When A Wordsmith Departs

I never met Austyn Njoku, but since he passed on I have encountered his love for words in many comments on the world wide web. When I saw this elegant poem in his honour, I thought it best to share it, in honour of the departed poet and as a reminder that life is but a mist.

Please read and share.

ELEGY FOR A BARD
(For Austyn Njoku)

By Rasaq Malik Gbolahan
There are ways to mourn
the passing of a poet:

Ferry his coffin across seven seas
and scribble his name on every stone
on the path to the funeral ground

There are words they say
whenever the thunder of death
knifes the heart of the sky:

Ferry his coffin without burning candles
for candlelights are not enough
to burn the forest of death

Read his poems
and deck shelves
with his books

Let him breathe not beneath this
empty earth
but through the wind that blows
and the leaves that wave
as every moment sprouts a bud
of memory in the evergreen rose
he plants
with
his
words.

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Dear One

Dear one,
I never planned to be away this long. Given my way I would write for you daily, or even many times a day. But Life happened. And somehow I found  that it was easier to be absent than to give you any less than my best or my attempt at my best.

Sometimes I would think about a post and see the sequence but feel no zeal to put a finger on the keypad. At others I would hear the gremlins whispering, “Who are you kidding? Do you call that writing?” But everyday I wrote for you in my mind. Sometimes I would flip the page of the daily agenda sheet while listening to some circuitous lecture,  and scribble a line like…

” No matter how she craned or cowered, she couldn’t escape the smell of his sweat or the whiff of stale coffee that assaulted her with each breath.”

And sometimes at dinner something silly would happen and I would tell you all about it in my mind. stories about a gentle giant called One-Men, an asp like lady called Vera, James, a rascally vet with a limp and a power-thirsty rogue called John.

But who knows? I found zeal to write this, tonight, maybe more will follow. Maybe I will find words to share with you what are some of the best experiences of my life. And maybe I will find the magic formula for mixing two passions without killing one and dousing the other. For that we must wait and see.

Tonight, I just want you to know that you mean the world to me and I am glad you read my work. I want to thank you for following my blog, for ignoring the cobwebs, for believing against unbelief. I want to thank you for putting me on your list of favourite writers, sending me DMs, mentions, prayers, the police. Thank you.

Here is to hope and friendship.
Here is to you and all the bsreautiful things you wish yourself.
I love you, God bless you.
Yours Always,
Nta

THANKFUL!

Once upon a time, a man went to visit his mother-in -law. He had sent her word of his intent so she prepared elaborately for his arrival. She fetched fresh pineapples, oranges, apples, almonds and walnuts from her farms for dessert. She ordered the freshest of palm wine from the villages most renown wine-tapper. She killed one of her chickens, took the choicest piece of fish in her pantry and generous helpings of stock fish and crayfish to make her son-in-law a delicious plate of afang soup. Then she pounded his yam herself and set the table.

Her son-in-law arrived on time. He began with the fruits and palm wine. A few mouthfuls into the pounded yam, he found that he was full. His mother-in-law packed the remains of the meal for him in her best food warmer and fastened it on his bicycle.

as he was leaving, her son in law turned to her.

“Mama Uyai, I can not say how thankful I am for all you you have done. I have no mouth to express my appreciation.”

Mama Uyai stared at her son-in-law in shock. Briskly, she walked over to the food warmer that had been tied to the bicycle carrier and loosened it.

“It is good that you can not say how thankful you are. It is even better that you ‘have no mouth to express’ your appreciation. I will count the food in your belly as a loss. But this one in the food flask is following me home. You mute mouth-less ingrate!” With a long drawn out hiss, she took her flask and stormed off.

The story recounted above has kept me amused for years. I see a lot of human relations nuggets in it.
(What lessons can you see?)

Today, I am focusing on the message. The message is this: a little thanks goes a long way.

This week I read an article about the things we should be thankful for. (Who do atheists thank?) The writer thought 30 days of thankfulness was ‘like saccharine.’ I hissed at the thought. 366 days is barely enough to thank. We get blessings every second: the effortless blinking of our eyes, breathing in and out, visiting the toilet without tubes or machines, and more.

I consider myself a thankful person, but most of all I teach people to have a gratitude attitude. Gratitude changes the way you experience life. It mutes the bad and amplifies the beautiful.

Everyone has challenges. Even God, wasn’t there war in heaven? Even angels, wasn’t the angel sent to Daniel resisted for 21 days? So challenges shouldn’t make us lose sight of our blessings.

One thing Dr Mike Murdock (@drmikemurdock on Twitter) taught me was to mute any undesirable message. Decide to make the good things in your life louder than the bad. Make up your mind to be thankful. A counter. A person that is happy to have a glass, and something in it, full, half-full or any where in between.

Awesome things happen when we are thankful. Jesus thanked God and five loaves fed five thousand. A leper came back to give thanks in the bible and was made whole.

Bitterness is a killer. It robs you of what ever you lack and steals the joy from what you have. Choose to be thankful. After all, someone’s earnest prayer is to be where you are. Learn to look at the good things happening around you. Stay around thankful people. Thankfulness is contagious.

Be the sort of person everyone wants to help/bless, not one whose mother-in-law has to abuse and down-grade.

Be a winner, be thankful.

Day 5: Facing Book and other stories.

Dear DLAP team,

Hello there, I know you are you are waiting for today’s gist so I’ll just give it to you.

Today (and yesterday) has been crazy. On both days I had exams in two different cities four hours apart. Reading, revising, promoting and blogging have been a few of the balls this amateur juggler is throwing in the air.

By grace, the exams have come and gone.

And there were some really hilarious moments along the way today.

1. A doctor told me the only Facebook account he had was burying his face in his books.

2. Another doctor told me that he had received many flash fiction vote requests from people he doesn’t know via inbox. (Hehe, them go de form elitist meanwhile………..)

3. A lady’s glasses nigh fell off her face when I made my ‘handshake pitch’ (yes they exist just like the elevator pitch, just shorter and more friendly)

And there is still work to do:

1. We are still begging blog readers from India, China, USA to reach us. Hey, this is your chance to make history.

2. We need people to join the team and help share the word.

3. We need a face of DLAP

4. We need a jingle.

5. We need a reading

6. We need people with clout on other social media.

7. We need bright publicity ideas.

Lucky Grace, all she needed was new clothes… Hehe.

But

By grace we still press on.

We don’t finish when we are tired.

We finish when we are done.

Thank you

For your phenomenal support.

Let’s keep doing this,

God bless you.

Amen.

Splinters Of Glass In A Bleeding Heart.

Hmmmmggh!

Where do I begin? With an apology, I haven’t posted as often as I should. I have a bag of excuses for this:

  • 1. The Westgate attacks shocked my fingers to stone.

    2. Prof Kofi Awoonor’s Death shot me into mourning.

    3. My Samsung Tab has gone into coma (read possible death).

    4. I missed another set of deadlines (Again?! Yes. Again).

    5. Unforeseen emergencies arrived and scrambled my budget.

    6. I have been scouting for 1M votes for my clients.

    7. I lost an election.

    8. I lost a friend.

    So there, it hasn’t been as easy as it usually is. It has been rough and tough and challenging. But all through you have been on my mind. And I know that often it is grief, not glee that brings out the best in us.

    I hope I’ll get to write about all these things, one after the other, and share my writing with you.

    In any case, I thank God for being there for me through it all.

    I thank Him for

    1. The hostages that made it out alive and. Eliot Prior the brave four year old boy that stood up to a bad man with a gun. He got a bar of chocolate and freedom.

    2. Afetsi Awoonor, that he is hurt but alive and recovering. My prayers are with you.

    3. My new laptop, Sam. (Though I can’t quite remember how to type on a keyboard and sometimes I touch and tap the screen. (x_x)

    4. The new opportunities emerging everyday and the painful lesson learnt.

    5. That I could give towards the emergency, and I have gotten a third of the money back already. *Azonto*

    6. I am just doing the vote scouting once, some people do thing for a living. Phew!

    7. I learnt never to jump into a tging unprepared.

    8. I have gained many new friends and followers and fans.

    9. I am still here; and where there is life, there is hope. Hallelu!

    Going forward, I hope to be more faithful, +/- return to the 3 posts a week thing. I don’t know for certain, yet. What I do know is that I truly appreciate you and you are the best blog readers in the galaxy. Thank you for choosing to read me.

    ^

    ^

    ^
    🙂 How have you been? What has been on your mind? Please share with us in the comments (or privately email/Twitter).

    And please share this as widely as you can. Thank you. God bless you.