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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Don’t Try, Try Again
Last year, I didn’t achieve one of my most important goals. I was simply going to try again this year when something stopped me in my tracks. Visions of 2017 turning out exactly like 2016 in that regard, flashed before my eyes, along with the thought, what’s the plan to succeed this year where you failed last year? Read more…
Once, as my heart remembers
All the stars were fallen embers
Once, when night seemed forever
I was with you.
Once, all dreams were worth keeping
I was with you…
Once, when our hearts were singing
I was with you…
Poetry as music!
Sigh. Does Enya ever grow old?
Asking for your hugs,
Begging for your kisses,
Seeking a connection,
Making silent wishes,
Aching for “I love you”
Waiting for a letter,
Praying it gets better…
I’m done needing you.
I Will Miss You Forever
This is me, now. I am here, now,
But thoughts of me, then, and us, as we were,
When all we wanted, waking and sleeping,
Was to belong to each other,
Are welcome, from time to time…
I will miss you forever.
Somehow, this is something I have always known,
Even back when I didn’t think I would have to
be without you, ever.
I knew, that I always, always wanted to know, to own
Your love, your friendship, your respect,
And I know that in many ways I still do…
But I miss you,
Pretty much the way my childhood
Will always be mine, and always be precious,
Except, of course, that I never want to go back,
Nor should I. That wouldn’t be real life, would it?
The Love That Never Was
Every buzz of my cellphone in my bag
Is a maybe,
Every glimpse of your photo on the wall
Is a ferry
That carries me back to another time,
A far off place,
Before my blindness robbed me of your voice,
And your embrace.
Every whiff of the coffee that you loved,
Of strong, rich friendship, its smoky flavour
Feeding hope that the love that never was,
Will be someday.
Because I Have No Scars
If truly a husband’s words held up a wife’s head,
Then I would walk head bowed, with my shoulders bent,
The light that once danced in my eyes all but dead
My reservoir of peace and joie de vivre, spent.
The fist proceeding from your mouth delivers blows
Your snide remarks an open palm upon my face
I start to feel the familiar seed of hatred grow
Threatening to asphyxiate my beauty and my grace
As long as you can boldly say, “I never beat her”
What does it matter if my self-esteem is now in tatters?
Or that the shreds of my joy float away like paper,
When as far as the eye can see, I have no scars?
I am earth’s treasure, jewel of inestimable price,
My value abides in me, plentiful not sparse,
So I refuse to cower under the glare of your eyes
I hold my head up high, and they think I have no scars.
My face, my back, my limbs are smooth as baby’s bottom
There are no crutches, no band aids, no doctor’s letters,
And so my lashes, my pain and tears they cannot fathom
“Did he abuse you? And if he did where are the scars?”
Mountain or molehill, it makes no difference to me,
Strength lives in my heart to love, to forgive and stay;
But when tall mountain comes crashing into salty sea,
That very strength will guide this woman’s feet away.
For Hodiya, the resilient.
Not So Happily Married
I wrote a new poem. Please let me know what you think.
It is one thing to cling to hope
Lying forlorn upon your bed
With ring free fingers, vows unsaid,
Soul mateless, and alone;
Prisoner of longing unfulfilled,
Yet holding on to hope.
Tis quite another so to lie
When ring and stone adorn your hand,
Now in much-yearned-for promise land
Your soul still stands alone;
Prisoner of longing unfulfilled,
A prisoner without hope.
You Are Like a Brother to Me
I’ve been writing poems since I was 16, but I rarely let anyone look at them. As time went on, I wrote less, and eventually stopped writing. I would think of a poem I should write, put down my thoughts in a notepad, and leave it at that.
Then two weekends ago, I attended Connect Nigeria’s annual Writers’ Conference and listened to Efe Paul Azino speak on writing poetry, and I realised, “You should do this, Joy. You should sit down and write the poems in your head and in your heart.”
And so I have resumed. My poems are based on my past, present and future experiences, observations and dreams.
Please read You Are Like a Brother to Me and let me know what you think. Thanks!
You Are Like a Brother to Me…
English can be such a limiting language
You may try, but my feelings you can’t gauge
By the words that I utter when you say “I love you”
By my earnest declaration, “I love you too.”
And I do love you, it’s true, you see,
But you are like a brother to me.
I know that our parents want us to be married
To each other, sweet hope they have long carried,
Since the days when we were in diapers and prams,
Watching each other from our mothers’ arms,
But I can’t see you as you see me;
You are still like a brother to me.
You’re the best friend I have, so why can’t I love you?
There has never been a time when I did not know you,
And I want to love you, to respond to your passion
But my heart and body fail, there’s just no reaction.
Why can’t you feel it? Why can’t you see,
And accept that you are a brother to me?
There are days when I wonder, this man I will marry
When he comes, will he truly be extraordinary?
Will he be more handsome, or more loyal than you?
I’m tired. Why can’t I just fall in love with you?
At least then I won’t have to make you agree,
That you’ll never be more than a brother to me
The deep caring I feel for you cannot compare
To the love that a husband and wife should share;
You say that love is a seed that grows,
I agree, but isn’t it also a spark that shows?
If I agreed to marry you, how fair would it be,
When you’re only a dear brother to me?
I feel bound by these sisterly emotions,
Tempted to marry and go through the motions.
I wish that I could just find a way to love you,
If only I could will myself to love you!
Then at last from these chains I would be free;
But you’re like a brother to me.
30 Days, 30 Blogs: 19th Street
There’s so much that can go wrong when a blog has guest posts often. The possibility of this is even higher when the blog owner doesn’t write as many posts as he features.
What I’ve come to realise in life is that many cooks do not necessarily spoil the broth; it’s too many cooks that spoil the broth. How can you tell how many is too many? Well, it’s an art, and Uncle Efe has it down to a T. It’s not easy to say whether it’s as a result of the timing, the quality of the writers or the assortment of themes, but there are never too many cooks on 19th Street.
This blog invites you to “explore memories of life’s experiences” and everything you’re looking for, from relationship gist and true life stories, to poetry and fiction, you’ll find here. I particularly love how the blogger invited various people to write about their 2013 in December last year. Rich, inspiring pieces, every last one. And Uncle Efe was such a graceful and gracious host, putting his little notes at the bottom of each one, thanking the contributors for sharing and wishing them well in 2014.
My favourite posts however, are the ones for and against the motion that Uncle Efe is Naija Husband. No matter how many times I read the “for” I still find myself laughing- howling, in fact. Efe is obviously not Naija Husband but apparently this is obvious only to some of us. Perception is such a powerful thing.
This blog is truly special, and it’s all the different flavours that make it so. The more the merrier, all the way. Enjoy the broth!