Monday, 14 July 2008

Another Wasted Life

At the news my heart shuddered and my blood was curled within me. He did not put on the right uniform. He was at the wrong place and encountered the wrong set of gang. Now he is no more!

What an accurate stab! Some would have thought it was only a joke. The intent was to inflict an injury to teach him a lesson. He should have known better, one of his assailants said to him. His blood shilling pleas for a second chance met with deaf ears.

At the command of the leader, the blow was struck and down he fell with his hands holding his chest as his blood gushed out like a broken pipeline. Scampering feet were all he could hear as he hit the ground. “Help me,” he called out one last time. He felt like he was all alone in the entire world as it closed around him and turned to darkness. Alas! He lay lifeless at the spot where he was last seen.

Don’t spank or hit the child.
Never scold him. Give in to
All his requests. Make him lord of
All situations at home and at school.
Let him yell at his parents if he is ever
Told he could not have his desires when
He wants them. He should never have to
Be useful at anything around the home.
He is only a child and cannot speak for
Himself let alone make decisions.
He could call the social workers
Or police whenever
He felt he could not put up with his parents
Any longer. Lord indeed he has become over
Those who gave him life.

Wait a moment; maybe he could be nurtured and
Taught better life skills and behaviour when he
Finally goes to school! The discovery of his
Manipulative skills made him shine and succeeded
In having his way even at school.
His teachers watch in appalling disgust
As he progressed from one mischief
To the other. Other learners were discriminated
Against to make room for him to have his ways
At all times. He must never be told off for
Being bad. He must be spoken to nicely and
Politely with the magic words in the right
And at the right time. He, on the other hand,
Must be given heed to and he could be rude
To any one all the time. He hit other learners
And distract them from learning as he is not
Ready to learn. Nothing could be done
To get through to him. Having terrorised,
Bullied and endangered teachers and his
Peers for every year he spent at school,

He finally passes out.
Today, he is the head of a set of boys
That is into all sorts of incredible
Activities ranging from raping girls,
Snatching and picking people’s
Belongings, breaking into homes,
Harassing passengers on buses and
Trains, to peddling and consuming
Drugs. He has only recently added to
His credentials ability to strike dead
Anyone who happens to be unlucky
With a knife. His latest victim didn’t
His eleventh one and still counting.
When will it all end? How shall it end?

I do not know and cannot tell. Our hope
Is that neither we nor our loved ones fall
Prey to one of such empowered species
We are daily exposed to.
To be continued.

© Joy Ozono
July 2008

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Price of a Soul

A shilling? A pound? Pray what do you say?
Can that be the price of a soul today?
If that were the price you'd be willing to pay,
Come follow these souls on their downward way.

Here's one with a skin that is dark and black
And he's burdened and fettered and hungry with lack.
He has stumbled and fallen and lives in a shack,
Now, what would you pay to bring this soul back?

Here's one who is red, on a jungle trail,
And his heart despises the face that is pale
But eternal night will be filled with his wail
And you hold the price of a soul if you fail.

Here's one who is brown and his life is too,
But his soul is a color of deeper hue.
To save him, kind friend, O what will you do?
The price of a soul, perhaps, is with you.

My friend, ask yourself what it's worth to be saved.
Turn the light of the Cross on what you have craved.
Then vision the souls now lying enslaved.
You surely will pray and give till they're saved.

By Dane Felker

Monday, 23 June 2008

Child Protection?

Two of them simply sat there oblivious of the rest of the people in that carriage on the train during the rush hour. He had his hand on her bare lap while kissing her neck. She in turn, had her hand buried under his jacket. It was quite obvious what they were up to. As if that was not enough, two stops later, another couple got into the train and began their own careless game of stupid love. Further down towards the end of that carriage, were two more couples having their own fling. A little girl of about seven or eight who was in the same carriage, tried as best she could to hide her face as the movie unfolded right in front of her. I watched her as she tried helplessly to keep herself from watching the raw pornoghrapic scenes around her. Two middle aged couple gazed at the graphic scenes and plainly shook their heads in disbelief. It was apparent on the faces of everyone present in that carriage of that train that what those sets of couples were engaged in was indecent in public view. However, no one could say or do anything to caution them to stop or at least reduce the activities they were involved in. Maybe if the train had to travel for much longer, they would get to the actual love-making act right there without any care in the world about who was present or watching.

In an age and time when there is so much hype about child protection and the rights of the young ones, I can’t seem to comprehend who would, and could actually protect the child from the molestation they are exposed to. A lot of effort is made for parents to protect their kids from seeing certain stuffs both on the television and the internet. The question here is this : Is the child or can the child be protected? Who will protect the child? Where is the child protected? From what is the child being protected?

Every turn one makes whether on the street, in the bus, in the tubes, shops, on the train, stations, parks etc, one is faced with couples smooching, kissing, romancing without any scruples and considerations for who else is present. One question that pops up on my mind most of the time when such pictures are rolling is that: is it that such people do not have homes or any other convenient place to carry out and express their undying love? Or are they simply putting up a show of what they lack in privacy? Or is their relationship being opposed to by family, thus they could only find time for themselves on the trains and in buses or any other public places? Or can they be categorised as plainly irresponsible? If it is actually a sincere honest show or display of their true love, do they have to carry on for so long and actually get other people present uncomfortable in expressing their love?

Having witnessed these reckless display for some time now, one would realise that most of them are barely up to the age of responsible adults. In many of the cases where the events have really gone too far for long, the victims are most often adolescents(properly put, teenagers) or do I say some irresponsible, carefree and unwise young people. I am yet to see a wedding band their fingers at least to indicate that they are married and are terrifyingly in love. In fact, if one looks closely, one would see that such characters lacked any form of self-worth or confidence. They tend to cling to each other to gain some sort of dutch courage and carry out what they know is not proper in public view.

Has anyone studied some of the young people when they are alone in the train or on the bus? To be honest, my heart goes out for them. This is because when you find them on their own, there is an aura of fear, timidity, lack of self worth and loneliness about them, both the boys and the girls alike. They tend not to be brave enough to look anyone else around them in the eyes rather they stare endlessly at the floor or roof of the bus or train. And they are extra polite to everyone around them. What a sharp contrast to when they are in a group?

It's such a pity that acceptable public behaviours, and the dignity of true love and it's forms of expression are being trivialised, and the situation is magnified every moment. One cannot safely ride on an escalator without being harassed by various sets of couples making out along the way.

Going back to the subject, are the children supposed to watch such stuff knowingly or unknowingly? And should they learn about love and its expressions in such manners? When would a child be said to have been molested? Will that be after the real act rape, abuse or after been fed with such uncensored scenes daily? Does anyone else wonder why children as young as 8 and 9, and indeed those in their early teenage years are in such a hurry to lose their virginity or get involve in sexual activities from such tender ages? Would it be correct if we ascribe some of their haste to the indecent exposure they experience all through their lives at home, on the streets, on the bus, in the trains, at the parks, in restaurants and just about anywhere people could be found?
Is there anything that could be done to help and save the child, and properly have child protection in practise instead of the farce that seems to be in place now?

I am pretty sure that many of the responsible grown ups who have kids of their own out there would agree that the depth of their love notwithstanding, they would never be caught making out in full glare of their kids apart from the occasional kiss or curdles that are healthy.

As an individual, I honestly have no idea how the improper behaviours could be curbed or minimised. However, if there are enough responsible parents and adults who do care about children, and want to protect and preserve their innocence, then let them begin to speak out. After all, it would be better to do something than not at all. We don’t have to wait until the number of under-twelve pregnancies hit an all time high before.
It is indeed worrying and I candidly hope that some maturity and decency are restored to our lives and society at large. It is written in the Bible: “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

© Joy Ozono
January 2008

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The Woman in Charge

I stood in the midst of other people;
But I felt so all alone.
Their silent stares told volumes.
None among them made any attempt
To come towards me not to mention
Utter a word to me.

Those who were once my bosom pals
with whom I ate, spent weekends
Went shopping, and on holidays,
Gossiped and told stories, all
Suddenly are strangers to me.

The ones who very much as looked
In my direction, gazed either with
Disdain, mockery, anger, jealousy or pity.
I could see them having fun as they
Shared jokes on various subjects,
And their cheerful laughter rang out
To send eerie chills to my bones.

Every so often filters of the untrue

tales about me and how I no longer

want to mingle bring tears to me eyes.

All I could but say is: if only they knew?

These were the very people who
Cheered me on as I worked to
Become the first lady. Why then
Have they turned against me?
Where and how did I wrong them?
What could my unpardonable sin
Be? Could I ever get them to accept
Me again?

Misfit is the apt term to describe
How I feel when I am with the
New people in my life now.
I love the attention and the applause
I am given wherever I go to.
Being the number on woman
Makes me feel in control.
Nevertheless, without familiar faces
To share my stardom with, it feels
Meaningless and empty to me.

Deep within me, I know this is not
Who I am. I could not fathom how
I lost my precious friends.
This office I now hold comes with, and
Demands way too much from me.
Could this be a picture or forecast of
The rest of my life without a friend?
Why do I have to be saddled with
The hassles of finding new friends
At this stage of my life?

Everyone who comes in contact now
Could only do so after waiting for
Longer then anyone would believe;
And they always often
Tended to only want to say a hasty
Greeting before hurrying away.
Why do people find it an arduous
Task to speak with me these days?

I find myself alone most
If not all the time these days!
My only company has been
Reduced to a frightful few
Whose sole duty is to keep off
The very people whose company
I tacitly crave to, and definitely
Wish to be in.

Echos of my thoughts

Reverts all around
My palatial new home.
Not even there
Do I find comfort!
Yes, this is what I wanted:
A huge mansion with my
Prince charming to share it.
Why then don't I feel fulfilled?
Is there a way by which I could
Change the status quo????

This is it!!! I found the answer!
I know just what to do! Hurrah!!!
People don't have to be kept
Away from me. They don't have
To wait for days, weeks or months
And possibly years as has been the
Case to meet with me since I
Became the lady of the house.

I will call off my protocol
Bodyguard team. I will replace
Them with a more friendly,
Warm and outgoing fellow who
Would simply help to direct my
People to where they can meet
With me whenever they felt the
Need to.

I feel so elated and happy already
From thoughts of having
People approach me freely
Once again as was in my past

Before my overrated office.

I see all the lost friends return
And many new and genuine ones
That will be found.
This, I think, is how things
Ought to be if I am to be a
Proper woman in charge
As well as being


© Joy Ozono
June 2008



The dad we don’t want to have
To some he is the loud voice
That brings them back to order.
He could be a drunk, irresponsible
Indolent, wicked and the bully to
Remember forever.
What about the one who abuses
His wife and children?
He is loud, irritating and intolerant.

Could he be the one who was always
Absent only to show up on certain
Occasions? ‘Was he ever there?’
Another might ask.
All thoughts of him was those scary
Moments when death could have been
Best welcomed.

The Dad we have and can never replace.
How about the lone and constant
Cheerleader who never gave up even
When everyone else had given up?
He stood by and provided to help
us on our way.
He was the hardworking father
Who toiled both day and night to give
His family food, shelter and warmth.

He showed the kids the way to the
One true God simply by his shining
Exemplary life. To him All the hurts,
Frustrations and mistakes experienced by
His children were mere springboards
To greater achievements in life.
He is a gentle, loving, and quiet
Believer in his children’s inabilities
Not minding their obvious weakness.

Nothing held back, the family altar
Was a place of reality. He stood as
Worthy priest daily bringing God’s
Word to his forbears.
His words were always comfort.
A more worthy father who can find?

This day is set aside to honour you.
Nothing, absolutely, nothing could
Be compared to you. No matter how
We try, we can never repay you.
Our upright lives and varied successes
Are the loudest accolades you so rightly
Deserve. Relax, sit back and relish the
Fruit of all your labour.
You are our pride. God bless you.
We salute your greatness.
We love you. Many hearty cheers to
A well deserving Dad!!!

© Joy Ozono
June 2008

Saturday, 21 June 2008

My Ship(s)

There is always a ship which everyone is somehow either boarding or alighting from depending on the occasion or stage in life.
Some people find themselves in a tangle with someone else; and there is a bond that seems like nothing could ever break or replace it. This is so often referred to as the bond of friendship.

Another could be in an exclusive union with a person who is seen as the most important creature in the world. Nobody else matters in the entire world but this object of affectionate feelings. The love that exists between them is so pure, true, loving, honest, reviving, refreshing, liberating and solid. A proper description for this affair would be relationship.

Akin to the immediately described union above is that within a family, community, town or country. One’s likeness or similarity to others and the quality that makes one accepted and become part of a group is called kinship.

The legal union of two totally different characters with similar or conflicting views, experiences, thoughts, desires, goals, dreams and cultures have come to be one of the most important fusions the world has and may ever know. The process to making this affair concrete has been termed courtship.

What about the gathering of individuals with similar beliefs in a course or religion? The sanctity and uniqueness of this assembly which sometimes is characterised by the perceived presence of a much higher power gives the believers some comfort. Could there be a better word to replace what it has been called: Fellowship?

People everywhere have witnessed the strength, security and fulfilment in numbers. This idea tends to have informed the basis on which a number of persons have united to pursue a common course. This course could be financially, socially, politically, intellectually, morally or spiritually inclined. However, at the end of the day, this unity is pointed out as partnership.

When a man or a woman is a part of a group for whatever reasons, they are treated
with respect just like any other person in that group. Such folks are expected to pay their dues, respond to and be loyal to the body. An embracing word has been used to include everyone in that group as membership.

Depending on the role one plays in certain circles or walks of life and at some designated locations; their service has so very often been talked about as their stewardship.

No matter the name it goes by, at one point or the other, every human being is part of a ship. Irrespective of what that ship might be called, we all want to feel among and be accepted as being one of those to be reckoned with. Every ship has its basic requirements for joining, continued membership as well as for exiting.

Isn’t it appalling how most folks tag along and remain on board a ship or simply hang on to a sinking ship? Knowing fully well the glaring facts that such ships would lead them nowhere, and could very well mean the literal end of their lives as well as their presence could cause the ship to sink, these people have decided not to make a living elsewhere.

How about a situation when one has outgrown the need to be in a particular ship? Here one’s needs are no longer being meet in that ship or the needs of that ship have all being fulfilled by you. The question now is this: what are you still doing aboard such a ship?

If find yourself in a ship or you are about to board a ship, it might be advisable for you to count both the long and short term costs of your presence upon that ship. Need I say here that should you discover at some point of the irrelevance of your presence in there, and vice-versa, the role of that ship in your life, the time should just be apt for you to disembark and allow that ship to sail on!!!

However, there apparently are a few of these ships where life-long commitment is needed and demanded regardless of how much the individuals involved may want to opt out of them. Long gone are the days of absolute loyalty, dedication and trustworthiness. The virtues of patience, love, humour, understanding, perseverance, gentleness, sensitivity, commitment, kindness and joyfulness have all been cast overboard of these ships. What we witness instead today on these ships could very well be summed up as emptiness, dissatisfaction, insatiability, envy, unhealthy rivalry/competition, betrayal, boredom, pretence, lies, humiliation, backbiting, malice, and so on. Everyone has been endowed with a natural instinct to know what relationships are relevant in their lives and if they should remain no matter the circumstances.

It’s no one else’s place to decide for another person which of these ships aforementioned require the virtues that have been named above. The onus is entirely up to every individual to board and dwell on a particular ship they may have chosen to be in.

History has shown that a fellow could be in more than one ship at a time as well as someone not being in any ship at all. Below are a few thought-provoking questions:

Is your presence or role in a ship jeopardising or enhancing its smooth sail?
Do you know fully or partially why you are in a ship?

Could you somehow be the Jonah who must be flung overboard to bring peace and a safe passage to the rest of the ship’s passengers?
Would you rather be elsewhere aboard another ship than where you are at now?
Are you thankful for what you’ve got or you’re full of complaints for what you’re yet to receive while on that ship?
Have you slept for too long aboard this ship while others are left to guess how to make the ship go in the right direction?
Are you probably on board too many or too few ships at a specific time of your life?
Would you describe your influence on other members on board as positive or negative?
Do you sometimes stare with appreciation or contempt at someone else’s seemingly beautiful ship?

Have you taken the time to inspect if there just might be some leakage, dents, broken or malfunctioning equipments in the ship of your fantasy?
Is there a room for expansion to receive more passengers and people from all walks of life or your ship has more than enough capacity already?
Could there be someone else you would rather have at the helm of ship but your pride is in the way instead?
Have you got sufficient provision in case of an emergency?
Do you follow the direction of the compass always or only when you feel lost or have struck an iceberg?
Are there too many or too few people on your ship?
Is your ship so modern, gigantic and unsinkable just like the famous titanic?

Would you say it is cramped, stuffy, suffocating, crappy, and stinky aboard your ship?
Is it perpetually anchored onshore or it is constantly charting uncharted territories of the world?
Do you have any idea who is in charge of your ship?
How conflicting are the ideas and opinions expressed there?
Are there laid down rules and regulations or people and events are allowed to run amok?

Would you say that the discouraged, frustrated, broken-hearted, wounded, battered, shattered, devastated, hopeless, rejected, despised, abused, lonely, betrayed, hungry, tired, lost, and dying lots of the world around you could readily find and receive shelter, comfort, warmth, tranquillity, acceptance, satisfaction, encouragement, hope, healing, kindness, joy, assistance, upliftment,
space, trust, understanding, accountability, succour and faith once upon your ship they embark?

The bottom line here is that no matter the circumstances surrounding the given position at any stage of life, we are all in a ship of some sorts. It is solely up to each of us to make the most of our time and presence aboard whatever ship we are in while we are there, and to exit (if necessary) without over staying our welcome.
You should remember to leave the stage while the ovation is loudest or remain and make yourself useful. By the way, were you able to identify and ship or ships to which you might be part of among the lot mentioned above? If not, why not go back and take a more considerate look and discover for yourself.

© Joy Ozono
21st June 2008