Let’s talk about weddings!

Source: Google images

Source: Google images


it has been a great journey so far with you guys. I decided to do something interesting this month.I would be inviting different writers to write on the above theme. If you would also like to contribute send in your story or poem to my email. Entries should be between 350-600 words. Sorry there’s no reward or anything yet, this is for the love of the pen. It closes on 17th April, 2016. I am sorry in advance if your entry is not published.
Cheers to April, our month of weddings!

Looking ahead

Yesterday was the day your life changed, when the house of cards you built on loftily crafted plans came crashing down. Buried deep within the rubble of despair are your hopes and dreams. Your trust flickers with each pang of sorrow as the darkness looms.
The pain will last for a night, but joy comes with the dawn of a new day. Perhaps like Jesus, you are here to learn obedience or like Sarah, patience
Tilt your chin upwards, let the scales fall. Look! See the place that I have been preparing for you, do not look to the left or to the right. What lies ahead is more glorious than what has passed.
Before you are jars of untapped grace, your eyes see them not- clouded by worries that you exalt above Me. Cast your burdens upon My shoulders and draw your strength for tomorrow.
My plans for you are bigger than your narrow field of vision can see. Look ahead child, and stand like Daniel, obey like Noah, fight like Joshua, trust like Abraham.
Daybreak is coming, its light will pierce the darkness. Be still and know that I Am. Soon, you shall laugh!
(c) Olamide Oti, 2015

This piece was written about a year ago, at the time I had not yet experienced its words. It was based on a theme and written for a church program. Yesterday, I experienced its words and I know that I’m not alone. I pray it blesses and encourages you as it has me.
Rom 8:37(NLT) “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us”.

The Rising

I see oil
Trickling down
Like droplets of rain
In a storm a-rising

I see Him- Potter
Molding the clay to His will
Drawing the hearts of fathers to himself
Finding the lost and healing the broken

I see fire
Spreading relentlessly
Through the hearts of men
Like dry leaves in harmattan

I see the eyes of sons light up with knowledge
As the daughters worship recklessly
I hear Angels sing in adoration
As grace flows from the Mercy Seat

I see Jesus rise with healing in His wings
As the earth and heavens fold
Sin and Death cower in defeat
As soldiers are called into battle

I see the waves crash
As the deafening roar of His voice
Thunders through the air
Like the sound of many waters

BLACK FRIDAY

Yesterday, the sun forgot to shine on Paris
The clouds held rain from Ethiopia
Japan was shaken to its roots
Nigeria remains in denial
And Lebanon cannot sleep

It seems the nights are no longer lit by the stars
Even the moon seems to have fallen asleep
The days are filled with screams of disbelief
At the infinite cruelty of the heart of man

The earth is spinning on itself and rolling over
Like a gambler’s dice carefully tossed
To determine the next nation, the next war,
It’s a game of chance

The prince of this world ravages on
Roaring, seeking whom he may devour
Leaving a trail of broken bones
Stirring up in the hearts of men
The power to hate and propagate evil

We’re tempted to believe the illusion that
Darkness is winning
And God is asleep,
Oblivious to our pain

Like a woman in labour,
Earth groans with many tears
What then is our hope?
In whom do we place our trust?

Mama’s Voice

From turkeys stolen by an elderly man, who probably thought eating tomorrow’s turkeys would make the festival of garri and groundnut in the days to come more palatable; to the inhumane burning to death of human beings due to the explosive tendencies of our nemesis and savior, PMS. On to the exploitative tendencies of terrorists and religious extremists who have no code of conduct in the dark books of their imaginations, and who have exchanged their God-given consciences for a heap of stones and without batting an eye-lid would use the innocent purity of children to whet the appetite of the grave once more. The news is no longer shocking, we have been shocked one too many times.
It would appear that just like yesterday, Mama is once again at the brink of death spurred by the destructive and sometimes suicidal tendencies of her children. The ones who were supposed to redeem her and cultivate her land after the colonial masters seemingly gave it back. It would appear that the Nigerian situation is no different from that of the world at large, after all almost all countries are plagued by wars; for some the battlefield is marked by the incessant spread of the Ebola virus, for others it is the pot bellies of young children which is at a gross discordance with their thin arms and legs accompanied by dry cracked lips and red-brown hair caused by too little of the important parts of a balanced diet, yet for others it is a research laboratory searching for the cure to cancer and the other exotic diseases that the developing world cannot be bothered about. We are yet to fully master the art of curing and firmly eradicating malaria. For the other countries who are the heroes of the entire world whose battlefield is against the big boys of terrorism, the battlefield is marked by soldiers who never make it home, the ones who make it home without a limb, and the once who are physically whole but internally as scarred as the rest.
Mama is groaning once again for the children who have failed again, she weeps, for the beautiful ones yet unborn, she yearns. Dreams of golden streets paved by the oil money well spent, devoid of beggars and mentally unstable people who could be better cared for if anyone cared. Of schools with windows and classrooms filled with students who are eager to learn because they had a goodnight’s sleep and a good breakfast, and teachers who are eager to teach because they have passion and they are not owed their used-to-be meagre salaries. Perhaps, the day is coming when the fire raging through a country which lives in constant denial, eyes closed to the charred remains of what used to be relatively peaceful, what used to be relatively good, what was relatively cheap. When the sinking naira will rise again from the bottomless pit of useless currency, and petroleum will no longer be her sole source of survival.
Mama’s children claim to love her, they claim to cherish her, and they make empty promises daily, with their enchanting optimistic chants of ‘better tomorrows’, yet they know nothing of her history. How she was sold by her royal parents to the oyinbo ‘misssionaries’ how the folly of the oil boom was the progressive doom of the cultivation of her land. How the health sector became a death guaranteed sector with teaching hospitals marked by never-ending strikes; simply moving from one aggrieved category of staff to the next, each protected by unions with stubborn leaders . The wards became full of ‘what if’ stories, “what if doctors were not on strike when my father was ill?”, “what if the drugs were available?”, “what if the government had paid?” ‘What if this was a country that worked’ became the constant rhetoric amongst cynical adults on the balcony of joblessness and pain.
They know nothing about how the travails of Obafemi Awolowo which has become a story told to naïve public school students taught beneath the falling leaves of good education, the classrooms transforming rapidly from beautiful well-structured buildings to those with no louvres and fences marked by ghosts of bricks past.
They do not remember how Ken Saro-Wiwa was killed for being a poet for truth and justice for his people, and easily they forget Dele Giwa’s death by letter bomb at a time when speaking the truth was dangerous business, those who fought for the place you now occupy knew that. Yet they chose the dark and lonely path of martyrdom for descendants who would not appreciate the value of the freedom that was purchased with the blood of men and whose weak backbones cannot fight for truth and justice once before gained. If the dead could see, these men would roll in the grave, they would wonder why we parade ourselves as being resilient; resilience being the ability to be beaten with many blows without fighting back and still be alive and apparently well.
Easily, like only children can, they forget the many explosions caused by inflammable pipelines and oil tankers and they are steadfastly unable to prevent it or adequately compensate those affected by it.. Forgotten as soon as the headline changes to something more entertaining and less graphically disturbing as the display of charred remains generally is. Perhaps who the next ‘Miss World’ is, although they will only ever remember Agbani Darego, our own Miss World.
Mama’s children are plagued with a disease characterized by; an inability to fight for rights which belong to her, a constant drive to work under the harshest of conditions without breaking, and amnesia, the inability to remember what was and what now is threatening to be. Some call it a blessing because the alternative is a depressive tendency for suicide.
She awaits the awakening of these sleeping children or the birth of another generation whose name is ‘Hope’, earnestly wondering which would come first. Her eyes brighten at the news that her children in the diaspora are doing well, ignoring the bad eggs that threaten the names of the good. However her shores await their return, the ones who have tasted comfort and blatantly refuse to let her go, until it is time to be buried. God forbid that they are buried in another man’s land. American in life, Nigerian in death. Her eyes brim with tears at the children that her ashamed of her, who deny her and who sometimes wish they had been born by another. Come home will you, till my lands and build my roads, light up the cities and rid yourselves of those who profit from the thick darkness that has become a part of the Nigerian situation.
Behind the dark gloominess of what we know to be Nigeria, a beacon of hope shines forth in new leadership and chants of ‘change’ reinforced by a 50% slash in the salaries of the President and his deputy and the bailout money for the broke states. We hope as we always do, that tomorrow our streets will be paved of gold, our streets free of beggars and the mentally unstable and that finally, the menace called Boko Haram will be a myth told to children to keep them on their best behaviour.

(c)Olamide Oti
July 10, 2015

HIs Heartbeat, Her Pulse.

Dear Abba,
One too many compromises later,
my life is unattractive.
I’m constantly walking in defeat,
and living below Your standards.
How can you love me still?

Dear Child,
I love you unconditionally,
My trip to Calvary covered it all.
I wish you could see yourself through my eyes,
then you would know that I see My Son when I look at you.
Perfect,
Blameless.

Dear Abba,
My hormones are raging
and everything in me is screaming gratification,
I never thought I would be on this page again,
In a different journal with yet another male specimen.
How was I to know
that time spent in the back of a car with a preacher was not a sermon.

Dear Child,
the nagging feeling at the back of your mind
was my way of telling you to wait.
You wanted to, but you were not firm
You have to learn to mean what you say
Just like I taught you to.

Dear Abba,
I’m such an emotional wreck inside
Like pieces of a porcelain doll
carefully glued together
I wear masks,
of different shapes and shades
Whatever suits my audience

Dear Child,
forgive yourself, and forgive him
Just like I forgave you,
the alternative is a downward spiral to perdition
You do not want to be the reason why people look back at Sodom
Look upon Calvary and draw your strength
You are stronger than you think

Dear Abba,
what if I fail?
What if I’m not strong enough?
What if I’m a weakling?

Dear Child,
before you were formed in your mother’s womb, I knew you
I chose you before the foundations of the world
I knew you then, and I chose to love you
Keep your heart in sync with Mine
Until you become the masterpiece I already see

Dear Abba,
sometimes I think your expectations of me are too high
Your standards too lofty to truly attain
How did Your Son do it?
How did He keep Himself unblemished from the world?
How did he resist the allure of this world?

Dear Child,
trust me to keep you from falling,
Know that my grace is sufficient for you
Abide in me, and I will abide in you
My yoke is easy and my burden is light

Dear Abba,
Your love is never-ending, overwhelming
It overflows the river banks
Its depth Is unfathomable
Its height immeasurable
I long to know it and fully understand the depths of it
Show me.

Dear Child,
I gave My Son in exchange for your life
So that you could stand before Me with confidence
Where you’ll see with perfect clarity,
The depth of My love for you.
Wait.

(c) Olamide Oti, 2015

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16

Duty and devotion

Great storytelling.

omolaradee's Blog

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Under the full glare of the Nigerian sun, he limped through Kasuwa, the market with every eye fixed on him, he kept his head down but he could feel their stares, like arrows piercing through him. He was a local celebrity, the one-legged man who killed his friend.
*****
Hassan and Jubril grew up in the same neighbourhood, their houses separated by a narrow path. They had raised hell together in their little village. Together, they bullied younger children and were bullied by the older kids; they were inseparable; Hassan was the precocious one. His growth spurt had preceded any of the other kids’. Jubril tried to catch up with him but he could only go as far as his genes permitted.

Expectedly, Hassan became the muscle and Jubril ended up as the brainy one.
On completing secondary school, Hassan joined the army. Brainy Jubril got admitted into the state…

View original post 899 more words

Glass Houses

Disclaimer: this post was written months ago and was inspired by happenings in my school. It is not in any way related to present circumstances in the country. Thank you for reading.

They sit in their glass houses
And throw stones at us
They plan the trajectory, the arc, the throw
Devising new ways to torture us
Like prisoners in a foreign country

First they take away our rights to fight
Then they throw as hard as they can
While we sit, cry and suffer in silence
Too afraid for our lives to risk it
Who they say, will bell the cat

Pot-bellied men in suits
Stomachs full of foolish wisdom
Gradually, they take us back to the 19th century
When there were wars to be fought
And our children were malnourished and neglected

Our wives and mothers slaved over stoves
Struggled to buy the fuel to power it
While our fathers would sit on the balcony
Reading the papers
Planning a revolution

When our choices became theirs
And like sheep to the slaughter
Those who dared speak
Were quietened by death or the fear of it
When they took our choices and made it theirs

We are headed back there
Slowly, steadily happily
Better there, than dead
But what is life without freedom
Painful, oppressive existence.

IMPECCABLE (A Poem)

I love this poem! Its so true. He needs no perfect ones, only in Him can we be made perfect.

Luke Ogar's Blog

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I need no perfect ones
They are not my sons —
Those who love to sit in high places
And look down on the lowly with proud faces
It is ye who condemn on carnal basis
And wrap yourselves like kings in laces

I need no perfect ones
Those with loaded guns —
For they shoot at the frailty of the sinner
And cast him away like a loner
For envy, they would become greener
Until they see their neighbour become a moaner

I need no perfect ones
With self-righteousness in tons —
For with pride they are enriched
Carrying themselves in white gowns so bleached
But hiding away dark hearts so pitched
Till they shatter dreams and have good plans breached

I need no perfect ones
Who store up contempt like water in gallons
Contempt for the man guided by a different rule
Deeming him a pitiable one and…

View original post 84 more words

Cold Fire

Yesterday, everyone that hates us was tried and convicted
For stealing and looting
For the bombs that dropped on Baga
and the girls of Chibok
Today the sun will rise upon the graves of those who rest
Upon the hearts of those who endlessly hope

My name is Fatima and I live in a town
where peace is in prison and sanity is mad
There was a time when I was happy
When children were just children
and peace was free
Until they came with fire and fear the size of our town
I survived, you might say
But what is life when hope barely lives

Let us start a cold fire
A bloodless revolution
We have suffered far too long
In silence,
Voiceless

(c) Olamide Oti