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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lost Cause


You are not a lost cause
I wrote this poem
For your blackened eye and missing teeth 
Your midnight whimpers and lonely fears
Your shuddering shoulders and weak choices.
May these words put some heart in you
Be your lamp at midnight 
As you sit in the dark
Devising your exit. 

You are not a lost cause
This poem is for your quirks and bad hair days
Your shy gait and your stutter
For your never-looking-life-in-the-eye
Let these words remind you
That we were not all made
In sunny days when God felt high and brazen
Some of us were moulded on winter nights
With shivery hands
Yet with wonder 
Yet with fear


You are not a lost cause
This poem is for your feet
Dangling in the cliff of indecision
For your misplaced priorities
For the missed chances
Let these words remind you
That we all at diverse times
Have dwelt in the cusp of uncertainty 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Another Bride




She scrubbed away with a burlap sponge and locally made black soap. She had never been able to work around the bars of soap that the shopkeepers brought from the city, for they made her sneeze. Two lizards held privy of her through the window, nodding in relish as they beheld wet body. They scurried away just as she threw a bowl of warm water at them. 

There was peaceful commotion in the compound. From the bathhouse which was separated from the other buildings, she could see the smoke rise from the pots cooking on different mounds of fire woods. She could hear the women in the compound call each other to duty. The were pounding melon, sifting crayfish, winnowing rice, wrapping fufu in foils. She threw her wrapper around her and left the bathhouse.

She excited a flurry of activities and the women greeted her with affected eagerness, their voices hushed, their efforts doubled. "Good morning Mama Nnamdi."

She nodded her response but her mind was far away.  She thought of her name, Mama Nnamdi, her real name lost in duty, swept under the carpet of motherhood after the grand entry of her first son, Nnamdi.

In her room, she looked at her naked frame in the large mirror propped against the wall, grabbed a fold of flesh gone loose with age. Can this handful cellulite vie with the blithesomeness of youth? 

Mama Agnes, her neighbour entered without knocking. She had come to help her tie her gele. She observed Mama Nnamdi's gloomy face.

"You know you are a spoilt woman, don't you? You only have one co-wife to deal with and you are beside yourself with self-pity. What about those of us who have to deal with two or more co-wives?"

Mama Agnes enjoyed her role as senior wife. She had come to sit handsomely in it. She lorded it over the junior wives and was often mean to them.

Mama Nnamdi could not come up with a reply. She sat still as her head gear was done. She had been married twenty five years to him. She felt embarrassed that she had ever believed she sufficed for him.

She ought to be inspecting the women cooking, who could be hiding salt and pepper in their wrappers to smuggle home, but her mind was not in order. She feared her sentimentality would get the better of her and shame her to tears in front of those gossipy women.

But how could she not be moved? Together they had sired sons and daughters. A man she had adored no end and loved without skimping. She had helped till the fallow farmlands that yielded crops, that made him wealthy, that he was using to wed another. Years of utter devotion downed with oblique rejection that came in the form of another bride.
                                                   *  *  *


Amidst her hopes and wishes that this was another bad dream, the new bride arrived in regal procession. The young girl had been a pawn in a game her husband had partaken in. When he was declared winner, the young girl was added as recompense. Her skin was virginal, dew on morning grass. She was shy, almost kittenish. She stood before Mama Nnamdi, paying obeisance, barely looking at her. The older woman hugged her; told her she was no rival. She would take her as her own child. But what she meant to say to the girl was that they were both victims of the same fate, handed down without no one caring if they had a say. And a young girl like her ought to transcend to higher height and not to be saddled with an old man like their husband.

The hungry peasants who came to see how beautiful the new bride was, were seated,
devouring their meals with immense gluttony. 

The husband came out in his regalia and the drummers beat the drums and the new couple danced, with his huge hands resting on the girl's slender waist. The sight of them dancing haunted Mama Nnamdi's dreams for days and she kept muttering, Those hands have touched me; those hands have held me too. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

This Could Be You


‎This could be you
Savouring the warm taste
Of your own company
Under your tongue 
Feeling yourself 
Giggling away at memories
Laughing at your mistakes  
But you'd rather be with a crass somebody
Hiding away the bones of his ineptitude 
In a closet of alibis

This could be you 
Happy 
Content 
Proud
Laying abed  in this quiet room
Sound of rain on pavement
Soothing your mind
Shoes off, clothes off
But you're nursing a drink
In a lonesome bar hearing Asa sing 
Of waiting for the one
Who never comes

This could be you 
Snoring 
Dreaming of distant lands and shores
Of constant but quiet hum of electricity
But you are frothing at the mouth
Grating like my neighbour's generator 
At the one who said, I am fed up with you
I'm tired of feigning this is working 

This could be you
Kicking ass, slaying
But even the timbre of your own voice
And the thudding of your heartbeat
Frightens you

This could be you
Growing, basking in the Sun
But you are almost dying
Wilting away‎ in an airtight corner
Your branches bowed in shame 

This could be you....


Friday, April 17, 2015

Patience Of A Saint



You would be
The kind of woman
That would be tired on her wedding night
And your groom would wait- days, weeks-
Salving like a tethered dog
Looking at bone without his reach.

You want to be loved 
intelligently
But not urgently
So that hearts won't bleed
When you decide to walk away. 

You want to be held
warmly
But not too tightly 
So that you can prise yourself off
When you decide to walk away.

Woman, 
I do not envy the man
Whose cross would be
The brunt of your love.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Unlucky: ( part of a short story)



There was a woman in our small town who did not have much luck with men. The older people who knew her as a child in swaddling bands and as a little girl running around naked in the rain, often gossiped that she inherited her ill-luck from her mother. Her mother had lost her mind and died of heartbreak when her husband left. It was one night, a long time ago, the man had simply said to his wife, "I want to buy something outside", and he never returned home. News came to her much later that he had been cudgeled in a brothel by a notorious woman whom he had refused to pay for services she rendered him.

 It was easy to believe that this woman's ill luck was hereditary since there was nothing tangible to lay blames on. She was very easy on the eye: not too big, not too small. She was always kempt and her house was never in disarray.

This woman in our town often had men in her life but they were mostly our town loafers who paraded as young men with prospects, but these prospects never saw the light of day. These young men were only skilled in beguiling desperate women whom loneliness had made credulous and in performing acrobatics for these women in bed. These idlers sniffed out her loneliness as she walked past them under the mango tree where they assembled to smoke wee-wee. They sensed the neediness in her gait and they took turns to pursue her.

She often lent them huge sums of money to start up imaginary businesses or to send to an ailing mother in the village who, unbeknownst to her, was long dead. They never paid her back. And to this end, she was never able to save up money to expand her salon business. Some of those young men repented of their evils and went on to become pastors, annexing churches on our streets. But when they needed a woman to start a life with, they never chose her. They sought younger girls from distant towns and left this woman wilting.

The good men with honest income tried to love her too, but they could not be made to stay. One time it was the school teacher. Even though our mothers nodded in approval when they walked past hand in hand, smiling gaily at the sun, we did not like the idea of their union, seeing that the school teacher was too eager to lay his whip on our buttocks when we misbehaved in school. We surmised that when they start a family together, there would be an endless chorus of crying children emanating from their home. We were happy when, months later,  his mother sent him a bride from the village and came to supervise the union from time to time in order to wade off anything untoward. At another time it was the town's designer. He was a handsome man with plenty of connections; he made the governor 's clothes and all the commissioners tipped him heavily for his services. Yet amidst all her efforts, he left. Why did they not love her enough to stay?we often asked. Perhaps, who knows, when these good men kissed her and tasted the fruit of her lips, it was too sweet or too sour for them. When they touched her, felt her body lovingly, the heat from it singed them away.
  
She had a lot of friends but once they got married, their friendship withered because she always felt intimidated in their presence, such that you would often hear her mutter, "They treat me thus or they speak to me thus because they are now married."

Her salon teemed on weekends. The women in our small town congregated their to gossip while ostensibly getting their hair and nails done. And there, even though it was a very strange occurrence, she constantly offered marriage counselling. More often than not, her counsel worked. A woman for instance would ask, ''My husband does not look at me like that again, what do I do?"  Or another would ask, "I suspect my husband is keeping a mistress, how do I lure him back to my side?" Then the woman, whom the younger people like myself called Aunty, would say, "Apply rosewater to the hidden crevasses of your body," (here she would spread her legs to demonstrate); "wash your navel at all times, the smell can turn a man off you know. Don't worry this next hair style I would give you would keep him so glued to you that you would need a crowbar to pry him away from your side. He will he forget what his mistress looked like...." and in this manner she offered sundry other procedures. ‎

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Boy-trouble





My bestfriend is having boy-trouble, a common malaise in the world of women who do men. She is one of those buttered-up children who got hugged too often, whose parents' shielded from life's dreary realities. I met her in boarding school, where she was given restraining order from everything: bullies, fetching water, running errands for seniors, corporal punishments and labour days.

The object of her pain, the boy she has been seeing for six months, had never won my approval. I felt he carried himself too importantly; his I-know-who-I-am-ness was just too much for me to endure. When they had their first quarrel, she ran to me hoping I would offer her tricks of propitiation to win back his heart. I declined and gave a piece of my mind concerning him. When they got back together, she would not speak to me for weeks.

Now she lay with her head pillowed on my laps, getting ready to dig another artesian well of tears. The bone of contention between the used-to-be lovers was another girl. It appeared her boyfriend use to have a crush on the new girl long ago and could not afford to miss the chance when she started flirting with him.

'Love is such a bottomless pit.' She sobbed.

'Oh stop crying,' I said, rubbing her back. 'You would land safely.'

'A good man is hard to find.'

'Yes,' I agreed. "Needle in haysack.' 

'You know, I was thinking he was last my last bus stop. We had a lot in common.'

'No, I don't agree with you. You two were not enrolled in the same school of thought. He was just too....I don't know how to explain it to you. He was not right for you. Believe me.'

She blew a trumpet of phlegm into her hanky.


 'What about you? You have been single for so long.'

'I am leaving my grounds fallow for now. The farmers in the past have not been so tender.'

She chuckled. 'Bad farming practises. No mulching, too much fertilizer, bush burning.'

'And what's worst,' I said. 'They only plant annual and biennial crops. Where are those farmers bearing perennial seeds? I am tired of the bland routine of meet-date-love-break-up. I'm just tired.'

'Oh love is such a bottomless pit.' She began weeping again.

'Please stop crying, will you? One day, I promise you, we will land safely.'


Monday, March 2, 2015

‎ Podcast for "Something Good".  ‎ ‎

 I was only experimenting but I ended up creating a podcast for one of my piece  Something Good. Listen/ download the podcast: HERE



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Song Of Abandonment





 ‎ 

I was blind and you were my seeing-eye dog, but you wandered off when you saw a juicy bone. I was sugar in your tea but you were hot water, crumbling and melting me. We were amateur actors, rehearsing backstage, but when the curtains opened, another took my place. You were a building and I, the scaffolding, but I had to be done away with when the building was completed. 

I was seated in a quiet corner of the restaurant that warm afternoon when you walked in with your pregnant fiancĂ©e, your hand on her waist. You pulled out the chair for her and watched her settle into it. There seemed to be a celebration: a birthday, an anniversary? I could not decipher. A cake was brought, with a lone candle flickering on it. You called on the waiters and they were all smiles as they whispered,  Congratulations.

I sat there in that corner and thought of all the times I made excuses for your crassness, for your forgetfulness. I told my friends that those who suffered abandonment early in their lives were not expected to work up the proper spirits of love and affection. For when you were born, your mother laid  you in her arms, wet and wrinkled by labour.  Death hovered at her bedside, bidding her to come with him. She chose him over you.

So how were you expected to remember dates, to speak softly, to show tenderness? I understood your need to constantly drape your affections in purdah; I understood your ineptitude at emotions. When I got high on my friends suggestions and complained to you, you said this was all you had to offer, take it or leave it. I chose the former. I said, I would rather live with you in want than in plenty without you. I would rather love you with all the blandness that comes with it, isn’t the world choking in its laughter?

But what I really wanted was this: the dough of love, kneaded with care and thoughtfulness, baked in the fires of eros. I wanted the icing of tranquillity, sprinkled with the dust of laughter. I did not press you for it because I felt you would look at me dazed and ask me if you were a baker. You would remind me that love was no pastry shop.

 But here you are. The one I thought was too weak to put up a fight for me, look at you starting a riot for another; you, even are a rabble-rouser, talking others into your  cause. Here you are, rubbing a pregnant girl’s cheeks, blowing out a candle with her, celebrating an anniversary, remembering a date.







Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I got published in Thought Catalogue!!!

‎I am excited to have my piece published in Thought Catalogue. Here's the link:

http://thoughtcatalog.com/ucheoma-onwutuebe/2015/02/something-good-will-happen-to-you-today/

My Piece In BellaNaija

‎Click on this link to read my piece in BellaNaija:

‎http://www.bellanaija.com/2015/02/13/ucheoma-onwutuebe-the-rose-that-grew-from-the-concrete/

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Men As Shoes


 Two women had this conversation. They were looking at someone's display picture on BBM.

"Where do these sharp girls find all these polished men?" One asked. "I need a formula"

"Do you know I've never dated anyone sophisticated?" asked the other . "I keep finding diamonds in the rough."

"Diamonds keh? Please let me hear word. What you've been finding are broken pieces of glass you mistook for precious stones"

" Obi was OK nah...."

"He was not polished at all...."

"Zach was nice...."

"The Aboki did not shine him hard enough."

"Imo was still evolving, if only I gave him a chance"

"My friend, don't even go there. Those smelly shoes that never saw sunlight."

"What of Tobe?"

"Well...."

"He was an Italian shoe, straight from the carton, never been worn."

Her friend nodded in agreement. "Strong Italian leather." 

"But...but he didn't let me wear him."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Love Them By Guest Blogger, Marcus Madueke




The rumour mill has been spinning vigorously for some time now. Since the postponement of the election, which falls within the ambit of the law, the mill has gone on an overdrive spewing the most outlandish rumours, propaganda, conspiracy theories and outright lies.

One of the favoured slogans adopted by pretend intellectuals and opposition-employed social media pundits is "Anything but Jonathan". From what I've seen in the past days that may soon change to "Nigeria can burn as long as APC wins."
True, this has been perhaps the most toxic campaign in the history of the country. The fault lines that separate us are more pronounced than ever. The prognosis of the election and after is bleak and the threat of violence and bloodshed hangs over us like a rickety ceiling fan. But it seems this does not worry the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In fact, they are obviously relishing in the tense atmosphere that pervades the country and, it seems, are deliberately doing whatever it takes to add petrol to the burning embers. After all, if it all comes crashing down the buck stops with the president and he would naturally be blamed.

All over the world, politicians use all kind of strategies to accumulate support but a line is often drawn if their strategies become too toxic and threaten to cause mayhem. The country is dangling on the edge of a destructive cliff and the leadership of the APC doesn't give a hoot. All that matters to them is votes.

"Oh, let's act like a maltreated child and people would look upon us with pity and vote for us. No. That's not enough. Let's say the president is a bully and his hounding us with the army for opposing him and he would lose the support of moderates who will swing over to our side."
"Meanwhile, the country can go up in flames while we are at it. But we just want to win."

And they have a pattern spreading this pollution. First, they get their hired social media activists to make it trend. Soon lazy journalists from opposition leaning newspapers and website will make it their leading news without fact checking. Later television and radio call-in shows will invite "analysts" to come yap about it. Meanwhile, the tension in the country is rising like the temperature of a man with acute malaria.
Last week they exhumed the corpse of the unsubstantiated plan by the President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo to set up an interim government that would ultimately hand power over to the military.  But they conveniently dropped the name of Obasanjo after it became clear that he wasn't even supporting President Jonathan. 

Knowing the country's history with interim government, this is indeed a devious propaganda by the APC to whip up unnecessary sympathy. Their ultimate goal here is to cast Jonathan in the same mould as the infamous ex-dictator, Ibrahim Babangida. I think the APC should be condemned for trying to recreate one of the darkest events in Nigeria's history.

All of this, while we were still trying to douse the tension created by that malicious rumour Senator Babafemi Ojodu, a former journalist, who apparently woke up from a terrible nightmare and declared that president Jonathan is planning to extend his tenure for another two years!

"If anybody thinks there is going to be elections on March 28, the person is deceiving himself.  All the people that are close to me, especially my friends, I told them a year ago that there would not be election and that they are just deceiving us," he told members of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG).

"Some of us who are perceptive have seen this in the body language of our colleagues; the body language of the Senate President himself, David Mark. When we came back from the summer recess last year, he said that for him, it's not time for election.  We should not be thinking of elections now, rather we should be thinking of fighting Boko Haram. The moment we took him up on that, he reversed himself," he added.

How can Senator Ojodu make such a grave allegation based on his perception of somebody's body language? In fact, he should have gone ahead to declare that he now possesses clairvoyant powers that enable him read not only body languages but minds as well. At this critical stage, respected members of the society like Senator Ojodu, who seem to have forgotten the basic ethics of his journalism training, cannot be making incendiary comments on mere conjecture.  
As if we have not had enough of prominent politicians behaving badly, this week, leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, released a statement claiming soldiers were laying siege on his residence. Tinubu did not provide any proof. No pictures. No video. Nothing. Newspapers like the Punch, and the Nation made it their headlines without even trying to send a report there to verify.

The army has come out to deny it and challenge him to provide evidence. One reporter who rushed to the scene couldn't find soldiers there. From the pictures he took one could only see a police van guarding the house.

Tinubu didn't claim the army broke into his house. He could have stayed in one of his room and taken pictures of the soldiers outside. No, he didn't. But he was quick to draft an alarmist press statement that threatened to throw the country in turmoil.
My candid advice to all is to stay calm let the rule of law take its course and allow the election to hold and let Nigerians decide who they want as leaders. Propaganda don't put people in power, votes do.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why I Will Re-Elect President Jonathan



After a considerable amount of time spent on deep reflection as touching the upcoming elections, I am like a woman pressed for choice in the marketplace.  I have weighed my options in two hands, and I have made me decision.

Beneath the bickering and accusations of inaction of President Goodluck's administration, there has been considerable improvement from 2011 till date. 

Our airports are wearing better looks. 22 federal-owned airports across the country are being remodelled after decades of neglect. As I write, five modern international passenger terminals are being constructed simultaneously in Lagos, Enugu, Abuja, Kano and Port-Harcourt. 

Last year, I was enlisted for my NYSC to serve in the north-central part of Nigeria and there, I met a world brimming in abundance of food supply. I saw agriculture in full bloom and the farmers attested to it that they had never had it so good in any past administration. 

The secret of this upgrade in farming? After years of corruption in fertiliser and seed distribution, strict structures were put in place to give farmers direct access to these materials. In 2013, as a result of Agricultural Transformation Programme, there has been an increase of 1.1 million metric tonnes of rice production in Northern States. We are well on our way to being self-sufficient in rice production. The dry season production through irrigation which kick-started in 10 Northern states has been extremely successful, leading to an output of 1.07 million metric tonnes of rice. Under the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme, young people have profitably gone into commercial agriculture thereby elevating youth employment.

There has been an increase in non-oil exportation- plastic and rubber, vegetable products, prepared foodstuffs and breakages are yielding commendable  revenue. Importations of textiles and paper-making materials have dropped significantly. 

The subsidy programme of petroleum products has been administered at reduced cost and we have had a steady supply of petroleum products. Gas flaring has reduced from 24% to 18% between 2011 and 2012 as a result of the encouragement of accelerated gas development. And also, the diligent implementation of the amnesty program in Niger Delta has helped boost the production of oil from 700,000bpd to 2,500,000 bpd.
 
12 new universities were erected. Seeing the dangers of the uneducated Almajiris and how they become easy targets to be used by terror perpetrators, 125 day and boarding schools are being constructed to educate these vulnerable members of the society. In 13 states, special girl schools are being constructed under the Girl-Child Education Scheme. As noted, literacy rate of Nigerians has grown from 54% to 62%. 

What on earth was more defunct than the Nigerian Railways system? Rail lines abandoned 15 years ago have undergone modernisation and are still undergoing rehabilitation. Container cargo freight from Apapa Port complex has commenced. General Electric has supplied 25 brand new locomotives and over 200 coaches and wagons. There's more – 

I would re-elect Jonathan for championing the YOUWIN Initiative designed to empower young Nigerians with GRANTS, not loans.

In GEJ's tenure, I can attest to a vibrant and vigorous private sector; companies and ideas are springing up on every side unhindered. The most credible and fairest election Nigeria ever witnessed since 1999 was conducted in his time.  

Nobody, no nation ever woke up flawless. Nigeria is work in progress and if a man has his hands on the plough, I will not be too quick to ask him to get off when he has made considerable progress and is willing to do more. A man is not clueless just because he is gentle and unassuming.

I have weighed my options carefully and thoughtfully and I shall let him finish the race. 



Wednesday, January 28, 2015

14 Reasons I called Off The Engagement






1. Twice
I cheated on you
And it is bad
To settle with someone
Who does not inspire in you
loyalty

2. I am not tired
of the market
I still carry around
My shopping basket

3.The room you made for me
was too small
I am too tall
For the bed
You laid for me

4.I dreamt I slept on that bed
my bones fractured
for want of stretching
And I woke to
my body washed
in pain

5.I am tired
tired of ampling
and smiling

6. Eight times my friends asked
if we were seeing
seven times I denied

7. I am no more consumed
by the myth of scarcity;
by the myth of patching and making do

8.You hold me like a trophy
Like a prize;
an accessory
another green bottle
in the hands 
of a drunken man

9. Your mother's shoes
are too old 
for me to fill

10. I am not the 'also' personality
I am not the 'tag along'
I am not the one 
Hoping to fill another's shoes

11.It's not me you really love
I only arrived
At the time
You had set to settle down

12. I followed you
because you pursued
pursuance is poor yardstick for love
dogs too pursue
to bite afterwards

13. I am not yet mature 
to the concept
of "one and only"

14.Your life is too planned
and I am an artist.

Monday, January 26, 2015

John Legend



‎Lazing in bed with my bestfriend one afternoon,
Playlist is in shuffle.
John Legend comes on and croons:
"You & I (Nobody in the world)".
And we are enveloped in the clouds 
Of those sublime lyrics
Our hairs standing on end
Our bodies bathed in goosebumps. 

She says softly to me, 
I wish someone would sing this song to me.
I touch her and whisper, Before he comes along, Sing it to yourself.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Strong Is The New Black



"the strongest men are the fewest and the strongest women die alone too"
-C. Bukwoski‎.


Strong is the new black.
My ladies are strutting to the rhythm 
Of Destiny's Child's "Survivor", 
Sinach's "I know who I am."

We are living strong. 
We are writing strong. 
We are talking strong.
We don't want no scrubs.
But no one is warning us
That most times, 
The strongest women die alone.

If you're going to battle all night like Israel,
Wresting blessings from the Angel of God;
If you're going to topple society's status quo on its back;
If you're going to stare down life's mundane dictates;
You must conquer your fear of loneliness. 

I do not suggest you cannot have it all:
A man to love, babies to make,
A cause to fight, your life to live.

But if you dream of having your name in lights,
With streets surnamed by your name,
Then you must be unafraid of being alone. 

I am no harbinger of bad news.
This poem is just an alarm.
It is the "Smokers are liable to die young" warning after a cigarette ad.
It is the cautionary "Drink responsibly" after a Guinness ad.

Strong men do not have it worse. 
Women love to cuddle up beside them and be warmed by the amber's of their tout biceps.

But strong woman-
There something in your eyes that would curdle milk,
There's something in your smile, tough and flinty,
Something fierce about you that many won't find attractive. 

Strong is the new black.
But be warned soul sister:
Most times, the strongest women live alone.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Something Good

Something good would happen to you today.

You are the kind of woman who is not used to being served. The harsh climates of Africa and the street wisdom that comes with it, have made you a quick hustler. When on dates you pull out your own chair, you open your own door. You mock the women on T.V who wait in the car till their dates come around to let them out. You mutter, these people have plenty of time to waste. 

But something good  would happen to you today. You will meet someone who will teach you the luxury of being served. He would hold your chair down while you adjust into your seat. Do not be afraid and untrusting, thinking it is some childish prank where the person holding your chair suddenly pulls it from under you and you come crash landing. He would pour your wine. He would open the door for you, 
 not because your hands are full but because he has come to show you that you too deserve to be served.

Something good would happen to you today. You will meet someone smelling of black orchids,his stubble a day old. The type you would be proud to show your mother. He would be nothing like those ones in the past who you hid like a dirty bra strap. You used to be afraid of loving the handsome, confident ones because you love being the centre of attention, unwilling to share the spotlight. You do not like people looking at you like you are the lucky one. But you would meet someone and you would learn that most times, being in love means playing the second fiddle; that love is not a singing contest where all the participants are in a joust for the limelight. Your success would be his success and for the first time you would enjoy being someone's cheer leader.

Something good would happen to you today. You have been tottering and stumbling on this journey of unhating yourself and unlearning the to cast your pearls as merchandise before swine. You have tried to stop drinking at odd hours and binging on food to stuff the pain away. You have tried to be responsible and change your wardrobe, get a job. But today, someone would come along and like a kind parent who held your hand as you wrote your first letters, he would hold your hand and make the process less painful, and together, you will stare down the demons of your past that left you maimed for so long.

Today someone would come along and you will not be ashamed to say, I need you. Not in that manipulative way you often used to lure men to bed when you became emotionally horny; men that you used to keep the cold away. Men you left disappointed after they tried to call you thinking that something more than a one night stand had happened  but you would not  pick their calls. But you would meet someone and your need for him would be genuine. 

You would meet someone and he would love every inch of your body. He would love to burrow in your mind. He would care to ask, What are you thinking? He would cover the lone islands of your body with kisses and discover your mountains and  your hills, the valleys and the deep crevices of your body, like Colombus discovering the Americas. You will not be ashamed to be totally uncovered. You will stop hating on the body, that soil you bloomed in.

You have carefully avoided the ones more experienced than you, those ones who have been privy to a world not yet open to you. You have asked yourself, How would I quench that feeling, how do I numb the doubt that they may not be patient enough to explain the intricacies of the unfamiliar to me? Would he not be embarrassed at my naivety? Would he be shamed by my ignorance?
 But you would meet someone and he would not grow irritable at your questions. He would love your curiosity. He would never be condescending.

I do not know if he is the one mounting the flight of stairs, coming home for dinner tonight , or the one you would sit beside on your way home after a day's work. But if he is none of them, it could be Providence, showing a more romantic side of Himself; letting you know that you are loved.  Deeply and affectionately.

Today, something good would happen to you.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Reminiscing

When I was younger, I was given to this childish notion that my mother never saw any of us without cooking up an errand in her mind. Go take your shower. Arrange the brooms. Feed the dog. Wash the cat. Do the dishes. Buy maggi.

So when we hear her coming down the stairs, we would abandon our play and throw the duvet over our heads, feigning sleep. She would come into the room and inspect us closely. But someone's giggle would give us away and the laughter would infect  us all.

'I only wanted to give you biscuits.' she'd say. And great would be the speed with which we would arise from bed, with outstretched hands.
'But before the biscuits, go and do those dishes.'