22 September 2016

Slowing Down to Engage the Harvest

Cornucopia (PSF) bg.png
source


(1)

On Fall Equinox she begins two lists
in preparation for the new years of
the Semitic and Celtic traditions—
events she’s borrowed to organize time.

List time harvests her year’s experience:
its highs and lows, wins and losses, changes
of direction, processes, products and
unfinished business. 
List time revises
past lists and poems, blog posts and fallow fields
of dreams. 
List time slows down emotions that
hurried and blinded her to her power.

List time acknowledges offenses, asks
forgiveness, feeds the hungry, drinks deeply.


(2)

She’ll burn the first at Hallowmas:
what she wills herself to cease clinging to
in habit, thought and deed—what deadened walls
she’s built and joined that should admit sunlight—
what walls under construction need delays
and alterations—more, too.
Gently, but
determinedly, she turns awareness toward
details, powerful possibilities
hidden by running, hiding, hoarding and
averting eyes from what she knows inside.


(3)

She’ll love the second, claiming and listing
those qualities and leadings she’ll nurture
forward into their next incarnations,

fruit she’ll preserve and bulbs she’ll plant alone
or with others, her prayers and positive
inclinations—
babies to feed and learn
from, youth to teach, empower and befriend,
movements to join, support and further 
                                                                                    one
step after another, no going back,
no fear of change and strange and fire this time.



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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast





21 September 2016

Not the Equality that I Long For



Image result for facebook images



Each post seems alike
at first glance, and we
lose perspective when
we skim late social
invites and faces
of friends, strangers and
dogs side by side with
protest announcements,
inspirational
quotes, loving prayers,
Black Lives Matter and

New videos of
uni-formed police
shooting un-armed men
of color, un-armed
men of color shot
dead, bombings of old
world cities, rescues
of babies, music,
recipes, riots
and tear gas, but we
know Black Lives Matter

And read tracts on white
fragility and I-
can’t-pledge-allegiance-
to-this-country, not
until it acts on
its declaration
of equality,
kinship and other
opinions that don’t
matter once shots fired
take another life.

We open pages
to learn when and where
we can be useful
and try not to fall
down other paths as
we seek right use of
marches, sit-ins and
boycotts.  We look for
allies and moral 
perspectives to use
seven days a week.



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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast




20 September 2016

Something to do with Equality



Logo of the International Day of Peace organization


On the International Day of Peace
consider the Autumnal Equinox
that follows in the Northern Hemisphere:

Between half years of traded dominance
and submission—one waxing while one wanes—
earth’s Night and Day are equal twice a year

Thus earth's tilt alters Night and Day as moon
affects the ocean tides, certain and sure
despite disturbing storms and eclipses.

And some say opposites like war and peace
follow nature’s patterns of power pull
and push, and thus are inevitable.

But some say violence is like those storms
on earth and sun that knock out natural
patterns of give and take among equals.

That we can use a few hours of truce
to study human ignorance and to
control  the storms that threaten lives and food.

That it's hard enough to face global tides
               we have to tame to keep our earth alive.
               (These are the people who can help us thrive.)





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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast


September 16th, Twenty Sixteen in the Story of Justice

In this image made from a Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, center, is pursued by police officers as he walk to an SUV in Tulsa, Okla. Crutcher was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead after he was shot by the officer around 8 p.m., Friday, police said. Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday, Sept. 19, 2016.  (Tulsa Police Department via AP)
In this image made from a Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 police video, Terence Crutcher, center, is pursued by police officers as he walk to an SUV in Tulsa, Okla. Crutcher was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead after he was shot by the officer around 8 p.m., Friday, police said. Crutcher had no weapon on him or in his SUV, Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said Monday, Sept. 19, 2016. (Tulsa Police Department via AP) (The Associated Press)


When police tazed and shot a Black man in Tulsa,
I was home reading a novel and watching TV movies
whose names I cannot remember.

It’s a war out there. On this side of the equator,
nights lengthen toward equality but darkness
continues to grow in our land.

Video cam footage (which does not lie) increasingly
reveals the violence of superiority and fear
in the souls of our supposed protectors.

Can we doubt any longer that Black people
are targeted by police? even if, yes, the police 
we know couldn’t and wouldn’t murder? 

The origin of policing in slave times to protect and retrieve
property that stole itself away from slavery, the origin of policing 
to prevent Black people from being human left traces

in the unbridled behaviors of some cops with guns
but we are all responsible when we don’t find the solution,
when we retain laws to set these killers free.

The novel I was reading plotted a violent war among gods 
and godlike men and women who cannot transform 
until they are all killed in battle.

Those who willingly sacrifice themselves so others may live
come alive again, but they didn’t know that as they prepared
themselves to walk selflessly into their fate.

If these saints come marching in, I want to be their number.
But see?  I am already setting up conditions, a price for
involvement.  Can I, can we, ever place justice first?



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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast




18 September 2016

Awake in the Harvest Moon



Moonshine pours tonight, spills
over my dark heart.  Thank God for Moon.
Mankind hasn’t tinkered there quite yet,
though there’s some trash, for sure

But no one’s hit oil there,
not that we’d know about it.  Pipelines
are pretty much a done deed before
dished up to land dwellers.

And as far as I know
the Moon has no water to pollute.
Anyway, Moon shines like day tonight
reminding me to howl

at my true future home
like some old storyland coyote.
A child’s dream, I recall it daily
while picking up the trash.

Now the lawn is clean, but
looks too tall in the light of the moon.
I won’t miss grass, but I’ll miss shade trees
when I’m home on the moon.



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


© 2016 Susan L. Chast




16 September 2016

No Longer Sitting Still to Face Injustice

Paula Modersohn-Becker - Head of a Girl - Google Art Project.jpg
Head of a Girl  by Paula Modersohn-Becker (1906)



How Life Hurts
and how Life pleases
for every stand we make
and step we take.

Not the pleasure-pain in one-on-one relationships—
not feelings and sensations of the moment—
but the essence of existence
(the opposite of meaninglessness)
that compels us to leave our world
better than we found it.
How Life Hurts
and how Life pleases!

For every stand we make
and step we take 
essence expands in reality and idea
          (essence or spirit, what do y'call the force-within?
           Spirit, the Essence of Existence, God or Life)
surfacing in feeling and sensation
but not satisfied in those realms
it re-appears in behaviors.

Life hurts and pleases
for every stand we make,
answering the question
Why live at all?



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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast