The God Of Weak Beings

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I am in progress, a contrast to who I was, the prelude to who I will be,

A wall of canvas, being caressed into a masterpiece by His brushstrokes.

In the Potter’s hands I am a vessel-to-be, the future of the lump of clay you see,

And I am becoming like Him as more of me splatters on the wheel’s spokes.

 

I am wayward and unwieldy, but His patience remains untried, He is eternally kind,

And in His godliness, He acknowledges my humanity, keeping my frailty in mind.

I often forget His benefits, I rave and I rant till He reminds me of His greatness,

Then I am awed into silence by a weight of blessings that leaves me weightless.

 

I grow proud, carried away on the flood of my achievements, little, self-important me,

I turn my back on the Giver and worship the gifts, before the wrong gods, I bend the knee.

Humility comes with a trial, but I am not humiliated, just restored to His Presence,

With love, He teaches me once again that without Him, life would have no essence.

 

I bow before the God of weak beings, the Savior of the downtrodden and castoffs,

He who finds a use for the useless, a greater use than the useful are worthy of.

I am the wick upon which His spirit-fire burns, my mortal self consumed by the divine,

Yet I remain, for I carry a portion of His permanence, the ‘how’ of which cannot be divined.

Boys Want Nice Things Too

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“Maybe I should rob somebody, so we could be like Whitney and Bobby.” – John Legend, Used To Love You

“I’m not materialistic,” you said. But we’re light-years away from those early days.

This is not the girl I chased for months: I see dollar signs in your wandering gaze.

I’m jaded.

It’s never been hard for me to pay: cab fare, tickets on movie dates (you set up), anything, most things, no be today.

But when was the last time you parted with a thousand naira on my account, without first complaining about the state of your account? Fuck, that’s a ridiculously large amount, I know, so are five one hundred naira notes still too much for you to count?

Birthdays. On mine, I let you get away with a card and a cake that wasn’t even my favourite flavour, and you still made it seem like you were doing me a favour. For yours, I broke the bank, (I swear, I did. They called me about it.) and my pocket is still in recovery mode.

‘Oh, baby, there’s this new place we should try!”

That’s the prelude to a snatch-and-grab, elegantly disguised as a lunch date, and there’ll be hell to pay if I show up late, so I (unwilling to tempt fate) show up on time and well-dressed to the pissing away of my own money, because that’s what it means to be your ‘honey’?

Funny. Funny business, if I ever saw it. And I can call bullshit from the farthest corner of the galaxy, so why won’t I call it?

You’ve been merciless with your taking lately, and I doubt, greatly, that we’re on the same page on the matter of what it means to live within one’s means.

I mean, money is not beans, neither is that Louis Vuitton original and all the other beautiful things you’re so quick to send me links to, so innocently by-the-way that anyone else would think you didn’t mean to.

But fuck your needs for a minute (or twenty-two), boys want nice things too. This boy wants nice things too, so I’m off to find someone who, before she asks me for the universe, will remember that I do.

This Fucking Lagos

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Drawn like dazed moths to a dancing flame, they rush to Lagos. Ah, the big city of dreams. Boisterous and vibrant, constantly moving at breakneck speed. Seductive, energising, emphatic and exciting.

But for every dream that comes true here, a thousand die.

And the city is dark and seedy, violent and demanding, and you know it, regardless of how long you’ve lived in denial.

You know that it takes more than it gives, this accursed place. It takes till you have nothing left to give, till you’re a shell all empty save for bitterness and rage, chasing long shadows and doubting your own sanity.

People here will walk all over you till you’re one with the floor,
Then they’ll kick you out through the fucking back door.

Lagos will woo you and then resize your heart.
It will make you do things in which you should have no part.

It will ask you over to lunch, then fuck you in the ass with a tightly clenched fist.
And of all the hurts you will feel, the pain of that violent fucking will be the least.

It will strip you of your humaneness, and one day, mid-expletive, you’ll realise how far down the wrong path you’ve gone, but it will be too late: the monstrous beast will have won.

Don’t come here, son, don’t ever come here.
Stay away, or you’ll be trapped in prisons cleverly disguised as offices, chained to your seat by a dozen kinds of fear:

The fear of never having enough. The fear of disappointing the girl who’s got her eye on you. The fear of the scared asshole in the big office one floor above. The fear of becoming nothing, a meaningless statistic creeping with all the other meaningless statistics.

All the wrong kinds of fear; demons at home in your head, leaping with maniacal glee at the lies you’ve bought.

Love Is Filling

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Remember.

The moments between yesterday and the days before that, the times when we ran out of the things that didn’t matter, and all we had was us: the ‘thing’ that matters.

We were broke, and full, and happy. Love is filling.

Then we made a little money, and lost the much we had. Now there’s you, there’s me, no connection. The houses of unfriendly neighbours divided by an electric fence. Shocking.

Forget.

In Transit

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I met you at a bus stop, so forgive me if I only love you at junctions in my life.

I’m still in transit.

Maybe I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m not going nowhere.

I cannot settle, because that would be suicide, and I have too much living to do to take my own life or have it taken from me by a cause undeserving of the glory of my passing.

Yes, I am learning to be selfish, but only with the right things and the right people. I am learning to clutch, open hands are overrated:

The familiar homeless man with hands held up in the corner of the street had nothing when I walked past him this morning, and he will have nothing when I walk past him in the evening. Two exposed palms, one hope for dreams to come true, but nothing ever happens. I cannot live this way.

I’d rather die than live in an earthly hell, but Heaven isn’t ready for me yet. So I make my own heaven, every day, I build it from the things I clutch: the people, the places, the memories of them.

The memories. I keep making new ones. Some are more precious than others, no doubt, but no one is meaningless.

I am made of memories.

And you’re a memory, as much a part of me as the next event which will come, linger and then pass. Like most things. I will leave you behind, and you me, but the essence of what we once meant to each other will remain, our exchange imprinted upon us like the scents strangers leave on other strangers they seat next to on a public bus. Or brush past in a doorway. Scents, often imperceptible to the ones who wear them, but there nonetheless.

I will love you at junctions in my life. Or this memory of you I will never let go of. I will love you when I remember to breathe, a momentary inhalation that is as much a rest as any I’d ever get. I’m still in transit.

The Brilliance

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I arrived on the threshold of glory, not by design, but because the ship of circumstance ferried me there. Standing in the shine of greatness that loomed overhead like a star far more illuminating than the one which has occupied the day sky since the birth of time, the place of mediocrity could not be found neither was there the slightest trace of the haunting darkness of ignorance. Nary a shadow was present, all damned to some netherworld so far removed from the here that they could very well be nonexistent.

I wasn’t dreaming, of that I was sure no thanks to the self-inflicted cut on my throbbing upper lip, but wakefulness felt like a lie if only for the sheer surreality of the space I occupied, and the way I occupied it: standing when I should have been flattened by the magnificence of it all. It all whispered of the divine while being less than heavenly, spoke of things celestial even though terrestrial, and I flew with both feet firmly on the ground.

But as if oblivious to the astonishing wonder around the body that houses it, my soul uttered one word: more. That was when I saw the brilliance.

Love.

Like a million suns in a million worlds all luminescent at once, no setting. Sacrifice as an orb of life-giving light; grace and mercy, rays from that orb. All of the beauty from Calvary, all of the kindness of a God who forgives and doesn’t remember, peace like a river flowing without end.

Love.

The sin-effacing Blood of a Saviour with a human heart, shed when nothing else would do. A Life given for lives which, summed up, can never compare in worth. An explosion of grace marking the path to the Father for eons. The ageless beacon guiding whosoever would choose to take one step in His direction (He will meet all with everlasting arms outstretched).

Love is more. Love is the brilliance.

Poetry: Where Is Your Heart?

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Lost, like a needle in a haystack,

Adrift, unable to find its way back.

A heart gone astray, off, long off,

Wandering in places yet unheard of.

 

Can I find you, find your essence,

Can I redeem you in the sun’s absence?

Is there a returning from this oblivion,

A coming back to the life you once had?

 

Everything is precious, but some more than others,

There’s nothing with which one thing does not bother,

Or one person: we do have our preferences,

Those things to which, gone, we’re loathe to make references.

 

Things like your heart, the space it left testifies,

Of the meaning it has, or had, this is hard.

I drop mine into that cavity, it drops (echo amplified),

And shatters, good intentions in a million shards.

Poetry: Your Glory Will Be Blinding

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Pile on the love, pile on the awkwardness,

I’ll see what I want, feel what I choose.

Be human, be your freaking self,

Be beautiful, be limber, get loose.

 

Breathe, there’s enough air to go round,

Fly, let those inhibitions go (far away),

Plummet, it’s okay to be earthbound,

Look crashing in the face and scream, “Not today!”

 

Believe the hype, yes, you rock,

The ones telling you differently are blind.

Quote me (in your own defence), I know you well,

Your lovely eyes, your soft hands and your beautiful mind.

 

It’s hard right now, but it gets better,

I swear it gets better, the sun’s just hiding.

So those damned clouds? Pay them no attention,

To hell with the shadows, your glory will be blinding.