Fine Print Poet: Bright Obiallor

Amanda Gorman. Hers is a name that will not soon be forgotten. A young African-American, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, she caused quite a stir at the Inauguration Day ceremony for 46th U.S. President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris with her poem, “The Hill We Climb.” This month, “Chorus of the Captains,” her tribute to three front line workers–an educator, Trimaine Davis; a nurse manager, Suzie Dorner; and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, James Martin, was performed before Super Bowl LV.

With the impact of poetry so engaged, we share poems this week of Black History Month with the spotlight on work written by Black American, Caribbean and African poets who are faculty, students and alumni of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. Each poem was published in the Nyack Writing Center’s digital journal of literature and art, The Fine Print.


Viral Love
by Bright Obiallor

If love was like a deadly virus, the world would be turned upside down, and yet it would be for good.
The only love that can do this is the God kind of love-demonstrated in the giving of his Son Jesus.
Jesus himself demonstrated this love by the laying down of His life on a tree.

If love was like a deadly virus, it would infect the world, producing its menacing effects.
The symptoms of good works would be so severe that people would do no harm to one another.
Jesus signaled that a love tree is known by the fruits of love.

If love was like a deadly virus, it would spread even to the uttermost parts of the world.
No border or immigration system can stop this love, and it respects no immigration laws.
Jesus himself demonstrated this love when he came from heaven to earth.

If love was like a deadly virus, it would go undetected by the surveillance systems of the world.
This love is an invisible “enemy” and so has become a mystery to the world.
Jesus spoke of the Spirit of this love, describing him as like the wind that leaves no indication of its tracks.

If love was as a deadly virus, it would make the world see the importance of spiritual hygiene.
People would wash the hands of abortion, murder, theft, fornication, witchcraft and so forth.
Jesus signaled that from a heart lacking love, comes all that makes one unclean.

If love were a deadly virus, it would kill the world not sparing the old or young.
But to so die is to come alive seeing that the death of the old life in Jesus, is the resurrection of the new life in him.
Jesus said that to live one must first die. To take up the cross is to come alive.

Now, go spread this love.


Bright Obillar was born in Nigeria where, at approximately eight years old, he gave his life to Jesus. His love for the Lord has been the center of his ambitions as he is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity degree at ATS. His pastimes are reading, writing and playing chess.