Sedative sentiments

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Picture gotten from-Jannaleadams

Let’s awaken the grieve of Joy,

the little laughs with babies, foe and your toy.

We can be generous with words,

writing with rhymes against all odds.

 

Here’s my token of wealth,

here’s love, happiness and my skin the way it’s felt.

Could I wander in your tones of delight?

your selfish looks and chin that will drop in my plight?

 

I want us to write in this kind of poems,

send love and hopefully one day, we make them under these elms.

We are both heavy with choice, the one to receive, the one to send.

I don’t want this fate, this rush nor this blush to end.

 

We will chase these little ones soon,

in cloudy, rainy and sunny days and bloom.

We will hold hands with peace, with soul and a dance.

I wish these all, in words would be our chance.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017

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As a black girl, living in Brighton, England

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Picture gotten from-Proud Brighton

A lot of black people I’ve been privileged to converse with are skeptical about having to move to or study in Brighton. The popular buzz of Brighton being known as a major gay city also tends to affirm their dislike for this beautiful town.

I moved to Brighton September 2014 with the sole purpose of studying and not paying much attention to the city as I wasn’t an outing type of person before arriving. I was enticed by the beach and the pebbles by the sea front during an open day visit in my foundation year which was supported by EF, Oxford (the foundation institution I had attended). The differences I had picked up with the culture, style and people compared to Oxford’s made me choose the University of Brighton instead of Oxford Brookes which had offered me an admission prior.

Firstly, I haven’t come across as many gay people as I had predicted on coming down here. Even during the gay pride festival that is usually hosted here on a yearly basis, I rarely see gay couples or find a group of gay people sitting, walking or chilling. It’s probably just me who isn’t looking hard enough. To clarify, having gay people in this city actually in my own opinion makes it more accepting and tolerable compared to other small and vibrant towns in England.

Secondly, as a black girl and as one who appreciates her cultural background and race, it wasn’t a problem building a community of friends that share the same interests as me. As there are two universities in Brighton, University of Brighton and University of Sussex, this city is filled with both home and abroad students and therefore finding where you may belong isn’t a problem. There are clubs and communities open for all kinds of people and interests within and outside the schools’ premises. This is to say that every year, the population of blacks admitted into both universities are always significantly higher than the previous year so, don’t panic if you’re worried about this factor.

Thirdly, I’m quite a foodie and quite traditional as well as I enjoy cooking my own meals. Most times going out spontaneously with my friends to small restaurants and food places at the city’s center allows me appreciate different cultures and what they eat without having to visit their countries. Brighton is diverse with a plethora of local and international restaurants representing countries from across the globe, I however have exploited this privilege as a black girl who has come from Africa. I have tasted and tried cooking most of these dishes myself, as well as recommending them to friends.

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Picture gotten from-Brighton lanes

Racism. Socio-culturally, Brighton is very diverse and as a black girl I haven’t had a reason to question my skin colour and where I’ve come from since living here. It’s so diverse and free-spirited that I have only met two guys who actually admitted to being originally born and bred in Brighton, my co-worker at a night shift and the maintenance guy for my rented place. Compared to Budapest, Hungary, I never get conscious of my surroundings and certain places I tread because of the colour of my skin or the fear of what people may be thinking. Brighton is one of the least racist towns you can ever think of in England.

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Picture gotten from-Yablink

If you love greens and parks, books and rides, if you love events and dances, good night outs and games, Brighton is the place for you. This city is not anti-black or anti-any other race, It accepts, tolerates and builds with you as long as you are open.

The disadvantage however, for me is the fact that it is quite expensive to live in. Apart from that I can see myself settling and building a good life here as a black girl if I wanted to. It’s become my mini home.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

For millennials: 21

 

Journaling

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There is no warmth in waiting for the right time. The patience will sting harder than the truth you believe about holding on.

Misery becomes more appealing.

“may you be defined by your boldness in running through dry and dark cracks.”

I’d get into the bus sometimes, most times with my headphones banging loud music out its tiny speakers.

Sitting by windows is my favourite thing. My eyes get to count coloured and grey houses, watch trees and many other greens. I often begin to play rhythmic music in a lowered volume to feel the same feeling I get when watching good scenery movies. I deviate into solitude and just observe.

It is powerful.

The only regular thought I’ve known is home, it’s sometimes with me and other times I fear to think of its broken tone.

I’ve watched myself grow with strangers that I call friends. I’ve been shaken by subtle disagreements imposed by the universe in openness.

I seldom believe we are all here, just making history and not living well enough. We will all die surviving with or without purpose.

“In love, the purest of our souls’ manifest.

In love, we succumb to humility and fear without coercion.

In love, we tell our stories in ways we wish they existed.”

Can you read the signs through my saggy eye bags?

I’m knackered by pressure from my wants and the wants I’m expected to want.

I heard mum’s voice on WhatsApp call and she sounded like 50 hasn’t been good to her. I’ve been thinking of her in a sweet way lately. In a way I would spoil her with happier days if she were here.

“Be generous and kind with what you bear to instil

I’m one and a half page of an A4 gone and I’m still wasting words on consciousness. This is what it feels like to fight forces that you never chose, fighting constantly.

You will live, you will live

You will write, you will write

You will love, you will love

You will break, you will break

You will heal, you will heal

You will die again and again before you learn to live to die.

“Be offended by your zeal to live because thinking of your death will remind you of here always”

 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

“Sour chills”

Millenial

I don’t remember the first time I fell in love. The solace it took to bring me to this troubled place. I don’t recall heartbeats I’ve felt from time to time belonging to strangers and men I once kissed. I don’t remember how to unlearn this silent attitude, the one that brews spite from those who claim to love me.

I’m tired of hearing of self-love. I give up on people who preach about it, people that constantly practice self-loathe.

When was the last time you listened to your own words?

When did you last feel the warmth of words from a mouth you heard and not one you read?

Tell me when your pretence is over, sweet-bitter modern adult.

There’s more rhythm here, in these words, in my ink. There’s a sense of belonging in what my pen utters. Soft, peak and labile when I reread them. I don’t seem to care about wanting or seeking in these words, I urge to be wanted.

I’ve tasted sounds of music. The ones I listen to when in fear of falling, the naked ones’ mum and dad will shake in disbelief if you told them how much they move me. I bear loneliness like my cross just like you, just like everyone else, letting good people go and inviting new devils to dance in my life cycle. I’ve ruined the walls I built with fear and passion, dragging my ego round its fences with pride. I’ve lived for only a few but talk like old adults who don’t shout to prove that they are wise.

How much more in-between can I be? How much more can we?

Allow yourself to feel these ramblings.

Allow these words resonate.

Don’t fight my thoughts too, please.

 

 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017

Outgrowing the wild

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I was about cooking Jollof rice when I looked out the kitchen window to see the spectrum of bloom the weather left the sky. It reminded me of evenings in Aba (my home town in Nigeria). It reminded me of the way the weather back home tells us how much it would pour rain down. I felt dark for a minute. Six more weeks to finish university, six more weeks of trying to catch up with the reality of my second home, Brighton.

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I used to hate long conversations with my housemates, I used to pick times where I’d choose to hang out with them. I used to lock up in my attic room and disturb them with my late loud music and my loud laugh with uni friends but now we talk, laugh and live like it’s a ritual. We get curious with when next we get to hang out or just play random games. You can tell from our eyes that farewell day will be more like doomsday.

Journal

A lot has changed in the past three years. Things have become a little clearer, my journeying, the reality of what I need to achieve in life, most importantly what I have to give and offer. They’ve become more pragmatic than illusive. At this point in my life, I’ve learned that I’m allowed to grow especially with others who are willing to grow with me. I’ve learned courage can come from the least of things and people. I learnt that growth doesn’t need to be big to be successful. I’m also aware that I’m allowed mistakes in every step of it, I’m allowed to fall and fail because I’m human.

Pen

Writing has humbled me in ways that I can’t explain, it has changed my sense of purpose. It has redirected me to people and places that bring peace and mindfulness and it still is. The process has been bliss and I believe strongly that it’s fully been God. I’ve  had the opportunity to believe in the strength I carry with words, to pray sometimes with my pen because my mouth can be heavy to say the right words to God. If only I can write in other languages, the world will pray too.

There are many ways I’ve stripped off colours of habits that I don’t identify with, ones that won’t serve me. Many ways I’d love to do more for living and not trying so hard to live right. It’s a gradual process. It’s an investment on and for self. It’s my culture, my way of outgrowing the wild.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Self-betrayal for my art

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Picture painted by Abasido

I’ve held grudges for mid-nights that refused to give me the right words, for ecstatic memories I needed to feel at times like this.

Here’s how people who applaud the cracks and loopholes in my craft talk to me.

Did you hear them? Did you see what I wrote about them? No, because they feed on silence and that quietness that keeps them at a distance.

Don’t sing praises yet for the way I make you feel. Don’t be confined in my thoughts for too long imagining how I penned it all down. Don’t love me only when you can relate to my pain. Learn to understand this place I choose to write from. Learn to fall with me without fighting gravity. Appreciate the loathe that burns through the words that speak for sanity. Know this. Know this always that I’m a breathing war.

Darkness

I wish I allow myself be whole everytime my fingers itch to speak. I wish I wouldn’t choose parts of me that aren’t naked everytime I listen to my body’s vibration.  There’s art in feeling the way I do before these processes. There’s also the art of picking what my soul’s spirit wouldn’t let the world listen to, self-betrayal.

I’d cut through these layers of my flesh to compromise for losses. I’d paint my worries red to white the agony of womanhood and my evolution. I’d dance to the tune of every poet I adore to feel sane and not hate that I do this. I’d give up writing about lust, what I think of others and where I’d rather be just to outshine these constant thoughts.

I’d betray myself everytime for this art. Writing.

Do you find yourself sometimes in similar situations of self-betrayal? Would love to know in the comment section below. Thank you.

PS– This content was featured by Abasido Michael with his beautiful art inspiring this post. Do check his Twitter page out and appreciate his content and art if you like them. Thank you. 

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Nwoke’m

Do you ever listen to your own repetitive connections at 03:00 am too?

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Picture gotten from-Pininterest

I’m starting to think imaginations are art. I’m starting to love the entangling emotions built from it. How strangely I could be fluid and solid like an umelted candle at the same time. I’m starting to feel all the same.

Yesterday, I thought. The day before I did too and many days and months before then again, I’ve been thinking. How would someone like you meet me? Would it be spontaneous, would be soft or angry? Would it be in a crowded room or when I’m by myself. That’s the scary part of thinking. I don’t want to be ready. I want to be with myself in full, in love, vulnerable and loud. I want us to meet unforced just like the universe has been with me lately. No mind games, no holding back. I like the modern approach, the evolution of it all. Descriptive dialogues and unending gist of our taste in music, books, movies and other people, what we worry about when it gets dark. Tell me where else you would be when you’re not with me.

Nwoke’m

When you’re here, your past is. The darkness of it won’t scare my love, I pray. The time you choose to be weak, I’ll be strong, I pray. The time you’d change, I’d learn to adapt, I pray. These are not my affirmations, they are hopefully who I’ll grow to be for me and for you until that “someday”. I believe our feet have come across same footpaths more than twice, I believe time is keeping you for magic. You are a future to wait for.

Keep yourself for me.

Nwoke’m (Igbo translation for “my man”)

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

Happy women’s Day

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Picture gotten from-Figurative art

To be here, to join hands and to murmur what it’s like to feel this way. To feel like a woman that I didn’t choose to be but of the nature that chose me.

Here is to all the days and all the nights I stay with me, with womanhood thinking of how big of a smile I should give the next day even whilst groaning in pain. Here’s for now, where neglect and responsibility will cut through deep layers of my skin, yet I’ll stand and be silent of it all. I wish to celebrate everyday for the rest of my life women whose existence have hurt and broken them in ways that can’t be told or written, yet love is all they give.

To women of all colours and roles in life, you are a bold statue that can’t be washed away by lingering figures. You are waterproof and transparent amidst where you think you’ve been. You are still a rose to be admired by men that stand with you. You are deserving of all favours you’ve been turned down. You are all this because you are a woman.

The universe will make love to you in good timing, woman. we will all celebrate the joy and pride of being a woman with you because you are valuable and valid.

I hope you take care of yourself everyday for the rest of your days here. Happy WOMEN’S DAY!

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.

Struggling out of a 2:2 this final year: my Biomedical Science tale

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I barely bore you with events of my university life on here but I know once in a while I drop one or two major ones. Going back to 2015, my first year, I had blogged about my resits (What if? #17), how awful it felt to had seen my name amongst those resitting Genetics and Statistics. How sad and unlucky my summer was. What I didn’t include was calling my parents and letting them know about the situation. The disappointment in their tone as they spoke to me whilst trying to be good parents and not make me feel worse about the whole situation, the after effect of the whole conversation moved me. I guess my attitude towards everything relating to university and my course became more questionable as days, months and years went by.

Second year was heavy. As my course is a three-year course here in the UK, more pressure was mounted on me and more effort was equally demanded with the load that came with the 12 modules I had done last year. The hustle to secure a placement made it even worse but that wasn’t an excuse not to scale through. At the end of the year, I was awoken yet again by another resit which until today I have managed to  hide from my parents as I felt they would be bitter and really angry towards me if I had told them. Genetics again! At some point in time I joked about it to my friends, telling them how I’m “KINGING” in genetics resit zone. What felt terrible isn’t the fact that I had a resit, what made me break down most nights was the fact that 2:2 ends up being my portion even when I always seem to start off very well at the beginning of each semester. At some point, I just stopped asking why and accepted that university wasn’t for me. Thoughts of dropping out kicked in every now and then but the friends in my circle kept me grounded. They said my prayers with me, cried with me and most of all, they contributed to my healing and strength which led me into pursuing my final year.

It’s the 25th of February today, 22 weeks into final year and there is still no salvaging to my results so far. It hasn’t been stable and at the same time it hasn’t been the most brilliant. One half of my project and most of my course works released so far have been fluctuating with 2:1’s and 2:2’s. My first semester results came out and this time Genetics crossed the cut off point with only 7 marks and I’m most grateful to God for that miracle! the other paper sat comfortably on a 2:1 which to me is gracious. Hard-work and resilience have been with me since the school year started and to be honest with you,  it is a struggle trying to move up from a 2:2. I am 3 weeks into second semester  with 3 more course works, 4 more exams and my main project to finish. I am still with hope and so should you who is reading this thinking you’re sitting in the worst position or situation in life.

If everyone was equal, there wouldn’t be no school, no competition whatsoever and definitely no evolution but other people’s success shouldn’t stall us from ours or blind us from attaining  unmeasurable success instead it should push us.

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I did tweet this last week but it doesn’t mean I can’t do better. In fact it is not an excuse! It is the reason why I’m pushing to move on from a 2:2, proving to myself that even if it’s not for me, it is definitely not impossible!

I hope you find a grip too and go on from there dear reader. Do leave your thoughts and comments in the box below. Thank you.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2017.

On ageing

In my thoughts, in my head, in my journal. Here.

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Win your battle before you come home to mine.

Don’t remind me the trails of footsteps I face everyday.

It’s not enough to live young, wild and free because I know of places that don’t bring me such experiences.

Hold onto the existence, let what you have to say complement mine. Let what you have to give add up.

Don’t scare me with silence. Don’t tell me I’m too young to learn what grey hair can teach. It’s my cup of tea.

I am not here to prove how much neither do I seek accomplishments that will one day be forgotten.

I’ve been told countless times to win, win and win but I never got led to. My bruises, pain, tears, countless failures equals me.

Give me what you call wisdom, give me peace of mind. I’ll find my fun,my energy, my space and most importantly, me in all of it. Let me be.

Ageing is just a state of mind.

Dyna Ekwueme Copyright, 2016.