Posted in Reflections

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Break My Heart

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.

That was a mantra that we were taught growing up and it was a mantra that we believed too.

What we were never taught was how the damage that words cause can run deeper into our souls than any physical pain can.

Yes, sticks and stones hurt. And they leave a scar.

That is the problem with words.  They leave no visible scars.

We have nothing to show for them and only we can see into our minds.

And there is only so much we can explain to others and only so much that they can understand.

How could we even expect others to understand something if we couldn’t comprehend it ourselves?

Sticks and stones were much easier to treat because they left a mark, they left something tangible that we could look at, something we could cry about and something we could caress.

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Posted in Reflections

False Evidence Appearing Real

The one thing holding you back from doing and achieving the things that you want to do is fear. The fear of failure and the literal fear of rejection due to things not going your way in the past.

-From “Changes are Never the Problem” (Published 20/03/2019)

Fear is a feeling that is impossible to ignore. It is a feeling that gnaws into every crevice of your soul, whispering sweet nothings to your mind- sweet nothings that convince you of your own limitations and eradicate a reality where anything good can take root.

Rationally, we know that fear has no power over us, unless we let it. This is a fact that has been established from time immemorial.

But being human is anything and everything but rational. Knowing something and feeling something are two different things and emotions can too easily take over our psyche.

Fear debilitates- mentally, emotionally and physically.

It doesn’t matter if it is of something concrete- perhaps a phobia of dogs or of spiders or of something abstract like the fear of the future and of the unknown.

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Posted in Reflections

Changes are Never the Problem.

Changes are never the problem.

The one thing  holding you back from doing and achieving the things that you want to do is fear. The fear of failure and the literal fear of rejection due to things not going your way in the past.

This fear backed your refusal to take chances, because taking chances meant that you would be opening yourself up to disappointment again.

You had come to the conclusion that the world would always find a new way to say no to you and you had condemned yourself to that fact.

You would no longer take risks.

In fact, you locked yourself away, in some unrealistic hope that by doing so, you would have an upper hand. You would be in control of when and how life said no to you.

And if you could help it, it would never have the opportunity again.

Continue reading “Changes are Never the Problem.”

Posted in Reflections

The Art of Missing

What does it mean to miss somebody? Is it an aching in your stomach that no medicine can cure? Or is it a feeling of missing a part of you- like the French put it, “tu me manque”, which literally translates to you are missing from me.I never really understood that concept. Trust the French to kick things up a notch.

The way I saw it, I was fine whether anyone was around or not. Yes, I might get lonely once in a while but on a whole, I was okay by myself most of the time.

What did it mean that I could continue to live my life unaffected?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t miss people, but not so much that it hurts.

If I did ever miss like that , I certainly can’t remember it and I sometimes wonder where that put me on the spectrum of awful people.

I don’t like to dwell too much on that fact.

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Posted in Reflections

The Oldest Story in the World

It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 planning for someday. And then quietly and without you ever really noticing someday is today and then someday is yesterday and this is your life.” ~ Nathan Scott, One Tree Hill

The oldest story in the world indeed.

And the funny thing is that it is still being told. And it always starts like this-

You think you have forever.

And then one day you wake up and realise that forever had turned to “for never”.

And that there was really nothing but now.

But you’re no longer 17 years old. Your now is now 70 years old (Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being 70. That, in itself, is a lifetime achievement)

And now you’re 70 and you are surrounded by the ghosts of all the promises you made yourself all those years ago.

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Posted in Reflections

Death Happens

Her works never fails to draw her readers into an intense engagement and this is done through her reflection on universal themes that transcend any social construct that man has ever created- her use of the narrative in her poetry always manages to capture her readers with the promise of a deeper insight into human nature, into the ways of life and of death. These promises are what make her readers so enthralled with her work and they simply cannot help but want to know more.

Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, an Irish Poet,  was one of my favourite poets as a Leaving Certificate student. I know that because the above was the introduction to an essay that I had written on her for my English teacher. I found it while I was going through my old papers, looking for an old quote that I had jotted down many moons ago. I remember now that I had kept it because my teacher had called it “an examiner’s dream”

I had to pause when I found it and read this essay because it reminded me of something that had chilled me to the bones about Eilean ’s poetry.

One poem in particular stood out- “Deaths & Engines”

I had a sort of an uncomfortable romance with the poem “Deaths and Engines.”

I liked it because it spoke nothing but the truth and I hated it for that same reason.

The description of a plane coming into land immediately incites the universal human fear of being airborne and the dread of not being in control. There is an urgency to her discussion of mortality and the unpredictability of human lives. A sense of impending doom permeates throughout the poem.

I remember the example that she used in the poem. The man who survived his accident serves to reinforce this wholly human fear. The man in the poem had escaped death this time but she emphasises that his luck would run out “some time” and he would find himself faced with the eventuality of death.

Death, which is described as an acceleration “down a blind alley”.

But life, like death, is also an acceleration down a blind alley. You really never know when you will hit the wall at the end of that alley.

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Posted in Reflections

The Town Where We Planted Our Roots

It was such a long time ago since I had last seen you that I had to look again.

It was at the bus station. We were waiting for the same bus to take us to the same town.

The same town where we had planted our roots all those years ago.

You did not know me and I did not even know your name.

But I knew you.

I used to see you all those years ago, walking to school, getting the bus, walking to the shop or simply hanging around the estate with your many friends.

I used to marvel at you. Not only were you beautiful, you had this aura about you. An unspoken charm that drew all around you even closer.

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Posted in Reflections

Friendship As a Sweet Responsibility

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility and never an opportunity- Words by Khalil Gibran, Lebanese-American Poet and Writer.

Our friends can be reflections of ourselves.

We see ourselves in them- our struggles, our fears, our burdens, our interests.

But they also reflect the kind of person we wish to be. We see something in our friends that we wished we had, either it be kindness, courage, ruthlessness, determination or talent.

Those are all things that draw us to people.

We learn through our friends. They are the rocks on the bank of the river that is our life. They shape our course, our movement. They divert our path and change our destination.

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Posted in Reflections

The Question of Race- The Tallaght Debacle

Racism is an incurable disease. That is what I have come to learn in my 22 years on planet Earth.

Actually scrap that. I knew nothing about this disease until about 12 years ago when I left Nigeria and came “abroad”. It has been a pleasant experience too as I already wrote about in one of my previous posts, Heart Grows Fonder, but sooner, rather than later, the “Question of Race” started come into play.

Image result for the human race

It first happened when I was in primary school, within the first few months of my education here and one of the teachers questioned me, “you don’t mind if I call you black do you?” I heard my classmates gasp, as though what she had said was something bad, but I did not know what it was back then.

Racism was not a thing to me. Growing up in Nigeria, people were simply people to me. Of course I was aware of the differences in physical appearance. I knew that my favourite James Bond at the time, Pierce Brosnan, coincidentally Irish, looked different to me.

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Posted in Creative Writing, Reflections


You walked past a homeless man a while back. You called him George in your head. It was a cold, bitter morning and you were in a rush to get to some shelter as the elements attacked every crevice of your exposed face. You still remember thanking God for small favours and the fact that you had bought a pair of gloves yesterday.

The bridge that you were crossing was a bit slippery- that was how cold it was- there was a thin sheet of ice over the wood and you found yourself walking slowly, to prevent yourself from falling face first, something which, was a very likely possibility.

So there you were, in your big winter coat, combat boots and your newly acquired gloves, shuffling your way across the bridge.

A man was walking towards you, from the other side of the bridge and in between you sat another man. A homeless man. George. He was wrapped in a blue shawl, a huge hat covering his head and his money tin held out in his outstretched hands, un-gloved as they were.

Continue reading “Judgment”