13 November 2018

Song for an Aged and Declining System of Power



Desert mistletoe on a palo verde tree in southern Arizona.



Supremacy, we adored you
We lay our lives before you
How we wanted you

Age after age, we succumbed to you
let you entwine our heart and brains,
how we bought into you

Supremacy, you entangled us
like bittersweet you strangled us
like mistletoe you ate through us

Age after age, your parasites grew
took our value away from us—
No.  In our blindness, we let it go.

Supremacy, we begin to see
How thirsty and hungry you can be
and how little you care for me

Age after age, we move toward death
with your tentacles squeezing our chests
but we may be able to save the rest

Supremacy, we want to be freed
from the temptation to live in greed
and live off others, taking no heed

Age’d now, we’ve a few years left
to welcome neighbors beyond the West
to leave madness, to recover from theft

Supremacy, we adored you
We lay our lives before you
now your heyday is through



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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

07 November 2018

Gone Swimming

Image result for red wagon

(Vintage 1930)




She slid into the book as if it were
a steaming whirlpool on a chilly day
Aahaah
or a cool pond on a very hot day
(She must revise as she is carried on).
The plot
kept her turning the pages and her head
kept time: slight left, slight right, then lift and turn.
Life-like,
fantastic—either would do, as long as
it wasn’t here and now—it wasn’t her life
unwrapped—
No, she liked travelling the only way
she could, page after page, day after day—
with the
library just ten blocks away. She used
her battered red wagon to carry her
books home
and back every Tuesday for fifty years
(or so), Tuesday the day it never closed
magic
this turn-around day, she reflected
and with a smile and sigh, she submerged.



For my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Reading Fiction



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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast


06 November 2018

Time Machine


Image result for I voted
source



The voting booth
is smaller than
a toilet stall.
Its light curtain
hides push buttons
and names that wait
to be chosen.
I face them now.

My hands pause
here between past
and future—not
hesitation
but reflection
on an act both
solitary
and social.

Such a small stark
altar to pray
at and preach from—
this voting booth—
essential but
insufficient
portal to the 
healing we need.


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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast





31 October 2018

A Little Bit of Something


USDnotesNew.png
USA Banknotes
(Soon a Black woman's face will join this gallery.)

 

I held a dollar once upon a time.
I crunched the sturdy green and cream paper
into my pocket to examine later.

I touched it frequently hidden in there,
accordioned its texture and shape into
a wad that didn't crumple or tear.

Later, I smoothed it on my thigh, traced letters
and numbers, stern face, stiff eagle, broken
pyramid, leafy border and cream frame—

A simple piece of paper I could rip
into tiny pieces, or, whole, put
obediently into my piggy bank.

Dear sweet Wilbur*, shaken, rattled with coin.
A precious container of mystery
he'll make these little bits of nothing grow.

Then, one day, I will carry Wilbur out
into the world where he becomes Charlotte*
and gives and gives until her life is done.  



(for World Savings/Thrift Day)

*Two characters from the children's book Charlotte's Web by E.B. White.


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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast



27 October 2018

Who Are We?

UPDATED: "Governor Wolf, Commonwealth Response to Pittsburgh Shooting"  10/27/2018



 
Today a shooter murdered
11 people in Tree of Life
Or L’Simcha Congregation,
a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

Daily, we die from hate
and guns and bombs. 
Daily, those spared clean up
and grieve and sigh and fall.

News casts changes in front lines of battle—today
a Temple, yesterday Mosques, Schools, Churches, Borders.
Hardest hit are people of color—citizens
and refugees—victims of hate, guns and despair.

In lieu of action, we
list names, verbs, places and
adjectives.  We open
our pockets and we march.

We pray.  We learn we will
die at prayer and leave
bloody libations in
our holiest places.

We don’t learn how to stop.  I ask the trees again
to help, to tell us what to do.  I have a few
on my patch of the planet—two pines, four maples
a lilac and a dogwood.  First learn our names, they said.




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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast


23 October 2018

Winter is Our Best Hope


Winter

Winter by Amrita Sher-Gil 



 Ah, winter!  Will it lay our discontent to rest?
Neither the growing season nor the harvest have
lived up to our expectations.  Not enough
rainfall or too much rain replaced balance—
so forest fires raged, crops grew skinny and scant,
and trusty maple leaves forsook their red and gold
for motley brown.  No one is laughing.  We want snow
to cover up the evidence.  We want driven
snow to be pure as its idiom, restful as
a night in the woods with no promises to keep.
We hope a winter’s sleep will renew our faith,
erase our errors and give us another chance
to thrive and meet the challenges of our time.



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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast