TRAVEL LIGHT

I went on a journey, a holiday,
And brought home with me
In my bag instead of clothes new things
I never knew existed before
Where I saw a mountain shrouded in tears
I packed into my bag the power of mystery
And at the end when I saw smiles
With the primordial power of blessings
Waving goodbye on the faces of friends’ hearts
I stored the power of openness
In the folds of my rucksack
Strengthening my back.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

A DREAMER’S MIND

I see a mountain
In the distance
A mysterious mind
Over matter
The birds that circle its heights
Like higher thoughts
That hover above a dreamer’s mind
Seeking to make contact
For oft the thoughts we think
And think are ours
Are borrowed
Upon a lazy afternoon, somewhere
In Creation.

A child sits somewhere unseen
Locked in an old body
Each time it smiles
Rainbows and rainbows of new thoughts
Surge out, unite, swing forth, to go seek out
Like-minded wonderers dreaming lazily
Upon a quiet moment, somewhere
In Creation
Blindly receiving the seeds of new thoughts
And thinking the thoughts they think
Are theirs alone
As if the mind of a dreamer
Were not a fertile garden too.

– che chidi chukwumerije.

PRIDE AND PAIN

That Mountain yes
It is high, hard, rugged, dogged
And casts a long shadow

It will not stop you
From arriving the other side
Of your pride, when love touches you –

You say it, I’m sorry
It hurts but not for long
Pain heals. I’m sorry…

Those tears are more powerful
Than a waterfall, every barrier will break
In their wake, they will wash the air
Clean, like nature’s storm –

I’m sorry is a power that is a winner.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

I MET AND LEFT A MOUNTAIN

There you see her, over yonder, bathed in beauty and love… it is the beautiful mountain which I once peaked – wild and calm, primitive and yet new and fresh, a restorative to my battered soul.

But when it was time to move, I discovered that I could not take the beautiful mountain along with me, however hard I tried; so I left her behind and journeyed on. Yet, strange to say, with each step away from her that I take, she comes more alive, grows bigger and bigger within my heart – because when I left her behind me to find the Tomorrow Mountain;… when I forsook her for to seek the next peak;… I took her along. But if I had stayed with her, then in truth I would have departed from her. And, tomorrow, when I crown a new beautiful mountain, she will also be there, for all true mountains unite at every distant new peak again.

It is hard to explain in words the things which we harbour inside of us. I too try and try, but ever and again I fall short of fulfilment. Why? Where did I go wrong?

Tomorrow is the only friend I have.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

OLD YEAR BECOMES MEMORY

Suddenly the snow came
I had waited
And watched the mountain-tops
Snow-capped

All around was a struggling winter
Asserting itself clumsily
When the skies were not blue, it drizzled

The clouds passed away
Temperature refused to fall, stood straight –

I walked deep in thought
On the Mountain, I heard the Bells
Ever and again they met in one sound
A single song. I walked up
And drove away before dawn. It did not
Snow until the airbus was about
To leave the Gate. I watched it
And recalled in my memory
The feel of snow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE MOUNTAIN OF LONGING

image
In everybody’s deepest heart
Towering and strange
A something which no map can chart
And beyond every range

The mountain of longing

This must be love, this must be love
Immortally the same
Through every mile of earth it dove
Seeking nor friend nor fame

Out in the distant sea it grows
Re-calling you and me
Out in the distant fields it snows
On in infinity

This must be life, this must be life
This must be where we were
You are my heart, my joy, my wife
Here, there and everywhere…

The mountain of longing.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE DREAMER

Sometimes it seems
As though the valley were the
Mountain-peak,
The mountain-peak the valley

Sometimes it seems
That to arrive at the valley
I must first arrive at the mountain-peak
And, sometimes, to arrive
At the mountain-peak, I must
Arrive at the valley

Which is the valley
Which the mountain and
Which the peak? –

Sometimes, Baby, it seems
As though to find you I must leave you…
And sometimes it seems as though
When I want to leave you
I’ll only end up again by your side

Sometimes, when I am Dreaming
I think I am awake –
But I have never once thought myself a dreamer,
Not even while I dreamt.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE GIRL WHO SAW TRUTH

There was a girl
Who read the story of the Wild-Horse Mountain
And who then went to find
The writer of the story
And question him thus:

GIRL:
Is this story true, of the lady who went to the Island of Wild-Horse Mountain and found the winged horses?

POET:
Yes, it is true.

GIRL:
Really?

POET:
Truly.

GIRL:
How do you know?

POET:
Because after the lady had visited the Land of Tomorrow awhile with Sram, he flew her in the night back home to our land again, and the next morning she told us the story…

GIRL:
What happened next?

POET:
Well, nobody believed her… except I. I did.

GIRL:
But why?

POET:
Why did I believe her?

GIRL:
No. Why did nobody else believe her?

POET:
Well… because they searched for proofs… and found none, at least none that made any sense to our minds. Upon hearing her story, we all sailed over to the Island of Wild-Horse Mountain, to see if we could corroborate her story. Also the other six people were still missing and we wanted to find them. But we found Nothing. No horses, no green valley, no horse-prints in the ground, anywhere, and no bodies… not the bodies of the six missing people, or bones, clothes, shoes, bags, articles, anything! All we saw, on the shore of the desolate, rocky island, was a beached boat. So, the people said she was mad. They came up with the theory that she had run mad and killed her friends at sea, or she had lost her friends at sea, which in turn had driven her crazy…

GIRL:
What?!

POET:
Yes, indeed. In the end, they put her in an asylum, where she finally died…

GIRL (sobbing):
What country is this wicked place?

POET:
Oh, it’s the country in which I live. My country.

GIRL:
What’s the name of your country then?

POET:
It is called “The Land of Modern Minds”.

GIRL:
The Land of Modern Minds? I have never heard of this country.

POET:
When you grow up, you will ear a lot of it. You will live there too.

GIRL:
Never! Never!

POET:
(smiles and says nothing)

GIRL (still weeping):
Oh, that poor lady! Killed for saying the truth; such an exhilarating, new, promising truth too. But… but… but is there a possibility that… that she maybe just had a dream?…

POET (smiling):
The same possibility that, right now, you are also dreaming.

GIRL:
But I am not dreaming!

POET:
You can only assume that until you Awake…

GIRL (after a pause… thoughtfully):
Thank you, Poet, for talking to me.

POET:
Don’t you want to know what happened to the lady after she died?

GIRL?
After? But no. It does not matter, does it?

POET:
But, yes, it does matter. When people die, they start to live…

GIRL:
Is this the truth?

POET:
Yes, dear Lady, it is.

GIRL:
So, are we dead now?

POET:
We are Partly Asleep.

GIRL:
I believe you, Sram. Please, forsake me not…

POET:
That I will Never do!!!

Then they embraced, and did weep
And woke up each
Gently from their deep sleep
On opposite sides of the world.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THE WILD-HORSE MOUNTAINS

In the Distance, mysterious and magnificent
There spreads a group of towering mountains
Who, in total appearance
From left to right, in shape and aura
Looks like a wild horse,
Frozen in mid-gallop.
And there is a legend, aye there is
About the heroic wild-horses
Who, long, so long ago
Had guarded these mountains
So that nobody had been able to come near them
Or of mounting these towering rocks
Nay, Mountains.
Beautiful wild horses. Killer-beasts of different colours
Guardians of this mysterious mountain-range
From an era immemorial. – – –
Finally, an earthquake split off the Wild-Horse mountains
From the rest of our land
Such that it now floats, an Island
Barely visible miles out into the mysterious ocean
And called by everybody “The Island of Wild-Horse Mountain”.
Are the wild horses still there? Guardians!…?
What have they guarded for so long?

Seven people on one boat,
Trapped by a violent gale at sea one summer evening,
Decided to quickly beach on Wild-Horse Mountain Island
Before the sea wrecked their boat
And killed them.
Now you must understand that the legend
Of Wild-Horse Mountain
Is just a legend.
It is possible that this small island with its rugged mountains
Has ever floated right there in the ocean
And that it was all never a part of our mainland
And that no wild horses had ever existed.
But the legend claims that the Wild-Horse Mountain
Had once been on land, our land, guarded by wild killer horses
Until an earthquake turned it into a floating island
So many aeons ago.
Nobody really believed, but you know how it is:
Everybody likes to repeat legends.

It was the Silence
That first struck these seven people
When they landed ashore.
Immediately, they were gripped by a tension
And an uncanny excitement
Which they could not comprehend.
The gale at sea suddenly died
Yet they remained on the shore of the island
Gazing up in awe at the Wild-Horse mountains.
These people were three couples and one lady,
Seasoned Adventurers
And, all of a sudden
They decided to explore the mountains themselves
To see if they would find any relics
Perhaps bones or any other things
Which might perhaps substantiate or contradict
The old Legend.

So they began.
They moved in a group towards the mountains.
But night fell
And they camped and slept.
In the morning they began to search –

There are seven mountains that make up this breath-taking range,
And in six days they had explored six mountains
And found nothing. –
On the seventh day, they mounted the seventh
And, over half-way up,
Heard a strange sound below them… and,
Looking down,
Saw the entire valley suddenly
Populated by horses nobler than the noblest steeds,
Silent as tombs, with angry fire roaring out of their eyes,
Watching them…!
The ancient wild horses; the beautiful legendary killer-beasts.
Alive.
It was eerie. They seemed to have come out of nowhere.

In a flash, the wild horses
Charged up the mountain, towards the intruders.
Looking up, the humans saw a light glow on the mountain-peak
And it occurred to them suddenly
That it was a race to the top.
They just knew it!
If they got to the peak before the wild horses
Then they would be left to live…
But if the wild horses caught up with them
Before they got to the summit
Then they were each dead and gone for life.

So the race began.
Up they sped, faster and faster
Empowered by the threat of death
And the possibility of victory and life.
But the wild horses, too, continued to gallop their tested
Way so quickly and surely up this seventh mountain,
Pursuing them deathly,
And still they were all silent.
But if the horses were wild
And if the mountains looked like a wild horse
Then surely these virgin mountains were also wild.
Only now did the intruders
Suddenly understand the true meaning
Of the name Wild-Horse Mountain.
Suddenly, like a very wild, untamed horse
This seventh mountain bluntly refused to be mounted.
Ever and again it bucked
And threatened to throw
The human beings down, into oblivion.

And then…, the near inevitable happened…
One of the humans missed his footing… and fell!
He rolled into the path of the merciless wild horses
They tore him brutally apart…
His partner, seeing this, lost her balance
And pummelled down to her death too…
One by one, singly and yet in pairs
They all began to slip, stumble, fall
Thrown by the bucking of wild-horse mountain.

In the end,
Only the lady made it to the top
While the three couples fell back and died
Pursued by wild horses,
Betrayed by a wild mountain,
As all mountains, how ever tame, are actually very wild.

At the peak
She found that the light glow was in truth a path.
On it was a proud Stallion, calm,
Who had eyes that were almost human.
She mounted him
And he bore her grandly down the winding
Gently-sloping path that led into the very heart
Of the entire Wild-Horse Mountain Range…
Unexpectedly they came across the
Green Valley.

Her breath caught in her heart
As she beheld the precious treasures
The unbelievable Prize
Which the wild horses had so faithfully
Guarded from that time unremembered:

She saw a colony
Of magnificent winged horses,
Each exactly as she had always
Imagined Pegasus would be,
Only even more beautiful were these…

For the first time ever, one of us
Encountered the valley of life
Where the winged horses had been
Slowly evolving over millennia.
There, deep inside the gentle heart
Of the Wild-Horse Mountains
Guarded faithfully by unchanging unwavering
Wild killer-horses
Without fear, without question
Aided by a stubborn mountain.

Their leader’s name was Sram.
He spoke to the lady from the land of men.
She mounted him, he beat his wings, and, together
They visited awhile the Land of Tomorrow
Where, one day, the Earth will also be…
And noble animals will roam the earth again
And noble human beings will bestride the earth anew
And the winged flying horses
That the lady saw in the valley of life
Will make a friendly abode with humans on earth
For a long time
Yet to come.

When next you see a wild horse
Do not try to tame it
But remember:
That wild streak in her
Is the sole guardian
Of a beauty
That yet sleeps, silent,
Within the heart of every human being.

– AKA TERAKA.