10 December 2016

Turning Up the Light


For those whose flame does not quite glow
Friends set light tasks, starting below
First steps awake, second ones flow.

In pyramids, friends are the base
Dizzy above, they take this place
To ground climbers who knowledge chase.

Friends steady ankles, hold our weight
Encourage, dare us past sedate
We gasp and feel and taste and sate. 

Distant observers see fields on fire
Curiosity and desire
Causing ignorance to expire.

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast

07 December 2016

Day Dream During Flight

The sky that’s visible is brilliant blue
with a floor of cloud, so I know we climbed
though we don’t seem to be moving, not now.

The window frame is the sole reference—
so tiny it’s silly, no protection
against the vastness it attempts to mask.

I tighten my seatbelt and imagine
there is no descent, no landing, no bumps
even no sundown in the time ahead.

The plane is crowded but the view offers
infinite openness, a heavenly
absence of walls, ceilings and closed doors.

I fight my eyes closing and imagine
a super-powered rise above the harm
of grasping greedy pained humanity.

But it will be dark soon even up here.
I am tired.  Sleep and landing are both
certain.  If only I could stay this high on dreams. 

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast

06 December 2016

On the Occasion of an Indigenous Victory*

Photo by Josh Morgan for The Huffington Post*

First peoples know better than others do
that victory is temporary, that
they must continue to be vigilant.

They don’t take down their tents and they don’t turn
their backs while corporations hover near
to snake pipelines through land and water dear.

This day’s ceremony establishes
instead forgiveness rites, as veterans
who stand with Water Protectors kneel down.

The media reports: “Leonard Crow Dog
formally forgave Wes Clark Jr.” for
actions against Natives through history.*

We will remember Crow Dog’s words that
“we do not own the land, the land owns us"*
We will record Wes Clark’s apology:

Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faces of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to take your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.*

Many of us, me particularly,
kneel with veterans who transgressed for us--
in our names—and now atone for us.

Let us make this more than symbolism.
Let us surrender to wisdom, become
Protectors and learn struggle, love and peace.

With Gratitude to the Water Protectors of Standing Rock
* I took my information, photos and quotes from The Huffington Post's unsigned story: "Forgiveness Ceremony Unites Veterans And Natives At Standing Rock Casino." Please let me know who to acknowledge in fair use of this material.

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast

04 December 2016

Having Seen the Other Side


Each hug lingers longer softer as warm
gentle down along arms and shoulder wings
enfold dear, each to each, rib cage to neck
and ear to ear, cold cheeks and hands and lips
alert to heat and morphing form as we
memorize precious friends and hope to keep
impressions, impress spirit and linger.

Nothing is new, of course, but sensation
of fragility, of what could be harmed
in changing climate of floods and wild fires
that enter our neighborhoods. We stand
silently in this noise, our eyes meeting
to say I-am-here. I see-you. I-want-
tomorrow-too.  Each hug lingers longer.

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast

02 December 2016

Who Is the Thief who Stole our Time?

My time’s been running out since we voted—
I mean, time’s lost, as in time is stolen.
Have you not felt it leave?  Not time passing
or aging, not feeling we’ve just lost a fight
(though that is true) but like time slipped away.

There used to be more time to do things in
but hours are gone so there’s less time to meet
and greet and eat when on our feet—
less time to sleep.  Truly, I could—will—weep
for lack of joy and promises to keep.

Because with time goes peace of mind and plans
to resurrect my Christmas tree.  I will
not mail out cards and gifts—no time—will not
call friends afar, or see them here.  Too rare
the rest between the fear and restlessness.

I still wish time was here to share yule cheer
and beer, to sing carols and build snow deer
in our empty front yards—but we’ve no time
to share since thieves stole seconds from our hands,
minutes from minds and hours from our hearts.

I am sad to say I've missed several of Elizabeth's prompts at 1sojournal, and this is my attempt at her Creativity Challenge Day 11 for the writer/artist to choose a word and expand on how it fills and unfills experience of now.  I'm paraphrasing, so visit the link.  Today is really the 12th day when the prompt is "diversity"—something I'll think about tomorrow (which rather speeds than creeps along). Sigh.

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast

Post-Thanksgiving Possibility

Good pain, the ache of smiles
from grateful gatherings
where humans give kindness

This love permits us to 
answer existential 
questions with yes, I am

Yes* Though frightened, I am
ready to dismantle 
systems to start anew

People did it before
so We, the People will
plan More Perfect Unions

Yes*  Although we only
commence the march toward
solutions, we will, yes

Yes* we reject ending
in period, end of
sentence, we tried, we lost

Like gardens we re-plant
each year hoping this turn
around to come down right

Last year, one rose opened
this year another bud joined in
a dozen ere death takes

Yes* we cross boundaries
but know resurrection
yes* is continuous

Revised 3 December 2016  to strengthen for Elizabeth's 
Creativity Challenge Day 13 ~ Imagination.  
Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry. 

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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast