He didn’t have to ask.

Posted February 21, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

He didn’t ask to be born. Did he?
He didn’t come with all the
factory software fully installed.
It was downloaded, bit by bit,
over the kind of lifetime
that feels more like a dream
running mad into oblivion,
than the open road home.

The artist struggles to
command his craft, but it’s
in what he cannot command
that he discovers his genius.
He must be forever searching
for answers. But if he finds
one, he will understand it was
always just a piece of himself.

He didn’t have to ask if it was
God’s plan. He knew no one
escapes the trial, nor the surrender.
Sometimes life is a blind struggle,
sometimes it’s yielding to an end.
Death is perfect justice–
a perfect retribution– and all
too often– an imperfect goodbye.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

Slow down

Posted February 13, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

Just when I think I’m getting ahead,
something tells me to slow down.
There are rooms in my soul I seldom visit;
rooms in which I hide my dreams and
where I store the memories of my youth;

Rooms into which I alone retire when
I want to turn the pages of the past–
where time comes to stand perfectly still.
Slow down, he said. Never rush.
Things will unfold as I remember.

I stood alone on a high precipice,
in the raw heat of a red desert,
watching you soar above me like an eagle,
watching you rise above the mists of time.
I never just wanted to keep up.

I never just wanted to keep running after,
chasing nothing but my impromptu fancies.
I never had the chance to tell you
I was in love with you.
To follow you, I had to slow down.

You outpaced me at a driving speed.  
You breathed in a different atmosphere,
you traveled in another dimension of space.
Your soul circled so fast around its own star
that only you could know where it ran.

I saw from where I stood, how your shadow
moved over the treetops of the swaying pines,
and I watched as you rode the rolling waves.
Along the alabaster strand, I saw you dive
into the silver light of the passing moon.

I heard it in the call of sporting crows as
they retreat from the coast and the sun
reaches for the serene horizon. I heard it in a
car door slam on the street below my window,
and in echoes of shadow on wet pavement.

I heard it in my breathing, and in the sound
of my footsteps on the descending stairs.
As I made my way out into the night air,
I heard you call my name…. then silence.
When I turned to answer, you were gone.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

These words

Posted February 13, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

Every moment of a lifetime lingers,
like the words of this poem.
They sustain each other,
they expand each other,
they know each other’s secrets–
and they know how to be silent
when it is wise to be silent.
They may be strong alone, but
they are unassailable together.

They might speak in a whisper
only they can hear, but their
purpose connects them with
everything in the universe.
They might be dearly close,
but they never touch.
They might live together,
and breathe the same air,
but they will never kiss.

When they sleep, they may dream
the same dreams, but their heads
never touch the same pillow.
Every letter is a living being,
every word an agent of destiny,
every line a journey of discovery,
every page a mystical communion,
and every unwritten intention in
the empty spaces, an opportunity.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

The prisoner

Posted February 2, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

He was a prisoner when the
steel-door shut behind him.
In seventy square feet,
he disappeared into his
own demented dimension, his
dungeon of tedium and terrors.

His thoughts a turning wheel,
turning; in his own trespasses,
turning; in naked vulnerability,
turning; by the metallic taste
of his own exhaled breath,
turning; toward nothingness.

He was an inhabitant of his
own nowhere, held in the grip
of dissonance and demands.
His habits were his work,
fantasy his true religion,
and his meals his only friends.

His life a monotony of waiting:
waiting for sleep, waiting to
wake, waiting for his dreams
to take him away to where
laughter and love still touched
where his heart used to be.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

A perfect work of art

Posted February 1, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

Ah, there is light everywhere I look–
And in its virtue, I can see it all
clearly without shadows.

It is no longer defined by contrasts.
It is no longer defaced by doubt.
It is open and free forever.

I am alive in confidence and truth.
I possess the perfection I prove.
I see myself in all creation.

I see forward and back, It’s all here–
Forever moving without changing,
like a perfect work of art.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

My own thoughts

Posted January 27, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

I am to blame, not the past.
I make the world righteous
or vile, by the way I think.
It is through my own thoughts
the Spirit works the miracle
of Love– and perfects Creation.

This is my journey of discovery.
Whether I know it or not.
This is the destination toward
which I am summoned. I am
called by the voice of an angel
to find my only self.

The self is the first light that
defines the refulgent horizon,
and unfurls its splendid banner
of translucent reds and gold,
its face, like the sun, rising out
of oblivion and relentless night.

I am made of God’s Perfect Love.
There is only One Living Thing,
IT exists to glorify its maker.
There is only One Intelligence,
only one purpose for living,
only one answer to prayer.

All beings conceive their existence
through a shared sense of knowing.
Each uses its own special senses,
its own kind of thinking, to weave
every fiber into the fabric of life,
complete and comprehensible. 

Finding God is elemental,
like feeling a breeze off the ocean,
like a long nap on a quiet afternoon,
like a flower turning to face the sun.
Spirit is in perpetual celebration,
and life is a homecoming banquet.

I am to blame, not my dreams.
I let the world come to me
as it is, as ample consolation.
In my own thoughts, I discovered
everything has a reason,
though it may be a silent one.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2021

Returning home

Posted January 24, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry


This journey may take us
far into unfamiliar country,
where we will reach the
ultimate end of the line,
as deep into the wilderness
as anyone dare go.
There are no guides who
know the way from here.
So, it is time for us to
head for home.

We will seem like new people
when next we meet. We
will have been transformed
by our wanderings. Yes,
changed for the better.
In the soulful separation
of such great distances,
we have come to understand
better what we had always
loved about each other.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

The homeland

Posted January 18, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

There are things he can remember
only in the homeland of his heart.
It is always summer there, and the
air still smells of ocean and earth.
There he found someone who would
reshape his life, the way a powerful
wind bends the trees as it passes.

There was lightning to race the clouds
as they rolled over the blue mountains.
There were conversations that ran long
after sunset until the fires burned low.
There were perennial stars to witness
a form of camaraderie only the vast
impartiality of night could confirm.

Together they would share the long
hot golden days, as the sun made its
sacred offerings to their kinship. The
light joined in affirming how the eyes
of one reflected the love of the other.
Time said it could not last, but it did–
Forever in the homeland of his soul.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

The razor’s edge

Posted January 16, 2021 by CHRIS ERNEST NELSON
Categories: Poetry

I am pro-life and I am pro-choice.
I am for universal health-care,
but I encourage each of us to
be our own first physician.
I favor efficient and just government,
but I implore us to govern ourselves
and treat all others justly.

I dutifully pay my taxes, but I expect
the state to invest my resources wisely.
I desire peace among people and nations,
but I will stop anyone who tries
to hurt someone I love.

I don’t see politics as a team sport,
with winners and losers, but rather
as families working together to
face the common challenges of
living in a dangerous world.

Yes, I have my own opinions,
but I don’t insist you agree with me.
And though I rejoice in unity of purpose,
I also delight in the symphony of voices.

There is a place where ideology
and justice meet. There is a place where
necessity and innovation agree, there is
a place where truth and possibilities
unite in causes greater than
our own private interests.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020

Kindness

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

Most deeds of kindness
arrive unannounced
and pass unremarked.
Kindness reveals itself as
such an elemental thing,
like dreaming or waking,
it is taken for granted.

Like a beautiful song that
arrives on the wind from
nowhere and disappears
into the ether, without
leaving a memento of
its evanescent passing.

Kindness does not
flaunt itself, nor does
it answer to a name.
Kindness does not seek
a thank-you, nor does it
mingle smugly in a crowd.
But kindness will redeem
you, and transform you.

Kindness is how God makes
His way among us. God is
present in the gentle touch,
in every healing word of
comfort, in every smile,
and in every act of giving.

© Chris Ernest Nelson 2020