Life is one Blessed thing after another

Poems and Drawings by Rashid Maxwell

On this page you can see and read parts of the book.


There are four poems to read - click on the poem titles below to see them.

To see enlarged images of the drawings, click on the small drawings down the right-hand side of this page.

Biographical information can be found at the bottom of the page.


Spec

140mm x 216mm


Paperback


Perfect bound


124 pages


ISBN 0-9546099-2-1



Back Cover


Readers' Comments

His heart is open, full of love for his spiritual master and for nature. The images are striking and live comfortably in language which is both lean and passionate, and in verse which is often humorously ingenious.

Anand Robin


High skill, beautiful innocence and the paradox of living are honestly embodied in the poems. Time and the moment are given their place, loving each other and conflicting – just how it happens in life.

Mara Rosolen



Read some of the Poems

Four poems are available for you to read. Click on these titles..


Meditation isn't what it used to be


The Art of Dying


High Achiever


That Stuff

Typical Pages




clear
Drawings

pic 1 pic 2

pic 3
pic 4

Click on one of the above drawings to see the enlarged version.


Biography

Rashid lives in Devon now. He’s done a lot of things, like keep bees, design buildings and landscapes for sacred use, build the buildings too, have kids, lecture in fine art, watch birds endlessly, farm a smallholding, live in Osho’s communes and in cities and in desert places on several continents, teach art as therapy, make furniture, write articles for international magazines, do nothing in a cave, exhibit his paintings, grow organic vegetables, have lots of grandchildren, write a book and get really into beekeeping.


Rashid's second book of poems and drawings Not Knowing guides our feet is also published by Tree Tongue.

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Meditation Isn’t What it Used To Be

Misery has great potential
when the high gate in the prison wall is banged shut –
when lonely hours bleed me stagnant – 
when you turn your back on me –
I go into a room and
close the door and close my eyes
the murkiness settles
the clear stream takes me to the ocean.

That was how it used to be.  Nowadays when
I close my eyes, I fall asleep.
Meditation is dark matter.  It swallows life alive
has presence everywhere
(words scramble from the nozzle of this pen like wasps out of an apple
the hand that holds this pen is old, possibly my father’s; the white
sun of late summer and the cadmium blue sky and the still
hedgerows and this scented rose are always, always here.
……………………………….........……………………. until they’re not.)

There used to be misery and a clear stream to carry
my freight of manufactured bliss.  
Now there’s just the writing and the lighting
and expanding mattering.




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The Art of Dying

The art of living is to learn the art of dying.
Say your head weighs less than half an ounce
inside are women weeping, leaping salmon, and yes,
galaxies that fold forever
into themselves.

Living is a dying
we skate on less than half an inch of ice across
the superconductive, unseen bridge
that keeps us from the sea of death
until it doesn’t.

Only death is certain in this life.
everything may be or may not be
when word of death is stuttered down the telephone
or spattered on the pavement then
we understand that only death is certain.  Isn’t it?

Living is the art of dying
now and now
the heart is always in the present, luscious as a park in summer
while ideas browse like undernourished cattle
out beyond the boundaries.

Living is another word for opening the heart’s doors and windows
death could come soon; a passenger jet through your office window
or it could come late; everything in order, pain in the old bones,
turning to the heavens in your son’s arms,
I don’t want this any more.

Either way, death is the guest who won’t be turned away
Who might as well be welcomed
Then everything weighs less than half an ounce and
Everything is welcome. 
Isn’t it?




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High Achiever

What was it I had wanted to achieve
when the tide turns – folding back into itself
and the lone and cockled beach reaches
                                                  from sky to sky?
Was it three lines on the back page of the local paper?

What was it I had wanted to achieve
when the rattling train hurries to its next appointment
and the track stretches forever behind the
                                                  banks of brambles?
Was it to lose myself in the pink maze of a rose?

What was it I had wanted to achieve
when the overhead grumbling of a 747 tapers away
and the whisper of silence overwhelms the night
                                                  on and on?
Was it a party in my honour with speeches and a toast?

What was it I had wanted to achieve
when thoughts recede from the brain
and the body does not know or recognise
                                                  who I am?
Wasn’t it already achieved, this timeless space and silence?


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That Stuff

What crossed my mind
As I looked back across the dance floor was
Spindrift.  Foam scudding on the surface of the ocean.

I was on my way outside to smoke a cigarette with my daughter in law.
I said, “There’s my first ex-wife and her first husband chatting with her fourth husband and across from them is my second ex-wife with her third husband and my present partner.
To think of all the shit we went through!  Pain and blame and strife and jealousy and infidelity and law suites.  Now look!  Twenty years down the line.”

In my mind the dance floor was suspended in the ocean of infinity;
the ocean that sustains us.
The ocean is
Suchness.
Tathagata.
Love.
The ocean is what is and we are wavelets.
All our mighty dramas
Foam,
Spindrift, scudding on the swell.

“Yeah,” said my daughter in law, “We have to go through that stuff.”



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