Take Two Drawers

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Take two drawers,
And the top shelf too,
Some things are worth fighting over,
But my space belongs to you.

Put your shoes where you please,
Neatly beside mine or out of place,
The prints that matter are on my heart,
And (the ones your lips leave) on my face.

This air I breathe I share with you,
An uncommon honour I don’t deserve.
If you weren’t here, there’d be half of me,
Missing the part I’d die to preserve.

Take the drawers, you can have them all,
Even the closets, racks and window ledges.
Welcome home, this is where you belong,
Surround me, be curves to my rough edges.

Don’t Pressure Me

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Fifteen matter-of-fact responses to everyday duress:

1. Like you, I wake up too early and go to bed too late.

2. I forget things. I’m human.

3. Sometimes, my bank account is empty. But because clean, wrinkle-free clothes are the perfect diversion, you may never know.

4. I haven’t eaten either, but I’m not acting crazy. Your hunger is not a tenable excuse to mistreat me.

5. I’m not quite sure what I’m doing here. Shouting won’t make it clearer.

6. I’m not your maid, your driver or the office messenger. Are you sure you know what you employed me to do?

7. I’m sick means I’m sick. Leave it alone or hire a private investigator, your choice.

8. “When I was your age…” Stop, please. I don’t need to know.

9. Haven’t you ever slept through an alarm?

10. I’m in my lane, moving at my pace. You’re free to overtake me.

11. I heard the news too, but no, I don’t care.

12. It’s not my wedding. I’m not buying the aso ebi. I don’t wear traditional caps.

13. It’s my birthday, not a charity event. I’m not buying anyone food.

14. I can afford it, I’m just not buying.

15. I’m not ready. Wait or walk away.

See Finish: How Familiarity Kills Lovely Things

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If you forget that I’m a miracle, how will I excite? And if you become ordinary in my eyes, how will you delight?

By nature, a relationship demands (some kind of) exposure to be. It requires a baring of souls and lives for the ones involved to learn about each other, grow into each other and become comfortable.

But with exposure comes familiarity, and familiarity breeds contempt.

Or complacency, that unfortunate dust that settles on things left to settle; like a house kept shut and without the benefit of sunlight for so long that the treasures within begin to tarnish.

We become fixtures in each other’s lives and then we begin to forget:

1. The thrill of exploring a whole new world living and breathing in another person.

2. How we went from uncertainty to certainty about this person, and the joy that came with that knowing.

3. The simple pleasures of holding hands, wordless conversations, eating together and seeing each other after a long day apart.

4. The love of God expressed in Him, by His grace, giving us a co-burden bearer and a partner to face down life with.

5. Presence, that all-important thing that transcends being physically present.

Our phones begin to find their way out of our pockets when there are lulls in conversations, nimble fingers flying across screens as we swipe and tap our significant other into irrelevance.

“Sorry, what were you saying?”

Then they start living on the table, close enough to start a war.

They glow and beep and vibrate in plain sight, as if reminding us with a cold smugness that no human is truly indispensable, while precious things recede into the background.

The things created to bring us closer start us on paths that lead us apart.

Life away from this life we’re supposed to be building and enjoying together slowly becomes more urgent and notifications from strangers make the heart beat faster than the loving gaze of the people who know us well.

We arrive at see finish and the road is all downhill from there.

Affection will rust and lovely things will decay unless we stop:

1. Acting like we can swap people with things, or even people with other people, whenever we please.

2. Undervaluing moments just because we’ve had ‘too many’ of them.

3. Settling into the ‘old married couple’ life after two weeks of dating. We don’t know each other that well yet.

4. Needing our phones more than we need each other.

5. Treating one another like stopgaps while we eagerly await the big thing.

6. Leaving our patch of grass to die while we stare longingly at the seemingly greener patch on the other side of the fence. Grab that watering can.

7. Forgetting to bear in mind how precious God’s human gifts are, and refusing to thank the Giver by treating them with high regard.

It’s not too late to pay attention.

First Listen: Omawumi – Hello (Adele Cover)

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Omawumi Hello Adele coverOmawumi has always been precious, the kind of vocalist who will always be a standard for judging everyone else. But no thanks to Mortein and Glo ads the apparent need for Nigerian artistes to make meaningless dance music (or die of hunger), most people may have forgotten how much she’s worth. She herself may have forgotten.

Here’s a reminder: Her cover of Adele’s killer ballad, Hello, now a less-melancholic reggae jam produced by e-Kelly. Listen to yourself, Omawumi. You’re (still) profound.

Download

You Will Get Tired

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You will get tired.

Of waking up by yourself on frigid mornings,
Toes curled into formlessness by the chill of the air conditioner gone rogue,
Your pillow, the only audience of your previous snoring,
Doing nothing to change the unfashionable loneliness long in vogue.

You will be done.

With miserable lunches spent staring more than tasting,
The menu gone from memory before your body forgets it.
With dinners that perfectly define the wasting,
Of your time and your natural capacity to do more with it.

Alone is the new ‘together’,
Beeping machines introducing strangers who never become friends.
A hundred different ways to say “hello,”
But there’s no app for true contact.

Maybe you will find.

Someone to interrupt your aloneness,
A saving grace as fleeting as a shooting star.
But it will never be enough, that one moment,
And the sooner it passes, the sooner it feels far.