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An Interview about Blood Contract

Hello everyone,
Today, I am talking to Biola Olatunde, author of the book Blood Contract. I was thrilled when I met Biola on a social networking site because she is a writer and a Yoruba writer at that. Because I researched Nigeria and especially the Yoruba culture for my Fahdamin-Ra series, I could tell immediately that she was Yoruba by her name. When we started corresponding back and forth, I found that she is an extremely talented woman with a long list of accomplishments, such as being the producer of a small independent production company, a writer many scripts and a producer for radio and television programs, as well as writing and producing plays, and a published author. She also runs a small concierge service that takes tourists around to interesting places in Nigeria. I don’t think that she ever sleeps!

I was fascinated by her book, Blood Contract, so I quickly acquired it and dove in right away. It is about a man named Kenawari, who lives in Port Harcourt, a city in Nigeria, but not at the Izon village where he came from. He has married a white American woman, started a family, and for fifteen years, he thought that he left his old life far behind. However, Ken ends up being sent home to the Niger Delta to investigate a kidnapping at his home village. The story is an unfolding mystery as the reader learns more about the present day case that Kenawari is involved with, as well as uncovering the secrets of Ken’s past and why he left the Izon, never intending to return. He meets new people in the tribe as well as people from his past, in a mysterious area that is shadowed with old secrets.

Before I read the book, I was unfamiliar with the Izon tribe and life in the Niger Delta swamps, but Biola tells the story so skillfully that I was soon there with Ken, thoroughly absorbed in the plot and characters. I love how she tells a thoughtful story of the turmoil in a man’s life while showing us a people who struggle to survive.
Now, let’s hear from Biola:

What inspired you to write Blood Contract?
That is an interesting question Chaz, I wanted to correct an impression amongst my people that everyone who lived in the Niger Delta was a militant. I had met quite a number of them and found them fiercely devoted to their watery seascape. They are generally hardworking, stoic and taciturn. I had a chance to live amongst a particular tribe of the Niger Delta and learned to respect them. I wanted to present them as the same as every other Nigerian with more reasons to question the rationale of being part of an entity that does not recognize them as equal partners
Your main character, Kenawari, is from one of the 250+ tribes in Nigeria, a different one from your own. How did you become familiar with the Izon tribe of the Niger Delta?
I worked with one of them as a broadcaster. Being of a curious nature I wanted to know his people and at first, he was suspicious but gradually saw I was sincere so he would tell me about his tribe. The Izon makes for the fourth largest tribe in my country and the richest in its resources of oil and gas. It is, however, the most neglected part of the country until recently.
What message in Blood Contract do you want your readers to grasp?

Essentially, the message of Blood Contract is a social commentary of humanity’s failure to recognize fundamental rights of everyone, to dream, and work towards having that dream actualized. The human society is the same everywhere. Being a member of a part of the world that has been stereotyped as backward, it was ironic that we also discriminate against ourselves. I thought it was dumb to do that, human beings have a right to be rational and the demands of the izon and tribes of the Niger Delta was genuine. I also did not want to write a romantic story of the bad guy and the good guy but wanted to show that the society we live in accommodates all. The good, the bad and the ugly.
The difficulties that Ken goes up against – the poverty, the robber barons, and kidnappings that happen in his village – are those problems present in the Izon tribe today?
Of course, those problems still exist not only in my country and in the Niger Delta but in every part of the world I imagine. We have not found Utopia yet anywhere I reckon. Kidnappings have gone on even in other tribes and armed robbers have become really daring, but not as a result of being Izon but as a consequence of the imbalance in the world generally.
You can purchase Blood Contract from my publishers IFWG PUBLISHING.COM

These books of Biola Olatunde are now available in Nigeria.
Blood Contract
Numen Yeye
Rose of Numen
Numen!
You can also buy them from the following places
KTC @Akure shopping mall Akure.
Sunshine booksellers.com University of Ibadan
Leading bookshops in Akure
biolaephesus.com

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When writing is both fun and frustrating

OpenClipart-Vectors / Pixabay

Will you please close your eyes for a few seconds, imagine yourself in a jungle somewhere in Africa. Don’t start sweating now, but .. okay, I don’t want to run away or amok with the picture. I am not crazy you know and this is not from some crank.
My name is Biola Olatunde, you have to know that first off because you might be too interested to remember it after you have finished reading. It is okay to laugh now but do go on reading. I write like this on my blog, you guessed right, I am a blogger, an author, a poet and producer. Before you get bored altogether with my crazy introductions let me get to the story.
What does it feel like being an author in my country?

Good question, authors in Nigeria get the shortest end of the stick. You cannot make it a calling, or a profession and definitely cannot live by your earnings from books you publish. One big drawback is the populace. Simply put, we don’t read. Hold it, we are educated, because we read a whole lot so we can pass exams, get a certificate, get a job or start a business. Read for pleasure? You get a blank stare and a change of subject. ..if you are under 40, people within my age bracket remember with nostalgia books they had read, the comics, novels and the poetry.
But those books were written by western authors and gave some of us dreams that we might be able to write. They were not specified literature, but we devoured them, romantic novels, detectives, thrillers, mysteries, even biographies
In the sixties and seventies, being an author might have fetched you the odd change enough to buy you new socks or a few shirts. You learn that even then remuneration from publishers was practically zilch, you wrote then because there was a chance, that some fellow from the education ministry might read your book, and show it to the curriculum fellows at the ministry and if you have been a very good boy, they recommend your book to secondary school or even primary school. You are made then, as your publisher will give you a smile and promptly offer you 10% of the sales. The author never gets the cream off his hard work. Your creativity is something most Nigerians hardly ever think you deserve good recompense. Publishers are generally not keen on your manuscript unless you can assure him that the book will get a government nod. Authors, therefore take the route of self-publishing these days.

Self- publishing for Nigerians who do not have the English language as their first language is fraught with a lot of confusion, more so when in these days, you are wondering if you should opt for American English or British. We can’t tell the difference most times.

What genre of writing should you write that will hold the interest of the public? These days of sci-fi films, noir, erotica and so forth, we do not know one genre from the other. I like to think, the best way forward in that particular territory is to write about what you know best, Those days of my youth when I read a lot of Somerset Maugham, I learned that he would research his story, get a feel of the kind of characters he wanted to portray so he got to know his protagonist pretty well. I used that method always in my writings either as radio plays, or novels. I visited the Niger Delta, stayed in one of the towns, and interviewed a lot of the average Niger Deltan to get a feel of the place before I wrote my first published novel, BLOOD CONTRACT. I was very gratified to receive comments from people in that area thinking I was a native of the place. You need to be able to put such feelings and empathy in your writing. For us, concentrate on writing well.
You should be believable and honest I remember my cousin one day read my television plays and raised puzzled eyes as she asked me if these things I have written were actual events. I replied that they were based on real events. She shook her head and wondered why I want to live by imagining things. She asked me why I did not want to start a trade and earn really good money. For an author in Nigeria like I mentioned earlier, it will take awhile before authors can earn real good money. They are constrained now to do other things and even our Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka had to earn his living through being a lecturer.

Young people are now writing, trends are evolving, and some publishers are also emerging but the essence of writing still remains the same. If you enjoyed writing it, the reader would probably agree with you and pay for that pleasure.
In the next couple of weeks, I hope to make available to anyone interested, the fine points about writing and we will share together.
Once in while I get a writing binge and I like to think might be experiencing a binge for the moment. Let’s share together while the itch is one shall we

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Men suffer violence too

gentlebeatz / Pixabay

He is tall, slim, played a good game of basketball. He was even thinking of going to the states to seek the golden fleece… in basketball. In fact, he is also a good actor and the Film industry was paying him close attention. He is every girl’s dream, however, the joke is akin did not have a girlfriend and I used to wonder.
I felt something was not just right, I even wondered if he was gay, but he didn’t show any mannerism that would indicate he had such tendencies. Akin seemed closed into himself. Always friendly but he subtly resisted being close to anyone in the Rest House.

The Rest House was the place that victims of any form of sexual violence always came to and I am one of the volunteers. Maybe I would tell you how I got to be a volunteer there. I am telling you about Akin today I could break that wall of protection he always had around him until one evening when Mrs. Roberts brought in an eleven-year-old who had been battered by his uncle.

Akin’s eyes opened wide on seeing the boy and he unraveled right before our eyes. He dropped on his knees and held the boy tight as he whispered fiercely if the pastor had done anything else. The two hugged each other and the young boy just wept as he dropped his pants.
We watched in stunned horror as the boy collapsed in tears too. What was going on?
Akin rolled his eyes and bunched his fists. Mrs. Roberts asked me to take Akin to the inner room. Akin followed me, sat and looked at his bunched fists for long seconds obviously fighting for control. Then he spoke in very measured tones. What he told me chilled me.

‘I know that boy, I have been trying to trace his mother because I was worried what the pastor was going to do with him and to him. You see, he is my uncle and I had planned to find a way to castrate him. I have been keeping tabs on him since I learned he had opened a branch here. His wife is the owner of a church while he is the secretary. He does everything she wants as she claims to see visions. It is a crazy and sick circle.’ Akin fell silent looking into a personal hell then he continued in a soft tortured voice.
‘He is a henpecked who is too ashamed to own up to the fact that he is abused by his own wife, so each time his wife either beats him up, he takes it out on the boys in his church. He strips himself and then abuses the boys, re-enacting the abuse he suffers from his wife. I was a victim until I threatened to tell his wife and then ran away.’
The room was silent as Akin stared at his hands. He looked at me then ‘I want to help him but how can I tell him anything? He is abused by his wife sometimes and I knew nobody will ever believe my story. Are there human beings like that? How can he approach the Father almighty? Who will break the circle?’
‘He very rarely washes, he has a bad smell and then he asks you to come and take your punishment, he says. Then I find that he breaks down sometimes and cries that the devil should take his soul’.
I had to make a silent prayer to know what to tell him. I explained to him that he would have to accept that his uncle should seek help and get out of such a horrible situation. I did not have the answers but I explained that Akin himself needed to seek help as much as the young boy that Mrs.Roberts brought in. Now I understood why he was loath to have any type of relationship with girls. When I asked him that question and where his sexual orientation lay, he gave me a startled look. He was quiet for a while, then said he might like girls but how was he going to know she was not going to turn out a terror like his uncle’s wife?

You know we hear talk about violence against women, but there is violence against men too? The shame of confessing to abuse by women may turn a man into something more horrible.

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Stupid girls on dates get raped….really?

‘It started with the looks, not extraordinary, maybe I was just anticipating it. I was however not mistaken about the quiet anger. It showed in her actions. She was brusque when she talked to me and frowned even when I had a bath.
Gradually the horrifying realization dawned that she was angry. She was not just angry but outraged with…me. I died literarily when I realized that. My mum was angry with me because I had been stupid enough to get raped. he let that slip one time, she said only stupid girls get raped’.

I stared at her in shock, her mother and my friend had asked me to have a talk with her. She didn’t give me details, now I knew why.
‘I am right you see? You are kind of quiet’. She stood up abruptly, about to flee and I had the presence of mind to hold her just in time. The tears came in torrents and my blouse was wet from her tears and mine.
Bimbo was raped two months ago by her boyfriend. She had known him and everybody in their circle was expecting wedding bells anytime. They went to the same church, were in the same choir together. One evening after choir practice, they had gone to his flat and very strangely for Lekan, he had asked her if she truly was a virgin. Bimbo had been shocked by that answer as Lekan was her first real boyfriend.

She answered in the affirmative thinking that was the end of that. He had then said, since they were going to get married anyway, they might as well make love so they would be familiar with each other’s body. Bimbo said no in very firm tones and stood up to leave only to find Lekan had shut the door and had the key in his pocket. She stared at him in shock and asked him if he was feeling unwell because that was so out of character.
Lekan simply smiled and reached for her and she told him to stop fooling around but to open the door as she needed to get dinner ready for her parents who were out. Lekan simply pulled her into an embrace which she resisted. Her resistance gave him some strange strength as he held her in vice grip and dragged her to his bedroom.

Bimbo said she went suddenly still in fright and tried to calm him down. But the devil had gotten into Lekan His eyes were wild as he tore at her clothes, pinned her down, forcibly tried to kiss her and when she opened her mouth to scream for help, Bimbo got a resounding slap. She blacked out from the slap a few seconds recovered in time to sob as Lekan raped her.
Minutes later, Lekan sobbed beside her as she silently tried to staunch the bleeding from Lekan’s rape. He begged, prostrated, wept and said the devil got into him. He said his friends had told him that Bimbo was lying, that a twenty-six-year-old graduate could not possibly be a virgin.
Bimbo borrowed a shirt from his wardrobe and went home in a taxi he got for her. She went into some kind of shock and was running a temperature by the time her parents came home. She was curled tight on the bed in a fetal position shivering. The effects of the bruises were now evident on her.
She was taken to the hospital and the doctor confirmed to the stunned parents that Bimbo was raped. Her mother had instinctively sent for Lekan not thinking that Lekan was the rapist.
Lekan came and prostrated begging for forgiveness, saying he had every intention of marrying Bimbo. Bimbo’s mother had to physically prevent her husband from committing murder that day.
That was two months ago, and according to Bimbo, it has been two months of horror. Her dad had insisted she was to break up the relationship.
As far as Bimbo was concerned, she just wanted to be left alone and then she noticed in horror that her mum blamed her for the rape. For her, that was the last straw and she came to me.
What do you think?

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Please what should I say to her? Rape 2

She looked at me puzzled. I stared back in shocked surprise. Elegantly dressed, a lawyer and very incisive in her comments.
‘When you look at me, you assume I have got the best of both worlds right?’
I nodded wondering what was coming and unprepared for her next sentence
‘I wish I have the nerve to kill myself, that is after I have killed him’
I asked her softly why she wanted to kill anybody in the first place including herself
Then she talked.
At nine years old, she was not sure she was going to get an education at all. Her mother was one of three wives and her father had declared that the wives were to look after the girls they had given birth to.
‘He called us apprentice witches who had taken after our mothers’
The women did the best they could either appealing to their own siblings, eking out something from their petty trade. According to Yemi, there wasn’t much to expect from her mum so her uncle was called to help.

‘ the First day on the farm, he asked me to come to the pepper patch I understood what he did then as some form of sexual assault. He had not progressed to actual rape. He said he liked me and if I kept my head, he would ensure I had a fair deal in his house. I was too awed by his big frame and his armpits smelled awful. I slept badly that night.
Next morning, he took me off to the local authority school and registered me in kindergarten one. I was almost 10 years old. The teachers taught I was a joke. Most of my classmates in a kindergarten class could speak better than me. I was the class giraffe, the fool, the errand idiot. They laughed but I was silent. I was finally in school. My mum was over the moon and she thanked her brother over and over again.
‘Two weeks of school, Uncle got drunk and I got my first rape’. Yemi went on talking in a matter of fact voice as if she was giving the facts and potentials of the case she was about to defend in court.
My heart sank as I listened, what was I going to do? Nothing much I realized as I listened to a woman who had learned to keep her own counsel and had in some fashion maybe come to some peace.
As she got older, she was able to run away and come to the city. Yemi read privately as an external student to do her WAEC. She got a job as a cleaner in one of the banks and gradually went for more courses and was able to pay her way to read the law.

She never told her mum about the pepper patch rapes. She said she did not see what good that would serve. It was payment for the opportunity to be able to read and write.
Her mother passed away when she was in 300 level in the university. When she met Bayo, she went through the motions of an excited bride and was relieved when she got pregnant. But still had nightmares of the rapes
She had a perfect excuse to keep the physical side of their relationship to the barest minimum. She had also learned to control her rages
‘I did not like all that romance stuff he was into, did not like undressing, did not want any male looking at my body so I was happy being a born-again wife. However I had developed a crazy mannerism, I would bathe at every opportunity and would perfume my body all over. If Bayo touched me I would go stiff as a board and freak out. At first, Bayo found it amusing and thought I was just shy’
‘You never told him about your uncle’?
‘Are you mad? First, he will not believe me, then that look will come into his eyes and he will watch you every minute, or he will start asking you every tiny detail wondering or teasing that you probably enjoyed even a tiny bit of the rape’.

So what do you want to do? I asked when the silence was beginning to stretch
‘Bayo wants to visit my uncle to thank him for the education, If I lay eyes on that uncle, I will have to kill him and then kill myself to stop the torture of years and misery. Will you get someone to stand for my child?’
Please, what should I say to her?

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Centre stage Clem Olaniyi


1. May we know you?

. A poet. Philosopher. Novelist. Orator. Farmer.

  1. When did you develop a love of poetry?
    As long as I can remember. Perhaps the age of 14.

  2. What has been the reception from your contemporaries on your poems?
    . Encouraging. They love and cheer for my style of writing. Some have my poems hung as mnemonics on their walls. That’s quite impressive and humbling for me

  3. What type of poetry do you favor?
    . All types. I write about anything. Everything. All things.

  4. Please share with us a bit about what you write about and why?
    . I write about life in general, even death. Talk about love, music, just anything. I’m always inspired to write at all times. Even at moments of grief and times of wild cheers I’m game on

  5. Have you had any of your poems published formally?
    . No. Not yet. Working on it definitely. I’ve had few suggestions and some offers to present my work for UNICEF in helping African children

  6. Do you think poetry can be used to change an attitude?
    . Surely, yes! Poetry is a way of life. Even every breath we take is hewn in poetry. Poetry is life. With poetry, a dirge can turn into a wild happy ballad. I just can’t be imaging life and nature without beautiful, orchestrated pieces of poetry in it. But to know what it is, you must feel it. If you’re not swinging in, you can’t mediate it.

  7. How often do you write?
    . Very often. It could be anywhere at anytime. Several times I’d wake up in the middle of the night to write. It could come by things I observe on the roadside, market, children, even the flowers. Just think of anything I’m there
  8. Share your dreams.
    Just a little I’d share. To see my name etched on the pillars of history. To create an awareness and help people realize their dreams. To help people know that poetry is not an odious thought or activity. Without poetry all forms of endeavors in life become vegetative
  9. When you look at your environment, do you see poetry gaining some level of recognition or popularity?
    We are a bit short on that right now in Nigeria of today, but we are getting “relocated” into feeding those who are bereft of it. So I believe someday, it will hold ground again. Those of old were taught with poetry. That’s why they still edge above newer guys of now. That’s why nothing exceptional has been well noticed because we are sold to a life of mundane activity devoid of creativity.

  10. What do you think of young poets liking the spoken word as a form of protest or expression
    .They yearn for fulfillment. They know that’s the only language the core of all hearts feeds on. They know a drop of water can suddenly become an ocean with poetry.

  11. Please tell us about your favorite poets, old and young
    William Shakespeare. Prof. Wole Soyinka. Those are ones still touching the strings and stirrings of my heart

  12. Which poet has had the most influence on you?
    William Shakespeare
  13. How do want to be evaluated by your peers and society?
    A phlegmatic Astute Observer. I am a clinical realist…I am evermore an alchemist of positivity, an adherent of an austere life. A man blessed with so much to offer but few of interests to be shared, who, when others don’t, does see promises in your eyes, the spark smoldering in your breasts, giving it tinder to see your soul ignites to passion
  14. Thank you coming on Centre stage
    It’s a great pleasure ma’am.

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Rape….the human disease and shame

It was raining heavily and Tinu, driving in the rain felt the beginnings of a headache coming on. She sighed and the phone rang, one cursory look confirmed it was Banji on the phone. She stretched out her hand to pick the phone, saw the girl and stopped.

The girl was obviously lost as she seemed oblivious of the rain, gathering her tattered clothes about her. Her blouse was torn, eyes were swollen and as Tinu stopped, got out of the car, she knew it was much worse than being lost. The girl had been beaten and she bled.
Tinu simply took the girl into the car and drove to the doctor. She was enraged and had a murderous glint in her eyes.

Thirty minutes later the doctor came back to the consulting room. Tinu gave the doctor a questioning look, there was also an appeal in those eyes as it silently asked for answers.
‘Rape my friend, by more than one person, she doesn’t seem to know the assailants. They dumped her at the bus stop when they were done with her.’ The doctor replied her silent query grimly.
Tinu unclenched her fists and asked to be taken to the ward to see the girl.
‘Now they dump them in the streets’ she said through clenched teeth as she narrated the story to her husband Banji much later.
Anike, the girl who was raped had been lured by the promise of a job in a neighboring town so she was completely lost and didn’t know where to go when those who called her for an interview simply grabbed her.
Are you shocked? That is just one scenario, there are several. I will share as much as my anger, disgust and bewilderment will permit
Where do you place your sympathy, in the midst of the calamities befalling the human race?
That is not the end of Anike’s problem you know. Her mother simply refused to accept that Anike was not to blame, and there was horror at the mere fact of letting the law enforcement agents come into the picture. She felt she would be blamed because she had not been strict enough with her child.
In the African tradition, a good child belongs to the father and any misbehavior of the child is placed at the doorstep of the mother.
Where does that leave Anike? Nowhere.
What kind of parents are we? Is there any form of support system in this country that helps someone like Anike? She sits and stares, I heard she was given a rape kit, a government lawyer came to talk to her and after much persuasion, her mother went with her to the police station. The officer gave her a lewd look and yawned.
She has refused to make further visits to the Police, the lawyer says she is busy and there is growing terror in the eyes of Anike as I watch her each time I visit.
I read the book of Robert Uttaro TO THE SURVIVORS’ and I ask myself questions.
I ask you now, Rape has been an issue right from Biblical times. Are we as humans so defective that we have been unable to resolve this type of murder?

I read from the good book that the commandment said clearly Thou shalt not kill.
We murder or we are accessories to the act before and after when another human being is raped. We take without permission the fundamental human rights of another human being in the act of rape.
There are so many types of it and starting from today, each week on this day, I will send you posts about rape.
Why?
I hope you will help in your own way to raise a voice against rape, and domestic violence.
Let’s do something, please.

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PLEDGES OF LOVE


PLEDGES OF LOVE
Hello there
This is some kind of special post for me. I am celebrating. Not just a love affair that has lasted in spite of odds against its survival, but I learned the meaning of prayer in times of acute need.
Have I never prayed? I think I did since I was always thinking of improving my reaction to the challenges Life brings and since these thoughts impelled my poems. I have prayed for my children, I have prayed against hunger, we all do. I have found myself asking sadly if the Creator intended that in this incarnation I might have to be of want for most of the time. I have learned to be content with what I could have, based on my work and reluctantly I have assumed owning a plane might not make it into my bucket list. (Go ahead and laugh)

However,I learned in May this year, the meaning of wanting something so badly I could only mutter one word of prayer with an urgency and desperation that left me blinking. Just the name of the Lord.My prayer was answered in such a stupendous way that I have been awed silent since then. But I need to say thank you to friends who held me silently, virtually, and some of them I never met.

This is my thank you to everyone, for one week with effect from Friday 15th September subscribers, and anyone is free to download my collection of romantic poems. Creation swings on the axis of God’s LOVE.

All you need do is going to the products page and download PLEDGES OF LOVE for your reading pleasure.
I hope you enjoy it as I did at the various times I did.

It will have a sale price thereafter.
Thank you for being my friend, you will never know how much you contributed to being me, it is my way of awed appreciation that with all my shortcomings a wordless desperate prayer was answered by the Creator of all the worlds.

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Chants in my dreams

LIVING IS GIVING

It is only in giving
of your love
that you understand hate.
It is only in giving
of your understanding
that you comprehend envy
It is only in giving
of your compassion
that you know pain
It is only in giving
of your service
That you teach selflessness.

The book of life
teaches all that
care to look through
It’s sustaining pages
as one garners through
all our painful ages
that if we fain wish
to return to the lit
gardens of our beginnings
we must make our pinnings
rest on the crock of
these life-sustaining teachings
never to but learn
the greatest gift of light.

Gave to all its creatures
that gift that all creatures
stand as mirrors to our faults.

If we must thus understand
this as we experience
we will in truth
give gratitude to Him
in the weaving of the Loom
we stand against the boon
when we hesitate to return
in full measure received
the everlasting love
of the Father Almighty.

Now available inthe collection Chants in my dreams at biolaephesus.com

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Chants in my dreams

You can now purchase Chants in my dreams from my website biolaephesus.com
It is an ebook of my first publishedcollection in 1997. Most people who know me are aware of my love for poetry.
Let me share a few of the collections to see if I can interest you.
I WISH I CAN FLY
I wish I can fly
so that I might try
to learn to understand
from that height; my stand

I wish I can walk
so that all my talk
will thence be my progress
towards all I might profess

I wish I can pray
that I might not fall prey
to all that tries to trap
even as I evade their grab.

I wish I can trust
that all that are human,
actually carry gifts of man,
exercising all that is just.

I wish all these wishes
that even all the witches
have a hectic time fulfilling
all these impossible pinnings

THE LIBERIAN WAR
The war in Liberia
came one day to stay
at our breakfast table
father picked his gun
with shinning eyes we
heard mama tell of
father’s show of valour
to bring to brothers unknown
the gift of a doubtful peace.

The war in Liberia
blessed our hope with
the arrival of Lollita
the war-front soon changed
our shinning faces dimmed
for the cracking guns
and the cannon roar
of the ricocheting words
of the battle fierce
between Father and Mother
pitched us as losers all.

TRUE BEAUTY OF MAN
A man’s true beauty
is not outward alone,
skin-deep beauty
may mask an ugly mien
that unveiled stuns and repels.

True beauty of the soul
lives and lingers
like a fragrant rose
Welcoming and satisfying.

A man’s first breath
is his first contract
with Good and Evil
to decide for himself
the exercise of which
he might use all his life.

Compassion of the spirit
is like a golden nugget
like a running brook
through the rivers of life
a kaleidoscope of his
fortunes and losses
gain or lose he
makes an investment on the
quality of his life.

A selfless man
is like a rare bird
that flits through life
touching everything with
his healing touch.