Poems from the Edge

The first 12 poems

 

                                                                                                                                          Christopher Titmuss

 

 

I WAKE UP

 

I wake this special morning. Life is now,

e’er fresh, with rest at home, with none around,

I am awake, this realm alone to bow.

I’m life! I’m here! This Earth endures surround,

adventure, find new leads today, all day,

angel abroad, a small town dweller’s course,

I wake up! Rainfall adds. Delight to say.

This sky! This world! This marvel tour de force!

 

Allow eyelids to flicker, sights arrive,

a new day! Dress, brush teeth, plus tea and toast,

while Brahma creates light, abundance thrive,

as daylight travels, time unbound, foremost.

A call engaged; fresh explorations near;

I have been born anew, the timeless seat,

I can't explain what my perceptions hear;

a doorbell rings and I take steps to greet.

 

 

 

A BROKEN PROMISE

 

A broken promise torments time’s heartbeat,

and shadows drive, regret what we conserve,

endless reflections given such discreet,

we cling to such despair and such reserve,

betrayal, splintered mirror, stress so deep;

our memory pains from yesterday’s cold words,

our pain exposes chaos, numb of sleep,

a stormy scene has made us act as drunkards,

loss drags on, then stays past all we can hope,

we lose our path and can’t let matters air,

a curse impacts on fortune’s way to cope;

our tight defence plus views for blame declare.

We let go mean display of painful plight,

we see the way to new beginnings light.

 

 

 

WHO WOULD WANT TO BE FAMOUS?

 

I have become a star of my own show,

I want to get myself a status high,

a possibility of what could be.

I rise and rise, then must fall, then I die.

 

I have no clothes to add to my person.

Why dress myself up seeking name and form?

Why does the cat walk while the dogs do bark?

Then all these thoughts become a hounding storm.

 

What will I be? How will I be? Will I?

What burrows down into recesses lame?

These dreams can act like sucking ticks on blood,

and scratch again on claims to gain and fame.

 

Is future life a type of running scared?

Why can’t we make desires come to stick?

I throw my thinking back and forth so much.

Are all my hopes and hooks a cruel trick?

This longing goes, no more this clueless view,

 

I wake to this endless splendour at hand,

admit beyond is closer than I thought,

such completion does shatter dreams so bland.

 

 

 

UNWOVEN REALM

 

Unwoven realm, not far, not near,

Nor in between, not dark not clear,

Not insubstantial, solid nay,

Not words nor silence, night nor day,

Revealed not, it is not hidden,

None may enter, none forbidden.

 

 

 

AN ODE TO THE TSUNAMI

 

26/12/2004. 6.58 a.m.

We have shed tears enough to fill the ocean,

a wave of sorrow has let loose on Earth,

and tides of terror have cut in emotion,

our savaged earth, innocent, death of worth,

the sea is merciless, sunbathers gone

and cast from life untold presence of souls.

Despair and death now haunt what is upon,

who hugged the beaches, swept aside controls.

 

A vicious storm that choked lives around,

this beach then shook until life lost its norms,

a plague of waves, a frenzy left unbound,

a cruel fate on lungs of fallen forms,

a rage, a terror, blighted, hellish sweep,

a day to note the cost of living frail,

as those around did shake and cry and weep,

a crisis came from fury from earth so deep.

 

In shadows, hellish titanic subdued

a storm that beat upon their grief beside,

with waves of horror cast, a barren brood,

and mercy finds no reason, savage tide.

Are we left with anguish of endless tears?

Arrival; transient souls right here and now,

a journey ends where earth has claimed all fear,

a beached life, a gasp that can’t allow.

 

Is not our mother, father, loved ones dear,

our precious son and daughter bound at cost

in birth, ageing, and pain and death and fear.

Always remember pain of children lost,

the crush of hope, and this abode in deed,

the candle flickers, dying light again,

air currents pull the fish along at speed

a crash that strikes what heaven can’t contain.

 

While fearful lives touch sand and sorrows drunk

who shake in facing storms and winds abuse,

our thoughts ache, and a numbness we have sunk

where fishermen and tourists live reduced,

a hell did land, as hearts and souls then shook,

we bow to nature’s power, to violent force,

events took place in closing of their book,

a sunny day tourists had then mistook,

while locals beat their hands on lonely plight,

a chant of monks did drone in sombre night.

On this dry land, we worry things so small,

a paltry view in face of waves so tall.

 

 

 

THE VOW UPON THE ROCK

 

You move your love beyond your normal reach,

and hug your life into an austere fast,

renounce what forms so old that others’ preach,

to take upon this challenge. Act at last!

Where you face daily the trials anew,

and devotion knows those torments to repair,

miracles work their way along this view,

to save their soul from pain and dark despair.

 

The cruel wind sweeps onto souls so pure

as sunlight comes, a change far more than token,

to take away their ways, hard to endure,

their voices run round the town unspoken.

Take refuge in the offer of a cause,

a giving up of pleasure’s hold and grasp,

so nothing holds aloof, no place to pause,

and know that you are fully free at last.

 

You take on tasks, your voice is here to stay,

you hammer walls, resistance not at hand,

you leave yourself open on what to say,

so that you kiss the way that seems unplanned.

 

Do stay awake, to service dear, sublime,

the strange joy that responds on daily round,

emergence connects without fuss or chime,

where needy ones, sit and observe, draw sound.

You sing the song of nightingale’s that’s dear,

offer your vital words so ears will hear.

 

 

 

THE POWER OF EROS

 

Ah, we can make love without our bodies,

we give up this pleasure sensed between us;

it seems so deep, we remain so modest,

even for you and me without a fuss;

our yearnings hold the eyes – windows to the heart

our passion held so high, could then just start.

 

The passion stays, both hearts go with the wind,

a jewel shows in every text and call,

far from our suburban streets, thick skinned,

until we land in fields of flowers tall,

in your small offerings that melt the fears

and make adventure with long laughs and tears.

 

We draw the line, and then we act with words,

a friendship meets, whispers, our pauses here;

Eros is pulling strings and that’s absurd,

we can’t go far, nor do we get too near;

we cannot try to form the whole event,

our sensual inclines are heaven sent.

 

A drop of kindness tells our soul to drink,

a word can touch upon embodied play,

the play of life and smiles in such we sink,

the sun and cloud can reach to make the day;

the two hearts of us, a meeting, a must,

I could not want for more than that of us.

 

 

 

WHO WILL YOU LISTEN TO?

 

Who will you listen to when they declare,

they swirl all round you; they always know best,

and then try changing you, so then beware

upon those judges whim to fix your fate,

as though they can offer real security,

and then deceive you with maturity;

those voices will not guide, nor promise much,

you must explore the woodland’s path as such.

 

The wind that sways along the rolling fields,

the skylark’s song is floating down to earth,

a bird now hovers, afternoon now yields,

and horses gallop, meadows green with worth,

across the swaying grassland, hooves galore;

so listen here and catch the sound around,

to make your acts of crazy wisdom soar,

a passion beats itself upon the ground.

 

So dance to the drumbeat from the far shore,

and find out what you feel is wild at last,

so you can dive and see what you explore;

crestfallen, down the coalface, far below

becomes the faintest tap, a call beyond;

here you can listen, here you can respond.

If you can sense the current, learn to grow,

far from their voice that fails to correspond.

 

So catch the song, where judges lose their grasp,

then throw off wish to please powers around,

let go, no more of living dead for you;

so climb outside the coffin, screw and nail,

you soar above, beyond where skylarks flew,

and see expanse, a view that the gods do hail;

you live upright with vision firm and true,

and then you know what’s right and new for you.

 

 

 

 

THE FRUITS OF WHAT WE DO

 

A coloured fruit of past on branches hang

until the fruit exhausted season’s mould.

their heavy weight departs from branches sprang

and finds itself on land and in the cold.

 

A fruit is cut off now, it can’t endure,

once sight of green has turned to red and brown,

the apple mulched, soft earth becomes manure,

and sight of old will fade from view, unbound.

 

A shape once held, now gone, a time now out,

nostalgic memory becomes the scene,

decay starts from within and from without,

all round reminders that the fruit does wean.

Orchard becomes a dying sight on ground,

a long embrace, and sudden fall, no more,

where apples go to rot from what’s around,

and bears nothing of what had gone before.

What then took place does seems so much abrupt,

such loss of grace as one by one they fall,

a split moment, a change, and then erupt,

a sweet apple hits ground and then to sprawl.

 

With shock upon the soil that bears the blast,

we see the signals, crash and feel so hollow,

and know the fruit dissolves and fades so fast,

to make the seed that moves to heal our sorrow.

 

 

 

 

THE ATHEIST’S PRAYER

 

Let me keep heart’s focus today.

Let me find kindness to negate.

Let me give and dissolve the stain,

Let me be still in face of pain.

Let me address the issues now.

Let me end clinging’s grasp somehow.

Let me express compassion true.

So this being connects with you.

I offer you a steadfast gift.

I seek to heal the pain of rift,

respect becomes our action’s voice,

we face events and then make our choice;

we live in such a way and then rejoice.

 

 

 

 

A STEP CLOSER

 

I nod to eyes that make her point,

no clash between us, nor disjoint,

I felt her words under my cells;

she suffused love, her breath impels.

A smile lengthens across the gap,

a destiny without mishap,

an act as figure, mystery

a support, a song of history.

 

She’s seen the tunnel’s light so close,

I chance to see her soul that grows,

and now, I place her hand in fate,

I found the clue that once did wait.

 

 

 

 

TRIUMPH OF THE SEED

 

A place where trees hug the low land

and nothing moves, just leaves tremble,

a seasoned calm in nature’s hand,

and words find time to resemble,

as flakes from high had settled down,

this blanket goes deep down all through,

the dark and heavy chill its crown

and seems that nothing comes anew.

 

A seed remains in earth made dark

so fragile, there, alone, upright,

and birds of chilled wings look so stark,

this cold and eerie place that’s so tight,

a barren branch, and all suppressed,

a trap for all, and stuck with plight,

an urge to break the spell, the test,

a seed does grow with all its might.

 

 

 

 

A QUESTION OF AUTHORITY

 

I have made these evening statements clear

I spell it out to those who come, sit near,

The speaker utters word to lift the mask,

a duty that takes people’s lives to task.

 

These themes do pour out from the Dharma store,

they have a chance to land with lion’s roar,

I spell out issues to make truth unveil,

upon which the greed and fear will impale.

 

Thus moves the passion, views will take a form,

a chance to listen for a truth reborn,

I take away a view that’s archaic,

so then life shows a profound mosaic.

 

I find such words to say to make impact,

to blow away the dust in eyes in fact;

this speaker finds the tone to make it clear,

to move their heart to sense and know what’s dear.

 

 

INVITATION TO WALK ABOUT WITHIN

 

I don’t care men and women let you down.

I don’t care broken trust became your name,

I don’t care snide comments were thrown around,

I don’t care what you have longed disdained,

or you hide your secrets when words complain,

disputes and fights, reactions what was said,

or have spent years in someone else’s bed.

 

Your power makes you act, so you play your part

and such anguish, woes and hurt you have fought.

I let you walk much more around my heart.

you stroll around to visit caves you sought,

you peer at my forgotten corners’ chart,

and breathe your soul into what I can’t hide.

 

Let’s trust. Find out what you can see and touch

when you walk round my inner life so much.

 

 

May all beings live a poetic life

May all beings live a creative life

May all beings live with wisdom

 

  May all beings live mindfully  

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 Christopher Titmuss's Blog and other Websites

1. www.christophertitmussblog.net  Critiques, issues, politics, book reviews etc 

2. www.anengagedlife.org What you need to know to live an engaged life

 

3. www.insightmeditation.org Dharma teachings, annual schedule…

 

4. www.christophertitmuss.net  Books, Videos, Audio Teachings ...

 

5. www.MeditationinIndia.org  annual Sarnath February Retreats and other retreats...

6. www.dharmayatraworldwide.org  Annual Pilgrimage in late July in southern France.

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