Note to the son 3:

He couldn’t look me in the eye. I couldn’t hold this gaze much longer either, the tears were slowly welling and I didn’t want him to see me cry: I didn’t want him to think me weak.

[What is weakness but strength hidden,
what are damned tears and a stern face
if not markers of fear victorious
flags at the feet of mountains
and courage lost…
and courage lost.]

He only ever cried once when I was around. That was a while ago, nearly a decade. Time has made me unsure of the honesty in the droplets he slowly wiped with his handkerchief, folded into a perfect square.

[These ‘spots of time’ like brushstrokes loose their paint the further they stretch,
colour rages against the canvas, the canvas wins – unless the painter dabs once more.
But some streaks are seared, from the furnace to the mind they are etched
and like the wounds they are, remembered they are ever sore.
And scarred ….
And scarred…
And maybe sacred.]

Shame had brought us here. The same that made me quiver when I thought of how I might end up opposite you. Just as he does opposite me. Afraid to become a composite I had lived up to my name – his name. IF we end up here I hope you’d not hide as I did.

And thus we stood in silence. The words like a torrent had flown out and filtered downstream. Wetting the hard stones on their way to the plains. Forgotten until our descent.

[… and like wounds they were, remembered ever sore.
and ever sacred…
never sacred…
always scared like courage lost…
and no more…
no more.]

“Yet to those who believed”… Help my unbelief.

© Denis Adide 2013

38da5-fatherholdingbabieshand

Note to the son 2:

They tell stories of sons and Fathers
Of names passed on, with love and luggage;
Tales of love, passion, compassion, courage,
longing, sorrow, and rites of passage;
Hammers, nails, paints, and screws,
waiting patiently in absence for news.
Sulking quietly in pebbled mews
after leaving the playing fields
assailed by apparitions –
the visions of happiness,
Fathers and sons arm in arm with dog leads,
kite strings: heart stings – like wasp stings
inciting anguish where absence flourished
and the word unspoken never became flesh,
like songs they linger, hovering over the deep,
Keeping without form, void of love:
There are no parting skies here,
no falling dove, no world of Love,
no baptism, and indeed no name,
not pat on the shoulder.
Just the boulder – unassailable emptiness –
pressed down by these long tales they tell.

Maybe as I sit recounting what ails,
my hope is that in my edicts –
sorrowful they may seem –
are sinewed songs to entice you to –
in your grand oddessy – settle by my shores
And change the colour of the ink I use,
Scent the pages, accent the alphabets,
give prominence to my loftier notes,
amplify the chords that bind me together,
roof the house that leaks
and light the fire.

And light the fire

light the fire.

© Denis Adide 2013

 

38da5-fatherholdingbabieshand

Note to the son: 1

I saw you today.
deep in my happy-time dream
as the sun shone through the clouds
landing on the lavender covered fields,
and the re-greening branches,
and the brown carpet
magnificently laid across the woods,
and the silver barbed wire fence,
and the tarmac.

You smiled,
with a face I recognised but forget,
increasing my longing with your call to play.
running from bark to fresh bark
at a pace my bones can’t follow.
past the border of our clearing,
into the deep away,
enticing yet fraying the dream.

Once beaming, I frowned,
crowning my hearts love for you
with the anguish of waiting,
assailed by the strengthening anxiety
that actually – and far from your fiction:
my affliction may indeed be
that you may never come.

I slay the beast with mortal weapons,
he heals and rises up again,
casting his shadow with a cloud
over the discoloured lavender,
chocking the daffodils with rain,
drenching the forest floor so
that ir’s muddy snares slow my bones
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
as they attempt –
to run after you.

Fingertips away from bark,
ears to the lark.
vision spurning in the blackness of waking,
of half empty chalices,
and poorly marked tarmac.

But…
I saw you!

© Denis Adide 2013

Crimson tide!

Driving up the A40 into london I held my breath while under the Hanger lane bypass. This junction between the A406 and the A40 marks the border between the inner and the outer city. Countless times I’ve driven through there with my younger charges who’ve all urged me to hold my breath as we went through the tunnel which like a portal ushers you from the first world into the busy one. You can tell the difference by the significant increase in traffic lights and billboards. It is to the latter that my attention today is drawn.

As I exhaled, emerging out from the tunnel, my thoughts were on how foolish I felt to have done that while alone in the car. Embarrassed but happy I reflected on how the littlest and most childish things gave me the most joy when done. My thoughts were interrupted by two images on the billboards ahead. They were of a half naked woman with crimson lipstick provocatively postured. I immediately ceased being a child and read what it advertised – a ‘gentlemen’s club’. It was 10 o’clock in the morning.

I find it interesting that the link has been created between a disregard for the dignity of women and the sense of manliness. The link is so strong that it has created an industry for itself. Sex, sexuality, and their power is such a potent thing that if mishandled can yield great pain. We live in a world that tries it’s hardest – and succeeds – in convincing the majority of that it is okay and actually quite ‘gentlemanly’ (or manly indeed) to see women as mere objects to be gaped at, wolf whistled, picked up and dropped off once used. Evidence for this is the billboard in question which, for me, surmised the commercialisation of what should be a gift. What’s more tragic is that the machinery has been at play for so long that some women have taken to it, mastered it and now use it effectively; perpetuating the problem. The yield is a generation, or two, for whom femininity and sexualisation for women, and masculinity and infidelity for men are tied.

There is a fine balance to be struck between collective responsibility (legislation) and personal responsibility (response ability) when it comes to this issue. We can all stand and watch while the generations that follow spiral further into a warped – and warping – planet, blind to the truth of healthy sexuality. That world where intimacy and commitment are continuously choked and sex – which should be a by product of good relationship (in the balanced diet with intimacy and commitment) – is heralded as fast food. We can indeed stand and watch…. Or change.

http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/let-girls-be-girls

 

 

The Stake

On Mondays I take time to pour over poetry, both my own as well as others. I came across this one I wrote a few years back (the date and time of composition formed part of the title). It took me back to a time where my heart was restless and hurting. There was a struggle to equate the deep sense of sorrow and rejection I was feeling with the faith that was emerging. Like a glove, God’s love covered me. It didn’t however, numb the pain. Enjoy…

 

The Stake

27th sept 08

Once I fought to stay
Now I fight to say goodbye
Not for yours but for my sake

The stake that lives
In the space I twice tried to give away
Makes the beats from my heart
Cause my world to shake

Goodbye all,
Forsaken moments,
You’re broken pieces of my own weaknesses,
Constant instances of failed strengths
That I struggle to exist in,
And you’re not helping by resisting
So…
Let me serve my King
Unless He brings you back,
I won’t budge

© Denis Adide 2008

If we ENDURE with Him
We will also REIGN with Him.

 

tyn

The End

“We don’t do any other sizes but the standard one.”

This the response I recieved from the man behind the counter at the pret i’m currently seated in. I had asked for a mega sized hazelnut both pointing to the amount of time I was going to spend in the cafe writing this article, but also a reflection of the sigh I needed after my ordeal at the apple store.

The winter of 2008 was one of fresh self discovery, I had just spent a good year out of university and was at the begining of the course in creative writing that I had enroled on. My first two years of University were spent trying to study Aerospace engineering, a dream that was not mine though carried as though it was. ‘Who would care about English as a subject when the whole world spoke it?’. This the question that tethered me to the mast while the sirens (Sassoon, Wordsworth, Plath, Coleridge, Armitage, amongst many others) called out to me with the sweet melody of prose: where words and their signifiers danced effortlessly with philosophy and sentience. I had made the break, unhooked the tether and embarked on the journey that ultimately finds me here.

Convinced that I needed it for the study, and happy with the new found sense of self, I walked into an apple store in search of a character defining machine. I didn’t care so much for reasoning, all I wanted was something that was mine for no other reason than I wanted it. That was when I saw her. Her black skin, like my own, in the vast sea of white, stood out against the backdrop of light wood, glass and whitewash walls. She was crisp, open, and calling. I was thirsty for what she oozed and was almost mystically drawn to the potential of what we could achieve once twined. I chose her, paid for her (think what you will of me, she was mine for the taking and needed liberation). Pleased with my purchase, I carried the white bag – it’s emblem (the bitten apple) speaking volumes about the sense of internal indignation mixed with excitement that coursed with the adrenaline through my capillaries.

These five odd years since then have passed quickly. Countless lecture notes, short films, articles, and a dissertation have been mused and written in her presence. I had to forgive my little sister for breaking her screen (which proved very expensive to replace) and recently my wife for liberating one of her keys. Slowly, and almost inevitably, she grew old and weary. Her contemporaries died and were replaced by new models but she pressed on: I persevered with her (loyal). Even when the thinner younger version was made available (ipad2), I still did the bulk of my work with her.

So it was with a deep sadness that I brought her in to the store for a final repair and received the words ”won’t be worth fixin’ mate” from the ‘genius behind the bar’ (there is plenty I could say about the ill treatment I recieved in the apple store but that would be undignifying for the moment). Mourning and indignant, I wrapped her in the bag they gave me, unwilling to let her be seen in their store, held her close and gently carried her to the car – where she rests till we get back home.

….

How existential can one get about a computer dying?

….

I may be the only one who has particular points to which they can pin the beginning of a positive change in their lives. What I contemplate now as I have the last sips of what is a cold late (thanks to this long post) is the death of a symbol. My Macbook was, and represented, the break from homogeny. It presents (presented – sad times) the moment I took stock of the uniqueness of my fingerprint, the moment I realised I had a voice to explore and discover, the moment I became Adide (in all it’s complexities known or unknown). Her slow death, which has began, represents an end: the end of my physical tether to that pinpoint (it evaporates into a memory – unreliable as that is).

As I type this on my iPad, she sits in a cold boot. I sit in a warm cafe. A catalyst to my becoming shed as in the stages of rocket launch. It is a sad moment that is coupled to a wellspring of hope.

I leave you now so that I may grieve. Hopefully to return happier.

20130128-114640.jpg

%d bloggers like this: