Try as one might to say something to clever in a press release…it’s not going to happen with a work of this magnitude which speaks quite well for itself…
From out of Nigeria, we are honored to present the poetry of John “The Apostle” Chinaka Onyeche in the hopes the reader will learn, further the actions of contemplation and explore vast terrain of what can be perceived as beauty.
From China, Portugal, Germany, Nepal, Kurdistan, South America, Israel, Spain, Iraq, Britain, Ireland, Ukraine and members of the LGBTQ community along with the marginalized working class we strive to give writers and artists a voice. It’s one of the foundations of the PUNK aspect of DFP to embrace diversity, keeping an open mind to further advance knowledge of where the entirety of human culture is heading or sometimes stagnating.
It is due to these values regardless of geopolitics we present to you the work of John Chinaka Onyeche a poetic storyteller of his own making.
Boys Are Not Stones
This is how they cracked us away from each other,
& caved us into the stones that we are never one –
Yesterday, I took a walk into the house of a curator,
The one who makes good use of woods to create,
Of the things in the unseen images of his heart,
& the magnificence in the eyes of its beholder.
As he laid down a tablet of stone & named it – boys; –
& I watched him chisel intercepting lines on the stone;
On each line, he whispered to my ears myriad of names,
Of boys whom he had known, & who have become like,
A breezy day in the month of their nightmares –
How they journeyed into time and waves of life, -boys; –
Echoes of many unfulfilled dreams and longings,
This story was about boys who are not stones –
At the threshold of his masterful drawing board,
He cracked the names of the boys in time’s archives.
Africa, Seen As A Cave Of Darkness
“The Chinaman meets you with the stolid morality of his Confucianism; the Hindoo with astute logic for his pantheism… When I carry my touch into the caves of Africa, I meet only filthy birds of darkness.” Returned Missionary 1873.
History is biased to my continent, –
and only the few of us would tell; –
how it is in every race stood culture, –
some to the human detrimental; –
and others to their development. –
But why is my Africa is likened to men in caves, –
while her development and culture; –
with men across the sea is seen as evil, –
even that which happens in their lands. –
History is prejudice to the black man, –
it tells of my origin in another’s tongue; –
wrecking me my pride and sense of belonging; –
to the human families to which I belongs. –
Histories of the blacks are told with one-sidedness; –
with the mind-set of dehumanizing his race, –
this is another way history prejudices, –
of the people of our African descent.
Caves of darkness; where raw materials; –
they sourced from; in their quest to rule, –
a land where their gods has kept their golds; –
maybe for their invasion and conquest.
Within their mouths, the streets of Bini is never mentioned, –
where the inhabitants of the great city lights; –
up their city entrance to the kingdom with palm-oil, –
because it is not in their language to write; –
of our mind bewildering craftsmanship. –
In their quest to write about us the men’s of Africa,
they were so – occupied by negative notions of race,-
as my Africa is seen as a cave of darkness and not
as a continent.
Voyage Of Love
Such lovely words,
you spoke to my ears
that unfolds my heart
like petals of a rose
I am regained in you
& we are complete
Take me tonight
to that lost kingdom
let’s make our beds
in every rose petals
leaving none broken
upon this rose beds
Underneath this tree
come again and speak
please those words
the ones you spoke
at the beginning of this
voyage of love in Tokyo
How has Christianity not failed us?
when we go to the pulpits
To hear the words that uplifts
and fall inside dug pits
Where clergymen profits
Out from the bereaved
Hearts that long for healing
How does Christianity build us?
If It has not divided us more than it has built us
daily they tell their one-sided stories
That their creator hated his creation
Of their gods in white skins, black is evil
Who dwell in the constellations
And watches his images die away
As a loving creator who hates evil
Yet its servants dwell in nefarious
How has Christianity not failed us?
When we see their flaws, they say,
Leave it. It is in the hands of their gods
To judge, and to reward them of their sins
But when we sin, they rise and read
From their doctrines against our sins
How has Christianity not failed us
When shall we return to love
Leaving Christianity to embrace
Emptiness and our souls stick
Glued in love with work to show
When Christianity has failed us
Learn to embrace love and compassion
John Chinaka Onyeche “Rememberajc” is a husband, father, historian, poet and diplomat from Etche LGA of Rivers State Nigeria. He resides and writes from the city of Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria. He is currently a student of History and Diplomatic Studies at Ignatius Ajuru University Of Education Port Harcourt Rivers State.
John or Apostle as he is fondly called by those who know him is an embodiment of literature and loves retention of African’s original tales before the coming of the sea monsters, as ships and humans of the then known worlds.
His notable works are/can be found on the following websites:
Spillwords, Melbourne Culture Corner, Nnoko Stories, Tuna Fish Journal, Brittle Paper, Nymphs Publications, Youth Magazine, Acumen Poetry UK, Conceit Magazine, Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review, Rigorous, Open Door Poetry Magazine, Fever The Mind Magazine, Kalahari Review, Scars Publications Ethel Zine, and Pangolin Review.