14 October 2017

A Strange(d) Discovery

A traditional rug being woven on a loom

The warp and weft of family
is carpet thicker than blankets
and richer than the ground we walk
on and neglect.  But there it is.

No matter how fringe-like we are,
no matter how obscure (as is
a knot connecting two thread ends)
within the pattern, there we are.

This woven rug warms and comforts
whomever it touches.  And should
we complain or wonder about
our part in it, we might notice

outside concrete and grass connect
us, too.  And, better yet, carpets
of dead leaves, pine needles, ash
and stone lie thick underneath us—

protecting, assuring newness
and resurrection. Both deep roots
and green shoots follow. We belong
here, too, in fringe and knot and seed.

Once we learn death, we discover
the warp and weft of family
is carpet strong enough to hold
our sighs and cries and wonder whys.

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

09 October 2017

To Be Necessary

File:Klimt-Apfelbaum I.jpg
 Apfelbaum I ,   Gustav Klimt (1912)

In autumn, fruits ripened and exposed wait
heart beating gold and reddened with desire.

O! to be crucial, necessary. Arms—
one toward winter and one toward spring—
reach past you here and now, past hungry self.

What if you ate the fruit and saved the seeds?
Who has waited longer for you than you?


Thinking of Autumn, 
(Sumana's next Midweek Motif at Poets United)

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

03 October 2017

Our Eyes Hold Thanks

(Morris and Champy "really love each other."  J. Boyle at Bored Panda)

Our Eyes Hold Thanks


We don’t worry about the animals
who have stewards so much as those who don’t.

I’ve brought orphan kittens home to clean up
and feed, trying hard not to fall in love.

Stuffing, a calico puffball, grew old
downstairs, purring into her steward’s ears.

The human Stuffing cared for needed warmth,
companionship and reminders to pause.

Blackie, a horse I knew, found friendly pasture
where a horse mate kissed and nuzzled her.

They stewarded the humans who brought them 
apples and straw and sugar cubes and smiles.


Mom’s cat Mimi is horrified that I
sit near her evening spot on the couch back.

She glares wild-eyed at me, then Mom, then me,
until I offer to trade seats with Mom.

Mom comes to sit near me, and Mimi leaps
bravely between us to her cushioned perch.

She won’t blink in response to me, but stares
as if in shock that I dared displace her.

Bad enough that I have Mom’s attention,
but the couch, too?  What was I thinking?


Carcasses dot two-hundred miles of road
between their house and mine.  Road kill, it’s called.

Crushed deer and skunk, squirrels and cats confront
me, shake me up, resound against my eyes.

There is not a human among them. Have 
traffic agents lifted human remains?


Rescue kitties, twin girls, stay behind when
I travel.  I worry that they'll forget me.

They worry that I'll forget them, but I 
don't and they don't.  We forgive each other.

I hope they don't prefer the cat sitter.
They sniff me thoroughly, reading the news.

I've been with someone else, so they'll postpone
their certain welcome.  They make me wait a bit.


We hug us, we're animals together.
We hold us close, grateful to be alive

Soft light and warmth diffuses our wonder
at finding safety here within our house.

We may never leave home again—unless
earthquakes and floods and fire threaten, beckon.

Then we’ll traverse the path with care, offer
a hand to animal friends and strangers.



For my prompt at Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Animals
(Beginning Wednesday at 6 AM Central Time)

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

27 September 2017

Going Higher

Painting by Zimand, 1991

Red-white-and-blue was my swaddling at birth.
Frozen in blood, pale skin and night sky,
the colors grew heavy as time flew by.

Oh! to reroute America! to rise
up way beyond what Walt Whitman sings,
out from the history our limited flag brings.

From its greed, thievery and violence
we can unbind, pull out the stitches that
keep us un-kind, often brutal and flat—

Let’s round the pieces in-to a balloon
not bound by past mistakes, stripes or scars
but able to travel as high as stars.

or skew the rectangle till it’s a diamond
and stripe a tail on its starry field
to see what unlimited height can yield.

Oh! to renew America! to rise
up way beyond the liberty bell’s song
beyond the history our flag holds too long.

Red-white-and-blue was my swaddling at birth.
Gifted with red blood, many skins and skies
the symbol must change as time goes by.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Rising Above

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

26 September 2017

Keeping the Blood Flowing

Red blood must flow, you see, or limbs fall off, 
gears un-mesh and mobilities falter—
in machines, flora, fauna, minerals,
or you and me.  May luck bring soft landings

to those who fail after decades caring
for all but self, neglecting maintenance
and accepting less than the best from those
who share their lives.  May prayer bring soft landings

to those who loiter after hope is gone
keeping spirits rising and loving more
than grieving, raising courage for a rerun
of falls and all.  May friendship bring landings

soft and everlasting to those who coax
a smile and prime the flow (that reversals
may happen for this human or mother,
this offspring or shoot) soft landings.

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

19 September 2017

Waiting for Peace to Hit


Waiting is hard 
when the stream flows
briskly and the fire
burns mighty hot.
(Last night "Vietnam"
television showed
the burning monks,
and I cried anew.

At times there are
people and living is
not a metaphor.)
How much can
a lit match hurt? 
Once my fingers burned
when I tried to light
a cigarette in the wind

blowing category five
hurricane across
the Leeward islands
the Virgins and Puerto Rico.
Beauty disappears
with death.  And does
it leave peace behind? 
Where will peace hit?

I am turning
the other cheek.
Hit me, touch me,
take me to work
while my soul is
close to bursting,
this close to peace-
fall, peace earned.

For my prompt 

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast