Here I stand humbled, with face bowed in shame.
Yes I have fumbled and disgraced your name.
But what can I do, to redeem my place.
This I ask of you, that you show me grace.
As I stand, I cry. I mourn for my loss.
As I cry, I try, to reach for the cross.
Cleanse me, this I pray, rid me of my woe.
And wash me today, make me white as snow.
All I ask is this, that you call me son.
And to have your kiss, like a child just born.
I long for a taste, of your soothing rain.
For this I make haste to feel once again.
Take me and restore, light up my darkness.
For you I adore, of you have reverence.
To you I have come, to none I will go.
For me you did come, and this I do know.
You did give me all, and I did not lack.
But I had a fall, to you turned my back.
Restore unto me, that which I have lost.
Please uplift me, raise me from the dust.
For this I will sing and lift up my voice.
You alone are king and I will rejoice.
You are kind to all, in grace not frugal.
So to you I call as a prodigal.
(C) Peter Akhere
Mother opened the door of my room slowly and walked in gently with her hands folded loosely on her breasts. Her eyes were reddened and she was sniffing. I knew she had been crying all day and into the night. As she came closer to my bed, I closed my eyes and listened to my breath. – they were heavy and short paced.
“Please God, heal my baby boy…”
I could hear mother say as she knelt beside my bed.
It was on new year’s eve and mother was home alone with me. Father had abandoned mother when he got tired of taking care of a sickle celled son three years after I was born. Mother said he ran off to marry another woman in another city. And in my twelve years of human existence, I had only seen my father in a picture frame. He had looked happy in that suit he was wearing as he held mother close in that white wedding gown. In my twelve years of human existence, I had only seen mother smile so brightly in that picture frame.
Mother continued to cry, begging God to heal me as she held my shivering hand. I wanted to tell her to stop crying, that everything will be OK, but I barely had enough strength to keep my eye lids open, let alone formulate words with my tongue. I managed to open my eyes and I saw the digital clock hanging up on the wall – 11:58. And it was two minutes to the new year. I closed my eyes again.
As mother continued to pray through her crying voice, I heard the cheering sound of screaming people around the neighbourhood. Happy New year!!! They screamed and shouted, as I tried again to open my eyes… LIGHT, WHITE LIGHT… and I saw a man in an immaculate white robe with a most reassuring smile. He beckoned on me and I moved towards him, for I was standing now. As I turned back to see what was behind me, I saw mother still crying and begging God to heal her baby boy and there he was, lying lifeless on the bed.
(C) Peter Akhere
Once, I heard a person sing a song.
His words, I thought could be right or wrong.
He had wished he could always be young.
“Impossible”, I said “It can’t be”.
“This, the world is yet to hear and see”
“Like honey could be without the bee”
Some things were just not made to be so.
Every man, when born must have to grow.
And old age is where we all head to.
Suppose these things could really happen,
Men, on earth might live like in heaven…
Or evil might find a safe haven.
But I heard man was not made to die…
And to Life, he not to say goodbye.
This, I know could not have been a lie.
It is written in God’s Holy Book
When the whole earth still had a new look
Before man’s rights, satan came and took.
If only I myself could be so…
So many things I would do and know.
For Life, I would say no goodbye to.
As a youth I would always remain.
And the whole earth would be my domain.
As evil, through me would all be slain.
And now, on Life’s route I walk along,
As a youth with thoughts right and thoughts wrong,
I do wish I could always be young.
In this world that we live in, many people live their lives to tell the stories of others but some live and become the stories to be told. The choice is ours to make. It is ultimately our decision to make whether we will be remembered or forgotten many years after we are dead.
In whatever you do, determine to make the world remember that you were here FOR GOOD, even when you are centuries gone.
Father Abraham today is known as the father of faith. Daniel has become a symbol of integrity and Jesus is the personification of love itself. What will you be remembered for? Will you be remembered at all?
The true worth and value of a man’s life is not in the number of years he spent living, but in the impact that he made while he lived. This simply refers to the contribution that you make to the betterment of the world, your nation, your community or even just an individual.
Always remember that you owe everyone that comes in contact with you (physically or otherwise) an encounter of a lifetime. But what kind of encounter would that be? Would it be positive or negative? Only you can decide.
Determine to write your name not just on the sands of time, but on the hearts of men. For this is most important. Some have used a warrior’s sword, some have used a painter’s brush, and I will use a writer’s pen.
What will you use? Decide that today.
One morning I rose up to see the sun.
The dews were fading and soon to be gone.
The day was young for it had just been born.
I stood on the hill to watch life unfold,
With an ear for stories that might be told,
Of or by people going up and down the road.
I saw gold reduce in worth as to clay.
Silver losing value to that of hay
What was once priceless in that good old day.
Fame, I saw men preferred to Dignity.
And wealth, a lot more to Integrity.
But cared not for the priceless Purity.
I heard of one craving for a good end.
But to the right path, he just would not tend.
So even for self, he just could not fend.
To see virtues, I looked from North to South.
I saw people living, but morals without.
They said they’re trash and they feed not the mouth.
The truth which only few could understand,
Was that it’s with these virtues in our hand,
Only can we hope for a better Land.
My consolation came from gems so rare.
By whose conduct my joy really did stir.
For they lived there lives so just and so fair.
Of these were told tales of sincerity.
By their acts came about serenity.
On these I hope for my Society.
(c) Peter Akhere
As I sat across the counter in my brother’s prison cell, I held his hands tightly within mine. And he spoke to me in a teary voice – shaking and broken.
“Promise me you’d be good and you’d keep our secret.”
I looked into his eyes, his face just like mine, except for the bruises and injuries he had sustained in the course of his time there.
“It was a death-sentence and there’s nothing we can do now” My brother said. “Promise me brother! Just promise me” He added.
My mouth felt heavy, my chest ached in pain and tears streamed down my cheeks. I managed to utter two words…“I promise” And I broke down and cried.
Peter and Paul, that’s what we were called. He was Peter and I was Paul. But in my unbridled exuberance, I had rapped a colonel’s daughter. She was asthmatic and she had an attack while struggling to free herself. She died in the cause of my callousness. And evidence from the investigation led the trail to me or my brother as the culprit.
Peter took the fall for me and insisted that he did it. He could never do such a thing – He was the epitome virtue, and I vices. But he took my place, he took my name. On the day of his execution, mother and father went in tears to watch their son die. I did not go – I could not, for it was me who was to be killed.
It’s been many years now, and no one, not even mother or father knows that I have been living my brother’s life and bearing my brother’s name.