Tuesday 9 January 2024

Two Poems by Chris Collins


Presence of Being

The slight ring of the back porch chimes

resonates through the air

tingling sensate neurons that

enable emotional and spiritual

responses to my present state of “being.”

With awareness of my existing self,

the “I” of “who I am” feels integrated with

the winds travelling through the dry

air of a drought.

These soft brief winds bring their past to

my present, touch me for moments, then

move on to their future - a place I haven’t yet

gotten to.

As they pass, I remain in a presence that

is disconnected from both past and future.

I remain for a glorious moment in the

inexplicable presence of my “self” that

is remarkably transcendent of all matter

with no boundaries and only a brief but

beautiful sense of existence.

This place, this here, this now, this moment,

is a moment of invincible nothingness neither

hope nor despair, neither past nor present

just the presence of being.

Primal Scream - Primal Cry

I see them in my mind,

all those who died.

I buried them.

I teared and cried inside.

Now I sit and now I’m old

and see myself dying and I will

certainly die.

I won’t be here long - to cry, nor be

a witness, but will be buried

in my coffin, where I will decay

in flesh and blood in bone and eyes.

Though there is much to see,

it will not be there for me, as I

will be with family and others

in that eternal dust - the dust that

was reserved for you and I.

It will be for others left behind to cry

and that is the eternal cry that says:

why oh why must it be I?

There will be no response, only the dust

that contains the collective I that is

our destiny.

So try - yes - try we must - to love all we can.

That is forged in the primal cry when we are

infants … to get the love that resides in someone

else, for our purpose is to survive, and the way

to get that love is to scream that primal scream,

and cry that primal cry, until there is no breath left,

only a sigh for the loss of love that lets us die.



Chris Collins has indulged in a variety of activities: nature photography (exhibiting locally at the Woodstock Artists Association and Museum), served in local politics (elected to the Woodstock town board), and eventually created and was CEO of a 501© (3) festival (the Woodstock Comedy Festival) whose profits were donated to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Poetry & photopoetry are Chris’s main interests, especially nature poems which he combines with nature photography. 

Chris has been published in several Hudson Valley magazines, an anthology and national publications. His work has been published in Arts Mid-Hudson’s and WAAM shows; in an anthology: Mightier - Poets for Social Justice; in a humanist web zine: A Poetry-Lover’s Guide To The World-Wide Web, Post-1950 also in Writers in the Mountains. Chris is a member of Calling All Poets Society (CAPS) & Woodstock Poetry Society.

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