Alpha 151


Alpha 151

In the doll house –
Alpha 151 –
the old man lifts
a balcony door frame
as his wife lends a needed
Four Orthodox Jews walk by:
Boy swaddled in navy suit,
head crowned by a kippah;
two women, heads wrapped
in black sheitels,
accompanied by a patriarch
hobbling stiffly on crutches,
tzitzit reaching from waist to knees.
Back at Alpha 151,
the old man twists a screw in place,
arms jerked up like a desert father
calling for validation
of his pious existence,
cloud-white hair and beard
threatening to flee his face.
He departs; his wife approaches,
wiping clean the open doors, perhaps
recalling family holidays
now faded into the periphery of age.
The old man returns,
the couple works,
disputing dimensions
as another wise relic
of bygone days
paces past –
the tabernacle

Flowers of Chibok


Flowers of Chibok


There, you had resided in a space

that shielded you from the chaos outside.

As you walked the halls of that mental garden

the desk was your soil,

the book and pen your well-spring.

Caring hands cultivated your being,

grew you in maturity and knowledge

from seeds, to saplings to young flowers,

our flowers,

meant one day to pollinate the continent

with your wisdom.

But now we look in anguish 

at your garden burned to ashes.

We decry how religious insanity

snatched you from your roots,

now holds your tired, withered

stem in its clutches.

From Chibok to Lagos,

New York to London,

we search for you and demand your release.

Like farmers with stolen crops we hunt for your thieves,

while setting aside a homecoming patch

where the desk, the book and the pen

can help you grow again.










Commentary of the observer


Commentary of the observer

What left is there to say?

When profit has more value than life

When religion is a machine gun that mows down the dove

When young girls sell their virgin bodies

When information is shackled to those in authority

the media a fly in the web of the state

When mature becomes a commercial commodity

When children fight mature battles

 and education becomes careful indoctrination —

What rationale’s worth explaining

that one changing action

a thousand times can’t say?

I dare not trust the sweetest thing

I dare not trust the sweetest thing

What force could shake; could break

this mighty faith of ours?

None dare I say.

The princely powers of this earthly kingdom

fire blunt arrows at us

Life’s snares and sinkholes have no depth that can’t

be climbed unscathed from

For we march in victory, protected by a holy

shield of love and truth —

If only we thought that way —

Still, our religious duty is strong, yet our belief is weak,

deceived that success comes only from human deeds and

‘‘In Him All things…’’ won’t save us completely.

Within the crisis blaze that smites all hope around us, we must be

as the summer soil — burned to ashes yet sprouting again from a savior’s



What life these eyes have felt

What light these eyes have felt

Until my soul received the King

I was blind of spirit; blind of sight.

I walked like a shadow in sinful shroud,

awaiting Death to meet me.

Hope and I, like bitter rivals,

never saw fit to reconcile.

Peace and love,as estranged spouses,

 kept their distance.

For I was lost.

Trapped in ever rising waters

on a raft

about to sink.

That is… till

the King’s touch of mercy brought

sight to my lids and light to my heart,

taking me back to shore.

Then what form the

blindness hid revealed its awful beauty

and grace and I retook our vows.

For a touch from the King is a touch of life, a light that never fades

A season to wait, give and be thankful

Merry Christmas.

As I address you from my stuffy summer bedroom, the thought of Christmas has only dawned on me this week. Yes, I have been besieged by the many adverts carrying holiday discounts, the snow white beard of Santa Claus and ornamented trees with flickering lights since late November, but the seriousness of the ‘Christmas rush’ has yet to take hold of me as it may have many of you.

One reason is that I’m in a state of advent, or waiting patiently for the day of my saviour Jesus Christ’s birth. I’ve been reflecting on what his birth means to me, 2012 as a whole and thinking about my goals for my final school year.

If there is one thing I’ve realized, it’s that with consumer and materialism Christmas has become less about giving and more about spending and receiving nowadays. We must realize that it’s a day not about us, but Him. We can show how much we appreciate Christ leaving his throne in Heaven to become one of us by displaying servitude and giving to others.

The other reason has inevitably be triggered by tragedy. The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has left a deep scar on me just like it must have had on many of you. I will leave politics and gun control for another post as I focus on the main thing this madness has taught me, which is to be thankful for everything I have. When you think of twenty parents that will have to spend Christmas one family member short puts life into perspective and makes us enjoy what we have even more.

This poem not only captures the spirit of Christmas but also the need to think of others more than ourselves:

The night before Christmas

In vagabond threads I await

the new snow of day.


The gentle glow of a city-center Christmas

tree is my night-light, my comfort against

the algid breeze.


The carols of a distant church’s Christmas Eve Mass

make me tap a light holiday tune upon the pavement.


My gifts are some cold coins and crumpled

notes, wrapped in a plastic fast food box. Christmas

dinner lies in snowed-over garbage cans nearby.


From a spirit-filled office party, a man jovially exits.

He stumbles with a beer into his car and zigzags away.


A police car halts before me and its front window opens.

An officer hands me a large bag.

‘‘Merry Christmas.’’ She smiles and drives away.


I find inside a black coat, scarf and beanie. I salute the

cop car and contentedly await the new snow of day.


P.S. I’ve written on a part of the Nativity story on a separate blog. It can be read under Day Sixteen: Unknown heroes of the Nativity, by Jonathan Rowe here: