Three Poems by Blessing Onyekachi


Smoke In My Lungs 

I never knew what it was until I saw it in my father's hand; 
I was just a lad curious about the world then.

The way my dad held this tiny tube between his fingers
made me believe it was safe.
From its end, as it glowed red, 
stream of smoke goes up to the heavens
like the remains of a burnt sacrifice.

And my father, 
wiping his hand across his mouth, 
coughed nervously and behold,
from his eyes, which he sees with one,
runs tears calling for pity.

But he didn't stop.
I watched him do this often.

Don't blame me please,
when I say that I one day
wanted to know how this thin tube of paper tastes.
Is smoke sweet?
Does it make one wiser?

Yes, I took a puff at this shit. What? 
I, too, coughed, terrible cough.
My eyes misted with tears,
but I felt pity for father.
This thin tube punishes men.

I felt the pain in my lungs,
and my kidneys hurt.

It was just thirteen years ago,
and I'm not trying that again.
Until men learn to do the same, 
the power of smoke will always imprison them,
and the history of smoking will continue to glorify the smokables.

Love of Life

I’m gonna sing.
Not that fight song
But blues, but reggae
But soul, but jazz.

Have you forgotten so soon?
Last December was when we all came here;
We sat huddled under this Udara tree
When the harmattan wasn’t friendly.

My skin is still dry from its evil work,
Like a dry leaf, and roasted meat.
It was all coming from the West 

Don’t forget 
When we danced —
Our legs trembled 
Our soles missed
Our pants ripped

It was the way we boogied,
It was the way we jived.
Let's go and dance this dance...

I’m not dancing on the dance floor;
What about the rain? We’re children.

It is beautiful dancing wet.
My hair – your waterfall hairstyle,

And the hip pop with steady beat...
Eureka! We will dance boogie-woogie!

There’s no need to play fight song;
We can all gather around the fire,
And whisper love.

Lo, it’s a beautiful starry night!
Put on your dance shoes – 
Turn on the stereo;
volume please.

Turn the knob; more and more.
Let the stereo speak love,
For Soul music.
Let us dance rhythmically;
And let our hips sway.


Surely, a birth child comes forth
from a red womb that brings joy.
What a jocund day;
when all men gather under the moonlight,
their glasses filled with whisky and vodka,
and they toasted the young child born.
How simple was it to drink everything in one gulp!
Shining brown rotting teeth at the end?

What shall a boy do when growing?
Picture a big world and impregnate his future,
But the world is with an enemy;
In the shadow, an enormous lion lay in ambush,
crouching time after time;
waiting patiently to pounce on its target —
all those who their tomorrow is pregnant with good-life.

There's no night without darkness!
It is the beast that gashed my destiny;
The same that aborted all dreams.
But a contemporary hero gripped his fate,
Fluttering into the world where peace is given,
But the scars of every struggle remain forever,
Those which true warriors boast of in their story.

There is an inevitable thing given to all;
When the wind will cease to blow,
And we shall not fail to stand tall;
When the stream will cease to flow,
but there's a life that doesn't fall;
When the scars try to put one low,
the voice that is heard is one that calls.


Blessing C. Onyekachi is a novelist, poet and short-story writer. He's currently studying for a Higher National Diploma in Microbiology. Blessing loves anything art, and his work has appeared in River Bird Magazine and elsewhere. He is on Twitter@BlessingCOnyek1 | Instagram: blessingc.onyekachi


  1. Woooooh!
    "Smoke in my lungs" got me right in the core, coz I one lived next door to that "dad". The Universality of Literature ๐Ÿ‘Œ
    Then, the lyrical style of "love of life" made my 'hip pop' ๐Ÿ•บwhile my mouth do the rap, unconsciously.
    And the third, "Scars"?๐Ÿ‘
    God bless you, Blessing.

    1. _I once lived next door to that'dad'_

    2. I'm so happy you love the poems, John. Thank you for reading.

  2. I think it's wise to state it here ;
    The prom is very educative.
    The writer painstaking did a great formating. More grace!

  3. That's nice bro
    The love of life


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