Categories
night poems Poetry

How to Paint like Van Gogh (Poetry) by David Thane Cornell

Viewers will think
it’s only a print
when they view it,
if you don’t put your whole body
and mind into it.
The sun in your head,
a storm in your heart,
is a good start.
Now lie down for hours
among sunflowers.
Then, when the storm passes,
don’t cut off your ear,
paint this world
with your eyelashes.

For Erik Hardin

Categories
Africa human rights

UNESCO ‘Sheroes’ Nigeria Competition

The issue of human rights and gender equality is gaining momentum. And this is the best time to get things right. So I submitted this piece below:

She’s a lady and more,
The mother of life,
And heartbeat of nations,
Innocent child by the street corner
Torn apart by her own society
Groomed in love and piety
Scarred by her own tradition
By some men and nations
She’s a memory of pain
Held in hard life’s pangs
Yet she gives hope and love
So remember to treat her so


Join me in this competition (Deadline: September 30, 2020), using painting and poetry to express your attitudes: https://en.unesco.org/news/national-art-competition-under-theme-sheroes

#SheroesArt #SpotlightNG #Nigeria #GenderEquality

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love nature poems Poetry

Morning Sun – Poetry

Glittering morning sun,
Woke to nature’s beauty,
Warm scent of caked clay
Leftover from night storm,
To me life is series of moments;
Made up of sounds and sights
Cackling peacocks, blue skies,
Green fields, huge waterfalls,
A female goat calling to her kid,
Group of laughing basket weaving girls,
Three red headed lizards fighting,
Sounds in the clouds and trees
Of surfing hawks, pigeons on roof,
Of squirrel mischief, lazy reptiles,
And little birds building fine nests,
All contribute to this beauty
A sleepy and sunny African morning
A perfect day to live and explore

Categories
Africa culture/tradition love poems nature poems night poems Pastoral Poetry

A Shepherd’s Poem

Sun set slowly above the wood
Shadows appear, shepherd dreams;
Soft breeze upon evening tide,
Smell of sheep dung,
Slices of malted bread,
Songs from the wine inn,
Situated by the river bend,
Sober men drink their heart fill,
Silent hills, retreating birds,
Sally may sing her radio favourite,
Something to celebrate our countryside,
Scent of marigold and rose,
Sleepy sheep bleat gratefully,
Safe from roaming the land,
Some wish for morning already,
Sops and grapes grow wild,
Sheep love to nibble on those
Smiles bring back what are the shepherd’s;
Sweet darlings are his memories for the day

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love painting

Painting by Sthembiso Msibi

Trust me she’s got amazing talent. See more of her work on IG: @sthekamsibi

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Magpie and the Squirrel – A Poem

Swooping down in excitement from a tree, A magpie spies the nuts and seeds with me. A squirrel nearby watches the commotion, Its swishing tail plotting paths of anticipation. The bounty descends effortless to the ground, Like wheat chaff in the muted siren of sound. As the magpie dances, delighted at the sight, The squirrel […]

Magpie and the Squirrel – A Poem
Categories
opinion reflection thoughts

Opinion: A Divided House

China and America
I was wondering what the world will look like should China attack America or vice versa. It’ll be a disaster, a human-made catastrophe. But I’m not only weighing the destruction that will follow a war between the two but the economic stress it will cause the world. Or maybe I’m a bit exaggerating over two giants fighting for global financial leadership and control? Let’s imagine a situation where human progress (medicine, agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, etc.) and civilisation came under attack, and all had to be wiped out. What a colossal waste it’ll be! The happy fact is that wars are avoidable. All we need to do is sit and talk around it.

America is gradually driving away Chinese products and excluding their social media apps from her internet space. On another note, I’m aware that China has in operation before now the Great Firewall, which blocks Western internet structures from accessing information from China. The Great Firewall also censors and blocks her people from accessing foreign websites. So this Trump and Xi dilemma has turned a tit for tat affair; a tooth for a chin, an eye for an ear.

Let me stray a bit. But if I was president, I’ll draw up a table to count costs of war against the values of peace. If worthless peace can get my nation more jobs in place of economic hardship, more food in the area of starvation, more life instead of death; then I’ll choose it. I’ll dwell on lessons from past wars – that alone should be a good deterrent for anyone. Unfortunately, some world economies are built on the action; that is why some are beating their drums of war. Sad indeed!

A Divided Chinese House

A house divided against itself cannot stand. Abe Lincoln

I read stories of young Tibetian volunteers who helped carry supplies to the Indian army stationed at the Chinese border. And they often did this by taking fatty food and equipment on their backs through some of the most expressive and inhospitable ranges on earth. It’s strange to see members of a country help a rival prepare to fight their nation. Something is amiss.

When people are held against their will, freedom of expression becomes costly. Its price tag goes a little extreme – imprisonment or worse. There are concentration camps in a supposedly ‘peaceful modern society’. Yet there’s no war. I’m left to wonder the rate of human rights abuses recorded in China and how easy it is to cover them up without drawing public attention. China is making progress economically; this is what we in the so-called Third World countries believe. But success in material things is not good enough.

I have a couple of questions to ask. How can a society, economically and militarily strong stand on the rights and privileges of it’s a most excellent resource – her people? Is the Chinese public aware of their government actions and decisions but chose to keep silent? If yes, does it mean that they are helpless, just like other minorities?

The ‘Chinese nation’ is divided. Hong Kong protested the new law, Tibet is seeking her nationhood (with a government-in-exile), Taiwan is on red alert for any Chinese aggression, Xinjiang is reeling in oppressive concentration camps.

Shouldn’t this be a clear warning to the Chinese government and her advisers that all is not well from within?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love quotes

Quote: No Mountain Too Great

There’s no mountain too great
Hear these words and have faith

-Diana Ross

Categories
Africa proverbs

African Proverb: Someone who Shouts

There is nothing to fear from someone who shouts.

Meaning:
In Igbo land, it’s assumed that people who make a lot of noise are cowards. The principle of more action and less talk is the foundation of this proverb. The English version is the empty drum makes the loudest noise.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love nature poems Poetry

The Lucern Tree by Robin Bliss

The Lucerne tree in flower
White petals floating down
Carpeting the pathway, and
The front veranda with a sea
Of white, white everywhere
Coming upon this alba sea
As a child; with music in my head
Amazed at the ocean of pearl
Sitting down in the middle of whiteness
Whiteness all around me, whiteness
Whiteness in the air, whiteness
Whiteness everywhere, whiteness
Childlike joy and happiness
Yes all alone to enjoy it
This vast sea of pure white
As a child it seemed so vast
Nothing bothered me there
Just sitting there with the tune
Going through my youthful mind
And the whiteness all around

Even now as I grow older
Memories come flooding back
Of a more innocent time
Taking pleasure in the simple things
That life provides to me
For they are the best.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love night poems Poetry

Night Fall In The Countryside

Night falls behind the village fence
Last traces of day, shadows fade
Tree lines turn grey and black
While the sky host a million stars

Quiet evening, sound of water
Heard down the waterfalls, by the streamside
And from thickets bullfrogs wade
Enjoying the fresh and sweet breeze

Tree branches play with the wind
Soft singing is heard from huts away
While hill dwellers talk with clouds
The valley people make hilarious jeer

Wood burn in the open fireplace
Sweet smelling dinner cook slowly
Sleepy kids watch, filled with hope
Tonight stars shine upon the hamlet

Laughter follow tales told to children
They gather their small mats for sleep
When night fall in African countryside
Dreams, many dreams aren’t far away

Categories
love love poems

Love Poems: I Celebrate You

Hausa Language
A greater percentage of the population in Northern Nigeria speak Hausa language. I lived in Northern Nigeria for roughly a year. Looking back to those months, I will say it was eye-opening and fun. I learned some of the culture and traditions. I met great people and made friends who were ever willing and available to teach me the lingua franca. I was impressed with the language. In fact, my interest in it had made me to enjoy discussions when soft spoken lovers interact with it. When lovers address each other in Hausa it sounds romantic to me. It’s more like French when compared to other European languages (I do consider French the most romantic language).

This poem is to the memory of great friendships, particularly the ones I left behind in Northern Nigeria. Part of my soul still lives there.

Love, tolerance and respect is all we need to drive positive change in Nigeria and Africa.


1.

I’m happy to express this with pen
Ink fade but memories live it again
I believe in love and its many hues
And that life is good when love is true

You were once a dream to me
A dream that made me a beauty

2.

Now you are like fresh rose petals
Flourishing out the morning garden
When I watch you turn and dance
Your glittering sweat trickle down
Like sparkling wine upon glass
Loving you was a sweet experience

So here’s to celebrate this love
Ina son ki! And I meant I love you!
And also celebrate the moments
And joy you brought to my soul


*Ina son ki: Hausa language for I love you

Categories
Africa quotes

Quote on War

Whoever likes war is not in his right senses and is a lunatic. We must ensure there is no war again.

– Sir Joseph Hammond, Ghanaian World War Two Veteran

Categories
Christianity Short story

The Egg, The Coffee Beans and The Potato

A short story

A little boy named John lived in a beautiful home with his parents. One day, his father found him crying and asked if something was wrong. John said meekly, “I have so many problems in life, and talked about his ‘problems’. John’s father patiently listened to him. Then he brought a bowl and placed a potato, an egg and some coffee beans in it. He asked John to touch and feel the ingredients in the bowl, and say what he felt about them.

John described how he felt about each of them on touching them. The father smiled and asked John to place them all in three different bowls, pour water in them and boil them. He then boiled them all. After a few minutes, the father turned off the stove and placed all the bowls on the counter to cool them down. When they had cooled down, John’s father asked him to touch them once again and feel the egg, potato, and coffee beans. John had a different answer this time. He said, “the potato’s skin is easier to peel as it has turned very soft, the egg has hardened, and there is a fresh coffee aroma coming from the beans.”

Listening to John, his father smiled and told him how the potato, egg, and coffee beans reacted to adverse situations. The potato had become soft, the egg had turned out very strong, and the coffee beans had changed their form completely during their testing time in the boiling water.

Morals

Afflictions lift your stars! How you react to your seasons of trials and pain is what determines the outcome of your battles! Problems are part of life. They can make you hard as the egg or soft as the potato, etc. Battles can make us bitter or better! They can make you acidic or full of sweet aroma for living.

No wonder William Ward wrote: Adversities causes some men to break down; others to break records.” May your pain and adversities, cause you to break records!

Categories
Africa Poetry rhyme

Hometown by Peniel Gifted

That magnificent city
Built beautifully

Its walls painted in great colours
Furnished with happy diamonds
Its streets with the unceasing glitters.

My hometown
The city of the two great hills
The city where I feel the cool breeze of nativity
Beholding the swaying tulips and smiling sun
The love of nature, giving me the mild spirit of liberty.

Yeah! I love you dearest hometown
For all I wished, is to be with you right now
I remember there is no place like home
Even though, I daily dwell in Rome


She writes well. Just discovered another African talent.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love nature poems Poetry

Sun rays

Tall tree canopies,
Sun rays filter
Morning their phantom

Categories
Poetry Series Short story

Reflection: A Cold World

An empathetic mindset and love are what we need for a better world.

It’s utterly monstrous weather out there. Each time the breeze touches my skin, I shudder and sneeze. I’m cuddled on the bed, clutching a phone in one hand in a dark room, too lazy to read or even find a light. No candlelight anyway. My windows and doors are shut tight, yet the cold still came through. I grab the blanket to cast it over the tips of my exposed foot. And to determine where the burst of wind came from. It’s a cold world, no doubt and a dark one for that matter. It’s a lonely world for those who can’t afford blankets.

The homeless have nothing literally. I’m left with thoughts for those who feel this cold but can’t afford a blanket or a roof. Life can be so cruel. I’m sure that someone needs help. Somewhere around the street corner, you will see them. I trust that some good people will consider giving out old blankets or get new ones for those who can’t afford it.

From my bed, I wish for the stars on a freezing night. I don’t know; maybe they could somehow warm the night for the homeless. I feel sickly: bitter tongued, laziness, fever, and headache, all signs and symptoms of a tropical illness. So no poetry for me tonight, just my thoughts and bed.

I ask myself this: If I under a roof can feel this sinister cold, how will the homeless manage? I hope that homeless children and women are safe in this weather. It’s unusual for me to sleep without thinking and praying for the less privileged.

If you have a bed and a roof, you should be super grateful. Let your empathy make people grateful to live. Remember the homeless in your prayers and almsgiving.

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love

Hangout with Njabulo Nkambule from eSwatini

Hello everyone. I’ve with me a friend and African brother who is passionate about poetry and his motherland.

Please let’s welcome Njabulo Nkambule, a poet from eSwatini. I admire his work so much and if you follow my blog you might have seen a couple of his poems. So on this post I’ll be asking him some questions on his private life and of course his work.

OI: Welcome Njabulo. Can we get to know you better?

NN: Well, I’m Njabulo Nkambule from the Kingdom of Eswatini. Currently, I’m a student at the University of Eswatini studying Journalism and Mass Communication. I’m one person who admires and love art. I breathe it.

OI: Tell us more about your work.

NN: Talking about my work, there’s still a lot to be done and maybe discovered in the near future. But for now, I do both music and poetry. Like I had said, I breath art, I eat it, I live through art and without I don’t find my self belonging in this universe, I just lose the sense of belonging. I’ve done so much right now, I’ve a lot of poems that I wrote and never shared with anyone. I’ve a collection of poems focusing on daily basis challenges/ issues that are faced by the humankind. I don’t just write anything from the air, I write from the depth of my heart, with my mind focusing on everything, reason I do it’s because I want people to relate to my poems and feel the way I felt when writing that poem.

OI: Each time I read your poems it feels like that of black American freedom fighters. Do you think poetry can play a role in gender equality and freedom fighting?

NN: I believe poetry can play a major role in changing the society, changing people’s perception as how they look at things. Poetry can help achieve gender equality. Words are a powerful weapon. If used well can heal a soul. Poetry is powerful, with it’s words and everything around it, it can change the whole society.

OI: What’s your best work yet?

NN: Since I do both music and poetry, so far I feel like there’s still much that I’ve done. Early this month, I and my brother Mpendulo “Roman Dutch” Mdluli released a 6 tracks EP, a kind of music that we believe it can change someone’s way of thinking, the kind of music that heals a soul. So I’d say that for now, I feel like that project is still my best simply because people still relate to our tracks.

OI: Do you think poetry is over rated in Africa?

NN: For me I feel that poetry is underrated simply because they take us poets serious like they do with actors and musicians.

Poetry is not easy like some may think, it’s not fair to underestimate us, poets, because it’s more like they’re testing our intelligence. Africa still needs to do a lot about this issue.

OI: You know Africa is a musical continent, full of sounds and songs. It’s generally believed that poets can sing. Yet I barely sing and funny enough can only play an instrument called whistle. Can you play any musical instrument? Can you sing?

NN: Haha. For me, I’m only good with the words. I don’t know how to use any musical instrument. I’m one person who’s good with coming up with concepts. That’s my field.

OI: Who’s your favourite writer, poet, the actor?

NN: I love Emily Dickinson’s writings, her poems are simply out of this world, and also Maya Angelou, she’s right. I admire her work. I’m also a big fan of Prince E; hiss professions are out of this world. My favourite is Denzel Washington, simply because he’s just a total package; an actor, a motivator and inspirer. I love his work.

OI: Have you travelled to any African country? If no, where will you like to go first if you have the chance to?

NN: Only my neighbouring countries, South Africa and Mozambique. An African country that I wish to visit one day is either Ghana or Nigeria mainly because those countries feel closer to us now with their entertainment industry being known globally.

OI: What’s your take on grooming young talents on poetry?

NN: When it comes to poetry, we need to groom young people to do more, write poems that people can relate to, not just writing diaries or watching explicit content that can pollute their minds. It helps one to get over something. We need young energy when it comes to poetry.

OI: What do you do when you are not writing poetry?

NN: Nothing much, either writing lyrics or doing school work. It’s a challenging world out there.

OI: I have seen you include the #Wegoodbro slang in your work. Do you want to talk about it?

NN: Yeah, bro… The #WeGoodBro started way back; I think if I was not mistaken in 2015, the goal is to feel good in the eyes of everyone, don’t show your tears in public because you don’t know who is your companion or enemy.

OI: Any advice to fellow African youth?

NN: It’s good that we remain the Africans that we’re supposed to be. Using insults on your craft doesn’t make you better. It’s best always to use words that heal rather than words that kill.

Remember Words can either Kill or Heal…

OI: Can you share links to your work?

NN: Sure,

Wattpad: https://my.w.tt/uN6j1pqcO9

Write: https://www.writco.in/profile/Dablu7537

Audiomack:
https://audiomack.com/dablue_kiddie

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/DablueKiddie.Nkambule

You are a fantastic poet. You have a great future ahead of you, and it’s great to have you on my Hangout. I hope to read more of your work. Thanks for your time.

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love

Musical Africa: Talking Drum

The Talking Drum is peculiar to the Yoruba people of West Africa.

Musical Africa
You will agree with me that Africa is a musical continent. It’s full of sounds and songs. Every tribe and nation has a peculiar musical identity. As dressing and languages differ so do musical instruments. I will like to share a musical instrument common to the Yoruba people of West Africa.

The talking drum
The pitch of the talking drum is varied to mimic the tone patterns of speech. This is done by varying the tension placed on the drumhead: the opposing drum heads are connected by a common tension chord. The waist of the drum is held between the player’s arm and ribs, so that when squeezed the drumhead is tightened, producing a higher note than when it’s in its relaxed state; the pitch can be changed during a single beat, producing a warbling note. The drum can thus capture the pitch, volume, and rhythm of human speech, though not the qualities of vowels or consonants.

Categories
Africa love Nature

Morning Sun

I’m glad to see the rising sun
It tells by sight stories unspoken
And paints my curtain perfect green
Divine love woke me to a new start,
A new life, something to celebrate
When I gather the curtains
To glance through tree lines
And green field glittering in the sun,
The rays catch my breath,
Birds chirp and take flight
Morning is my grateful moment

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

Poem: Love Conquers

If dreams are colourless
Then love is a magical dream
That teaches and encourages,
It trusts from the heart
Builds bridges over water
To bring worlds together
True love shared
Fear no colour or creed

I lay my head
On your shoulders
Let’s take this love to moments
Where all eyes see its beauty

Categories
love poems lullaby Poetry

Lullaby: Sing for me a Lullaby

Sing for me dear nightingale
Gather your host of voices
Rant through the early night
Tweet away joyfully from heart
Let my ears quiver from your song
Let frogs and crickets listen to it
To respond with their baritone
Sing for the sweet nectar
For red roses and hibiscus
And the traveling sunlight
Tell the stars your stories
And the wind the days you saw
Let me hear your voice sing for me,
To ring through quiet nights a lullaby

Categories
Africa proverbs quotes

African Proverb: A Young Tree

A tree is straightened while it is still young – Proverb from Burundi.

Meaning:

I chose to take this proverb in its literal form because it’s pretty evident that a fully grown tree can’t be transplanted or manipulated in any way. What I mean is that it’s not stressful to try to make a sapling grow straight. ‘To straighten’ means ‘to correct’ when we apply this proverb in real life. For instance, I do go to the garden to check and support fresh yam tendrils with sticks. This is to help them grow straight. It will be much challenging to attempt when they are matured and stiff.

It’s easy to correct something while it’s still fresh and tender. A metaphoric expression related to the proverb is ‘to nip in the bud’ which means to halt something at an early stage. The difference is that while our adage concentrates on correcting, the metaphoric expression talks about stopping or ending at the earliest moment.

This proverb can also translate to:

1. A person (a child) can be corrected while he/she is tender.

2. A thing (a mistake, action, etc.) can be fixed at the early stages.

What is your take on this?

Categories
Africa, Poetry and Love lullaby Muse Nature night poems

Night rain on my window

Night rain upon my window panes
While clouds rumble in protest
The lightning picture through my curtains
And shadows dance away from candlelight

Categories
Short story

We are all brothers

‘Excuse me,’ said he, ‘but that’s a question I never like to hear asked. What does it matter where a man is from? Is it fair to judge a man by his post-office address? Why, I’ve seen Kentuckians who hated whisky, Virginians who weren’t descended from Pocahontas, Indians who hadn’t written a novel, Mexicans who didn’t wear velvet trousers with silver dollars sewed along the seams, funny Englishmen, spendthrift Yankees, cold-blooded Southerners, narrow-minded Westerners, and New Yorkers who were too busy to stop for an hour on the street to watch a one-armed grocer’s clerk do up cranberries in paper bags. Let a man be a man and don’t handicap him with the label of any section.’

‘Pardon me,’ I said, ‘but my curiosity was not altogether an idle one. I know the South, and when the band plays “Dixie” I like to observe. I have formed the belief that the man who applauds that air with special violence and ostensible sectional loyalty is invariably a native of either Secaucus, N.J., or the district between Murray Hill Lyceum and the Harlem River, this city. I was about to put my opinion to the test by inquiring of this gentleman when you interrupted with your own – larger theory, I must confess.’

And now the dark-haired young man spoke to me, and it became evident that his mind also moved along its own set of grooves.

‘I should like to be a periwinkle,’ said he, mysteriously, ‘on the top of a valley, and sing too-ralloo-ralloo.’

This was clearly too obscure, so I turned again to Coglan.

‘I’ve been around the world twelve times,’ said he. ‘I know an Esquimau in Upernavik who sends to Cincinnati for his neckties, and I saw a goat-herder in Uruguay who won a prize in a Battle Creek breakfast-food puzzle competition. I pay rent on a room in Cairo, Egypt, and another in Yokohama all the year round. I’ve got slippers waiting for me in a tea-house in Shanghai, and I don’t have to tell ’em how to cook my eggs in Rio de Janeiro or Seattle. It’s a mighty little old world. What’s the use of bragging about being from the North, or the South, or the old manor-house in the dale, or Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, or Pike’s Peak, or Fairfax County, Va., or Hooligan’s Flats or any place? It’ll be a better world when we quit being fools about some mildewed town or ten acres of swampland just because we happened to be born there.’

‘You seem to be a genuine cosmopolite,’ I said admiringly. ‘But it also seems that you would decry patriotism.’

‘A relic of the stone age,’ declared Coglan warmly. ‘We are all brothers – Chinamen, Englishmen, Zulus, Patagonians, and the people in the bend of the Kaw River. Some day all this petty pride in one’s city or state or section or country will be wiped out, and we’ll all be citizens of the world, as we ought to be.’

‘But while you are wandering in foreign lands,’ I persisted, ‘do not your thoughts revert to some spot – some dear and – ‘

‘Nary a spot,’ interrupted E. R. Coglan flippantly. ‘The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, slightly flattened at the poles, and known as the Earth, is my abode. I’ve met a good many object-bound citizens of this country abroad. I’ve seen men from
Chicago sit in a gondola in Venice on a moonlight night and brag about their drainage canal. I’ve seen a Southerner on being introduced to the King of England hand that monarch, without batting his eyes, the information that his grandaunt on his mother’s side
was related by marriage to the Perkinses, of Charleston. I knew a New Yorker who was kidnapped for ransom by some Afghanistan bandits. His people sent over the money and he came back to Kabul with the agent. “Afghanistan?” the natives said to him
through an interpreter. “Well, not so slow, do you think?” “Oh, I don’t know,” says he, and he begins to tell them about a cab-driver at Sixth Avenue and Broadway. Those ideas don’t suit me. I’m not tied down to anything that isn’t 8,000 miles in diameter. Just put me down as E. Rushmore Coglan, citizen of the terrestrial sphere.’

My cosmopolite made a large adieu and left me, for he thought that he saw someone through the chatter and smoke whom he knew. So I was left with the would-be periwinkle, who was reduced to Würzburger without further ability to voice his aspirations to perch, melodious, upon the summit of a valley.

I sat reflecting upon my evident cosmopolite and wondering how the poet had managed to miss him. He was my discovery and I believed in him. How was it? ‘The men that breed from them they traffic up and down, but cling to their cities’ hem as a child to the mother’s gown.’


In memory of September 11 attacks on America.

Categories
love reflection

Parenting

Power in words

This is a touching story. When I read it I felt very bad. It’s not imagined.


In South Africa, an 11 year old child committed suicide on his mother’s birthday as a birthday gift to his mother.

He left a letter saying, “On today’s special day, I want you to be the happiest ever. Everyday you used to say that happiness left your life the day I was born. You told me dad left because of me. So today, I want to change things. I want you to be very happy and live as if I never existed. You told me you’d never look at me with love but I always loved you and admire you as the best mom on earth. I hope one day you will think of me, I hope in heaven you will finally hold me and kiss me. The best gift I could give you is leaving your life as you’ve always told me you wished I was never born. I love you mom. Happy birthday”.

Please parents be careful of what you say to your kids. Words do cut so deep.

Categories
Africa proverbs

African Proverb: On A Snake’s Ability

Igbo Proverb: If a snake fails to show its venom, little kids will use it in tying firewood.

Origin: A snake is a dangerous reptile. Snake poison can kill an adult in minutes. In Africa, snake bites contribute to deaths. In Igbo land where this proverb originated from, snakes are not toyed with. In some African traditions, snakes are reverred, and in others, it’s a delicacy or a deity. The proverb emphasises on the lethal poison, which is a feature snakes are known for. I can translate this proverb to if one doesn’t show his abilities, he may be taken for granted.

Meaning: There are times when one defends one’s capability.

What do you think about this proverb? Do you know another African proverb? You can drop it here, and I will discuss it with you.

Categories
opinion quotes reflection thoughts

Racism

It costs absolutely nothing to be kind

Live and Let Live

An Igbo (African) proverb goes thus: Let the Eagle perch, let the Kite (bird) perch also. Any that forbids the other from perching let his wings break!

We say that as prayers in West Africa because it’s a reminder and belief that all men are born equal and so must have equal rights and privileges and (I add) should be free from ALL prejudice and discrimination. When I talk about men, women and children’s rights are included. All men are equal and everybody should have the opportunity to be their best selves. In summary the above idea is founded on the African concept of live and let live.

Racism

Consider racism as a weed. It’s existence can suffocate other useful plants in the garden. Racism is worse than cancer. When it attacks, it destroys the human soul. It’s like locust infestation which leaves behind destruction.

Racism is an evil root that is no good to anyone. If it stays unchallenged it may grow deeper and can alter a society’s sense of reasoning.

Pumpkins begat pumpkins. Not only that, little pumpkins will learn to be one either by association or emulation. Children are easily influenced with what they are taught or perceive.

We can never foretell the full extent or form racism can take or assume. For instance consider Hitler’s hatred for Jews and the consequences that followed.

Humanity will die when good people look away from racist acts and words.

Truth and Love

Good news is that many people are joining the fight against all manner of racism and oppression. That’s a good thing to be thankful for. At least there’s some good out there.

Truth is a bitter pill when swallowed. But it can set the world free! When we truly understand that we are one people and that we are equal before the law and society then a bulk of the problem is solved.

While we talk about the truth we must know that love is key to our fight against racism. Racism can be stopped when we let true love reign. Love suppresses discrimination and prejudices. It stops mistrust and fear. It’s the foundation of all human values.

With truth and love we can lay a greater future for our children and their children. Live and let others live.

Categories
Muse Poetry

Some Lucky Men

Some men are born to good luck
All they do or try to do comes right
All their geese are swans
All their cards are trumps
Toss them which way you will
They will always like poor puss alight upon their legs
And only move so much the faster

Categories
Lessons from Experiences lifestyle Muse reflection

Time

Make hay while it shines

This talent of mine…

This is one talent I find solace in. It’s an avenue to paint my heart on ink, to play with the soul of nature and record lovely and beautiful memories. In my mind I create a happy and peaceful world; where I live in fine images and thoughts. It’s safe from all manner of pollution. I guard this world jealously.

Each time I pick a pen to write, thousands of little word fairies cloud my mind. Sometimes it feels like magic and other times I’m just the squirrel jumping off the tree. Haha! I’m left to pick the deserving, to mine and enjoy this wealth. It’s really nice to have such a gift. It’s a blessing and I’m grateful for it. I hope every writer, budding and established can relate.

Time

This evening as I write I feel my eyes lazy, my thumbs almost numb but time strings surge forward consuming moments and events as it went. I’m cold but time won’t pause while I fall sick.

Tick tock,” says the clock, “I wait for no man.”

Time is like a moving train. Its seconds and minutes can never be recovered or reversed. Something becomes nothing with time, vice versa. Even nature’s acts have it’s way of working with time; dew can’t wait for the sun, frogs croak when it rains at night, the moon and fireflies light up dark skies and worms burrow when the sun shines. Everything plays its role with time.

Now time won’t mind the weak and lazy, nor those who refuse to work. It flies on, because it’s a pompous but precious commodity. I wish I could spend more of it creating. But if I do I may starve! So I must find a better job to make ends meet, to make income to buy important things like pen and paper. The stress and pressure is so awful but I really want a job related to my gift or turn my gift to work. Either way I could have fun while doing what I love most. I also hope many writers relate.

Epilogue

I do read something before I retire each night. By that I train my mind to make a record for reading time. Also when I read I allow my characters to interact with my real self and other characters from people’s books. In my mind, I can be anything. I can be the emperor, the nun, a horse rider, the little daffodil, a waterfall sometimes and even the stars and sunlight. I can assume any role and find joy playing it. Time is very precious. It’s nice to find some of it to study.

It was a long day for me. I hope that we will never give up on our gifts and learn to manage our time. Have a good night.

Categories
opinion Poetry reflection Series thoughts

Poets Corner: Difference between Wisdom, Knowledge and Education.

My take on this…

It’s generally believed that knowledge is power. Yet many find it difficult to differentiate between wisdom and knowledge. For me knowledge is having the stuff while wisdom boils down to application of the stuff. To differentiate both from education is even a thing of further logic.

In my opinion education should come first, followed by knowledge and wisdom. That’s the order most of us acquire them in.

What’s the difference?

My aim on todays blog is to identify the differences between education, knowledge and wisdom through the minds of writers and poets. Have fun.

Suzanne Uchytil offered that “Education isn’t a type of intelligence – it’s something that is usually forced on us. Whenever someone is called educated, it usually means they’re knowledgeable (they know facts). Education can be good, though, if we choose to gain knowledge from it. (For instance, I’ve never had a college class that I didn’t find at least interesting and learn at least a little bit from, because I approached all my classes as opportunities to gain knowledge.) Then wisdom means applying that knowledge in real life and understanding consequences.” This sounds exactly like my thoughts.

Gareth John Jones opined that knowledge is understanding and remembering your education (formal or not). Wisdom is knowing how to use your knowledge. I surely agree with this definition.

David Franklin has this to say “Education is when people try to stuff knowledge into you. Knowledge is what you know for yourself. Wisdom, though, that’s something else. I know very knowledgeable people who are fools, and fairly simple people who are very wise. It’s about using one’s judgment about situations, knowing which piece of knowledge to apply when. Knowledge may be power, but wisdom is control of power.”

For Fiona Margaret Jones, education is only what can be given to you. Knowledge is what you take from it and wisdom is what you make of it.

Jimi Gardner says that education is received for outside. Knowledge is created by testing education. Wisdom is created by diligently observing the outcomes of testing knowledge.

David Gilbert observed that one can’t buy wisdom, education means plaque on the wall gates opened and knowledgeable is your cumulative wisdom.

Annette Bergman has this to say: “Selling real estate for over 30 years I can say I have met educated people who were not very knowledgeable. For instance I showed a house to an Engineer and he asked me what the line out to the garage was. It is an electrical so you have lights in the garage. Another engineer went directly to the sellers and negotiated a small possession problem. He agreed to 60 days after closing for possession.I praised him for his brilliant compromise. I will bet money when he had two mortgage payments to make plus his two months of rent, he had to have figured it out. It takes all kinds and the creative people only need a skilled traded to make a great living. Another college education person said to me. Those of us who went to college know that The United States wasn’t founded religion. She probably still thinks that and will vote accordingly.”

J Christopher Harman showed his disappointment on others opinion. He said, “How sad that so many of you have such poor views of education. Education should be the key to both. What a shame we live in a world (at least for most countries) where education is such a dire experience.”

I hope this discussion was helpful. What is your opinion on it?

Categories
Africa Africa, Poetry and Love night poems Poetry

This Day, This Year, This Life By Pam Impson

So much gone, so much wrong
So much sorrow in this song
Teary in my isolation
Weary in my desperation
Panting in my desolation
Ranting in complete frustration
So much yearning to belong
So much is gone, so much is wrong

This day
It rolled me like a cheap cigar
Stale inside a crowded bar
Choked me in the acrid smoke
Teased me like a dirty joke
Paralyzed my soggy brain
Dropped me with complete disdain
Soggy butt to clog the gutter
Numbed my tongue and made me stutter
Promised me I won’t get far
And left a stain of sticky tar

This year
A deck of cards with missing queens
A dirty game by dirty means
Lured me with a glimpse of riches
Lying, cheating poker bitches
Dealt two kings and read my face
Laughed and trumped me with an ace
Torched the table and the chairs
Kicked me down a flight of stairs
Left me in my dirty jeans
With tarry stains that nothing cleans

This life
A stranger with an evil eye
Careless curtain, jealous lie
Hopeless hopes by impulse cheapened
Belly flops into the deep end
Sickness, wounds, all self-inflicted
Weak and lazy, drunk, addicted
Laughing at the dirty joke
Floating like a puff of smoke
Hope against the hopeless lie
Pink balloon adrift up high
Raised a torch up to the sky
With a giggle and a sigh

Categories
love poems nature poems Poetry

Love Poem: Dream Together

Faint voices speak,
Loud in my mind
I look in your eyes
It tells sweet stories
If I look away
It is to smile, in my heart
We live beautiful moments,
Laughter, peace, kindness,
Harmony, playful fights
And you, a perfect inspiration;
Pouting red lips
That reminds of cherries,
Hair dancing in the breeze
That spoke of dark nights,
Very light brown eyes
That talks of golden wheat,
Happy moments together;
Watching stars glitter
Singing away to hearts desire
Or the quiet gaze into sunset
Yes we dream together
Our beginning and end

Categories
Africa opinion reflection thoughts

Farewell Nkosi, the Black Panther

Life like the mist is temporal but legacies live and last forever

The Black Panther

I get easily bored with movies. It’s hard to see me watching TeeVee anyway. No matter how much I try, I can only watch National Geographic Wild and Discovery Documentaries. But when a movie gets me hooked I can see it a hundred times without losing interest. I saw The Black Panther early last year. Then it didn’t make much sense to me (again with the little interest on movies). But I saw it again and again because I was impressed with a lot of things. First the casting; the actors and actresses were top-notch. I was impressed with the display of African culture and tradition: the casts intonation, dressing, setting and more. Talking about the setting, Wakanda portrayed beautiful Africa. Each scene even the fighting ones had a view of something spectacular at the background: hills and vales, waterfalls and rivers, chains of mountains and vast forests. Diverse tribes fought for dominance and this added some taste to the plot. This was Wakanda (Africa), an advanced modern technology driven society which managed to maintain her ancient tradition despite contact with external forces. I was excited that the directors brought in reality too. The rigour and stress of power tussle shown in the movie reveals the norm in African societies. Such tussles normally drain the people and her resources. I give Marvel Pictures a big thumbs up. Also, the use of domesticated Rhinos as a war animal kept me glued to the screen. I wanted to see more, though afterwards I was left to ponder on the directors ingenuity. The Black Panther is a good movie. No wonder it is Marvel’s biggest hit yet.

Chadwick Boseman

I can write a long story about this down to earth actor, but that won’t be today. Instead I aim to highlight the exceptional qualities that made him a true king both in cinema and real life.

Chadwick’s fictional character brought colour to the movie. Just like Bruce Wayne with his Batman and Peter Parker with the Spiderman, he switched from being the kind King T’challa to being the strong community vigilante (Black Panther). The good thing is that he used his powers to protect and lead his people. But there’s more to the man who played the Black Panther. He was open, humble, kind, considerate and determined. He wasn’t the loud type so I barely noticed or heard him on the news.

Chadwick’s determination is worth emulating. He didn’t give up when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Instead he went forward to gift the world great movies. It’s sad to know he did these movies amidst chemotherapies and treatments. Nothing could be depressing. It’s even sadder that he was just starting to a greater future. Who knows, he could have been the next Denzel Washington or Will Smith.

To the King T’challa I’ve this to say: “You brought hope to many African youth“. He has taught that we can be anything we want to be. I picked another lesson from the life of Chadwick Boseman: never jump to judge people because you don’t know the secret battles they are fighting.

Rest in peace King, the Black Panther. Africa mourns you. Wakanda forever!


**Nkosi: King

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

Breathe Again by Njabulo N.

Breathe again,
Like you have just gained yet another chance to live,
Life is not promised but experienced and lived.
I have grown to be a different person,
Different from normal people who do everything like everyone.

My life is not the same anymore,
I wonder why everyone is worried about it,
I no longer pay much attention,
To what the world brings or take,
I no longer pay much attention to the world ending,
I have seen it end for me countless times,
Going to my sleep with no hope left,
Then beginning again the next day.

I breathe again,
To see the darkness leave my life,
I feel like a small forest surviving off of a moon alone,
But I know that my light is extraordinary,
One that can light up the whole universe.
As I breathe again,
I have seen the world coming to an end,
My mind experiencing too many clashes,
Ideas, thoughts arguments, debates,
As my head goes in circles,
I can’t think straight no more.

As I breathe again,
I have lost trust, hope, love and respect,
I don’t believe in that anymore,
I broke the ocean in half to be somewhere,
Only to get there and I was alone,
Felt betrayed as my world crushed into so many pieces.
I lost a smile,
I find it hard to chin up,
As I bury my flower of innocence,
Because my world has shut down, crashed out yet again.

As I breathe again,
I even doubt that I still exist.
I even doubt that I have feelings.
I’m not the same being anymore,
I’m not the one you used to know before.
As I breathe again,
I learnt not to construct forever foundations,
On temporary people.
As I breathe again,
I doubt I will ever see tomorrow,
I don’t see any need of breathing again.

Categories
Africa History love reflection

Mary Slessor and The Killing of Twins

Tradition can be wrong

Sometimes tradition can be wrong. This story is a good one because it tells of a good hearted woman who saved innocent babies and it’s a gruesome story because it exposes the wickedness of ancient African tradition.

Mary Slessor

Mary Slessor, Scottish missionary in Eastern Nigeria, was born in 1848 in Aberdeen. Her father was a shoemaker and her mother a deeply religious woman. The family moved to Dundee in 1858 where Slessor began working in the linen mills at the age of eleven. She joined the local Christian Youth Club and became convinced of a call to be a missionary.

In 1876 the United Presbyterian Church agreed to send her to Calabar as a mission teacher. She worked first in the missions in Old Town and Creek Town but in 1888 went alone to work among the Okoyong. For the rest of her life Slessor lived a simple life in a traditional house with West Africans, concentrating on pioneering. Her insistence on lone stations often led her into conflict with the authorities and gained her a reputation as somewhat eccentric, but she was heralded in Britain as the ‘White Queen of Okoyong’. She was not primarily an evangelist but concentrated on settling disputes, encouraging trade, establishing social changes and introducing Western education.

Slessor frequently campaigned against injustices against women, took in outcasts and adopted unwanted children. In 1892 she was made vice-consul in Okoyong, presiding over the native court and in 1905 was named vice-president of Ikot Obong native court. In 1913 she was awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Slessor suffered failing health in her later years but remained in Africa where she died in 1915.

Mary Slessor lived for a long time among the Efik people in Calabar in present day Nigeria. There she successfully fought against the killing of twins at infancy. Witchcraft and superstition were prevalent in Nigeria when she arrived there because traditional society had been torn apart by the slave trade. Human sacrifice routinely followed the death of a village dignitary, and the ritual murder of twins was viewed by the new missionary with particular abhorrence. Her dedicated efforts to forestall this irrational superstition were to prove a resounding success, as photographs of Mary with her beloved children testify.

She died in Calabar in 1915 and was given a state burial.


My mother lent some of her knowledge: Though as a growing child in thee village, she recalled twins being disposed in forests. As she told this story I imagined crying infants, left in the open forest, clad with nothing but blood fresh from birth and when they cease to cry what fate that befell them.

Mary Slessor was indeed an angel sent to liberate natives of West Africa from barbaric traditional practices.