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.
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
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
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
While older men are looking befuddled
Little boys are playing with puddles
The irony of humanity; ever under siege
From desires that put our wisdom to test
Sorrow grows with age and knowledge
As people fail in the struggle to find rest
Rest, my soul, in the eternal God alone.
It is the first time in years
That we have a place to shelter
Show us some mercy
Do not expose our fears
To those people who despise us
Pray, look upon our faces
And be merciful to us
Our journeys have been hard
In the many places we have lived
Give us some respite
For our bodies and our souls
Have taken on a bit of batter
Pray, spare us from rebuke
And let us find favor with you
We have long hoped and prayed
Finally, grateful to arrive here
Do let us take solace
From the storms and disasters
Always looming in the distance
Pray, forgive our many failures
And show us a little bit of kindness
Toyin Taiwo, Aug 2020
Funny Face made a silly joke
Brown Tooth laughed hard as
White Shirt became upset with
The sudden loss of decorum
Madam Counsellor spoke up as
He wondered what was funny
Reminding him that life is short
And the days have been tough.
Almost every one of them agreed
The economy would be better off
If Lying Lips had won the elections
Everyone, except Saint Integrity
Who could never share that view
Even if his life were under threat.
Toyin Taiwo, Aug 2020
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash
Everything that has a beginning has an end. So, start with the end in mind. Tonight, I do not feel like writing many words. Yet I feel like I have a lot to say. So many unspoken words harboured in my mind, waiting to be given life and a purpose. I used to yearn to speak; now I hesitate to open my mouth. The years have brought caution to my lips, patience to my feet, and abundance of reflection to my days. So let me share these lines I wrote a while ago…
Continue reading “The Market”
Totally drained is how I feel:
When your words ride over mine
And our thoughts do not align
When your voice drowns under mine
And our voices become hoarse
From screaming silent expletives
In vain: we became deaf to each other.
Continue reading “A Crisis of Love”
What do you do when the one you love, loves another?
Do you plead for love, or quietly nurse your pain?
Do you wait in hope, or just simply walk away?
Do you silently pray and wish the ache would just abate?
Or do you gather with friends and drink your sorrow away?
Even though it remains, soon as you wake again
What do you do, when your heart is set upon a lost cause?
Toyin Taiwo, 2020