26 April 2017

Too Much Time to Think

Temperance bearing an hourglass; detail from
Lorenzetti's 
Allegory of Good Government, 1338


If only a grain of sand would enter my life today
I might pull a pearl out of it—but who knows if the day
itself is not the grain of sand which leads to life’s riches?

Do oysters try to disgorge the irritating grain
or do they wish for it, knowing that present pain can lead
to future beauty? Oh! to be an oyster for a day!

Or rather to endure—to welcome—today as it is,
in control with few surprises.  Not everyone can be
tortured into creativity or productiveness.

Perhaps this time around I’m meant to rest after a past
life as a refugee or revolutionary.  Or perhaps
this restfulness is calm before inconceivable storm.




For Sumana's prompt

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ A Grain Of Sand


(April is International Poetry Month.)

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



22 April 2017

One Day, Dedicated to Earth




Mobilize the Earth shirt (Patagonia)
source


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

Haiku



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


Image
Posted on  


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