15 November 2017

How Nature Balances

Fireball from the 1998 Leonid meteor shower on Nov. 17,
Photo by astrophotographer Lorenzo Lovato, 1998. (SPACE.com)

Imagine sitting on a rock, tree top, or lone
and naked peak while fireworks of celestial
origin fizzle so near you must cross your arms.

I stood quite close to sparks of paper burning once—
back when we burned our own trash in backyard barrels—
and loved how front and back of me turned hot and cold,

but found eyebrows and hair ends singed, curled back and scared.
I see the moon. turning on its spit, roasting in
the sun, but split and pocked into craters and crags.

Perhaps celestial showers are also beautiful
and ominous.  Imagine clinging to a rock,
rooftop, or lone and naked tree, admiring

the stunning fireworks as meteors miss us
this time, leaving a trail of destruction elsewhere
where they’re from, where they are and where they’re going.

For my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Meteor Showers

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

08 November 2017

Holy Noise: a poem with very little pain in it

Cathedral MG 2652.jpg
 Muir Woods National Monument: a natural cathedral, photo by PeteBobb 

Most apparent when silence is the goal,
noise can be the sounded silence 
of a child's sobs or make-believe 
or a Meeting for Worship’s hush as 
humans breath, cough and wake 
in heightened awareness
of God’s presence.

Alone or together, we are akin to trees
our silence rustling and creaking welcome 
to bugs and woodpeckers and wind,
to chipmunks and other passers-by.
We still ourselves, lean against 
tall pine trunks or chair backs,  
listen heart to heart.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Silence

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

01 November 2017

Goodness on Parade

Mano sinistra di santa Caterina da Siena.jpg
Left hand of St. Catherine of Siena,
preserved in the monastery of Santa Maria del Rosario
at Monte Mario, Rome

Goodness on Parade

The saints marched into view—by fingers, bones,  
pieces of cloth and wood and stones—standing
ruins scattered throughout the Apennines.

They brought bios and cautionary tales—
Be Good even if tortured Unto Death,
and then intercede for the living still.

This isn’t an ordinary parade
like those that crisscrossed small town childhoods—
no bands and floats in colored carnations—

But faithful soldiers dismembered, as if
the war had ended and ended poorly,
as if battered by the cross of Jesus.

Those who survive this barbarity could
inspire apostles and new miracles
whether or not called holy by a church,

whether or not claimed by a religion,
whether or not they know answers or languages,
whether they are giving or receiving.

Now comes a procession with brass and string
bands, dancers, clowns, buskers and hawkers—all
marching, moving through fields of bright flowers.

Here is neighborhood and sanctuary,
faith, harmony and passion, but something
is missing, some vision and mystery—

Where is Jesus or some other children
of God, a wild blossoming, willingness
to die rather than keep on stepping on

around and through those not invited to
the glory of righteousness?  Look, it comes!
Living morality plays for everyone!

Goodness is marching in again, beyond 
what's known as possible, and I, unchurched
and unschooled, want to be in this number.

It isn’t an ordinary parade
nor a tidy garden, but it is gaining
momentum, interceding for us all.

And maybe there will be no body parts
but heart and breath, maybe the few ruins
will be dead laws that we let scatter us.

I cannot seem to get this right.  I may need to abandon form 
and free verse it.  But I have to move on and 
post it anyway, for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Saints

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

25 October 2017

An Ordinary Day

We are such stuff               
As dreams are made on, and our little life               

Is rounded with a sleep.               
               ~ Shakespeare, The Tempest IV:1, 146-48

East to West, dawn to dusk, curtain to curtain,
cover to cover—I turn my single day’s journey
into many, each with rising action and a hope of resolution.
Each has a beginning, though the end is uncertain.

The length of this play—five-acts, three-acts or one—
I travel with characters by bus, by flying carpet,
by streetcars of desire, and by holding on
while we rotate with the earth, moon and sun.

How dizzying to follow the plots, to find what they mean—
or to try and write the chapters, predict and control—
when I could let go and live them, collaborate, and,
in between, embrace the clutter and the dream.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Journey

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

23 October 2017

Life in a Gallery

Oil by Dot Chast

What story do I tell myself to wake
and to sleep in a daily round of peace?

Fullness.  Waving my bright colored arm-wear
in physical therapy exercise

as if I am a tree with roots and sap
that will rise up again someday. Later.

I live in an art gallery.  Fabric
softens the edges of despair

and still life paintings have non-reflective
surfaces. Faces and fruit intersperse

tall trees in bloom and trees so huge the frame
captures only bark covered trunks, thick, dark

perhaps alive—or dead and turned into
firewood pieces, unstacked,  revealed, unique.

And framed.  Narrated.  Made into d├ęcor.
Dead bodies given another purpose.

They surround me like crucifixes.  I
awake and sleep within their promises.

I frame myself a tree that will rise up
again someday.  Later.  When fullness comes.

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

18 October 2017

Driving Home After the Wake

A sole quick-crossing deer paused long enough
to meet my eyes in the headlights before
disappearing into the moonless night—

I think I slowed to watch for her after
passing the sign announcing her presence.
You know the signs that make us laugh?  I mean—

Who knows when and where, when it comes to it?
So, I always slow down to see what will
cross over, be it blind people or cows.

And like magic, a deer and human were
where we were meant to be, hunters in star
light, fading just before the crescent moon.

No one was hurt.  I held my breath, and she
didn’t wait for me to draw the long bow
or run with her across the fields.  I wished

To be a mythic protectress goddess,
to be any earth mother anywhere
and not a lone driver upon a road.

I waited, but this was all the bright pool
of light revealed of how we pass and hit
or miss the gifts of our co-existence.

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2017 Susan L. Chast