Chima Ononogbu

Chima Ononogbu Poems

Oh you South Africans, the black natives!
You once bled the blood of apartheid,
Drank the rage of renegades traversing your mountains,
You rebuked your humanity that you may calm their vexed eyes.

That night, in a dream,
I found myself on a hill's skull
overlooking a quiet, dimly remembered, hamlet
hemmed by untrod expanse of sprightly vegetation

We're mere sojourners in life's great plains,
which they say isn't a bed of roses;
therefore I surmise it's a bed of thorns,
because life is either one or the other.

In those earliest happy days,
when life at its freshest,
a spirited lad I really was; so innocent, so angelic maybe,
always in my father's loving arms cradled,

In my search, the sage told me:
When rails sparkle their brightest,
The stars in my abode shall descend,
And pleasant air the sacred oak shall blow,

Why should anyone die?
Why, therefore, death? Leaving this life and going
to the abode whereby souls grow deaf, more deaf
than a tree that runs not, even when a saw yells death from afar.

Oppression everywhere; people scurrying,
scurrying away from a lunatic,
a dragon-mouthed lunatic drunk from a cocktail of blood.
No one is safe;

I'm a dove with a face of a hulk,
But you think wrong of me!

You think of me a little too cocky, contumacious;

And yes, I know, really well,
that life is a bridge between quicksand and deep sea.

I know its temperament like I know the face of the moon.

In the sky
Lies my dream,
Where among the stars,
It watches and beckons on me.


Living is a plaything,
a daily exercise with exception of perfection,
rather a falling and a rising
as everyday closer and closer to its end we gallop.

I know of a people abandoned,
whose dusk never turns to dawn,
light has refused to flush away their nights,
so their lives are lived in the hours of an owl;

I've been meaning to ask you these questions, my creator,
which I've harbored in my mind
ever since my entrance into this mortal enclave,
but over the years, toiling for days on end

A dull evening in my hilly hearted village,
a time when squirrels dance up the lower heavens;
Children faces ballooned in boisterous borderless smiles,
looking forward to the entrancing moonlight tales.

Black South Africans,
You have become tactless
although history rebukes you
but with yarn tinged with blood

Many years ago
on those scabrous trees
on their lankiest branches, I usually sat
in the earliest rising of my voyage

On this canvas,
I wish to paint a life -
the thin line between rich and poor -
which wakes up in rope purple,

On the edge of their greying house,
He sat, the starved lonely boy,
Humming his native songs,
Which he learned from the good old birds

At first, it was a grain smaller than a mustard seed,
Then we sowed it
Deep into the ground of our hearts;
It germinated, budded out,

Turn not
Your back
On the mirror
Before turning to another.

The Best Poem Of Chima Ononogbu

Oh South Africa

Oh you South Africans, the black natives!
You once bled the blood of apartheid,
Drank the rage of renegades traversing your mountains,
You rebuked your humanity that you may calm their vexed eyes.
In those yesterdays you led unliving life, hoping tomorrow comes,
But today you have traded your tomorrows for your yesterdays,
In your ingratitude broken the sacred fountains of your liberation,
The Oracles that formed the sinews of your heroes.

I skimmed the pages of your yesterdays,
The days when Soweto was torched to its carcasses,
The days your tears were beads of scarlet blood
Your eyes darkly reddened and obese from swills of fear,
Your bodies wiry, dry as leaves starved and withered.
On those days that Johannesburg would not keep you,
You had prayed volcanoes to hide you away,
Before the waking of the roosters' crows

For hounded were your jugulars by flagellates of apartheid,
To scuffle you down the crooked terrain of injustice.
Your oppressors' deadening looks were
The fires that burned down your peace.
Their anger, thick flaming crudeness with jagged edges
With barbed sling puffed up with venom like viper's
That ripped your weeping elements to the bone.

Oh you South Africans, the black natives!
In the days when the hoots of owls flooded your daylight,
For your daylight was pitch dark, in fact
Darker than the least brightest of the night,
The light upon your path were the Oracles- -
The Africans whose lives you snuff out
On the streets of Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria.

With intrepidity tall as a lion on hind legs stood them
For your sake and against the slicing blade of apartheid.
They footed your bills, fed you fat from their lands,
Sauntering for your sake through the woods of sacrifices
As their bodies quivered to a breaking,
Yet faithful till the day your chains snapped off you,
Like the cracking of the shell that frees the young kernel.
These testimonials, Mandela's victory songs!

By which his hands freed steered the wheel of leadership.
Knitted the cities you turned to rubbles
Shook the hands of Oracles that toted you across all fires.
Oh you South Africans, the black natives,
Mandela from his grave cries; cries, anguished cries,
He knew to desecrate the Oracles, your African saviors,
Whose backs were broken for you was a thundering sacrilege,
A profanation appeased by eternal penance of ancestral gods.

But you have in your recalcitrant blindness hurt other Africans-
Nigerians, Zambians, Zimbabweans, Ghanaians, Ethiopians,
You chase them about with weapons like dragons upon preys,
Cut them down like dehydrated trees fitting for the saw,
But they were the Oracles that in your yesterdays
Bound your wounded hopes,
Weeded your lands of overgrown oppression,
Restored the diadem of your ancestors.

Chima Ononogbu Comments

Edward Kofi Louis 06 November 2019

Deep into your gaping hands! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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Jason James 29 September 2019

Your poetry is fluid and precise. The poetic flow is excellent.

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Sussie Busch 20 September 2019

Chima is one of a kind writer and poet. I have read many of his beautiful works in other sites and now I find a few of his new productions here. Thanks Chima for engaging us beautifully and intelligently.

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Chima Ononogbu Quotes

Freedom is a gift of nature and not of man. But man has created chains to bind the freedom of another man and demands that the latter seek for that same freedom; it's the superficiality of man's imagination borne out of a desire for control.

Silence is far more dangerous than cruelty in a time when madness in the form of power reigns havoc. To speak up, to do something, is the noblest.

We enter into this world not because we can bargain our way into it but because we can't bargain not to enter.

Birth is a thing highly celebrated but in practical reality should not be if only the new born can understand the array of combats that lie in wait.

The best peace is the one that springs forth from the tiniest molecules of the heart; it lasts through the trials of time.

Mortality is dependent on immortality. Similarly, freedom is dependent on rights. And rights are natural inheritance of both mortal and immortal.

I travel through life not just to learn its byways but to memorize them for stories I must tell when my hairs become grey.

A leader who incites the citizens to violence, rips apart traditions and moral values for self gains, and spews derogatory words when called out to his/her errors, is a threat to humanity, and measures needed to put such leader away from the reigns of power couldn't come early enough.

There is no substance in tyranny and control but a personality dwarfed by fear and ego.

A true alchemist isn't necessarily the one who beats metals into gold, but the one who fashions words into pearls of inspiration and knowledge.

Before I look at you, I look myself in the mirror and whatever I see, I see in you.

Poetry gives to the reader gifts of intellect as it gives to the poet the boundless sense of creative logic and beauty.

Hope isn't an assurance that everything will turn out well but the readiness to make the best out of whatever situation.

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