Covered by Love

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Here I am, lying in quiet contemplation
As you gently serenade my soul
With lyrics sung to an eternal tune.
You speak peace to my storms
And bring an end to my fears.
Your words stir my lukewarm soul
And awaken my heart to heavenly love

Love so tireless that it chases me
Down to depths of depression where I sink
Love so true that it pulls me out
From the chambers of darkness and death
As I fade away from the view of a busy world:
A world that moves on with ease
When this fragile frame I finally lay aside

Your love draws me out of myself into You
Into purpose and service and sacrifice
With fulfillment and everlasting joy
In Your presence, I find abundance of peace
Even in the midst of a troubled world.
So, once I was lost chasing shadows in the dark
But now I am found, shining brightly like a star

The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

I am loved with a love that never ceases or fails, drawn with a kindness that has no precedence. God’s love calls out to me in the day time, whispers to me in the night seasons, heals me when I am wounded and restores me when I am broken. This love, so surreal, rejoices over me with gladness, like a sheep once lost now found. He sings to me joyfully as I lay quietly in the palm of his arms, covered by His love, without care or concern in this world.

Wonder

who planted a tree
in the middle of the ocean
and nurtured it to life?

how did its roots
get a hold of the seabed
and secure to a base?

how did its shoot
survive the undercurrents
and spring above the sea?

who shall number the days
of a tree that dwells in the ocean
or chronicle its tales?

A Tale of Time

The sweet chiming of bells; slow passage of time
Cackling of chickens and chirping of crickets
Remind me of the future we once dreamt about
The story of my life: a true motion picture
Far more to tell than that which meets the eyes
Much harder to sell in cold weather than ice
Hold your thoughts: this is a commercial break

You sang me a song when I turned sweet thirteen
Told me to be brave when I clocked seventeen
Truly no one was there when it mattered the most
Jobless and homeless at vague twenty-three
Crispy fried chicken slowly turned sour on my lips
Joyful birthday song growing dour by the year
Please wake me up now: all this has to be a dream

Look here we are, still awake, grinding out reality
Little feet follow me as I make my own mistakes
I traded away my fears at the currency exchange
But held on to my greed, an implicit part of me
Surely I must write my story, as I try to find my way
Though you must be wary as you listen to my tale
Yet no better tale was told than one made up on the go


Rise

Rise
Above my fears and your misfortune
Above your failure and my weakness
Today could just become your day
But first, you will need to rise again

Rise
To the tune of your glorious anthem
And the rhythm of my solemn pledge
To the challenge of restoring the ruins
And the labour of saving your name

Rise
Above this injustice and corruption
Beyond the limits of manipulation
Rise to the status of true nationhood
In unity and peace, by faith making progress

Rise
My beloved country, my dear friends and family
Above selfish interests and personal gain
Beyond finger-pointing to solution-finding
Until a great nation on the earth we truly become

O.J. Taiwo
Oct. 1, 2014

Shadows

Why do the shadows look bright, almost blood-red?
Strange hues of orange, like fire dancing in the dark
Remind us of the forgotten, whose blood were shed
And of fires we stoke as attack dogs keep up the bark

We forged strange friendships on the altars of deceit
Broke up alliances with those who cared how we fare
So when shadows light up, and we’re feeling the heat
We should not ask each other: “how did we get here?’

Joseph

Though a solitary wanderer lost in foreign lands
Yet stayed true to the culture of my native home
The blessings of my father were far much greater
Than amazing bounties found in everlasting hills
Eminent among brothers, a prince among sons
Humbled by circumstances; loved by my father
I found unusual favour with my Father above

He who brought me out of a dungeon so I could
Sit on thrones and teach wisdom to noble men
Makes for a wondrous tale every time it is told
Though depressing as I wandered through it all
And this births my message to every generation:
Hold on to faith as you go through the process
My name is Joseph: a fruitful bough by the well

Pain

In the throes of pain,
Nothing else matters more
Than the irresistible allure
Of good ol' sweet relief.
"Make it go away; make it
Stop and never start again"
You scream in agony.

Your words turn to gibberish
As the universe fades away
Surely would pay any price
To loose the gripping hold
Of pain, as neural connections
Send signals to your brain:
"The dam is almost burst".
 
But soon as pain is gone
Its memory starts to fade
And its gravity dissipates
What was a "live-or-die"
Becomes a "we-survived"
As people boast of victory
Over the struggles they had
 
Though never forgotten
Yet never as forceful
The only power it holds
Is the fear of its return
Which we easily relegate.
Pain loses its potency
Once it is gone away.

Toyin Taiwo, Sep 2020

Haiku

I first read about Haiku (a short form of Japanese poetry) a few years ago and became fascinated with that style of poetry. I spent a good deal of time trying it on and even encouraged a few friends to try their hands on it – the outcomes were quite encouraging. I have recently tried to write a few more and I thought I’d share them here.

Thin sheets of ice are
Melted by the fiery heat
Of an angry sun
 
Reddish desert sands
Blown around by endless winds
Thirsty for the rain
 
Yellow petals lure
Through the charm of their perfume
Hungry insects near
 
Dark and rainy nights
Old men reflecting at dawn
Precede brighter days
 
The wisdom of youth
Coated in dazzling colours
A sight to behold 

I look forward to hear what you think about them. Till next time, take care and bye! 😊

P.S. The header picture is a reference to a scenic hiking trail in Hawaii, named “Haiku stairs”. The stairs and the poetry style have no relationship whatsoever. It’s just plain coincidence of language. Or maybe not…

Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

To The Immortal One

To The Immortal One

To the Immortal One
Who dwells in light unapproachable
We bring our praise

To the Invisible One
Whose throne is founded on justice and righteousness
We lift our hearts

To the Unchangeable One
Before whom darkness is plain as light
We raise our hands

To the Blameless One
Whose holy eyes cannot behold iniquity
We bow our knees

To the Eternal One
Who holds all of creation to account
Our tongues confess

To the King,
Who was, and is, and still is to come
We proclaim that you are God!

Toyin Taiwo, Aug 2020