The universe will remember you

Every ground you have walked is sacred ground,
The earth still remembers your feet’s kisses.
Everything you have touched is anointed,
you left remnants of yourself beneath it.

It may have been five years or a week ago,
the universe still remembers all the places you have been.
It has your foot prints stamped on its chest,
It carries your scent in the air.
The wind still remembers the feel of your skin.

The artist on the bus has your face etched In his mind’s eye,
He spent the last two weeks looking for the right colours to paint you in,
A poet saw you cross the street the other day and he wrote the loveliest sonnet about you,
He said you look like a dream and that you had poetry in your walk,
The lady you smiled at told her husband of the beautiful soul she met on the train,
she reminds me a lot of me when i was young” she said. “Her eyes beg for beauty and adventure”.
Alot of strangers have walked past you and wondered what it would be to be a part of your orbit,
The others have shamelessly fallen for you in the simplest way possible.

I just want you to know,
Nothing would be the same without you here.
You are a hurricane.
A tattoo across the earth’s forehead,
You leave signatures of “I was here”
in coffee shops,
at airports,
On pavements

And I know sometimes you feel so small,
Other times, the world is too big
In the midst of the all the faces you meet,
you might feel like you are about to lose yourself.
But the earth remembers you.

I know you worry about leaving this world someday,
You worry if the time you have been allotted will be enough.
You worry if you will leave behind enough to keep you remembered,
You worry if you’re even living at all.

Remember this, child of the galaxies,
There will always be pieces of you floating through time.
Your writing will always be on the walls of life,
Your picture in the earth’s gallery will remain in it’s frame,
The universe will not forget you were here.

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A reminder to take compliments

When the middle aged woman at the gas station says your hair is beautiful,
Don’t respond with how much time it takes you to put it in place every morning,
Just say “Thank you” and mean it.
When the cashier at the coffee shop says he likes the way your clavicle serves as a frame for your necklace,
Don’t tell him you don’t really like wearing clothes that bare your bones,
Tell him Clavicle sounds like a cup of white chocolate latte when he says it and thank him.
When your best friend tells you, you look like a stunner in that black dress,
Take it. Don’t complain about your arms beings too flabby or your cleavage being non existent.
Buy that back dress and wear it like glove.
When the lousy piece of glass in your bathroom, glows with your reflection,
Wear red lipstick. Spend a few more minutes wing-tipping that eyeliner to perfection,
Don’t walkaway without paying homage to yourself.
I implore you, don’t respond to kindness with insecurity.
Don’t belittle the fact that you own something worth admiring or the fact that someone finds you beautiful,
Before you leave home, leave your insecurities under your bed,
Don’t take the monsters with you. Step into the world like the forces are in your favour.
Say thank you in earnest. Accept Compliments; they aren’t yours to dignify.

If i marry a writer

“I never thought about how magnificent it would be to date and maybe eventually marry someone who writes, until now. It is so strange that in all my years of answering the question “what kind of guy would you like to date?”, I never imagined him being a writer. I never imagined the love of my life being as in love with poetry and art like i am. I feel like i just had an epiphany.

I would very much love to date/marry a man who is in touch with his creative side when it comes to art. A man who appreciates literature and listens to spoken word . A man who spends his evenings beside the fire or out by the waters, nose buried in a book. A man who will join me in my mission to build a beautiful glorious library in our home. A man who keeps a journal and write tirelessly about anything; our life, our future, our kitchen, our now.

I imagine, he would complete some of my poems and i would practice performing them with him. He will find poetry in the lines on my palm, prose in the curve of my hips and mystery in the small of my back. Our love will blossom with every book we consume, every author we fall in love with, every art we create.

We will take care of each others hands, mind and heart because they are our instruments. We will create sons and daughters who will be literary giants with gentle artistic hearts. We will teach them to love and love and love and then create. Because writers are lovers first before creators. We will open their eyes to the multi-faceted beauty of this world. We will teach them to dream in colour.

If i marry a writer, It will be a gift. Our lives will be the most beautiful poem laden with joy, pain, forgiveness, laughter and most of all Love. We will love each other until we are completed works of art. A little tweak here,a little tweak there; and we shall proceed to walk this earth, hand in hand, in all our artful splendour.”

Eshaal

i.
I spoke to your father
And every word out of his mouth was love for you.
I can confidently conclude that your very existence
Is intertwined with the reason he was created.
You are the blood in his veins.

He told me had to wait sixteen years for you to come.
16 years with one woman; your mother.
He looked at me and said “you don’t understand what it means to wait for 16 years”.
He was right. I couldn’t possibly understand,
So when you finally came he named you “flower in heaven”.

ii.
Nineteen months and you are the most beautiful flower,
He showed me a picture of you and your eyes look like a constellation of stars,
Your smile reminds me of the brightest day of summer,
And the corners of your mouth spell mischief but your father loves it.
The things he feels for you could bring even the greatest lovers to their knees.

He misses you.
In between the 12 hours of driving strangers to their destinations,
You are like a prize to be reached, a light at the end of the tunnel.
As the hours go by, the day is easier to bear and time with you is almost near.

iii.
He said he took two days off to be with you.
Darling, you are his drug and he craves a daily dose of you.
Your energy is his fortitude. Every second with you is gold.
And when you rest your head on his chest after play-dates and ask to be fed,
Every beat in his heart is laced with love.

He told me he had to get a better job.
Two hours with you every day is too little, he can’t take it.
“I want to give her a better life but I also want to watch her grow.”
Your father would build an entire world for you if he could.
He loves you and he has the kindest; most gentle soul.

iv.
Eshaal,
Today, i met your father for the first time.
He is so grateful to Allah for you.
And I want you to know that after your mother,
You are the only flower in his garden; the brightest.

My Acceptance Peace

I am at peace because I have finally accepted the imperfections in my blood.
And No! I am not just saying this. I have taken the time to consider the magnitude of this utterance.
I accept that my mother, my father and the bible have taught me the difference between right and wrong,
And I will honour their labour of love by striving to be in the right but sometimes I will choose wrong.
I accept that the fact that I love Jesus does not strip me of the stains in my heart or the darkness I will be fighting all of my days.
I accept that I am afraid of the future but oh! so excited for it; yet I must only live one day at a time.
I realize that even the people I love will hurt me and I will hurt the people who have decided to set up camp in my heart.
Hence, my life will always be a never ending cycle of love, hurt, forgiveness and love again,
I understand that I will not always be happy. I will not always “be in happy”,
Because happiness is not an exotic island, happiness is not a destination. I cannot travel there.
Some days life will bring me to my knees then push me to the ground but I will still breathe in hope like sweet oxygen,
I accept that some days will be harder than some others; I will even forget what patience means,
I will not always be sweet-kind-go-lucky, some days I will spell indifferent.
I have accepted that I am a human being.

I am three hundred and sixty five days of different emotions,
I am January 15, March 19, September 12, November 30, December 9 …. I am every single day
And I need to allow myself to be human.
I accept the responsibility to let myself grieve a lost love, to hurt from an unkind word, to cry when I am disappointed, to be angry when something is terribly unacceptable,
I accept that I do not always have to be in control and that some days my dreams will seem incredibly out of reach,
I understand the need to let it be. To let it be. To let everything and everyone be.
I accept that every day I will fight to be better, braver, stronger, and kinder
and soon I will evolve into the woman the stars have been shinning for.

Write about things.

Write about the things that happen to you.
Write about the things that people make you feel.
Write about the things you find along the way
and about the things you’ve lost as well.
Write about almost every person you meet,
about every person who caught your attention,
Write about that little boy who waved at you
from across the street,
Write about the old lady at the office
who said your smile brightens her day.

Write about how angry you felt when you watched the news this evening,
Write about how happy you were when you found those winter boots on sale,
Write about how you’re trying to teach your heart to unlove that person,
Write about the weather.
Write about how fantastic your life is,
then when it feels like it,
Write about how much it sucks.

You should write about these things,
because life gets busy and sometimes you forget.
You forget all these moments when you are really alive.
Write about the simple things,
Write to keep these moments alive,
Write so when you forget,
Reading will remind you.

Still Alive: Liebster awards and all

*dusts cobweb from blog*

I’m here now. I know its been over a month but i’m here now :).

Early this year, my friend and fellow blogger Afoma nominated me for a Liebster Award and i never got to make a post about it. About 2 weeks ago, another friend/blogger Yvonne nominated me again and i have decided to honour both nominations with one post; this one.

Thank you so much Afoma and Yvonne.

Here are the rules for the award:
(i just realized the two nominations have different rules, ill just adjust it to suit me)
1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Answer the questions they have asked you
3. Nominate 11 other people
4. Ask the nominees 11 questions
5. Last and definitely least, let them know you have nominated them.

Unfortunately, i will be unable to follow all the rules because this will make this post longer than it should be. I’m going to go right into answering Afoma’s questions and then Yvonne’s.

AFOMA’S Questions
1. What word describes you best?
– i would say “Creative”

2. What do you plan to do after writing this post?
– going straight to bed 🙂

3. What’s the story behind your blog name?
– heartsandpaper is basically the notion that everything i write is from my heart and i transfer it to paper. Kinda cheesy, I know.

4. What do you love to wear?
– anything comfortable. socks and scarfs

5. If you had to live on one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
– *thinking* i honestly don’t know.

6. Hobbies?
– singing, writing, thinking, reading, worshiping, praying, fantasizing about my future, dancing, being on my own.

7. Any memories you’d like to revisit?
– *smiles* YES! absolutely

8. What word best describes me? ( If you don’t know me personally, then my writing)
– Sunshine ( your smile could light up an entire town)

9. What do you think about music?
i think music is such a gift and an integral part of our lives. Music is more powerful than we imagine.

10. Name three things you couldn’t go a day without.
– Food,prayer,oxygen

11. Say something random!
– im excited to try filling in my eyebrows again tomorrow. the first time i tried it was horrendous. lol, i’m getting better.

YVONNE’S Question
1. What inspires you ?
– Life. Everything about being alive and living on this earth is inspiring.

2. Apples or Pineapples ?
– Apples

3. Three Pet peeves of yours ?
– disrespectful people
– disrespectful people
– disrespectful people

4. What’s your best breakfast place ?
– my house (when im feeling inspired)

5. Your best item of clothing ?
– Scarf

6. Success is : knowing what you need, why you need it and working as hard as possible to satisfy that need . Success is putting your best foot forward everyday. Success is going to bed every night with peace of mind, knowing you gave the universe your best.

7. Best meal ?
-not sure i have one.

8. First thing that comes to mind when you here extinct ?
– Dinosaurs

9. When do you feel the happiest ?
– when my relationship with God is on the right track

10. Best Quote ?
– i am a “quotesaholic” ( i just made that word up) so i don’t exactly have one. i love too many quotes.

Aaanndd it’s a wrap!

Thank you to Afoma and Yvonne. Please check out their lovely blogs

Afoma – http://ihundasmusings.com/
Yvonee- http://thekaleidoscopian.com/

In Loving Memory of who I was 3 years ago.

I think that videos, pictures and journals are ultimately important parts of our lives.
They capture us in a moment, a feeling, a phase, a season and most importantly, in our entirety.
They capture an outpour of happiness or rage, hope or fear or nothingness.
They capture us as girls or almost-women, boys or almost-men, or neither.
We are suspended in time in that one moment…and everything we are is captured as well.
All the things we believe about ourselves, all the things we are afraid of,
Our view of the world, our hopes… dreams… all caught in a single moment.

I was just watching a video I made 3 years ago and right from the sound of my voice I could tell that I am a different person from who i was then. I could actually hear it. I had just finished W.A.E.C, I was about to go home, but I decided to make a quick video of all my classmates (I’m so glad I did).

Looking at our due hairs, skinny wrists, makeup-free faces and extremely visible neck bones, I can see hope and exuberance for life glittering in our eyes. We were children so ready to take on the world, our dreams seemed attainable…. We didn’t want to write N.E.C.O, we just wanted to graduate from secondary school and face the world.

We would sit around in circles and talk about College; how we would dress, if we’d go to clubs or not, if we would date white boys or not and all the things we wanted to achieve. Renowned Lawyers, doctors, engineers, MBGNs, talk show hosts, politicians, C.E.Os. , As far as I can remember, we had big dreams. We all wanted to find true love, we all loved Jesus.

I spoke a little more pidgin English then, than I do now (I guess I realized I sounded awful so I just stopped). I had all these ideologies and beliefs on how the world should work. I had a picture in my head of how my life would play out. I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew I hated business. I didn’t like tattoos and I wanted to be a writer.

Zooming in on my classmates’ faces with my camera, I can see they all felt the way I did. We just couldn’t wait to be done with boarding school and all that came with it. We wanted to grow up and make our own decisions. In that classroom, *moving my camera from person to person* some were in love with people who didn’t love them back , some had people who loved them but they didn’t feel the same, some others wished someone would like them…. the others really didn’t care.

We had spent a maximum of six years in each other’s lives. We slept in the same dormitory, borrowed sports wear shorts and shirts, we made deals with our foods, we knew who liked Thursday fish and who didn’t, we knew our families, we played on the same soccer field, we knew our strengths and weakness, and we were family!

We are all different now. I am different. I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore. I think tattoos are cool. I love being a business student and I still want to be a writer (that hasn’t changed). I’m sure a lot of us have had a change of heart about a lot of things. We’ve grown and we’ve found ourselves. We’ve put on some weight and lost some. We understand that people are entitled to their own religious beliefs. Some have had questions about all we were taught at bible club… some have found answers. Some haven’t. Some smoke weed, drink lots of beer, and talk about sex alot.

We have seen that making friends is not as easy and we can’t stop reminiscing about high school days. We have seen that we owe the world our kindness and even good people are victims of tragedy. We realize we have to work extra hard to be extra ordinary and if we want success, we have to go out and find it.

I am sitting here looking at my sixteen-year-old self, listening to my voice and hearing my laugh. If there is one thing I would say to her, it would be, “life will push you and bend you but you won’t break, you will grow. You will be a witness to miracles and you will hear of tragedies… all of these will teach you to appreciate life. The pursuit of happiness is futile…. aim for wholeness. Do not wait for anyone … Chase your dreams no matter what! and Finally, Learn !…read !…write ! and grow!  Believe in that fire in your heart and in your eyes… most of all Believe in the one who put it there.”

And If there’s one thing I want from the girl in this video…. It is the fearlessness in her voice and in her spirit. The belief that she could do anything.. Be anything. I really want that back.

This reminds me of home.

It seems like the perfect morning
as i step into the sunlight on my front porch.
i breathe in the brisk summer air
and i stare into the distance.
The sky is the lightest shade of blue
And it is beautiful.

This reminds me of Nigeria.
This reminds me of my home.
The air smells like hardwork and hope,
And i am hit with endless waves of nostalgia.

it is strange. I cannot hear loud honks from bad drivers,
I cannot smell akara or agege bread,
i cannot see hawkers asking me to buy what i dont need,
but somehow this morning reminds me of home`.

I cannot see overloaded merchandise vehicles,
or people mindlessly throwing things in the gutter,
There are no little kids in plaid uniforms trekking to school,
No mama-put cooking with her crying baby on her back.

I do not even see potholes on the road,
there are no mechanic stalls on the sidewalk,
No okada men with more than one passenger,
Yet this is the aura of my home.

i can’t quite put a finger what it is but
maybe it is the never ending cycle
of everyone trying to make a living.
Maybe it is because regardless of where you are,
you wake up every morning and put your best foot forward.

maybe it is because wherever we go,
we take memories of home with us.
And on some days like today,
we are given a glimpse of home,
that triggers all these emotions.
maybe this is a reminder that we
carry our roots with us wherever we go.

Maybe there is a song in our hearts that nature triggers,
maybe it is because nature is a mirror, and sometimes
we see reflections of ourselves and everywhere we have been.
I don`t really know but this morning, I really miss home.

this isn’t a poem; it is anything you want it to be.

These days I do whatever I want, however I want and whenever I want to. I have no time fighting battles I shouldn’t be fighting. I am learning to trivialize issues that are trivial, learning to free my mind.

These days only a few people matter so much, hence only a few opinions actually matter. I have little to no expectations from most people, with the remaining few, i still have some expectations ,But in God, I place all my expectations. I know if i don’t get what I want, I probably didn’t need it or i’m getting something better. It still hurts, most times.

My relationship with God is the most important thing to me right now (it should always be the most important) . If I don’t stay connected to Him, everything falls apart but in Him, I am held together, I stay together.

Everyday,  i realize how imperfect i am, and i have decided to stop trying to fix things, I have decided to let it be. Imperfect is beautiful if you ask me (I hope you ask me). It is amazing how much beauty i get to see just by opening my eyes a little more.

The goal is to be the best i can be and make the best of all I have been given while I still have air filling my lungs. I have no rivals, no competitions all I have is one life, one heart and a voracious desire to live the best life possible…. one that will still shine long after i’m gone.

I do not have to prove anything to anyone but I do have one thing to prove to myself and that is that I can live my life fearlessly.

It’s been a long day.

This is for the days like today,
When I do not feel pretty.
When I look in the mirror and
all I see are my imperfections
glaring at me, all the things
I would like to change,all the things
that should be invisible but aren’t,
Imperfect me, this is for you.

This is for days like today,
When I do not feel good enough
or smart enough.. anything but enough,
where every fibre of my being is weak
and unable to climb, slipping when I try.
the mountains seem higher than usual,
and it is raining harder than it should,
There’s not a shred of self esteem left.

This is for days like today,
when this is the hardest poem to write,
because my words aren’t coming out right,
because maybe I am not as good a poet as I think,
Maybe this is all a lie, my lines.. my poems,
Maybe i have been tricked into thinking that
my words somehow make a difference..

This is for days like today,
when every smile has been half fake,
every laugh has belted out with a little sadness,
every mindless thought has been devoted
to all the things that seem to be going wrong,
This is for feeling alone,
Like God doesn’t love me, like no one does,
Like i’m really alone in all of this.

This is the lowest i have ever felt,
The lowest i hope to ever feel.
No one should ever have to feel this way.

This is for me
and everyone else in the darkness tonight.
for the broken and the lost,the lonely and the hurt,
this is for you. I am with you.
wherever you are, Imagine I am holding your hand,
sitting in the corner with you,feeling with you.
Let this poem be a hug,
the warmest you have ever received.
I am with you in this darkness,
and Tomorrow we shall find the light.