KINDNESS BEYOND POETRY

Be kind to people
Let kindness be your all, your strength, your gift
Your highest art-form, beyond craft
For you are human

Kindness is life
Kindness is the root of eternity smile
Kindness can move mountains
Can conquer pain
Gives us comfort in our hour of desolation
Kind eyes keep the heart alive

Kindness conquered me
Let kindness conquer you too
Become a servant of kindness
Become a master of hearts.

The naïve are not always naïve
Sometimes they are simply grateful to kindness
For kindness shown and kindness received
And now they too are passing kindness on to others
For one who has been saved by kindness
Will serve kindness evermore

Nothing sets a human heart free
Like the heartbeats of kindness deep within
Sometimes it’s difficult, sometimes it’s easy
Sometimes you forget, sometimes you remember

And in the moment of your death
It will be your acts of Unkindness that haunt you
And make you long for another life, another chance…

And it will be your acts of kindness
And the acts of kindness shown to you
That comfort you, give you hope
And show you the way into life after death

You are not alone.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RETURN TO RECOGNITION

Years pass
And all you do
Is return to the same
Recognition –

All the searching and adventuring
And experiencing and reflecting
Have only taken you
In a circle back to the Recognition
You acquired
The first time you were good…

There’s really only one way of doing it aright
Morally…
And you’ll have to come back to it
One day.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

ALL OR NOTHING

The entire I gave
While smallness was all
She ever wanted.
But the rest of me thirsts too.

When frivolity was laughing
At its own shadow
I warned
That my heart was dripping…

When superficiality was doing the maths
Around its own tunnel vision
I insisted
My heart is dripping out…

When cunning was blind to the metaphor
Of its own despair
I fell silent
And listened to the sound of bleeding feet

Walking away.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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.

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)

ABOMINATION

My feet are stepping on me
My souls are brutalised
My grass is Thorn, apart

Strangers
Are laughing in glee
But my children do not understand

It is the foolish lizard
Who nods along wisely
To the snake’s slithering sermon

A child slaps his father
And corrects him
Did you hear the sky fall down?

Are you not ashamed?
If it is wisdom,
Why is it vestigial?

A short tree, shorter than me
Has peed on me –
Can I take it like a man?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

STILL SEEKING THE FUTURE

I see
Wavering eyes
Tied around my ankles
Tightly beaded the masquerade stumbles

The drums think it is a dance and praise on
The familiar djini pokes his feathered skull
Out of the future – here I am!
Leaden feet leading until again

We stand on the river bank…
Sorry, where exactly?
We have been singing for the boat
Since time immemorial –

Unreversedly.

The mamiwater’s melodious silence answers us

Yet our ancestors did not lie
When they reassured us that the only
Real things are the invisible ones
Who refuse to see us.

If there be no boat
How shall the river
Cross us over
Onto the promised sand?

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.