THE fire Place

The fire crackled as grandpa stroked the big log of fire wood which never seemed to be out of fire. Large chunks of fire laden embers landed on the ashes of previous coals which had warmed the room…

Source: THE fire Place

THE fire Place

The fire crackled as grandpa stroked the big log of fire wood which never seemed to be out of fire. Large chunks of fire laden embers landed on the ashes of previous coals which had warmed the room before.

Grandpa sat up to hedge his loin cloth properly around his groin, between his legs, as I looked away into the the fire place, to the first enterprising tongue, strenuously raising its flame above its seated embers.

The rest of the hut was dark. Only grandpa’s ankles showed, his feet which now has the colour of ash, his arm, only when he stroked and the thickening colours of yellow, orange, sienna, burnt umber and the pitch darkness around us.

In that fire our souls rested and found warmth, away from the muted noise and scotching sun shaded by grandpa’s presence and lonesomeness.

“Nkechi..,” humming the N a little longer, as if to trail its mystic certainty. “It will be well” he finally muttered.

My tear filled eyes were wet, they flustered and also sparkled, catching a glimpse of those firry flames, confident, extinguishing the dark coals beneath them and gaining their energies there by.


Leonard Chintua-Chigbu

Listening and Creative Communications

IN The Dark

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In the dark I saw light. After the explosion, shrapnel tore the air and the ball of fire traveled heaven ward. Darkness settled, cries, shrieked calls and torch lights invaded the air. Like fire flies, high visibility jackets of all colours blossomed in the heavy winds of fast moving blades of luminescence. Everywhere was charged by the fluorescence of the first ‘responders’; ordinary people, fire fighters, the ambulance, the police, also the red crosses and crystals of White Crescent…

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Art and Creative Communications
Leonard Chintua-Chigbu

He called me Barack

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Even in winter, he would not fit into that common image for migrant workers, as we see them, walking down the road; that image their children have now grown to see. Those Africans who are only allowed to do odd jobs; Nigerians or Ghanaian. He did not wear thick black head warmers nor layers of jumpers and sweaters. His trousers were not necessarily thick, his shoes not heavy nor had they any additional safety caps, only leather and a good semblance of brogue design.
Their pay was more sizable than his. Some of them even did additional jobs after school runs, after nights spent at the warehouses, picking goods or stacking shelves at supermarkets, or even doing safe security jobs.
It was these men who sometimes dropped off their children in the morning. Little children, some who greeted him with sparking white teeth and umber brown gums; squeaky clean in their lovely ebony tones running happily into a more vast beauty of other happy children playing.
Dike had brought his three little children to the UK when the recent global recession was well on its way. Many Nigerians who had been made redundant from big London city banks and law firms were moving back home.
On the playground each day, he came with a different colour of suit, complete with matching ties. They were affordable and machine washable. He would drop-by the value or sales sections of Marks and Spenser for them. He was handsome in them, calm and carefully nonchalant. When he talked, it was in his scholarly Nigerian english language, now spoken in British accent and not this vernacular.
His now accepted ordinariness did not do a good job of hiding his classy sense of the way things should be. Of many rewards, this afternoon at the playground, a ten year old black boy came running towards him. Behind him was a group of other children; friends in a boisterous group. He stopped at him, and in his hilarious-smile lit face, he searched my eyes, seemingly saying ‘I now know you. It now makes sense. I have cracked the code’ Then he said to me “You are Barack Obama” I was transfixed, but then I smiled.
They all ran off, they felt victorious; all of them in the group; White, Black, Asian. They were jubilant as they ran off.
Still transfixed but not now teary eyed, I felt both rewarded and blessed. It was one of many angelic visits.
For whatever Barack Obama means to our children.., Yes I am Barack.
Listening and Creative Communication
Leonard Chintua-Chigbu
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