Written by Jacob Ibrag There used to be a world that lived in my mind which I used to visit when I’d close my eyes. As the months gave birth to years, it became increasingly harder to remember how to get there. Upon the final day of my arrival, all that was left were tired trees […]
Blog, Books, Christianity, Computer, Dogs, Earth, Faith, frogs, general, Health, Home, Humanity, Humour, Life, Music, Personal, places, Poems, Poetry, Politics, Religion, Sports, Sun, travel, truth, TV, word, wordpress, Work
Life is not everything, a shadow of me, exists out there somewhere in the sea. Breath is not everything, a slight tense, is making the waking dream come sense. Light is not everything, the new dark comes, for the lonely soul who think he has won. Dark is not everything, light burns the night away […]
One strange thing about the drunkenness of power is that it leaves no trace of a hangover because it never really intoxicates in the first place, instead it infects like an ailment. What it does is put the mind in a state of make believe stupor. It lies to the person, telling him he is indeed invincible and that he can walk naked on a busy road without being seen by the ever present pretentious crowd. When a mad man walks around naked, it is only because he doesn’t logically know he is naked until he is healed. This is quite unlike the drunk man who is always fully aware of what happens to him, if he is still consciously awake while drunk. Then by all intent of purpose, the powerful man lives in that state sandwiched in the mystical void between insanity and drunkenness, while actually being neither of them. So when this borderless state concludes its hazy mazy course, it still leaves behind a lot to rationally reflect on, unlike madness which leaves nothing of its past or drunkenness which leaves no immediate memories or vivid perspective of the past.
Power’s negativity leaves regrets, shame and disgrace, because it can be remembered as it was. In its selfish ways, power has an impulsive mind which with steady time has the tendency to become unwaveringly firm in its will to pursue a course it had lashed on to by its proud faith in its perceived abilities. It takes up a nature rightly construed to be initially foreign to its natural one and summarily makes it its own. Power denies its perilous positions because it doesn’t see it clearly like it ought to. It is an enigma that inserts a conjecturable attitude in itself.
Power is an attitude with an enticement induced with dubious intentions as the cost of most of its decisions are usually more than less not what it is personally prepared to pay for. The potentials of power are commonly not fully tapped and when applied unwisely, never really realized in its entirety. They almost never get fully achieved. The dubious craft of making power create wealth is thus never fully achieved when it is considered that wealth isn’t the attraction in itself, but what the wealth represents always is the absolute objective. It is predominantly such an overpowering desire.
Power craves wealth for the power it gives.
Many years ago I wrote “THE MASTER’S BILL”; I concluded my mutterings about the lonesomeness of human existence with wondering on how patient and tolerant the good lord is & reasoned that it is a price He must pay.
How alone can one be?
Looking around, one can only see.
Life is one big school,
Lectures are missed by the fool.
Indeed the friend is in need,
Wisdom in the foe only bid.
The whole world could be wrong
And not hear a word in your song.
For fear hasn’t a say
Where bare hands cut hay.
The master’s wishes are His will
And only He writes down the Bill.
Religious conflict has a perception of sincere truth and righteousness that doesn’t circumvent its warring parties’ hypocritical egocentric desire to be perceived as simply being neighbourly. It instead forcibly and bluntly thrust the reality of the parties’ lustful differences on their pretentious faces, enforcing it on their neighbours in a manner that shows off what each faith wants as against what they claim to profess. It should be obvious that a religion that advocates peace needs to suffer for its submissive principle. It must pay a humiliating price it can’t even humbly mention. When a religion’s ideals and principles aren’t as principally evident as it advocates, it is actually only openly good natured for the sake of achieving its quest to be dominant.
Then it would have to result to violence to stress its misgivings or show off its disliked for other opposing religions that seek to be themselves and exist alongside it. Religions must co-exist because no religion ever exists alone, on its own. A religion that hides under the guise of peaceful co-existence to impose itself is thus quite superficial and only yearning for communal peace ahead of lasting personal inner peace that would ordinarily precede first.
Such a religion has not yet made a wraith of human trans-religious harmony feasible. It has instead rendered the most sacred personality of its loud attitudinal faiths nebulous. It turns each and every one of them to be more of wholesome fact-less histories, that can never be elucidated than the proven faiths that they each aspire to be accepted as. The fact that there is only one shared common principle the two main contesting religions of Islam and Christianity sensibly have in common, makes them ever more incompatible than compatible, and pushes rather than pulls them apart. Their common principle is expressed as a common faith in the existence of a single supreme deity.
Supremacy makes it a contestable divide and not an undeniable bond. The people argue and fight over their diverse beliefs in the archaic fate of a quite varied interpretation of the same original scriptural text and thereby murder the very essence of their religions’ being in doing so. They both miss the very point of having the single attribute they each ironically lay the most loudly admitted claim to.
It is so ludicrous and incongruous that the same dog barking aggressively is actually only chasing after its own tail in circles and not really going anywhere but racing against it own self.
“Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.”
The recent loudly revisited agitation for a Biafran state from Nigeria calls for another look at my poem “Fever” and excerpts from my Fever Series (Books I-V), where I told a somewhat fictional historical tale of the Nigerian state. I am currently rewriting the series and almost done.
Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.
The mighty broom swept so long a mile,
Still dirt abounds as its proud fruitfulness.
Mourning tears leave this feeling of numbness.
Eras of evolution has not changed the egg,
The needs of man same and ever will be so.
Maybe a broom will kill lizards on a clay keg
And not break it too like the stick did before.
In this concoction only soluble particles’ temperatures soar.
Promise of the lands are all pointing,
Yet the future is hot food in the mouth.
Bodies buried and alive, had and are, waited and waiting,
For the joy in swallowing and satisfaction they sought.
Over hard filled years waiters without appetite rot.
The dogs in this story are the traitorous pigs,
Their patriotism is fake like sweeping grains with a rake.
Locusts that plunder the field leaving tiny dry twigs,
Their determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake;
These dishonourable gentle heads that ache.
The locusts ate the grains, the rake wasted the rest.
The broom was left so little in its fold.
In this farm, pigs serve dogs for it’s their best.
The egg will likely shatter in hands that shouldn’t hold.
They chest indifferently the agony of the rest in the cold
Excerpts from Fever Series Books I
“Through eventful years the sticks of time ever pile, just like the people, what they represent and what represents them. The people have become a loose fitting collection that isn’t a strapped up and bonded broom, just like their land that is rich and rife with such inspirational promise.
“Nigerians are willing to be bonded up as one unit but they couldn’t possibly give an ear to the assumed wisdom in the words and experiences of their past. The people have since learnt the hard way that the sweets they have are actually sour and the sour taste is soon made bitter by their refusal to swallow their constant rejection of dependence on any sort of bonding.
“Though Nigerians are reflectively one and their historical past the same, the people can only remonstrate together over trivial issues, reminiscent of their ancestors and their quaint past that they endlessly repeat in their infantile present.”
A review by Faye Diabel https://fayediabel.wordpress.com/
Yas Niger’s “The Man in the Moon”
“It is a fascinating tale of a culturally engaged street corner preacher, a usually misunderstood necessary oddity in major metropolises built upon colonial legacy – where the non indigenous culturally marginalized, some of them forcibly brought to build the same thing they, now, are blamed to have polluted. It is, a story said from its characters and supporting onlookers’ perspective, an insightful fiction.
“The character development focused on three actors who kept on yanking the story into motion. It is like a pyramid standing on Leroy – a self-anointed ambassador of a motley group that he himself reveals his estrangement from, depending on its state of affairs – as revealed by his following statement “… I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African …” Therefore, it is safe to say that Leroy’s sense of belonging, vis-à-vis Africa, is selective, although there is a dose of Garveyism in his preaching that all black people are from Africa. His consciousness, which was supposed to be the key to his inner peace, might very well be considered as the basis of his tragic state of being.
“Then comes Mrs. Gregory, the essential story spinner – a provoker Leroy couldn’t live without, who summarizes the bad and the good, the two sides of the coin, of western civilization – the target of Leroy’s preaching; and then Henry, a dog given a humane characterization, a dog with a mind, caprices, and feeling; he too helped run the story to its destination. As much as they get along, there is a deep-seated love and hate. To me, it seems that Leroy loves Barbara but hates Mrs. Gregory. On his fateful day, he accepted Barbara’s invitation – as Leroy the man, but Mr. Freeborn got ambushed by Mrs. Gregory’ Caucasian embedded anxiety about black men’s motives.
“I knew, and mingled with, some Leroy Freeborns; fascinating people to be with, While perching on their stage – under the bright sun, until it is time to get home, when the sea is done swallowing the sun and the moon’ reminder that it is time now to have an inner preaching with one’s pillow, to say the least, or the time to cuddle and nurture love ones; and then you wonder whether they would prefer that the sun will never set on their day to day reality. He is the man in the moon, while standing on his pedestal, fading into the ghost of his shadow just a step down from his makeshift launching pad.
(Some excerpts from “The Man in the Moon” Everyone hates the English)
“It is not an insult to call me black, it is purely descriptive. Africa is firstly a geographical location, an address. It is a continent with more than one race on it, Negros and Arabs are indigenous to it. Without the slightest risk of sounding the least controversial, you will agree that there are Caucasians native to it, that means Caucasian-Africans. So when you call someone an African-American, you are also referring to Arabs and other Caucasians of African origins. But don’t you only wish to refer to the blacks, when you say African-American?” Leroy shouts at the top of his voice. The opening remarks ought to be delivered loudest, so pedestrians can hear him clearly as they go by. But the words are as important as the volume.
“The origin of the term black for Negros is indefinite. It is easy to guess that Negros were the first to call themselves black. All through history, naturally occurring darkness with daily year round nights in the tropics, has been associated with blackness and it is ideal to use black as a synonym for extreme darkness. The trend remains still, even if black is considered improper. The degraded imagery deduced from the term black can only be expunged by the achievements of those who can not escape it, if they wear it and must live with it. Skin colour can not be removed like some piece of clothing.” Leroy was being just assertive enough to reel in listeners. The first few pedestrians paused and veered closer to hear more.
His next line determines if they stayed. It is imperative to retain the earliest callers, their interest tends to attract others and a steady increase in numbers builds more interests. People are habitual copy cats, they only linger if others do. The material he delivers will do the rest and Leroy Freeborn always has good material.
“The most descriptive term best suited for the Negro’s visibly dark complexion is black, just like white is best suited for Caucasians.” Leroy spoke forcefully, then he repeats a summary of his earliest words, for the immediate benefit of the new arrivals joining the first few who heard him commence his rant for the day.
“Even if a popular law stops the formal use of blacks to identify Negros in its entirety, black will still be used for those purposes it is best suited for. The truth is, Negros are best identified as blacks and the home of all black people is Africa, our proud mother land. But going by the recent expression of freedom in our beloved Africa, I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African.”
A collective groan from the dozen or so people already listening in front of Leroy’s small raised platform, greeted his last words. As usual, the indefinite insinuation of the shared groan didn’t fully register approval or disapproval.
Twenty five years of standing on the same spot on the broad sidewalk, with the kind permission of the late owner of the nearby toy store, under the blue morning skies of England’s capital city, every Saturday in summer, spring and Autumn has taught the sixty year old native Jamaican the ropes of the demanding talking trade.
Leroy appeals to the intellect of just anyone, from unkempt homeless bums to unemployed graduates, from housewives on shopping runs to tourists, who only speak enough English to understand directions. Leroy can work a crowd into a frenzy and answer reasonable questions or hateful queries hurled at him with the articulate elegance of age and much knowledge. He had regulars, some have heard him for over a decade. A few regulars arrived and increased the growing numbers.
Leroy acknowledges a few nods from familiar faces and continued his tirade. It was going to be an interesting day, the small crowd appeared genuinely interested.
“I own the name Black Man! It is me, I claim it as mine and my proud identity. But who are you sir?” Leroy points at a white man in the front, not one of his regulars. The man smiles back at him, amused. It was a normal response.
“Come on people, don’t be shy. Someone speak to me. Are you white, if I am black?” Leroy looked at yet another white man, a recent regular. Then at another, but still no answer was offered. They were being careful not to walk into a trap. They were there to listen to his harangue and not to engage him in a discussion.
“I am Caucasian,” a male voice from the back said.
Obscured from Leroy’s veiw, the fellow didn’t reveal himself but it was easy to tell the voice belonged to the man in a black leather jacket. His clean shaven head gave him away, not the plain uninterested mien he unsuccessfully tried to pass off.
Vital tip Leroy: Those crazy bald heads don’t keep straight uninterested faces.
Life tends to congregates us in one loving hub of family and friends, wooing us to have and share love for one another, as it educates us with the knowledge of our inevitable end and final separation. But it never empowers us with the secret of bearing its insipid emptiness and harsh betrayal. It is cruel and just not truly fair.
The following poem is an experience also documented in the novel: ‘The old woman’s maid’
A strong gust of air blew
And twin curtains withdrew.
Float horizontally in mid-air,
Like Angles’ wings would pair.
The mother walked in her peace,
Embodied in that first brief glimpse
From within a curtained covering;
Into our world an Angle steps in.
Unique as, loving every person;
Everyone passes her tests’ reason.
Saw goodness, polished badness;
Her large heart sought happiness.
This world her one own family,
Which will see her out, sadly.
Her motherhood a duty not a task,
In her circumstances that lack.
A right for which she had fought,
Is her motherhood in every breath.
She lost physical battles down here,
But won the war with years to spear.
Then she had cancer and died,
Joining all those from us deaths hide.
The victor hasn’t yet flourished
When his vanquished all perished.
Death can only but surely lose,
Yet the fear of him we choose.
He doesn’t get the peace we see.
Then what really, really has he?
He can’t keep us as ornaments,
Passing for the briefest moments.
His power ends where it starts,
Coming and going, never ever lasts.
He reveals two very key lessons
In this very life for all persons;
Where lies a life there are lies
And all roads to a same place plies.
It is really true then and no fuss;
God sends his Angles amongst Us
Takes them when he misses them,
Out of a world that cherishes them.
Early all the time,
Always in its prime.
The sights are blind,
At night we all find.
So in their prime,
The nights of time;
Whiter though blind,
Says what is to find.
In whirls of a mind;
Never there to find,
Nights sure as time
Are safe for to pine.
The indigenes of the region are vastly non-Muslims and Animists. The festival they came for is an annual celebration, when local pagans made merry and feast all day long in honour of their symbols of worship. Kengua and the driver had to make twice the normal effort to find a local who speaks the uncomplicated Hausa they were familiar with. They were lucky and got a lot more than they had hoped for when they stumble into an English speaking fellow, seated alone in an old plastic chair. This fellow was only too happy to answer all their questions.
He is amiable fellow with a loud voice and the befitting cheery nickname of Bantimu. He offered to show them round and be their guide the next day too. Bantimu had gladly offered Kengua and the driver seats beside him. He gave them cold drinks and introduced his beautiful wife when she came over with the drinks. Bantimu and his wife were a delight to watch together. She mocked him for being a baby because he wouldn’t let her burst open a swollen boil on his knee. Kengua especially loved hearing Bantimu translate his wife’s words as she teased her husband incessantly with humorous gaily jibes. His translations got quite the rapturous laughing admiration of his impromptu guests and farther encouraged his wife to pester him some more.
Finally Bantimu succumbed and exposed his leg by raising the lower edge of the long Arabian robe he had on. He revealed a visibly inflated knee, to let his wife attend to the shiny turgid boil dead in the middle of his right knee. Bantimu’s wife sat on the floor in front of him, with a pin and some cotton wool. She pierced the boil and Kengua sort of enjoyed the sight of Bantimu’s brave facial expression as he dealt with the first wave of pain from the pin prick. He was however not as successful with the increased pain of the letting out of the pus from the boil.
“Good boy,” Bantimu’s wife coaxed him in her good mimic of her husband, imitating Bantimu rather than speaking English. She giggled as she stood up, after letting out most of the milky bloody pus trapped inside her husband’s swollen knee. She didn’t apply anything to the deflated boil before leaving the now gashed wound open to heal on its own, naturally.
The quite lyrical beauty of Bantimu’s conversation skills began to show as they sat in the fast aging day, sipping cold drinks and enjoying the view of the busy neighbourhood.
“Everyone’s life is like a swollen boil, isn’t it?” Bantimu started off on his first of many thrilling monologues of the day. “Many years ago, as a child, my friends and I had the misfortune of relying on a braggart older teenage fool to teach us how to swim in our local river. We had no idea he couldn’t swim either but because he was a lot older and taller than we were, we assumed he could. He would walk firmly but gingerly, with his feet touching the muddy slimy bottom of the not so shallow waters. I can’t remember his real name but everyone in our village called him Dada, because he had a natural growth of tightly dreadlocked hair. Well, we all thought it was only natural that a fellow like him should swim like a fish.
“Dada was a very tall fellow for his age and was able to barely keep his chin above the water surface with just marginal difficulty, as he almost effortlessly momentarily leaped and bounced off the rather close water depth for him. The lad simply tiptoed with the long reach of his strong athletic tall legs beneath him and moved with relative ease. He beat his arms through the water surface as he pretended to swim when he was actually just walking on the bottom of the slow flowing river. We couldn’t tell what he was doing because the greenish shade of the water made the rivers depth hazy and we couldn’t see beneath his chest. We merely saw a brave swimmer.
“Many months later, Dada lost his footing and slipped one day. The slight current of the river carried him further into the slightly deeper part of the water. When he got back on his feet, he had a shock. His head stayed submerged even when he leap. We could see his frantic waving hands as he gulped down large mouthfuls of water with each time he tried to call for help.
“Oddly, we had all become more capable learners than he was a reliable teacher and two of his best pupils swam over to his rescue. We pretended to accept his story about his feet being tangled up in some underwater reed and only laughed behind Dada’s back about the incident, more out fear than respect. He was a lot bigger than we were and could beat us silly.”
Kengua wished he had come along with his mini tape recorder, as Bantimu concluded his short story telling with a philosophical flourish.
“Two of us saved Dada’s life that day. If he hadn’t held us up in turns, inside the water almost daily, while we beat our feet and arms in swimming motions as he stood firmly up on the river’s muddy bottom, giving us his bogus lessons on how to swim, he would have drown that afternoon. He invariably saved his own life because he had taught us how to swim.”
Kengua naturally wanted to know if Dada ever learned to swim as they grew older. Bantimu shook his head negatively in reply. It is a common way of answering in the mid-west of Africa.
“He actually never did. Dada was too proud to admit he didn’t know how swim. It became increasingly difficult for him to reveal this as each one of his old students became very strong swimmer. He actually stopped going to the river all together.
“Dada’s life story likens my boil, doesn’t it?” Bantimu concluded. The philosophical end to the story’s message wasn’t much, but it was sort of worth the short wait, the smiling Kengua reflected. They stayed with Bantimu until early in the evening, when they returned to their hotel.
It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart. Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors. When they are hounded out by circumstances, covered and wrapped up in uncertainty’s mist, they avert the gaze of morality and succumb, expectantly. The spurious infallible laws of most customs appear to be in one long corroboration mode with nature to shortchange the woman.
While the woman cannot fathom the unending impertinence to the legality of her fight, she recognizes them easily. To some degree, this dependency of hers is harnessed for her, such that she perceives them as right. She feels as virtuous as compelled. On the other hand, the man’s indignant antecedents are never realigning their reliability. Even when the woman excels and is allowed to glut, she endlessly feels more of a consultant than a senior employee in this living enterprise. It isn’t an issue of semantics or shades, it is purely double standards by nature. It is as simplistic as that. It never ceases, even when possibilities are marginally upped or proclaimed. Even when the possibilities that abound for her are marginally upped or proclaimed and redeemed, they continually humiliate her painstaking efforts still. But the woman is nevertheless passionate in her continuous efforts, never abandoning her tedious trials.
Yet at the peak of her fiercely gotten triumphs, her rich tapestry would still feel like her man’s discarded rags. It feels destined that men will manage to mount the wild cow of the woman’s fears and boldly grab her swaying horns into submission. The irony of it all is, at the right time for her to make a decision to split open his dominance, she never actually does. Instead, obsessed by her peculiarity, she omits to be steadfast, prune her potentials, squint naturally, not wink pretentiously. His sun shines on her eclipsed moon and leaves no traces again. As far as life is concerned, the sole weapon nature endowed her with is submerged within her and confined to her thoughts only. The very core of her difficulty is a theorem nature had solved long ago, which time and man hadn’t yet changed, though they never stop trying.
The man cannot ever emotionally harm himself with pictures of the woman he conjures up in his mind. It is only this folly he might choose to try to cringe from, he is either hooked up or not. His broken heart is misinterpreted to atone nothing and to wrestle away from his dominance, the undercut tactics the woman can resort to and rely on; tends to neglect the fact that it can’t quench the thirst it slakes. The woman remains the smelling monstrous carcass in the man’s dreams. He only needs to wake up every morning and go on with his life. She is only an eye witness to his dreams and cannot step into his living world, unless he decides to enroll her. The turbulence that is her apprehension for some control gathers momentum to be slighted.
The key central delight the woman enjoys the most for all time is her procreation grant, and only because the natural trepidation of time uses her with it. Even then the consternation involved in bringing forth a physical marvel someone else had sired inside her, is apathetic. It is like a badly crippled spider delighting on the spoils provided by another spider’s cobwebs. She endlessly baffles at how easily her active role is truncated. The passive contribution of the man hinders the glory of her pain. Unclouded by the impersonation of her man, in the flurried act of birth, the fierce heat of subtle neglect by tradition always insults her ultimately.
The man ever lives on, strutting along in accepted honour for just being a cameo of sorts. While the woman can merely dramatize her emotions, still only skeptical whether she is honoured or not, abhorred or exalted. She never really knows and can tell quite little.
The diatribe lingers, intruding incessantly on her real position as the harbinger of life and love. She has to rely on this bias acceptance which she is infinitely chastised and castigated for. It is perplexing how the eccentricity of the situation belittles her, when it should celebrate her. But there is an eternal good in all this, granted that this portrayal seduced her. It understandably ought to make her deficient of undying love. It would make anyone else inescapably furious. Being so indulged in this solitary abstraction is quite punitively irritable. Dot on the spot, it scotches logic with tentative and doubtless ease. Still well acquainted with not just insinuated, outrageous accusation of it being a mere tool and not the worker, she remains doggedly devoted.
She exhibits an earnest and distilled shine of love and extraordinary dedication. Trembling with genuine affection she actually reinforces her floundering faith in her man, lavish him with some more of her branded selfless love. The spontaneity of which is not tarnished with any misplaced aggression on her part. The calculated belittling of her is conspicuous. But the conviction of all this natural, as well as artificially crafted cruelty notwithstanding, it triggers of what become a bloom of mild beautiful eruption. Regardless of whether the woman is treasured and receives a big bequest, she is fascinated by her masculine distractor. Her dedication may stumble and still it deepens into an overall vital part of the man’s wellbeing. She delved into living this way fully, only hesitating to sparingly investigate a partner.
Whether she unearths a chunk of coal or a gold nugget, is inconsequential to her. She gives the man his ratcheting room, to make up his mind if he would mug or protect her and her interests. Rather than dawdle about, wondering which kind of person he will be, she decides which kind of person she is.