Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kevin Patrick Nelson - Poem "Church"

CHURCH by Kevin Patrick Nelson

I am of no religion.

I am neither the mule nor among the cattle.

I am not the herder dog or shepherd.

I do know that we have access to heaven and hell on this earth in our lifespans and have the ability to choose between a ladder and a hole—to climb thus ascend to a higher form of self or to fall along a brutally endless descent.

I am speaking not preaching—of a truth found only in life. Nothing before

nothing after.

Expectation of either is like trying to extend ones' hand into a river, lift a cupped palm to the air and believe the still waters will stand for an eternity or so.

We cannot hold that which slips away against our preference—whether to the skies or soils.

It's the essence we wish to uphold—a simpler form of perception bent only by distance from start to end. The progression of our lives a string held over a bare meadow where milestones are lined as the tombstones of Arlington. Markers to indicate the death of self through succeeding wars—conflicts fought without thought.

A battle was imminent—the field between the forest lined hills tarnished with the carcasses that would supply the nutrients of a new growth of vegetation to be cut down centuries later so more wars can be waged. A displacement of what's natural in order to make room for naturally re-occurring elements of the human condition.

Raised to become warriors we now wonder what the war is for.
Who does conflict benefit?

Keeping our arms in stow we roam the empty loam in hope of coming across others who keep idle their weapons unless to sharpen the skills of their new found neighbors.

A demonstration of one's worth is not determined by the heads hanging from one's belt but the lives saved through one's influence.

From savage to passive in all the right strides—the pull of one's inner strength—the magnets at the hearts of individuals who hold out their open hands selflessly, without regret—can alter the tides and return a drowning soul to the sands of a land complete with all the necessities to resuscitate an ailing body and tortured mind.

Set yourselves at ease—find yourselves at peace with the destination you wish to reach the driving engine behind one's half-ton motivational pull.

It takes patience to cross a nation shaking every hand along the way. To allow enough time to say at least one word of encouragement.

Torrents of pleasant peasants free of torment—seeking shelter from the harsh winds with smiles on their faces as they huddle together to keep warm—a poison burns inside 'em in the form of their assignment to attain proper living requirements where a meal can be cooked in the oven of the brain instead of worryin' bout the incoming rain hanging on the brim of the blackening clouds creeping over the steel buildings. Feelings of heaven are dismissed even in bliss' presence—the lessons of hell can lead one back from the abyss but one must sense the unwillingness to stress over rent or bills or finances or bullshit.

Lean on me and I'll lean on you. We can support each other—not as crutches but friends to share a lunch if one can't afford it.

It's important to notice when there's a change in foliage—to see the two ends of a tree, below being much the same as the branches' tips, extending and reaching outward in all directions. A linear bark in between.

All in all whether residing in heaven or hell the tree remains in the plane of possibility.

Climb the redwood whichever way you will. Remember though, it is your decision. Nobody else can keep you from being who you ought to be.

Kevin Patrick Nelson is a poet/spoken word artist living in New York City. His website is

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