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Mar 2018 · 268
martin challis Mar 2018
Had I been kinder

She thought of her love

Long passed

In the fading light of

Our last circadian rhythm

An epitaph might ask

Had we all

Martinos @ 2018
Feb 2018 · 234
To the End
martin challis Feb 2018
she said
of his passing

'You know
nothing is seen to change
and yet,

everything does’

Later at the window

She spoke with the wind

Sharing her invisible

Sweetly to the end

Martinos @ 2018
Jan 2018 · 231
At Evening’s Fall
martin challis Jan 2018
Our words were mesmerised, unable at
each attempt to describe the end of day
the sun took its story - the spectacle of hues and ribbons between gold fire and greyblack crimsons - beyond Wolumbin - reclining grandmother - crag head facing skyward - omniscient - pausing inbreath grandeur

Taking our gaze, the cloud hummers went westerly - tribal souls migrating in unison -
their mentor and guide a following breeze
and curiously the stars appeared above them
as if flying in formation against the trend
missiles or satellites - not afraid - in awe - we saluted the spectacle - swaying in silence and wonder
Martinos @ 2018
Wolumbin is the indigenous name of Mt Warning - an ancient mountain that was once an active volcano
Jan 2018 · 227
On Funiular Stairs
martin challis Jan 2018
I climbed down through coastal scrub
Sandstone nub and turkey scratch,
Purposefully counted into the hundreds
And then became distracted for caution
And for possible misstep. On safe arrival
The foreshore held its mysteries
Within the wash and cliff and ancient sands
I did not inquire or pause to study, yet committed and turned again to climb knowing afore each rise I would descend

Martinos @ 2018
Jan 2018 · 182
Mother’s Stories
martin challis Jan 2018
Rarely as I recall, in truth,
Did she speak expansively of herself
Or tell us stories of her young adventure
She reserved the detail and the admiration for others,
others who were remote to me, in interest and in caring,
I never knew, and always assumed she thought them more compelling or entertaining or greater than herself

And now I wish I’d asked her
And told her that this was for me
Furthest from the truth

Martinos @ 2018
Jan 2018 · 291
After Immersion
martin challis Jan 2018
You have outstretched arms
You are on the beach
You are receiving the towel
That will wipe the sting of salt and glare away
You are relieved in the moment this occurs
And look back to the waves that have just released you

Later that day after bathing
You recall the moment
Your skin
Your nature
And what has washed away

Martinos @ 2018
Jan 2018 · 169
martin challis Jan 2018
in the sea

of night

each star

a flood

of light

and the

milky way

a riptide

of delight

Martinos @  2018
Jan 2018 · 211
martin challis Jan 2018
In the homecoming


in the barring


of letting go


of craving


at the welcome


at the termination


with waking up


with shutting out


in kindness


in aggression

self harm

upon reflection


upon dogmatism


with helpfulness

endless option

with ill-will




within each experience

the possibility

of discovery

Martinos © 2017
Aug 2017 · 347
5 Insights for Life
martin challis Aug 2017
Your thoughts are your prison
Or your prairie

Your body is a signature
Of the decisions you make

Your family
Is humanity

The expanding universe
Is a metaphor for your consciousness

Breath and space in your heart and mind
Becomes an infinite resource

Martinos @ 2017
Aug 2017 · 318
sit with him
martin challis Aug 2017
when the child comes to you as the voice of disquiet
will you sit with him? will you hold his heart in yours?
will you say to him – you are loved and i will hear you?
and will you tell him that he can come again
as often he needs – until a time when he does not?
will you show him love and kindness, and have him know
emerging from that new quietness
you are sure to find the solace and the guidance
you both seek?

martinos © 2017
Jul 2017 · 285
Her Gift
martin challis Jul 2017
for J

she has a heart of light
she will touch you
with her radiance

when you see this
you will realise
your own illumination

who is she?

Martinos @ 2017
Jul 2017 · 618
Make Love the Way
martin challis Jul 2017
Fire the candle
Crack the day
Light of life
Lift and sway

Up step up steep
Up there lit
Up to where
Archangels sit

Make ready song
Septets and airs
A vital throng
To catch our cares

Make ready step
Make ready light
Make peace within
Give love with might

Call an angel
One then two,
Call to bring
The world anew

Fire the candle
Crack the day
Bring love alive
Make love the way

Martinos © 2017
Jul 2017 · 173
martin challis Jul 2017
I am real

You feel this

Hold me
If only for a moment
To set me free

I will return

You will and do forget me
Until the moment
When I'm all you need

Like love
I am that viscera
Essential and unseen

Martinos @ 2017
May 2017 · 231
Poext 31/05 - Fire
martin challis May 2017
'First fire'
She wrote
At winter's edge
Setting pine cones
Twigs and kindling alight
Yet I would tell her
Ours is the first fire
First and foremost
Alive, bright and

Martinos @ 2017
May 2017 · 213
Poext 30/05 - Beacon
martin challis May 2017
In the morning
You say good morning
And the heart
Lights up!
Go figure:
A light heart
To lighten the day
And the strongest beacon
To find the way home

Martinos @ 2017
May 2017 · 154
Poext 26/05 - Home
martin challis May 2017
In our house
Is living a house
for life - a home
fixed entity with
space under roof
and shelter for love, with
the life that arrives
each day we say
I'm so glad, so glad to
be home

Martinos @ 2017
May 2017 · 147
Poext 28/05 - Eagle
martin challis May 2017
If I am an eagle
Then I have landed

If I am an only
Then you are an also

And together
We're one

On the shape of that
We're set for takeoff

Martinos @ 2017
May 2016 · 290
Under which, life flows
martin challis May 2016
I put my author
On the bridge,
(There's going over and
There's crossing),
He will say that
I'm looking for starlight
Or direction,
Of a place to find
The voice between worlds

In the event of success
He imagines Einstein,
To live longer in the question
He foresees Ghandi, wishing
To converse upon ruthless compassion,
He will seek the mother also,
Her cradle and her rock,
To speak of that which has gone unsaid
(As a special favour)

All this and  
To fix at the intersection
The elements of a story:
Beginning, middle and end.
He will return with insight
With composure and understanding
To write the mind upon the bridge
Under which, life flows.

Martinos @ 2016
Apr 2016 · 601
martin challis Apr 2016
for Daniel*

the country singer has gone to the city

packed all his chords and a harp

how the voice of love sings

in New York

his part in the harmony

stepping between tramways

along avenues

he finds a new stanza

picked like a flower, put

to the lips of new promise

and her meeting with

soft-eyed recitals in cafes and bars

the tenderness


awakening each heart

Martinos © 2016
Apr 2016 · 585
three lines of a poem
martin challis Apr 2016
the first line of a poem is a window,
to let the light in
across the sill

through each imperfect pane
swirls in the glass
amend perception

to look in
alters the view

the next line of a poem enters further
into a room, many rooms
where light falls diffuse;
to pass down a corridor and touch patchwork, or

thread edges of fabrics
of lived in textures

and in so touching
alters the view

the third line of a poem makes a home
for the heart
to take up residence,
to visit where spaces and shapes partly familiar,
alive at the peripheral,
perpetually shift

and most importantly,
alter the view.

Martinos © 2016
Apr 2016 · 410
martin challis Apr 2016
on a southwind eagles fly,

majestic gliders forensic eyed, poised

on shifting drafts of autumnal clear-skied air,

on breezes yearning steadily from southern seas,

from seas afar,

deep blue dark realms of wilderness and mystery

whose fathoms cold, swarm with micro and macrocosmic life;

all forms to balance and connect this natural world

by land and sea, in ocean and air, on wing and eye, all upon which

this life of ours so utterly depends, as it does

when on a southwind

eagles fly

MChallis © 2016
Dec 2015 · 377
Forest Prayer
martin challis Dec 2015
for JR

at the grove’s edge

you meet them all, each one

dripping hurt, steel eyed

dusted and luminous

moss trod and lichen lipped

you go on, forgiving and seeking forgiveness.

looking back, you see that

none follow and alone you go

liminal in the margin

at the dipping point

each river pool clears of whispering ghosts

your trinkets, tokens, icons of memory

are placed in offering as expiation

each gesture a steady movement

each step up the mountain, lighter still

you are deep prayer moving steadily

toward foresight,  toward reclamation, toward flight


you are golden haired

loved by the gods

you are sweet-breathed

as friend, father, brother, as joy-bringer

you are seminal and unbound

Dec 2015 · 379
At Richmond
martin challis Dec 2015
For the need to watch the breeze in trees

And eye the vineyard climbing hills

As green farrows line such steep escarpments

We sit this while in shaded birch – the grove; this peaceful heart.

Dec 2015 · 719
martin challis Dec 2015
for Dennis Lee*

By the river
at night

burned stubble
of sugar cane
feathers the air with a lick of caramel

a quiet earth underscores
crocus and chorusing cricket
as curlew weep their distant sonorous calls

******* the stillness
we pluck a string of starlight

to pull a gentle breeze closer
we tug on orbiting moons

in the darkness of deep
we become motionless
intent to watch worlds
and enter the symphony

MChallis @ 2015
Nov 2015 · 499
Northern River
martin challis Nov 2015
cursive arm
encompassing form

verdant hip
in moist tropical air

shoulder to storm or zephyr, cloud mist arising over
culdera and precipice

vulcan formed soft-soil
in fecund sleep
the circumference

paternal line
maternal steep
ancient cradle

bundjalung, first people
watchers listen deeply
this river their song

MChallis @ 2015
Nov 2015 · 258
Song Line
martin challis Nov 2015
for Daniel*

the country singer has gone to the city

packed all his chords and a harp

how the voice of love sings

in New York

his part in the harmony

stepping between tramways

along avenues

he finds a new stanza

picked like a flower, put

to the lips of new promise

and her meeting with soft eyed

recitals in cafes and bars

the tenderness


awakening each heart


MChallis © 2015
Nov 2015 · 480
martin challis Nov 2015
From ambivalence to ferocity, she
Touching everything at times
Gently her soft hair over
Follicles and skin through
Reeds in marshes and then
Grassy planes
Across thresholds
To the leaves of autumn
From antipodes to tropics
From arctics to alps

Even the immovable
Will feel her
And they too
Will tremble

MChallis @ 2015
#mothernature #nature #naturalworld
Nov 2015 · 274
Real Work
martin challis Nov 2015
When we work with love

We're doing, the

Real Work.

MChallis @ 2015
Oct 2015 · 564
A Question
martin challis Oct 2015
How will you show up today
Will your burdens badge you
Or will they anchor
A simple purpose
And from gravity
And with sinew
Will you continue, with will
To rise?

MChallis @ 2015
martin challis Sep 2015

MChallis @ 2015
Sep 2015 · 600
martin challis Sep 2015
To wonder where on beaches or in skies
Lives freedom
Or to contemplate of clouds
The nature of their making
In this
I am moved
To mouth the names of ancestors
To call in song dear kindred, for whose imprints
I sweep the sand
In fragments of faltering dreams
A search for meaning
Where breathes an origin of founding stars

MChallis @ 2015
Sep 2015 · 254
This Love
martin challis Sep 2015
I your mirror as you are mine
On reflected spiral
We climb
On breaths
On wings
Of light

By light
Most wondrous
With space between
This connection in simplicity
Of pure intent

MChallis @ 2015
martin challis Aug 2015
When the sound of life is anything
before the music begins
before there is time to listen; when
a child coughs in the next room

I wake carefully, pressing an ear
to the last beat of a dream,
and find: you're not here now
and you’re not in the next room.

Carriages of wind move past my window
move disturbance above the pool of a tortoise
who periscopes to the surface,
expectant, in the least, for a gulp of air.
I swim and sweat somewhere beneath my bedroom ceiling
somewhere beneath the air I prefer to breath.
But your not here now
and you’re not in the next room.

When children sleep in the afternoon
when grey breezes whisper away the sun,
when an avalanche of crow-call murders the dove
perched on my sill, there is nothing and none to tell
and no circumstance worth repeating at a later time.

You’re not here now.
You’re not in the next room.

MChallis © 1998/2015
Jul 2015 · 346
To the Sky
martin challis Jul 2015
Look up
Where the sky sets down

See for what
It is and differently

From every view
The same sky


See all of this
that no one

MChallis @ 2015
Jul 2015 · 359
martin challis Jul 2015
When struggle comes
as disquiet,
discomfort or pain

sit with it
see what it has for you

perhaps a seed
will be born into your wisdom,

with patience you may nurture
a fertile bed, soon to see within you

new shapes arising
hitherto not possible

MChallis @ 2015
martin challis Jul 2015
the crescent moon, bent
like Arjuna's bow
draws her ink-dark arrow across all heaven

she is first to intersect venus, then mars,
then on in one omniscient arc to trace
the centre of being

across skies, across eons
across all beginnings, endings,
all that is and was

long to outlast all human experience
and all that can be foreseen

MChallis © 2015
Jul 2015 · 590
Ego's Conundrum
martin challis Jul 2015
there are none so blind
who are
wronged and righteous

there are some seeing so clearly
who are
wronged and compassionate

MChallis @ 2015
Jul 2015 · 586
Dingly Fingly
martin challis Jul 2015
dingly fingly
wickety wackety
overflow going up
crickety crackety
and all of the dangen, the
dingin and dongin and
on and on and onagain onagain

snippety snippety
spinagain spitagain
flatabout backwardsing
flatabout forwardsing
sobusy thisbusy
toobusy stressfactor
not stopping till rictus
or blowups and messfactor

notlearning notlistening
gofigures upratcheting
notseeing nothearing
ambivalence hatcheting
all in dingly the
wickety wack
the edge up approaching
from whichety which
will be no coming back

MChallis © 2015
Trying my hand at absurdism - silly really
Jun 2015 · 788
Take a moment
martin challis Jun 2015
you will know space
as an intelligent resource

so discovered
through the power
            of the pause

MChallis © 2015
Jun 2015 · 881
Ant Hymn
martin challis Jun 2015
I saw
An ant
A walk
A grain
Of yellow

And as
He walked
I sang
To him
An ant-hymn
To him sing

Oh ant
Oh ant
I see
You crawl
As here
I stand
So straight
So tall

Oh ant
Oh ant
Yet as
You crawl
I am
Not seen
By you
At all

Oh ant then
Ant then
Who is small?

MChallis @ 2015
Standing in the corner for 'not taking it all too seriously' - today at least!
Jun 2015 · 608
Catch Them
martin challis Jun 2015
Catch them

The subtle grabs of thought
Those judgments
And opinions

Those contractions
That divide us

Catch them
And release them

Return again to
quiet mind

MChallis @ 2015
Jun 2015 · 545
martin challis Jun 2015
For Allen*


Listen  oh heart
                           to the mystery, to
the breeze dancing trees, to the
silent ripples that cross the quiet lake

go within where they go, oh heart
go to the shore where wisdom awaits you
tread the circumference
                  honouring each discovered treasure
when you find them you will know and embrace them oh heart

they will feed you
they will be simple

MChallis @ 2015
Jun 2015 · 1.4k
Adolescent Currawong
martin challis Jun 2015
The adolescent Currawong
not exactly stumbling or tripping
is parrot-like as a junior, a
hopper and stepper in
the art of stalking and hunting

In a series of quick-steps and bounces
she moves sideways, most emphatic as
a survival enthusiast

She gazes, investigates and gathers the curios,
insects, rich dark worms
one gesture at a time

She is vigilant and persistent
through the dust
the soil, the grass
with instinct and practise

through her teachers
she thrives

MChallis © 2015
Jun 2015 · 450
a poet stirs
martin challis Jun 2015
it comes
in increments

there is no doubt
it comes

as errand rider carrying notice
as sense
or sentence

or possession
in the shape of an ember
an inkling
to be cherished or else extinguished

like fire
a most certain feeling
the writer sensing
begins to write
to see what will

not knowing yet
the finishing
or the toil to come

or what's to follow
from that first immediacy
yet knowing that it must follow
and it will

MChallis @2015
May 2015 · 396
martin challis May 2015
Darling you
Are powerful
As gravity

And I, humbled, to be
toward you.

MChallis @2015
May 2015 · 303
Such is the Choice
martin challis May 2015
In the spaces that once held the ones we loved or loathed
are rooms where silence sits to wait upon us;
to precisely bring with it the thought that can caress,
if needed, or spur, if wanted.
And upon reflection the memories that have shaped us, and
subtly the choices within them to hold or unmake each one.
A centrifuge the potter’s wheel - the mind.
The choice always within our crafting gifts to mould,
to throw, to release or to refine.
Which memory will I spin today?
What forgiveness to bestow or fondness to befriend?
Such is the choice that with silence my contemplation brings.

MChallis @ 2015
May 2015 · 263
Contemplation IV
martin challis May 2015
Trust Life
It will bring
You fortune


All is such, and
All will pass


Beyond the yang
Beyond the yin
The dao

Within the yin
Within the yang
The dao


So it comes
So it goes
To peace

MChallis @ 2015
May 2015 · 386
Where To Look
martin challis May 2015
Turn my head
To what is simplest

My heart
To what is true

My body to
it's deep knowing

Each sense
Each pulse
Each rhythm

Intuition anchoring
elemental truth.

MChallis @ 2015
May 2015 · 510
Before the Beach
martin challis May 2015
Along the swale
turned upside
down behind the windy-windy
capturing a moment
as keepsake
before – just before the foredune
crests in green belted
spinifexes and tail-back blooms
the salty sea shakes away
and forefront washings tide the shiny sand flat
as we marvel gambol frolic free;
liminal at the margins

MChallis © 2015
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