Guest Post: “FRAIL INCLINATIONS” – a Poem by Moyosola Tugbobo

LAD
He gazes upwards to behold the sunlight hours
It feels so new and pregnant with optimism
He hopes for unsullied opportunities
Eyes tightly shut, he prays for her
With caterpillars sojourning in his heart,
He wishes her well

As he rises, he gazes about with swift darts
Colours lay a pageant before his eyes
But oh! The lady might love red…
He dashes into his restroom
Spends half a decade in the showers
Quarter a century in front of the mirror
Admiring ever so lovingly, his own image
Shaving every stray beard
Spraying all the cologne
And singing hymns of plea

His heart is chock-full of love for her
She gives him a rhythm so unfathomable
She’s a light in his heart
The end of his tunnel
His golden lining in the darkest cloud of helplessness
His only distraction

But how can nature be so cruel?
How can obsession engulf his existence?
How can he be so mightily blessed with a weakness?
Why is he so mousy?
How come he stutters?
How come he asks ‘how come’?

He determines rough edges be smoothened
Everything feels rightly wrong…
The caterpillars on a merry-go-round in his heart
His mind playing ‘gotcha’ with him
The invincible nightingale on the tip of his ear
The alcohol in the air
Everything seems magical to him
And with a final sigh…
He steps out of his home.

LASS
In the showers, she lets her thought speculate
How come nature tortures her?
What is missing in her?
The beautiful smiles? I doubt!
She steps out looking angelic
Nothing makes sense, but him
Oh, her hair! Not a stray strand must escape the bun!
She slips on her dress
‘Adonis could be away’ she thinks
‘Does he even care a smidgen?’ she wonders
He seems ever so resentful, unfriendly and unwilling!

She cares too much she can’t help it
She gives a finishing touch of blush
Her cheeks glow red with pain
With that, he might not notice the real and genuine
She praises it for a secret well hidden

The butterflies leave their endless sacks
They develop so rapidly
She has no hope at all
It seems there is no reason to live
But hey! She steps out
She makes the journey to her destination in sorrow
Sorrow dots her beauty
Nothing makes sense to her
She feels so ignored and sad

Thousands have washed her feet with their hair
They have worshipped her well
She adores none of them
But this one person she adores
Seems to be worshipping somewhere else
‘Why does it happen this way?’ she thinks
She feels dejected
Afflictions bow at her throne hastily
They render her true worship

THE ROAD
It anticipates their coming
It sees their hearts
It feels their yearnings when they walk on it
Their giddy feet echo meaning to the road
Ever so mousy they are
Trying to hide in the open all the time
The road is powerful
‘Ona’ they call it
It reforms itself and their paths meet
From afar off, he beholds her physiognomy
The butterflies develop hastily
They fly joyfully out of his eyes
His heart beats like a ‘conga’ drum
His love grows and blossoms
It bursts in bloom and branches
Hanging out invincibly from his frail physique
But then he bleeds!
The road bleeds too!
He is concerned about that sorrow on her face

She sees him and becomes elated
Happy grief fills her heart
‘’This is the best we can be… friends’’ she thinks
She weeps unseen and unheard

The road contracts
They draw nearer
Their weaknesses hug them tightly
Alone in their world… they listen to nothing!
She speaks, he speaks…
No one hears…
No one listens!
They are both far away in their thoughts
They leave echo with the chore to remind
‘How do I tell her I love her?’
‘How do I tell him I care’?
How, how, how?
They stand there feeling both joy and pain
Neither can speak again
They become stammerers
They both try to hide the obvious
How possible can that be?
The lad dreads a disaster
The lass dreads a chaos
The road sighs…

It has been patient enough
It’s supposed to be a moving path
Those who stand on it to talk must be eloquent
They must not allow weaknesses pervade
It stretches itself and reshapes itself
…and they depart

Oh! That departure!
That fearful time in a man’s life
That thorny time that brings a minute’s madness
That ugly moment
A moment of pain and melancholy
Life….does not seem to be fair on them both.

*******


LAD
Oh! After all the preparatory measures
How could I have failed to speak?
Weaknesses often bring so much vile
‘’I just wish she knew…’’

LASS
I should have known better
He cares not, he can’t be concerned
He probably wouldn’t, ever!
All he does leaves me in misery
‘’I wish he knew’’

THE ROAD
When you cross a line
You are on the other side
Why is it such a difficult task for them?
I could only wish to elongate my patience
And so, words might have no need of actions
I wish they both could perceive…

© Moyosola Tugbobo, 2011
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Moyosola Tugbobo is a freelance writer who lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She studies English (Arts) at the University of Lagos and blogs at http://mowyore.tigblog.org

Valentine’s Day Gone Awry?

So Valentine’s Day has come and gone and I’m wondering what different people’s tales would be. Here in Nigeria, the day after was a public holiday so, for those workers who could not do much after the busy Monday at work, especially those in traffic-cursed Lagos, it was a well-timed one. Good for them! (Maybe?)

While some people just don’t ‘dig’ the idea of having a special day to celebrate love, others would die for it. Some people just did not have that special person to celebrate the occasion with, in grand style, or whatever style, whether they ‘dig’ the Val idea or not. A quick confession: yours truly belongs to this sub-class, and it’s a personal, conscious decision. Ahn? And don’t worry, maybe I’ll feature big time in the next season of this un-ending romance series… Okay, so when you are indoors, just by yourself on the evening and night of February 14, it is only logical that you come up with different ploys to make you feel justified. So I thought, why not just make a joke out of all this. Then, I decided to tidy up a scenario I had thought about almost a year prior to that night. Here goes:

So, there’s this dude, Kamal, a student of the Lagos State University, Ikorodu Campus, who has been speaking on phone with this particular girl, Funbi, from the University of Lagos, Akoka Campus, for two months, but they have never met before in the physical. The dude’s roommate, Kolapo, had been talking with his girlfriend, Francesca, who happens to have a roommate who would like hook-up with the mystery guy who always chuckled in the background. That love-thirsty girl is Funbi. MTN has blessed their impending union with the free midnight calls and, thankfully, Funbi’s got a really nice voice. So Funbi is now fully ‘connected’ to Kamal. Sweet thing, you would say.

Two weeks before St. Valentine’s Day, he decides to meet his angel-with-the-sweetest-voice-in-the-world! He is not prepared for the big surprise. As he enters the highbrow restaurant, he dials the ‘magic’ numbers on his Bold 2. “You are the treasure that I see…” comes the beautiful MTN Caller Tune. She picks the call and tells him she’s five minutes away from the restaurant. “I’m the guy in the red T-shirt and blue jeans and spectacles…” Kamal says.

“Okay… we are close to the place…”

“We? …who’s coming with you?”

“Sweetie, don’t worry, it’s my friend. I’m sure you’ll be happy to meet her…”

“Okay o… I’ll be waiting.”

Kolapo bites his lips. “These UNILAG babes sha! Now I have to care of the two of them. Anyway, the quality of treatment will just suffer 50% damage ni jare…” he reasons.

Just then two figures loom in front of him and he snaps out of his thoughts.

Two ladies, one extra-large, the other super-slim, appear before him.

The big lady gives a big smile, “Kamal…?”

“Aaaww! ”Kamal’s jaw drops as he tries to gain composure. Maybe she’s not the fat one?

She engulfs him in a big embrace. “Kamal, this is Pepeye, my cousin. She really wanted to meet you o!”

“Hello! I’m so plixt to finally met you”, Pepeye says with a fake accent.

Hmmn. Kamal eventually takes his seat. Perhaps, that was why Funbi had only one picture on Facebook and, even in that one, only her face is visible and she must have taken that picture back in her high school days. He thinks Funbi is too big for his liking and even Pepeye, the slim and shapely cousin is a sad story of terrible accent, loud munching, unbridled tongue. Funbi just giggles and does all the talking! Aside the fact that most of his accessories are borrowed stuff, Kamal has to recoup his hard-earned final year project money spent on this time out. Gosh!!! And he has to put up with Pepeye’s constant ogling and blushing for another two hours. What a day!

-GN!

Celebrating Love’s ‘Birthday’!

It’s that season again, when everything and everywhere turns red. People, young and old, paint the town and big city the colour of blood and Rose flower. Like light at the Stadium on the World Cup final night, smiles illuminate the faces of cake and chocolate confectioners as their orders increase. Their smiles broaden as they pocket their cash and cheques. Valentine’s Day is here once more and we will be celebrating love again!

Really, why fix one particular day for love like we are celebrating love’s birthday? Do you even know when love was born? Love is meant to reside permanently in our hearts and breathe through our actions, and we don’t have to wait till February 14 every year to now ‘do birthday’ for the ‘thing’. Or do we? Anyways, just like we have ‘Independence day’, ‘Democracy Day’, ‘Boxing Day’, ‘International Day for Youth’, ‘Eid-il-Fitri’, Eid-il-Kabir’, and those many holidays and special days, I believe it just makes some sense to set aside a day to celebrate love and emphasize that word, idea, or concept – you can take a pick!

“Love makes the world go round”, someone would say. But as we celebrate ‘love’s birthday’ this year, we need to ask ourselves, do we truly believe in love? What is your definition of love and how do you show love to those you care for? On Valentine’s night, as much as we may preach many beds and cushions and whatever will rock and feel pain, some will even get damaged, illegally! Many girls are likely to lose their innocence that very night in the name of love, only to wake up the morning after with a deep sense of guilt, regret and hurt that could last a lifetime. A few days, or even weeks, or even months later, the same person you go to despicable lengths to satisfy sexually is most likely to disown you. They would even blame you and call you names later, saying you are not responsible or ‘marriage material’, or ‘pure’.

This year, here’s a call that we all lead responsible lives and always be true to our conscience. Love entails doing unto others only that which you would like that they do to you. If you still have a warped definition/understanding of love, go get it straight. After all, ‘if sex were equal to love, then we could conclude that all prostitutes love their clients!’ This calls for crucial introspection and an advance decision never to seize control of our lives and selves, only to give it to our emotions and sexual organs – only lower animals do that. Let everything you do today, in this season and beyond be in moderation and do not be selfish. Show sincere love and appreciation to those who have made impact in your life in many ways over the years, in a special way. Call them, send a customized text, get them cake and chocolate, beautiful hand-made cards, and any of the wonderful gifts too many for this space. Surprise people who cannot, or are most likely never going to be able to, return your kind gesture and those who hardly deserve your kindness.

Let us all celebrate true love – that which is patient, kind and puts others first. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all and happy birthday to ‘love’! :)

Photo credit: www.ochorioscatering.net

Covenant Singles’ Summit: Planting Seeds for Stronger Families

Hi Folks!

It’s February again and naturally you would expect the ubiquitous signs of ‘love in the air’. So much will be going down this month and talking about them would probably fill up a whole book! So I’ll just emphasize family and the serious implications of the quality of that basic social unit on the development and progress of our nation. If young people do not get the workings of (romantic) relationships and the purpose of marriage and family right, we would just end up fooling ourselves and recycling poor and harmful values and characters. Today, I’d like to share a link to an interactive programme I’m very optimistic about.

If you are single, engaged, or recently married, and you’ll be in Lagos next week, then here’s a really cool programme I think you’d find interesting and quite helpful. I’ve been attending Sunday services at the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos, in the last 10 weeks, or so, and it’s been quite fulfilling and rewarding. You know that period when you just want to be away from the regular audience and familiar terrain, and you just want to be ‘alone’ to be refreshed with Wisdom and fuel for the greater journey ahead?

Whether marriage or even a serious relationship is not (necessarily) on your mind right now, or you can’t just wait to go down the aisle with that special someone, you could really derive a lot of benefit from an interactive singles forum at this time. The Singles’ Summit is an initiative of Covenant Christian Centre and it aims to shed Biblical light on relationships and make clearer the path that God would have us tread as Christian singles living in the 21st century.

The Interactive Forums Edition of the Singles Summit slated to hold on Saturday 19 February 2010 is aimed at creating an opportunity for every single to interact with individuals who have experienced what we all go through in our various relationships on a down-to-earth basis. It is a multiple-venue event which means that different topics are spread among different facilitators in the five (5) different venues.

In order to be at the venue where your topic(s) of interest will be discussed, it is imperative to pre-register and get a seat reserved for you. However, you can only register to be at one venue only. Here are further details about the Venues, Topics, and Speakers:

KNOT CENTRE
*God’s agenda for an individual as regards Love and Relationship – Dr. Tope & Dr. Yewande Oshodi
*A practical guide to relationship and marriage (Special focus on ATTRACTION)- Otome & Nkem Oyo
*Genotype compatibility and its mitigating effect on “Happily Ever After” 9Focus on sickle cell anaemia – Taiwo Osijo

LAGOON RESTAURANT (Hall 1)
*Earthen vessels: Discovering what lies beyond the physical attributes of an individual – Obinna & Ifeoma Abajue
*Pre-requisites for a successful marriage – Francis & Remi Ebuehi
*Supporting your Spouse’s vision – Gbenga & Bolanle Shobowale

LAGOON RESTAURANT (Hall 2)
*How to make your marriage work (Focus on Handling in-laws) – Harold & Vlaerie Obasohan
*Creating strong Financial Independence as a basis for a blissful marriage – Solomon Edun
*Submission in marriage (The woman’s support function that sustains her marriage) – Esther Edun

PLANET 1, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos
*Communication and anger management in marriage – Michael Adesanmi
*Balancing family life, Career and workplace issues – Titi Adesanmi
*Securing your relationship/marriage against destruction when trouble arises – Wole Oludemi
*Factors to consider before saying “I DO” – Yemisi Odelola

SHELL HALL, MUSON CENTRE
*Bracing up for a blissful marriage – Yinka Odeyemi
*Compatibility and attraction (The Pros and Cons) – Pastor Poju Oyemade
*Basic principles for a harmonious relationship – Lanre Olushola
*Knowing what you really want – Lara Adio

So, if you want to register, just click this link!