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martin challis Aug 2011
The three of you
waving your brave little hands,
smiling love and mischief at me
through the tinted glass
of the big green bus.

I’m standing tight to the kerb
screaming at the concrete
as I smile
waving back with gusto.
‘I love you ‘
mouthed in silence
‘have I failed you?’
a silent question.

I wave until you’ve turned the corner -
gone in a juggernaut like
stolen children;
the street where we laughed
only a minute ago
now more empty than a new coffin.

I walk back to the car knowing we will go through this
again and again
- every time you visit for the weekend.
martin challis © 2011
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
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 Aug 2011
A change of mind
a change of heart
a step this way
or that
a moment held
or given
a step away from light
naive or dark.

Is choice
an invitation
and if so
by whom
or what?

Those million
thoughts that lead to actions
now or
down the track:
and then this
what if that
to pick up
to put down
to left to right
to leave to stay
and on until
a path or paths are found
or trod
or followed.

If everything is choice
what is not
- to step from instinct to intuition
- to love my wife
- to love my children
- to love the god of life
- to write this.

The barometer of
the judge and jury of
the mind
the guides
the angels
and the thoughts
that tend to lead
to actions
that tend to lead
to feelings
that tend to lead to more
thoughts which sometimes
are discoveries
that tend to lead
to choices
down the track.

The map of my life
can be seen
by turning
my head to the south.
With the benefit
of hindsight
I see I am and have been
passenger and pilot
messenger and message
drawing and drawn
but with this
I must ask
is it that I am also
a choice
and if so
by whom?
martin challis © 2011
martin challis Aug 2014
inspecting momentarily
the visiting sulphur-crested cockatoos
leave our pine-tree for another, further down the hill

en masse, they fly towards and just above us,
their screeches, loud and unmistakeable
are full of enthusiasm and intent

some, slightly smaller in size, are silent
I wonder if they’re the understudies of the chorus
closely following flight-lines of their elder’s character and bravado

these beautiful creatures, so independently defined
raise a cacophony that exhilarates
every fibre of the soul and fills the heart with laughter

self-less, expanding and enraptured
I briefly lift to the massing of their flight:
a complete and joyful glimpse, of full participation
*for sophie and for ollie*
martin challis Jan 2015
Wind patterns
Wide the grass plains

Fans dance invisible
Her caterpillars

Cloud shadow
Racing their backs

MChallis © 2015
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
martin challis Oct 2014
Listen son
It’s al ‘right to feel
It’s OK to cry
It’s even acceptable to not be perfect
In everything you try

Failure can be positive
If bent another way
A kind of subtle back-burn before
The fire of success comes your way

Its not the end of everything, but the
Beginning of something new
It’s probably the way you see it
Is the shape that comes to view

A mountain so enormous
Never seeming to be climbed
Until you’ve done some treading
Most likely one foot at a time

Some day you get right up there
You’re laughing with the clouds
And at some stage you lose your grip again
Falling all the way back down

So you pick yourself right up
Spit gravel from your mouth
And head to other climates
I’m recommending south

On the way you meet a few kind souls
Perhaps a little wiser than yourself
Some who might begin to question
The state of your mental health

But don’t despair; it’s all good stuff
The journey, the quest, the sport,
Some days you’ll go a long way
On others you’ll pull up short

Just keep going that’s the main thing,
I’m buggered if I know where, cause’
Eventually south goes north
And every other where

Keep treading, keep smiling,
Don’t forget to breathe
It’s important to enjoy yourself
And keep something up your sleeve

It isn’t easy, this I know,
When some old ****** gives advice
You think he’s a little crazy and
He don’t talk so very nice

You’re probably right, he might be mad,
But the thing about this is,
It’s better to keep asking questions
Than be sitting in a tizz

Complain or question or kick or scratch
The ticket is the train you catch
The one for somewhere, the one that goes
Not sitting at the station and picking at your nose

Get on board
Live a life
Have some fun and
Cause a bit o’ strife, now

I’m sorry I can’t say more than this
But I reckon you know why; it’s
Coz you’ve got a good long life to lead
And I’m about to die.

MChallis @ 1999/2014
martin challis Jan 2015
Lie in the bare-faced sun
savour time
under seige
frittering hours
afor breakfast and

rush ‘round
if necessary
under fire
moving appointments
with telephones twitching


then forage
the howl
create havoc
hunt the giggling
play for keeps

heads roll
the ultimate shudder

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Oct 2014
A fish out of water slaps
for the wet familiar
as first rainbow gasps
for all colour beneath
evergreen eucalypts

and boy becomes hunter.

White flesh in the pan
rainbow now grey;
a dull eye pops in the fat.
The first meal of camp

"We're all about survival"
says the voice from the beard.

In that first howling night the tent holds no echo:
a cocoon of down
muffles the want of a scream
for mother’s goodnight.

Terrain is now is real and not just a geography lesson.

When morning arrives
relief and sunlight slap awake
the face of survival.
Mosquitoes frustrate the zippered gauze, march-flies marshal to march.

Wisps of gum-smoke, the smell of the wild, steam from hot-streams on tussocks, beans in the pannikin, dust in the billy, leaves of tea and gumtree chase the boil.

Longer walk today; boots even more ready for rubbing off skin.

Fourteen miles to the next creek and next water.
Ache in the pack
No rest only winter.
The dingo pads on.
Wild boar root en mass. Wombats rummage the banks.
Wallabies thump up the ridge-line.

"We’ll circle our tent-line and raise tonight’s fire after dark."
Says the beard and walks on.

The hunter
Seeks now no quarry
Dreams the snap of a soft sheet
and mouths words
for the water of home.
martin challis Oct 2014
Rodney the Tormentor came toward me,
a slick sneer edging the mug of his leering mouth.

He prepared the next barb garnished with a delicate sliver of dry ice.
What was he going to find to ridicule this time?

My hair too long, too short?
The art assignment a pathetic attempt at literature?

My bowling action; a cross between a mental patient and a broken wind-mill?
Knees too bulbous for any normal person?

I thought, not today.

I’ve had this, like this, for almost two years
each day a new torture, a new laceration of clean practiced words
and me accepting the torment with the dull weariness that comes only from unkind relentless repetition

allowing the beast fresh meat
thinking, hoping one day he’ll stop
surely he’ll tire of the incessant need to ridicule
believing one day the ‘****’ jokes will dry up

but they never do

such is the never-end brutal articulation, the
verbal incision, the cruel words of blunt destructive beauty:

teenage confidence stumbling like a novice boxer
dribbling with fresh bruises

but not today
the animal hunted turns
to find precision and strength in defiance  

it is the time to wound the wounder
and then all
that follows

‘Rodney the Tormenter’  going down       the windless scream of one blow
two years in the forging           one first and final blow
one strike                               one out

a fist gutting                                        and nothing gets back up

the art gallery attendent           the other students on excursion
the teachers,  all as if complicit in retribution, like a magicians audience
look the other way

and Rodney down                       solar-plexus perplexed

the swift shock in defeat
and a new entry in the part of Rodney’s brain that stores
future possible outcomes to hitherto unchecked actions

decades later I can still see his face in that ghastly micro-moment: pain, shock, horror
and most surprisingly


MChallis © 2005/2014
martin challis Aug 2011
after cutting timber
at the top of the hill
I waited for you
not long enough for the magpie’s
wing-feather to fall from the conifer
and then your silhouette
along with the sunset
struck me
and drawing closer
your smile
drawing closer
Martin Challis © 2011
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
martin challis Jan 2015
Cedar Creek
a moonlit evening
looking up into sparkling eucalypts

After rain
The moon is reflected
In every droplet
On every leaf,
Simplicity has sent her messengers

With the brush and rustle of an evening breeze
These celestial missives begin to fall

To leave
the moon more eminent

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Jan 2015
Suitably respectful, and
never asking for trouble
or the time of day
I wait at home-station
like a cattle dog
My master, absent in the midst of a promise

My bones wait for flesh
My theatre
for Godot

As factories burn
As droughts become floods
As Apollo is a god sending chariots to the moon

I’m ten years beyond birth already counting ways
to escape the infirmary

The hallway mirror
holds an apparition of silence
And over my shoulder
Is reflected a leafless tree
of seeming indifference

There may be leaves one day
but who can say

I wait
like Didi
for what I mean
martin challis Jan 2015
... I think I'm pregnant to you.
I think our hearts have joined.

A poem is worth so much more in the delivery, so
I place my trust in Australia Post
and the efficacy of the clearly marked post code.

I heard that love is intoxication:
so I purchased a bottle of wine grown in South Australia
and hoped to savour just a taste of you.

There’s a chemical released in your brain when
you meet someone you love;
its dying to meet other chemicals.

But I can’t cope with that kind of expectation,
and I’m too young for equanimous adjustment.
It’s too much like needing a sedative after the *** you almost had
when you thought your girlfriend was coming to stay for the night.

Don’t think I’m bemoaning the fact that you’re not coming to stay for the night,
you live on the other side of the continent.
I accept the disparity of our geography.
I accept the arterial nature of the freeway system in human relationship
after all, we’ve all been told where roads lead.

Did you know that if your name was translated in Spanish?
I'd be interpreted as a conquistador with no hope in the tropics.
And did you know that I’ve always wanted to wear a superman suit and
keep nothing out but steady rainfall?
If you think about it, this is a potent philosophy.
Mephistopheles considered certain questions and theorems.
He found the intrusion of chaos theory and the disruption to the order of the work ethic unthinkable.
He found the mature and calculated response simple:
he told the ******* to articulate and pontificate elsewhere.
So please don't get any ideas.

This brings me back to my remaining piece of news:
Regardless of the fact that it’s medically impossible
I think I'm pregnant to you.

Please write soon.

MChallis © 2015
martin challis May 2015
For ****, Monica & Jan*

coming in by the side road
a winding path
to the stream
took us down where
we sat for a while
feet bathing in cool water
attending the natural theatre
so many quavers and characters in
the movement of rill and brook,
ceaselessly purposeful, over
stone, sand and moss

this going around, under, through
us, here as we gather, and have gathered for millennia;
we are the ancient flow
from first mothers first fathers first family
the tribe are near
coming out of the ages we
hear their call and chatter,
in time we come to know
this all of us, our story

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Oct 2014
By John Pass

A kick or two out
against the playful waves

then roll over, look back
so often I've done this, summers

without number, friends or family
on the shore, a ledge

of rock at Ruby Lake
or Lighthouse Park, trees behind

and above them leaning out
for the open light

and reflected light
and my delight not simply

to be swimming, a float
but in the perspective

of people in a landscape
beautifully proportioned

enclosed in a moment
as though in another room

but present, whole, unencumbered  -
the sky always blue

( beach weather ) the shoreline reaching
around, away, each way

a point, or cliff, or thicket
of willow, quietly emphatic

of the people, their intimate
isolation, approachable

passing a towel or plum
getting comfortable, distant

but undiminished, and I

alone in the water, ambiguously

proud of them, pleased
to swim in and be counted

among them

John Pass
John Pass
John Pass is a Canadian poet. He has lived in Canada since 1953, and was educated at the University of British Columbia. He has published 18 books of poetry since 1971. Wikipedia
Born: 1947, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Books: Stumbling in the Bloom, An arbitrary dictionary, and more...
Awards: Governor General's Award for English-language poetry

I love the lyrical contemplation of this poem, the imagery and the sheer humanity of it. MC
martin challis Sep 2014
She hides
In the edges of shade

She smiles
At an umber moon

She lives
Near the well at the bottom of my garden

I never see her

In the evening
I leave flowers for her

Some mornings
I see where she has kissed them
martin challis Jan 2015
What night-bird sings across the river?
What bear of winter whispers
low and deep in the cave of its mouth?
And who is she who moves toward the many mouthed artesian,
invisible to the clouds and stars that live in her reflection?

We stand on our heads;
the world turns its duplicity to meet us as
our imagination ventures beyond the beyond,
before it rushes back to be with she who has not yet released us.
She spins her arms in all directions;
our mother, calling with the night bird says
“here children you’re safe with me”.

We walk the southern bank of the Ballone.
Before the weir we imagine the river
mirror to all the world.
Then the weir-gates reveal her power.
Broken water announces our birth
and friendship;
a turbulent opportunity to bright with stars,
to carefully wake the sleeping bear.

Beside this river
Our future is brought together,
And like her, this unseen strength
Will flow potent, low and deep
and with our mother

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Jan 2015
The un-discovered country;
in his eyes
when he praises you.

He attempts to hide the nervousness
the rate of his breathing increases.
His father never gave him praise. 
Never gave him glory.
Never it seems, made him the special centre of the moment.

And yet now he works this gift for you;
does it with no experience.
Is motivated by the desire to see you grow.
To see you swell with growing.
He stumbles over foreign land.

A son: your father.
Not measured by calibration.
Not perceived in weight or wonder but
as hard stone,
the slow carved mark
sharpening on
unborn generations.

You walk with him.
Your hand in his.
The path new, yet well worn with wishing.

This image is an invocation:
Father and son, two friends like fire,
like kindling, like warmth.

If we imagine this for many sons and
for many fathers
it will not be
so much further off.

MChallis © 2015
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!
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
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 2013
Within and beyond
your self
is another

And other selves
within and beyond again

Within and beyond
your self
are all selves

All beyond
and within
as one.
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
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.

martin challis Aug 2014
As the fire subsides
into furnacing embers
And the ocean’s voice washes
in from across the field
Making ready for sleep
you offer a glass of peppermint tea
and wish for us a restful goodnight

In evening’s air, in night time’s breath,
we sip and without word listen to
the crickets rhythmic and persistent as they
chorus at the perimeter of shadows and stars,
to the gentle ones at rest on their perches
each with an eye on the moon
who call or croon at irregular intervals,
to the ageing house who creaks as she
shifts her shoulders
from one side of night to the other

Then from a gentle kiss
and a last wish of goodnight
we turn from this to ebb
away to the silence
away to the sea
of sleep

MChallis @ 2014
martin challis Sep 2014
Axel, who never had a rocking horse, once rode a bright blue tricycle. He called it his ‘Athenian Rhapsody’. He loved to play the tuba in bed, and when he was feeling particularly happy, would sit on the loo in the outside shed, pants around his ankles oompa-pa’ing till the cows came home.

That was quite a while ago; the tuba and the tricycle have gone, yet he can still hear the triangle sound the bell made on his tricycle, and still remembers the scraping of the old keys on the ancient tuba.

Axel listens to old sounds very well (all the time): he loves Bach, Mendelssohn and Donovan. He loves to eat crumpets with honey and drink a large white mug of milky tea; it reminds him of summer fishing trips to Lake Eucumbine, mushrooms and gnats in the full-sun morning air, (he loves to talk fishing when he’s playing chess with Carl the orderly, often quoting from his favourite magazine, ‘Modern Fly Fishing’).

Axel was once an expert at fly fishing; tying the ‘super moonshadow’ to perfection (he named the fly after what he thought was a Donovan song, written by Cat Stevens).

When the hospital staff remember to buy him a new box, Axel loves to drink Lady Grey tea made from tea bags, he prefers tea bags, he feels that somehow they bring clearer definition to tea making.

Axel thinks a lot about definition, noting how the edges of his bed are very clearly defined by the clean-blue hospital blankets that drop suddenly to the ocean of the grey linoleum floor. He likes the smell of cleanblue, it’s somehow a new sea to sail and sometimes the feel of his favourite jumper when he was a boy: a definite edge of beginning and end. He knows that soon he’ll cross the floor-grey ocean, sailing under a white sheet. But this is not a thing Axel dwells on for very long, he prefers to think of such things as his next chess move and flirting with Miriam the night nurse.

Axel has just beaten Carl in a game of chess. He’s said goodnight to Miriam, a long quiet goodnight, a good long, good night. He won’t wake again, he senses this  –  and is peaceful.

When his last breath comes he hears; a faint scraping sound and a single precious note from a triangle bell on a bright blue tricycle.

They’re good sounds.

They are old sounds.

They bring him…
martin challis Mar 2015
for Jan*

In the artist's nascent frame you're the perfect idea already imagined.

MChallis @ 2015
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
martin challis Aug 2011
I put my lips to your face
and **** in old skin.
Your face changes colour.
Becomes pink with new complexion.

Your mother calls.
You can’t tell her about this.
Instead you tell her ten, for coffee.

After coffee. At shopping. She remarks,
'my daughter is so very beautiful.’
The salesman nods in agreement.
She purchases a new appliance.
It matches the colour of everything;
it's the most powerful and efficient vacuum in the world.

She is happy. Brings it home. And plugs it into the socket.
It ***** up everything, including the paint from the walls,
the curtains from the window and the telephone from its cradle.

Your mother is pleased, it’s everything the salesman said it would be.
Along with her furnishings, it ***** both of us into its black belly.

Surrounded by the comforts of home we start a new life together.

One day you say, we’ll be very happy.

But it’s so dark I can’t see your face.

The phone rings.

It’s your mother.

She wants to know how we’re settling in.
Martin Challis © 2011
martin challis Aug 2011
Blue to you may be a room with a view.
To me it’s an ocean turned sideways.
It’s the colour of air gone thick with the sea,
it’s the largest and highest of high-ways.

Blue to you may be one without two,
and all of the times you’ve landed,
feet thick with dew – stuck to each hue
where you thought for a time you were stranded.

Blue to you may be a day that is new, to
me it’s the place where I’m standing.
It’s the home of the eye and the reach of the tree.
It’s the wave of the wind and the wave that is we.
Blue is the deep and the shallow the same,
it’s just where I’ll be when you’re calling my name.

Searching and spreading. Dividing our wings.
Soaring the gentle, the sharing of things.
Come endless, come empty, full with your sound
call the vast harmony and arms that surround.

Come to the blue that touches all things
come with me gentle, come let us sing,
sing the high rising, sing the low mark
sing the blue heaven that covers the dark,
and chorus the carol, the carol of being,
and the blue that is given to those that are seeing
Martin Challis © 2011
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
martin challis Jan 2015
Perfect with gravity
fuji-like mountain
above which hangs heaven
star full and bursting

beside which she sits with a mouth full of flattery
quipping alacrities with ease
'you’re a man with a very smooth shirt’, she says
‘thank you’, he replies almost inaudibly

The breeze brushes an inner thigh with its lycra tongue
she shimmers
like a clear-lake breeze kissed

He grows to become a campfire on her shores
she laps at his embers
reflecting and flickering

He encompasses the perimeter with stealth
Sniffs the wind for fear and for warning

none comes

they bathe naked, ever watchful, for
a shift in the rushes, for the
fish in their sleep,
for the shadows
in the deep
not yet awakened.

MChallis © 2015
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
martin challis Aug 2011
Rust, that un-used plough
vigilant in a swallowing green
shares the fugue
of various machinery.

And in tangible mist
milk-cans emptied flood the ground,
cows are sent back to pasture,
fence posts are made ready to burn,
in an afflicted winter
burning cold in the comfort of sorrow.

If an old crow happens at the cloudless
this is more omen
than the shrinking market.
And when the shoulders of my father
farming this winter
are no longer brave enough to carry
the sky
I carry his gun to the gate;
we walk a silent trail
to shoot an enemy
that never comes.

The cold sun; a bright nail
pinning us, the blue weight
pressing horizons from reach.

My father
searches this expanse,
his hands extend
to something...
but I see
they only move
to wave away flies.

If there is any comfort...
my hand in his
is cold this winter.
Martin Challis © 2011
martin challis Jan 2015
I was
presumed missing on
an angry afternoons walk
across an ocean
of bitter pills
that swallowed themselves
in brown bottles
labeled caution
keep away from
and I feel
the scream of an angry after-blade scraping
across the glass that
keeps me
in this cell
you listening through
a telephone
grown surgically
from the hand
of providence
switching tables
when the waiter
wasn’t looking
to eat the camembert
the cream
and all the opportunity
that was supposed to go around
like loaves and fishes
but I only see
an empty pond
and you floating
fat belly
full of everything
except the guts
to come clean
and to even give
a good ******
but you don’t
and now I’m out
and you will
‘cause you’re *******
razor blades
and I understand
I would be to
if I were you
I’m not
don’t say I am
don’t ever say that
you know
that makes me feel good
when you’re on the floor
the ****
I ****
“fark man
you’re free
you’re out
you’re clean”
and I’m all over
I am so over you
I’m all through you
I am you
I’m the lane
in your vein
‘freight train
to the brain’
I’m the reason
the mirror
barks back its bite
I am the only reason
you're out at night
I am your only ******* reason,
don’t forget it or
good night!

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Sep 2014
A vista
spiels with neon
Non-essential conversation repeating
Humanity hovers at the entrance
In this shopping centre every need seems urgent
Mouths pause their chatter
To sip at coffee or chow down burger
Gestures are reinforced with nail polish,
jewellery on many fingers
and small change passing across counter tops

In here the weather is neither warm nor cool
and everything seems designed to stimulate my mediocrity

Reflection in the shop-front is on sale at bargain price
but today I cannot afford to buy on impulse

I turn away to blend
With colourful  blah

MChallis © 2009 (reworked 2014)
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
martin challis Jan 2015
Crumbs of heaven
fall wing-soft
yet you and I
know nothing of manna or prophecy.

In the midst of
trodden unbidden
inner indivisibles,
habit’s anvils restrain us.

Yet attest this to one small place of untouched bliss
where we may grace the light
now and so often
in barren land.

The foreign treader
of a dawn held wish
unfurls from our robes,
hangs us at an altar,
and no-where attempts to keep secret the name of commitment
from the carol of lip or tongue.

Silence the two-headed voice beyond the shroud,
hear this life
and the secret of light.

Entwine and wind
anticipate the suspence
and future of what will be possible.

Hold off
hold off,
stir, sweet one
nurture our convergence.

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Sep 2014
wet gutter stone
submerged in the rill
blackheavy and round
and the weight beneath me:
a smooth cold killer of light

night is a forest
wet banquet of noise
small epiphany’s happening at street lights
and wild-life electric

far off are the radios
the occasional violence
hits the melancholy,
hangs with urban drifters
patches up a night sky

night is a forest, a jungle of audible character
damp activity
light and shape struggle to hold meaning,
as momentary glimpses
glistening with hope
capture an uncertain semaphore
martin challis Oct 2014
the unequivocal
a living metaphor
from the gesture
of simply

letting go
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
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
martin challis Aug 2011
Drown in the blue sky
the blue sea
the green land
and all the while, white waves, of wash,
cloud or smoke arising, and
on this rock I am every particle
I can see, and more than I am,
none of this, and separate is
my life a paradox continuum
inexplicably explained as
stable passing impermanence, and
if I could drown in the blue sky
I would do it flying.
martin challis © 2011
martin challis Jan 2015
Drown in the blue sky
the blue sea
the green land
and all the while white waves; of wash,
cloud or smoke arising.
On this rock I am every particle
I can see, and more than I am,
none of this, and separate is
my life a paradox continuum
inexplicably explained as
stable passing impermanence;
if I could drown in the blue sky
I would do it flying.

MChallis © 2015
martin challis Oct 2014
attachment centre


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
martin challis Feb 2014
When i act to heal myself
I act to heal the world

When i act to heal the world
I act to heal myself
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