01 September 2014


It is what it is despite protest,
resistance and debate. 

Wisdom says to meet through
surrender, not struggle.

To glow as sun rather than blow
an angry wind; to yield.

Cold war ends as hot war revives
and God is always present.

But surrender?  Righteousness forbid!
Only God has mercy. Afterward.

Surrender?  Such learned ignorance always
asked of women, slaves, enemies.

Given what is what it is, will men surrender
too to save their children?

Given what is what it is, will surrender 
suffice for both faith and war?

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

30 August 2014

Not Sacred

fine art photography - square photo - flower - nature photography - garden - wall decor - bleeding heart - my heart bleeds for you
My heart bleeds for you, photography by Kelly Letky at Blue Muse Art

Pretty in the perennial
garden and a lure for butter
flies, Bleeding Hearts brighten the shade.

But they clump close to tell bloody
stories, wearing their drops with pride—
who took more, who could endure more?

Bleeding Hearts are not innocent
when the sword is offered last and
the blood dripping down is your own.

Which is why Bleeding Hearts evoke
Van Gogh’s ear, cruel love offering
with a live body in waiting.

at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Forgive me for using you, dear flowers.  Here is the legend from  Wikipedia: 
There is also a legend from Japan which tells a story of how the bleeding heart flower came to be.[4] In the story, a young man tried win the love of a young lady. He did this by giving a pair of rabbits (which are the first two petals of the flower), a pair of slippers (which are the next two petals of the flower), and finally a pair of earrings (which are the last two petals of the flower) to the girl. She continued to reject his affections, and, heart-broken, he pierced his heart with his sword (the middle part of the flower) which caused the bleeding heart.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

Just Saying

telling the
when I
tell the

Inspired by Brian Miller's poem 

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

29 August 2014

Return to Paradise

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, illustrated by
Adelaide Hanscom via Wiki Commons

What would be paradise enough on earth?
A gift only bestowed on us at birth?
an air to breathe and sing, a body bold
to learn to feel, to drink of tears and mirth?

Or does that kingdom wait for words controlled
by ancient teachers and religions old
to force us to eschew experience
in favor of well-proven taste for gold?

This age abjures the tricks of eloquence
once bought and sold wholesale at great expense,
favoring drink that sates a deeper thirst
from myths and Bibles and from common sense.

We need the carnal tools God gave us first
to sense the kingdom—once here—now submersed
in flooded shores, ice melts, catastrophes
awaiting our return now unrehearsed.

We’ll meet, we know, partners among the trees
ready to help once we’re up from our knees.
Hands open take hands momentarily—
welcome, pull in, refresh and put at ease.

The task will be to link primarily
with changing truth inscribed but found blindly
inside and out our permeable skin.
We'll split and crawl into reality.

Here we'll repair and friend both earth and wind
remembering that we were told by kin
in rubaiyat once panned as sinful reads
to free our minds to find the truth within.

Each day we all have time for prayer beads
for work and play, for sleep and greater needs—
a Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread and Thou—
believe me, that is paradise indeed.

Inspired by Björn's 

Ruba’i and Rubáyiat – Meeting at the Bar

at dVerse Poets Pub

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

The Greatest Mountain

Baxter Peak and the Knife Edge Trail on Maine's Mount Katahdin, photo by Greg Neault

Wind yells at me.
If I wasn't hard of hearing before
I will be when I leave this mountain
of cobwebs and wax
to a new level of reception
once the dizziness passes.

Mountain passes and knife edges
ocean waves of earth
stilled for this little while
while humans
walk on them
each of us a little mountain
in moving tides amassed
until up here, alone,
one stops
to hug a rock or tree
to know their pull
upward to applaud the sky show.

I yell back tones lost before birds hear.
The blessed birds, issued ear plugs
and schematics by cloud kings
and their sister angels
so they can ride
without fail
and move even higher where
mechanical airplanes  cannot land
and few humans hope to penetrate and
fewer see mountains head toward the sea.

Written for Hannah's 

Transforming Friday with Nature's Wonders

at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast

12 August 2014

Robbing Death

American Robin, photo by Dakota Lynch

Robin’s sweet mockery is ended
his suicide gone viral overnight
and yet my lawn is still tended by
his namesakes’ search for food and delight.

Seeing them, I am in Robin-land
again with the animated genie
of Aladdin, seeing in art an
image of his vocal dexterity.

This is new, this identity of
robin redbreasts with the comedian—
I rarely identified with or loved
his characters’ opinions and means.

But, his death is new, too. It's making
me want reminders of him as if one
of his own students in the filming
of The Dead Poets’ Society.

His character was wrong to deliver
ecstasy with no authority, to
approve endings as if humans were
essays, to lead in and not to undo.

For me, also sixty-three, he is
too done.  It is too soon to find hopeless
illness, to deny aging its run, to
choose to die rather than to live lifeless.

When it is my turn will I robin?
Will I line up with other early birds
to ease death, to catch this prize worm in
a water glass and drink beyond words?

(One of my two BFFs says not to be surprised as those of our generation continue to choose this way out.  But I will be surprised—not judgmental but surprised.)

Posted at Poetry Pantry #214, where you can see photos from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Kaykuala.  

Copyright © 2014  S.L.Chast