle, one man stood up. He was a very rich aristocrat. He said, “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” The whole Senate laughed; they thought that they had made a fool of Abraham Lincoln.

But certain people are made of a totally different mettle. Lincoln looked at the man directly in the eye and said, “Sir, I know that my father used to make shoes for your family, and there will be many others here because he made shoes the way nobody else can. He was a creator. His shoes were not just shoes; he poured his whole soul into them. I want to ask you, have you any complaint? Because I know how to make shoes myself. If you have any complaint I can make you another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a great creator and I am proud of my father.”

The whole Senate was struck dumb. They could not understand what kind of man Abraham Lincoln was. He was proud because his father did his job so well, with so much enthusiasm, such a passion, and perfection.

Attitude matters, a lot…

It does not matter what you do. What matters is how you do it of your own accord, with your own vision, with your own love. Then whatever you touch becomes gold.

Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.

Moral

No one can hurt you without your consent. It is not what happens to us that hurts us. It is our response that hurts us.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love opinion Pastoral Poetry

Cranky Old Man: Anonymous Poet

A brief intro

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later when nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem. This old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!


What do you see nurses? What do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man… not very wise,
Uncertain of habit… with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food… and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice… ‘I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice… the things that you do.
And forever is losing… A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not… Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding… The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse. You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am… As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding… as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten… with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters… who love one another
A young boy of sixteen… with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now… a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at twenty… my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows… that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five, now… I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide… And a secure happy home.
A man of thirty… My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other… With ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons… have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me… to see I don’t mourn.
At fifty, once more… Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children… My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me… My wife is now dead.
I look at the future… I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing… Young of their own.
And I think of the years… And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man… and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age… Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles… grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone… where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass… A young man still dwells,
And now and again… my battered heart swells
I remember the joys… I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living… Life over again.
I think of the years, all too few… gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact… that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people… open and see.
Not a cranky old man
Look closer… See… ME!!


PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM!
The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love opinion Poetry

Poets Corner: What have you gained writing Poetry?

Poetry

Poetry is a composition in verse or language exhibiting conscious attention to patterns. The bolded are key to understanding the true nature of poems. Poetry has been in existence for centuries. As an art that survived centuries, I was curious to find out why poems are written for so long. And to those who write them, what they benefit from it. So in this blog post we will focus on what a group of poets has to say on what they benefited from writing (poetry).

For me poetry is more than art…

Poetry is more than art. It can be produced and performed. It is styled and can rhyme. There’s a plot even. It tells stories. It creates fantasy and teaches in subtle ways. It has deeper meanings which may require a certain amount of attention and exposure for readers. Poetry made me see and understand life from a new perspective.

Poetry is rhythm played softly into the night by a lonesome guitarist. Poetry are songs that creates emotions, it understands the times we live in, and play life’s videos. Poetry is the soul of meditation and reflection. Poetry is a bucket where all other forms of art grow from.

Many authors have different definitions and ideas of poetry. But this post is focused on what poetry has done for poets.

What has poetry done for you?

Truth is that there are reasons why we do the things we do. Be it for fun or business.

I will start with Philip Philo Kassner. Poetry dissipated his anger, helped him organize his thoughts, gained confidence, put him on the stage and he met his wife. How poetry helped him meet his wife, he didn’t reveal but that’s sweet to me. Allanah-Elizabeth Higgins says “it cracked me open to the very core and allowed my souls highest expression to flow through me.” Rupal Caricature said that poetry made him find another better way to spend time alone. I can relate to this. Erin El Kalla said it gave her the confidence to be herself. Artie Shorts gratefully said “It has reminded me how very very clever I am. Thanks poetry!” Yaqub Muhktar opined, “Nothing materialistic… I enjoy its beauty and creating the beauty. Poetry has made me happy and more self confident. The joy of writing gladdens my mood.” Hear Helen Freya, “Writing it is currently helping me to work through some past trauma; reading it is helping me to connect to brilliant minds.” Evie Ivy said it made her world a beautiful place. Satischandran Matamp says “Some poems can heal and empower, breaking the glass ceiling. Some can bring hope to the disappointed and a breeze of consolation to the lost. Some poems are like sunrise, while some others are like the sunset. Final interpretation rests in the hands of the readers.” David Allen says “it gave me a great creative outlet and introduced me to some extremely interesting people.”

Arlene Rocero said that poetry helped keep her sanity. “It has helped me find out more of myself. It has helped me express my inner feelings and thoughts better by writing. It is significantly helping me a lot through my battles no one knows about.” Deborah Mears says “it made me laugh, cry, feel sad and mad. Brought out my creativity, humour and introspection. And I made lot of great friends.” Cozett Dunn has this point: “Allowed me to create in higher states of consciousness and express more of my true self.” Tracy Pflieger has this opinion: “I find that poetry is a way for me to hit my deepest emotions when I actually allow myself to get into the writing of it.” Kondwani Stanley Simwaba said it kept him alive. Kenneth Wright writes that “poetry provides a tangible connection to that place in the mind where problems too big for me are under constant review.”

John Green says “it made me laugh, it has made me cry. It has made me ponder adversity and to wonder why. It has made sit in silence and in awe, question the law, what has been established. Parts of society and those who have been black-listed. Colours of the rainbow, LGBTQ, what people have been through, and what I have no clue. Lives touched by violence, touched by love, touched by more adversity, and those who have seen push come to shove. Where has poetry taken me? On journeys most never want to experience. The pious, the fake, the real, and the deviant. I don’t relish where I have been, it creates a pickle. It either pours down troubles or it is a slight trickle.” That’s a pretty serious one, don’t you think? For Sara Bourland it helped her heal from serious traumatic brain injuries. Paul Gardiner says it opened his mind. Paul Armando Gabuat says it made him a better writer. Here is Steve Howards: “Provided me with yet another neurological gibberish translation device.” Jarmara Black said “it kept me reasonable sane through some very tough times.” Beaux Thorburn said it showed her inherent talent and (which) is so good for venting. Justin Robert said “not to be dramatic, but it has saved my life.”

Hobby Jones says, “I never thought to look at it that way, but it’s done a lot – taught me to read closely and write carefully, helped me parse my own thoughts and feelings, given me fresh perspectives on the world (inside and out), filled my mind with ideas and my heart with song, and provided many, many hours of mindful pleasure. So, thanks, Poetry! You have my undying gratitude.” Alex Silverstein opined “The poem is the prize from having something that was awful to deal with or it can be an expression of appreciation for something good that has happened. What has it done for me? Made me me a little more brave by sharing how vulnerable.” Josh Smith says “It gives me a space to express how I feel without worry of being judged. Words I’d like to say to people, but can’t, or wouldn’t know how to word it otherwise.” Kristy Lewandoski says “Given light, helped me to understand things that I couldn’t name on my own, helped me not to feel alone, made me feel alive, feel inspired, taken me on adventures, given roads to empathy and insight into life and humanity. So much!”

Steven M. Mwalusi has this to say ” it made me find another way of living. It will outlast me and speak to future generations.” I sincerely adore the outlasting part. Mohammed Ahmed Daldoum says “I use what I write to understand myself, it helped me to cope with life and overcome my insecurities.”

For me it has connected me to people whom ordinarily I wouldn’t have met. I became confident in my writing and can imagine anything.

What is your take on this? How has poetry benefited you as the writer?

Featured Poems:

DEADLIEST CRAFT by Colin Smith

To scream softly is the poet’s gift — one of whispers so gentle as to shatter illusions, then to expose the power of truth and beauty.

The poets of war have held the souls of so many. Yet the poets of love, for a moment, have stilled the hearts of lovers yet to be.

Simple poetry in natural form describes the elegance of a tree or anything as it may be.

Poetry is the science of language sharpened, the expression of Gods, as the ancients now speak to those who care to listen.

Practice this most deadly craft, for it can stir an army to sweet victory.

The Wife I Never Had by Bernard Arkoh Asante

Poetry turned my pain into art
After I lost someone I loved dearly
My college girlfriend called Ruby
To another man, Another Bernard
The pain was the genesis of this special gift
As I let the blood within my veins
Flow through my pen, I scribbled my first masterpiece in fine piece like Italian tapestry.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love folklore Nature nature poems Pastoral Poetry Series

Tale of Wild Woods: Summer Arrives

When summer finally came, a lot had changed
The last snow melted and the sad land woke
Grasses started growing, covering the outer earth
So those who burrow scrambled out from the dust
Soft airs and tidings surround the mountainside
Sending sweet emissaries around the valley below
Vines, myrrh, mistletoes and pines sprout happily
In the morning, the sunshine will not glitter on ice,
Instead the heat grew and the wood inhabitants felt it
First, the Squirrels thought the world was going crazy
And their cousins, the burrow rats seconded them
‘The frog choir will soon resume’, a brown Cricket observed
‘And if they do I am going to go crazy!’ a Sparrow replied
‘Not if they played on a softer note at least’
A Linnet added to the conversation
‘No way, they have all got bass! Male, female all bass!!’
A sad Bee, which sat on the tip of a tree leaf answered
Now, fresh grass brought the Deers and mountain goats
At the Otherside across the rocky land, the Stream flowed
Leaps of water, joyful that her prisoner had let her free
‘Crap! I mean did anyone notice that the cats are back?’
Some stray mice broke the niches silence
‘They have our land smeared with urine, them Bobcats!’
‘Yes, they think it is their fatherland. Well we better hide’
Now the wolf pack had no cold anymore
So they prowled the earth with more ease
Picking trails of rodents through the thick woods
The Mountain stood, usually a still, motionless figure
One that kept some admirers intrigued
As the ice melted, water trickled down to the land
And the wild wood fauna felt sad for her
For they believed she was weeping at her loss
‘She has been like this since the Ice King left’,
The soft voiced black and white Pigeons sang
‘She is heartbroken! Why will the Ice King be so cruel?
He even took her icy cloak and see, now… now she is naked!’
A duck said closing the eyes of her young with feathers
‘I think she looks pretty amazing, so much joy in pain
No one cares much enough, I think she needs a hug’
A tortoise with a huge shell opined
‘No she needs a gift’, the Wolf pack alpha barked
‘She is the worst person I ever met!’ he added
The other animals had to retreat to their homes
Or if you are too small or slow, just find a hideout
For the wolf pack, the villains of the valley
Had no mercy and they do as their word sound
‘What do we offer her, a fine rose shrub maybe?’
Another wolf suggested as the roses around hid
‘No, well anything. If she continue that way
I bet you the streams will overflow and we will have no land
To hunt, to plunder and to rule!’
‘Well, if being solitary is the best way of getting rid of vermin
Then it is the best shot at self discovery’
The philosophical Woodpecker reasoned from the tree top

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love Lessons from Experiences Love and Christianity Nature opinion reflection Series

Self Confidence

When you believe in yourself anything is possible.

Why not?

If you are lucky enough to find your passion, then how could giving up be an option? Giving up means accepting a lifetime of wondering what could have happened if you just believed in yourself enough to follow through. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go, just keep going and don’t lose hope.

But you may not achieve much if you are not self confident. So let’s consider attributes of a self confident person.

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Attributes of a self confident person

Smile: For me, smiles are facial dresses. People love and admire people who smile. Not the one that begins and ends with the mouth, the one that starts from the eyes. Genuine, loving smile attracts people, creates friendship and unlocks doors! Be a genuinely happy person and show it by smiling at people. Smiling makes one confident.

Humility: Humble people don’t lack self confidence! In fact it takes humility to have self confidence. When you learn to accommodate all class of people, you learn to serve others. That makes you grow dynamic and open minded. You also learn to be respectful and submissive to authorities.

Confidence: Confident people are attractive any time. Knowing who you are, pursuing your dreams, vision, passion and goals makes you a confident person worth investing in. When you find your passion you approach life with a positive mind set. You become energetic and believe in yourself. You have a sound self esteem and people are irresistibly drawn to you.

Friendliness: Being friendly is different from being desperate. When you go out, attend positive programmes, conferences, seminars, workshops, symposiums and serve in your local church or volunteer, you build a network and grow your confidence. So enjoy meeting people and getting to know them purely for friendship.

Generosity: Be generous to people. Be generous with your smile, love, talent, service, money, prayers, whatever you have that can bless lives. Generous people are like magnets, they never lack admirers. Compassion is a beautiful virtue. It builds self confidence.

Forgiveness: Forgive your past. Forgive all who disappointed you. Practice advance forgiveness, forgive people before they hurt you, because more people will offend you. If you find it difficult forgiving people, you will grow bitter and that kills self confidence when people stay away from you.

Intelligence: People like and admire intelligent people. Know when, how and where to talk. Know what is going on around you. Read about every topic. Know a little of everything. Intelligence builds self esteem.

Neatness: Dirtiness does no good. A disorganized and rough person lacks coordination to say the least! Take good care of yourself. Haircuts are essential. Tattoos and rings are not made for everyone. Appearing neat and presentable boosts self confidence. Because you don’t need to worry how you look or smell. Is it not said that cleanliness is next to godliness?

Dress sense: Wear something that fits you, not what is in vogue. Get a good tailor who can sew clothes that fits your body shape. Learn about your body shape and wear something that flatters your figure. Make-ups should be moderate. A good dress sense makes you sweet to look at and simply irresistible! Remember, the way you dress is the way you will be addressed.

Love yourself: You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Celebrate yourself and your uniqueness. Accept yourself the way you are, because you are simply the best. No one will be as unique as you. Don’t envy people because not everyone has what you have.

Godliness: Godly people carry golden virtues. Those virtues are in fact the summary of all attributes listed here. Honestly people find good godly people irresistible.

There’s a goldmine in you!

Take charge now. Start working on that talent. Bring your ideas to life and never stop believing in you. If not now, when? If not you, who?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love opinion Pastoral Poetry reflection

July Wishes

Dear Friends,

I’m grateful that we made it to July 2020. You’ll agree that the year has been a stressful one. I hope you’re well and keeping safe. Don’t be anxious, things will make sense soon and we’ll live to testify.

Few hours before new year, I made a wish that I wanted to see a happy me in a peaceful world. New year arrived with a Greek gift. While we got news of this strange virus, I lost my elder sister and several relatives. I even lost several academic and career opportunities. Then came global rioting and demonstration caused by the killing of George Floyd in America. The world wallowed in suspicion, distrust and economic warfare. We never had it this tough for decades. I’ve never seen anything like it.

The outbreak exposed human fallibility. We trusted so much in science. The outbreak exposed that human activities hurt our environment. Yes it exposed science and its weakness. It exposed that we only love in lip service. It exposed how selfish, ignorant and wicked hearts of men can be. It exposed that governments don’t really care about the people. It exposed the beast – greed in man. Nature recovers slowly. We can’t help much, but we can encourage it.

As the world face a pandemic that knows either creed nor colour, we need to love more and show strong faith. Love is mother of all good things. Yes, the world can heal with love and faith gives the assurance of a better tomorrow.

July is here and we’ll surely progress through it. Remain focused on your goals. Show compassion. Be kind. Be courteous. Forgive freely. Remember the destitute, the homeless, the ones without food and clothing, when you give. Pray for one another.

I have this prayer for you: The sun, the moon and the stars will shine for your good. Divine Providence shall protect you. You shall prosper in good health and riches even more than your expectations. My soul rejoices with you for great testimonies. Happy new month.

With Love,

Oke’