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Selected Poems (1973 - 2014)


Mu Pi Chan

Selected Poems

(1973 – 2014)




First release 2016


Copyright © Mu Pi Chan


The right of Mu Pi Chan to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988


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Table Of Contents

The Early Poems

Different Times

Close Enough


Eight and Thirteen

Counting Rows

The Waitrose Poems

Getting Even




The Early Poems

(In the beginning the words were all)




Essex – Kent – Herts

(1973 – 1985)




The Parting

Looping lovingly downwards

She made as if to kiss me

But refrained

I motioned forwards

As if to meet her

But thinking better of it

I slumped back

I knew she must go





Waves upon the beach

Breaking constantly

Only to rejoin

Too and fro

In and out

As i part you

And you leave me

As pleasure we seek




Winter At The End Of The Road

There are bare trees

Standing like guardians

Across the bleak field

I cannot enter

I have changed too much




Reclining Woman

Her world was bathed in silence

No love fell upon her eyes

Nor feelings twitched her nose

Her stare was fixed on the empty space above

But still her beauty shone

Through cold dusty white marble




Time To Go

There is nothing left for us here

The fields have been ploughed

And the hedges are stark against the winter sky

On the beach the waves still wash

But there is a cold hard edge to them now

The colours are gone

All is bleak




Towards Yule

The horizon is slowly rising

As the days are shortening

Soon the outsiders will fly

For the tide has turned

And the year is ebbing away




Different Times

(I have never stopped counting out time)




Essex – Kent – Herts – Surrey – Hants

(1977 – 2012)




My Time and Place

For what it is worth

You should read

The words you see

Without thought of me


But as you read

And time you shed

Your world may change

To mine instead


And as you read

More time will pass

Like grains of sand

Through the hour glass


But when it ends

What have you found

But the words

Of another clown


For with the passing of the pages

You will travel through my ages

Until ultimately you will have to decide

Whether i live or whether i die




Summer in East Essex

Memories of East Essex

Of those wide green open fields

With the clay cracking in the summer

Beneath the water towers on the hills


Memories of East Essex

Of the pylons crossing fields

Through a sky so vast and blue

That never seemed to yield


Memories of East Essex

Of those ripening cereal fields

With the creeks shining in the sunlight

Beneath those low soft rolling hills


Memories of East Essex

Of windmills in the sun

Turning very slowly

As my life was gently spun


Those memories of my boyhood

And the land i left behind

Those memories of expansion

That have brought me to this time




Winter on the West Front

Waiting for the sunrise

A dawn that never comes

Convicted to sit in shadow

Until the battles won


Now slowly groping forward

My hands down on the gun

Lights inside the blackness

The bombardment has begun


My body falling downwards

The earth below to find

No question of surrender

When the life inside has died


The darkness is eternal

But there is a point beyond

Striving to reach the boundary

The interior now gone


Looking for salvation

Which i alone can find

The dawn of my awakening

A poppy of my time




Life crash

I have seen you run

I have seen you hide

I have seen you laugh

I have seen you cry


I’ve known your hopes

And your failures to cope

I’ve felt your sobs

And the wraith of your gob


I’ve watched amazed

At the people you’ve saved

I’ve stood in awe

As you’ve acted the whore


But most of all

I’ve seen you fall

With your drunkenness

For no purpose at all




I you we

I am thinking

I am talking

I am dreaming

I am walking


You are right

You are wrong

You aren’t here

You are gone


We were one

Now we are two

I guess that’s it

I guess we’re thru’




The cycle

When i wake

From darkest sleep

The night sky

Forever deep


Across that sky

In colourless mime

The clouds and stars

Pass the time


Through the holes

A deathly glow

That reminds us all

Of where we go


The moon shines

And sleep descends

On the veil of death

At our dark end




The Hours : Number 9

To see

Or not to see

That is the choice

For the one and only one eyed king




The Hours : Number 13

Love is

And hope

Is not

Deemed enough




The Hours : Number 24

Why do we hope

When it is hope

That is the source

Of our pain




The Minutes : Number 5

I’ve been thinking too deep

I’ve been thinking too strange

I’ve been thinking of love

But finding pain




The Minutes : Number 7

There is nothing left to do

And there is nothing left to say

And i will never understand

How it ended up this way




The Minutes : Number 8

A corner here

A corner there

It is all it will take

To become square




The Minutes : Number 44

All i see is no more

On this i can be sure

But is there time to separate

The images the brain creates




The Seconds : Number 1

Has it all changed so much

Have i forgotten your touch

And the light in your hair

It was always so fair




The Seconds : Number 24

The poet and the actor

Standing side by side

Waiting for the finale

When one will turn aside




The Seconds : Number 42

Too soon upon us the dawning day

So fast to banish pleasant sleep away

And as our dreams slowly fade

Reality drops us in Plato’s cave




The Seconds : Number 50

I was hopelessly in love with you

But i could never tell you

That i was hopelessly in love with you

And i still don’t know if you knew




Close Enough

(One point six one eight zero three)




Kent – Herts – Surrey – Hants

(1977 – 2012)




Drowning in air

Wherever i go

I go in pain

For a heart once given

Excludes being retained

You have taken my heart

And i know not where

All that i know

Is i am drowning in air




You and i

I was thinking of you

But somehow

You never knew

That i was thinking of you

What did i not do

To always be

At home

And not out with you




You and me

In the words we use

To speak our lines

Of this and that

And other times

After the peace

Before the war

Without love or trust

We play to draw





You look at me

And i look back

You talk to me

And i talk back

You shout at me

And i shout back

You walk away from me

And i walk back




The Book of Five : Number 17

When it does not fall

For us to know

How can we decide

Whether to stand and wait

Or get up and go




The Book of Five : Number 21

One hundred billion neurones

Looking out to sea

Trying to make the connection

Between the broken bottle

And the solitary me




The Book of Five : Number 22

On this day

I long to openly say

That i xxxx xxx

But i know i must refrain

As it might cause you pain





(Odds & Sods and Bits & Pieces)





(2000 – 2012)




Four Lines : Number 6

I do not know

What i can be

In the setting sun

By the ebbing sea




Four Lines : Number 8

I am trying to live

And both remember and forget

The hopes and fears

The wants and regrets




Four Lines : Number 15

I want you i want you i want you she said

As she snuggled her way into his bed

Sometimes that’s just how life is

When it dances and when it gives




Four Lines : Number 16

But when the waiting becomes the song

Then you may find that the love has gone

And when hating becomes much more

Then you should walk out through the door




Four Lines : Number 19

Live long and love

Then learn to leave

For what is left

Is what you believe




Four Lines : Number 20

If you leave the darkness

And come into the light

You might see all you know

And all that you might




Four Lines : Number 27

To know thyself

And be free

Is to know what is what

And what can ever be




Four Lines : Number 30

It’s the beliefs that you hold

Which define your mould

But it’s the questions you ask

That may break the mask




Five Lines : Number 2

On a winter’s morning

Beneath sea grey sky

The train carves

Its linear path

To an ancient city




Five Lines : Number 3

The water rushes

Beneath the mill

The fluid stream

Heading seaward

As i eat lunch




Five Lines : Number 4

The road i follow

Is wet and dangerous

And my life

Is sliding

Through the bends




Five Lines : Number 10

As our life proceeds

We move between spaces

Which we briefly inhabit

As we change from warm to cold

Our feelings slowly dim




Five Lines : Number 11

The brown leaves have fallen

Littering the wet grass

With autumn’s remains

Reminding me of summer

And foretelling the coming winter




Five Lines : Number 12

Behind my walls

I hide the feelings

I cannot show

As they are too complex

To express in normal ways




Five Lines : Number 20

The rain falls slowly and softly

I feel myself and the not-i

Walking a line across a field to a point

I hope and need without wanting

For wanting only leads me to you




Five Lines : Number 21

In the beginning

We were almost identical

But as we developed

We collected our differences

To form our new worlds




Five Lines : Number 29

When there is no going back

The only way is forwards

And the only choice

Between onwards and upwards

Or deeper and darker





Like a perennial plant

Whose flowers have not been pollinated

Should i hid myself away

To await the next beauty

To shine her light upon me

And hopefully

Put this year’s disappointment

Behind me




Looking down

And though we did not condemn

We did not forgive

And though we did not hinder

We did not help

No light did we shine

Or path did we show

And though lofty was our place

It was forever static




Despairing belief

Silver flash

And silver light

Calling one beyond the night

In falling footsteps

I hear the height

Of all that is

And all that might

Be held as sacred





In silence i wait

Hoping you’ll call

Through long evenings

From summer to fall

Wanting and needing

My love to show

And looking to see

If you know




Other views

I know i cannot know you

And like everything i say

You can take that many ways

Like the impossibility of being

Other than oneself

For my view of your view

Is not your view

On even your view of my view




Bolder love

Knowing but one way to go

I push my boulder against the flow

Too numb to be but a passive self

I remain upon the undead shelf

Knowing my feelings

I climb that line

Between the colour of space

And the texture of time




Failed love

Do you remember the things

That parted too slow

Do you remember the needs

That you never could show

Did you dance in the morning

And hold me so close

Did you think of the future

As a place we would go




Missed love

In all we do and all we say

We make the world in which we play

By thinking thoughts and dreaming dreams

We play our parts in life’s great scheme

But now you and i are alone

Far apart in our homes

Both thinking sad thoughts

And watching the phone




School love

Writing words

And thinking thoughts

Are lessons learnt

Or merely taught

Do we know our way

Or just walk a path

Is love like light

Must it pass through dark




Night love

Watching the silence

Listening to dark

Counting the seconds

Scratching the marks

Hearing the words

Howling the tune

Looking for truth

In the full moon




Eight and Thirteen

(Greeting cards for a coming of age)





(2012 – 2013)




December 2012

Hope comes

And hope goes

The fear grows stronger

Because i do not know

What life will bring

Or time unfold

My heart it’s solid

And my emotions cold




January 2013

Now i am gone

Think this of me

That what you saw

And what you now see

Are merely points

In space and time

That do not show

The extent of my mind




March 2013 (2nd)

What will happen when i grow old

And i start to feel the coming cold

What will i do to live on

With my chance of children gone

When all the ideas that i have sown

Have fully ripened and been mown

Will they force me to carry on

With my quality of life all but gone




April 2013 (2nd)

In the dying moments

When the day is almost done

I am thinking of the ending

And how it all begun

From the first bursting into light

To the final tunnel into night

Of all the hopes and fears

Before the gathering of the tears




May 2013 (3rd)

In spring we looked upon the world with wonder

In summer we grew glorious beyond compare

In autumn we mellowed and matured

But now in winter we are discontent

And though we rave and rage against the tide

Our only purpose now is to survive

And help the younger ones to live and thrive

By teaching them the value of their lives




May 2013 (5th)

Poetry is such a spiritual thing

I sometimes forget how it sings

The gentle songs it slowly makes

The rippling tide through which it breaks

The thoughts and pictures it brings to mind

The seconds and hours it forever binds

And when i put my head down to sleep

The beginning word i know it keeps




June 2013 (3rd)

For those of us who have no grave

Being melded with the sea or soil

We have all made our final wave

And no longer care about life’s toil

The flame of life has gone out

For us it died without a shout

And we left as we knew we must

Knowing that in death we trust




June 2013 (6th)

Nothing more

Nothing less

Nothing perfect

Nothing best

Time to see

Time to assess

Time for action

And time you left




June 2013 (8th)

What could you call

That special day

Beyond the ending

Of our item play

What did you call

What we’ve just done

Another scene

Of love or fun




June 2013 (10th)

Now the time has come

For me to pass

Into the dark night

Beyond this glass

For you have chosen

And you must go

To that place

I can never know




July 2013 (2nd)

Time it comes

And time it goes

It quickly leaves us

Worn down and exposed

But life it builds

And life it mends

The survival game

Its only end




July 2013 (3rd)

I cannot remember

That sleight of hand

That turned me from

A boy to a man

And neither can i

Quite pin down

When life changed

From smiles to frowns




July 2013 (6th)

I’ll tell you what

I’ll tell you when

I’ll tell you how

I’ll tell you then

I’ll make you see

I’ll make you know

I’ll make you want

And then i’ll go




September 2013 (1st)

Too many ifs

Too many buts

Those little words

That control our luck

The unspun wheel

The unrolled dice

The addictive thrill

The consuming vice




November 2013

As i slowly fade

Like all the middle aged

I worry about expanding

Growing out and away

Having had my main sequence days

Thus i will take my cue

And redden to encompass you

Then collapse and change my hue




December 2013

When you fell upon my bed

Fresh and rosy-fingered

I awoke to your touch

And felt your distant warmth

As you gently stroked my flesh

Which rose towards the open crack

Through which the chariot of day was passing

As you radiated from upon your golden throne




Counting Rows

(True, Baker’s, & Those not quite sonnets)





(2013 – 2014)




Column A

These poems

Are about

Counting rows

And using

Carriage return

And then

Line feed

And whether

You write

Any words

Or leave

A void




Column B

This is not a poem

It is just

An experiment

That uses

A few words

To form an interesting pattern


You should not read it

In the hope

Of finding

Any meaning

Just read it

To get it over with




Column D

There you sit in a purple haze

The flesh from which my desires are made

And can i speak some words to you

That you would discern above the noisy hue

And if i turn my face from thee

What is it you will come to see

And if i raise my eyes from you

What shadows will hide any subtle clues

And if i turned too quickly round

Will i find a smile or a frown

Then let us just stare with hopeless gaze

And fail to enter into the lover’s maze




Column E

The depth of night

The depth of fear

The deep dark longing

The ice cold tear


A stabbing pain

A throbbing head

A sweaty body

So easily lead


The time of bliss

The time of restraining

The frenzied panic

The endless craving




Column F

Bad penny

Her debt unpaid

Was turning once again

From head to tail

And back again

Before play


But when her fall was done

She had passed into sorrow

With so little regret

And curved her way

Into a still deeper debt

Through which the game did commence




Column H

As you unzip me

Base by base

I lose integrity

And cannot save face


We must destroy

In order to create

A fair exchange

A simple fate


But as we now wrap anew

What is created is not me or you

Whilst it is something we both do mould

It is so much more what we behold




Column J

Forty years of some content

A wandering life so plain

For those are the highway where i once went

And will never walk again


The river of fate once flowed through me

But now i fear it’s stilled

The fields of barley and wheat may wave

But i must move to be fulfilled


I must go along the canal again

The gently contoured canal

And all i want is to wander along

And watch the narrow boats sail




Column P

Do you believe

What you believe

Because you believe

That is what

You should believe

And cannot question


Do you say

What you say

Because you can

Or do you

Speak as told

Because you must




Column T

You started counting one by one

Then moved on to do sums

And with division in your hand

You became a rational man


It took a while

But you did find

That you could count

The ratios so defined


But then you went beyond the table’s bounds

To that number that makes circles round

And from this uncountable infinite real

You moved on to things more complex still




Column AC

There is a light that you cannot see

Ringing clearly and walking free

There is a sound that you cannot hear

Shining in your darkest fear

There is a time that does not pass

Its shifting note through colour glass

But as the spectrum shifts to red

Those final thoughts leave your head

For you were just a transient guest

In a body that must come to rest

But when you are gone your love remains

Within our lives of joy and pain




Column AJ

Three dozen and none

This square of six

This sum of cubes

The eighth layer

This product of squares

And sum of the first eight


The final column

Of these spreading sheets

These precious words

In a sea of numbers

Which serve our nature

If not our little world




The Waitrose Poems

(Writing to order online or by post)









The Hubbard’s First Floor Pantry

If there are apples

Then they may be in pairs

But if there are no apples

Then the cupboard may be bare




The Hubbard’s First Floor Pantry (Alternate Take)

If there were apples

Then they might be in pairs

But there were no apples

As the cupboard was bare




English Peas and Queues

The humble tinned pea

Is enough for me

But the fresh garden variety

Is preferred in high society

Because the little split yellow

Is a dried up old fellow

Whilst the sweet petits pois

May come in french jars




Getting Even

(For evens are a form of odds)





(2013 – 2014)




Sic Biscuitus Disintegratum

How did the cookie crumble

So many years ago

And why can’t i remember

Where all the crumbs did go




For My Wendy

You said there are two cures for love

But i found that is too few

Being laid back or being tough

Neither would quite do




Nightmare On Beach Street

I heard the footsteps

And i followed

And thereafter

The footsteps followed me




The Green Flash

In the moonless night

It is hard to recall

The glorious gifts of the sun

Especially those last photons of the day




Enlightenment Is Just A Light Switch Away

In those quietly folded moments

At the end of every day

Is when i come to realise

There is nothing more to say




Spiritual Pointing

To point

At the pointless

Requires you to stand

Next to a reflective surface





Why say

In one word

What you can say

Precisely and clearly with none




Wasting Away [No ghost in the machine]

I have spent my life

Dying little bit by bit

And when the last bit has gone

I am sure that will be it




Everything I Say Is Wrong

It seems to me

That my whole life

Could well be about

Handling this simple paradox




Delusion Departing

All that is human

I leave to thee

All that is immortal

I take with me




Who Draws The Line [A lesson in appeasement]

Can you take me to the line

To the line i should not cross

But if i reach beyond that line

Will you re-draw it where i stop




If There Is Innocence

I have seen a world in a single thought

And a heaven from an ivory tower

I bounded infinity as i was taught

And reduced eternity to the unforgiving hour




The Infinitesimal Of Waiting

There is but

The shortest pause

Between this moment

And the one before




Heart String Theory

In every little thought i find

A vibrating string to unwind

And the deeper that i go

The more i find i do not know




Falling From The Promised Land

Things never work out for me

That is just how life is

For it never dances

And it never gives




Farewell To Reality

With ever thought that passes

What now passes for thought

Becomes less and less clear

But more and more sought




Within Those Shades Of Grey

And in the end

There is only darkness and light

So what we do tomorrow

Is neither wrong nor right




The Long Slump Of Extreme Dejection

What is left

When you depart

But a shallow depression

That constrains my heart




The Naivety Story

For some reason

I cannot form

A naive theory

To explain naivety




I Should Cocoa

Having looked it up

I did not imitate

Jason Strugnell’s parroting voice

As it was easier

To parody (n. & v.)

My trusty OED (abbr.)




Toning Down

Harmonic by harmonic

We descend into silence

And with every fall

We decrease and flatten

Our lives more linear

Our paths less erratic




Saving The Land For The Living

Joints creaking and muscles aching

Soon the hot curtained oven

Will quickly roast my flesh

And offer my aroma upwards

The smell of burnt offering

So pleasing to the lord




Seeing And Believing

If the eyes

Were truly

A window to the soul

I would have touched

Less bodies

But more minds




This Is The Left Hand Speaking

In a life

Of two halves

The corpus callosum

Makes us one

Or maybe only

One of many




Within This Time

I am starting to believe

That the present you get

Is only eight second long

For that is how long

It takes me to forget

And now even that’s gone




Walking The Bright Tunnel

With each last step

I feel the ground

Tactile sensation

Soundless sound

But do i know

To where i’m bound




From Love To Lust

My feelings for you

Have drifted off

From green to orange

But have you

Learnt about the chakras

Or about me




Covenant What Covenant

Time has wearied them

And age has condemned

What was not given in war

Has been taken in the end

But they were not in a foreign field

It was Tory cuts that made them yield




The Impossible Impossibles

I often think

That everything is impossible

Or that nothing is impossible

But i know

That everything is empty

And nothing is without meaning




On Marriage

I do not know

If you can understand

Why i have never asked for your hand

And whether you will ever see

It is one small step for a women

But one giant leap for me




Breaking The First And Seventh

if this

be the word

then what

first capital crime

is it

to have another




Fifty Ways To Stay Alone

I’ve seen so little

But know so much

I know my longing

And my desire to touch

However i know my place

And your position too

But that does not stop me

Wanting to be with you




Physical Pursuits

Let us remember

Let us forget

Let us be lovers

But not quite yet

Let us make space

And also some time

But not worry about mass

As our energy declines




Never But Always

Never known the darkness

Never seen the light

Never realised the contrast

Between wrong and right

Always seeking perfection

Always seeking the truth

Always looking deeper

Without ever finding proof




Steely Eyed

Nothing more

Nothing less

Nothing holy

Nothing blessed

Mind racing

Mind still

Mind empty

Then you kill




In My Place Of Dying

Let us go down

And die by the sea

For it’s gentle motion

Is calming to me

Because ending is good

And that is the key

So let’s let ourselves

Ebb by the sea




Writing Into The Unknown

Some say it is easy

To write about love

But i have always thought

It is only easy

To stereotype love

But as love

Is something i don’t know

Thereof i should be silent




The Misunderstanding Of Heavenly Bodies

The devil

Is not

In the detail

As there is no v

In detail


And whilst falling from heavenly rest

Velocity does equal

Time times acceleration

I doubt

That is what is meant




Believing and Deciding

We were here

And then

We were gone

Our beliefs

Were not important


You choose

And are chosen

Or else

You are forgotten

So choose




The Last Shore

You who would be young

Strive against the sun

And you who would be free

Chase the spaces that you see

But you who are old

With your stories all told

Come dance with me

Beside the tepid sea

Whose gentle lapping waves

Will ease us to our graves




May The Waiting End

I am thinking of you

All the time

You are the dominant picture

In my mind

I dream of your hair

So beautifully long

I dream of your curves

So aesthetically strong

But will i stop dreaming

Before too long




Do Dragonflies Dream

I see my world

Through a narrow band

Using simple duality

But you see your world

Through a slightly different

But still narrow band

Using complex duality

I dream in my colours

And fly in my dreams

Which unlike you i cannot really do




It’s All So Binary

They tell me

You either laugh

Or you cry

You either live

Or you die

But for me

It is not

These binary whats

But the nuances

Of the whys




In The Light Of Evolution

Seldom seen

But oft times heard

No glowing light

Just the spoken word

The child of man

Did make its way

From the cave fire light

To the enlightenment day

And there in the sunlight

It did slowly find

That further growing

Was all in the mind




Fallen Comrades

What is left

When the rest

Of them die

But your own

Cold dark isolation

And the breaking

Of the ties

That had bound

You as one

Into much more

Than the parts

That you were




Falling Backwards

Now in winter

My thoughts turn

Looking for summer


Keeping the fire

Just until spring

Initiates more warmth


Hope never fading

Goal never changing

Future always present


Evenings so long

Darkness around me

Closing me in


But i wait

Always in silence




Corinthian Column A

Love is patience

Love is kind

Love is stupid

Love is blind

Love creates

And love destroys

Remember that

You girls and boys




Corinthian Column B

Love is patience

Love is kind

Love can fool

The sharpest mind

Love will laugh

And love will cry

Love can make you

Want to die




Corinthian Column L

Love is patience

Love is kind

Love is wanting

All the time

Love is passive

Love is strong

Love can inspire

And lead you wrong




Corinthian Column M

Love is patience

Love is kind

It speaks in tongues

It speaks in rhyme

Love is honest

Love is true

It is slow to anger

It does not stew




Love’s Colour

Love is orange

Love is green

Love it varies

With the colours seen

Love is more

Than just skin deep

That is why

It makes you weep




Love’s Power

Love is darkness

Love is light

Love is warmth

In the night

Love is power

Love is greed

Love is something

We always need






Mu Pi Chan

Mu Pi Chan is an English poet who has spent his life in Essex, Kent, Herts, Surrey, and Hants. He is single and currently lives in Romsey, Hants.


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Selected Poems (1973 - 2014)

This volume contains poems chosen from eight of the twelve volumes of my poetry released between 1973 to early 2015. It is my intention to release a further selection of the three line poems from the other four volumes at a later date. The selection of which poems should appear in this volume was made using the following simple rules: (1) Was the poem written between 1973 and 2014. (2) Does the poem have four or more lines. (3) Can the poem be rendered without the use of tabs or other layout setting devices. (4) Do i like the poem (i.e. Do i feel it is “Best of” material). In compiling this selection i have followed the usual practice of putting together poems that originally appeared in the same volume, and placing them in the original order unless a different order was required to ease pagination issues. It should be noted that a number of minor corrections have been made, so the poems do not always appear in their original form.

  • Author: Mu Chan
  • Published: 2016-01-02 13:40:16
  • Words: 5257
Selected Poems (1973 - 2014) Selected Poems (1973 - 2014)