Thursday, September 22, 2011

In The Stones And Sand

The rain in the distance never comes near

Yesterday it came up again. Once before someone asked, "shouldn't your poems stand alone? Why would you try to tell the reader what to do, how to understand?" Yet musicians and writers and dramatists and painters actually do this in subtle and not so subtle ways all the time. I don't think a work stands alone ever. There is always a context. My new friend asked me why I included the word definitions and in that post the answer is very simple, because it was easier to copy Thom's Three Word Wednesday list than to rewrite it. I don't worry about things like that. My blog form is usually some kind of prose to compare and contrast with the poem. Most often these days the prose is not really that much mine but belongs to the anonymous Wiki contributor or some other remarkable web site. I don't intend this site to be solely poetry. I do hope that there is connection between the prose and the poem if only in a meander but this time maybe not.

I lived in West Texas in the second grade. I have a few strong memories, the impetigo I caught, the horny toads I killed (shame), the ants and desert scrub of the native yard out back, the trailer we lived in, the chinchilla cages my grandfather used, but oddly not the chinchillas he raised, the cab of the truck on the day I visited the construction site because mom said I could if dad said and dad said I could if mom said so I said they both said...I got in trouble for that one, when I caught the inside of my left leg near the knee and tore a big flap of skin open (I still have the scar), some drawings I did, how happy I was to go back to California, though we stayed in Gardena before coming all the way back to Berkeley, Ca where we started from. We moved into the back apartment in the house next door to the upstairs apartment in the house we had moved out from. In our new kitchen was a cooler made of wire mesh to the outside on the bottom and a door to close like any other cubboard, but down low to the floor of course.

In The Stones And Sand

The dry ache of things
on this slope I walk, stumble
over hidden stones
beneath the drab sand
looking for signs of life, you.

No stone is unturned
in this search of mine,
no stone left to sit as is
except those too big
like the stone I have
in my torn and sandy heart,
in my arid soul.

December 18, 2009 7:55 PM


  1. In the farthest recesses
    of my soul
    protected and shilded
    lies a peice of my heart
    brused and torn
    its arythmick beat
    ratta tap
    ratta tap
    setting the tempo
    for this limpers march
    tattered and torn
    protected and shilded
    but not safe

    Please forgive my spelling sent from phone, no spell check. Again thank you my friend, it may not have seemed so but I heard your words today,and they did penatrate my anger.

  2. Never mind...God blesses me with you and your family.

  3. Both of you are beautiful. Christopher, I really enjoy your 'back stories', shared facts etc, and the poems that follow after, both inspire me to write. And Brother Christopher, thanks for sharring your heart your words are touching, perfect spelling/grammar or not. I love you both very much and am blessed to have such talented writers and wonderful souls in my life!xo

  4. first, i am so happy to come into this warm room. and next, this is who you are. to come into a room with only poems would be as though you had moved out and left only a few relics. i invite you to stay. otherwise, we'd all be alone. plus, there are no blasted rules! fuck rules!

    but even in the poem, even if that largest stone is left to sit, i see you walking around it, your own heart, looking, hoping.


  5. I am touched today, that such good friends express themselves here. I am only regretful that I have neither the time nor the energy these days to return the visits as it feels like I should.

    Jennifer, I have been in love with the McQs for years as you well know. I was not really looking for feedback because I well know that I am the one in charge here no matter who says what. I actually have a goal of transparency, meaning that among the other things this site does, there is honest inventory going on too. This is one piece of my ongoing spiritual health. My protection resides in how full of fiction the blog is. People can't know for sure which is straight up history and which made up story. I have had a colorful life but maybe not this colorful. :D

    Erin, with you my regret is the afternoon (even the morning and late night) visits are not possible. I am sure we would get along and not smallest among our business would be much laughter. And as you say, the warmth of trusted friends.

  6. There always indeed is a context, and a subtext, and a meta-text, and...

    Poets, I think, are looked on as wistful and mysterious, and so people want their words to be the same way. Then they feel that background information disrupts the cryptic beauty; but you know what, I'm glad my copy of the Waste Land had annotations. I'm glad I read a biography of Dylan Thomas before I read any of his work.

    It depends if what you want to take out of a poem is to let it enchant you completely and briefly (because the unknowable never sticks, unless you make a habit of seeking out the unknowable), or to connect with it and understand its voice. I enjoy that you share your thoughts and impressions along with your craft, because then it lingers and has substance. You can let poems go like balloons or scatter them like seeds, but you can only keep re-connecting with one of those.

    Keep turning over those stones. Every inch is a discovery. :)

  7. I find your extended post full of matter and very generous.

    Reading every day in my inbox, sometimes I do skip the introductory text, which anyone can do if they want, and go straight to the poem -which always can stand alone. My reasons for doing this vary; perhaps I'm in a hurry, or can't do the rest justice, sometimes it doesn't grab me at that moment. Perhaps I then might go back over the preamble. We have autonomy as readers too.

    Keep doing what you're doing as you want to, evidence is many of us like it that way.

    Oh, and I enjoy the surprise element of the pictures too.

  8. I sometimes do both, Joseph, since I often write the poems in comments to someone else's post and leave them there as you well know. I am a veritable johnny applepoem. That way they first appear all on their own and then more than a year later as part of a post with more added. It is only lately that I have chosen sometimes to leave a poem in a comment and post it the same day. It is neither true nor necessary that the rest of the post support the poem directly. It is just that I am a writer and often have something to say.

  9. Lucy, speaking of generosity...

    You may recall an evolution to these posts as you have been around since the beginning. I don't present in the same style I once did.

    You are quite right. Most of my readers don't comment, but the stats show they do come back. And that is more and more the truth of my life too as I find my energy ebbing. I often pass through blogs in some way now without leaving a comment behind. Sometimes with my friends I look for the fact of their work (yes, they did blog today...or not) and that's the extent of it - I want to know they are "near" is all. How else can it be in a limited life? We all live limited lives in some way, no?

    So many of my original friends have stopped showing up. Blogging seems to have a "half life" of a couple years, meaning every couple years only half are still here.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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