A PEOPLE WHO LOVED SILENCE

We had said, “We’ll make silence our good friend
For there is a language only she can speak
And we hear it loud”
So,
Far up the roof of our lungs
Words had for a long time clasped its struggling arms around our throat’s cage
Fighting to come out, to stay alive
But we subdued her and watched
As locks tightened against each syllable
Keys with each turn, trapped our words, our voice, our struggle for three score years

Aluta Continua! Victoria Ascerta!

With wrenching smiles we mask our despair
But like the lava of a volcano, Words are bubbling and spilling out the edges of our throat
With syllables that had been resting on the bank of our tongue for so long
Begging to be spoken. Begging to be heard

From the ashes of that furnace, we rise!


We have realized
We were forged in the furnace of silence
By a generation that has since been consumed by its blazing heat
As we harass the older generation with accusing eyes for not teaching us how to speak
We know posterity will not be kind to us if we repeat their mistake

So, from the ashes of that furnace, We Rise! From our three score years slumber, We Wake! Against the shackles of oppression, We Speak! For the liberation of ourselves and for justice, We Fight!

With our hands raised, and our fists clenched, we say “Ozugo”

For a people who loved silence have found their voice.

THOUGHT

I live in a moth hole
A place too tiny for my many thoughts
The thoughts which the dutiful hands of my mind weave
Races swiftly like fiery lightening
But held bound in my mind’s cage
Encouragingly!
The lightening from that hole illuminates my path
Imploring me to move out of this space

So I’m moving out in search of a spacious place.
For my mind will need many rooms to contain all that it carries
So remind me to consider the complexities of my thoughts
When looking for a place to live.

BLESSED

Blessed are the pure in heart The purifying warmth of their twin track of tears
Leaves their souls lying bare before Him as blank manuscripts
And their hearts dancing to the rhythm of kingdom mystery.

Blessed are those who mourn Who eat the morsel of sorrow Whose sun have set at noon For they would be given an elixir of laughter.

Blessed are those whose light hearts have wings
And they soar and set themselves above ephemeral cares
With their more than spacious hearts
Echoing “there is room for everyone”.

Blessed are the peacemakers Whose intention have compassion smeared over it
They share their bread among brothers with amity
And serve the wine of gladness
For they have seen God.

Blessed are the meek
Wrapped in the strong arms of humility
They gaze upon pride as she stands like a lump of lead
They hear her scream silently all around
Yet, unperturbed they stands.

Blessed are the broken
For they are a willing clay in the potter’s skillful hands
Brokenly they sit at the doors of their heart
And like a warrior’s lover awaits his safe return
They wait for wisdom
And with it they’ll inherit the earth.

Just Live

You feel the heat crawling inside your skin
And the lightening cutting through the window of your soul
You see yourself dying as a prisoner of your supposed duties As you wrap yourself in the heaviness of your bones
Pain creeps into your mother’s conversation
As you watch her die even while she lives
You see in her eyes that a life of death is the death of life
Cos though “what is dead may never die”
They can come back to kill you

So you fight,
To prevent men from drinking of you
From pouring you out like a drink offering
So they can listen to it splatter all over the ground
As hard rain slashing through rocks and glasses.


They’ve longed to drag their nails across your splattered heart
And watch it crumble around you
Like dust falling away from the sole of their feet
So you fight for your life.

Eventually you’ll dance
You’ll sway to a romantic sound and art
And catch the stars while at it
You’ll shine forth from the darkness of your fear
And get lost in the wind
You’ll stare at the sun with stories resting wearily in your eyes
And burn away the scars you’ve worn so proudly on your body
You’ll watch the locust thrust their wings on tree tops as you release yourself
And just live.

Finding you

Last night I saw a movie.
Somewhere, the lead character said, “We don’t take a step back and process. How can we? You have to like something this second; know how you feel about everything right now; answer a question right away without any chance to give it a second thought…”

I couldn’t agree more.
We are in a very fast paced generation. My mother calls it, “the microwave generation”. Our lives are characterized by activities and “doing more”. We just act. Society does not permit us to be unsure, a bit uncertain, or even have a change of mind.

But pace is not terrible in itself.
However, it is easy to get distracted and confused when you are moving really fast. Sadly, this is what our society celebrates; pace, speed, as opposed to depth and maybe conviction. There is probably no time to figure out who you are. And chances are that you’re shamed for not being sure; for taking your time. The result is that people carry their baggage of uncertainties trapped on their backs.

What if we pause and step back just a little?
We will be able to appreciate just how we have grown overtime, and how the plants and flowers have budded. Funnily, we never really know how we have grown, until we stop and intentionally check our growth. If we pause and step back, we will be reminded that the real things take time to grow. And you are real.

I cannot fail to mention the well scripted narrative society drops on your weary hands. The crushing weight of unsaid expectation behooves you. Thankfully, I’ve seen a ton of people break out of this.


So, the next time you stand before that mirror, wondering and measuring just how many inches you’ve gained, just remember that what makes you grow is dependent on “how much time” you’ve actually had to grow.

Pause. Breathe. Take a step back. Be patient with yourself. Enjoy the process knowing that though it may likely slow you down a bit, it will change your life. Because, you will eventually find you.

In the immortal words of Maya Angelou, “begin to stop in order to simply begin again”.

To the father who says “all is well”

There is a man I know, he hasn’t sought praise
He just goes on quietly working for those he loves the most
Each day, his frame like the calm of dawn walk home at dusk
Always with a gift in hand for everyone
We look forward to this family ritual
Himself rarely received gifts from us
But he smiles at us and says “all is well”

He wears the cloak of bravery and girds his loins with strength
He is the expression of courage in bodily form
And even in his all time low, our confidence he would restore
If there is a chair or socket to fix, he does it
The perfect utility man – fixing everything and everyone
But himself remains broken from his numerous sacrifices
But he smiles at us and says “all is well”

In times of war, a barricade he becomes for his family
And for his nation; a shield
His heart cries under the weight he carries
His tears are bottled up
And his fears are trapped.
But to us he smiles and says “all is well”

To fathers; the unsung heroes.

Happy Father’s day.

What makes the mantis pray?

What makes the Mantis pray?
As she lies motionless with her eyes wide shut
And others sway around in frenzied motion
Like the stem of the oak, her arms are unswayed,.
For she has to pray

Lurching under the hue of the pumpkin leaf
With craving eyes, she gobbles up her prey
And still tries to fit in
Even then her arms do not sway
For she has to pray

What makes the Mantis pray?
From conception to birth
Like an insect trapped in a web, her arms are clasped together
By societal and religious standards
For they believe, she has to pray

The ant gathers its food during summer in earnest
The spider stores her food in her web
But the Mantis cries “my arms are clasped together
Surely praying is what I do best”
For she believes she has to pray

I look at the praying mantis
And wonder, with my eyes wide shut
See! Her life amounts to nothing despite her prayers
Then I wonder
What makes the Mantis pray?

©
Precious R. Nwadike

The ease of childhood

The silent sound of the sky,
The whisper of waterdrops
And the shadow of dusk
Feeds our excitement.
On the hill tops,
Our laughter is heard.
In the field
Our giggling voices are seen.
Under the gushing of waters,
We dance naked and unashamed.
Playfulness fuels our curiosity.
We never go to sleep
Until we have a full stomach’s play.
Our biggest worry; a broken toy.
In our bright sapphire eyes
We bear our hearts.
We love
We believe
We hope
We trust
But not for long
Our hearts are forced into the cage of pain.
Our eyes open to wrong and indignity.
Our ears open to the screams of suffering.
We realize the world is scary,
And problems are beyond broken toys.
We are made to look adult
But we feel the child inside
And the urge to sit and remember
When our world was new.
We mourn what we had lost.
This cage has bound us
And robbed us of our innocence
Of our childish joy
Of our playful glee.
To go back to the ease in childhood, we crave.

©
Precious R. Nwadike

LET’S SAVE OUR BOYS

In the wake of the 21st century, we’ve heard the screams of a movement; feminism. Now, the ideals of this movement is not particularly threatening if viewed on its own merits. ( we’ll talk about extreme feminism some other day) However, when juxtaposed with the ideals of the other sex, it’s a sorry sight. We’ve channelled so much resources and attention towards empowering the girl. And by some sad twist, ignored the boy. I mean, why shouldn’t we? He’s a boy right? He’ll be fine. But is he really fine? Life thrives on balance, you disrupt it and voilà you got yourself a problem bigger than the one you’re trying to solve. Such is life.
When we hear a girl being mutilated or assaulted, we rush to her aid. We are quick to protest, and rightly so, “girls are humans too.” Now let’s flip the coin, we do not think of saying, “boy lives matter,” when they’re assaulted. Even when we say it, it is not without a skeptical smirk. Invariably, the boy becomes invisible and dies in silence because historically, our society cheers the boys on to take her bullets and carry her wounds on her behalf. Boys die in other for the society to live. We teach them principles of altruism, they’re taught to never cry, “men don’t cry,” they’re taught to “put it together.” They are taught to “man up,” whatever that means. We bribe them by calling them “heroes” and “brave”

Why do we turn a blind eye to our pathetic boy crisis? Statistics show that boys are falling behind girls in school. There are more boys with suicidal tendencies than girls. Suicide is a reflection of our inability to train, groom and encourage our boys in a constructive way into manhood. There are more psychopathic boys than girls. And the truth remains; boys who are hurting, hurt us.
What then are the challenges that has over the years, plagued our boys? First, let’s consider what I’ll call the dad deprivation syndrome(DDS). When we have boys with less father presence, they’re more likely to be less assertive, less likely to be empathic, and more likely to engage in vices. Look around, there is always a greater possibility for a boy from a broken home to go into crime or other social vices, than a boy from a functional home. Let us not also forget the fact that our generation is churning out more ‘single mothers’ than before. But beyond the challenges of an actual father absence, there is the challenge of an absently-present father. A father who believes he’s just the provider fullstop. He’s so consumed by his career and his need to provide that he’s there, but unfortunately he’s also not there. There are also fewer male teachers in the primary schools. So, invariably the boy grows up not having a clear cut picture of what a man really mean. No male role model whatsoever, which matter of factly isn’t his fault.

If that is not enough, there is the challenge of lack of purpose. Historically, the boy/male is wired to either be a warrior, breadwinner or both. Over time, the feminist movement has drastically and beautifully expanded the scope of the girls’ purpose from the old “raise children only” to being able to raise children, raise money and do other things at the very same time (which is a great thing.) But where has that left the boy? No one stepped out to help expand the purpose of the boy child in an equivalent way. Instead they’re taught to “earn money,” “earn more money” and to “earn even more money.” Or alternately; be a loser. Feminism movement has introduced the girls to professions they otherwise weren’t so comfortable to ventured into, like; the scientific and technological sector, engineering, medicine etc. However, nobody opened up the boy to the care-giving professions like nursing, being a primary school teacher etc. When we eventually and I much add accidentally see a nurse who’s male, we call him ‘male nurse.’ Very sad.

We need to open up our boys to roles they have not considered. They need to be taught that it’s okay to engage in a profession they truly love despite the perception people may have about them. They need to be taught that being a man is much more than making money. Society is changing, the paradigm is shifting. While our girls have adapted to this change, our boys need to be taught to adapt also. Our boys need to be taught that it’s okay to cry occasionally, and it is not a sign of weakness. Our fathers should make an effort to be hands-on dads, to understand that there is a need to be intentional about raising their sons the exact same way the mothers are intentional about raising their daughters.

Finally, all we need is love. If we must fight, let’s fight for humanity. Let us save a human specie that is gradually going extinct. We owe our boys an apology, for we have failed them. We need to raise the societal blindfold over eyes and do better. For inside everyone; irrespective of sex is a human being. Our boys weeping right behind that tough facade we have built for them. Let us save our boys. Let us save our world.

Thank you for coming to my TED Write. 😀😁

Happy Mother’s Day

I observe the palm fruit under the weight of the pestle.
It’s fleshy skin housing the hard nut.
Then, I see Mother.

Strength in seemingly fragile frames
Like delicate ornaments, and Light ceramics.
Numerous dutiful hands, up and down – in feverish energy.
As She serves her society and family.
Spreading like jam the love and hope that breathes in us.

As the palm fruit, she retains her softness and pushes with strength.
Stoic strides, flowing tears, humbling sacrifices.

Her love pursues me in the farthest distances.
Comforts in the deepest valley.
I know whose fire keeps me aflame.

The world wonders at this superpower!
Alas, they know not.

©

Precious R. Nwadike
Edited ~ Debbykeys