Words Mirror Mysteries


                                                    THE    PLAYER
                                                         ESSIEN JOSHUA UKOH
“A life of truancy”
    Yeah! Right!!
A hater’s word
Pure old-skool slogan
For a gamester
    A champion
    A king
    A Hood
    A ‘Thug’
-- - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
      that was his choice
His call
His glory
His claim to fame
             around town
              especially on the streets
          where he rolls with the boys
              without goals
              without focus
         aimlessly..… often
           like a baby
Arrogant , proud, a brawler
        a brute
A rude-boy
        Both to his parents and the elderly citizens
“”Yes, a truant” the streets proclaim
“A fool” the older and saner say
“A bad boy” every other person says
“A regular absentee” the form master reveals
“A no do-gooder” the Principal attests

He's  more interested in
          canteen curricula
                      -than  in scheme of studies
          fashion sense of the absurd
              ( so called latest-celebrities stylee)
                       -than in self respecting outfits and uniforms
        sportsmanship of the foolish
             ( tailored after a childish instinct for attracting mundane fame
                  in the here, and now
                than in the relevance to the future of their Being)
                        -than in the dribblings of maths and grammar
       gals and glory
            (“the girl-pleaser is king”, the hood crew all say
                 “you are the champion”, they shout out to him)
                       -than basic spirituality of the humble student

“Do not concern yourself to advise him “, classmates say
       He insults all well-wishers
                     friends who desire him to be more studious
                     who invite him to the reading room for an hour’s stay
       Classmates complain that he only accepts the invitation
                     when he wants
                                       -to taunt them
                                       -to spite them
                                       -to distract them

“I don’t need to study during the school hours”, he mocks mates
“When I do not fail to burn the midnight candle, daily”, he boasts
No one believes him
    because just before the Regions' Judgment Day comes
     the truant become feverish
          he is more devoted to studies during the day
                 than other students
         he brooks no distraction from anyone
                                                     -not from mates
                                                     -not from fellow Hooders
                                                   no one
             he reports other players to the librarian,
                to the form master too
   he is a temporary do-good
“ His studies is  too much of a rush”, the Principal notes at the staff meeting
“ It’s useless”, they all agree
“Just for show”, his mates tell one another.

On examination day, he cannot recall his studies
          he stretches out his neck
               for a glimpse of the ‘Player-haters’ script
              for any ‘runs’ from the school authorities
                         who make sure he gets none
        “Nothing for you”, the mates whisper mockingly to him
When the result is released
        Player-boy goes to check his shame at the dead of night
             to avoid the knowing eyes of his mates
“Those Player –haters are wicked”
     he complains to his foolish peers”
“ And they claim to be born-again”
     he shouts to those who bother to listen
“Yet they refused to help me cheat”
    he tells everybody
“They lack the spirit of love that Christ urged them. And they are too judgmental”
     he tells the illiterate hood gangsters
The street listens
     holds her head down in humility
       pretends to sympathize
---- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The streets remember his
              -destructiveness of their young girls
              -boasts: ‘I am a Player’
The streets pretend on….
           to sympathize
            to cry for him ( but not with him)
   they know that it is too late to cry
   when the head is cut off
   they know that it is folly to cry
          for a Player who has gotten his just reward
The streets remember the old man’s word
           to the Player- criminal
   “Don’t commit the crime
    If you can’t do the time”

The streets do know that
   Nature plays against those who play against her.

                                      FROM PRAYER TO PRINCESHIP
                                                          ESSIEN JOSHUA UKOH

A prayer request for his Master’s peace
                         by a returnee !!?!

We remember him now
  The best boy we had-
              Always smiling
             Motivational to (other) kids ( and to teachers)
  Destined for greatness ( ahh-the air shouts so)
        - always smiling !!
               (during the first phase)

A visit to Pharaoh’s house
    Moses went  - ( to stay)
    I hear……..
- Parental (in)action
- Societal pulls
                     (during the second phase)

Some say - ’tis a return to Bethabara
          - a call back to Care
Others say
 -a reroute back to authenticity
                  -a true Being-there
Moses met
       -a Cheerful group
                    Pleased to have son back
        (first blood for the Evil One)
           Discovers love by the Cheerful
                   Is feigned…. Selfish
        No concern for returnee’s growth
        But to add to list of students
             as students to replace
               and trap master
            to streamline master
-vision impaired
              -love by the group for him – very high (seems)
              others – merely tolerated
                                 (by the same group)
              hardness of heart is the best norm of existence
                   by the master by the master
               rerouted back
                              to care
                              to understand
                              to  re-hope
                              to re-love           
                -projects of the returnee
                       (because the master hopes
                                             And believes in him)
              -at peak
                          master in shambles
                         faith’s robe torn apart
                                a war waged against
                                       the innocent
                                       the unintelligent
                                       the uninitiated
        (at the third stage)
    the student propels the master (now)
      propels to faith 
                         in humanity
                         in modes of peace
                         in factuality of the triumph of Good over Evil
                         in the reality of the Divine
     Some say
                   the uneducated can become
                        an educator of the educator
                   the neophyte can stabilize the adept
    this returnee…the former child of Auld Clootie
                                .Prayers for mentor’s progress
                                .Revelations of schemes of the anti-peace
                                           within the elect
He the returnee
                   mysticalised (very soundly)
                head the house (directly)
                bless the chosen
          -he, their ‘first son’
       charm the little ones
             (already prepared by the divine)
                                    To action
      He the returnee
                       Should know
           that to look down from the sky
                       means to be (already) exulted

He the returnee
         should know
              that with a little help from nature
                              all star-killers will not prowl well
               that a little care for speech modes
                              and the world
                                      His pocket is sealed in
               that a loss of emotion ( sometimes)
                             generates more sincere fellowship
                             inspires fear form vile souls
                             justifies and reveals
              that a powerhouse of spiritual vigilantes
                            is best accompanied with a sound
                                         Thought system
All this being the case (?)
                        Then the Regency is complete,



Note: Poem for a young Christian who risked his life among the wicked to assert the right of the poet to preach the gospel. We hope that after we left the congregation, and the town, he is keeping the faith, still.


Significantly , A
Creature, Should
Be Pampered





                          LEGACY IS ALL
                             ESSIEN JOSHUA UKOH

Three neighbors left the station on the coach
Their visions and vocation a-calling
The tipsy driver did them in
Their friends and dependents made
          losers, mourners and then -

Three neighbors
         -a  farmer
         -a teacher
         -a preacher
The first left wealth for his family
The second, his wisdom in many young minds
The third left God’s book
    In a young, but pregnant,

    first responder’s hand-
            a young commercial sex worker-
     as life ebbed away, with a whisper
            “Why don’t men heed stop signs?’’
 A young commercial sex worker.
A harlot…
A harlot who remembered God

 even as Rahab had
Remembered God’s mercy and his call for change
A harlot whose child became an anointed…
                  .to stand for God
                  .to preach the word
                  .to retell the tale
  of how three friends left the station
  and the world
But left gifts for men
       .Wealth for a few
        .Wisdom for the selected
        and .Truth for all men

An anointed with a mission

to remind all men
It is not what you go out with that matters,
But what you leave behind you
              When you go.


 {Based on the 2002/3 Travis Magee hit  “ Three Wooden Crosses” }