Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Please, do not kill me

I cannot breathe
Pls, I can’t breathe 
Do not kill me, man 
Please, don’t kill me 

I’m just asking for one thing 
Not that you let me go, no
As I know I’m never free 
But just to breathe like you 

Let me inhale some free air 
My stomach and neck hurt 
They’re quietly turning cold 
And my legs and everything too

You might never understand me
As you’re a fruit of the system 
The one that my ancestors, owned
And a fruit never falls far from the tree 

OMG, Maman, where’re you now
You said I should never ever argue
As the police sees me as a threat 
But here I lie as they execute me 

Bro aKIM can you hear my plea 
You I thought would understand 
For your ancestors felt the chains  
Or the system has corrupted you too

I can’t breathe, man don’t kill me, please 
I’m also human and can feel some pains 
Yes, you do have your reasons to fear
But why kill me publicly like a wild cat 

Does your knees hurt like my neck does
And the pains of the day heavy on you 
You could’ve ask that I serve as your sit 
But why bent on snuffing me out

I have always heard of police brutality 
But never knew it hurts really this bad
To be agonizing and pleading to breathe 
As I also hit the black road of no return

Alisonomi2020

Sunday, 17 May 2020

The Functions of “MA” in Igbo Grammar

Like NA, GA, and KA, “MA” has several functions in Igbo grammar. I have already treated the first three in my past blog posts. Here, Attention will be focused on the roles of “ma”. I’m going to continue the presentation in English to permit those who do not have enough knowledge of Igbo language to also have access to this course.
However, I’m going to always give examples, first in Igbo language, then their English translation. Having said that, let’s start by first stating the roles of “MA” in Igbo grammar.
Ma” has, mainly, two major functions and five secondary functions in Igbo grammar. The major functions of “ma” are:
  1. Verb - Ngwaa
  2. Conjunction - Njiko
The other five secondary, (and not necessarily minor) functions are also conjunctive in nature, except that “Ma” needs, in each case, auxiliary words to function as a conjunction. It needs the addition of words like “NA”, “KA”, to effectively become a conjunctive word.
In this present blog post, we are going to examine only the two major functions of “MA” in Igbo grammar. The reason is to facilitate its comprehension. There might be a need to stay in tune for the subsequent posts on the functions of MA. In our next blog post (on “MA”) we will concentrate our effort in explaining, with examples, the secondary roles of “MA”. So, do not forget to subscribe.

The Major Functions of MA in Igbo grammar

  1. Ma” plays the role of verb in Igbo grammar. In this function, MA follows all the rules of Igbo verb grammar, in terms of tense, mood and voices.

Examples:

  1. A mara ya ụra - S/he was slapped
  2. ma(ra) nke bu Eziokwu - S/he knows the truth.
  3. Anyi matara ebumunuche ya - We discovered his intentions.
  4. ka mabidoro ọrụ tata - Today is a holiday of obligation.
  5. I matara onye kwụrụ ihe a? - Do you know who said this?
 
2. “Ma” plays the role of conjunction. It could be a coordinative, subordinative or correlative conjunction. In this role MA could be translated to and, “both…and”, “whether… or”, but, when, etc. They can link
  • Words to words
  • Phrases to phrases, and
  • Clauses to clauses.

Example

  1. Ha kpọrọ oke ma ọkụkọ - They called (everybody) both rats and chickens.
  2. Ma ndi ụkwụ ma ndi nta biara ebe a - Both the old and the young cane here.
  3. Achr m ima ma o kwuru eziokwu — I want to whether he said the truth or not.
  4. Ha ga-abia ma oge ruo - They will come when it will be time or when the time comes
  5. Unu kpọrọ ya ma biaghi — You called him, but he didn’t come.

Friday, 15 May 2020

A Frenzy Friday Night by Alisonomi

A descent into a deep frenzy Friday night 

Where youths bury their misery in the light 

Carried in the wings of the mighty Dionysus 

They entertain all the emotions including lapsus 

Flowing freely - birds carried by a Dionysian music 

Clasping each other like on a bottle of an Aphrodisiac tonic 

For the hope they once had have vanished like a water vapour 

When the country was beating by the cabals to a state of stupor 

Leaving the youths to run away or gradually rot in disappointment 

As the old cargoes are regularly recycled without a single achievement 

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Can the Post Covid19 Church Worship from Home? by Alisonomi

Giant technological companies have started seeing a new light at the end of the Covid19 tunnel. Some have already started reimagining the concept of post Covid19 workspace. But should the Church consider it as what she has to learn from this Covid19 pandemic? Is she considering getting some couples of inspirations from these giant tech industries?
In a statement released on Tuesday, 12 May 2020, “Jennifer Christie, Twitter’s head of human resources, said if employees were in a position to work from home and they wanted to continue to do so ‘forever,’ Twitter would ’make it possible” (Ndubuisi Ekekwe, https://lnkd.in/ei8H4WN). According to the same statement, however, all those whose work cannot be performed from home should continue coming to the office.
Though this might sound like a déjà vu, there are some months back when one would have considered the idea either economically disadvantageous or incompatible with work ethics. But since Covid19 sent every Tom, Dick, and Harry packing, we humans have discovered that at home, just like at the office, the world continues to revolve around its orbit. No wonder experts are already considering this initiative of Twitter very important, and many other tech industries, warming up to embrace the idea.
But how do we know that once this pandemic is over, people would still want to work from home? Of course, no one knows what the post Covid19 life would look like. But just like no one knew what a total lockdown would look like in our 21st-century world. And despite that, we have been able to live our lives, and whether normal or not depends on who and what determines the norms that we call normal.
But should the Church learn from tech industries? A good question if you ask me, but who said that people would one day consecrate an hour to set up their gadgets just to broadcast a 35 minutes liturgical function? Who knew that the Holy See would one day conceive the idea of encouraging the faithful to assist at the Pascal Triduum through social media?
On 12 December 2012, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI made history when he became the first pope to have his own Twitter handle. CNN gave it a spectacular cover-up. Laura Smith-Spark wrote a beautiful article entitled “Pope Benedict sends first personal tweet.” On it one can read :
The wait is over for Pope Benedict XVI’s many Twitter followers, and they have been quick to respond to the much-anticipated first tweet from his personal account Wednesday morning. Using the handle @Pontifex—meaning “bridge builder” in Latin—he posted: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
According to the same article, it was welcomed with mixed feelings. And though many were seeing it as a new development in the history of the papacy, others were wondering what the pope is doing on Twitter. Among the interesting expressed views are these quoted by the author:
Wow! Is this true?! Pope Benedict XVI has started tweeting! Welcome Your Holiness! I’m grateful for your blessing! Follow him!” by @Joyful_Minoz.
Our Pope Benedict XVI has a twitter account! Coolest pope in history!” by @alexaSaclao.
Brilliant that @Pontifex tweets in 8 languages simultaneously incl. Arabic …: Truly pioneering,” said @gsurya.
Not even I could manage 8 Twitter accounts. I suppose @Pontifex has God on his side,” remarked @BizPaul.
And some were so sympathetically pissed off that they tried to educate the pope on how Twitter functions. Having asked a question and answered it in his tweet follow-ups, @exitthelemming tweeted,
“@Pontifex is answering his own tweets now. That’s not really how it works, Your Holiness.” Others even jokingly cautioned him, “RT @Pontifex thou shall not covet your neighbor’s Twitter followers.”
To justify the presence of the Pope on Twitter, the Vatican spokesman of the time, Rev. Federico Lombardi responded that:
“Of course the world will not be saved by tweets but among a billion baptized Catholics and among the seven billion people of the world; several million people will be able to feel the Pope is closer in this way too, hearing him say a word for them, a spark of wisdom to bear in their minds and hearts and to share with their twitter friends,” he wrote. “A new service of the Gospel.”
Imagine that just in eight years of the first-ever papal tweet, it appears like it’s a norm, with the Pope’s presence on social media platforms considered almost a norm. And even some cautious prelates have found in them their modern, if not the only recognized pulpit. In the same year 2012, there was a debate on whether one can say his or her prayers using the iPad and iPhone. Today who even notices that they were frowned at?
Also, within this Covid19 pandemic, the Holy Father bestowed his blessings through television and upon the faithful connected with him through their Facebook and YouTube pages.
At the level of local churches, the social media was rediscovered as the New Areopagus. Who could have imagined, a few years back, that families could gather around a radio or television post in prayerful fulfillment of the Lord’s day? Who explained to Catholics that they can lawfully pray from their homes if they are in a situation that makes it impossible to attend a Eucharistic celebration? Who thought that all these new online ecclesial activities we observe among the faithful would have been conceivable a few months ago? Should we not be thanking the giant tech industries both for lending us their platforms and serving us a beautiful model of staying in touch even while physically distant?
Furthermore, if the giant tech industries can realize all these exploits one might think that it is because they believe in the power of imagination and creativity. So, why cannot the Christianity exploit more the creativity that has made it possible for her to grow? It is a common knowledge that even before the world discovered the radio or telephone, religion had made us understand that we can communicate both with one another and even with the invisible without any physical material or even any form of wave. And not even distance was in any way an obstacle.
When the Apostles could no longer attend prayers at the temple, they never underrated the quality of their prayers. And from their houses and hidden places, they raised their voices to God who answered them.
So, maybe the Church should consider what they can learn from this new concept—Working (Worshiping) from home (WFH). Should she not begin to think, like Twitter executives on how to assure that those who cannot make it to the worshiping (working) places could genuinely worship (work) from their homes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Our Family Farming Ritual by Alisonomi

As the son of a (peasant) farmer, seeing my onions sprout up (wonderfully well) reminds me of my first family farming ritual. In our culture, every (male) child at the age of plus or minus 10, receives a small piece of land where he can cultivate whatever he desires. No one cares for the farm except the lad. He needs to first, clear the ground, then until it, before planting the crop of his choice.
But the most intriguing part of this family agricultural ritual is between the planting period and the germination time. At this period, he is allowed to take his own initiative. No wonder this is, in our culture, a time when the curiosity of a child can be determined. 
Funny enough, no one tells the child that the farm is a test. And just like no one tells him either that the adults are secretly watching all his actions. All he knows is that he has reached an age to care for his farm. And he takes pride in having attained the age of taking up his official cultural responsibility. In his tender heart, he has become, first, like every other person in the village, capable of planting his crop; and secondly, the only person, apart from the head of the family, who has his farm. 
Zetetic kids, also perform their self-imposed rituals by secretly visiting their farms every morning to see if the seedlings have sprouted. Some go to the extent of digging up the seeds to verify the ongoing changes. They wouldn’t want to miss any moment in the development of their newly entrusted farm. Sometimes, some dream of it during the nights that follow the planting. 
It’s indeed a magical moment in our young life. And though many do not learn much from this ritual, keen kids understand they are called to, singlehandedly, care for their farm. It is also a crucial moment when they should choose the right crop to grow in the portion of the land temporarily attributed to them. This moment defines in a very significant way, how agriculturally inclined our lads could or could not be.  

Sunday, 10 May 2020

The Oblate Province of Congo RD has a new Provincial Superior by ALisonomi

On the 4th of May 2020, the General Council of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in Plenary Session in Rome nominated Fr Joseph Ntumba Maboyi, for a second term as the Provincial Superior of the Oblate Province of Congo RD.
The Oblate Province of Congo RD is made up of the Oblates of Congo RD and the Oblate Mission of Angola. It is one of the biggest provinces in the African region, with 100 priests, 12 brothers, 38 scholastics, and 1 Bishop. The Angolan mission is also made of 14 priests and 1 scholastic.
The newly re-elected provincial, Fr Joseph was born in 1963. He started his novitiate in 1989 and made his first vows in 1990. After his first vows, Fr Joseph proceeded to Saint Eugene de Mazenod Scholasticate, in Kinshasa. He completed his philosophy formation and was sent for his pastoral regency before returning to the scholasticate to complete his theological formation. In 1996 he pronounced his final religious vows. Ordained priest in 1998, Fr Joseph was sent to the Oblate Mission of Angola. He served in Angola for some years before being sent to Cameroon for further studies and as a formator in the oblate scholasticate in Yaoundé.  
After his studies and service in Yaoundé, Fr Joseph returned to his mother province. He later became the novice master and served two terms. At the end of his service as the novice master, he was elected provincial superior of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Congo RD, in 2017. He served the first tenure perfectly well that he was reappointed to serve again for another three years term.
Please, keep Fr Joseph and the Oblate Province of Congo RD in your prayers.

Friday, 8 May 2020

The U.S. Oblate Province Has a New Provincial Superior

The General Council of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in Plenary Session, on the 7th of May 2020 appointed Fr Louis Studer, O.M.I as the provincial Superior of the Oblate Province of the United States of America. Fr Louis who has already served the first tenure will be steering the affairs of the US Oblate Province for another three years. The United States Oblate Province is made up of the United States of America, the mission of Tijuana in Baja California and the delegation of Zambia.
Fr Louis who was born in 1949, studied at Lewis University, Lockport. He did his Novitiate at the Immaculate Heart Novitiate, Godfrey before proceeding to Weston School of Theology in Boston, for his scholastic ate formation.
Ordained a priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in 1976, Fr Louis served in different pastoral ministries: parish ministry, formation ministry, etc. During these long-pastoral experiences, Fr Louis served as the associate pastor at Saint Patrick’s Parish McCook, as the Principal of St Henry’s Seminary, Belleville. He was also the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Snows, Belleville, the Director of Christ the King Retreat Centre in Buffalo, etc.
In 2012, Fr Louis was appointed the Provincial Vicar of the US Oblate province. He occupied this post till 2017 when he was appointed to a first three-year term as the US Oblate Provincial Superior. And on the 7th May 2020, the General Council in plenary session in Rome appointed Fr Louis, once more, as the U.S. Oblate Provincial Superior for a second three-year term.

We recommend Fr Louis, as well as the entire oblate family, to your prayers.

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

A New Provincial Superior for the Missionary Oblate Province of Cameroon by Alisonomi

The Missionary Oblate Province of Cameroon (Omi Cameroun) has a new provincial superior. On a message released early this morning (the 5th May 2020), on the General website of the congregation, https://www.omiworld.org/2020/05/05/a-new-provincial-to-the-province-of-cameroon/, we can read:

“On May 4, 2020, the Superior General received the unanimous consent of the Council for the appointment of Fr. Ferdinand OWONO NDIH, O.M.I as Provincial of the Province of Cameroon for a first term.”

The new provincial who will be replacing the outgoing one, Fr Edouard Dagavounansou, O.M.I will be in charge of an oblate province with around 187 members. The province has its geographical location in three countries:  Cameroun, Tchad, and Nigeria (An Oblate mission of Cameroon). It is made up of around 86 priests, 13 brothers, 86 scholastics, and 1 Bishop.
Fr Ferdinand was born on the 17th of August 1974 in the Central Province of Cameroon (Yaoundé). He joined the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1999, and pronounced his first vows in the congregation, on the 8th of September 2001.
After his first vows, he proceeded to Yaoundé, where he did his philosophical studies at the Institut de Philosophie Saint Joseph Mukasa, IPSJ, Nkolbisson, Yaoundé. During these three years of philosophical studies, Fr Ferdinand was a member of the Oblate scholasticate community, Maison Yves-Plumey.
At the end of this first part of his scholasticate, he was sent to Salapumbe for his one-year pastoral experience. This pastoral among the Baka, an endangered native nation of the Equatorial forest, forged his missionary character. Listening to him recount his missionary experience among the natives during my Pre-noviciate year, I vividly noticed in him that missionary zeal that moves the oblates to leave nothing undared. It was so enriching that his love for the mission invigorated my young missionary spirit.
At the end of his pastoral year, he was sent to Saint Eugene De Mazenod Scholasticate, Kinshasa, in RD Congo. He did his four years of theological studies at the end of which he majored in B. Sc in Theology and M. Sc in Mission Studies (Missiology). He then pronounced his final vows in 2008 and was ordained a priest in 2009.When he finished his first formations, he was sent to Our Lady, Mother of God Shrine, in Figuil, Cameroon where he worked for few years before being sent to the Residence Yves-Tarbat, Oblate Prenociate in Mokolo, Cameroon. He directed the center for some years before going for further studies in formation ministry. On his return, he was assigned to Blessed Joseph Gérard Noviciate, in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon. He completed two mandates of 3 years each before being assigned to the Oblate Scolasticate, Maison Yves-Plumey, in Nkolbisson, Yaoundé. He has been working as the superior of the scholasticate until his nomination and will continue until he assumes his new function as the provincial superior of the missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Province of Cameroon.              

 

 

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Mission 3.0: Thinking Beyond Covid19

I am elegantly and oblately getting ready for the summer, and the post-Covid19 mission. And from all indications, neither the world nor the mission will remain the same after this Coronavirus. I assume that I’m not saying anything new to those who understand the signs of the time. However, I’m still going to underline a few areas I’m personally seeing unavoidable evolution in our missions and society. And to put things straight, there is no danger ahead as the future will be bright and promising, though, only for people with vision. And as to me, I have even started dressing to embrace joy and readiness for the post-Covid19 missionary experience. But before then, here are those areas I believe we should consider very well. 

1. A Change in Fraternity and Sorority 

All those who thought that they cannot survive without one person, or the other, in their life, would have understood that, though no one is an island, nobody has the key to our collective well-being. It is obvious that we need others, but we can survive without those who do not contribute to our growth.
However, we should be careful to avoid creating the illusion that we can survive alone. Our successful survival of this confinement will depend mainly on our natural communal instinct of survival which is not active in normal circumstances of our ordinary everyday life.

2. An Upgrade (update) in Mission 

We have been doing the mission in traditional ways for ages. And, I often hear people say, it has always been this or that way, but the good news is that it can no longer be the same. Unfortunately, many missionaries are still waiting for the confinement to end to go back to their normal life. But that’s an illusion as nothing stopped even though our church buildings are closed. The mission is not those pastoral activities we engage in, those are missionary activities. The mission is the mandate we received from Christ and his Church. The mission is why we are sent out, and every means we take to realize those missions are missionary activities. So, the Church just changed its form as many families gather around the Word of God on their own or around their radio or television posts. All those who think that the temporary suspension of their (traditional) missionary activities is a hindrance to the mission is dreaming. The mission is still ongoing, and the inactivity is a sign of lack of creativity and not a suspension of the mission in itself.
The danger, however, is to think that people will just forget these new ways of being the Church that the coronavirus has revealed to us. They wouldn’t and it would be a mistake to try to go back to the pre-covid19 Church. And to tease some, any minister who might dream of threatening his or her Church members with the refusal of any form of the sacrament will have his or herself to blame. They will simply remind you that they survived the coronavirus time and will survive any form of sacramental deprivation.
In our missions, I am already reflecting on how to move from mission 2.0 to mission 3.0. It is already in incubation, and the final product will be worthy of the post-Covid19 mission.

3. A Reevaluation of the Quality of our Lives 

This pandemic has shown us that we have been running after our shadows. We wake up, very early, every day, and sleep very late without being satisfied with our realizations. And each day, we are told that we have to fight to overcome ourselves. Unfortunately, amidst all these struggles, we observe no significant amelioration in the quality of our lives. We are constantly made to act like homo ex Machina, whereas all our endeavours often amount to trying to fetch water with a basket.
Luckily enough, when the coronavirus set in, we all discovered that the world does not stop to turn even when we are all cowed into silence. On the contrary, it became clear that the world breathes better even without our frantic race towards nothing. People now have time to eat together as a family, more time to sleep, more time for strolling, for storytelling, etc.
The danger, however, will be to fight to regain the past time like they were lost moments of our existence.

4. A Spiritual Revival Era

Many people have discovered within this time of Covid19 that there are so many things that do not depend on us. Scientists, for example, are still struggling to find a solution to our collective enemy. Some rediscovered that there are so many forms of spiritual encounter. While some just discovered that they can as well, organize a formal family prayer session, others found other new ways of worshiping or deepening their spirituality through modern communication methods.
The importance of meditation, virtual spiritual formation, virtual fraternization, and many other new approaches to virtual spirituality have been widely explored within this moment.
The danger, however, will be to take solace in virtual encounters and spirituality instead of seeing them as alternative ways of engaging with the divine.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Parle-moi de ta journée par Alisonomi

Parle-moi de ta routine de chaque jour 

Si tu allumes en te réveillant ton abat-jour 

Ou tu te lèves avant que la nuit entre en grève  

En suivant des anciens horaires des élèves 

 

Même si les jours ne sont plus les mêmes 

Depuis que Covid19 a prolongé le carême 

Nous précipitant sur nos tables de dessin  

Pour revoir comment maîtriser cet assassin 

 

Ma journée commence avec une méditation 

Suivie par la lecture de poésie et la contemplation 

Avant de descendre pour notre prière des laudes 

Qui s’achève avec une boisson bien chaude 

 

Mais nos jours ne doivent pas suivre le même chemin 

Certains prendront évidemment une grâce matinale 

Alors que d’autres pensent même déjà au lendemain 

Mais prenons la vie un jour à la fois, je vous dirai en final 

 

Écoutez votre corps quand il vous parle de ses peines 

Car ceci fera bien à votre journée et ça veut la peine

D’accepter des fois qu’on n’a pas toujours la maîtrise

Ni de notre corps ni de ses besoins ainsi que ses crises


Copyright: Alisonomi2020© 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Diplomacy for Whose Peace? by Alisonomi

The world is now a village says them all

But remain in your street we hear them say

In Lagos and in New York we share a space

But do not forget, your street is the shit-hole 

 

Agreements are signed every year 

But the poor have no clause in them

Bilateral and mutual they say they are

But nothing was done for the good of all 

 

The powerful each year play their pun

Agreement, accord, pact and resolution 

All encased in mutuality and multilateralism

But at the end, we are left to rot alive like moles   

 

Today they say is the World Multilateral Day 

Expected to promote Diplomacy for Peace 

But what indeed is peace if not the good of the rich 

And an occasion, on the shoulder of the poor to tap 

 

But with the arrival of Covid19, the crowned virus

Should the world continue to play the hide and seek 

While Wuhan is now at the back of Madrid and Milan 

And can a Nairobi taxi driver survive while New York burns? 


 Copyright Alisonomi2020© 


“It is not enough to proclaim the virtues of multilateralism; we must continue to show its added value. International cooperation must adapt to changing times.”

- Anthónio Gutierrez, UN Secretery-General

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Un Matin d'Hiver au Printemps by Alisonomi

Bonjour au « printemps hivernal »
Ce temps qui nous jour des tours
En embellissant nos villages natals
Il nous éloigne de plus de nos cours
Que coronavirus nous fait déjà craindre 
 
C’est un beau matin d’un hiver tardif
Mais j’ai peur d’en parler en gérondif
Ce temps qui décrit des verbes en simultané
De peur de montrer que nous sommes tannés
De la monotonie de nos quotidiens habituels
 
Le vent léger secoue les arbres embêtés
Qui se demande si cette année on verra l’été
Et les corbeaux qui avaient toujours de quoi raconter
Semble, aujourd’hui, perdre leur voix, ou se faire dompter
Et survolent silencieusement comme ayant peur de Covid19 
 
Et nous nous demandons à quand reprendra la vie
Comme si l’on aurait besoin de la permission ou d’un avis
Pour vivre pleinement et se réjouir de nos quotidiens
Ou pour savoir que notre vie n’est pas un film hollywoodien
Car elle n’a pas un script écrit d’avance qu’on a qu’à rejouer

Copyright : Alisonomi2020© 

 

The World Book Day by Alisonomi

Who would have believed? 

That such awesome day 

Will pass under our nose 

Without great fanfare?

 

How can we ignore you?

Our World Book Day 

A successful love story  

Of the quill and the papyrus

 

But for a tiny crowned virus 

Who, in Wuhan, started a coup d’état 

Initially, like a hide and seek

Before sending us into our holes

 

But I must gently doff my cap 

For whoever invented books

Or the World Book Day, For, 

Our undying memory is the book.


Copyright: Alisonomi2020

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Mother Earth Speaks, Harken! By Alisonomi

Sitting quietly on my morning meditation chair 

My mind stubbornly plays one of its many tricks 

Wandering freely among the voices of the wind 

The snapping and crackling on our wooden house 

And listening to the voice on our zoom meditation 

 

The time says we are deep into the springtime 

But Khiona has once proven not to be different 

From our own Amadioha and his brother Shango

Who are not respecters of neither time nor season

Tshiuetin has once visited our village with his force 

And Khiona on her wings vested on a drowsy white 

 

A spring morning it ought to have been or so I thought

But absent are the birds that our courtyard, pay morn visit

Their shrinking dirge that piteously wails the dying winter 

Has been quieted by this goddess riding at the Tshiuetin’s back 

And the long-quarantined humans are inside biting their nails 

And wondering if they are dreaming or having some spring crisis

 

Zut! come back to the house you, wandering spirit

Return to your virus-imposed morn meditation routine

Take time to concentrate on the voice of your virtual guide

Enjoy your cherished newly discovered virtual spiritual exercises

And allow the Mother Earth to speak to us humans on her Day

Together with the crowned virus they remind us of our real place  

 

Copyright: Alisonomi2020, Earth Day 2020

Notes

Khiona : The Greek goddess of snow, daughter of Boreas, god of the North Wind and Winter, and sister of Zethes and Calais. She is depicted as a goddess in the series, although in some myths she is visualized as a snow nymph.

Amadioha : He is the God of thunder and lightning in Igbo mythology. Among all his attributes are the role of assuring that justice is rendered in the society as well as being the God of love peace and unity. These and many other reasons make him to occupy an important role in the pantheon of Igbo Gods. 

Shango : He is the Yoruba God of thunder and lightning. Living in the sky he hurls thunderstones to earth, killing those who offend him or setting their houses afire. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

La Folie Humaine par Alisonomi

Voilà qu’on était alors à la fin de l’année 2019

Et les pauvres humains se disaient très forts 

Ayant selon eux inventé de grands appareils 

Et toutes sortes d’armes de guerre et de grands avions 

Capables de les transporter aisément sur la lune

Ils se disaient même presque prêts à aller sur mars 


Et des nations se mesureraient sur des frivolités

Certains de la capacité de leurs armes nucléaires 

Et les uns se disaient prêts à oblitérer les autres 

Se vantant de la capacité de leurs têtes nucléaires 

Et l’amitié comme l’inimitié, autour de ces ordures   

Se créait et se faisait comme si l’on possédait l’univers  

 

Alors qu’on passait le temps à former l’armée de l’espace 

On a tous oublié notre vraie place sur la face de l’univers 

Et on investissait des milliards de dollars sur l’arsenal de destruction

Et les chars et les avions de chasse se modifiaient au jour le jour 

Pendant que nos centres hospitaliers et des cliniques s’appauvrissaient  

Et l’argent pour la recherche s’émiettait silencieusement année après année 

 

Et boum, du fin fond du monde, le coronavirus s’est manifesté  

D’une ville peu connue est sorti ce virus à l’apparence impériale 

Qui voyage librement d’une de nos grandes métropoles à l’autre 

Et en oiseau de mauvais orgue, il traine la mort sur son passage 

Et dénonce l’hypocrisie de nos nations et nos civilisations arides

Nous enfermant dans nos maisons alors que des animaux rôdent dans nos villes  


Copyright : Alisonomi2020

 

Saturday, 18 April 2020

La vie fraternelle sur la Côte by Alisonomi

Depuis que le coronavirus est devenu pandémique, nos canaux d’organisation et de fraternisation en ont été grandement affectés. Mais comme on dit : « À vin nouveau, outres neuves », l’équipe missionnaire oblate de la Côte Nord, qui déjà connaissait bien les effets de l’éloignement physique n’a pas tardé de faire appel à une méthode que nos anciens ont bien utilisée quand la Côte Nord était encore plus enclavée. 
Comme nos aînés qui avaient l’habitude de communiquer entre eux grâce à la radiotéléphonie, nous avons aussi eu recours à cet outil de communication qu’on appelle Skype. Le jour prévu, chacun dans sa mission, assis devant sa table, de Pessamit, Sept-Îles ou la Minganie, s’est connecté et après un temps de chants, nous avons pris, chacun son tour, un temps pour partager sur nos expériences missionnaires, l’adaptation qui s’effectue dans nos milieux missionnaires respectifs et sur les nouvelles de la province. Cette rencontre virtuelle semble avoir réveillé en nous une nouvelle forme de spiritualité (virtuelle) et facilite pour nous la possibilité de garder le lien fraternel dans ce temps de COVID-19.

If the Master was not around ... by Alisonomi

I had some nightmares yesternight

A muse came to my humble abode

Seeking after a scribbling quill 

 

I wouldn’t have allowed her me seduced 

But if poetry obeys the laws of prophesy 

What power does the poet really possess 

 

Let it be known these are not my words 

But of a muse that rides, day and night 

Around the shores of our fatherland 

 

The muse said something I’m afraid to say

That if indeed Master Coro was not around 

Our panjandrum, the Mallam wouldn’t have died

 

You might not understand, this isn’t easy to say 

But I now fully comprehend why our misleaders 

Never trusted our own uncomfortable sick beds 

 

And as before master Coro graced our blessed shores 

The doors of the metropolis were to our jefes ajar 

So, often and on they rented their doctors and beds 

 

But since he decided to among us pitch his tent

All the metropolitan hospitals have closed their doors 

Forcing our princes to rent the beds of our dying homes


Copyright: Alisonomi2020

Should We Always be Happy? by Alisonomi

In my culture, there is an ancient practice that wants the boys never to show their sentiments. According to such belief, boys don’t cry, and girls always have to be nice. And even when a boy is feeling like crying, he is expected not to do so for it will be girlish. He is always expected to suppress such an urge, for boys ought to act like they are strong, even when they are indeed very weak. But the problem is that later in life, all inhibited emotions almost always explode. 
There is also another global belief similar to that. It is the belief that we should always be happy. Yeah, being happy is very good, and it is our ideal sentiment. But, as we know, that ideal is not always easily attainable, maybe we should tell each other the truth. Maybe it’s time to accept that we are not obliged always to be happy. Yeah, being always happy would be awesome, but
What do we do with sentiments of abandon?
What do we do when someone we love dies?
What do we do with the sentiments of sadness? 
What we should remember is that all those sentiments are ours. The moments of joy, moments of sadness, of abandon, etc. are all integral parts of our human experience. What is very important then is that we live each of these sentiments as they come, for they permit us to know that we need others. We should seek help when sadness creeps in; we should lookout for a helping hand when the day becomes too cloudy; we should reach out to others to share in our happiness. We should avoid hiding our moments of sadness; our sentiments of abandon, our panics, and deception. The danger is to pretend to be happy because we think that others are all happy and we shouldn’t be different.
Today, may I remind you to be conscious of your sentiments? Do not forget that sentiments are like mirrors. They show you how you respond to what is taking place in your environment. They reflect the message the world sends to you. And when the world sends a discomforting message and you pretend not to be aware of it, sooner than later, it catches up with you.
Jesus told us in the beatitude, ‘Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you,’ (Matt. 5:11–12). But when he asks us to ‘rejoice and be glad’, he does not ask us to forget that we are suffering. No! He tells us to know that we are suffering, that we are persecuted, that the world is making a mockery of us, but that we should not forget that great is our reward in heaven.’
So, be yourselves and don’t be afraid to feel abandoned, but never allow the sentiment of abandon to overcome you. When you are feeling abandoned, look around you to see those who are ready to hold your hand; when you feel disappointed, look around you to see those promising never to disappoint you; when you are feeling sad, watch for that brother or sister ready to help you pass through that sentiment. Accepting to be vulnerable, sometimes helps you to become very strong. Because at every moment you feel dejected and lonely, there is always someone somewhere seeking to help you go through that tunnel. If you dodge an obstacle, it will continue coming until you overcome it. So, face your fears; face your sadness and anguish, knowing that you are not alone in this race. And even if you feel there is no one around to help you overcome them, there is always God. Jesus went through those moments and will surely understand. Turn to him seeking his guidance and protection. With his help, you will overcome all your difficulties. For though weeping may last through the night, joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5).
 

Friday, 17 April 2020

Why We Ought to Be, Sometimes, Afraid by Alisonomi


Are you sometimes afraid? I am! Today, I was afraid to speak to you about fear. I was afraid of not knowing what to say or making mistakes. But I mustered up my courage to inform you that to be afraid is not wrong, and that to be sometimes frightened is normal. This is because it is only by being afraid that you can measure every risk you are about to take; it is when are frightened that you valorize better your life. Fear helps you to understand that this or that action can bring untold hardship to you, your neighbors and others. 

But you should never allow fear to dominate you. This is because when you are overpowered by fear, you cannot even comfortably live. So, when you are afraid, take time to recollect yourself; ask yourself why you are really afraid. 

For example, we are all afraid of Covid19. But it’s not the fear of Coronavirus that terrorizes us. It’s the fear of contracting the disease, the fear of being killed by the disease or seeing our beloved ones killed by it. So, the fear of this virus permits us to protect ourselves as fear is an expression of our survival instinct. 

Sometimes, we say that bears are fearless animals but on the contrary, they are very fearful. When a bear meets an intruder, the bear might just appear to ignore him or her. It will generally continue its way. But if ever the bear is with the cubs and it fears that the life of the cubs is in danger, it will attack the intruder. So, why does the bear attack the intruder at this point? It’s not because bears are ruthless animals, it’s rather because of the fear of losing the cubs. 

Maybe we should learn from the mother bear. We should not be afraid of every troubled water. We should only be afraid of those elements or situations that constitute a danger for ourselves, our neighbors and our future. But we should never allow ourselves to be dominated by fear. 

On another hand, Jesus was sometimes afraid. We can never say that enough. When he went with his disciples to Gethsemane, he was so afraid that he said, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.’ But what did he do? He turned to his father in prayer. So, when you are afraid, what can you do? Do exactly like Jesus! Turn to God in prayer; ask him to protect you. Ask that his will be done in your life, because his will, will always be for your good, for your well-being and your success in life.

So, when you are face to face with fear, stand your ground, think of the present moment; what can you do, what are you expected to do, and why should you do that? For if we take time to think well, we will understand that we are not afraid of what frightens us, but the consequences of what frightens us. It’s the consequences of Covid19; the consequences of this or that act; the consequences of this or that thing, that frightens us. So, being afraid is very important as it forces us to reconsider every one of our actions.