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Lost-in-between

Too dissatisfied with where he was,

too consumed by where he needed to be,

a humdrum existence, so he saw his life.

But when he left where he used to be,

and on the road to where he always wanted to be,

he found, not anyone, not circumstances

made his life insipid, he made it so.

Missing out on all a place had to give was all his own doing.

If he knew, while he looked forward to where he

needed to be, he would have gotten more

for his penny’s worth where he was.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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There’s that unpleasant time when the zest to go on dwindles, dimming slowly like a finishing candle on a quiet night.

You try to continue, searching for something to grasp as a reason to go on, but they’re either all lost to sight or bide with you but have no relevance to any reason to go on. Like the last bit of candle wax, you’re almost finished by despair.

On such days, the day seems so very long, and time is like a frail old lady dragging its foot in an exasperating way. But you’re too weak to query time or press it to move faster, for time is stone deaf.

On such lightless days that you can no longer help yourself nor carry on, time slowly and unapologetically ticks, and you’re carried by time, lying in its bosom like a weak body on a raft, flowing along with the currents charted by time. Perhaps on another day, you’ll row your own way through time. But today, time rows your life.

Move faster. Slow down.

Pause. Rewind.

Time has no ears, but a mind of its own.

Listens to none, speaks to all.

We can only make the most of it,

at least as best we can though today we be sapped.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Dear New Day

Some days I’m up with a ready embrace for you,

dear New Day.

Some days, I meet you with a disgruntled face.

But when by my window I stand looking out on the streets and my ears catch upon the faithful trotting of horses bearing the dead, I’m reminded that someone loved, someone lost, someone whose time’s up passes by while mine I still have, and I am humbled and contrite for greeting you dear New Day without gratitude.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Her

Her path has been one of twists and turns on which she had to make some turns.

In the twists and in the turns, between the comfortable and uncomfortable she is stretched, she buds, she unravels.

Perhaps if the road was linear, she may never find herself.

This non-linear road that she must travel chisels her out.

In being pressed to the limits she births herself.

On this road with its twists and turns, she becomes rooted, owning who she was meant to be.

In the twists and in the turns, she finds herself.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Coming

On this doorstep, I sit daily like a lonely child peering at the path leading home.

Watching and waiting.

Yesterday like all the other days, the sky dusked again.

Leaving me with shadows to look at, till I saw nothing at all.

Today I stand, I sit, I peer down the road.

And just like a child looks and waits to see mother return,

I sit on this doorstep, lonely, waiting for my Change to come.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Sit it All out

When you have tried all that you could, sought all the help, met every person who could have helped, done all that you were told to do; gone to all the places you were told to go to, … and still, your change doesn’t come.

You can do what I did.

Just sit it all out.

It doesn’t mean you have given up, you are only waiting on time.

But while you are sitting, keep your mind and hands busy.

Time holds your change. As time passes, so does your change draw closer to you.

And when your time comes, your change will be quick because you are ready and prepared.

Your change comes!

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Night and Day

The darker the night, the more enchanting the story.

The more enchanting the story, the more the impact.

So stay strong, the day must dawn with all its lights chasing away the darkness of the night.

Stay strong, your story will help someone else.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Spring Comes

I went for a walk, and found a flower, and was drawn to the words written on a piece of rock at the foot of the flowers.

Next, I found an apple tree. It also had words written on a rock at its foot.

Although I liked the words written on the rock, I walked past it because the tree had no leaves, flowers, or fruits.

I felt it had no beauty worthy of being photographed.

But then I looked at it again and thought I just did what most people would do:

Judge by the present, judge by looks, judge based on the lack of evidence or things to show, overlooking potentials, overlooking possibilities.

Has someone overlooked or written you off for your drab looks and bareness?

Just know, that individual may be short-sighted, or purblind, and lacks the understanding of the promise of hope, faith, possibilities, and potentials albeit hidden.

Consider that a misjudgment can sometimes be an error on the part of the person who judges and may be of no fault of the object of the judgment.

So, even if your life is or looks bare of leaves, flowers, and fruits, and lacks the evidence of success or progress, like the words written on the rock said:

Have peace like a river.

Stay focused, and as strong as a rock, do not waver for spring comes.

By

Priscilla Okoye

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Up and down the ladder

One step up the ladder I climbed, and step by step I moved till I was far from the bottom.

Then I stepped over and off and was at the lowest rung of another ladder.

I look up to the top of the ladder,

refusing to count the steps between the top and the bottom where I am.

I feel cheerless because I have climbed a ladder before.

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Healing Sounds

As I play this guitar, I hear maama’s words:

I can’t go with you, I will only burden you, I am dying.

Go, I can’t have them take you as they took your father from us. My heart goes with you.

As I play, I recollect, looking back, till my neck ached, I couldn’t stop looking at maama.

As I play this guitar, I embrace the harsh realities I encountered,

and mourn the lost opportunity of being a child, for my journey gulped my childhood.

As I play, in these moments I go to that place where I can be the child that I am.

As I play this guitar, in these moments I regurgitate and make peace with the memories of lost children, of parents letting go of the hands of their children, choosing to die so they could live.

As I play this guitar, I engrave them on my heart, I must keep them all alive and with me. I play for them and hope my music calms their journeying souls and gives them rest.

As I play this guitar, in these moments, I am liberated from the fetters of my arduous journey, from the losses witnessed, and the cruelty experienced.

As I play, I filter through it all, clutching like my life depends on it:

things positive— survival,

things positive— resilience,

things positive—progress.

things positive—faith,

things positive—hope,

things positive— love.

These are the only good my young mind can glean from such journeys.

As I play this guitar, in this country where I hardly feel at home, I go home.

Home is where maama and papa lay.

In these moments, in the sounds of this music I choose to live, for in it,

my family is with me.

By

Priscilla Okoye