Thursday, December 31, 2015

Built on Tragedies

Courtesy: UNHCR (@Refugees)
Mother and child, refugees from South
Sudan find pleasure in each other.

Before my time
I was conceived to multiply
And increase the influence of genius
In a realm where ignorance is surplus.
A mystery dispatched from the stars
By special delivery to inspire mortal hearts.
Like the stirring of intuition;
Like a premature seed piercing a rock
To introduce a forest of inventions.
My mission is born.

Before my time
I was conceived to multiply.
Perceived by the multitude
As the oasis of the promise;
I triumph still without excuse.
Sifting reality from chaff of fantasies.
I evoke wide jaws
Like a foetus
Fulfilling biblical prophecy.
As I ride the rage of the storm in timeless majesty.

Akpan



Rust on the Razor

Photo Courtesy: UNHCR (@refugees)
This child refugee from South Sudan says she wants to be a
nurse when she grows up. Still keeping the faith even in exile.

There's some pretty girl but homeless
Say she wanna be a nurse when she grow up.
Shaken but already thinking of healing the hopeless
Cause in the darkness real stars keep their head up.
Now ain't that some jewel you wanna look up or hook up
Or maybe root for to have a shot at life in days to come.

This wonderful light ain't gatto be this way
We gatto make a change strive to create a better day.
Journey with 'em thro their misery be the emissary
Of luxury it's not chemistry it’s necessary we make history
Come, give me your hand. Help her stand. Be the man.
We can turn her plan to something grand. Yes we can.

Akpan



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dialogue of Bullets

It's sad that Shi'ite leaders got caught in military crossfire. But I think the irony is
how their followers mustered the courage and faced soldiers who were armed with
weapons yet, they've done absolutely nothing about taking Boko Haram insurgents
out of business. A governor of a northern Nigeria state said the sect is spread across
the 19 states in the north of Nigeria... imagine such a formidable force pouring the
measure of wrath unleashed on soldiers out on Boko Haram? This is the kind of
situation that makes you ask, "What's really going on?"

You may write me up on the wall
In blood-dipped paint brush.
But I will rather die in yonder
Inferno than live in mental slavery.

I don't mind been called a hell raiser
But I think ya'll barking up the wrong tree.
While we died none broke the code of silence.
The table turns on you; you resort to violence.

If you'd expressed half the enthusiasm
From the onset of this onslaught for real,
You won't stand on the wrong side of the chasm
Acting out your spiteful hypocrisy.

Why you turn on us? The dogs are out there.
Why drop the attitude when we was bombed?
Who you fooling, why was yous acting scared?
You boldly faced the soldiers armed with slugs.

You shoulda preached that zeal all up the North;
Staged an uprising against calculated terror.
You held your peace when terror cut school kids down;
And they yelling threats from outside our walls, now?

If you wanna bring it, bring it we still here.
We never heard you hate on Boko Haram
Seems when it rains on you your voice comes clear.
Your reaction proved you to be quite an ass.

Akpan


Thursday, December 24, 2015

No Questions Asked

Happy Birthday to my Mama and a great woman -
Deaconess Eka Akpan

Mma
If that name ain't the sweetest thang like a lump of sugar.
I was going to say you taught me everything I ever knew
But then I reflect on the times you broke me off the horns of a dilemma
And it's like damn near impossible to make who you are more beautiful.

Mma
Your love is like a story that keeps unspooling long after the tome is closed.
My heart explodes with untamed emotion but words fall just shy of expression;
How do I even begin when you are my beginning, I'm lost in your shadow.
My affection knows no bounds; it's as wide as the breadth of the ocean.

Mma
Just the thought of you sets an avalanche in motion,
Your pure devotion takes my breath away, like a blast of golden gas.
If I had to do this over, if I had a choice in my own conception;
Mma, I’ll root for you and I’ll do it in a heartbeat no questions asked.

Akpan


Monday, December 21, 2015

From a Cell 8

The 8-foot cell that was Mandela's home on Robben Island.

One man
(And he was no ordinary man)
Had a vision and moved the motion to take a stand
The self-named lords tagged him bad gone mad
And shipped the hell-raiser off to rot on an isolated island.
But his was a story that couldn’t be caged behind metal bars.

One man
(I said he wasn't no ordinary man)
Opened his mouth to speak and his voice rose beyond his cell bars
And the nuance of his message held steady thro out every land;
A song of infinite hope that screamed the line, if you believe you can.
The man died but the memories of him live in the legacy of his plan.

One man
(You know, he was no ordinary man)
Learned that courage ain't in the strength of your arms
But triumph over the stuff that cripples your very heart.
The life he led drove the highpoints home like nail piercing plank,
His words reassure us like stars guiding travelers in the dark.

Akpan



Lethal Verbs

Don't ever let nothin' hold you back.

I can’t be broken
Not by a speck of struggle.
That's what I call this entire token.
I am the majesty of the rubble.
Even though I came up hard,
Through practice I learned nothing
Is ever too hard
To subdue. 'Specially to him
Who's got somethin' up his sleeves.
No matter how a friend deceives
I'm gonna pick up the pieces,
Count my losses
Beat the dust off my butt
Then aim right back for the top.
Nuthin will ever take me apart
Cause I'm a man weaned from the heart.
I'm stuck on my dreams
Like a dot of stain
On bleached white sheet.
I'm as persistent as a toothache
And you can bet, I won't bend to the heat.

Akpan



When a Child is Bombed

A rescued Boko Haram child suicide bomber

When a child is bombed
The basis for rejoicing is stolen
The sound of laughter is stilled
Or it falls flat like the cackles of Gollum
On the eardrum making the sense of loss emphatic.

When a child is bombed
There's always an untold story erupting
Within calling out things forbidden to imagine.
A restlessness which amps up the fears of all the years
Confronts our doubts and strips bare our worst nightmares.

When a child is bombed
The weight of a shroud alights and grief is pronounced
As we recall 'tis the season the Christ-child came down.
Peace and goodwill become the substance of a fairytale
And our Xmas wish lists are like statements of how we failed.

Akpan




Christmas in Sambisa

A Christmas tribute to the Nigerian Armed Forces
for their unrelenting war on terrorism

I always had a hunch you was the prototype hero.
Now that I found the unique moment to express that fact
I'm gon' ride on the track and leave none in the dark from the intro
When the tribute engage their ears n' slide down their heart.

I really wanna invest the time to take you apart
And sink my teeth into the details until I feel the heat
Of the battle waging down on the inside as you rip open the enemy
And snatch victory like a trophy from the talons of the beasts.

Bae misses her man; the kids need their dad yet this Xmas
You'll lay down on a bed of grass; rest your head on a pillow of stone
N' if you're lucky sleep will find you cuddling a people's burden in your arms.
Yet no one deserves a better Xmas than the men who went and brought us hope.

You're the one my heart bleeds for it's of you I sing
And I will fear no evil walking thro the forest of Sambisa
Cause the shadow of a soldier supplies all the solace I seek
So let me take this time and shoot you a very merry Christmas.

Akpan



Unalloyed

Recently, the Nigerian military murdered (unintentionally)
some Shiite leaders. This is so they don't lose sight of the
big picture. The fight to end Boko Haram goes on.

The temptation to agree with your critics
Is destroying you gradually
Chewing you up on the inside like cancer;
Introducing rot into your emotional liver.
You don't make progress, brother
Riding one article of other folk's opinion.
But you'll commit blunders
On the most basic of criterion.
You really ought to know better
Ain't nobody taking the fall but you.
Who gets the blame for playing the fool?
They don't give a care
How well you fare.
Just wanna use you
Then they dump you like used up shoes.
Pry your eyes wide
Open brother, gatto be wise.
The night is young
It's the time when stars shine.
Shake off the dust and rise like a song
Flung all the way up to heaven soaring free of compromise
Like a true master of destiny.
And make it your responsibility
To carve out a personal path to glory.

Akpan



Otherside

Photo Courtesy: UNHCR (@Refugees)
For Syrian Refugees

Will I make it to the otherside?
Beyond this grave of dreams;
That special place where the imagination
Explodes in daylight?
My soul barely exists
Waiting thirstily for the delights
Of fulfillment in a world
Where patience is defeated.
It's hard not to kick against the goads
Cause the times is ill fated.
The quest for glory
Drains me and fills me with rage,
The road to immortality is paved
With hate-induced goals.
Yet mortal men thrust into it blinded
Multiplying well-avoidable throes.
But will I ever fill that space
And appropriately
Obtain the good grace
To equip the man of my dreams
With a tool to win in this spiteful race?

Akpan



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Assassination of X

Sometime in January, Boko Haram terrorists razed a town in
North East, Nigeria killing a 'woman in labor.' In the words of a
witness, “Half of the baby boy (was) out and she died like this.”
This poem is for the unnamed boy who I called 'X.'

And who hears when we call and comes running?
Who waits up for us and keeps the lamp burning
To show the path home when twilight is dawning?
Who reaches out when we face a chasm yawning?
And swoops us up just before we keel over falling
To our deaths in a fissure that is always gnawing?

The value of x is, for all practical purposes, unresolved;
He’ll for all time be a mystery because he died unnamed,
His spot is uninhabited for he never set foot on this sod.

The death of x is, beyond all reasonable doubt, a shame;
Not he or his Mama deserved that baptism in cold blood,
No one will ever know what x was cut out for or his gain.

The tale of x is, contrary to common belief, an ill weapon
To bludgeon the foe cause he died before he came thence,
We can turn pain to gain and make them pay for our loss.

The value of our x they must be made to feel, is priceless.

Akpan


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Dragons of Home

This war on terror is a lot more about the victims-the dead, the displaced,
the missing-than the psychos wreaking havoc. We shouldn't lose sight of
the big picture and end up defeated.
On the side, what do you think they did to this poor girl to make her strap
explosives around her waist? This is our future going up in smoke.

You’re not here n’ how the clause spawns an electric
Arc that saturates this terrain in a wakeless gray rage
I can still hear your voices carried on the night wind,
Deep down the cove where I tuck my private self away,
Full and inextinguishable as it rides down the throes
Of cruel death and irreversible moldering of the bones;
You come to me in my quietude and unknot the knots
And as the puzzle sorts itself out a shape starts to form;
A friend’s face bending in and out of form taunting me
Begging not to be an option but a number one priority

You’re not here and I’m not there and the difference is
All the world but I won’t turn the page and close my eyes
To the heat, it’s the thorn in my flesh that only I must pick
If I must find peace. It’s all about you, it’s hi time I realize
This war aint about Shekau but you free to breathe, to be,
To dig into all of life’s peculiarities as experience hands it
Down the tube. You deserve the attention and compassion
Showered on you and the memories of you will still live on,
That is one fine article of this assurance I will never break
Until triumph busts open the gates bearing you in its wake.

Akpan



Friday, October 16, 2015

Switched

For all those years I thought the Boko Haram insurgency was
an extended spell of the infamous Northern Nigeria riots


Incomplete, that’s the definition of me without a you
It’s taken me a while but the blinders are down it’s true.
I’ve seen my wrong I know I’ve been such a fool not to.
Unfeeling had me like and I said, ‘It’ll pass.’ That’s cruel.

Why do I visualize paradise but get paralyzed
By the sight of you otherwise immortalized?
I’ll rime till it’s sunrise n’ your night turns brite,
Time I switched sides, be a bona fide paradigm.

‘A few more days,’ I said, ‘and it’ll be gone with the wind.’
While you died in plain sight I let fear lax my heartstrings,
But time taught me not to wait for what tomorrow brings;
I am what brings tomorrow so I rise on a dayspring scream.

Why do I visualize paradise but get paralyzed
By the sight of you otherwise immortalized?
I’ll rime till it’s sunrise n’ your night turns brite,
Time I switched sides, be a bona fide paradigm.

Akpan