21 November 2014


Empty cornucopia
is a contradiction.  Sans
lushness of overflow, it
is mere animal horn, tin
cup or conic basket—not
rich pagan fecundity,
drunk ripeness in each purple
grape and red apple, wine and
orange juice flowing, preview
of wedding wine, precursor
of five loaves and two fishes
that a non-plural God gives
to faithful followers in
the autumn of belief.

Perfect understanding is
the next part, witching water
where springs are dry, sipping air
and stripping skins left on vines—
or needing nothing but faith
whose glow warms fallow fields and
reanimates dead seed and
makes way for others to thrive
where humans and their gods have
failed.  After the garden and
the flood, we expected fire
but instead the dryness is
total, leaving has begun.

What to make of the hubris
of the hunger games, filling
its cornucopia with
weapons for children to use
in slaying each other, death
no longer a bounce back from a
cartoon animation but
an acceptable answer
to border disputes and real,
too real, to recover from
this acceptable empty
home base cornucopia.

Cornucopia coffin,
when time runs out it remains:
a twisted cornucopia
measuring value and love.
Hold it up to sprinkle earth
with masks of righteousness
to cover up knucklebones
used to crack jaws and to
negotiate deals.  Who cares
if only one survives if 
it is the one who knows where
the money is buried?  Sans
abundance, profit is con-
tra-diction, obscenity.

Descent into darkness is
the next part, entering worm
and black holes to get a grip
and remember lushness and
overflow, fecundity
and fullness—needing nothing
but faith to glow in shadow
and reveal the poverty 
of wealth in the driest land
when neighbors can not offer
drinking water to passing 
gods nor pull us from our graves.
Perfect understanding is
the next part, lending a hand.

Inspired by Bjorn's 

Defamiliarization – Meeting the bar

at dVerse Poets Pub

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

Fantasy Novel


Here’s a plot for a fantasy novel:
Human as catalyst—just like the angel
Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life—but
applied to save earth, not just one good man.

And so the human is born, nurtured and
guided to fullness, then released to have
a chance giving and taking in leisure
and work, alone and in communion.

To raise suspense, add hot competition—
to reach enlightenment, make a quota
of empathetic merges with flora,
fauna, environments and ideas.

Add bonuses for having, adopting
and teaching children (also catalysts)
until individual humans can
no longer separate realities.

At the instant that Oneness e-merges—
equally possible for everyone
despite obstacles—each human wins re-
tirement and time to empty, to free.

The humans first to win, like butterflies,
appear God-like in their brightness, their
divestment of all possessions and
pain, their access to music and pigment.

Butterflies set the standard: Who would not
wish to be admired and emulated?
Here’s a pattern for a fantastic life:
Humans as catalysts—just like angels. 

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

20 November 2014

Aching Knees


Lying on the typing-table
in front of me is the most con-
fused toothpick I have ever met—

Plastic instead of wooden, one
point is a feathery growth and the
other is a wedge whittled sharp.

My fingers slip trying to grasp
it.  My poked gums scream for kinder 
service.  It cries in self-pity.

Tears and blood mix to anoint my
standing white teeth until they want
to chomp and chew its confusion.

Poor little dead toothpick, severed
in the middle, all its effort
rewarded by execution.

Inspired by Marina's 

Poetics: Make the Abstract Concrete…

at dVerse Poets Pub

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

19 November 2014



The promise of the Kingdom glimpsed here and now
is duality revealed as oneness
not opposition, not apposition.

Out with he/she, us/them, infinite/mortal
and other logical/Romantic dichotomies—
in with faith.

Though biology has its uses, both Science and Romanticism
give it up for inner unity and outward mystery,
accept paradox as revelatory.

I take off  glasses correcting vision to 20/20
to see reality and truth as they really are
blurred and crisp, universal and local.

I undo terminal screens and matrices to see 
the flow of substance in the dances
of molecules and particles.

I hear the dance constantly rebalancing terror / tender,
individual / community, and promises / truth
to see we see the dance by joining in.

Posted for Poets United Poetry Pantry #228

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

18 November 2014


Wilted fig leaves on a branch

Gratitude, you say, would heal my dis-ease
and reward me with healthy nerves and knees.

You pick up your youth, your vigor and glow,
give me a nod and out the door you go

leaving fresh air in your wake and new guilt
that pain in my back, legs and hands won’t wilt.

Yet I can’t imagine what’s left to do
now that I greet pain like an old friend too.

I knew you almost a decade before
pain arrived, but pain stays with me far more.

In fact, pain’s moved in with notebooks and all
and I’ve made up its bed right down the hall.

And I am so grateful for its company—
I see much love beyond its litany.

So I’ve given up guilt’s cold and harsh breeze
for healthy chats with victims of disease.

Dis-eases like Ebola and cancer
are blights awaiting humanity's answer.

Whether we heal into death or more life
our spirits are strong, we know health's our right.

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

07 November 2014


The Favorite® Royal Riviera® Pears
from Harry and David

Pack me in straw
I would ripen
slowly, away
from the sun’s glare.

I do not want
to cast a long
shadow, hurt
while immature.

Pack me with two
or more, not in
a hermit’s house
without contact.

Silence or sound?
I leave that for
you to decide—
hold my spirit.

The light I want
assisted here 
emanates from
your still small voice.

Posted in Poets United Poetry Pantry #226

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast