Lemme Be A Lil’ Creative

So, in view of #WorldPoetryDay, here’s a poem I wrote and did at Pluzz FM a while ago…

I have been gifted with the gift to form alphabetical lines filled with phrases and clauses
Conceived from the womb of finesse, with the purpose of lifting heavy hearts,
Words with eyes wide open, ever ready to assist like Mesut Ozil, no intention of slacking,
Sentences that in years to come will be celebrated for standing head and shoulders tall above the rest – Per Mertesacker.
I’m a user of words.
Articles, nouns, adjectives and verbs, hand-in-hand, marching towards the promised land of impact,
Never intent on being a Lazarus at your ear’s door, longing for the crumbs of your attention,
But expecting to see those blue ticks.
Words staying on that William McDowell flow, withholding nothing as they carry the melodies my heart sings,
Whispers of the innermost being,
Musing over the cold-hearted manner in which we brush aside the things that really matter,
It’s like humanity is getting married to apathy, but I’m not accepting the banns like Sepp Blatter.
No, like the voice in the wilderness, I choose to be that alarm, waking you up to the reality of true standards,
No chance of a dilution, I keep the message as it is, just being frank, even though my last name isn’t Lampard,
Giving my everything as I make that pen squirt out exactly what’s on my mind,
A 100% minus zero, trust me, it’s something like paying tithes,
For those words rebuke the devourers of dreams and serve as hands that open heaven’s windows to let out the blessings of encouragement, hope, peace, justice and love.
From above.
Words made to be matchsticks, striking the hearts of many and setting them ablaze for a purpose much bigger than themselves and their senses,
Arrows pointing to the writing on the wall, nudging pleasure-drunken Belshazzars to take notice and turn from the feast of folly before them,
Words for the man drowning in the sea of misery, clutching unto straws with the thought that brittle, breakable stalks could successfully role play ropes,
Seeking satisfaction in sin, senselessly spinning in circles, O my goodness, your pleasure tank is on zero,
I bring you an answer to the question ‘Can this gaping hole in my being be filled up with anything other than God?’
No. Not possible.
You may have bought into the belief that everything about Him will only leave you bored to death and thus elected to move with frivolities, but the reality of the matter is that outside of Him, all is death,
It’s vital you see the light and realize that sin is wack.
Words for the boy and girl lost in the maze of expectations of society,
From the brother treated like Gadarene demoniacs for not conforming, leaving him feeling like Chris, coz everybody hates him,
To the sister embracing the world’s ways, living that Facebook life, liking her status as accepted by the world, thumbs up to the lies, living off whatever the news feeds her,
I tell them, there’s more to life than what meets the eye,
That there’s a Master up above to whom we must account when we finally take the dirt nap, and we cannot afford to be found before His throne,
Propped up by anything less than the merit of Heaven’s Ultimate Treasure.
I tell them of the One who chose to bear with polar Antarctic hearts,
Taking up the grizzly wrath on their behalf,
The One who was scarred, so we all could become Simbas.
Yes, I have been gifted with the gift to use words, to point to the Saviour of the world.

 

Poetry Journey

In commemoration of World Poetry Day, I thought I’d briefly take some space on my blog to remember how the journey has been as a poet.

So I was never actually a fan of poetry before late 2013. Even though I was an English student back in CUC, I was more interested in prose. But after getting acquainted with the likes of Jefferson Bethke and David Bowden, I got really interested and decided to try out at it.

I wrote out a couple of poems, but I didn’t really like them. The first one I really liked, and eventually performed, was ‘Who He Is To Me’. First Saturday of the year 2014 is when I did it, and it was good.

Two years on, and I can say that I have become way better at my craft. I started out with a rather narrow-minded mindset, but with time, the box I crafted for myself has been tossed away. I remember deciding from the beginning that I only wanted to do explicitly Christian poems, with no creativity in them. That has changed. I write according to my worldview, which is ruled by the Scriptures, but I’m no longer under obligation to write stuff that would naturally appeal only to members of the body of Christ. Not every work of mine must be a 1 Corinthians 15.

Anyways, it’s been a good time being a part of the poetry fraternity. I’ve met quite a number of other peeps who are simply magnificent in what they do. I’ve watched the growth of the guys I started ThroneRoom Perspective with (Paul Folivi & Kobi Korankye), and they’re BOSSES!! (I know they’ll claim their work is basic. smh. The devil is the father of lies!) I’d love nothing more than to help the younger generation of poets learn the craft of poetry very well. Leave a legacy, so to speak.

I pay my respects to those who got me interested in spoken word poetry (Jefferson and David Bowden), the Christian poets who really stretched me in my quest to get better (Jackie & Preston Perry, Ezekiel Azonwu, Janette…ikz, Itohan Omolere, Joe Solomon, Canden Webb, Jamaica West) and the recent ones who really stretched me to go deeper (Bianca Phipps, Rudy Francisco, Carvens Lissiant, Joshua Bennett, Miles Hodges).

But my biggest respects go to my kinfolk, the Ghanaian poets who do their thing with excellence. Mutombo, RhymeSonny, Chief Moomen, Nana Asaase, Laud de Poet, 100%, Poetra Asantewa, and many others are an inspiration. Thank God for them.

So I’ll end this with 10 poems that have really impacted me at various stages of my poetic journey…

David Bowden – I Believe In Scripture

Magnificence! How he affirms his belief in the inerrant word of God is lovely!

David Bowden – I Am

Well well well!! This remains one of the best poems of all time. Not my opinion. Absolute truth!

GF Soldier – Exegesis of Jesus

Now this poem had me jumping about the first time I heard it! Whooo! This dude brought the heat!

Preston & Jackie – The Fall

It took me a while to appreciate this, but this poem is SIIICCKK! Hard-hitting, and the Adam’s apple word play never, and I mean, NEVER gets old…

Kwame Write & Yaw Twum – I Am Poem

This was one of the first Ghanaian poems I got to hear, and then, I didn’t pay much attention coz it wasn’t a Christian poem. But now I really appreciate it. Classic to me…

Javon Johnson – Building

So, this guy captured my attention and admiration big time with the passion he portrayed in this. You can feel the pain in his words. Art that conveys emotions in such a raw manner…

Bianca Phipps – Heartbreaker Poem

It’s in watching this lady that I really got challenged to go beyond surface level. The imagery still astounds me…

Rudy Francisco- My Honest Poem

…And then there was Rudy! Another amazing artist by all standards…

Dzyadzorm – Stay

The fact that I can put this poem on repeat as much as I do ‘Misconceptions 3’ is enough to show how much I love this poem. Dzyadzorm made a wonderful piece of art in this…

Poetra Asantewa – When A Soulmate Becomes A Checkmate

Poetra is amazing. I heard quite a lot of hype about her, and this poem right here totally justified it. I found it breathtaking…

And an honourable mention I couldn’t overlook…

Elidior the Poet – Bedwetting

This poem caught my attention in a really big way. How he tells a story of a bedwetter and adds a twist very few would have imagined makes this a great poem. Very, very intelligently done…

Shout out to all poets! May we continue to make wonderful art for years to come!

Clean-Up

So I posted this on the regular T.R.P. Thursday broadcast, and I’d like to share it here too. For all those times you wanted to spit ether on someone who irritated you…

A fiery furnace of fury is aflame deep in my chest,
As I see the haughty, self-righteous, demeaning sentences she sent in the text.
Words thrown like daggers, ripping through pores and slashing veins,
Snarky heartlessness the major ingredient in serving me this visual bile acid,
I can’t believe she said these things to me. So malicious. So vindictive. So hurtful…
But you know what?
If she is throwing stones, then I’m about to rock her really hard!
And so my fingers get to work,
Vigorously shifting and joining alphabets together for the purpose of inflicting pain,
Phrasal whips fashioned to leave indelible stripes on her being,
I’m done with my response within a minute,
Ready to fight a bonfire with a forest fire.
But just as my thumb prepares to become the catalyst that would launch this fatal air strike,
I pause.
Ponder.
Wait.
Her statements are horrible all right, the reason I am seeing red,
But does it truly warrant this sudden rush of blood to the head?
Is it worth it?
Silence.
I tell Backspace to mop up the poison my rage pushed me to create,
Then I toss the phone aside and simply walk away…

I Am Not Letting Go

I don’t know what made me write this. I honestly don’t. But I thought it looks good enough to put over here, so…

I know you’re tired.
This isn’t what we had bargained for when we started out on this road,
Excitement pushed us forward, but to get to this point was never our goal,
We knew we both had flaws.
We knew we are two separate beings with different mentalities and points of view,
But we never thought our differences would clash so badly and make us rude
To each other.
We started out with smiles, laughs, the sweetest of words and compliments,
But nowadays it’s all disagreements, conflicts, disputes and arguments.
I know you’re tired.
And honestly, so am I.
But… you say want out, looking for this relationship’s exit sign.
You really think this is going nowhere, and that we’re wasting each other’s time?
Well…
I’m not letting go.
Listen, this goes deeper than the fact that my heart skips beats whenever I see your smile,
It’s way more than the burn in my chest whenever you’re around,
Baby, this love is a decision, a choice that I made,
To set my affections and dedication on no other girl and never to play games,
This is real.
I know it’s hard, and I’m tired of our petty fights,
But this tunnel vision sees only you at the end, you are the light,
I know I wanna raise a family and grow old with you,
I know God had us in mind when He said one flesh will become of the two,
I know we can straighten things out once we place this gift back at the feet of the One who rules,
I know things can turn out for the better, this love will not be consumed.
So baby girl, before heaven and earth, I promise you, as surely as Christ is the Owner of my soul,
No matter what, I love you, and I am not letting go.

Insecurity Rambling

I’m scared. More scared than I really would want to admit.

To love is to be vulnerable, and to be vulnerable is a risk, but a beautiful thing.

A weapon in the hands of another, that could either destroy you or protect you.

Unfortunately, all I see is the danger and the damage that could occur if I take that road.

I mean, I know.

I’m not perfect, I have my faults, my flaws and some attitudes that really have to change,

But…

What if I’m just a stopgap for her?

What if in her eyes, I’m nothing but a stepping stone to a greater kind of guy?

What if the proclamation that she loves and adores me is all just vocal candy covering the tolerance inside?

What if she only said yes coz I’d probably be a good holdover till she finally meets her pre-conceived Mr. Right?

What if she tells me one day that it’s over, now that she’s found herself a man she believes is so much better than I?

I doubt I could deal with the pain that’ll come in hand with this reality,

Coz if my heart is like a skeleton, too many bones have been broken & crushed badly.

The young man once so trusting of a beautiful future with the woman of his dreams,

Is now an Alcatraz: locked up, bound behind walls of insecurity and terror at the probability of getting hurt.

Again.

Fear, indeed, is a paralyzer: I can’t move myself to look through the telescope of faith.

Been reminded that there are people who will truly love you with no intention to hurt you,

Free advice, but it’s like I see a heavy price tag, coz I don’t wanna buy it.

Better to be safe than sorry, goes the old adage,

But for how long?

These gates can’t stay locked forever.

I was made to love and be loved, I can’t defuse this tendency my Designer wired in me,

Yet every flashback… every remembrance… every painful memory…

Lord, save me from myself.

Famous Girlfriend

Bernard knocked on the door. A lazy-sounding “Come in” followed.

He opened the door to find his girlfriend Phoebe laid out on the sofa, clearly in her vintage ‘sloth’ mood. Faded blouse with shorts on, she hardly resembled the popular person she had become in the space of a year. He shook his head in amusement. “Sloth mode?”

She grinned. “Sloth mode,” putting the laptop that was on her knees on the table next to her. “Just getting up to date on Regular Show.”

A look of feigned boredom came upon his face. “You’re never gonna get bored of Mordecai and Rigby, are you?”

“Absolutely not! Hahahaha! Come on, baby, sit down. Like I said, I need you around.”

Bernard went over and took his seat beside her as she sat up. “Okay, so what is it that you can’t tell Mordecai or Rigby or… what’s the name of Rigby’s girlfriend again?”

“Eileen. I still don’t get how they got together. He sooooo does not deserve her. Anyways, Danny had to go for a group study, and Mummy is at work, so I needed someone to talk to. In person. Something’s been on my mind since yesterday.”

Bernard sat up. “I’m listening, Pheebs.”

Phoebe took a brief moment to sigh, then started.

“So Benny, you already know how things have been for me for a year now. I… am now a celebrity. So to speak. Hmm. I knew I always wanted to be a musician since I was a child, and looking up to the likes of Whitney and Mariah, I definitely would set my heights high. As I sit here right now, I still find it amazing how I met Mr. De-Graft. I mean, I don’t doubt for one moment that God set it up. He’s such a good man, and the way he helped my career take off is something I can’t forget anytime soon. It’s been amazing, Ben, I won’t lie about that. The album has been a success, people love it! I’m still surprised that it was accepted so quickly. Not forgetting the UK tour we ended just last month. I am absolutely grateful.

“The thing that’s been on my mind, though… the whole fame aspect has been… sobering, I should say?”

Bernard sat back. “Why do you say that?”

She leaned forward, propping her elbows upon her laps. “Benny, I kinda had this whole misconception about being famous and popular and all. I thought it was so satisfying to have many people know you, admire you, adore you and all that. I mean, we’ve been told that numbers aren’t that important, but I still thought having large number of followers on the social media thing would feel good. Over the past couple of months, though, I’ve seen that it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

“So my followers on Twitter went from 322 to about 450,000. I get a lot of retweets whenever I tweet something that comes to mind, and a lot of replies about how they love my music and all that. Taking selfies and giving out autographs… constant. If we stepped out right now, I’ll have to do at least one of these. I’m not complaining; I get that it’s part of the whole celebrity whatever, and I love my fans. I’m just coming to the realization that it’s hardly soul-satisfying.”

Bernard nodded. “I get it. Let it out, honey.”

She sighed again. “Bernard, all I thought was so untrue. It’s nice alright, but it’s not what I thought it would be. People know about me, but pretty much none of them actually know me. Like, the little facts. My likes, dislikes, those sort of things. It’s like I’m coming to the realization that being known on the surface hardly is enough. I was made to be known on an intimate level. Retweets and Facebook shares just won’t cut it.

“That said, though, I have had some peeps who’ve become more than just fans. Joy and Jazzy have become amazing friends, and I thank God for them. And it’s not like I’ve got anything against the fans who may just be in love with what I offer. I’m not mad at all… I just now realize that fame is not a satisfier. At all.”

“Those fan groups though. They’ve got the propensity to wanna know the real Phoebe,” Bernard joked.

“Oh yeah! The Stans!” Phoebe laughed. “I’m still kinda stunned that I have those on Twitter. Let’s see about them. I’m only a year in. I checked up on a lot of them on other musician’s accounts. Most of them ain’t playing! I wonder what name they’ll pick for themselves. Like how Justin Bieber’s got Beliebers or whatever…”

“Phoebers! Or Phoebolics!” Bernard exclaimed.

A look of horror came upon her face. “Oh no, bro! Those are terrible names!”

They both laughed for a while. Then Phoebe took his hand.

“They can pick whatever name they want. As long as it doesn’t suck! But you know something? What I’m starting to appreciate are the ones closest to me. Like my parents. They’ve been a solid support since ‘Plugged In’ was released. Constantly keeping me grounded throughout the tour and everything. And Danny’s been a great support too. And sooo… have you.”

She smiled as she looked him in the eye.

“Bernard, all I’ve been talking about is wonderful. The shows, tours, interviews and what not. But I won’t lie, time spent with you is so much sweeter. You are such a wonderful guy and I thank God for you every day. You’ve been a wonderful addition to my life. Do you know just how much I treasure that afternoon we spent on the mattress on the grass, just being together and watching the sunset? That was intimate. And I still treasure the memory of it.”

Bernard’s heart was warmed. He squeezed her hand. “I’m glad you feel that way, Phoebe. I just want to make you happy, because you mean so much to me. I’m proud of how well you do your thing when you’re in the studio or on stage, but more than that, I cherish the sweet, beautiful girl I know backstage. I love you, Phoebe.”

She put her head on his shoulder and threw her arms around his waist. “I love you too, Bernard. I love you too.”

They were silent for a moment, just basking in each other’s presence. Then she softly said, “Baby boo, could you do me a favour?”

“Talk to me, girl.”

“Well, it’s a tiny list. First off, please continue to pray that all this doesn’t get to my head, and that I’ll not compromise. You know how the pressure gets in showing skin, and I don’t like it. I already have guys sending me tweets and IG comments about how hot I am. Last thing I need is to get them drooling over me in pics looking scantily clad. Also, that this lesson won’t depart from my head. That I’ll always remember that all the fame and stuff is no substitute for the people I love.”

“No problem, baby girl. Rest assured, I’ll be on my knees for you,” Bernard said confidently.

“Thank you, boy. And one last thing. Please think of another name for the Stans, coz those ones you mentioned are disgusting!” She let go of him and stood up.

He burst into laughter as he looked up at her. “You know, though, the dudes aren’t exactly kidding. You are a knee-weakener, babe. An absolute stunner.”

She looked down at him with a glare. “Not amusing, boo. Not amusing.” She took her laptop and sat next to him.

“On a serious note, though, Pheebs. I’ll be here every step of the way. I’ve got always got your back. Stay assured of that.”

She gave him a deadpan look. “Whatever,” then kissed him on the cheek. “Let’s get back to Regular Show. Mummy will be home in about an hour. Starting a new season, and I’m wondering what’s gonna happen with Mordecai now that he and CJ are on a break.”

“What about that ghost dude and his girlfriend? Whatever happened with them?”

“Fives and Celia? Hmmm……. They never really showed what happened with them. I guess we’ll just have to find out…”

The Beautiful Picture

Here’s a poem I wrote yesterday. It’s actually a real thing that happened to me. A long time ago…

It was 1800 GMT, and the western horizon was a canvas of aesthetic perfection,
A sight that made the hairs on the back of my neck give a standing ovation for the Artist with the master brush strokes,
A starter, gearing me up for the beautiful picture that awaited me as I locked the car and walked towards the church building.
7 days away on a business trip, but thank God I was back.
I could not wait to see them. How I’d missed them!
I entered the church, and the first person I saw, was her.
The lady of my life.
And then I saw her too.
Our beautiful union’s firstfruits. Arrow number one in the quiver.
Standing right in front of her mother.
A portrait that portrayed the sweetest gift God could ever give me upon this earth.
A family of my own.
A shrill four year old voice was Beethoven to my ears as she rushed towards me with excitement,
A light I’d missed for a week shone upon my sight again as my lady smiled,
How I’d missed them!
I took up my little girl in my arms, and walked towards the one whose image she bore,
Heart pumping as I was still enraptured by the beautiful aura about her that made me notice her the first day we ever met.
After all these years, I still had weak knees whenever we got close.
Baby girl toyed with my wedding seal as I got a kiss from a rose.
“I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed even more, love.”
Left arm around her waist, eyes locked on hers in a loving gaze,
It was such a beautiful scene…
… And then I woke up.

No More

Selorm wiped her eyes one more time as she sniffed, somehow surprised that her tear glands could still work. These past two months had seen her shed tears on the daily, as she struggled to get over what had happened.

She was the first born of two children born to Benjamin Brese and Emefa Dogbey. Benjamin, after the birth of the second child, Mawuli, finally got what he had been fighting to get for a long time. An American visa. She had just turned three when he bid the family farewell, with passionate promises of how he would come back for them and how wonderful a life they would have in New York.

Promises that were yet to be fulfilled as she stood on the chair in her room. He had never gotten back in touch with them.

With time, their mother accepted the reality that the father of her two children had run out on them and took on the task of being a single mother. If there was anything Selorm and Mawuli would ever say with confidence, it was that their mother worked her head off. To her, rest was almost like a curse word. She refused to let off one minute for slacking; the future of her children was far too important to do that.

Her hardworking attitude was highly commendable, no doubt. But it came with the disadvantage of not spending as much intimate time with the children as she should have. She was out of the house by 6 am, and came back home around 10 pm, so the connection between them was not as strong as one would’ve expected.

And as Selorm and Mawuli grew up, disagreements were sure to be a part of their life, but they sometimes took the normal ‘sibling rivalry’ beef too far, with petty little disagreements often turning into huge fights. It was a miracle that the only time fists flew was one Friday evening, just as their mother walked in.

“SELORM! MAWULI! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU TWO!” she bellowed in their local dialect. “DO YOU WANT TO KILL EACH OTHER??”

That night, a long stern discussion about respecting and loving each other followed, with Emefa making the two promise to settle differences amicably.

Six months later, Emefa spoke to Selorm, who was now 21, as they were standing outside their house. “Selorm, please, remember what I told you about dealing with your brother. You two are all you have. Excuse me to say, you can change friends easily. But you can never change your sibling. Never. At least, you two don’t fight as much. But please, don’t get nasty with him. You have quite a sharp temper. Keep it in check.” She rubbed her chest, muttering about it hurting as she entered the house.

It turned out that chest pain was a symptom of something very serious. The next morning, the two entered the room to find her unconscious. Rushing her to the hospital, the doctors delivered a nasty blow.

Emefa had suffered a heart attack early that morning and didn’t survive.

The two youngsters were devastated. They had grown indifferent to not having their father around, but losing their mother at this point in time was just too painful. For the next fortnight, the siblings were inconsolable, particularly Mawuli, who had shared one heck of a bond with her. As they were joined by one of their aunts in the home, who did a pretty satisfactory job stepping in for their departed mother, the pain slowly subsided, and it seemed like the contention that often rose between them had passed on along with her.

The way they had stuck together all throughout the period of their mother’s funeral seemed to suggest their fights were now six feet deep.

Within six months, however, Selorm’s self-centered attitude – which in reality was the major catalyst for many of their face-offs – began to show up once more, and Mawuli was not very enthused, as usual.

One Saturday morning, their aunt gave them a list of chores to do, then stepped out to do some shopping. As Mawuli mopped the veranda, he noticed that Selorm was not washing the cups, plates and cutlery like she was supposed to. He went to knock on her door, already guessing that she had gone back to her room. “Selorm, the things in the sink ooo!”

“Ohhhhh, ah! Don’t you think I already know? Leave me alone! I’ll go and wash them.”

Mawuli got irritated at her rude speech. He entered. “Selorm, I don’t like the way you responded. Ah, I was just reminding you…”

Five minutes later, and the tension between them was raised back to life as they shouted at each other and traded nasty insults at each other. Then things took a turn for the worse.

Mawuli, still in possession of the mop, raised it high and struck her on the arm. Incensed, she retaliated by grabbing a hairspray can and striking him twice on the forehead. Her counter seemed to do more damage, as both hits sent him tumbling to the ground, holding his forehead and grimacing in pain.

“Fool! How dare you hit me with that dirty mop! How stupid can you get, you useless good-for-nothing?”

Mawuli looked up as his sister, driven by a fit of fury, rained the nastiest of words upon him. At that point, he felt nothing but hate for his big sister. At that point, anywhere far from her would be heaven. He just wanted to get out of there.

“Selorm, I can’t stand you and your selfishness. You’re a terrible person, and I do not want to be anywhere near you. I hate you! I’m getting out of here!” With that, he sprung to his feet and stormed out of her room.

As she followed him, mocking him for running away, he took his money on the dining table and stormed through the front door. And as he went, Selorm yelled after him.

“YOU CAN DIE FOR ALL I FREAKING CARE!”

She slumped in one of the sofas nearby. What a stupid boy!

She remained there, still steaming for about an hour or two.

Then she heard her phone ring. She rushed to her room to answer the call. After hanging up, she noticed the screensaver.

It was her and Emefa.

She shook her head. “Oh Ma! Hmmm. If only you were here…”

Just then, a sharp flashback occurred. The last few words her mother had spoken to her.

You two are all you have…please, don’t get nasty with him…

An immediate twinge of guilt followed. Oh God! What have I done? She was right. I should’ve been more gentle with him. Oh God!

She quickly dialed his number.

Switched off.

She tried five more times. Same response.

Fine. I’ll wait for him to come home. Then I’ll apologize. I really have to watch myself now.

Midday came, and the aunt arrived from the market. No Mawuli.

Three o’ clock came, and still no Mawuli.

As she continued to try calling, her aunt, who was watching the TV, suddenly exclaimed, “Ei, Selorm, they say there’s been a terrible accident on the George Bush Motorway. A trotro colliding headfirst into a stationary truck. My goodness…… it seems there are no survivors ooo…”

Her heart skipped a beat.

About half an hour later, an unfamiliar number flashed on Selorm’s phone screen. She usually hated seeing ‘strange’ numbers call, but she answered. “Hello?”

“Um, hello, good evening, madam. Please, is this Selorm Brese?”

She got a little nervous. “Uh….y-y-yes?”

“Please, do you know any young man by name Mawuli Brese?”

The knots in her stomach grew tighter. She swallowed hard. A cold sweat broke out on her forehead. “Yes… h-h-h-h-he’s my y-y-younger brother.”

The male voice on the other side sighed reluctantly, as if he had no desire to say what he was about to say, yet had to say it. “I’m sorry, Ms. Brese, but it appears your brother was involved in a motor accident…”

+                                             +                                             +                                             +                                             +

Selorm shook her head as she placed the noose around her neck. The memories just would not go away. Emefa’s last words… their final fight… those terrible words she screamed at him before he left the house… the sight of his lifeless corpse in the 37 Military Hospital… they couldn’t stop reverberating around her cranium.

She closed her eyes as she felt the tough nature of the rope around her neck. Three months in, and she couldn’t be any lower than she already was. Nothing really mattered to her. Suddenly, she felt there was no reason to live. Pastors had spoken to her, family members and friends had done their best to console her, telling her to stay strong and not give up, but the guilt and grief had eaten away at her soul too deep. There was no fight left in her.

I’m sorry I disappointed you, Ma. And I’m sorry I insulted and cursed you so badly, Mawuli. I don’t wanna do this anymore. I’m calling it quits.

She hopped off the chair.

Review – Something To Start With

So, it’s been a little over a month since I released my EP, Something To Start With, and I am grateful to those who’ve listened or downloaded it. i just thought I’d share the motivation, among others, for each poem you hear on it.
IT’S AMAZING
The inspiration for this poem came after listening to Benjamin Dube’s “Bow Down And Worship Him”. The first five minutes has the South African worship leader just ascribing praise to God, and after a couple of listens, I really felt inspired to put something down.
Can I be honest? Afterwards, I looked at it and wasn’t satisfied. I thought it lacked cohesion; it looked pretty disorganized to me. So I tossed it aside. But when T.R.P. (ThroneRoom Perspective) started the popular ‘ThroneRoom Thursday’ Whatsapp broadcast, I went back, looked at it, and realized it wasn’t as bad as I had initially thought. So we had it shared, and at the end of the day, it made its way onto the EP.
Basically, it’s a worship poem. A poem where I reflect on the truth of the Gospel. A poem where I consider how miniscule our praise is when we truly come to grips with the awesome nature of the One we worship. A poem where I reflect on the beautiful love God has for us. I certainly don’t know why I thought it was substandard, but I’m glad those scales fell off. Lol.
VOICES

This poem was borne out of a rather dark point in time last year. I don’t wanna go into the details too much. That can be found in another poem of mine which I’ll probably release very, very soon.

So, after falling for a really sweet girl, things went bad, and my self-esteem took a pretty nasty blow. Thoughts of the wrong nature started popping up and making me feel low. The push to write came on one Tuesday morning, as I was on my way to work, playing ‘The Anthem’. As the poem tells you, I really wanted my brain to get off the pain and the thoughts. Did it work? Well, you can take that to be a rhetorical question…
Well, with what I’ve said, this is more of a life experience poem, where I display myself dealing with torturous thoughts and realizing how much of a negative effect they have on me. Forcing me to make up some escapist comforting thoughts, deceiving me into thinking that those fantasies will be as good as it’ll ever be.
But more importantly, I battle the major lie these thoughts convey: that I’ll never be loved. As you hear, I knock that off with Romans 8:38-39.
It’s not your typical ‘Christian struggle’ poem where I end off with a regular victory proclamation. I preferred to be truthful about those sort of things than leave you thinking I conquered it all in no time flat. It took a long time to get over the struggle, and I wrote it at a time when I was in the thick of it, so I chose to be realistic about it. One thing is for sure as you hear it: I’m not sitting in and enjoying the lies, but fighting it.
FLOWERS FOR HIS FATHER
So, I got the inspiration from a picture on Facebook. A picture I’m very sure you’ve seen. A picture of some kids (with really big heads, lol) laughing at a person who was holding flowers, and the balloon speech shows they’re laughing at him because those flowers were for his father. That’s one half of the picture. The other half shows him in front of a tombstone, with the flowers on it, and him crying.
One day, that picture got me thinking: if I was one of those young boys, how would I feel if I saw him in the cemetery? What would my reaction be?
The answer to those questions is what you have in the poem.
This was also shared on the ThroneRoom Thursday broadcast, and I initially had no plans to add it to the EP. But God had other ideas.
I tend to look at the scripture that talks about mourning with others who mourn. Romans 12:15. In being a Christian, I notice that we sometimes want to quote scriptures on everything in an attempt to look mighty spiritual, but really, it’s about living out those scriptures, and that’s what I chose to portray here. It’s easy to just toss Job 1:21 at a bereaved soul and then walk away. It’s tougher to just shut up and let the person know you care by being present in the midst of their pain.
I also consider it a lesson to avoid making judgment before knowing the whole story. We tend to quickly pass judgment on others and demean them for certain things we feel are not acceptable or out of place, when there’s a reason for it that we don’t know about.
So, that’s what it is concerning Something To Start With. In case you haven’t heard it, just go down, treat yourself, and download if you want to.
In the meantime, I already have plans for an album! Definitely gonna have more work on that one. Obviously. Already got a name for it, but that info can come later.
#KeepCalmCozWe’reInspired
P.S. If you’re interested in receiving weekly poems from my group, send me a text on +233205180127, and expect excellent, God-glorifying poetry every Thursday.

Christianity & Art: My Lil Perspective

For the past couple of weeks, the issue of creativity in the church has been quite a burden on my mind. Past experiences and observations have made me notice that the church today has some perspectives about being creative and usage of the arts, which I personally find distasteful. Allow me to share these thoughts…

  • MYSTICISM

Yes, of course, Christianity is a supernatural religion, and we must be led by the Spirit. No way will I argue with that. But really, some of the beliefs we carry about are just mystical and show how much we’d rather sit in a bubble of comfort. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly way beyond the stars, as Francis Schaeffer rightly said, yet we’ve successfully chained believers and prevented them from launching out into unknown territories by simply slapping a ‘It’s of the Devil’ tag on them. A lot of churches swear that any music besides praise and worship or hymns is evil and that Satan is the one who created sports (I’m not kidding! A girl once said football was Satan’s idea). I don’t know where all that stuff comes from, but really, it leaves people feeling like their God-given talents are demonic, and thus, they suppress them. But more worryingly, such people give off the impression that the devil is as good a creator as Jehovah, and that’s just messed up. I only know Satan to be the one who distorts the original intent of creation. Scripture never talks of Satan being a creator of any sorts. The only other creator besides God is the one made in His image: man. A mini-creator.

  • ‘SUPPORT KINGDOM STUFF’ THREATS

I’m all for supporting anything a Christian does. But that doesn’t mean I’ll condone wack stuff. I do not consider art to be good based on the religious beliefs of the person who did it, but on how well it was done. So, really, if it’s not good, I will tell you it’s not good, and you better step your game up if I’m going to endorse you. The fact that you’re a Christian rapper doesn’t mean you automatically make it on my playlist if your rapping skills are horrible. Excellent art is what I was made to appreciate, and if you truly are a Christian, I hold you to a higher standard. You’re the child of the Greatest Creator! I don’t expect you to producing substandard stuff and holding me ransom to a ‘if you’re a true Christian, you’ll support me’ threat.

  • OVER HYPED SELF

This is in close connection with the point above. I’m not using this is a basis to support worldly stuff, but I will call a spade a spade. Dear Christian artist, please do not deceive yourself into thinking your new found identity in Christ automatically makes you better than the secular artist. Yes, you have the Ultimate Creator dwelling in you, and that means you can be way better than the secular artist. But it requires work. You cannot write down a poem that has no sign of creativity or beauty in it, and claim that because it’s meant to glorify God, it’s better than another poem not blatantly about God, but artistically on point. No! Mediocrity is not glorifying to God. Do better. Learn the craft. Improve upon your skills. You will be better than the secular artist, I can promise you that, but it is not automatic. If you don’t work it out, forget it. I know of some Christian rappers who are terrible (sorry for the bluntness) and I won’t claim they’re better than the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Nas, because they’re not. If I say Jackie Hill Perry is a serious rapper, it’s not because she’s a Christian, it’s because it’s a technical truth that even an atheist who loves hip-hop would be foolish to deny.

  • ART MUST BE EVANGELISTIC AT ALL COSTS

Francis Schaeffer said, “I am afraid that as evangelicals, we think that a work of art only has value if we reduce it to a tract.” So it is in the church today. Once you have a talent, the only reason it is there is to be used as an evangelistic tool. So once you use it for something other than that, you’ve backslidden and infuriated God.

Now yes, indeed, all things should be done to the glory of God. And it’s an absolutely wonderful thing to dedicate your art to spread the gospel. But does that really mean dealing with other issues in your art makes you less of a Christian? I say no. For starters, the gospel is not limited to just doctrinal beliefs; it affects each and every aspect of life. I see no reason why a poet or rapper who professes Christ as Lord and Saviour must preach about Him, regurgitate a number of scriptures or scream His name a number of times in every single piece of work they create to prove the authenticity of their faith. I find it unnecessary.

Fact of the matter is, the gospel shapes your worldview, so any type of art you create will be a reflection of that worldview. I don’t expect that a Christian would make art that delights in the very evils of this world that his faith cries against. The art in question would be subject to the word of God, and thus direct all glory to Him.

At the end of the day, I’m not against one choosing to preach through his art. I respect that. It’s the constant vilification of those who don’t go that path that I strongly disagree with. It’s not like every single sentence that comes forth from your lips every day is explicitly about God. At best, pray for such people and help keep them grounded if you’re close to them (that’s vital, slipping up is always a possibility), but quit the demonization and demands that they conform to your expectations.

These are my honest thoughts. No intention to knock the church on the head out of spite. I’ve had similar mentalities at a point in time in my walk as a Christian, and it led me to become quite a judgmental isolationist. It’s not a good thing, and that’s why I speak out against it. As Christians, we are meant to be salt and light, but the way I see it, we’re pretty much skipping that command, storing ourselves up in a comfortable place and thinking we’re better off that way. We can do better! Excellence is in our DNA. We can still impact the world and in so doing, point them to the Greatest Creator of all…

 

A guy with the gift of using words. Forever indebted to the One who gave him that gift.

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