#70. I am the WORD.

On air; in mid-flight,

In between travels; in transit,

On the bus; in between bus stops.

In a lift; in between space and time.

Jejeli, minding my own business,

and then other people’s business.

Gbeborun, overtly and covertly,

politely and rudely eavesdropping,

to cues, looks and conversations between:

sexy strangers and soon-to-be lovers,

the ecstatically married or estranged couples,

and the contented or lonely searching singles,

– those day dreamers of happily-ever-afters.


In sandy playgrounds,

taking in the airs of brutal honesty

of tired, over-worked, young nannies

and their innocent or naughty children.

In the muted conversations,

of stuck, lonely housewives and

the disappointed, expectant mistresses.

In noisy hair salons and spas,

And in noisier joints and bars.

On doctor’s couches and

in work-places and -stations and

even in the sacred confessionals.

I am everywhere, no where

somewhere and anywhere.


These are the birthplaces

that give me form and

magically bring me to life,

into the waiting arms

of midwives, – my storytellers.

They, who take their sweet time

to clean me up and wrap me up,

in diapers and warm blankets

and make me shriek and cry,

let out a gurgle, smile and chuckle.

Hungry, I suckle at my mama’s breasts

and then rejuvenate in calm sleep.

Sometimes, they croon to me,

a soft, lilting lullaby and I flow

into quiet, sleepy creativity mode

where ideas soak and marinade.


And soon they name me,

so many different stories

and versions of my name.

and I sometimes struggle

to recognize my true self

if at all I’m that lucky, that is.

They put so many labels on me,

my feelings are not my own!

They mould me and shape me

into their own image, and I unfold

in their memories and dreams.

The create me as funny or flat,

angry, depressed or sad,

inspired, sappy or boring,

historical or contemporary

Or jumbled little bits of them all.

And then they send me out,

into the wild, wide world,

to the caring waiting arms

of welcoming strangers

or unfriendly minds and homes,

where they leave me to collect dust.


And sometimes when I’m lucky

Someone falls deeply in love with me

And takes me on magical journeys

from print to stage to screen!

And then other times, over the years

I’ll be understood or vilified

cherished or abandoned

unfairly judged and criticized

nurtured or even tortured

by those who fear my power.

They twist and interpret my meaning

To suit their whims and desires.

And all I ever really wanted

was to be birthed from heads and hearts

caressed by tongues and sung in voices.

I long to be written and spoken with truth,

to be read, heard and understood,

fluently, brokenly or haltingly

Shared selflessly and celebrated.

I wait in longing for the special ones

who come along once in a while

and fall deeply, madly, passionately

in pure, consuming love with me!

They seek no fame, glory or rewards.

They let me reign free and run unfettered.

Understanding that I am the seed

and they are merely my vessels.

Somedays, I am lonely, desecrated,

on those days, I am simply a mere word.

To the ones who know how to love me,

I fully reveal myself; I am the WORD!


© Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, 2015 (All rights reserved).

[Jejeli : A Nigerian broken English (pidgin) slang for softly and gently]

[Gbeboroun: A Nigerian word (in Yoruba language), meaning gossip or busy-body]

8 thoughts on “#70. I am the WORD.

Leave a Reply to Juliet 'Kego Ume-Onyido Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s