Category Archives: Poetry

Letters To Rachael

Letters to Rachael

Letters to Rachael

Dear Rachael,

They say love is blind, but I think it’s just deep-sighted. It makes you close your eyes and see with your mind. And that’s how you do me, Stranger; you make me see with my mind.

Sometimes I see us, you and I, and we have neither past nor present, no unmet expectations, no broken promises; only possibilities.

Sometimes I feel you when I see you in my mind, and you feel like a fresh start, like a new year resolution, like the anticipation, the space between two lovers just before a kiss. Sometimes, you’re like fireworks on new year’s eve.

And let me tell you, dear Rachael, you’re a question I look forward to, the answer I will have to wait for, and I have waited; through diamond studded nights, and the humid dog days of crawling Lagos Januaries; through dinners with no date, and weddings with sixteen bridesmaids and no potential. I waited till time stood still and eternity crawled into my shell to wait with me. And so we sat there, curled up in the fetal position, waiting to be reborn, waiting to molt our hearts.

But this is me, the unfeeling, adopted son of a fountain pen, who locked away his feelings and lost the keys. This is me finding courage to break the box. This is me emptying myself.

Sometimes I wonder how I got here, but I’m not complaining. It’s been a long road and there were no signs. I’m just trying to save the memories that cling to me. Someday, you’ll help me tell this story.

Sincerely,

Ashiwel.

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Mental Carnivores

Sleepless nights and
Listless days,
I have been out here too long,
But still the winding streets call me
And I walk them.
They’re all in my head.

I make out the broken path
By the light of a waning comet.
I am the destination
Of those dim midnight blues,
The mental carnivores that chase me.
I lose them in my winding streets,
But I lose me too.

And this evolving, familiar stranger
That talks to me like he once knew me,
He told me with a heavy heart,
You’re a free man in chains,
Or maybe you’re a free prisoner.
Oh well, hello denial.

I see now I am time’s canvass
And he’s been a poor artist.
Perhaps I don’t understand his art,
Perhaps I chose the painted colors. .

Through naked thoughts
On a rainy hesitant dawn,
I washed my unfamiliar face.
I washed it twice but it didn’t change
So I punched the mirror in the nose.
The shattered pieces laughed at me,
I was the only one who bled.

181012@surulere.abj.ng/randomthoughts

*********

I haven’t written or posted anything in a while. I’ve been really apathetic to everything lately and it’s not a very nice place to be. Perhaps this poem comes from that place? I’d love to have your thoughts and interpretations of it. Feel free to share them in your comments.
~ Ashiwel

This Day These Days

This day these days are quiet days,
I feel a peace that belies the war
Between uncertainty and optimism.

And the days wave when they go by
But they never wait for me.

A million thoughts to dream,
The defeated past beneath my feet,
Time frozen in time, within time,
I keep finding my tested peace
In the eye of the storm.

These days past,
Every fleeting minute
Was a battle trophy.
Old warrior songs kept me company,
Into the future, black and unknown.

And hear now that
I felt no hesitation,
For battle scars are
The glory of an unsung hero.

These days,
There is no need to learn a
New victory song.
I am the victory song.

Time after time,
Fall after graceless fall,
Each faltering step,
I’ll go where no one dreams for me.

160812@lagos.ng/birthdaypoem

Since 2010, I have written a poem every year on my birthday. This past year has been full of mixed joys, laughter and friendship, uncertainty and a little fear, simple joys and little glories, courage and travails, and victory. Always.
In this year’s poem, I have tried to take that crowd of emotions, and the memories, and the long journey and merge them into a victory song.
And as the year drew to a close for me, a few days before my birthday, I learned that people won’t always believe in you. They will readily take the worst of you, and judge you by it. They won’t give you second chances.
And it will hurt. But no matter what happens, never forget that you are your own victory song.
Carpe Diem.

O. Ashiwel Ochui.

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Angel Eyes

I don’t know but
It must have been
The residual hurt in her eyes
Beautiful and half-sad,

It must have been the eyes
That made me listen.

There was a soul crying out,
A soul half-broken,
Cured but not healed,
A wounded, lonely soul calling out,
Love me, don’t I deserve it?

But it wasn’t the cries I heard,
It was the silence,
The many unspoken words
In the pregnant silence,
And those eyes.
Those dark, longing eyes.

So I reached out
And tried to glue together the
Shreds of her torn soul
But the pain wouldn’t let her let me.

And as I turned to leave,
The dark longing eyes said,
How can you leave like that?
Stay a little longer, please?
Don’t I deserve it?

The Brokenness Of Longing

dawn broke
and my heart broke with it.
suddenly i become empty
and my soul aches when
i call your name.

the sunrise feels your absence
and the sofa mourns.
dawn is beautiful like a sad virgin,
you’re not here but i call your
name.

i glow with longing
as the roses lose their color
and angels came to comfort me
but they cried when they
heard our song.
did you know angels cry blue
tears?

all the words i should’ve said to you
the love songs i should’ve sung.
they echo in my head tonight,
and the sun fades with our promises.

dawn breaks and the beauty
reminds me of sadness.
gold rays become monochrome blue,
and i’d give up poetry for your
presence.

my senses perceive you,
in the wind, in the air, the fire;
your scent is in the breeze tonight
and maybe if hope strikes heaven’s
chords right,
tomorrow my longing will end.

silence hurts.
words hurt too.
i’m stuck in the middle and
the middle hurts too.
i confess that i long for you.

Never Broken

So. This poetry thing and everybody carrying on about publishing a book of my poems and letting the world see my incredible talent, (thanks); I decided to give myself some motivation and design the cover for my book  – if I ever get around to publishing one.

I did this all day today. And now, I have too many choices to choose from, so I’m hoping if you dropped by, you could hep me choose. And remember, you can always find my poetry online by pointing your browser to http://soulbrother.gather.com. Here we go: