Living through the pain of the Jim Crow laws

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia. Source.

Not having grown up in the United States and completely overwhelmed by the inhumaneness of inherent and systemic racism, I’ve begun reading up on the history of racial discrimination in the U.S.

At this moment in time, we have the medial “in your face” examples of institutionalised racism and its effects. This has led to an increased awareness here in Europe of individual countries’ own dark history and a stronger voicing of grievances among black European communities.

I have a lot of Nigerian family members, including my brother, living in the U.S. Many married, as my brother did, into Black…

A Painful Choice

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Flat I lie

My breath on hold
as weeks pass by
dazed a gaze slants
towards the window
of returning pain
a stab inhaled
a hiss of vaporised

Eyes downcast
upwards hoping
grounded strength
ethereal weakness
alternating heat
and cold I raise
my legs to strengthen
muscles as abdomen
filled with air implodes.

Inhaling deeply
the searing source
found and fixated
I shatter shards
of painful exhalation
recalling a moment
before all this
my naivety as if
forever is a belief.

And slowly over
gathered time I
release blunted
splinters of diamond
bright clarity
and thus I choose
to sit and teach
and not sit…

My Morning Choir

Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash

Territory claimed
partner(s) mated
I say “Adieu” dawn chorus
to a murmured year
as nature’s open-air aviary
displayed its morning choir
of cheerful birds
in their musical cloud
of dulcet desire and rivalry

A magical experience
as light brightened
the skies with a palette
of colourful, feathered friends
harmonizing in their many tongues
to mellow the dawning of my day
with their melodic birdsong

In spring and early summer in our northern hemisphere, it is not unusual to be woken in the very early morning by the happy chirping of a multitude of birds. Known as the Birdsong, though it…

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Attaining Nothing

Aimlessness is a practice I wish to embrace and acquire

Lying on my bed, my backache laid to rest, I stare up at the sky in a trance-like mode of relaxation mixed with a portion of misgivings. Guilt egging me on to fill the crevices of freed time with a healthy glass of water or a few words penned and rhymed.

Holding my breath, I try to contain the load of thoughts gathering momentum in my mind. A drizzle of musings difficult to control without rambling on as I’m doing now. Control the anti-concept.

Aimlessness, a word I discovered not…

Image by Jieun Lee from Pixabay

On The Verge

Gasping I tread the airy-fairiness of a panting city
Masked in crowded hysteria
I find no solace in this new awakening

Lost is the pull of the river, once my river
The Irish heat has made it dull and low
I miss the depth, the brashness of the foam
Disloyal am I to crave its moody changes
Does this reflect the inner me? A sacrilege I fear
Has the time now come for me to ramble on
And segue from one body of water to another?
Is the draw of the ocean starker?

In the darkness of my nights…

Making Amends

Photo by Nienke Burgers on Unsplash

I saw a little boy and did the wrong thing
I looked first at his mother and then down at him
What I saw was a woman lined with pain
Thin and coloured in black lace
And totally out of place —
Her eyes mournful and charcoaled
Were hollowed in her drawn and weary face
While mine mirrored her anguish
Which I could hardly conceal nor bear —
And only then did I look at her little boy
A contrast to the woman with his curly fair hair
He stared into my eyes and then up to his mother
And I knew in this split second…

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Loving Your Adult Self

Hold and embrace the image of you
The inner child, the wound in you
Behold and sense the surge of love emerge
As you breathe in rhythm with in and out —
Offer solace to this defenceless child
Resting serenely in your arms

The child who may have suffered
Years of anguish and abuse
Whose emotions of despair and fear
Have made your life seem so unfair —
Those feelings you have tried to hide
Deep down inside, and sealed

Free this vulnerable child and accept
its gratitude for the love you finally
reveal and unconditionally give

Cradle your child…

Writing Prompt With Bear

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash


“Write a book,” my friend said. “Tell the whole story, why not? Your life experience is really intriguing, exciting, in fact.”

I frowned, exhausted at the thought of even trying to consider writing a book. “Maybe later,” I replied, “when I’ve more time and the last of my kids has moved out of the house.”

“Exactly, for the kids, write it for your children. They’ll appreciate it. Write it now, chapter for chapter.”

I had just returned from both a traumatic and sentimental trip to my country of birth, Nigeria, to attend my father’s funeral in his village located in…

Sylvia Wohlfarth

An Irish-Nigerian soul living in Ireland after 40 years in Germany. A social anthropologist, English teacher, and more. With stories to share; and an opinion…

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