Yellow Orange by OLATUNDE OBAFEMI

Maybe we should talk about oranges:
Those yellow oranges;
who do not stay to be plucked
Nor allow themselves to be stuck
To a branch in the tree.

May we, then, talk about their lack of proper colour?
Colour that doesn’t fit in and out of the farmers’ basket.
May we, then, talk about yellow oranges that fall;
Only at night when no one is looking?Those oranges…
That roll away from eager snails, which hope for nature to drill a hole
That they may suck the citrus juice.

Shall we then talk about these different things, beautiful, regardless; which
argue that they are oranges…Yellow oranges, never the less off orange oranges?
Shall we talk about the cracked soil
Which famine broke with its funny dancing?
Shall we find a common place to do so?

Can we bemoan how this orange:
This yellow orange is dried of juice when the sun rises the next morrow?
Or how bitter it becomes seeing that it wishes to be left alone?
Can we talk about a yellow orange and not talk about ourselves
In an undying attempt to legalize the wrong;
In the name of “standing strong?”

Can we, now, leave oranges
And their free-falls from branches
And talk about humans
who should be orange
but are yellow…
…yellow oranges?

‘to GOD’, WUSE.

Brother, why bother about GOD?

Why? And then, I ask, “why not?” For by GOD is the making that makes me and this making makes all things, by GOD is all and this is why. Furthermore, to dismiss this is to be nothing, naught, the mere assemblage off GOD is of no repute in the essence of being. Essence, mind you, not pretense. Therefore, why shall I be naught when I shall be if I denounce the root of the hair that stems upon my skin or the acre of breath that fills my lungs or the answer to the mystery of my formation in the womb or the miracle of my living? Why bother about GOD? Again, I ask, “why not”? Why blot the cord from me to the source? Because to bother about anything else is to bother a-miss for to bother about GOD is to bother about everything seeing that GOD is…everything. For GOD is everything, yea, GOD is the solution to everything, too. I bother about GOD and so I bother about everything. Yet, ‘bothering’ is not worrying but insight and working in the sight of GOD.

-adjusts his mic-

Brother, why bother GOD?

Untrue! I don’t bother GOD except by bothering you mean to burrow into HIS Heart and to tap into the glow of HIS Soul and flow into HIS thread, sown. Uhmmm, perhaps you are right for burrowing is to mine deep inside of GOD, to claim HIS Ideals as mine and this I throb to do: to be in the side of GOD. But ‘to bother’ is to ‘pant after’ and this I do, too: to pant and go after the ONE who is the beat of my heart.

-exhales deeply-

Brother, I bother GOD because there is no other to bother, no other worth been bothered. And I do so because there is no boarder of defense broader enough than that which I gain when I ‘bother’ GOD.

Brother, why GOD?

I don’t know. you see, in the discourse of GOD. It is best to not know so one may be filled with the knowing which is far greater than that before now. But let me start by saying that life is a battle and by GOD is the battle fought. Actually GOD is the battle since GOD is life and ‘to battle’ is of the LORD yet to battle GOD is the irony of those who do not consent to HIS Position. To those who fight against GOD in their thoughts and the order of life have tailored their lives to battle the battle, itself. GOD is the strategy too, little wonder, HE does as HE wills: pulls down The Great Jericho Wall with shouting and separates the red sea with a whistling of heavens wind; how about GOD as man dying to give man life, JESUS. GOD is the blueprint, the map, the trial through the wilderness. Perhaps that is why: because through all these, GOD cannot be questioned because even to question is by GOD unless one becomes god unto self as opposed to the ideal nature of synergy.

Brother, while GOD?

Well, we have all been there…’while GOD’: while humans play GOD, we have eaten the fruit of the tree of good and evil and done so continuously. We have been the offspring of Adam, the slaves of sin. But personally, it has been beyond the eating of ungodliness, it has been the absence of appropriate worship. To be god-to-self in this context is to take up the authority of GOD in my life, to choose and to make my will paramount above every other thing. To please myself, to have ego surpass HIS goal for me. Truth be told, while being god and while GOD was silent, I wept secretly. Celebrated by day, decay by night but what did I learn? Never be god as GOD is the ONLY GOD; HE shall have no other but HIMSELF, no other not even the worshipper.

Huh?

-scratches head-

The worshipper should not be worshipped or worship the wrongly-worshipped. For GOD when HIS is not GOD in your life, laughs at the calamity of self-ignorance. This is woeful.

Broader, please, wry GOD?

Did I mention that GOD, as a strategy, cannot be questioned? Even so, when HE wishes to show HIMSELF unto humans HE does as HE wills. HE did the same to Sarah for as she doubted the Word of GOD and laughed, GOD too, gave her request in the greatest mystery and laughed at her, Isaac. For in that moment she realized that GOD laughed at her doubt and she equally laughed at her past error in gratitude.

Are you sure?

Pardon my error in interpretation, if there is, but it did look as though GOD laughed at her laughter by giving her laughter…Isaac. Or about my case, I am, a mockery of those who tried to burn a star only to realize that for a star to be born, it must burn with chemical reactions which bring about the shine. Yes GOD is the irony, nevertheless, it is HIS prerogative to do as HE wills, thus, to question GOD is to in turn be prepared to behold self-folly.

-wipes sweaty forehead-

A board, awhile GOD…

On board GOD as a ship is a miracle, every breath from the deck is a beautiful masterpiece, checked by the standard of heaven. Every thought, through the Kingdom, is a perfect brush-stroke upon the canvas of aesthetics. On GOD, as a ship, is the greatest relationship to have. For GOD, upon a sail, is the wind of peace that moves to the tides of understanding.

I meant to ask what you learnt…

Oh…Well, the revelation of GOD is HIS Presence, HIS Face and it is by grace that I approached. When I did enter, aboard GOD and HIS Will, it was a thrill but I lost ‘me’. I lost ‘me’ unto HIM but it wasn’t loss: trading my imperfect essence for HIS prefect Presence. But HIS Presence is not in a building nor is it a temporary display of high-end physical connection. HIS Presence is the invisible confirmation of the visible movements of GOD. Yet if ‘church: the building’ is just the presence then we are afloat but not aboard GOD, we are on a life raft and our sail…sale (since life is market) is in jeopardy. I’ve learnt that when we don’t carry GOD within us or become the ark of HIS New Covenant, we swim in the ocean where we should sail aboard GOD… note the struggle and pain. You could be beside the ship but if you aren’t aboard the ship then you are alienated from the bliss of it.

-adjusts sitting posture-

Bother a while, GOD!

HE does, not awhile but always: as a father protects a child or the mother her babe. As a bird builds its nest and as sure as the air travels through the lungs and out. GOD does bother perhaps not bother as one who has no hope but as one who is the HOPE. GOD does reach out but do we remain to be reached? First Adam and Eve run away and now we are running perhaps not away but around. To encircle doesn’t mean to reach. GOD does bother if ‘bothering’ defines waiting and plotting, too, so that the creature returns to creation by decision. But do we bother too? Bother to see who HE is and what we should be unto HIM. ‘To God’ is a journey but it sets a responsibility to the quintessential human, too, that GOD, who is Spirit, seeks the need for the spiritual to surpass all other realms in the human. Sometimes I am guilty of forgetfulness but this is the reason of the journey, ‘to GOD’, to surrender the physical to the supremacy of the spiritual. For that which controls the spirit controls all yet if we don’t yield to HIM, HE would not strife with humans.

Ponder, the will of GOD.

I – like GOD – would not strive with humans too. For as GOD is, so I strive to be and this strife is all that I pant for. Yea, it is only GOD who can guide to be as HE wills that I be. On pondering and reckoning, I follow GOD for the same-reason as it is to obey and be as HE has created me to be. Shalom.

-stops looking at mirror-

End NOTE on Art

Your art shouldn’t be dirty to be popular

You read that right! Even though people like a wayward art, they don’t take such down the aisle, to momma or to the school dance. In fact, if your art isn’t well-behaved or teaching others to be so directly or indirectly, your art is best placed in hidden corners. Your art is put up in dark places, cal de sac drug mafia kind of dark place and then if your art is hot, it begins to smoke, choke those who love it and if you don’t control yourself, you too begin to hate your art, and it would hate you so that you can’t tell others that this is my art. You would betray your art even without a kiss (not every one is bold like Judas) That’s the point where your art isn’t good to see so it becomes lonely, vomits a crime, is sent to jail and drags the family pen name into the mud: dust to dust kind of shame. Don’t be surprised to know that your art can commit suicide out of frustration.

Don’t be deceived,

Your art came with a Pride package.

It’s fine to feel a little achieved after every moment of survival but learn to curb the ego, alter it a little, don’t give it an altar or the alter-ego takes over and soon, you cannot find your fingerprint even on your finger. Your art become unrecognizable, it is yours but then again, it’s not yours. You cannot own it and so she elopes with her man who looks exactly like you but isn’t you. So when the writer’s block is over, she returns like a prodigal son. You must accept your art back with all of your heart. Then you must throw a party, write a cheque and write a paragraph, a stanza, a verse, a scene. Write quickly so she feels welcome. She… He… It doesn’t matter (Art has no gender)

The last thing I can remember for now is,

The art should have a God.

Not must but should. Here is the plausible list:

  1. God
  2. mammon
  3. and down to your self.

Your art must be owned and feel the need to be accountable.

Which bags the question of why is your art alive? for God, for money or for self. It’s the same thing as for eternity and an everlasting grid, for the end of the month and TGIF sensation or the ATM discharging moment, the grrrrrrr sound or for you. You are a bottomless pit so I don’t know what your art is for if it’s for you.

So on this note, I end this note…

the End.

Guard Your Art With Diligence

Continuing my Notes to Self on the art:

Guard your Art with Diligence
They want your art to reach people and places you, the artist, can’t and wouldn’t reach.

It – the art – has to speak languages you don’t even understand. It has to get to borderlines of war and peace; of oppression and equity. It has to criticize and it has to judge (judge not that you may not be judge? Well your art has been judged!). Your art has to think and make others think. Your art has to trouble the waters and it must not sink when it walks on said-waters. ‘Peace be still‘ will be for your art when you arrive so bring it and most importantly, your art has to be on its own. Be able to live in another house from you, talk differently, talk back at you when you write, play lawn tennis with you even if it’s just you against the wall (pun intended!). Your art must set you against the world. If it doesn’t do this they (check previous post)don’t believe you.

You art has to have a heart.

Your art must fall in love and love others just like it loves itself. Your art must be ready to follow you for sacrifice even when there is no ram in sight (yes! remember Abraham and Isaac?). Your art must walk by faith and not by sight. You must teach your art to pray, to believe; to trust; to own itself because when you are gone, it would be left alone to fight for itself. Your heart must love but it must love you and this is very difficult because your art is a teenager every other day.

Which brings you to the tough one.

Your art must not be raped by the wrong ideology.

In fact your art must keep it’s virginity till… Well forever because if your art becomes a mother of anarchy, wrong doctrine and false perception, the wrong perspective and all the bad secenerios of the world today, you are a bad Parent artist. So curb your art when it talks back at you but listen to your art when it is hungry. When it is angry, admit why and provide the answers why it shouldn’t. Your art is pious if you think it is and it is the best to see this too. On a second thought, your art should get pregnant at the right time. Good art brings good doctrine, wisdom and long life.

Your art has no gender but it is endangered.

Giant-Panda kind of endangered. Your art is not feminist, racist, Marxist masculinist, fascists and all that; you are! You are a bottle, your art is wine and ugly wine-shapes are because the bottles aren’t so beautiful. Not to state the actual scenerio. Your art is bitter because you are. Your art hurts people like knife piercing through the heart almost like a double-edged sword because you either are a swordsman or woman; that or you’ve been equally hurt. Your art is you but don’t try to be your art. It is dangerous.

To be continued

This Art is not Yours I

This world is not my home
I’m just a-passing through

Thank you Jim Reeves, I’ll take it from here now.

(clears his throat)

This is a note I wrote to self about writing because the pressure could sometimes make one forget how to even do what one was ordained to do when it comes to a paper and pen or fingers and an Android phone’s keyboard (in most recent times).

This Art is not yours

We make art – not for ourselves, alone but – for others. And this “others” are people who wait for us in our dreams, when we are awake, in the darkness and and even in the market. In our lifetime, we may never know them even if we want to but they are expectant and as a word of encouragement, they really exist.

They would need your art to say something serious.

Not too serious like SERIOUS so that they don’t mistake you for one without the inclination to have fun but serious in how David kills a Goliath and it gets them asking: how did…?

They want your art to mean something

First to you and then to them but to you first and most importantly to you. Because if you can’t strike the importance of what you give, it’s not even important. This is the space for passion. The kind of drive and blood that keeps you awake even when your body wails for sleep. The motivation to push further so that when you are done crossing the Red Sea, the Pharaoh wouldn’t want to follow because it’s a miracle that you still breathe after making your art.

They want your art to scare you.

Not Casper the ghost scaring humans kind of scare or tattoo all over the face kind but SCARE you. So to meet up, your art stays in your reflection: when you admire yourself, you are reminded; when you walk, you are reminded; when you talk, you can hear two voices arguing and it’s your mouth that is the speaker. Then you ask, who are the people really holding the microphone? That should scare you and that’s another story for another note to self.

This scare is not confusion because you know what it is but it should still scare you. It should scare you in the way Peter was afraid when he denied Jesus trice. That’s the scare they want or else your art isn’t worth it.

To be continued shortly.

Feature Art by Nathan Pieterse

THE FORM OFF CONFORMITY by Olatunde Obafemi

I do not conform to ‘not conforming’. Not to say that I actually conform but to assert by conviction – beyond condition(s) – that I do not. In the essence of my thought, I do not consider conformity an option to be deviated from. It doesn’t exist or for better references to other realities, it shouldn’t exist.

I am however contented with space and design. By this, I mean that I don’t think outside the box. I know that there is a box, and I sit in it, I colour it with the colours of the universe and soon, my box is an endless space of designs I recreate such that every creation, not like the former, is self-defiant to the opposition of God and with the ability to serve it’s own purpose; sometimes, far greater than I had – from the onset – imagined. The reason for this adamancy is because soon, so many think outside the box and out-of-the-box is the new box, the infinite and boundless space becomes bound by a finite hunger to recreate from nothing. In the same way to be like God.

To create is not a flaw but to do so with a flawed hunger to outwit another is the flaw.

In the best design, I am not a supporter of competition. Not competition in the sense of development to learning but in the view of winning at the deliberate expense of another’s life. So, to live at the cost of another’s death isn’t actually living. This is my point of conflict.

Therefore, I don’t question for answer(s), by better reflection, I have come to an understanding that I am not wired to question what is the truth. And opposing the notion that one must question to find truth, I am persuaded that the truth lies in answering the questions of life and not necessarily in questioning for truth. My creation is not a question rather it is an answer to the challenge for which I was created. So this is my mindset, which is in the similitude of proffering solutions in the place of dwelling extensively on the problem.

This has thus formed my thoughts from tot to thinker alike. Perhaps this is also the reason why I demand to answer intentions more than the actions or their inaction counterparts. It is so, that I am aware that the action is only peaceable when the intention is truly peaceable and that even in a peaceable action or inaction the intention must be peaceable otherwise the action is in itself violent. This is also what has beamed my perception to contemporary struggles and movements: for as long as I consider you first a creation of God then a human being and subsequently as belonging to gender: male and female, I do my dealing with you as I would unto all that God has created bearing in mind the truth that God is in all that he has created.

By virtue of this, a consciousness to answer the call of justice isn’t solely by human law but by the conviction of the conscience. This is why conformity doesn’t exist because I recognize a higher place beyond conforming, beyond humanity and beyond the divisions of competition, prejudice and the Hunger to outwit God in others. This is the form off conformity.

Shalom.

Art by Khaled Dawa

Moses by Olatunde Obafemi

I throw shattered glass in the air
then breathe the brokenness with
no ounce of fear.

So broken glass,
like a rain of shining drops of
cut crystal puzzles
are rough-edges of no colour
that Iluminate the spectrum of my mind
but tear my lungs to shreads and
into cracks of breathing. It is beautiful:
How broken things that reflect
can inspire a fire in me.

How broken darts can burn
in love so great
like His Fire that burns in the bush
Of my heart.

Photocredit: Burning Bush by Michael Power

Chocolate

To a Black Christian woman,

Your skin became an altar

With sacrifice upon sacrifice presented to God.

(like) A living slaughter

Made whole by the – not a – mortal cord

Made immortal in your heart by colours of you

When you tell your saviour, “you are all I want in you”

Dear Chocolate Chistian Woman,

Time doesn’t come late;

Only men do

And women too

But when Your Creator, you behold

It would be the sweetest taste to hold

Like chocolate

But with a better fate

photocredit: Black Christian Woman

POEM: FOR THOSE PEOPLE by Olatunde Obafemi

Disclaimer:

No Puppies were hurt in the writing of this poem.

 

This is for all the untold tales

stuck on the wrong trails.

It is for the unsold sales

dumped with the label “fail”.

 

This is for the judgments with the wrong scales;

The thoughts, shipped with the worst sails.

It is also for those who bail

out of the right things or cut the wrong puppy’s tail

 

ouch!

 

This is for the “hammers and the nails”

Who cannot do without each other.

It is for the conquering and the pain with the wails

or simply for the wrong line with no rhyme-partner.

 

The point is, this poem is for those people

who run away from succeeding

by running on the wrong track. Who double

their paces into hell in the name of ‘living’.

 

This poem doesn’t mock you.

It hopefully points you to the undone

like the untold tales or the sacrifices we burn

on the altars of skipping what we need to do.

 

If this poem hasn’t said it already,

it was written for those who the world doesn’t know;

Who wouldn’t be known because they are never steady

on the right pathway; so their greatness is quite slow.

 

 

photo credit: Telegraph