22 April 2017

One Day, Dedicated to Earth

Mobilize the Earth shirt (Patagonia)

Earth, let me wrap my arms around you
And thank you for faithfully turning, for
Retaining what elements you can and for
Trusting me for a while--O!  and
 Holding me gently, without malice. 
Dear One,
Accept my heart, though it can't save
You.  Not anymore.

Let me sharE your faithfulness
                                                                              And your fate.
                                                                No matteR if first be water or fire,
                                                                          cerTainly atmosphere will follow
                                                          because EartH, you must be last. 
                                  Friends are trying to Delay the end
                                                                               As long as possible
                                                            hoping that You will rally and recover.

After we are gonE
Live if you are able.  A
prayer we carry is that youR
heart is stronger than ours, thaT
our demise will restore your healtH
Today we finally yielD
to you ALL the love from our fourth chakrA
praying it is not too late to extend your storY


(April is International Poetry Month.)

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast

21 April 2017

Still Life with Dogwood

Workmen littered the spring green yard
with cut branches trimmed from the dogwood tree.
My silent scream echoed her quiet one.

She took five years to grow so tall and full,
this beauty landscapers sheered and shaped with-
out asking.  I gathered the nearly dead.

Now my widest glass vase offers water
to dark leaves and pale blossoms drooped
into bells that will never testify.

Please ask before further cutting, I beg. 
Little can thrive in this small plot—graveyard
for grass, roses, rhodies, and vegetables.

We embrace forgiveness and prevention
right here where it hardly matters.  Until
the least matters, the greatest never will.

(Truly, I’m pleased to talk, to care, to have
an instinct for nonviolent action
and tenderness rather than swift vengeance.)

(April is International Poetry Month.)

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast

19 April 2017

Excuse Me While I Unfold the Years

North and South Lake
The Sphinx on the Escarpment Trail - Southeastern Section

My earliest memory of holy—
a whole, sensual and spiritual
presence without boundaries—was upon
a rock—a boulder really—world-sized, high
and smooth enough that I had to lean on

arms braced behind to keep from sliding off
and in the vertigo of adjustment
in that instant of disorientation
my vision shifted and wonder replaced
my fear.  But I returned to earth.  And from
the descriptions of holiness given
to me then, I didn’t recognize it.

Holiness was located in buildings,
religion classes, objects, names, prayers
and language to memorize and repeat.
When did breath cling to those lessons?
I don’t remember when the word God first

lived for me, though I knew what I was s’posed
to feel.  I think I felt something shift once
in puppy love.  Poetry erupted.
But it wasn’t until protests against
the war that I integrated with night,
wasn’t until drumming with women ‘round
bonfires that I remembered my first boulder.

Holiness embraces physically—
oh yes—whether in dance or sitting still,
whether alone or in community,
whether on a proclaimed high holy day
or in moments of awareness.  It is.

Accessible. If busy-ness doesn’t
displace it and if I don’t misplace it.
Breath is holy.  Waking is holy and
touching is holy.  And—primed by pagan
ritual and desire for peace—I heard
God speak, finally, and met Jesus who
became a go-between for me.  A Way.

I call that way holy, delight to walk
in it intentionally, but accept
that much of the time I am not aware.
I also accept that God loves and holds
me even when I am inattentive.

Excuse me while I unfold sixty years.
I thought it would be easy to explain
holiness, but despite all that is said
and written about it in many faiths—
I know you have to experience it
yourself, oh yes, even in a mystic
inhale, catching your breath when it’s that real.

(April is International Poetry Month.)

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast

18 April 2017

When Faithfulness Needs A Story

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Some say faith is enough, but how
wise was Jesus to gather his
A-Team before he made big waves!

You who labor with disciples
know that it doesn’t matter how
perfect they are—just that they are.

Perhaps to teach and guide is part
of larger unknown plans, as are
potential betrayals and death.

Most urgent is action that won’t
wither under verbal attack
or physical threat—acts that grow.

And as for resurrection, well—
believe in it or not—you know
that strong faith leads to miracles.

Alone, we risk incompletion
from self-betrayal and weakness,
and here faith keeps us company.

I am grateful for parables
and Bible stories that show the way
when I am lonely in my day.

(April is International Poetry Month.)

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast


Out from self-center,
lilies and lilacs await
fragrant and smiling.

Posted on  

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast

16 April 2017

Until Limits Burst (Easter Sunday)

Image result for sunrise wikipedia


You are full of learning, my friend,
you can absorb no more—that is,
to pull more in, your sides must give
or your seams must rupture—that is,
you stored and hoarded way beyond
capacity.  Without release,
first flaccidity, then rigor
mortis will set in.  And then—if
you’re lucky—your container will
relax into open channels
allowing knowledge flow to flush
away what is useless, restore
what is wise and ageless, and make
room for the new and evolving.

In short, my friend, rebirth is real
if we should choose the path of life.
Death is real, too, and we submit
when tired, defeated, completed,
or petrified into non-life.
But come with me to the sunrise
service and open your eyes to
what is possible if you choose
revolution, evolution,
resurrection—if you can choose
emptying and releasing, can
share in truth and power and love.
But if that is too many ANDS
for you, it is time to let go.


Walking alone
in the dark, scared
until freedom
sinks in, and then
over the hill,
the silhouette
of city, in
blue by Van Gogh,
just a brush stroke.
The lumps ahead
turn out to be
four people close
on a blanket
sitting, kneeling,
watching the sky
become lighter,
welcoming Light.
Blink, rest your eyes
for a second
and sunrise has
advanced so far
you stay alert
and your borders
open to know
God does not die
God lives deeper
than we ever go. 
When chill sets in
you stand to leave.
Three still lumps
in the distance
turn out to be
wild turkey who
let us join them.


God never tires of gratitude.
oh, words may be tiring, but deeds?
Trees say thank you by growing wide
and tall, by stretching out to touch,
by being available and
obedient.  You laugh and call
them “women” but I say you’re wrong—
they are obedient to God,
not to you or to men or to
power.  They are the truth of strength,
they live into their nature and
in that way they are women free
and men free, too, child free, you, me.
Laugh without cruelty if you can,
my friend.  God never tires of joy.

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry #349

(April is International Poetry Month.)

I started a 4th section that I lopped off because I thought it was too preachy:  


You may think if 
you’re white or male
or wealthy or 
physically fit
you are exempt 
from the Soul death
of greedy people.  
You are not. 
Beware the rust and 
crust of knowing all,
beware damming 
up the rivers
that were meant to 
flow free, beware
ego that blinds, 
beware the cells
of privilege 
that bind and stop
you from serving 
others, beware
the mental blocks
that prevent Grace.
You can choose 
to grow like a tree,
you can open 
the dam to let
the river flow.  
You can let go.

My blog poems are rough drafts.   
Please respect my copyright. 
© 2017 Susan L. Chast