22 October 2014

Dark, Declined

Black hole in the universe

Addiction is a dark hole;
not finding God where we look
daily is darker; and loss
of faith is darkest of all.

I say fill in the hole as
if a minor street repair,
but spirited counsellors
provide opposite advice.

My stop-smoking teacher spoke
of a learning curve: See hole
and fall in.  Climb out, leave and
turn back to fall in again.
Choose to avoid the dark hole—
walk around its siren calls
closer and closer until
falling in the hole again.
Plan another route to walk
neither near nor in view of
the dark, darker and darkest
holes that plague like birds of prey.

I know I will return some
day as tourist or tour guide,
and even bring a ladder
to descend into the dark—

and ascend willingly once
more in gratitude for maps
I find there, for queries that
show me the way to the light.

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast


Routine, sweet mnemonic device, beckons
her to the first pill—a stomach coating—
an hour before vitamins and pain pills.

French roast brews while she washes last night’s meal
from cat bowl and kitchen sink, feeds the cat
and counts the seconds till her first swallow.

With mug cradled in two hands, she watches
dawn trace the skyline, inhales ambrosia
and offers up prayers she promised yesterday.

She drinks morning’s poetry with coffee
and—muscles and brain finally alert—
eats pain pills with cereal and yogurt.

Ready for the fourth tier of maintenance,
she swallows two anti-depressants with
a second glass of water and cup of joe

checks her appointment calendar, waters
begonias, washes her face, lays out clothes
and antibiotics for her day’s grace.

Routine, sweet mnemonic device, beckons
her to pre and post lunch, dinner and night
timed-release capsules of vitality.

And she is in there, too, writing volumes
amid fears and safety zones labelled “Take
one,” “Drink me” and “Call me in the morning.”

Posted for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ One Day in the Life of ...

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

19 October 2014

The Previous Incident of the Light in the Dark-Time

File:Ferguson, Night 2, Photo 1.png
Where Michael Brown diedFerguson, Night 2

In prison, Light strengthened its will
to ease the pain of the Dark-Times—
un-repentant, attracting friends.

Forbidden to buy its weapons,
Light found a back-alley seller
who promised to protect its back.

Probation did not deter Light
from returning to the crime scene
then, Hope and Love in its pockets.

Hands free to touch voices, Light now
washes our fingers and toes, feeds
us pocket crumbs, lessens our fears .

It guides healers alongside us
so—as we take time to hear each
one’s story—community grows.

No longer battling or alone,
Light refuses to abandon
or hasten the transformation.

No longer an isolated
or finite incident, Light flows
over the Dark-Times where it glows.

Posted for Kerry's 

Sunday Mini-Challenge: In Other Words

at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

18 October 2014


Catskill Waterfall by John Frederick Kensett 1859

While planning the trip
I sprinted down slopes
and climbed over rocks,
stretched limbs happily alive
under wind-assisted sun.


Now I, cane-seat
open, smell the air
in the hollow, squinting
watery eyes, frowning at
the ones crashing upward.


I imagine I ascended
more quietly once, as 
a deer showing fawns
how to move undetected
homeward in underbrush.

Let it be.

No critique, no heaviness
for those who meet
me, those who partake
of this outdoor feast—
cell phones off—
their gift to me.


And the sun warms
the hand I palm
to my heart, beat
strong enough to open
and hold the day.

Posted in Poets United Poetry Pantry #223

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast

17 October 2014


"Puck" Marble @1856 by Harriet Hosmer
photo by Margaret Bednar

My Dear Sons in woods, sea and the wild,
you carry out my work successfully! 
Let me treat you now the stage lights are down.

Ariel, sit on my right at table,
nearest my good ear.  Puck,
say hello to the salamanders and
toads before joining us—they miss you so.

I owe you freedom from my dreaming, owe
you my fortune and would give you the world—
you have earned it.  Keep characters who please
or stick to your own kind, as kindly as
possible.  Surpass me.  That’s all I ask.

That—and to be here again, script in hand
where ever we must play, at my command.
at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads

Prospero and Ariel by Eric Gill on the facade of the Broadcasting House in London
Photo by 

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast


File:Daedalus en Icarus Jeanot Bürgi Nieuwegracht Utrecht.JPG
Daedalus en Icarus Jeanot Bürgi Nieuwegracht Utrecht

I am as moon to God
if I will do as told
in reflecting that sun.
Icarus, like my moon,
is obedient half
insubordinate half
in waxing, is waning.

We are like Daedalus
when planning escape, un
work our skills alone. And
would you see God?  Look at
what we produce.  Look at,
watch, where we are going. 

Inspired by Vandana's MeetingTheBar: Pleiades at dVerse Poets Pub and by Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation for Friday, 17 October 2014, "The Principle of Likeness: My Mystery Opens Me to God’s Mystery."

Copyright © 2014 S.L.Chast