Monthly Archives: September 2014

Blogging 101 – who & why

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The last time I checked, I’m human with my own peculiarities, fetishes, ‘craze’ and cravings. Beyond that which makes me human, I’m supernatural with a love of and for books. Beautifully bonded journals beckon on me to caress their pages with my ink and breathe life into them; the thoughts on my mind seeking escape find solace in the words I’m able to write down. Sometimes, I’m lost for words, yet these are the experiences I desire to share with people (like or not-like me) while tasting their world for other sources of fun.

Simply put, I love Love, Life (with all its packages) and Laughter!

A mother to two awesome children (whom I call Heritage), one teaches me how to sound my words (she’s going to be 6 years old next week) and the other gives me sweet kisses on the forehead and at the same time gets me rolling over with laughter whenever he gives his famous one-liners. My world would be totally incomplete without them. And yes, I have a King to thank for making them a reality.

Being a mother affords me the opportunity to experience first-hand all their antics, share their pain and “Mummy, I want to tell you something” moments.

I love God and we have a real relationship where we talk in various forms…sometimes I write Him poems or letters; other times, I pray, sing or just remain silent. I love family and really do appreciate nature. Pictures and beauty gives me joy anytime of the day and I have an eye for details.

Blogging is another means of letting others into my crazy world of fun. I may not say it the way you’d love to hear it, but indulge me, I’m just being myself (which is hard enough) being you would be cool but I’m not ready to try 🙂

A Silent God

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Why would anyone in his right senses call GOD the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient One ‘silent’? The One whose voice thunders and causes the mountains to melt like wax before Him. The One who said and there was. Why would someone call Him SILENT? I don’t know, but I just did! Right, I’m the culprit and if it’s a lie, let Him say (although I’m not sure I’d like to hear Him speak when provoked).

Lately, I realized that God had all-of-a-sudden become silent. Not as if He doesn’t answer when I say “hi”, but when it comes to certain issues He goes ZIP on me and I wonder why? I hear His laughter at my jokes…enjoy Him bask in unimaginable glory as the worship ascend. Yet after all that romance, He “turns His back” and let mine slack.

…WHY IS HE SILENT?! 😦

Alone and pondering, enveloped in nothing but more silence I reflect on our past conversations, His last strategy; and it hit me that – He is working these out differently and doesn’t need me disturbing Him with my “when-shall-these-bes?” my “how-shalls?” and the rest of those kind of questions. I further realized that maybe…just maybe, I fret a lot and all He needs me to do is become, as He is – SILENT! So that my fretting doesn’t lead me to unbelief – and that sure breaks His heart!

Sometimes God says so much to us, that we in our busyness fail to hear Him and the only way He can get back our attention is become silent – knowing that His silence has a way of making us seek and yearn for Him more with renewed vigour.

Right in the middle of my crowded day and all the accompanying noises. I felt so alone and on my own. I spoke to the One who’s with me everywhere and silence was all I heard. I called His number but someone else picked the line and said “Hello! My name is SILENCE” (now I’m wondering if that line was picked at all). Everything came to a standstill (gratefully so) but more grateful that my heart kept its beat. I spoke on and He wouldn’t reply, I cried, He wouldn’t bulge.

In my ache, I sang (maybe to hear a sound) and I heard more than I bargained for. “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you!” On and on I raised my praise, more and more He said “Don’t fret – my anger is but for a moment and my love more than a lifetime.” Our promises renewed and love talk resumed.

But I learnt a lot from MY SILENT LOVE. As in our period of silence, I came to understand that all He longed for was my attention and more than that, His answer to my questions (all along) was WAIT…PATIENCE, MY DEAR ONE. It’s really tough sometimes but pays off a great deal especially when what He’s cooking up for you is no 2-minutes noodles.

It’s a hard lesson which I’m still learning, but however busy my day…I’ll always depend on you to colour my grey…and let your sunshine remain. Here’s to my LOVE that speaks at all times even through SILENCE! ❤

911 Collections 2

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I wrote about my cousin Ini and how someone’s unscrupulous behaviour pushed her to make a decision. Though, I will not rule out the truth that God knows the beginning and end of all matters that concern us, as such, all things lie in His control. You can read up about it before continuing with these set of collection.

HERE AGAIN

Woke up this morning feeling down
Maybe it’s the dark cloud
No! I don’t think so
It looks like a known foe
Still I can’t place my finger on it
As all I feel is heat.
Suddenly, it came to me
Years back you had to leave
And this pain I feel
Seems to say your absence is real.
But you, I’ll always remember
And keep your memories forever
Though September 11th is here again
Soon I know I’ll smile again.

© 2005 Frances Kelvin Otung

5 YEARS AFTER

Dear cousin,

Five years ago
We experienced grief untold
But like I said back then
No one truly knows when
…Except God
The One we call upon.
It’s five years and two days now
We’ve survived the pain somehow.
I wonder if others have…
Is joy back into their lives?

Yet,
I’ve learnt
To love a lot more
Pray for sure
Hug a little longer
Care more for one another
I’ve learnt to slow down
Though I don’t get there on time
Enjoy the morning breeze
And take life with ease.
Some have been born
And others have gone!

For each day,
“Thanks” is all we say.

My life will take a different turn
But you won’t be here to share the fun.
A whisper in my ears…
“I’ll always be there
Looking down from here
And that’s how much I care!”
9/11 is someone’s special day
Sad for others…but hey
Its 5years and 2days now
Thought you should know somehow
You are not forgotten
My dearest cousin!

*for you and the others that didn’t say good-bye.

© 2006 Frances Kelvin Otung

911 collections 1

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My cousin, Ini used to live in Nigeria at some point (she was older than me). Two things I remember about her were that she was prime and proper. While we sat at the table eating and getting excited, she faced her food, ate daintily and didn’t speak till she was done. And when she did, it was because she was spoken to.

We called her mum ‘Aunty Ibadan’ (because they lived in Ibadan at the time) and Ini could speak Yoruba fluently.  Ini left Nigeria and vowed never to return because she had taken some entrance exams, passed very well but rather than give her admission into University, the person in charge wanted to have his way with her before assisting. she never got over that shock.  I’m not sure she came visiting anymore. As I didn’t see her again but I knew she didn’t get married either…got consumed with work and God.

When she passed on, my mum was really sad and she blamed our educational system (that evil man) for sending Ini (and indeed other bright minds) away with their lecherous behavior. Since September 11th I have written series of poems about it. Though I didn’t maintain that habit every year, I never forgot.

SEPTEMBER 11th

Dawn broke out with promise
…A promise that the sun will shine through
Or perhaps it will rain after the dew
…Promise of dates not to miss
And links we need to keep
Dawn awoke and time kept its’ tick.

September 11th
The day nations stood still
…And hearts ceased to beat
Buildings came tumbling and crashed upon the dreams
Hopes were dashed as glasses flew
Potentials buried as the heat grew.

May be some knew
And never said
But as blood flowed
United we prayed
Hoping against the unseen
That someone we love survived the scene.

Wishing they had gone minutes later
Thereby missing the burning towers
Wishing we had loved them better
And hugged a little longer
Wishing we knew
…And halted the true.

It was someone’s birthday
Or perhaps 2 became 1 that day
Someone else remember with hurt
A loved one that never returned
However you choose to view
It’ll always be true
That September 11th
Will never be forgotten.


In memory of my cousin
and others that didn’t say good-bye

© 2001 Frances Kelvin Otung

A YEAR AFTER

It’s true
Families were torn apart
With deep pains in every heart.
It’s true
Every tongue and tribe
Had a reason to cry
It’s true
The wounds of yesterday
Had refused to die.

But…
There was a bond after the bomb
…A peace beyond all storms
A unity that brought divinity
Dispatching balms and healing hearts.
A unity that brought us longing
Reaching out to the rest more loving.

A year is gone now
…We made it through somehow.
Thought it will always hurt
Let each new day tear down the walls
So we can see beyond the fall
The flowers that have sprout.

Believing that this newness of life
Will wither all strife
And keep us on our feet
Giving the devil sweet defeat.
‘Cos painful it’s true
Yet God still rules and our aches to remove!

© 2002 Frances Kelvin Otung

Remembering 911

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13 years today… something caught the world’s attention.

It wasn’t football, or a celebrity birth. It wasn’t something trivial but GRIEF… a grief that spread around the globe, dressed in every colour of the world. Every skin tone, flag, country, tribe and tongue had its’ representative …hmm.

You and others have gone for 13 years now, though I promised to update you every year, I didn’t… because life happened and I got busy. It in no way belittles your memory or those of other lives that went with you. So today I’m keeping that promise.

Did the world get better…I don’t think so, perhaps technologically. Has the sun stopped shinning? No way! Sometimes it is scorching. It rains too much these days, we pray we don’t get carried away by floods (which is happening in other areas though).

Today I remember, the reason I made a promise to always hug a lot more, listen to God’s spirit within me, make peace and not war… as all we truly have sometimes is the ‘Present’ (and this is a gift). In remembering 911, I celebrate the gift called ‘Life’, the lives of the HEROES 911 represents and their families who have carried on living.

…continue to RIP.

Lyrical Mondays

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IN 2 DEEP

How far do I run from One
To Whom my whole being responds to…
And that naturally too
Without prior consent from me!

At the softest of whispers
My nerve-ending respires
Sweet chill replaces body heat
Yearning for that touch that brings relief.

The sway of the leaves
Delivers warm messages to me
The music in the wind
Lifts me to my King.

The thoughts on my mind He reads
In my dreams He believes
How far can I go?
From One who knows me so.
Obviously I’m stuck
Deeply in love with Love
It’s not skin deep
‘Cos I’m in too deep to leave.

© 2001 Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

King Earl is 3

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King Earl is 3

“Earl Ethan Emmanuel!”
“Yeees, Aunty!” (Hesitates, sees the shock on my face, replies again soberly this time), “Yes, Mooommy” …with this sweet innocence that says “why should being called ‘mummy’ or ‘aunty’ matter to you, after all you know I love you.”

And truly, “why should I be bothered?” You see, I’m not. Just that I know him long enough to know when he’s pulling my legs and when he means it and this was one of the ‘pulling-my-legs-moments-just-to-see-mommy’s-reaction.’

Earl turned three on the 25th of August 2014, 5 days earlier than his father. He is one of those children you don’t need to ask “who is your dad?,” as he has a striking resemblance with his father and I’m constantly asked if his father ran away because it is believed traditionally that when you give birth to a child and he/she looks like someone, it’s because the person was not always there. Truly, his dad was really busy during his pregnancy.

I usually call you the three names above when I want to get your attention. But when you were born, I gave everyone present the opportunity to give you a name they thought reflects you and your names are: King Earl, Ethan, Kokoette, Emmanuel, Roosevelt (The President, your sister adds), Owoidohoabasi, Alvah, Great, Essien-Imoh, Temiladeoluwa. Trust you to add your special glow to it, today, you call yourself, “Daddy’s boy,” tomorrow it is “Guy” or “Dude.” Recently, when you met with your cousins, you declared that you are “Chairman”. LOL

You are truly one of a kind, actually, the only one in your category. Apart from taking your time to come out from the womb, you are full of wits, famous one-liners, words aptly spoken with right facial expressions and mannerisms. If I had to make a choice, I’d choose you all over again, knowing what I know now. You are really cute and you know it, that’s one of the reasons you would look at a very beautiful baby whom your sister called ‘cute’ and comment, “she’s not cute, she’s just FINE.”

I look forward to experiencing the vastness of wisdom in you and your not-asked-for hugs are a welcome any time of the day…you have this uncanny ability to know when I need to be hugged and always plant a kiss on my forehead. Come to think of it, I’m the one that should be planting kisses on your forehead, but you always like to take charge my lil’ man of the house.

tiff infomation

Your dad travelled and every night during that period, you always showed up in my room to sleep beside me and once when I queried you, you replied “I’m lying in my daddy’s space” and when I complained further, I heard “I am your husband.”

You talk a lot for your age. Last week I bought you trainers, while Esther (his nanny) was struggling to put it on your feet, you exclaimed, “This cannot be happening to me, oh my goodness! This cannot be happening to me.” You repeated with your hands raised in mock exasperation. We had a field day laughing…amidst our shock.
I have tried documenting some in a book which you will get to read when you grow. Till next year when I write you another letter, know I love you to bits and you are my chairman anytime.

IMG_00000665 King Earl is 3; he got a very lovely yummy chocolate cake from my brother in-law Avi & family. Before his birthday, he had requested for a cake with a blue horse and for someone that got scared of horses after watching ‘Rise of the Guardians’…no thanks to the Boogey man; that was a bold move. Guess what, he got a Blue Horse cake from Auntie Otibhor. And when Imani sang the happy birthday song and said “Happy Birthday to Earl” (which was what was written on the cake), he replied, “I’m not Earl, I am King Earl.” 🙂

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