Friday, 30 December 2011

Last post for 2011, onward to 2012. Thanks for the love

This is the true life story that I had written for O'Naturals, its a 2 parter so they should be having the 2nd part of it out before 2012, so you can go and read it there. But while I have this borrowed time, I'm posting this to you and also saying 'thank you for reading, for commenting, for believing in me, for praying for me, with me, for being there every single step of the way, silently and publicly. God bless you and Have a very happy New Year.

I on a personal front, hope to have a new laptop, write more, publish a book (this has been a 3 year dream, touch wood for 2012) travel, fall in love? (I'm open to offers) lol and live and laugh more. In all my pain, distress and fears, God has been so good to me. He's given me family,good friends, a best friend & sister, an outlet to express the gift He gave me. I am so blessed and I am certain that I'm on my journey to being pain free, truly alive and well. Here's to more poetry, stories, laughter and life. Happy New Year and God bless you real good.

Hairdos: Mother, Grandmother and I

I’m sitting on my little stool, in the living room, my heart beating just a little bit faster as the long hand on the clock creeps up. Somehow my armpits feel a bit wetter. I know that the door will creak open and ... and the door starts to creak open. I shoot off my stool and race into my parents bedroom and go under the bed. I had been planning this hideout for a while and I was certain that this time I won’t be caught.

"Tope"! My name rings out and I unknowingly shiver. "Why must we do this every time? I know you are hiding somewhere and sooner than later, I will find you, so why not come out and just let’s be done?" The voice fades off and I start to relax but the voice comes closer. "Honestly I don’t have time for this. When I catch you, it will not be funny!" The voice bounces all over the room until it bends over to my hideout and a hand shoots out and grabs me by the leg. Grandmother pulls me to the living room while rivulets of tears fall down my face.

Going to the hairdressers always took so long and ended unsuccessfully because I have a tender head. It had become a bi-weekly nuisance. One day, my mother snapped when she came and found me screaming like a sacrificial lamb while being held down by one hairdresser as the other tried to weave my hair. She paid the woman and marched me into her car with my hair uncompleted.

We got home and my Grandmother, who lived with us, looked at us with a smirk on her face. Mother and her were not the best of friends and mother tried her best to keep out of Grandmother's way. "So you have given up?" Grandmother beamed at my mother. My mom shook her head and said forlornly "I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should just shave her hair." I trembled at the thought and whined a big "no". I knew what happened to children who had shaved hair in my school. Everyone said they had head lice and teased them with the ‘gorimapa’ song.

Grandmother came to my rescue. ‘Let me finish it up for her and I’ll do her hair from now on. At least you will not have spend my son’s money needlessly." Grandmother ended somewhat triumphantly. Mom looked at her and let out what sounded like a grunt. I followed Grandmother willingly. Grandmother sat on the big chair and I sat on my little stool in between her legs.

Grandmother’s fat thighs suddenly clamped down on both sides of my head; holding my head so tight, I couldn’t hear anything. Her hands came over my head and like little needles poking at my head. It took me a while to find my voice because I was in shock. She finished up the weave just as my mother came out to see what was going on. "There! You see! Straightforward hairdressing. Done. All that money wasted when you had a true professional at home. And you, shut up!" Grandmother pushed me towards my mother, stood up re-tying her big wrapper around her waist and walked out of the living room.

"You see what you’ve caused now? Hmm? Mama will have something to say anytime you have to get your hair done! Left to me, I’ll just shave your head!" Mother said as she pulled me to herself and wiped my face. At that, I shouted "no". She echoed my voice. "No?! But every time you get your hair done, it is drama and disaster. What am I to do with you?" She scooped me in her arms and carried me into the bedroom where she gave me some paracetamol for my rising temperature and a cold orange Tree-Top drink. So I lay in my mother’s arms wondering how the next hairdressing time with my Grandmother was going to be. I didn’t have long to wait, it was two weeks coming.

Friday, 23 December 2011

For Melissa Hasbrook

It was a simple way we met, Melissa and myself. It was a poetry gig in Wigan. We both performed and somehow, someone introduced us and we started talking and I invited her to come stay at my flat and she accepted. I remember apologising profusely about the dingyness of the flat and she graciously told me it was a good flat.

She told me about her life and I shared mine and she told me of her history and I told her of mine and we chatted late into the night and the next day. I was sad to see her go, this new friend of mine. Imagine! A child of American Indian descent and I a mixed hesistant child of Dahomey and Yoruba origin. Light and dark, smooth and dred, and it didn't matter , for when we spoke, we were children of a common note-earth.

So the bond was forged and she inspired me with her pictures and my poetry of them and she wrote constantly to praise my faltering voice, reassuring me that I had something to say and ears listened. And I confirmed her of a soft bed and lighted heart whenever she came. And as the father watched from the castletop for his son, so I watched for her return.

She returned some months ago and light filled my room but the darkness of my pain formed a shadow which muted my joy, however, she used her light to pierce a hole through and left. Encouraging me to tear further and step back into the light I once danced in. Slowly, I listened for the drumbeat and gingerly lifted my feet, arched to descend in dance. I am dancing now, arms akimbo, head roll-tating in time with the percussion gong, feet laughing along with the gongo as rhythmn slithers up and down my back arching it with esctasy.

Melissa, sister in light, here is this for you.

For Melissa

With a harsh toll, I was awakened

to a new journey removing from self-pity.

Your parcel placed in my hand received with

false cheer from the postman.

Puzzled. I sat on my bed, smiling at memory

wondering what you laid beneath.

Bubblewrap. My childish piqued, till I opened

my epiphany.

Frien. I cried when I saw the prints of life

briefly shared to my excitement.

Realising how much I missed; a heart

who loves, receives me without judgement

I felt ashamed and cried some more.

Salt, tobacco, sage, (juniper?)

You brought healing in a bowl

I let it sit on my table; afraid of what

I did not know.

I confess, I let fear dictate my departure

from Mother Earth, letting her sit,

forlorn, in a blue bowl. Till,

you left and I, apologetic, asked her

forgiveness as I threw your gift on her face.

Friend. Sister. Dear friend.

Forgive my apprehension; I am

a creature of bad habits.

Skin conditioned to prickle at things unknown.

You, a constant voice of praise of my

episodic verse; my inspiration

by Platt’s grave; a visit of different cultures

in a bedsit diverged of prejudice; a light

inviting flickers of hesitation into a

secure knowledge.

I am born again. Tears washing

away the pities of a new age. Lights

like yours confirming again.

God is Love.

Monday, 19 December 2011

My Fight with Fibromyalgia

I have promised some time ago that I was going to explain the condition I'm dealing with but was really hindered by ill health, the lack of a computer and time, but today my church The Bridge kindly let me use their computer in their office so I'll be putting all I know. Now, please note that it took the doctors about 2 years to diagnose me and I had previous underlying conditions like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and while I'm dealing with the condition now and making the best of it through Nutrition, if you want, you can go to the site and read up on it.

I started by being very tired for no good reason. Typically, I am a very strong person physically; I put it down to going to a Military School but uncharacteristically, I got very tired and went into almost shut down mode. Then shortly after that, I developed a severe headache that did like my head would split! As a typical Nigerian, I called home and started praying. My GP couldn't find anything wrong but I was in agony and because it came and went, some friends thought I put it on, just to get off work, but while I have my moments like everyone, the pain was very real and I was prescribed steroids but they didn't help.

Shortly after that, just when I thought it couldn't get worse, I started having severe pain in my joints and my body would heat up and I had some swellings and no matter what test I did  and believe me, I did them all, nothing could be found. The only explanation my GP could come up with was that it was a blood condition I inherited from my dad-Alpha thalessimia, however, it wasn't enough to create the type of symptoms I was displaying.

Well, I can tell you, it didn't get better. I went out so many times for healing prayers, I went to a Chinese pratitioner to seek help, some people started avoiding me, so many rumours were passed around about me. I was living in hell. I couldn't tell my folks back home the severity of my conditions because I didn't want to alarm them but I can tell you, there were times I thought death had to be better than what I was going through. I was in pain all the time, my bones ached, my nerves were super sensitive, I was tired all the time and I had no strength as before, sometimes, I struggled to even dress myself!

I love to cook but I couldn't even cook for myself. I remember one particular day where the pain was so bad, my body was on fire, I had a raging headache, I could barely make it out of bed to go to the loo. No one was around as I lived alone; and one thing Fibromyalgia does for you is it lets you know who your friends truly are, I was hungry but could do nothing about it until my friend and angel, Laura came over after work and she made me something. I had to sleep with my door open as I wasn't certain if I could get to the door.

Let me tell you one truth, there is no way one will be in that situation especially living alone and not fall into depression and it is dark and ugly, so I truly sympatize with anyone who is going through depression. However, after pressing on, I got a diagnosis early this year in February. Though it didn't take away the pain, at least it had a name and it wasn't some curse put on me because of my many sins ( someone actually told me this-to my face!) and once I knew what it was, I started learning about it and finding ways to deal with it.

I would love to say that I found a cure and its all gone and life is great but that is not true. It's a battle I face daily but I'm facing it. After my diagnosis, I informed my GP and my office and I started treatment. I joined a support group and a singing group at church because one of the ways to feel better is to do what you love as it releases happy hormones and I love to sing especially hymns. My symptoms have gotten worse in recent times as I am now falling more but I believe its just a blip and I'll overcome that. I have also started learning how to tailor my diet to help make life more manageable.

Now note, fibromyalgia is incurable according to the consultants and my entire lifestyle has been adjusted to accomodate, for now, this condition but I believe that one day I will be drug free and I will be able to be the strong Abi again. For now, I  try to live life to its fullest each day, I want to be the happiest, fun filled person people ever meet and I personally have good reason for that, I have a personal relationship with Christ and I've got a joy and peace that nothing can take away now. Yes I know I may have to get into that conversation when I meet the man but I know that he will see the spirited firecracker under the frail skin and fall in love with that. And yes! I will love hard, laugh heartly and be throughly delighted with life.

Do I think I am unfortunate, honestly , no, however I know, I solemnly have to consider this condition within my life but it has opened my eyes to the advantage of good health above money and frills. I enjoy life more, I'm more willing to try things, I am determined to finish whatever I start; it has taken me almost 2 and a half hours to type this as my hands hurt with nerve ache but you're reading it thanks to a massage ball because I finished it and if that is not a sign of one who will overcome then I don't know what is!

This is the life I'm living and what a cracking* life that is!

*cracking in Bolton parlance means brilliant

Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Visit

This is something new that I have been working on. I would love to hear what you think. I warn you, its a bit long but keep with it.

The Visit


An insufficient word to cover

The traces of sweat underlying

My armpits as I pack my

Bags; going through checks

Bars, locks and doors, checks

Bars, locks and locks, checks

Bars, doors and bars to get

To him in his numbered shirt

Like a famous footballer kept

From prying eyes, no photographs


With steady eyes, he gazed at

Me as with trembling hands

I put my bag down wondering

If I could or should shake

His hand as I lift my

Fingers to my hair, a feeble

Excuse of a salute to the

Shadow of what made him

Once great.

Buttocks almost missing my

Seat, my heart pounds

An unearthly rhythm

I’m thinking with rabid

Eyes, yikes! Is there a

Doctor in this house? His

Steady gaze somehow comforts

And unnerves me simultaneously

The guard indicates the

Number five, fingers stretched

Palm wide, brisk, I clutch my

Pad to furiously comfort me

As pen scratches crazily on

Paper working with his lips

As he uttered new lines of

His memories.

There is no sign of remorse

Nor is there of triumph, its

A steady pace of what has

Been, emotion cannot unchanged

It. It’s a tripping of words of

Life gone past, actions committed

In hazes of black and as it

Flows, he’s lifting while

I’m the one sinking.

Behind liquid brown eyes

I furtively search to see if

Somewhere there could be regret

But my fear stops me from

Gazing too long, so I write

Squirrelling away my

Fevered angst, rage and

Pain. The guard comes

Back for five is past and

I pick up my bag, do

Not say goodbye. It’s a

Nonchalant release

Of a practice that is just

Now a hobby.

A quick backward glance

To this murderer of time

But all I see is the back of

His shirt and regret grips

Me once again by the tails

I am dangling between this

Truth that grips.

Mother, I am sorry. A whisper

As clangs of gates echo

My shame, I grip my bag

Closely, my tears glancing

Past the lines of heated words

My whisper completes my

Fear to face father and ask

Him why?

Instead. My footsteps

Echo the words building

Walls on my heart

As block by block

Sound. With each clang

Of the lock and bar

Repeat. You are

Dead to me.

Monday, 5 December 2011

New story and Research

Here's another story I have written for O'Naturals, I hope you enjoy it as its actually a true story. This week is eventful one for me and I'm just anticipating. Its a rush but also a tad nerve wrecking. I hope your week is filled with laughter and pleasant surprises.

Next post I should be able to give you more information on Fibromyalgia to educate you on it. I tell you, doing research on it has been quite fascinating because many doctors over here in Bolton have never heard about it or know very little so believe me, I had to go find the expert on this condition and there's so much to know.

Well God bless my dears and have a really fabulous week. x