Sunday, June 14, 2009

Measuring Up, The Color Thief

I have mentioned before that I cannot be certain that my way is any better than a heartfelt fantasy. I am on a path, I believe. I often encounter really concrete doubt that it comes to anything. I step past. Sometimes I ask. That's what this poem is about.

Measuring Up

I stand on the edge
Looking back, hoping I was
The good man I think
I was, and perhaps
Had moments of real grace...

I play games with me
That say so, hoping
If I say so then it's so.

I turn and ask you
Am I really real?

You reply as usual:
Enigmatic smile.

January 15, 2009 8:28 PM


Here comes another enigmatic poem. The last one turned out to be about some of you people who come here. Perhaps this one will be too.

Years ago now, I decided to check and see if anything had changed inside. I pray regularly to have God remove the defects in my character which may stand in the way of my usefulness. One of those defects, I am a thief. That's what I decided to check. Not having stolen anything for a very long time, decades, would I have grown a conscience somehow? I stole a pair of sunglasses from a store to see. I slept just fine. Nope. I'm still a thief. I haven't stolen anything since, probably at least eight years. But I could. I'm good. And it doesn't bother me.

This poem though, it's something different.

The Color Thief

White, red, black, color
Missing from me and I may balk
At what I must do
To maintain colors
In my cloudy heart.
You have
Stolen blue and cream.

January 16, 2009 7:50 AM


  1. I do really try to be careful when I come here. Careful to listen and careful to hear.

    The first - I've been questioning my worth lately. Trying to see. In my heart I am good. On paper, I don't measure up. I wonder if god uses paper?

    The second, I'm lost inside of your preamble. I can't get out. Is that The Measure there as well? That if you're capable, then you still are? In that case I should stop my wondering. I'm screwed.

    I instinctually love the poem. Now tell me of it. (So demanding she is!) please~

  2. I love coming to Christopher's blog although I have come at times in some fear and trepidation. My belief has been to just keep walking through the situation whenever that happens for me.

    At times, the comments and the exchanges are worth the addition to the wonderful writing and the poetry that can turn a phrase to skin
    a delicate feeling in a heartbeat.

    Saying all that Erin,I think your comment is one at the heart of the matter for me...Perhaps others also. You and I may be a bit alike with that need to know the where and why of it..

  3. I've been thinking a little, after a conversation with someone else, and before, about people giving context and commentary and explanation with their poetry, which seems to be happening more in places I read. In general, I think perhaps it's a regrettable trend, the poems should be able to stand alone. But I think Christopher you're an exception there; your poetry does stand alone, but the prose you write with them stands alone too, and together they make more still.

    Sad about the blue and cream, but you could find some more somewhere else?

  4. Yes, me too.

    I wasn't so good....


  5. I love Christopher's commentary, but I must admit that at times, I have to read and reread to understand it. His understanding of quantum mechanics and physics is beyond me, and his spiritual musings always enlighten. His poetry could absolutely stand alone, but the "back story" as he calls it, adds, I think.

    Sometimes, I think he speaks for me, too:

    "I play games with me
    That say so, hoping
    If I say so then it's so."

  6. Another interesting conversation at Christopher's :D.

    Sometimes I wonder if the meanings of the poems change for you, Christopher, between the time when you write them and the time when you post them? Or do you find more meanings when you start to write about them?

    I love the back story. And I love the poetry. Sometimes I want to read them separately. It is like any other poetry I read -- I want to feel the meaning within my own reality -- where the words take me. How they fit inside of my heart.

    But I also want to know your reality. And knowing that often takes me closer to understanding myself too.

    You are "really real", and you are a Magpie:)


  7. Wow, I love this. I am really touched that this poem seems so important.

    The thing to remember about God, He is not petty. It's the important shit that matters. This world is heavily redundant. There are uncounted ways to get most things done in it. Like your liver is redundant, a good thing because you can lose 3/4s of it before you really notice. The world is pretty much like that on purpose.

    There is SLACK!

    Every time you get close to Eternity, there is this paradox that shows up. Everything is important, infinitely, and there is all the time in the world, so there is no sweat. If you look at the responsibility side, that's crushing, but if you look at how much time you have, go fishing!

    This doesn't finish the conundrum I measure up? Of course not! Is this serious? No. I completely have the choice to duck the issue. That's obvious because most do and seem to get away with it.

    So it's not the situation. It's me. It's me. I am my own worst gadfly in this. God's mercy is as infinite as His judgment.

    Just don't try to stand alone. God with skin on is helpful. We don't know what we say that leads to real change for someone else. But it happens.

    How does God work this? In the cracks, peeking out through your eyes to me, through my eyes to you, and elsewhere, offering assistance to pick up the slack as you do the best you can, not the best you can imagine (which is usually bullshit).

  8. Erin, not long before I wrote this poem, I was watching Saving Private Ryan again. At the end of the movie Ryan as an old man asks his wife to tell him he was a good man. That's because the Tom Hanks character gave his life while saving Ryan and he knew it. He asked this at Tom's grave site in France. This is a human question, mediated among us.

    But then Zen comes in. The question is vital. The answer may not be useful even if correct.

  9. When I steal, I feel I have hurt the person I have stolen from. I feel sorry for them. That's probably the main thing stopping me, not some sense of having wronged. The other thing I worry about is having the negative energy come back at me. Something of similar value will be taken from me. This I believe; I've experienced it often enough to know it is true. I used to wonder, when I was an older child, why didn't I feel a moral barrier to stealing?

    Like you though, I probably wouldn't lose sleep over it.

    Maybe that's why we can write down ideas we channel from somewhere else. We aren't so worried about stealing something that doesn't belong to us.

  10. Rachel, that's a brilliant thought about stealing the words. My poetry really is the words. My visual is second to the words. Don't ask me to explain that. I just know it is true for me. But words are not these signs but the sounds. I steal the sounds from elsewhere, both in this and in music. I have never connected that before now.

  11. Christopher.... just a small suggestion for your blog... sometimes when i'm reading your poems i think of pizza, and it would be like really nice if you would just place a little URL button on the top right side of your blog, set up to open a new window to the pizza delivery place so i could order a pizza without being finished reading the poems..... thanks in advance.....

  12. p.s. you could label it "pizza window"....

  13. Ghost Dansing may rule, may rule my heart, certainly rules the squirrels running round my brain, but Ghost Dansing does not rule on this blog :( Not able to rule absolutely everywhere feels like good pizza eating wheather to me :) Just this once, free pizza for everyone on me! All you gotta do is show up in Gladstone and figure out where my house's piping hot and waitin...except the part I'm eating. Heh. I have to warn you, you gotta get here PDQ, or allllll gonnnnnne.

  14. Oh by the way, Faith, the answer to your questions is Yes.

    Or maybe no.

    Is it Tuesday yet?

  15. :) Pizza sounds good.
    It isn't quite tuesday yet....:D

  16. Okay - pizza and poetry! Now, THAT rules! (only not on Christopher's blog)... ;-)


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