Step Outside Your Comfort Zone.

Using poetry as a medium and my voice as the instrument, there are so many things I would love to see accomplished in my life. I have always spoken of my love for poetry and this year, I challenged myself to exercise my voice through this medium. Way past the four walls of my bedroom and the supportive ears of my friends and family alone. To push myself, invest in myself and to stand in my own self.

All that to say, I dedicate this cheeky weekly fav to an upcoming ‘Verse and Prose Presents – VS: A Spoken Word Competition’.

Verse and Prose is a Christian Creative organisation, which focuses on Spoken-Word Poetry. With aims to-

  1. Encourage people to live out their creative dreams by stepping outside of the norm,
    2. Introduce and showcase up and coming poets,
    3. Educate, entertain and uplift,
    4 Help make poetry a more recognised and respected art form.

Verse and Prose are holding a ‘VS: Spoken Word Competition’ on Thursday 29th June 2017. So, if you enjoy impactful Spoken word poetry & good music. Or interested in knowing what makes a good Spoken Word poem? Then, this event for you.

Edifying Spoken word show, with special performances by our judges:

– CalledOut Music

– John M D Mills &

– Thembe Mvula

And performances by:

-Emily Mutaako &

– Izzyy Eze

And Open Mic slots available at the end of the night. This is truly an event not to be missed!

So, come along to the quirky Café 1001 as 3 up and coming poets perform head to head, for a chance to win £100!

For more information, visit –  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/verse-and-prose-presents-vs-a-spoken-word-competition-tickets-34707073792

 

Life, The Bigger Learning Ground.

Being a Nigerian, the need to study within the educational system has never been up for discussion. It is an unspoken religion in my family. In fact, the damaging repercussion that would engulf one’s entire existence if ever they were to suggest to their Nigerian parents – ‘I do NOT want to go to University’ has turned into the never ending ‘joke’ which circulates within many young Nigerians friendships groups. (Unfortunately, this is something that happens not only in some Nigerian homes but across many other countries and homes and I also know the parents mean well).

Oddly enough, the perception of education is one that I never understood. I hated education with every fibre of my being because I never understood it. That happens a lot, doesn’t it? A lack of understanding for someone or something can often spur on your hatred for a person or thing. Education for me was no different. I didn’t understand why such importance was placed on this complicated system that seems to make the world go around. A system worshipped by many. Now I am not here to bash education, far from it. The whole educational system is one I will forever be grateful for, because it provided me a space for growth even without realising it. There I even compare it to sharing similarities with experiencing the thrills of childhood. Childhood like education is a man’s training wheels at life. An experience for growth from mistakes, some individuals robbed of their childhood, some experience their childhood in its full entirety and others, who lack in understanding, experience an average childhood.

From the dependent maintenance grants and loans, the 9am lectures, the group works and grounds filled with everything diversity; educational institution like Universities serve as the biggest bubble wrap of them all. Grounds that can breed into you; levels of comfortability, conflict and conformity without it being its intentions. I have seen many young people like myself fall into the system of education and used it not as it is intended to be used but rather lost in the system of its establishment. Lacking the understanding of what these establishments can stand for in regards to life in general, I struggled every step of the way to complete every key stage. Floating at an average level from GCSE to A-levels to achieving my first degree and now unto the second (all to the glory of God), my perception of education had always been very limited. I failed to see these key stages as my very training grounds for mistakes, growth, an opportunity to work on my craft and overall build myself. Education doesn’t stop at the grading systems; well it shouldn’t.

For many, the first several decades of their lives are spent in various educational institutions. They unfortunately fall under the pressure of a grading criteria in every class. They are consumed by the unconscious limitations of education that upon completion, they struggle with the life that awaited them outside of education. There is no benchmark in life like those grading criteria in education systems therefore dare to develop a more holistic view of what education can do to you. See education as that internship you use to gain recognised experience and transferable skills geared towards that ultimate career of your choice.

Education is a system; life is the school! In a system, there is ample amount of room for errors. There are loopholes but life is a subjective continuum that can be attested through experiences, culture, religion, etc. It has no grading criteria; therefore, dare to live from a more holistic perspective called life rather than the narrow view what education holds (a degree or a qualification). See education as a training wheel for life, a childhood to be experienced in all its entirety, a space for growth from many mistakes and the miniature of life, the bigger learning ground.

A Prayer For The Heart: 

Dear God, 
(Jeremiah 17:9) says the human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. So much so that I nor anyone of us really knows how bad it is?  (Proverbs 15:11) says that even Death and Destruction hold no secrets from You. So how much more do you know my human heart!” Lord, have I tried to hide my sins like other people do, concealing my guilt in my heart? (Job‬ ‭31:33)‬ ‭ For “how can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” (Psalms‬ ‭19:12)  Father, I ask that you cleanse my heart through faith (Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭15:9‬b)‬‬. 

(Proverbs 21:1) says “a king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.” And (Proverbs 22:11) says “whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech will have the king as a friend.” Father, “create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” (Psalms‬ ‭51:10‬) A heart that will not desert you or stray away from your path.” (Psalms‬ ‭44:18‬)  Nor, a heart that is filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:28b) Lord, may my heart cease to be filled “with bitter sorrow and unending grief” (Romans‬ ‭9:2‬) and as “my heart hear you say, “Come and talk with me.” my heart’s response will be, “ Lord, I am coming.” (Psalms‬ ‭27:8‬)  “Lord God change my heart and the hearts of all my descendant, so that we will love You with all our heart and soul and so we may live!” (Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:6‬). Lord, give us one heart and put a new spirit within us. Take away our stony, stubborn heart and give us a tender, responsive heart,” (Ezekiel‬ ‭11:19‬). So that we will “obey your instructions; and put them into practice with all our heart.” (Psalms‬ ‭119:34‬) In Jesus name, amen! 

The Purpose of Life is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

KESHAV TREHAN

For the longest time, I believed that there’s only purpose of life: And that is to be happy.

Right? Why else go through all the pain and hardship? It’s to achieve happiness in some way.

And I’m not the only person who believed that. In fact, if you look around you, most people are pursuing happiness in their lives.

That’s why we collectively buy shit we don’t need, go to bed with people we don’t love, and try to work hard to get approval of people we don’t like.

Why do we do these things? To be honest, I don’t care what the exact reason is. I’m not a scientist. All I know is that it has something to do with history, culture, media, economy, psychology, politics, the information era, and you name it. The list is endless.

We are who we are.

Let’s just accept that. Most people love to…

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13th July 2016.

I see you, walking in bodies of three

The good, the bad, the ugly

Wandering like the sanctified feet of Moses

Casting out your hands in gestures of utterances

Looking like your mind is bounded by the lines of your salvation on opposite sight

I see, you’ve let go of memories of me

Your infatuation has ceased over these many inordinate years

Your need for me to teach you my mother’s tongue has out grown you

You no longer recognise the tribes on my face

The parted sea in my mouth

The staff behind my words

Your choice of me to be the mark or the henry. Both on a bad day

I see you are no longer checking for me

You’ve found yourself another target, haven’t you?

She’s good, she’s pretty, she is the one whose tongue you do not envy as much

She is plain, isn’t she?

I see you, walking back in bodies of three

I never expected less, you always looked like you’d be the one to make it

We did too.

There Is Always a Conversation!

I find it hard to escape my thoughts. There always seem to be some form of conversation going on and it irritates me. Sometimes I catch myself catching myself in my stream of thinking and it frustrates me. I spend so much time in my head that nothing ever just happens to me. I have always noticed this frustrating mind cycle and it has always bothered me but I can never just seem to stop. some days I spend time praying for things to just happen to me without my awareness or permission. Like talking to a taxi driver for over half an hour about everything life, knowledge and Africans for over half an hour while he waits for me to catch my coach. It sounds mundane but that kind of thing doesn’t just happen to me. Something completely unplanned. Something I have not coined up in my many conversations. So, for something like that to happen, forever leaves an impression on me because I don’t have to pressure myself to speak about God but somehow, He casually just flows through the conversation. All that to say, I struggle a lot with the pressure of creating every moment rather than just allowing them to just happen and just enjoy and be present in the moment.

This is something that affects many areas of my life and it is just frustrating to say the least. I find that it affects my relationship with God also and I honestly do not know how to work with these conversations forever going on within. I was watching this comedian who said something so profound. He said ‘sometimes your setback is actually preparation for your comeback’ ‘so the things that looked like it was working against you are actually the things God is using to prepare you for what he will have you do’ but sometimes I feel like it’s easier to identify those things in other than in myself. I am forever trying to look within to identify what part of this statement speaks life into my many setbacks and I cannot say I have the best perspective to see it and maybe that is my issue. I am always trying to understand everything before I do and think things through all the time and come up with these possible scenarios that I see working in my favour that I ruin every possibility of just living in the moment and just enjoying it. So maybe I don’t need to comprehend what God is doing in terms of understanding the bigger picture just yet, maybe I just need to say ‘hey, what the hell! I’ll just go along and see what happens’.

Another thing is, I don’t like to leave anything without any form of resolution in sight. I learnt from a mentor of mine that sometimes, instead of being in a rush to fix something, maybe just stay in that moment, that feeling and acknowledge whatever that moment or feeling is even if it’s in a state of the uncomfortable’. Because people are always so quick to fix things, fix people and no one ever just stays in that place long enough to see what happens next. Honestly, with the pressure of having a platform like this based on God, I had to be reminded what this platform stood for, Yes, I love speaking from Scriptures but at the same time, this is also a platform to share parts and pieces of my journey and I don’t know why I have grown so scared to share this part of my journey on here which meant somehow turning this into a one dimension platform.

Yes, I love God and love to learn and impart others as I learn but in addition to that, I started this platform to support the intricate part of my journey and I guess this is me shutting down the conversation within about trying to BE for myself all God has called me to be out of my own way and understanding but starting over by saying ‘hey, what the hell! I’ll just go along and see what happens’.

Guess what. The conversations stopped.

Day Eight ❤️

Dear meSober up on yesterday, when 

Your very presence played harlot with your mind 

Rendering your hands as the barren woman who awaits the homecoming of her presence.

Knowing where your presence has been, still 

She calls cite memories of potential and ambition that belongs to you.