The Apprentice

 

As-a-human-being-one-has-been-endowed-with-just-enough-intelligence-to-be-able-to-see-clearly-how-utterly-inadequate-that...-Albert-Einstein.jpg

Come humbly and cautiously before my face

Avoiding the awe and terror in this space

As I stare any Jack in the eye

Damning your status low or high

 

Some call him a madman

Others a magician and charlatan

Wielding a dangerous weapon

To whom the minds of the crowd bend and open

 

I’ve got the power of art

To touch the shadows in anyone’s heart

Stabbing them recklessly with my pen

Coz I’m a righteous monster from heaven’s den

 

He eats locusts and honey

He’s no prophet looney over money

Dressed in sweater made of woolly things

No mere gangster enslaved with gold rings and blings

 

Been years walking among those fakes

Who ain’t got no real idea what it takes

To confidently state the spiritual ain’t for real

Coz they ain’t seen the real deal

 

They shamelessly blurt and pontificate

Parading themselves as scientifically literate

They haven’t searched half the world or their souls

Packaging theories and philosophies featuring holes

 

I grew wise in the wild

Saw the supernatural as a child

Compelled to consider how this reality

Intertwines with the spiritual in totality

 

The acid-test for prophecy is fulfilment

Heard about Him when I was sent

So when out of the blues Christ appeared

I knew the spiritual was to be feared

I happen to feel that the degree of a person's intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting attitudes she can bring to bear on the same topic. Lisa Alther

some would argue differently though.

EPILOGUE

The report of John the Baptist (the apprentice): I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ That’s exactly what I saw happen, and I’m telling you, there’s no question about it: This is the Son of God.” Matthew chapter 3 verses 1-17; John chapter 1 verses 29-34

 

Harmattan 2016

Harmattan (source: nairaland.com)

Shadow,

How have you been? It’s been aeons since I last reached out to you. Since I last reached in to you.

But you have always been there somehow, haven’t you. You faithfully stalk the soul. Lovingly following your owner. Through his busy days and dark nights.

I have been silent because I went away on a trip. I have been busy being stranded on this trip. But you were still there somehow, reminding me of what was inside me. Reminding me that I was not nothing.

I went out tonight like I had done many nights before. And imagine the very simple joy that I had seeing the dusty mist. This is what heralds the harmattan. And I fondly thought of you.

Make no mistake, the rain has its magic. But the rains of this year met me at night. The dark days. And I was not even home. I had travelled lost into the night, working away my bones and blood, alone and lonely, comforted with the numbness only the living dead enjoy. I had travelled dead into the night. Living like one who does not live. So, when the rain came, it was like a flood. I barely escaped with my life –figuratively and literally. Never mind that I was properly drenched. I stoically looked forward to the relief of home. The rain was faithful to the mission life had given it. It made a frank mess on my hut of a life. I had slippery clay everywhere and nothing made a lot a sense. Many things made very little sense. I could not reach out to you. I could not reach in to you. I was just A-W-A-Y.

Harmattan however did not fail me. Hence my coming here tonight. Harmattan blows dust that settles on my flesh like a soft protective cocoon and cold that cools my blood. I remember how I came to be. I remember how life all started. From dust. Harmattan does not fail me. It comes and kills the trees. The green leaves turn brown and most fall away. The whole ground is littered continuously and human intervention won’t outwit the downpour of death. Death fills the air. The trees leaves die. The animals run away. The whole region is bare. The sights, sounds and smells of death do not fail me. They put me at ease. They remind me of how fleeting everything is. They remind me of how I must take time away from my toils and cares and dying, and focus on the state of existence –the frailty of existence itself. They remind me not to focus on the frailty of existence itself. But to live for life.

 

Shadows,

No, I am not deep.

Instead, I probably am shallow –for something as the weather change to be what turns me on. I must be shallow for waiting for external changes to bring me back to you.

 

I am not the best of the pile. Please accept me the way I am.

I wait to see how long I stay at home this time before the wanderlust maggot starts eating into my soul again.

I hope I stay this time.

I hope my soul does not get lost out in the jungle of life this time.

 

Yours,

 

coming clean

source: gettyimages.com

 

It amazes me
Your expression
When you strut about
Like you own the dunghill

The dunghill
Is where men need to go
Where they need to clear out their lives
When they need to get rid of the old
Oh yes, they need you
They need you for such things nonetheless

Great mistress of the night
You are the lover and husband of our dark habits
The mother of the monsters growing inside us
The nurse of the festering sores
That mock our daytime puritan act
You keep them decaying
So we never stop needing you
For such things nonetheless

You give meaning to our addictions
You give us shame to carry like babies
And what terrible nannies we make
Sooner or later when the babies drop
And the skeletons you hid for us in the wardrobe fall out
You are the one we run to

All we have become we owe to you
When our life stories are told
In the secret cinemas
To fellow decadents like us
They are never complete without you
The mark you have given us
This mark of corruption
The dirty stinking clothes you stacked up for us

You are very important to us

You walk about proudly
In this dunghill
Where all you are
Is the keeper of dirt
You own us

But
What then happens
When we wake from our slumber
And start washing our clothes
When we take our wounds to a doctor
When we clear out our closets

When your power over us is taken away
And we do not bow or cower
Before you in devoted slavery
When we forever stop making that booty call
And actually start loving the light
When we stop hiding away in the darkness
Afraid to be seen for how we really look
When we finally begin
Feeling so clean and free
Freedom from you
Freedom from ourselves

What will you do
When we finally come clean?

Where it ends

(source: seriouseats.com)

On the day I was born

You saw me

My heart like granulated sugar

Little drops of innocent sweetness

The kind so pure

Everyone wants a feel and fill of

Including the ants

Who really have nothing to offer in return

They come asking for ‘some sugar’

Even they know what’s sweet

 

I became smart in my own ways

Learning my share of lessons from life

I took pride in the great pyramid I built

Heart now hard like cubed sugar

I swore anyone who wanted a taste would sweat

You were there warning me

A little drop of water could mar me

I am not invincible yet

 

Life told me I hadn’t seen the start

The worst began to take a shot at me

I tried, God you must know that

You know I could only withstand the heat for so long

They told me the heat was good

They told me the most painful lessons

Would bring out the better in me

Behold my heart a golden syrup finally

 

But I fall short

I ain’t no honey

I still attract ants

Water still dilutes me

I am tougher than a cube

But I bend under pressure still

 

There is no way to complete this story

There is nothing within me

That could turn this tale into a fairy one

The only way is to remove myself from this story

Change the writer

Who appears obsessed with the various states of matter of sugar

Maybe for a writer who’d paint me as dust

 

At least, there’d be hope for a diamond in my end.

 

*flaccid smile*

 

 

CHANGE

(source: joshbenson.com)

 

My Dear

Who is to say the outcome of the argument over change versus regular?

By nature, humans are change-seekers. We get bored easily. This is a strong argument against monogamy. People spend luxuries at restaurants trying out new dishes for the sake of the palate, not the stomach. The intellectually successful ones (not necessarily academic professors) thrive on the thrill of new challenges, and therefore are self-motivated.

But we can’t keep changing our diet. We need a regular schedule if we are to make it early to work/school. Even the saying goes on advising us not to change a winning team. As the mind becomes more complicated, it learns to adopt a tested pattern of thinking/logic. Why become a fool just for fun! We are happy the seasons, day-and-night cycles, and the beautiful breeze of the cool evening are fairly constant blessings we can count on. Change could be quite the pain in the bottom hole –something different from what we usually want in there. But, daily we are pleased even though the constant thing in there is *?&!

Please don’t talk to me about moving on. Don’t tell me it is hard to change, but that once I set my mind to it, and am open to it, then I would have a liberating experience; and maybe a love so much better than yours. This is not just about remaining in my comfort zone, having found someone to give me a sense of romantic security; avoiding the fear of being out in the lonely waters looking for a friend/partner for the rest/end of the world.

Maybe the reason I do not want this change is because it feels so bad. I know we criticize feelings all the time as unreliable, but can’t they be right just once? Is it wrong to feel so easy-at-peace after a favourite delicacy, feel passionate when giving a public speech, feel thrilled when in a craft moving at the speed of light, feel sad because you are no more in my life, or feel sleepy and very welcoming of a warm bed on a freezing night? I move to argue that this feeling is righteous. I dare you to come out of your hiding and respond to my questions. Or, don’t even come. Don’t see this as a cheap trick to get you talking. To get you to feel something. To get you to do anything.

If you want to argue for change, well how about we change my sad-and-miserably-missing-you status?

Maybe. Maybe you have all these sensible reasons in your head about why we should no longer be together. You probably have gone shamelessly far as justifying it as for my own good! Aw com’on! At this rate, I will find myself beginning to resent you. Don’t act the smart ass, because an ass will always be one. Step up to me. Level with me. Let’s have a tete-a-tete.

No. I don’t want to change saying the same good morning greeting everyday, kissing you on the lips, laughing with you, understanding your statements and jokes before you even complete them, hearing about your day everyday, or embracing you for several seconds. Since when has it become a crime to GET USED to someone. If you are such a novelty-seeker, why not take a hike and seek adventure in another universe. Shouldn’t you be tired of seeing same sun every morning or same birds? Why not make an argument for the nuclear bomb events of the past that caused teratogenic effects in the offsprings (resulting in babies with one hand). Look, you can’t win this argument. How can you be with someone for 10 years and not learn a lot about the person? Or, have you two not been honest and plain with yourselves all the while? Stop your fetish for mystery. It is childish. It is for new crushes. Longstanding couples thrive on better things. It’s like you wondering how anyone could ever get tired of candy as a kid, or how a human could enjoy eating vegetable salad or diet coke. Life has yet to hit you! I am not arguing there could/should be nothing new or exciting to look forward to in someone you have known for 5 years; but maybe we should begin to define terms here, just to know how much change is change to you. And here I said I was not going to get resentful!

 

 

P.S. I am a bloody monogamistophile!