Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Once upon a time
I wished I could be more like them
I sat depressed, hating myself
For not being like the others were.

I admired so much of what they had
I wished I could become
What could be wrong with that I wonder
Is it a crime to aspire to be better?

Isn’t that the gospel of today?
That teaches us we’re never enough
That we must take leaps into the unknown
No matter if we lose ourselves.

Daily quotes of motivation
Speeches that impress, with standing ovations
There is no way that those could change you
They can only make a better you.

Now I’ve learned in my years
I simply could never be anyone else
Even if I tried, I’d fail
Even if I forced it, my soul would break.



Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

On the grand journey of life
we will meet people along our way
Crossing paths, we’d say hi
But must go on our separate ways

No clinging, no tailing
No letting anyone lead you astray
And if you meet the wrong ones
I hope your angels whisk you away

Understand your worth
Don’t lose yourself
Don’t try to be like passing souls
Your journey is for you alone.

Still, nothing is set in stone
You must leave an open mind
Learn, you must, from others on their way
Build resilience for the struggle underway.

You are a unique soul
One with inherent value
Embrace your identity, there’s no two of you
And that’s the truth that must be told.



Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

I used to have a purpose
But now I'm a desolate soul
They tag me a menace
As I wander these empty roads

My soul was beautiful
And then it was hurt
Now they call me the devil
Oh, but I think not.

How is it that you’re surprised?
You know the truth but choose a disguise
I am the result of your wicked ways
The monster you carefully made

An African proverb says
The child the village shirks
Will burn it down to feel its warmth
So cheers to glowing embers 
and the spectacle of falling ash.



A poem of defiance

Photo by Emmanuel Ikwuegbu on Unsplash

I wish I could charge
with my sword, marching onward
a battalion of a thousand lads
To wrestle mighty fate
and take destiny in our hands

I hope we go further
with courage and high shoulders
Neither bowing in defeat
Nor wetting our pillows
with tears of despair and sorrow.

But where and how do we begin
We’re crippled by the systems,
we are locked in
Old men clinging brutally to power
A marriage only bloodshed can put asunder

I think they hear the earth tremble
They hear us advance and cling tighter
To their precious pillars of power
With their ever withering, dirty hands
Their greed stinkier than corpse flowers.

Pushed to the wall
We will draw our swords
They must vacate power’s corridors
Oh, what wicked men surround us
My spirit yet unbroken
My mind, my shield from them all.



Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

I find people often say
No one will come save you
You, must save you
How much colder could life get?
How much more strength do they expect?

I’m the one who needs to be saved
At the very least, that I deserve
Still, I find a truth I can’t debate
In life, we get not what’s deserved
But what we negotiate.

Dear God, dear universe
Would you sit and watch me regress;
As I Lose myself, my life, my hope
I could end it all right now you know?

Right here, right now
I resolve to make my stand
You must send someone my way
There is no way I lose this bargain

No need to throw myself
Off a building or cliff’s edge
I have nothing left to lose, believe me
I’ll sit here and wait for someone to come save me.



Photo by Viktor Talashuk on Unsplash

I wonder ever so often
If more people would care
About my content; my voice
About my heart poured out in ink
Or my soul entangled in words.

I wonder if my voice would hold
Real meaning to people diverse
To my community, to the world
Will people share my interests?
Will I ever have the audience I wish for?

I wonder if I’ll ever be heard
On the global stage,
or even a circle of friends
Will people long to hear my heart
when the words find their way out?

I wonder if my voice will rise
From the vast sea of many others
Like a bulb with bright light
To not be muffled or drowned
To be discerned, to be revealed.



Ikenna Nwakanma

Ikenna Nwakanma

Veterinarian and lover of great thoughts. Writing, for me, is both self-expression and release.