Yellow

Featured

When I’m feeling blue

The pain’s stuck to my chest like glue

When the shadows are long

And my heart beats like gongs

When my playlist skips to the next sad song

Give Me Yellow

When I’m feeling black

And my shoulders slack

When my mind starts a circus

Hoping one day they will see us

They say It’s not that serious –

The binding’s fragile so I got scissors

Give Me Yellow

When I’m seeing red

Because our kids have gone to bed

And the candle flame has become an inferno

We are old now, who’s going to paddle our canoe

I ask for water to quench this fire

but here you come with the gas – lighting me up and you don’t retire

Give Me Yellow

When I’m floating in purple

Cos I’ve been down a couple

When the river is an ocean

And my eyes are waterfalls

When gravity loses its motion

And my mind can’t recall

The autumn winds that fall leaves

Give Me Yellow

Give Me Yellow

The colour of happy

Then I won’t be so sappy

Tell my mind to set sail

Take turns at tea tales

Like the wind roams the earth

Like a ten-year cadet

Let me sit –

In the middle of the rainbow

Surrounded by yellow signs and halos

In the forever bliss that brings me peace

I’ve been black and blue

Now let me be yellow

Yellow and mellow in a meadow with no shadows

It’s time to be bold before we turn to mould

Let me dance with dandelions

And sing the song of sunflowers

The mellow tones of yellow

Let me bask in the sunlight

Let the sunset hug my skin tight

Let me swing from the chandeliers

The crystals, my cheerleaders

I’ve been black and blue, purple and red

Now I want to be yellow

Take all the colours

Just Give Me Yellow.

Advertisement

The Mental Health Stigma Christians face

Featured

I have been in multiple scenarios where someone would say – ‘If anyone is really a child of God like they say, they will not suffer in their mental health.

While that statement is objectively representing lack of empathy, gross indiscretion and another manifestation of mental health stigma, I’m going to briefly address why the idea presented in the statement is based on a false premise.

When I hear statements like that, In my mind, I’m like ‘Oh I didn’t get the memo – so ill health is limited to the physical for Christians. When a Christian has a headache or cancer and seeks help (medical or spiritual faith or both) for it, it should be expected but God forbid that a Christian should be depressed or suffer from PTSD.😳’

I don’t understand why people think mental health struggles is outside the enclave of Christians – like are you supposed to be buff or spongebob all the time? David was a man after Gods heart and yet struggled with depression and anxiety. And he did not hide this, It’s all over the Psalms.

Elijah literally teleported and commanded fire and rain in his life time – dude didn’t even die – God took him in a chariot – aka Heaven’s Uber. Yet the bible recorded that he went through a season of intense depression that he was suicidal. He was anxious and afraid for his life too.

Hannah was so depressed she could barely string words together and the priest thought she was drunk when she prayed.

Yet, I found that all these people were the ones God chose and loved and showed his goodness to.

People act like Christians should be this poker face clowns or emotionless logs when the truth is Jesus himself was full of emotions including intense grief. He understands all the shades of emotions a human can feel. He felt all of them throughout his ministry and on the cross.

The difference between a child of God going through depression, anxiety whatever – is the fact that God is there with them – he does not scold or look down on them – instead he consoles them like a loving father would. You know if you listen and accept his help – it works – your face will be radiant again. It won’t be long before you are up on your feet again even if you are barely standing.

The bible says that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy! This is why you found that David was always running after Gods heart, he said it so many times in his writings that he loved the presence of God more than anything,

He said;

“O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house And the place where Your glory dwells.”

Psalms 26:8 AMP

It was like a sheep to the ultimate shepherd relationship. And God didn’t fail him. For every low, he had 10 highs so he really had a banquet in the presence of his enemies – these enemies were not just physical, they were the battles he fought within himself which is the toughest battle anyone can engage in by the way.

As a Christian who has experienced depression or going through a season of depression now – The testimony is that in spite of these things that is supposed to be a fatal weakness, you are still in God, God is with you. You are still standing by Gods grace and still telling anyone that cares to listen about the love of God. That is the biggest testimony any Christian can ever give – That you still believe in God and Jesus his son and you know that God is for you. Bible says So I boast in my weakness, because I know it only produces Gods grace and showcases Gods power to save anyone who wholeheartedly trusts in him.

“But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are weak can everything be done completely by my power.” So I will gladly boast about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can stay in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 ERV

In summary, there is an active mental health stigma in the Christian community, If you are a victim of this, stay in Gods presence, You know you are not alone 😉

Exhale

In the search for love

The kind of love that makes you find religion

That makes you lose your legions

Cos they can’t shade the gorgon

In the search for me

How long is too long to numb the pain

Till you can’t feel it anymore

My eyes on you

But you know I’m really looking for her

I’m sick but in my head

Tell my mind to make my body move

But you can’t help me

You’re just as blind too

Cut the rubbish

And we can be up to something

Then you can see me as I see you

A magical being God created

But your thoughts are billing

And my hands are bleeding

“Tell my mind to make my body move

So I can groove

Even if my leg feels like hooves’’

You laid me to rest

where the ground is strong

Still, I know I’ll rise

I’ll be waking up like a force

I’m a strong force

The earth can’t hold me

She can’t handle it

I’ll rise up

And I’ll do it a thousand times again

I’m a woman on a mission

It’s more than a passion

Don’t need no revisions

I wrote birthversary

Cos the love in my heart ain’t blurry

It sees you and your shit

But still loves you like your shit

But you know – you ain’t shit.

Ok – too much shit in this verse

I guess that’s how much it stinks

Loving the world and loving myself

Peeking in the window

In the house that is your world

And I feel like I may never belong

But you make me laugh

And I can’t hang

Wish I could make it easy

Easy to love me

But my quirkiness gets in the way

I swear I’m trying to fix it

To calm down and stop living my life in fast forward

Still feels like I’m drowning

And my head is constantly under water

But I was thinking clear

When I said I liked you

31 Bickersteth Street, Lagos.

Photo by kureng Dapel on Pexels.com

I was sitting on the balcony just outside my apartment, trying to take my mind off the sultry weather that the lack of electricity supply did nothing to suffice. Suddenly nine months felt like forever. I was undecided on whom to direct my anger at. The government who has resigned the fate of its best hands to a redundant system designed to break youths in every way imaginable calling it National Youth Service Commission (NYSC) or my uncanny neighbours.

There was Jaluu, the Babalawo (Native doctor/herbs man) third room from mine. He did not talk much, his only companions were his minions, wooden dolls, who would think a grown man like him would still find toys fascinating. That’s the way I saw it, but he took what he did very seriously and so did most of my co tenants. Many times, I’ve caught Amaka, Baba Emeka and Momi Tito paying him visits though they always deny it when confronted. Momi Tito especially, who was a single mother of two girls which she had for two different men, shared Jaluu’s love for toys. The girls, Tito, who was seven and Tiwa, who was five had someone new to call daddy every week. It must be confusing not knowing who their real father was.

Despite the interesting personalities of my co-tenants, we all attend the living church of signs and wonders two blocks away. It was amazing how they were able to display religious eccentrics with such abandonment.
Even more amazing was the pastor who was always fighting one to dozen imaginary spirits every church service. He knew their names as well as their likes and dislikes. I wondered if he knew his church members that well and what they did in secret. The real war would start then.

It was a sight every Sunday and I think that is one of the reasons why I attend apart from the fact that it was the nearest church in a thousand miles. Jaluu attended because according to him, there was one thousand and one ways to God, however valid, they should not be questioned.
‘We all worship the same God, we just have different nicknames for him’, he would say.
Personally, I think it’s because that’s where he gets his best customers from. Ironic isn’t it. For Baba Emeka, It was more of an avenue to invite everyone for a Sunday night drink at his local relaxation bar. It was the perfect get away spot for everyone to vent just before the Monday blues began. It was a small town. That kind of town where everyone knew each other.

This Sunday was different however, a man attended church service, a man they had not seen before! He stood in front of the congregation.
Man: Praise the Lord!!!!!

Congregation: Hallelujah!!!!!
Man: Praaaaaaiissssssseeeee The Living God…
Congregation: Hallelujah!!
Man: Prai…prai…Praise Master Jisos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Congregation: [ Silence]
Man: [ Singing ] I’m happy…I’m happy…I’m happy…Jehovah has done me well
Pastor Assistant: Err…Sir…Just say your testimony…we don’t have all day…


So the man began. He testified of how just last week he was healed of a life-threatening illness. He was healed of HIV. He was no longer dying. Hallelujah!
Everyone rejoiced with him as he danced round the altar, heralding the evidence of his miracle, a HIV negative result. Like the grateful leper Jesus healed in the bible, the man led the thanksgiving chorus again as he danced. Everyone echoed. Everyone except Momi Tito.
Curious. Why was Momi Tito not dancing elatedly with this young man who was lost but now has been saved? Instead she stood transfixed on the spot looking at the man in shock and then she blurted out in a display of despair.


Momi Tito: Ye…Ye …Ye… Mo ku o! … (I’m dead!)… Ina jo mi o (Fire is burning me) … Fire…Fire!
Baba Emeka: Fire ke? (What fire?) Where is the fire!
That was pastor’s cue. He was a specialist in these kind of things. After all, the bible is filled with stories of strange fires like this.
Pastor: Congregation, this is exactly what I preached about today, The Lord is good! The fire revival has started!
Then he turned to Momi Tito and said –
Pastor: Woman, thou art loosed!
I don’t think that was enough to unbind Momi Tito as she wrapped her arms around her upper abdomen tighter, crying bitterly.

At that point I had seen enough. I had to go sundry the remaining of my clothes before they all get back from church and there was no space left on the open cloth liner. Besides the ushers were already carrying Momi Tito to the special deliverance room cutting the action short.


Questions plagued my mind for weeks however. Why did Momi Tito shout like that? Who was that man that testified? How did his miracle happen? Well, Miracles do happen, but not in that church.
Well, after two weeks of dedicated snooping, I finally learned the truth.

Momi Tito was a sex peddler. The man was Segun. He had been Momi Tito’s regular client until he suddenly stopped coming. She never knew why he stopped coming, never bothered to look into it, never thought of him twice until now. She had been frequenting Baba Jaluu for drugs that would boost her immunity as she had been falling sick frequently. Also for the past few months, Baba Emeka too who had been in Momi Tito had the same strange illness and had gone to Jaluu for some explanation. Baba Jaluu himself had been. For you see, Momi Tito kept an unbiased clientele.


The air at 31, Bickersteth street has been sullen and remorseful for the past two weeks as my neighbours mourned their impending doom. They were all suspected victims of HIV- the disease without a cure. I tried to explain to them that it was a not a life sentence if they were positive.
“Don’t worry, I said. There are almost free ARV drugs available at -“
Jaluu looked at me with utter disdain cutting me short. He had an open aversion to modern medicine. He had a term for it – ‘ pretentious’.
However, I think what was more aversive was the fact that he was not the one prescribing drugs this time. And that he, the famed healer would have to beg Segun to take him to the place where he got healed. He would have to trust in Segun’s god now as that was the only god that could save him.

The Woman on Elm Street

Annie Marie waited under the lamp post clutching that raggedy purse. Her long navy blue gown , like an 18th century lady, stood out among people in jeans and skimpy skirts. She did this every evening for two centuries now.

‘John said to meet him here’ – She would tell the people hurrying past her.

‘You know my John?’ – She asked a child who was staring at her Inquisitively.

Once the local council tried to move her, gave her some food and clean clothes, the food she agreed to, but said no to new clothes and that purse- ratchety as it was, she held on to it like she was holding on to dear life.

What was in the purse? – A foil wrapper with fingers in it – fingers she had cut off from all the men that had asked for her hand in marriage. They were not worthy. How dare they? When John comes, she would show them to him. All the men she had refused and defied for him.

The Fifth

Do you see me
The protest in my silence
Or do you just call it diffidence

Can you hear me
The pain behind my smile
It’s almost senile

A thousand swords
Are hidden in the chords
That my tongue could sing

Still I remain silent
The words I don’t say
Fall like a thud in my mind

To say or not to say
I’m at war with myself
And at the epicenter,
Is my tongue.

#Iamawriteronthebase
@TheWritersBase

Joseph’s Dillema

Mary has a man
And he has no name
Saw her just last week
Face as lovely as the sun
On a rainy day
She was my woman
Now she belongs to him
My Mary has a man

My baby’s got a baby coming
And he will not be mine
Help me understand this magic
Cos it’s killing me
My woman was with
Another man

Tell me
Did he hold you
Like I used to
Tell you you are rare magic
As he rubbed your tired feet
Does he know
How long i’ve waited
For a moment in heaven
With you

My Mary,
You had a man
In this very room
You ask me not to leave
Have you forgotten that
I’m only human after all
Still –
Explain it to me the dozenth time
How are you pregnant
With the Son of God?

Freedom

If knowledge is the key
Then show me the lock
Independence or Co-dependence?
Free man Freeman
The Black Man is Free
When his mind’s not in chains
Open Sesame

Wasn’t Me

I know what it looks like
You found her
Cold and lifeless next to me
My prints on the knife
Buried deep in her heart
Her eyes frozen in a plea
I know what it looks like
But I didn’t do it
I swear I’m not lying

Before God what i’m writing here is the truth
I met this girl on the curb or was it at the bar?
She was the kind of babe you had to look at.
It was her eyes and the way her curves delicately moved everything in her way
I was captivated and so were the ten other guys at the bar that day.
There was something tiring about her eyes though. You could see it even when they smiled. I knew she didn’t want to be disturbed but still I couldn’t help but order her a drink.

Two hours later, I knew the story behind her tired eyes. Gilted lover, pretty cliche. I was no better than the man that broke her heart but I wanted to be her knight for the night. So I invited her to my room. But I swear nothing happened. After an hour of watching The Looney Tunes Marathon – and finding out who was better at knife throwing, we fell asleep.

I woke up at dawn and found her in a pool of her own blood. Her body still warm but rigid and perfect except for the knife we had been playing with earlier buried deep within her chest. But I didn’t kill her – I didn’t do it – I swear i’m not lying!

Hidden Treasures

The world cheered as she sang
Canaries were no match

He spoke
And a nation was forged
A new generation of soldiers
With armed minds

He Joked
And choked grown men with laughter

There was a painter
Whose hands ressurected dreams
There was a physicist – tho an atheist
He made men thirst for God

They all died at birth
Hidden treasures in wooden boxes.