Of Birthdays Past – for Austin Omorogieva

Many are called
Only a few answer the call
Those that answer stands out exceptionally
And do exploits

They have their smile brighter than the moon
And the sun tends to step up their game
So as to retain their place in the sky

They lead in style and are unique in grace
You are one of them who answer the call
And in your carbongo villa, you rule and reign supreme

Today the sun is hidden beneath the cloud
As angels announced your birth
Eons ago on a cold blissful morning

The world stopped to steal a glance
At the king in the Benin stable
There were no horses and no census
Yet you slept peacefully on that strawed sheet

Today we celebrate awesomeness
And glorify nature
For, once again
We are blessed to have known you.

Happy birthday Austin Omorogieva of the Carbongo villa

FRIENDS

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Life is all about human beings. God is a relational being, thus we his creations are also relational beings.
The saying, “no man is an island” is a true statement and as each new day dawns, we come to a clearer understanding of what it means.

We all come out a family. A family is made of people. We relate with them till we begin relating with other humans who are not related to us.

Maybe, these people become our friends when we find a common interest or a common characteristics or we are forced through time and circumstances to end up as friends.

Through the journey of life, I have met people. Beautiful people.
Awesome souls.
Magnetic personalities.
Kindred Spirits.
I have met them at different stages of this journey and I am grateful that I met them.

There are those friends who have sworn to stick by you through thick and thin, through sunshine and rain. Through storms and calms.

There are those friends that reignite your passion for living. They reassure you of their presence and not just say it, they show it. Some will bring down the sun for you at dawn when your days are gloomy and at dusk when the sadness of your soul is darker than the night.

Some have worn the robe of being spiritual partners and would not let you visit the prayer room alone. They will hold your hands from afar and pray joy into your life.

Friends are wonderful. Blessed are those who have at one time or the other proved themselves to be friendly.

Some have stuck closer than brothers, I appreciate them.

In all, there are friends and there are friends.
When you find them, hold them tight. Tell them you appreciate them. Show them you adore them. Go out of your way to do things that will put a smile on their face, every time you can.

The Birthday Salon

THE SALON

I walk into the shop. I see eyes piercing deep into my marrow. I take a sit. I beckon on an attendant. She frowns. She comes any way but lakadaisically and stands hand akimbo.
I scowl.

I say I want to a new hairdo. She smirks and walks away.

I stare into the mirror, looking over my shoulders I see lips move without making an iota of sound.

I strain my ears, I try to gleen but hear nothing.

I see a pile of magazines, am sure they are old as usual. I stretch my arm to pick one.

Now, I turn my head to stare at my attendant, she stares back at me and walks over to her boss who had earlier beckoned.

Now the voices have risen. I hear more of boys and men. I hear of heart breaks and girls gone wild. I hear of weaves and curls.

My ears itch as I listen to more blabs and more tales of escapades and aristos.

More ladies troop in like an alarm has just been blared. Some skimpily dressed, some modestly dressed but to each, fashion has been defined.

All of a sudden it is dark. I see nothing, am sure nothing could see me – but I wasn’t sure. Just then a hand came over my mouth. I try to scream but my voice was lost to the jungle. I try to wriggle but I am tied; tied to what I didn’t know.

Then the lights come on.

Where was I?
This wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I look around I see grinning faces fiercely looking and I wonder, what I had done again?

He walks up to me, his 12 packs pounding as he moves closer. His bloodshot eyes pierced through my soul, I try to scream.

I couldn’t.

In my head I hear voices, inaudible voices.

He walks on, stops right before me and lovingly touched my shoulders. I am scared to death. How can he look so scary and yet act so caring.

He asks my name, I answer.
He says I am pretty, I thank him.

Then I realised I just talked.

What happened earlier. Why couldn’t I scream?

Just like he read my mind, he smiles and says not to wonder why I lost my voice.

A calendar is placed before me. I see nothing but today’s date circled in red marker.

He urges me to take a closer look.
Still I see nothing. He walks away, laughing hysterically. I pray for help.

Just then, I hear footsteps. I hear audible voices marching closer, I wonder why am held.
I wonder if help is near.

From behind I heard a uniform scream- ‘happy birthday Ma’.

I was taken aback. Was it my birthday.
Oh yes, It was my birthday. I had become too busy to notice.

They turn me around. I see faces lit in love and affection. They burst into merry songs.
Then he walks out of the mob. Same steps, same packs but this time handsomely looking, the bloodshot eyes were gone.

He touched me again, it was holy grail.

I open my mouth in shock to ask what happened to his eyes earlier, he stops me just in time and says it was a mask.

I smile.
Tears freely flow.
I was kidnapped but it felt safe.

I look from one face to another, I see a cross section of all my friends, writers and non-writers. I see them smiling mischieviously.

I see orijin. I see wine- different shapes and sizes. I see a cake, taller than I stand. I see food displayed on a buffet stand. I see even palm wine.

They were all involved. And no one told me.

They are crazy like that.

Just then I hear a voice screaming into my ears “madam where you say you dey go, we don reach our last bus stop, it was the bus conductor.