23 July 2014

Raised to Race

Belleville Rendez-vous (2003) The Triplets of Belleville

Grandmother notices her child’s dis-ease,
finds puppy-plus-tricycle cure in time,
and sets in motion a mountain journey—
from cabaret play through organized crime.

She couldn’t have planned it if she tried, not
Madame Souza with her young Champion.
Her egg beater massages his massive
thighs in training for his first Tour de France.

Voila!  He’s ready!  Excitement packs all:
he on his bike while her truck trails behind—
Madame Souza, Bruno, food and water—
The animation is simply divine.

I won’t spoil the tale while they’re on the trail
but leave you with this little rhyme: back rooms
hold gamblers who live on greed and control
so what looks free pays a terrible toll.

Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003) - Sylvain Chomet - Trailer

A tribute for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Le Tour de France

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

22 July 2014

Naps' Role

Sleeping Princess: A 1926 painting by Victor Vasnetsov
from Wikipedia's 
Neuroscience of sleep

Scheduling self-time into my days twice—
in their waking and into their sleeping—
makes each round cycle a mini lifetime.
And naps thus double life’s awakenings.

My cats demonstrated this truth often
but since they did not nag at me, I wrote
while they slept and accepted affection
without empathizing with their lesson.

Nor did Shakespeare, my best teacher, praise sleep
for its loving and healing nature, but
pictured it needed, broken, horror full—
life’s final rest or its guilty unease.

I’m blessed with insights and I feel quite whole
since I allowed sleep to fully play its role.

Written to Mary's 

Poetics – Time and Time Again

at dverse Poets Pub.
(More could be said, but not with tongue in cheek.)

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

21 July 2014

Friends of Truth

Truth, holding a mirror and a serpent (1896). 
Olin Levi Warner, Library of Congress

Truing brings to exact
alignment. True is One
in Boolean logic:
a switch is either on
or off.   True self
maintains no fa├žade.

Truth is naked, holding
a mirror to look deep
into self and a snake
for wisdom and danger,
a lamp lit and a book
to vow and to record.

Truth is stereotyped
female, weak and fragile,
culture-bound and enslaved
to masters who profit
from its labor, who own
all the fruit of its womb.

But this is not true. Sex
carries no weight, gender
has no edge in truing
patterns and lines. Truth
plays better as a verb;
truing can’t be a noun.

And with twenty theories
of truth, what phrase is more
ironic than “true faith”?
“True religion” leads 
no where.  Truing religion
may lead somewhere.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

20 July 2014


A mermaid wanted to be human to follow her bliss—
          I wonder if a tree ever felt like this?

I know I have wished in reverse, the stolid mountain pine to be—
         for my next incarnation, I'd be a tree.      

If it's all the same, God, please plant my feet next time in earth
          to witness when sapling, young and most mature.

And then let me hold another as cradle, crib and bed
          then table, bowl, desk and pine box for the dead.

Finally, make of me grade-A paper for poetry
         in verse pain-free and filled with fresh imagery.

In this way let me serve you, God, through near four hundred years
          and soften the blow when the earth disappears.

Pinus mugo

For the Open Link Monday Welcome to the Imaginary Garden... 
a few lines I want to play with on another day.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

19 July 2014

Closing the Poets Pub

I found the green pen right where you said it would be—
in a mug down the end of the bar under the Shamrock. 
Seems like yesterday I sat in this corner to watch the moon walk …
No, a man named Armstrong walked on it.  Someone’s wrote his name 
over the bar mirror, see?  The 20th of July 1969—
because he changed the world, maybe, before your time.

I only had one. 
Do you have a dry napkin? 

I wrote poetry on napkins back then too, adolescent love poems,
all worried about how the moon wouldn't be romantic anymore
now men had walked on it and weren't in it,
now that we knew it wasn't made of cheese. 
All worried we’d trash our moon
like we’d  trashed spaceship earth.
Yes—even back then when
Bukowski quit his day job and—yes,
Woodstock, too, later—after Sharon Tate’s murder.

Let’s not go there.

Did you listen to the poets gathered in this graffiti-lined tavern?
You know, then, that classics did not die, the moon is beloved of women
and mythology is alive.  Murder occurs as ever,
the oppressed turn around to oppress others
and victims are still children and poor and guileless—

But here poets live to write and write to live with ink for drink,
protein images,  fruits and vegetable words and vitamin dashes
served between metaphor chips, simile dips and hyperbole icing
on layer cakes—what a meal!  More potluck and multilingual than ever
with dialogue in session.

I loved the moment someone stepped up to the mic best:
The spot warming up.  The sound check.  The move toward center.    

It's too early.  I’ll join you later, promise.  
I just need a moment alone
to finish something I started
with the wet napkin and green pen. 
Thanks for the dry one.
Now then

Written for Victoria's 

Time to “Clean Up”–an After-Party Reflection

at d'Vverse Poets Pub.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

Boomerang Weaponry

Thumbnail for version as of 14:26, 18 April 2014

Sticks and stones will break my bones
but words will never hurt me.

This poem is sticks and stones and words:
all three in poetic bombardments 
which blast to pieces the secure 
homes of three little pi-children.  Sticks 
break straw, stones batter sticks, words ig-
nore bricks  and all three boomerang
to attack their weakened sources:
boomerang weaponry, all three.

This poem is sticks people use 
to play fight when armies are away.
Through high jumps, spear throwing and base-
ball, sword practice and beatings, kids are 
familiar with sticks.  Israeli
and Palestinian both, we 
build stretchers, tie on our white flags,
pull each other out from rubble.  

This poem is stones to carve as art
carrying hieroglyphics and 
ancient laws. It's corner stones in 
buildings  and cover stones for graves.  
Stones roll markers of Biblical
boundaries and shepherds cross to
water sheep and fill their slingshots
Stones build the strongest walls of all.
This poem is words that penetrate
walls built with or without true gates,
wherever three deaths point the way
one prepares to retaliate. 
That's the thing about ingrained hate
few pause to think and rarely wait.
And though new words don't palliate
they are our means to mediate.

This poem is sticks to straw
This poem is stones to sticks
This poem is words to bricks
This poem is tears to stone.
This poem is a proposal to lay aside
     boomerang weaponry that bullies ride

 Written for Hannah's prompt

          Sunday's Mini-Challenge: Boomerang Metaphors          

at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast