Below are the all-time best Chuma Okonkwo poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
Africa; the land of great ancient myths
With culture diversified, but united mythos.
Traced to bear the ancestry of man
With the found evidence of modern humans.
Africa; like a rule of dynasty bestrides the equator
And encircles diverse unending climate sector
Stretching in awe-inspiring from the North Temperate Zone
Exuding the composite satellite imagery to the Southern pole.
Africa; a resource-rich and second-largest continent
With abundant natural resources that makes it pertinent
To the international community, especially the West
Such that they always want her to be their conquest.
Africa; they much talk about her in the global arena
But always present a mirror image of her aura.
They envy her diamonds, gold, coal, cocoa, and crude oil
That they glow while she mangles herself in turmoil.
Africa; whose stories are always told in a horrible manner
And images portrayed like all she holds is poverty and hunger.
But we know Africa is fascinating, invigorating, and amazing
With her azure clouds and vivid green lands that are unending.
Africa; embossed in awe moist grayness and magnificent mountains
With swirling long-lasting waterfalls stimulating her fountains
And inter alia scenic view of hills and crystal beaches
That marvels the tourists, and geologists see her as a peach.
Africa; muddled in kleptomania that has left her in wanton hardship
And her people glued to delusions that wash up their craftsmanship
Such that they often let her down by being unable to see
The aura of mystery in her versatile resources given by nature for free.
Africa; still muddling through despite the variegated challenges she faces
Needs her people to be well articulated and embrace with a game face
The clarion call that the time is long overdue to unite to rewrite her stories
For only Africans can tell better the untold stories about Africa’s histories.
Africa; I look at the east, west, north, central and south
I hear; and I see the youths strutting; and yelling for change in loud shouts
For they’re tired of bad governments, rebels, militants, genocide and warring
For their future is not of hatred, food crisis, diseases, but devoid of suffering.
As a black child
At the beginning were birth pangs
That welcomed my checkered existence
My childhood was full of struggles
That became my birthmarks.
Like every other tyke of my kind
That attended schools where blacks were minority
Chronicles of Western myths became stories I ever knew
Legends of untold black heroes were left in the rear seat of history
Where pages of surviving tales were rouletted and turned into dots
And slots left in my mind turned tabula rasa.
As a black child
Struggles became songs I sang
At school I knew no friends
I stood a distance far from their feet
History books of black legends were my companions
Every page I read became a scar
Tears I shaded were words I ever spoke
Pains became air I inhaled
Anger became gas I belched
My words became brusque
No one understood when I spoke.
As a black child
I refused to be docile
I challenged every smirk of my tormentors
I never buckled under the tensions to change who I was
I was a unique mold from the kind of clay that made my kind;
Never easily washed out
My strength was in my black power.
I wasn’t alone in that wilderness of unknown history
What I faced other black teens faced
In unison our voices roared
We got the audience we needed!
As a black child
My passion burned into my hearts
It glowed like a phoenix that never dies
The embers never burnt out of the inglenook.
The stars became our stepping ladder
We sold the hard-to-sell thoughts no one was willing to buy
Tales of unsung legends on the lips of many
The struggles we conquered became the shining armour
That silhouetted against our destinies
Who I am, I cannot change;
A black child, transuding the dark aged slim path of life;
A Struggle that glues past, present and future.
Like vitiligo it spreads across your brain cell
Whistles its addictive rhythm to your spell.
Like Alzheimer it eats away your memory
Bewitches your mind to apocalypse a la gory.
To the addictive evil hand your soul you sold
That’s procrastination; it devours your whole.
Procrastination prods like a knife blade
Confines you to a space you can’t escape.
Procrastination’s a sweet pill you hardly resist
So addicted you become that you can’t desist.
At the abyss of laziness your intelligence lies
Your mind’s killed daily as your creativity dies.
Procrastination is an addiction with a price tag
Indolence, un-productivity inter alia in your bag
You shop until your thoughts are eroded
And your mind’s consumed until all idea’s faded.
Procrastination’s an addiction to battle to its grave
You win until you silence and abandon your crave
For the enticing cadence it plays on your brain.
Only then will you be un-addicted again.!
For Anne Currin contest….
On this day, I’m sitting in this empty dome, yet to be filled with graduands, reminiscing
Flipping through the images, of my trajectory, stored in my memory.
I remember back then when dad had no money for my school fees
His job was barely enough to keep food on the table; Mom was the breadwinner.
Dad and mom were always arguing; dad was always on the move
But mom kept breathing down his neck.
Dad was visited by a chronic illness and he embarked on that immortal journey
It seemed like everything had fallen apart, but mom kept grinding to ensure I never lacked; and I kept faith too that everything would be alright.
I started working hard to see my dreams through, with my eyes fixed on my goals.
There are many unending walls to be climbed; and tough rows to hoe
Many demons are out soaking up grease in my engine no matter how greasy I try.
Sometimes things don’t always play out the way we forecast
And we don’t make sense to people who always judge our moves
But everything happens for a reason, sometimes beyond our control
That’s what destiny is all about?
I know I’m befuddling your mind now?
Hush don’t worry too much, rest your brain!
When I see how much I’ve grown and what I’ve learnt
It trips me out, though I lay a guilt trip on myself for my aberrations
The destination is still far away, but surely not a cul-de-sac
I’ll keep my heads up, with dad’s words: never give up on yourself
Now I need a mockingbird to sing for my soul on this day.
Where is thy abode?
I want to pay you a visit!
You've caused me much pain
You make me cry all the time
Like a baby every now and then
You make every January
And every May
A month of sadness and sorrow
My father was a noble man
He toiled under the Sahara sun
The scorches were thick-skinned
To his succulent skin
Yet he endured the excruciating pains
To provide for us
You didn’t let him reap those fruit trees
Akunne was my Rainbow
He molded me into many colours
He was every shade of my being
He was my best teacher; preacher
And best friend that will exist no more
He nurtured me into wisdom
Bequeathed me intelligence
Infested my mind with adages; idioms
That I became old before I was old
With my wise sayings
My father was my mentor
He indoctrinated me into Marxism
I sipped the juice of non-materialism
I became antithetical to bourgeois
He was a leftist; a liberalist
I inherited his revolutionary code of belief
But in a different way; a soft one
His world was different from mine!
He thought me Keynes principles
He baptised me with the Keynesian Bible
I became an advocate of Keynes School of Thought
But a lot has changed now!
My brother was my best poet
His word usages made me
Call for my dictionary more often than I appreciated
His writings were extraordinary
His messages were magical
Sometimes mysterious to an ordinary head
But re-assuring when unraveled
Though he lived shortly
With his magical ink
He spelt out his life in his poems
Buchi was a physicist in the making
Summa cum laude already awaited
But you the invisible hand
Snatched him away
He was my best gentle man
Brimmed with smiles at all times
Even when hurting
At 20 you felt he had served
His earthly purpose(s)
You took him away
Though his sojourn was mysterious
He wasn't a coward;
For those who thought otherwise
He fought the unseen forces;
Wrestled the unknown demons;
Challenged the underground;
And he once conquered them
But you Grim Reaper
Pulled up with your caravans
When he was a weakling
Tell me your abode
Let me call on you.
Snow Snow Snow Snow
Please go away and come another time
You fill the streets with your blanket of ice
Turning the land into illusory of snowflakes
Covering the ground with vasty snow-packs
Taking away the sights of the vivid green grasses
And leaving only what seems like skating rinks.
As you unleash your wintry flakes in torrential aura
I look through my blurred window to catch a glimpse
I see the vastness of white fall of virgin ice you make
Though, prima facie, the ice seems strong
But it’s devoid of that thickness to bear the weight
My feet bestow.
You leave me too cold to walk
I walk like I’m learning how to walk
In fear that I may be tripped by your slippery packs
I walk only on the virgin ice you create
Because it seems like a safe haven for my shoe soles
And I look back when I walk past, what do I see?
Only my footprints on the virgin ice.
Like a ghost, you fall at night and straddles along the day
You’re such an insatiable culero
Please go away and come back another time.
This golden-winged eagle 'dances' to my hysteria
Her looks, as magnificent as a diamond
But her 'steps' are as craggy as trunk of a tree.
Though her beauty seems priceless;
the kind that can plunk you in a trance
But she is not as worthy as her looks.
She’s a grand portrait of Irony of beauty!
On the life’s thorny edge
human’s true nature
I didn't know hearts could speak until we crossed part
I was walking home, carrying a heart laden with the grief of my brother’s death
My mind straddling from the nostalgia of our bonded brotherhood
to the thought of what the afterlife would deal him.
You were seated at a secluded corner, carrying your hearts in your hands
And crying out your eyeballs, wishing if God could bring back your father’s life.
Upon that lonely and rejected wood we, dejected souls, sat cursing out death tirelessly
For taking away our beloved brother and father.
That day, I heard my heart speak for the first time; my heart exploded in awe
And I felt I was captured under a spell; I saw the aura of glory in your eyes.
It wasn’t your exquisite awe-inspiring beauty that got me lovey-dovey
But the natural calmness in your voice as you told me your stories.
You reminded me of the fabled Arabian princess.
My emotions turned into Janus- one reminding me of a lost brother
The other, quite domineering, nudging me in my veins never to let you go.
You saw the magic in my eyes; you felt the same way I felt
We were marveled that fate brought us to meet on a lonely path.
With your amazing pieces of cakes you re-awakened my dead love life on your birthday
Your cakes were brilliant; you made them from magnificent range of fruits and spices
The smells were superb. The aromatic smells of the cakes cooking in the oven and smearing your kitchen sent us to an early bubbly romance.
We became lovebirds; your crystal steaming room, neatly furnished with vitality bed,, made for only two- us, was our love nest; we enjoyed every of our love bites.
That night, you made a tipsy cake; we dined and wined while the stars watched over us
We sang to our ears; every single love song we played, we made ours
We danced while we got intoxicated on our own supply
And before our eyes the night closed its nocturnal doors.
Under your winter blanket were two figures, glued in carnal brash adventure, wishing the moment would never end.
I prayed tomorrow never to come. Alas! Uninvited, the Morning woke tomorrow up
Under the blanket, we watched the sun set.
But tomorrow came Janus-faced; with a vice we never wished for- impassioned jealousy
It tore us apart; pulled us away; and took away our precious moments
But I still carry in my heart those precious moments.
Skirts fly at will
Trousers move at a direction
Both have missions
And are attracted by each other.
When both meet at ‘twilight tale’
There’s always a ‘drama’
That goes with great passion.
‘Apples’ grow in ‘trees’
The ‘eyes’ behold the apple
With much eagerness to devour
But the apple is not willing to drop
For it has many admirers.
Looking at the apple with great passion
This apple I must pluck
I am stuck in the middle!
‘Spectators’ are many
All eyes are widened watching
All hands are widely opened waiting
For the apple to fall
In whose hands will it fall?
From being a spectator
I became a ‘player’
Now I’m in the game of passion.
As the game continues
So the passion whets
It’s a game one person must win
It’s all but a “drama of love.”