Fallen leaves

Posted October 27, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

We are all just fallen leaves,
caught in a raging current.

Trust in the nature of leaves to float,
do what you can to be a good leaf,
care for the leaves close to you,
and follow the river to the Sea.

God is there.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

Searching for a friend

Posted October 15, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

I am searching for a friend who lives wild and free.
I will know him by the way he keeps just out of reach.
I will know him because he cannot speak my language,
nor make his home with me. He does not live in
town among the workmen and squint-eyed clerks.

I will know him because his spirit ranges with the winds,
or rides the backs of rolling waves. He will be unmoved
by the stark opinions of the mob, unconcerned with the
moods and dalliances of their kind, those tame things
that live content in their closed pastures and barns.

I will know him by the way he sees me as a curiosity,
by the way he withdraws when I approach, though
I call after him with promises and downcast eyes.
I will know him by the way he talks to me in gestures,
and by the way he remains entirely incomprehensible.

I don’t want a cellmate for a friend. I don’t want one
who breaths the same air behind the same walls.
I don’t care if he is always on the move, from one
danger to the next. Moving with the confidence
of a predator, and loving like a hungry lion.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

A nation of strangers

Posted October 12, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

America is a nation of strangers.
Nobody really belongs here.
They’re all just wandering
around, aimlessly looking
for the important things
they foolishly abandoned
while chasing false promises,
dazed by the shifting lights.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

Perfect learning

Posted October 10, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

Everything will make perfect sense when
the work of living is done, when the picture
of a lifetime is hung on the wall of memory,
and dust begins to gather in its corners.
When the artist retires from his studio, and
makes his way to the porch with his pipe.

Until that perfect moment of reflection,
when the universal Self takes his ease, he
will be challenged by hungers, confusions,
and aching uncertainties. Because hunger,
confusion and uncertainty are the tools of
learning, and learning is a call from Truth.

Learning is not about information and answers,
but rather it is mastering the art of questioning.
In the way a work of art is not an object itself,
but rather the process by which it is created.
The creation of art is a journey of answering
questions, and mastering the risks of failure.

Learning is in the process, in the same way
life is in the process. A process of becoming,
of understanding, of being– of the Truth itself.
Truth is calling, and all life is drawn to it; the
way the sea rises as vapor, journeys as clouds,
falls as rain, and as rivers return to the sea.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

Born to kill

Posted October 9, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

He was descended from hard brutes,
and their whimpering victims both. He
was born on an altar in sacramental blood.
He was just another desperate striding
animal, but he was more unimaginably
cruel than any other hairy beast that
ever walked out of Eden.

He drove his staggering pray over steep
cliffs, or beat their lights out with a club.
He opened their sacred blood fountains,
where clouds of life-steam rose,
into his fierce and callous eyes–
Where tears would not come to cool
the stream of scalding slaughter.

He may have changed the sacred rituals,
but he was even more the master killer.
He wore a suit and tie, but he still cut deep.
All the blood, sinew, meat and bone, became
his own blood, sinew, meat and bone.
He haunted every battlefield and stockyard
where poor things wretched and died.

He pretended to be better than his prey,
a step-up from the animals, but he was
just the apex predator, and he practiced
depravities no other animal could imagine,
even in their desperate struggle to survive.
He built a religion out of killing the right way,
and called it the art of war, a necessary evil.

He was always one cold night on hard ground,
or one missed meal away from dropping his
pretense of being civilized. His face deforms
as he takes up his keen killing instruments to
to strike down his terrified victims. Then he
builds a holy temple from their dry bones,
and sings praises to his approving gods.  

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020 

True freedom

Posted October 5, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

A child’s nightmares are to
be abandoned by his parents,
to be kidnapped,
or to be lost.
Such an elemental fear
remains with him all the
days of his life.

True freedom is either a
nightmare of confusion,
or it is a growing up,
taking responsibility oneself,
understanding that freedom
is the ultimate sacrifice,
and utter loneliness.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

The architect

Posted October 3, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

YOU must be the doorkeeper
of your own thinking.

BE very careful what you allow
into your mind, because every
thought changes you. 

YOU must be the architect
of your own temple…
not the false gods of
and profit.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

We are called

Posted October 2, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

We are called by our children to
become the best human beings we can be.
We are called to abandon envy, waste,
and greed. We are called to turn away
from violence, rage, and hatred.

We are called to be more generous,
more curious, more tolerant, more patient,
more reverent, and more worthy of
the honor of raising our own children
to be citizens of a better world.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

A wandering people

Posted September 20, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

My people are a wandering people,
they only pretend that they belong.
They came from somewhere else,
and built their homes out of
driftwood and dreams.

Nothing’s meant to last more than a
lifetime, no memory of the things
that brought them here, and no
sense of why they stay. They
will move soon enough.

The ghosts of their ancestors cannot
find where their folks have gone,
so they cannot attend them
with the kind of love that
only kin can give.

My people keep looking for delusions
to replace everything that was real,
or grew from our shared history
the way the poplars grandma
planted now reach the sky.

My people are a wandering people,
they are strangers to each other.
Though they still live together,
none of them belongs,
and no one cares.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

Enough for now

Posted September 10, 2020 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

He looked up from his work today to see
the Angel of Light approach again. She
told him to prepare himself for imminent
immortality. She said he would be lifted
into bliss to join his loved-ones who have
escaped the impenetrable pages of time.
Then as she set a halo of glory on his head,

She told him his body was being recalled
by the earth to be made into new beings,
many millions of wondrous new beings,
some forms not yet come to live in matter.
For the Spirit of Life is rolling like thunder
on the horizon, and its power will make
everything new again for the first time.

He lifted his head to see how Life moved
through creation like the winds up from
the ocean move through the willing trees.
He bowed his head in knowing that Spirit is
forever dancing among the atoms of form,
always celebrating with the music it makes
on instruments of annihilation and creation.

Then he carefully set his tools on the bench
and brushed the dust from his shoulders.
A single tear welled up in his eye as the
Angel touched his face with a mother’s
tenderness. His life in this world had been
a great trial, but also a thrilling adventure.
He had known loneliness enough for now.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020