Poetry Friday: Peniel

Welcome to Poetry Friday on The Story of Hope. This week’s poem, Peniel, first featured in my book, Even in the Well.

Peniel is a powerful narrative poetry that tells the story of Jacob, the power of redemption and joy of restoration. Enjoy the inspiration!




He has journeyed for many days;

The pebbly road that led to Izba has changed so much.

Years have passed since the last time he strode past this desert.

He paused, then wondered how he had wandered this far;

Running away from home is no easy pilgrimage,

Thieves on the road, bandits chasing gold

Danger looms on every corner,

No manger for this stranger to lay his fatigued legs, for he was a

Lone ranger.

Image courtesy of Idea go FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Idea go FreeDigitalPhotos.net

That was the life Tora lived;

For decades, Tora had sojourned in a faraway country,

A land so far-flung with no family, no next-of-kin, for he had deceived his only kin.

Home is no place for a con, and that had marked Tora’s years.

He left home with a rucksack,

A donkey, wheezy heart and a stolen prayer, for his brother had gone for a prey and

Tora was quick to pinch his right – his birthright.

Now after many years of hard life, two wives, and eleven sons,

He’s ready to face the fight.

He’s timid to meet his angry kin,

But there’s a problem; Tora hasn’t seen Kita for many years,

And his heart fail him to think of the sight.

He paused again, thought awhile and stared at the grimy soil beneath his feet,

“What do I say to him?”
“What would he care of my struggles?”

Kita was a warrior, a hunter of the fields, and Tora knew con was no match for might.

So he made his wives and sons pass the brook and was left alone;

Alone to think, alone to cry, alone to fight and wrestle.

He did wrestle…

The once timid Tora tussled and prevailed like a prince,

His arms held tight the man’s waist with his feet glued to the murky, soggy ground.

His eyes gazed firm on his opponent, for the man he fought was a Seraph.

“What is your name?” the angel asked, touching the hollow of his hip.
“My name? You ask for my name? Tora!
For this long I have journeyed away from home,
Bearing my guilt and shame with no gain
But now I seek a change, for I fear my days have been a waste.
Behold Kita is on his way and what shall I say when I gaze on his

Thus did Tora pray and plead, but the angel could not wait, for dawn was about to break.

So he blessed him there, changed his name and went away.

As the morn rose, he inched toward Izba to meet Kita with a broken thigh, but this time with no fears and no shame,

For he said

“I have been to Peniel,
A place of broken hip and changed destiny and my life has been


What key lessons does the story of Jacob teach you personally? Share your thoughts

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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4 Replies

  1. Rejoice

    Desire a change , identify the One who can bring change and then pursue it passionately and diligently, don’t give up. those are what i learnt. Thanks

    1. GREAT words, Rejoice. Great words indeed. Thanks for sharing your insight. I’ve learned much from you today.

  2. Glory

    Jacob was a man that knew there was a Limit, he came to know that he was nothing and at that point he could not save himself and so he had to ask help from he who had no limitation….
    I learnt that God should be my director to direct me as i live each day and also in decision making that i make no mistake in Life,,What is your Name”? he never said i am Esau, to be truthful in both little and big things is also what i have learnt. And also to call and plead for help from God when things don’t seem right.
    Thanks for the Poetry.

    1. Thanks Glory for sharing. I love the fact you highlighted our limits and God’s infinity. Jacob realized that too. Truth always prevails. Thank you so much.

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