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

Do You Believe?

Tonight, I own the stage.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful how

You can be voiceless one moment

And own a stage the next?

Isn’t it wonderful how

You can rise from a nobody

To sitting among princes the next?

You heard the message of faith

Did you believe?

Did you really believe?

Did you really believe you would

Rise from the ashes and be clothed

In purple?

In purple – the purple of kings

Of royalty and splendour and honour

And respect and privilege and wealth

Of servants and banquets and feasts

And surplus and buffets and fashion

Did you really believe?

Or were you

Consumed with guilt and lust and desire

And shame and fear and doubt?

Because, all your life

You wanted this moment

You wanted to hope and believe and

Dream and see and hold onto this,

This present truth, now looming large before you

Unbelievable, but now true and real

You wanted this with all your heart

But now, it only stares in seeming mockery at you

Or does it?

Hey, wait!

Don’t go down that path

Of envy and jealousy and hatred and bitterness

And malice and unending pain,

And deceit and manipulation and subterfuge

For in reality, this would-be hope of yours

Beckons at you in desperate longing

It beckons at you to come, to come away

To the table, the table of kings

If you only believe, if you really believe

You can take your place among the stars

And perhaps tonight or some other night

You can own the stage.

Toyin Taiwo © 2016