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.

A BEND IN THE ROAD BETWEEN GRASMERE AND RYDAL

Lake Grasmere

My heart won’t stop beating
The urge to remember
A certain curve of the road
That leads out of Grasmere
Towards Rydal
Where the motor road and the lake
Part the wanderer’s feet
Step upon an earthen path that shall
Unhurrying though the trees
Curve the curving lake into the little bridge
At the lake’s dove tail, brought us
To the shore at the foot of a hill
Where, turning, we face
Far across Grasmere lake
The enchanting rough and tumble
Chained Cumbrian hills…

Like a worried teacher
Anxious that the fleeting pupil
Fully absorb what he, left alone
Must one day on his own remember
Drawn out of the depths of a retentive heart
That wasn’t deaf and blind
When it wandered this path, admiring nature
With such peculiar urgency does this curve in the road
Where the road and the lake separate
And the woods begin, stand
Before my inner eye
Like an evening star long after the Sun has died…
A trigger, for when I focus
On that turn of the road, I see again
The rest of the walk
That followed it
Continues to follow me.

A familiar friend
A giving, undemanding lover
A memory already more precious
Than Silver and Gold.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
(Cumbrian Lines: Poems inspired by the Lake District)

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
amazon cover copy cumbrian lines 2015

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

HAWKSHEAD

If Heart could speak on its own
Without Brain as translator
Spoke its Intuition alone
Unmindful of intellect, that imitator
What startling things, yet unknown
Would fill the world’s books?
What silent waters, from their deep zone
Would rise as bubbling brooks?

If there were Child in Adult
Awake, seeing, hearing, speaking
If adults would spare themselves the insult
Of hiding the child they in themselves are keeping
How different every day would feel
Refreshing, natural
With the adult balancing the child’s zeal
And the child making the adult more natural…

Youth, so important
Magic Time between two times
Child and adult merge concordant
Complementing each other like natural rhymes –
What you are in your youth is what you’ll be forever
Deep within your heart –
The heart speaks its mind but once, and never
Again from that path will depart.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije (Poems inspired by the Lake District)
amazon cover copy cumbrian lines 2015