When “God Bless You” Is Meaningless To Me

Beyond Religion And Culture: I reached out to a man who is known in Rivers State and who I had thought was a friend, when my dad passed on in 2015. He molested me on phone and since then, I refused calling him.

Odimegwu Onwumere

However, he is on my WhatsApp broadcast hence he receives all my articles that I broadcast. Since then he had not called, either, unlike him before the 2015.

I hope he didn’t know I was the WhatsApp broadcaster because I have changed in size and look. Today, Oct 29, he sent an article and I made sure it was published on our platform and the link sent to him.

“God bless you” he replied.

Having thought over how many Nigerians use “God bless you” carelessly when they can’t help their fellow human being, I replied him with the below piece:

“Well, if “God bless you” is a gift to offer, you wouldn’t have given it to me.

“I once reached out to you for help when my precious dad passed on in 2015. With all hope that if others fail me, you wouldn’t.

“But on the phone that day you shouted at me, saying, “Am I owing you! Am I owing you!”

“Mr…, I couldn’t believe such coming from you. That tonality of yours still rings in my eardrums.

Although, I have moved on but yet to forget.”If you remember, my name is *ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE*.

“Thanks.”

After he read this, he didn’t reply but blocked my number. So, I repeat, if “God bless you” was not easy and free to give, would he have offered it?

ODIMEGWU ONWUMEREOct. 29 2020.

Man Who Abhors His History {Poem}

Pic culled online

He said to me, “You are Satanising around”
because I refused to be brain dead like him, swallowing
religion sold to him by our rapacious colonizers.
Have you seen an animal with
wide nostrils,
frustrated face,
demented mien,
lost self,
haggard look?
I preach Igbo — the real person I’m — without equivocation.
I can’t come very low to his
glaring showcased dimwitted and Eurocentric spoonfed mentality
poisoned with insulting chalice; where reason is killed
for the exaltation of apocalyptic religion. Where fanaticism replaces love.
I will never come down to his level, where
Satan is human ready to insult,
kill for the intoxicant called religion.
Just for divergent view.
Spiritual minds abhor your type, who are being fed under
the tree of disunity, hatred, melancholy, for the propagation of
the politics called religion. You only read foreign history
without searching for your aboriginal knowledge.
They arms-twisted you for their own exaltation
and you are today neither here nor there. Trapped in-between.
Run when you see a man calling his forebears evil in praise of
Abraham,
Jacob,
Isaac.
Cover your face in shame
when you see a man telling the history of other nations and
sees his own history as an abomination.
In this wilderness shall I sing the voices of my muffled ancestors,
whose voices were stolen and we are lied to that
they didn’t have a voice.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 7 2020.

Weird Dog {Poetry}

The dog may come after you,
because you did not come into her marooned gate.
Very annoying dog fed with
malnourished and undernourished English bone
that underbellies self-hatred that spurs her to bark
when a shadow crosses her caged self. Who’re you
to bark at me for being Igbo my progenitors are?
I have no blood lineage with the names of those
in the preaching book you water down my throat.
Reason for barking.
I am Igbo. My DNA. My true history. It must be told.
Segregate me for this sake. My true self
can’t be hidden like burning unprofessed love,
like iron meant to strengthen clothes, but watered.
This uncouth dog barks at those who
don’t have hassles with her master;
who only want to be like melon that boils itself on fire,
where the Gods and ancestors gained from each other
for upliftment of my race. Sacred. Lovely. Mystical.
This English legacy has made many undoubtedly insane,
propagating the history hatched in the Middle-East,
and they lost track like a severely hounded bush animal, and
they burnt the books that chronicled their ancestors’ names;
and they lost their origin, their history, wandering in oblivion.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 7 2020.

Lost In Forest {POEM}

Chi Ma Obim, how I wish I know you,
you wouldn’t have wasted your precious time on
a bigot preaching and riding on a white sepulcher.
He is a son lost in-between the woods
when the remarkable tree in the wilderness was cut down.
He lost his way home singing the voice of
hovering birds looking for prey.
He thought their voices were the voices of his people
he long disconnected from
while wandering in self-delusion, in lost modesty.
When he was found and the burial ground of his father was pointed at him,
he took it for where his people dug rabbit.
Since he lost his voice in the burning forest,
he only sings the voices of the birds who took his father for prey.
In lieu of vengeance, he fights his people
who want him to relearn the voice of his fathers.
sadly, he is proud singing like the birds that were only on
the passing through the Atlantic Ocean
for their egocentric pursuits in our land.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 7 2020.

Betrayed Blood {POEM}

A militia leader sprung. Causing devastating havoc.
Authorities had a truce with him to surrender, embrace peace.
He danced on the deadly banquet. Forces later took his life.
Disgustedly. Riddled with pellets. Exhibited in a truck. Where
his own pool of blood became the ocean he swam in. Military said
he was killed in a crossfire. Govt said, he was snatched
from a peaceful convoy and killed by the military.
He, who dines with the Devil must do so with a long spoon.
Authorities are full of complexities. You begin
to dance in nostalgia of promises uploaded
but not offloaded.
No truth.
One bit.
His disgraced lifeless body leaves my senses in storm,
glaring at his pictures leave me in totters.
His was a death of aged animosity. Calculation. Execution.
I look at his lifeless body and see meaningless of life
where history was written with pellets. Not a book to read,
not a memory to keep, but to remember. Murder
is most often celebrated on the road of mis-governance
and they make fragrance with blood no one can wear.
Gana lived to fight with the earth. He’s gone back to earth,
leaving unsettled peace govt sought for with his blood
in a country where the atmosphere smells of preventable blood
that can’t be washed by River Benue habouring the state
where his betrayed blood stinks.

ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 9 2020.

The Cathedral {POETRY}

When the child was announced stolen in Church,
and the phone plugged to charge lost the voice of its owner,
and a lady’s protruding belly was fingered to be cleric’s own,
then I see a river flowing without a current, a bird flying
without wings. The butcher couldn’t find gold in the cow’s belly.
No matter how big. Not one, not two, not three, not four times
this shoddy news has characerised our earpieces
from the place they said, “a living God” dwells.
We only see departed men in living form.
Before some men instituted fondness
in the eyes of their fellow men,
before some women established worship
in the eyes of their fellow women,
they cajoled our aboriginal Gods, demonised our ancestors,
who separate the living from walking corpses of the world.
They released the bird trained to sing only propaganda. It said:
anything we inherited from our forebears are evil, of demons.
The propagandists make mockery of our adherents
who are observant of nature’s laws:
where no bribery is a norm,
where no eyeservice is a fashion.
Their trained propaganda bird doesn’t want to hear us say,
“those who go to equity, must go with clean hands.”
Their bird sings, “Sin, beg for forgiveness, go back to sin.”

ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 6 2020.

When Life Criticises {POEM}

Someone wrote “This country is finished”.
Lovers left a note after drinking snipers.
They lost courage in the saying: “All our dreams can come true”.
They lost courage on the lane where they ought to begin.
Many have lost One million and one careers. They didn’t draw
the towel. Discouragement is limitation.
Giving up hope is for little minds.
Life can’t beat who never gave up. Paranoid survives.
You are living your positive life, not anyone’s.
Decisions aren’t always right.
Opposite of a good life is part of success.
“No retreat. No surrender.”
Dragons can be beaten in fairy tales.
This is life. Imagination is real.
One with courage can jump from some skyscrapers and survive,
when the dislocated mind dies under the shrub.
Life, not people, most often criticises us. From your own actions,
it evaluates you whether you are living for future or for yesterday.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Sep. 6 2020.

Arrogant Man {Poetry}

It was a press conference where a minister
who’ll never be poor because he’s a lawyer and politician
showcased his patriotism in obvious crudity: above life.
A journalist asked him a simple question, he fumed,
heaped feints on the journalist
such that can’t be excavated by bulldozer.
The critic learned in one day how criticism touches the criticized.
Arrogance went into his head, just as he once enjoyed
compliments from his cheerers.
He showed he knew nothing outside political career
where he thought he’s the judge and truthsayer.
Let’s believe he has apologised for calling journalist stupid
but he needs to fight a war on arrogance, intolerance, anger.
He mistook insecurity and inadequacy for humility.
We thought he was great but we didn’t know he’s arrogant.
When a man can’t face his wrong, he is earnestly arrogant.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Aug. 26 2020.

The Moon {POEM}

One day, I will swallow the moon.
Then you will know that woman slapping a man in this country
only exist in Nollywood; where a world does not exist.
I was trained by human beings, not by laws.
If the hunter misses the animal doesn’t mean disappearance
of same animal in the bush.
Run away from an open-eye mother in-laws;
they’re dangerous than a nagging spouse.
Gossip has become the occupation of many men.
Something that was known of women?
The absurd attached hair was seized in-between a bike’s scope.
A child poses like the woman on screen;
oblivious of real life from fake.
I don’t want to swallow the moon for popularity, like politicians
present gifts to their constituents under a rolling tape.
Who will forecast when eye-service will end. Who?
I will swallow the moon someday and vomit diamond
to enable mankind see through the eye of love,
not through the heart of darkness.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Aug. 26 2020.

Birthday {POEM}

{Pic: Culled online}

Twenty-fifth is my birthday, a little cousin Chinedu
harangued to me, sounding it loud like a volcano,
like insurgents’ clattering guns, firing from all cylinders
without perfection, yet with an objective.
His words sank in me like my fate can’t be gulped by a country
where life that never existed is lived.
Who has seen a world that never existed?
It’s Chinedu’s birthday of memories written with tears.
His heart was open with great expectations.
Those he expected from, were pocket-locked
in a dwindling atmosphere that has mastered ineptitude.
The roads we rode on to celebrate him were potholes
in an area we have given much but were rewarded with nothing.
Chindedu jumped in the cushion that had recorded many history,
not allowing his day to be dull in a very dull economy.
His face radiated in ecstasy, oblivious of seven months salary
owed his dad, as he saw us with hands full of present.
He sank his face in the cushion,
with oily doughnut, and thought his birthday was made.
ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE
Aug. 26 2020.