30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu banner

I was challenged by a friend to write about the most interesting thing about me. It is my inability to be worried or anxious about whatever, wherever, whenever.

When the whole world claps their breast and shrivel in fear, I walk about hands akimbo whistling my favourite hymn “farther along” like ‘nna, hapu, nothing mega’

When mum let’s worry and anxiety get the best (abi worse) of her over situations beyond her control, I fetch her hymnbook, flip over to my favourite hymn and sing same to her.

When I was diagnosed of a certain life threatening illness (my lungs). It was a terrible experience, those two years of walking on a thin blue line across a lake of fire (excuse my poetry). The doctor wore this sympathetic look, an air of hopelessness hung around him, he spoke tongue in cheek, as if to say he’s doubtful of my chances of pulling through. Mother would stare at me and wonder what could happen next, siblings handled me with the carefulness of a golden egg.

But. I. Wasn’t. A. Bit. Worried.

I went to bed every night with a promise to see dawn.

I’d wake in the morning and write a new poem (the poems I wrote then are too personal to share. I won’t share them. Not even in my collections).

Do you now get it when I say “hope has feathers”?

I survived it.

Hope flew me seven feet above laid wreaths, a requiem and still dust.

A couple years ago, the first time I witnessed liquid salt particles roll down my dad’s cheek, it broke my spirit. For the first time, in my 27 years of living I played the role of a father, comforting dad and mum. And of course singing my favourite hymn to em amidst sighs and sobs.

It passed.

But while it lasted, never was I perturbed.

Somehow, for obscure reasons, I knew twas a passing moment.

Last month proved to be my month of downtimes. I remember starting May with a poem titled “May You Find Joy”, as if I knew I’d come close to losing grip on the joy that I once know.

It was a turbulent ride.

But. I. Never. Let. Anxiety. Carve. A. Throne. In. The. Castle. Of. My. Thoughts.

I’d signed off every dusk in May with the month’s theme poem.

I’d greeted every dawn in May with the month’s theme poem.

It helped. May marred me not.

I am like a bridge laid over stormy waters.
The sea may rage
And tempest may billow,
Many ships may capsize
And anxiety levels may rise
I lay still, watch things unfold with a sly smile.

I. Just. Lay. Still.
Whistle my favourite hymn
And sing the storm to sleep.

I am Jaachi.
Nothing bothers me.
You may call me carefree.

Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachi Anyatonwu is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachi is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.


  1. Avatar
    • Chidera Ochuagu

    • 1 year ago

    I love your spirit, Jaachi.

    1. Jaachi Anyatonwu

      Thank you, Chidera. I love that you love.

  2. Avatar
    • Chinedu Ahamba

    • 1 year ago

    This is inspiring, Jaachi. I worry a lot and it affects me negatively. I’ll start working on myself.
    Thanks for this.

    1. Jaachi Anyatonwu

      Thanks for reading, Ahamba.

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