Tough Love

she tossed and turned
she was missing something
but what?
the night was long already
and the clock didn’t tell
how long before morning

 
she tossed and turned
in limbo for twenty-seven
she’d be damned
if  she went one extra
without an account
to give her kinsmen

 
she tossed and turned
over dreams long gone bad
she’d found strange
comfort with sorrow
this could easily be
her tomb unless awakened

 
she tossed and turned
a pinch might do some good
when she cried in her sleep
salvation lay
in the gracious slap of
a friend’s water and whip

 
she neither tossed nor turned
her eyes knew better than to close
the hands of a friend
weren’t always gentle
but this last piece of hell
was beaten out of her

or was it?

 

One Night And What You Wish – 3

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Please read part 1 here and part 2 here

Two days had passed since she discovered who got Idara’s pregnant, and while she felt a complete loathing for everything and everyone in her household, Toun Salami knew she had to play along somehow. It was a tall order, but she would manage. She wasn’t, after all, the first woman whose husband would cheat on with the housemaid. Neither would she be the last. Life had to go on.

The trio sat in front of the TV in the living room – she, Hide, her husband and their son Dotun – watching her favorite soap – Triumph of Love – which had stopped making sense. The soap ended and the musical top ten countdown that followed, featured Maye Hunta’s hit song Ekaette. The song told about a husband’s confession that he had slept with the housemaid who had become pregnant. Toun knew her anger could flare up any moment and the only way she knew to hide it was to start dancing to the beat. She even managed a smile.

Jide was irritated and even a little shocked that his wife could dance to a song like that. He snatched up the remote control and flipped the channel.

“Jide, why now?” Toun asked.

“Is that the kind of song you should be listening to as a married woman? Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourself?” Jide returned.

“Oh really? When did the Devil become an angel? Toun retorted. “Or, let me guess…you haven’t been sleeping around, have you?”

Jide shifted uneasily in his seat.

“Wh…what did you say? He stammered.

But Toun wasn’t interested. She was gone before he finished his sentence. He heard the door slam and a few seconds later, the car being driven out.

“Oh my God” he sighed, his eyes settling on Dotun. “Did you tell your mother anything?”

But the young man was just as perplexed. “No dad,” he said, shaking his head vigorously.

Jide held his head in his hands.

Had Toun found out? From whom? Ekaette had sworn to never tell. Dotun had too much to lose if he did. So who else would tell?

Maybe this is all a coincidence, he decided. Toun knew nothing; he was over-thinking it. He needed a drink he decided, grabbed his keys and stepped out, all the while muttering to himself, “Jide don’t overthink this…”

Acrylic Innocence

first painting ever

I met my kinswomen last night.
Or… was it a dream?

Twas all mirth and warmth –
Life, for an instant, as I wished.

My hands shook at every stroke,
In typical acrylic innocence.

“Think nothing of it,” they said,
“You judge yourself too harshly.”

But, yesterday’s gone, and I, in wonder,
Say “maybe it was all fantasy.”

It’s grey today and perhaps,
Not a chance for tomorrow.

But I think not!
For I walked away with the promise

Of a rendezvous at the potter’s house –
The potter of Grand Barachois.

Hair’s Breath

She almost did not make it
The hair’s breath her messiah

“Just grant me fifty, Lord,” she said
“That I might stay a while with them”

Amen, said He to her prayer
Her healing did not tarry

This woman dear, of Hezekiah’s kin
Would get grace to be merry

Through chance and trial –
A physician’s guess – the most blessed accident

A new lease of life, she chanced on –
Fresh meaning, fresh hope, fresh life.

Snow isn’t always white…

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Snow isn’t always white
The tellers of Snow White lied
A blower comes to do its job
The sidewalk’s never fair

Black is never vile
It’s how the earth began
Whether this be your creed or not
It came from up above

Dark isn’t always evil
Deeds beneath its cover, perhaps
Your heart that’s dark just might be
The sign your pain won’t wane

Blood isn’t always red
The nobles will have us know
Nor does having it make you human
The ruthless show no shame

Snow isn’t always white
If the seven dwarfs but knew
Innocence is neither eternal
Nor happiness the end

Maple Leaf

I have seen the maple leaf!
No, I did not just see it; I touched it.
The dream of a 4-year old come true,
I did not need the awakening pinch!

I met the dandelion, the primrose,
The sunflower, the daisy,
And the buttercup, of whose praise
I’d only heard Dolly sing.

How about the carnation, the lavender?
The daffodil, iris, and jasmine?
Of all these and more I wondered –
When will I meet my new compatriots?

The birch tree stood right before me;
We had met, but only in the books,
I wandered farther afield, my heart sang:
Welcome home, you belong to this clime.

I see beautiful deception – the misleading sun
Hello Frost, hello Sub-Zero.
Conquer my fear, give me some cheer,
Save the ice and treat me twice as nice.

When the day says, “I’m done,”
And cannot hold for much longer,
Resplendent chandeliers bare their light.
The darkness sings the “hallelujah.”

It leads me home, it leads me home.
The tired laborer has paid his day’s due.
Who am I? I think, who am I?
I’m that proselyte, who’s pitched my tent with you.

February

In the month of the pearl, we became
With pride and tears, it was no shame
The melting snow birthed new frozen droplets
Our rites of passage we marked, in our pockets

There was innocence and the loss of it
And yes, another to show for it
Some said it was just one more dawn
You swore this was no ordinary fawn

Sometimes they say we’re incomplete
I say, “spare me the conceit”
They say our days don’t meet the measure
You say, “life is too much, not to treasure”

The blind man is truly king
He flies to climes of which some only sing
They focus on nothing – their distractions
He climbs to his summit, in little fractions

This is my February, my becoming
It’s nothing, perhaps, just my morning
I see with new eyes – it’s an awakening
I’m born de novo – afresh enlivening