AN OBSERVANT LAKE

Grasmere Lake

How much of it is left?
How much of the mist
Still revisits my mornings
Before my thoughts come calling?

From afar, I
Mean from gazing
Across time, it
Is a wonder to hold in
Your heart a
Thing that never
Fades, never
Weakens, changes
Never, teaches you how

To know the
Things you really
Love. They are the
Ones you never
Forget.

This carry with you as you mature
Measure with this everything you nurture
The camera behind your mind
Will click and capture
A lifelong picture
Of the things that slipped through,
The people and places that got to the core of you.

It will continue to happen inside, an observant lake
Like another part of you.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
Cumbrian Lines: Poems Inspired By The Lake District.

LAKE SPIRIT

My heart weeps, a baby
Another mountain stream
Seeking a lake
After which it longs, a Lover
Longing for completion
During the course of a life-long journey
Into the eternal sea.

My heart cries for that presence
That was his quiet audience
On a walk across a Valley
In a Cumbrian mystery –

Spirit, I know you can move
Through time and space. Find me, do,
Meet me, be with me, deeply,
No matter where I wander
Or rest my head at night – stay close, meander
Like a melody in my Soul…

I’ve run out of control
Searching for my Goal.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

AWAKENING AFTER A DREAM

Awakening out of a deeper reality
A dream of music, philosophy, poetry
Still ringing on in me, but fading fast
Each new second retaining less than the last
The dream fades away like an improbable past –
A populous sea into which a porous net is cast
The intellect tries to find again words, details
From each finishing dream but maddeningly fails –
Words which I just wrote down, somewhere, somehow
In a dream I was having sometime just right now
Melodies I was humming, natural realities I saw
I feel them still in me, but see them no more
For the heavy cloak and mind of a small and rigid earth
Have imprisoned again my consciousness, like once at birth –

For as swiftly and surely as we once forgot the baby tongue
As we grew from baby to child, yet remained young
So do words, connections given to us in our dreams
Oft disappear during Awakening, magically it seems
The harder the Intellect tries to affect their remembering
The faster it hastens their forgetting –
Even while we are still lying, freshly awake, in the morning bed
Watching one thing fading, another taking over, inside our head
As one sun rises, another sun is setting gently –
The glass is unclear, twilight illuminates faintly
Dawn and Dusk together were breaking…
Wish I could remember who I really am, upon awakening.
Not acceptable, this unending sleep
Of an eternal consciousness in the Deep.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

BOATRIDE ON ULLSWATER

Boatride on Ullswater

A life I’ve lived before?
Or just a summer lore?
These Cumbrian hills that float past me
Fade away, misty, like a memory

If greens could speak of all they hold
Unbroken sap, unspoken, old
Unwoken, untapped, a silent audience
Events absorbed in quiet clairaudience

What tales untold of eras lost
Would now unfold, unthawed of frost
Unbound by dust; behold, forever green
The mist has parted as though it had never been

Ullswater, whose water first watered your past
Whose feet were those that were the last
To tread that dry ground that is now your wet floor
Before that time vanished foreverevermore?

The boatride, like a gentle slide, into a strange intuition
A short sad season of startling fruition
Goodbye again, Watervalley, deep within your heart
Remember still my footsteps, there they did start

Mist and misty, mistier than thought
Misty mysteries yet they are not.
A heart is a storehouse of long forgotten memories
That sometimes arise cloaked as imagined stories

What do I have more precious than my heart,
My past’s library, my future’s chart.
Silently we walk, simple human beings
Yet mightier each than the sum of all worldly things.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
(One of my Lake District poems)

BEHIND YOUR MIND

Insight awakens
What hope is there for Sight?
No matter what your eyes see outwardly
Your heart insists on knowing better inwardly
Proof is intellectual
Knowledge perceptual
A Dream will insist
Reality is the dreamy Mist.

Vision takes over
You become a tool of its mission
Lose your power of decision
In matters beyond the mind
There the mind is blind –
Your Vision does for you the Seeing
Makes of you a true human being
The mind sees the light
Bows to the inner power of Insight.

You search for words to speak your mind
Your strange heart is all you’ll find.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE SPIRIT THAT AWAKENED IN THE WOODS, HILLS AND LAKES

View over Lake Grasmere from the Woods

What has been the point of all that toil?
City’s prisoner, corporate spoil
A long line of sleeping, not being alive
Continuous weeping
Waiting for the day I’ll be reaping
That, after which I strive.

My heart has been leaping, trying to see the sun
Beeping, calling for the sun
Until my heart was full to the point of bursting
Full of longing
Blossoming of a full sense of belonging
Deep has been my thirsting –

This holiday, like a holy stay, in Gras- and Windermere
What have you done to me? Suddenly so clear
The poet in me again, ready to go his way
To be confronted
By all the effects of a life he’s always wanted
Work is as play.

There is no alternative to being who you should be
No wealth, comfort, security will make you happy truly
Nothing can compensate a spirit for a wasted life
A deep sense of guilt
At death, crumbling, the empty life that was built
Has not soothed the inner strife.

Boldly go your way, seek no reward, Bravery
Must be your natural part, unaffected, unwavering –
No poet ever wrote for money who served Inspiration
The path is the goal
The burning of the Spirit Flame deep within the Soul
Unpoisoned by Ovation.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
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POETRY IN EVERYTHING

She stands by the roadside
Smoking her thoughts away
Thoughts she tried
Could not find the words to say
Arise dejectedly, smoke and ashes
The green light flashes.

One last drag, last sigh
Last attempt to inwardly see the way
Shoulders sag, the look in her eye
When she turns briefly her head our way
Before stepping off across the road
Is itself a long and winding road.

A Cumbrian mountain-walk
Winding past trees and waterfalls
Feet heavied, it’s your heart bears the bulk
Of any stray Sorrow that calls
Many strange paths will cross your feet
Follow not every path you meet…

A short smile crosses her face
Our eyes meet, a moment of connection
A smile at once everything unitable in one place
Joy, sorrow, interest, disaffection
The smile’s source is its end
Just made and lost a friend.

Deep, the heart of every wanderer
Your path is the outgrowth of your heart
Gently touch, gently leave each sojourner
Take solely what the moment did impart
There’ll be enough in it to sorrow or sing
Poetry lurks in everything.

A moment in time, no content, no words
A mighty happening just played itself out
She crosses the road, I turn off at the boards
Never again will our paths cross, no doubt –
My woman walking beside me the whole time
Did she sense at all this passing rhyme?

The small, silent things that come and go
Without our really paying attention
The rock-solid things our hearts know
Even when we pay no attention –
The inner bond that withstands passing things
Takes note of the closing of little rings.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

THOUGHTS WE MET

Che sitting by Lake Grasmere
I won’t forget
Every thought I met
Blowing in the breeze
Resting beneath the trees
And mirrored on each lake
Asleep or awake
Before which we waited
And silently contemplated
Another wonderful day
Of this lovely holiday…

Thoughts that grow
Like flowers in the meadow
And time after time
Like a recurrent rhyme
Will yield new fruit
And like a Magic flute
Even as I age
Page after page
Will always light the light
Of Insight.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije. (Poems Inspired By The Lake District)
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