A Mile from Home

Should I argue that God is dead;
That there is no right and wrong; that Faith is a dying song?
I am not blind, I still look left and right before I cross the road.
I know Religion will one day cease to be. Marriage and morality
As we know it will one day evolve to something new.
Freedom, democracy, gender and all the definitions of life
Will be altered and lose their meaning

A mile from home, potholes and red earth
A little gravel mixed with nostalgia
To keep me moving. Billboards and exasperated cars
Cast shadows upon my path, and the road thins away from me
Like the world is diminishing from where I stand.
I stand on the perennial traffic of life biting my fingernails;
Holding on to all that I’ve got – an umbrella for the rain,
A wrapper for the night, a match and few sticks of cigarettes
To burn what’s left of my heart.
I do not know if the change in my pocket will take me far.
I do not know if the key in my hand fits the lock of my door,
Nor do I know the answers to the countless questions
That raise their serpentine heads in my heart
Like a thousand cobras ready to pounce on an unsuspecting prey.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid the occasional splash
Of muddy waters on my jeans, nor can I shake off the sands from my shoes.
I feel life is a dark maiden – she is far from fair.
I’ve seen the good die young, the bad live long,
And history written from the victor’s tongue.
Indeed I want to change them all, but alas I can’t even change myself.
I like to think the present is what we made of it in the past;
That evolution is the means, that utopia is an imaginary blast;
But I do wonder if the pregnant teen standing beside me in the park
Bears a blessing or a curse. Should I argue that God is dead;
That there is no right and wrong; that Faith is a dying song?
I am not blind, I still look left and right before I cross the road.
I think Religion will one day cease to be. Marriage and morality
As we know it will one day evolve to something new.
Freedom, democracy, gender and all the definitions of life
Will be altered and lose their meaning.
But I do not know when the bus will stop to offload yesterday’s dogmas
And pick up tomorrow’s theories.
All I know is the sounds of blaring horns, the screech of tires,
The road groaning even in its sleep, the chaos of life
And the thoughts in my head – sometimes beautiful
Sometimes dull and uninspiring, sometimes reborn like Lazarus,
Yet wrapped around in a white wool of doubts.
For all the science and philosophies of this life may shrink the world
But cannot make my home anything less than a mile.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

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Untitled (short story)

The old man raised his head from his writing book – an account ledger – and gazed out through the only window in the room, to the roaring generator. My eyes unconsciously followed suit. The generator was very massive, and had a house of its own too, similar in size to the room where I now sat looking out to it. It was covered in soot – black like the image of the devil seen on popular print. It coughed out thick black smoke like a chimney, and vibrated violently. It sweated soot, oil and tar which ran from its massive frame down to the ground – which was all black. Indeed it was a massive roaring monster.

Untitled (short story)

Remember Soul Brother

Remember O brother! your song and mine:
The enduring embers of those good days;
When harmattan maids threw white dust our ways
Running as we did, naked to the streams
Swimming in the green waters of our dreams.
Absent thoughts of colour, or faith, or race,
Or the sharp differences of our ways.

Remember soul brother! Do remember
The lingering laughters of last december:
When you held out your soft innocent hands
And let your child-like soul slip into mine;
Into colourless chambers of the heart;
Where sprouts the true fellowship of mankind
Besides bushes and blossoms of our lands.
Remember O brother! your song and mine:
The enduring embers of those good days;
When harmattan maids threw white dust our ways
Running as we did, naked to the streams
Swimming in the green waters of our dreams.
Absent thoughts of colour, or faith, or race,
Or the sharp differences of our ways.
Don’t you remember old friend, the time past;
Those dusty hibiscus in the wild,
The brownish recollections of a child.
Dirty, naked, yet happy at his task
Yet content, in that poor innocent mask,
Ah! growing old is a curse we must bear,
Its clothing of knowledge, a chain we wear.

Remember! For it was just yesterday
We returned from childhood errands of day
Placing mature tubers into the barn.
The elders were sitting on their cane chair,
Chewing the last fragments of the kola;
Drinking then of the freshly tapped palm wine;
Sniffing tobacco between nose and news.
Telling us of white, telling us of black
Telling us a tale of a world without light;
Without sense of humour, nor trust nor truth.
Time, a very mischievous old wizard
Played pressing planks on gullible children.
The chief priest drew his divining circles
And threw grey powder into trusting eyes
To make us forget, but shall we forget?
Does the moon forget the sign of sunset
Does she not come, sowing sleep in our eyes?
Remember soul brother! Do remember!!
Remember! It was only yesterday
That we first opened our sad infant eyes
To this strange world that never loved us so.
Remember soul brother! Remember Me.
Remember and take comfort in mem’ry.


(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

Ahamuefuna

I have written to the old, a tale yet untold;
Of a young slave sold, for a few pieces of gold.
I have sung to the wind, the sad songs of the spring.
Swept leaves the autumns bring, in service of a king.

I have written to the old, a tale yet untold;
Of a young slave sold, for a few pieces of gold.
I have sung to the wind, the sad songs of the spring.
Swept leaves the autumns bring, in service of a king.
Though comrades forsake, faith strapped to the heart won’t break.
Though the nights await, day at dawn will surely break.
I worked plantations, exhumed thoughts of Imhotep,
Dug up the mummies of conscience, that time unkempt.
The unrepentant spirits of our ancestors,
Which the born again generation thus despise.
The lost scripts of ancient Alexandrian rectors,
Which the modern sages read aloud with blinded eyes.
The twisted rope around “Igbukwu” calabash,
The lost island of Atlantis they solely search.
I, “Ahamuefuna” I and no other,
Stolen from the earth; from the breast of my mother.

I was marked by fire; the brand of another,
Conceived in summer; the warm kiss of a lover.
I have travelled stars yonder, a mile and further
Been to the earth’s border, returned a young elder.
I am the fires of the mystical dragon,
From fairytales to everlasting life did breathe.
The last echoed note from stem of broken bamboo,
Floating all around the gay-gentle evening breeze.
I have tasted the forbidden fruit of Eden,
Drank from the spring of life, and judged I, a heathen.
Now weak I walk with faith the path of foreign god.
Neither ills nor iron will fasten my native tongue.
I shall sing the evening songs of the nightingale,
Sorrowful psalms of slaves on the African vale.
I shall thus ordain the night, the moon I shall wed,
And baptize the twinkle stars in Hibiscus red.
I shall strike hard the heavens, free a million tears
From the shackles of darkened clouds the skies do bear.
I had sailed from the mouth of the River Niger;
Bound in chains, bearing yellow sun on my shoulder.
Explored the torrential tongues of Cleopatra,
And freed the very emotions that confined her.

Am I not a man, built of blood and brittle bone?
A chief priest and the gods have cursed my ears alone?
My lips are twisted with sharp knives of the Bantu
Warriors, till bleeding words flow from tongue’s mantle.
Do I not see through myopic eyes of mortals,
Same clay figurine, forged by distant porters?
Do I not breathe same air my anus foul, with grace?
Or should I yet dig six feet down, to save my face?
To bury my head in shame? I – lost son of Eri,
Unsung hero of defunct Biafran ferry.
Did I not fight for peace with both guns and cutlass
With “Ogbunigwe” and amours of lowly class?
Do I still bear dead dreams of our founding fathers?
Incinerated hopes of our fallen brothers?
I – a peasant – whose oxen is good for slaughter.
I – a rebel – whose homeland is good for plunder.

This is my story; a tale of wit and worry,
For which I stooped low, washed feet both base and holy.
This is my story; a tale of guns and gory
Of injured pride, past forgotten in a hurry.
Much have I endured alone: grave plunders of men.
Upon the ruins of Ashanti and asked I when:
Shall broken bones rise again to reclaim the vale?
Shall the sun rise again on faces poor and pale?
And now I shall set sail, to you; dear Africa.
To Monrovia, to the ports of Liberia.
There to live out my last days in your sweet embrace.
To run wild, chat and chatter like monkey, with grace
One with nature, and paint my soul in green and more.
Till the sun rises again, to set nevermore.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

Untitled (short story)

The old man raised his head from his writing book – an account ledger – and gazed out through the only window in the room, to the roaring generator. My eyes unconsciously followed suit. The generator was very massive, and had a house of its own too, similar in size to the room where I now sat looking out to it. It was covered in soot – black like the image of the devil seen on popular print. It coughed out thick black smoke like a chimney, and vibrated violently. It sweated soot, oil and tar which ran from its massive frame down to the ground – which was all black. Indeed it was a massive roaring monster.

I cannot really tell exactly why, but for some reasons I kept running my fingers slowly upon the decrepit cushion of the Photoshop. The cushion was old, older than me (that, I was very sure about). Perhaps, as old as my father. It was torn in many places and the interiors were coming undone. I sat on it and ran my left hand slowly upon it as if to gather the memories embedded in it through the years. Perhaps it was the boredom of sitting in one place for a while. Perhaps it was just an odd habit picked up from a now forgotten place at a time equally forgotten. From time to time I would readjust myself, moving my hips sideways to mitigate the scratching of the torn leather covering of the cushion on my buttocks. This occasional repositioning I did in a quiet manner in order not to call unnecessary attention to myself.

My eyes fell on my watch. It was 10:34 am. I had been sitting there for an hour and half now. I let my eyes wander about my surrounding once again. I was in a small poorly lighted room that had a wooden desk and a chair. An old man sat on the chair behind the desk before me, writing with a blue fountain pen. His head slightly bowed in an effort to see clearly (in that poorly lighted room) the letters and numbers which his pen formed on paper. I could see the greyness of his hairs which were fluffy in nature. The old man wore big spectacles whose lenses were very thick and which had a gold-coloured rim. Around him were wooden frames for photographs, some already framed pictures and pieces of photos, a computer, some photo albums and other photo-lab materials. I could hear the roaring sound of the diesel generator situated outside. It was very loud. The room itself was quiet except for the occasional coughs from the old man, the ruffling of papers and pictures, and the movement of feet, but one could hardly notice this in the midst of the noise generated by the generator.

The old man raised his head from his writing book – an account ledger – and gazed out through the only window in the room, to the roaring generator. My eyes unconsciously followed suit.

The generator was very massive, and had a house of its own too, similar in size to the room where I now sat looking out to it. It was covered in soot – black like the image of the devil seen on popular print. It coughed out thick black smoke like a chimney, and vibrated violently. It sweated soot, oil and tar which ran from its massive frame down to the ground – which was all black. Indeed it was a massive roaring monster. The old man shook his head slowly, sighed, adjusted his spectacles and said; “This generator is gulping a large chuck of our expenditure money.”
“I can imagine sir.” I replied enthusiastically, happy to be noticed once again.
“Can you?” the old man said while removing his spectacles. “I can employ ten persons from the money I spend monthly on it.”
“Wow!” I replied not really sure if I cared about such information, but since I was there and needed his assistance I didn’t mind playing along.
“This is serious.”
“Yes it is.” He said while slowly closing the book before him. “Is it not your brother that is at the top?”
“My brother sir?” I asked very much perplexed.
“Yes naa…the president” He said and fished for my resume, found it and glanced at the header. “Yes Christopher Ubong, you be omo igbo naa?”
“No I am not Igbo. I am efik from Cross River and the president is an Ijaw man.”
“I can see that here…South-South?”

“Yes. South-south Sir.”

“Efik, Igbo, Ijaw, south east, south south oo, you all are the same.”

I kept quiet then, unable to say anything else. I just sat there, still running my fingers slowly upon the cushion. Almost instinctively. Almost involuntarily, yet well aware of my actions. I waited for him to say something else, to get back at the reason for my being there. I waited for him to go back to my resume and I prayed that this time it would be for something other than my state of origin.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

Fighting writer’s block

There comes a time in the life of a man when drought is felt, and like a brook fed by the little drops of rain, he dissipates among the dryness of his present world.

The awakening of the sun at dawn on places base and holy, on grasses trodden black and Jasmine sweet, virgin pure and maiden vile; calls to my mind…
— On the Meandering Pathways of Life

There comes a time in the life of a man when drought is felt, and like a brook fed by the little drops of rain, he dissipates among the dryness of his present world.

There comes a time when the north-east trade-wind comes blowing from the Sahara with its countless battalions of dust and doom, and the fair skin pales and succulent lips are parched.

There were times when I laid on my bed at night, in that hour between sleep and turning around on the bed; when my emotions betrayed me. The darkness enveloped me in its belly and like the biblical Jonah I felt the despair of my own human weakness. Sometimes I would sit up and draw the curtains apart, open the window and watch as the moon peered into my room like the forerunner of the apocalypse. It would baptised me in its silvery ray, and I felt each strand tearing into my mind, as if to discern and not to defend the last cradle of my creative prowess.

Many nights have I laid on my bed, dreaming up ideas that crumpled before they took shape; ideas that led to more miseries still as I struggled to write ABC and a reluctant D.
“You must be experiencing writer’s block.” a friend once wrote to me on those dark nights of the soul.
“This too shall pass.” She wrote more times than I can remember in those few minutes of human contact which acted more to remind me of how writing made me sad.

Words…mere words like soothing balm applied to save face. Words are what I need, but not to be spoken, not to be uttered in passing or in the routine workings of human activities. Words I need but only to sow in the garden of human mind; my hands like the soil of Eden from which springs the eternal tree of life while I key in on my laptop or pen down on paper.

I woke up this morning with a burning desire to stop feeling sorry for myself. I woke up this morning with this zeal to fan and not to foil the dying ember of my creativity.
I look up and see the golden sun rising from its incubation. I see the moon gathering its shadow ready for the final hibernation. I see a new dawn. And I know that I must pick myself up like a fountain pen and write…write…write

…and IMAGINE THE IMPOSSIBLE.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

Labels & Stereotypes

Imagine a world without white, without black, without races, tribes, genders, religious sects, countries and all other categorisations of Mankind.
Imagine such a world; one that can only take form for the briefest of moment – a flash of light in a distant galaxy – before disintegrating under the weight of its own monotony, unable to sustain or justify its existense because creation by its very nature begets diversity. Creation is boundless, and so is life.

Photo gotten from Huffpost.com

Imagine a world without distinctions. A world with no variation whatsoever; where A to Z fall within the same vowel and consonant sound – one figure of speech summed up into a singular alphabet – and all languages are but one word; Unus (Latin for One).
Imagine a colourless world where everything appears like water – transparent and indistinguishable – slowly but steadily falling from the rock of creation into the river of unison. Imagine a world without white, without black, without races, tribes, genders, religious sects, countries and all other categorisations of Mankind.
Imagine such a world; one that can only take form for the briefest of moment – a flash of light in a distant galaxy – before disintegrating under the weight of its own monotony, unable to sustain or justify its existense because creation by its very nature begets diversity. Creation is boundless, and so is life.

Labels and Stereotypes; one of Man’s method of understanding creation. There exist in the world today; labels which are as diverse as human beings are diverse. Some labels are nice, some are very bad, others are as meaningless as idle words thrown together between wine and gossip to make up for an evening of emptiness.

Sometimes, labels and stereotypes can take a life of their own, and become the definition and in some cases the damnation of a whole group.

I had a conversation with a colleague awhile back on the places she has been to in Nigeria.
“So you haven’t been to the eastern part of Nigeria?” I asked after hearing that all her life had been spent in the western part of Nigeria.
“You mean the Igbo part?” She retorted in a manner that made the words sound like a malady; “Those people are wicked.”
“How do you mean they are wicked?” I asked surprised at the turn of the conversation. “I am Igbo, you know right?”
Silence is all that I got as she rolled her eyes, got up and left.

I have also had this same conversation with fellow igbos and their impression and opinion of the other tribes are similar.
“Those people are evil and hateful.” One of my aunt once told me over dinner; “At your work place, be weary of them inugo…have you heard?”

Labels and stereotypes; Man’s imperfect reaction to Nature’s diversity.

How often have our opinion of an individual we are yet to meet shaped by the race, tribe, gender, religion etc. of the individual?

How often do we (on our first encounter with someone) murmur between greeting and goodbye that the person is not what we expected. I have heard people say; “Oh! He doesn’t behave like a typical Northener.” Or “I am not surprised, that’s how her people behave.”

We create labels and develop stereotypes for each other. Then we go through life looking for unsuspecting persons to fill up those labels with, hardly giving others a chance to prove themselves to us.

Life can be misrable at times. It can be dull and uninspiring, and Labels and Stereotypes are sometimes the hoods we put on people to make ourselves feel better about our lives.

I would also say that Labels and Stereotypes are parts of the fundamental flaws of human being and also parts of our fundamental strength.

Human beings are a creature of habit, and like a code breaking computer, we analyse each encounter we have with individuals and compare them with already known patterns/concepts/mode of operations. And sometimes those concepts may be based on false assumptions.

Unfortunately we can (allegedly) make use of 10% of our brain…thus there already exist inherent limitations to what we can do especially in areas of cataloguing and documenting each human experience as what it is; an individual specimen. For most of us this is a tedious and lofty task and our brains have not evolved to function on that level.

Thus we can only make do with the little we have (again the alleged 10%), and that involves grouping similar traits such as morphological appearances, bodily movements, vocal attributes etc. into a common family and from there the taxanomic classifications are built upon up to the great phyla like religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, social status etc.

We develop stereotypes, values, cultures and categorisations, a million decisions and indecisions which sometimes centuries cannot reverse. It is just part of our animalistic instinct of survival. Sometimes, those labels prove to be truth and might be the difference between the crown and the cross.

However, I must add that the advancement of human technology has meant that the consequences of labels have become more deadly. Thus, our basic instinct to create labels should be reviewed and minimised. I really do not believe that labels and stereotypes will ever be eradicated, because it is a fundamental part of human survival. I do think minimization of it should be emphasised.

How?
Through Education, science, research, patience, tolerance etc. These are the cure or to put it more aptly; “the inhibitors” of labels and stereotypes.

In this age of internet, super sonic flights, satellites and cable television, the world has become a global village. Thus knowledge and insights can now be spread and shared at an unprecedented rate. Boundaries that seem unexplorable hundred years ago, are today well mapped and documented. Heights that seem to be insurmountable a few decades past, have now been trodden by human feet…the limits are continuously being stretched and there seem to be nothing that we cannot do. Hence, there is need now more than ever to address the flaws of labels and stereotypes.

God made us as human beings…man and woman…We are all humans first.
However, man in-order to survive within the limits of his own evolutional prowess created the partitioning.

There is a great need to educate the larger society, especially the young – whose minds are still being formed. Indeed we need to educate, preach, shout, research and pray that tolerance and patience should take root in our hearts.

Life is too short for one to be confined to a 4 by 4 cubicle of labels. For all I know, Heaven might be a hoax, however, Earth is all we are guaranteed of. Hence, I don’t see the reason why one should limit his/herself to the curse and choices of others.

Be the nonconformist. Question everything. Give everyone a chance…but beware and be aware.
Though our labels may differ – boy, girl, gay, straight black, white, rich, poor, Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba et al – we are all one race. The human race.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye

Life’s lessons (the journey of the soul VI)

“Life gave me a smile and a tear
A thousand masks for me to wear
She gave me both sweet and bitter,
And fire, and ice to tame her.



The spirit now takes me back home
To the bed where I sleep alone
Beside the vast River Niger
By the eastern bank and border

In the green plains of the Tropic,
Adjacent the rain forest sleek.
And he says gently to me, “Tell
Me the story of thy life, tell!

“Tell me what thou have learnt and more.
Tell me thy heart, the silent war
Within thy soul. Tell and listen
Perhaps thou see what’s been missing.”

Stunned at how fast my tongue unfolds
To unleash the stories it holds
Stun at how much I wish to tell
The Heavens, of a living Hell.

“I was born naked, mild and meek
I gained wisdom and foolishness
I grew strong, I grew wild and weak.
I learnt my strength is my weakness.

“Life gave me a smile and a tear
A thousand masks for me to wear
She gave me both sweet and bitter,
And fire, and ice to tame her.

“Time met me a child, -innocent
She undressed me with violence
Time met me a good virgin sweet
And seduced me in her deceit

“I saw, I lust, I learnt to love
The blue-moon, and dews from above
I tried, I failed, again I try
To walk, to talk, to laugh and cry.

“Dreams I had, dreams of light and day
Dreams of love at first light and more.
Dreams I had, dreams of light and day
Dreams that abandon me at dawn.

“I laugh with soft watery eyes,
Not for joy or the dreams I sail;
Not of love for the weeping skies
But tears alone write not my tale

“My true love and my genuine smile
My joy and the sweet kiss of dame
Like sun and moon both intertwined,
Do not shine at a time the same.

“I walk with faith the narrow path
With fears, distrust and doubts within
I walk with tears and heavy heart
And with demons I can’t redeem.

“I seek knowledge among the wise
But found that wisdom is folly
I seek knowledge among the lice
And found that meekness is holy.”

To this he smiles and softly says
“So it is wisdom that thou seek
The craft to hold thy dreams at day
And draw love from it, mild and meek.

To this I stopped and slowly nod
While my toes feel the silent mud
Again he smiles, a thousand rays
Again he smiles and softly says

“Come I shall show you my good friend,
A wise man, Solomon[1] by name.
Come I shall show you my good friend
A man who dreamt like thee, the same.”

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye


[1]  Solomon of the Old Testament (Bible), he is regarded by some as the wealthiest and wisest man that ever live. See 1 Kings 1-11. 2 Chronicles 1-9.

The Arguments (The Journey of the Soul V)

“Human mind is a smaller god,
He says, “A being of wind not blood;
A being of water, earth and fire;
A limitless dale of desire.

“And if left unchecked can try
To fall the stars.” Here I reply,
“Perhaps all things were made by God,
More problems he’s created than solved.


“God is eternity[1]“, he says;
“God is good, God is bad and more.
He chose to be righteous always.
He made that choice and nothing more

“He created all things from himself,
The good, the bad and the ugly.
Everything is part of himself –
The grass, the sheep that graze humbly.

“Look! Look around mortal man,
God is all around us always
In the sunlight that warms the land
The weevils and the helpless Maize.

“In sorrowful psalms of the bird,
The tears of the heaven at night,
The dead rose petals on the bed,
In the darkness and the light.

“Listen and I shall so explain
Man was created, hollow and plain
God gave to him, his very breath[2]
One with him from his birth to death.

“This breath is the life of a man;
A seed to grow in place, sunny.
This breath is the light of a man
To guard him on his life’s journey.

“God is just and his ways unknown[3]
Man was born free in heart and will,
By choice he strayed far from home,
From grace to this desolate hill.

“God by his own choosing and love,
Gave man a will to choose his path.
Yet it hurts him from far above,
To see that man has strayed in heart[4].

“Many a times had he spoken,
To Ishmaelite and to Isaacs;
To Moses’, his laws were broken.
Still is, as eternal clock ticks.

“God can not directly influence
The will and the wile of human,
For such direct aid and influence
Is against the freewill of Man.

“God does not walk only with Jew,
Nor has he special relation
With the cross, star and moon[5] and few
For God is of no religion[6].

“All Religion is part of truth.
None alone has it all by root.
Any faith that practice not love
Is dead and far from God above.

“God created and called Man with love.
In love, he chose him first above
All his creatures and placed him here
On Earth, to tend creation with care.

“God made man in his own image[7]
A being of love and boundless grace.
Man remade God in man’s image:
A tool of fear, hate and disgrace.”

Unable to hold my own tears
I weep, and saying in cold tears;
“I wish not to hear anymore,
The things you so speak of and more.

“If you were sent by God above,
Surely you will speak well of him.
For if you were sent from above,
Then you will not but honour him.

“He was the one that sent the flood[8]
The fire and brimstone on the earth[9]
Did we not obey him, our God
And put Amalekites to death[10].

“He tricked us at Babel’s tower[11]
Divided us with his power
Into smaller a partition
Beings without cooperation.”

“Human mind is a smaller god,
He says, “A being of wind not blood;
A being of water, earth and fire;
A limitless dale of desire.

“And if left unchecked can try
To fall the stars.” Here I reply,
“Perhaps all things were made by God,
More problems he’s created than solved.

“Earth is a hell, and not a home
And in humans, its demons roam[12].
Man, in his quest to gain heaven
Made a hell of earth, faith driven.”

He says, “All that God made is good[13].
His way is not the way of man.”
I reply in a forlorn mood,
“O! If such then is God’s plan;

“Damned then is human species
Extinct the genius of good men.
If heaven alone, the thesis,
How worthless earth has become then.”

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye


[1]  Cf. Genesis 21:33: “Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the Lord, the Eternal God.”

[2]  Cf. Genesis 2:7; “Then God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live.”
[3]  Cf. William Cowper, 1774; “God Moves in Mysterious Ways.”
[4]  Cf. Genesis 6:5-6; “When the Lord saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret.”
[5]  Cross represents Christianity while “Moon and Star” represents Islam.
[6]  Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “God has no Religion.”
[7]  Cf. Genesis 1:26-28; “Then God said, ‘And now we will make Man in our own image and likeness. They will have power over the fish, birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small’ So God created Man in his own image and likeness,. He created them male and female, blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control.”
[8]  Cf. Genesis 7
[9] See Genesis 19:24 “Suddenly the Lord rained fire and brimstone on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.”
[10]  Cf. 1 Samuel 15
[11]  Cf. Genesis 11:1-9
[12]  Dante’s Inferno (2007) An Animated Epic: “Lucifer: Earth is another form of Hell, and man is its demons.”
[13]  Cf. 1Timothy 4:4: “For everything that God created is good, nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving.”

The meeting (The journey of the soul IV)

“Are you God, or a messenger?
Guardian of souls or lost stranger?
Who are thou? Tell me, tell I pray
Tell; tell for I have lost my way.



And I hear a voice behind me;
A soft voice; and it says to me;
“O mortal Man! O mortal Man!
Do thou wish to grasp Nature’s plan?

“Have thou lost all belief in God?[1]
Has thy sun been eclipsed by doom?
Why do thou seek woe, being of mud?
Why seek reason in folly’s womb?

“Turn around Mortal, walk with me;
A walk of faith and thou shall see.
I will reveal to thee, History
Of life, of the Cosmos mystery.”

Startled I turn to see the man,
Standing solemn, a six feet man.
His robe glitters the hue of stars
At his feet eternity stands.

His left hand holds a wooden stick
On his head lies a crown of gold
And he walks gently, -mild and meek
And with an aura, yet untold.

He looks at me with warm pity
In his eyes, garden of Beauty.
I stand awhile in silent awe,
In shock, stunned, and entranced, and more.

Perplexed, I bow down before him.
“I am but unworthy of thee[2],”
I say in broken voice to him
“Why choose me, who am I to thee?”

“Are you God, or a messenger?
Guardian of souls or lost stranger?
Who are thou? Tell me, tell I pray
Tell; tell for I have lost my way.

He smiles at me, beaming with love
Saying as he draws me to him,
“Who is the voice of God above?
I am a messenger of him.

“Rise! Mortal one, Rise mud and blood,
Rise this moment, O! Raise thee now
Thou shall worship the lord thy God
And to him alone, shall thou bow.[3]

I rise slowly, but still shaking
The palm trees, their fronds are waving,
I gaze at him, again I fall
But he catches me ere I fall.

He breathes upon my soul his breath[4]
I feel strength flowing in my limbs
Like a heavy and laden weight
Is being lifted from me it seems.

(C) Chukwudi Ezeamalukwuo Okoye


[1]  Cf. Dante’s Inferno (2007) An Animated Epic: “Virgil: ‘Have you lost all faith in God, O man? Has the way been so obscured?”
[2]  Cf. Job 40:4: “I m unworthy —how can I reply you? I put my hand over my mouth.”
[3]  Cf. Matthew 4:10; “Then Jesus answered, “Go away, Satan! The Scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and only to him must you bow.”
[4]  Cf. Genesis 2:7; “…he breathed life-giving breath  into his nostrils….”