21 July 2018

Who's Calling, Please?

Classic Rotaries

Name recognition has a second lag
for the rolodex of mind to flick ‘round
until ding ding ding  ding!  A match pops up
with face and voice, at one hundred percent
DNA certain, albeit younger—

This computer of a mind constantly
whirls to match and to adjust images,
and light flickers all the while—light and dark
alternating until the catch and pause—
a nano-second of rest and aha!

It’s you, ah!  I re-member you again
from meetings, photographs and impressions,
from dictionary definitions and
heart palpitations, from eye-opening
and mystic experience and from love—

Or—lack of recognition, but deep dark
newness that is luscious discovery
unless—caress rejected in a flash –
there is no pause, no touch, no rest, just empty
space floating dangerously near the edge

of Light, so near that the mind’s rolodex
backs up—reverses—slowly retracing
its steps—dark light dark light—resisting flight
or fight by reaching past instinct to sense
and non-sense, praying for courage to risk.

What did you say your name was?  I can’t quite
catch it.  Waiting for a friendly gesture
to stop resisting the pull of the void.
Turning to the next in line.  Already
a next word wanting to be recognized.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

18 July 2018

Who Praises the Seed?

File:Sunflowers field (Unsplash).jpg

Who praises the sunflower
when its seeds hide underground?
Who praises scenic artists
when actors take their bows?

How easy to overlook
the greatness in creation
if neither heroism
nor fame provide elation.

Myths, legends and folk tales grow
to make the invisible
visible, to laud the One(s)
we see as original.

Time then to tell stories of
hidden witness and cycles,
of workers and protestors,
of ones who face tough trials.

Those who show up have greatness
as much as yearly seasons,
those healing and those cooking,
those standing up as beacons.

Let’s see the squash in the seeds
as we plant four per hill, see
the artistic products
in our creative ideas.

 For my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Greatness

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

15 July 2018

Where Poems Come From


Poems don’t come from depression anymore—
they wade thru shallows to a deeper water
or to a higher ground.  It’s worth the wait.

Truth drowns or climbs. Only when it meets an
other witness on the path will it rest
between extremes, to find some common ground.

At the rest stop, under a breezy tree,
witnesses read some poems aloud, coming
up or down for air and words to chew.

In these conversations, new poems take root.
Little sprouts who need nurture and silence
drop like crumbs, pocketing the muddy earth.

From hermitage to hermitage, poems
travel.  The path is long but covered with
first lines and scented with chamomile buds.

Milkweed pods and yarrow part to provide
silk and good health to poems who use them
to stuff hermits' pillows and cradle dreams.

Poems don’t come from the shallows anymore,
but from the depths and the heights, and from chance
encounters that are the food and drink of life.

Possible last verse:
This one is now.  Let's take this drying log 
to be our bench, and dig our truths out of 
their hiding places.  Dear one, feast with me.  

Posted in Poets United Poetry Pantry #411

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

11 July 2018

Wildness in the City

Philadelphia seen from the Art Museum

Trees line the avenue
that leads to city hall.
Lovely to look at, but
don’t let them fool you. 

Only ancient ones speak tree—
those deep in wild-way parks
and in the spacious yards
of once stately mansions.

Car fumes and cigarette
smoke choke up newer ones—
though birds do their best to
restore their consciousness.

We try, too.  We befriend
them, hug and confide in
them, needing tree wisdom
and wild companionship.

Maybe they need us as
much as we need them.
Once, one stirred in my arms
and refreshed my tired soul.

For Sumana's Prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ City

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

10 July 2018

My First City*

Philadelphia seen from the Art Museum

Compared to
the peephole
country town
I came from,
HERE was a picture-window view
with sidewalks leading from the door
to most anywhere. You didn’t need rides,
didn’t have to walk against the traffic.
Pedestrians had their own roads
to art museums and bigger schools,
to part-time jobs and friends’ houses,
to movie theatres and stage plays.
Compared to
the stay-home
4-H town
I came from,
HERE was excitement with book stores
and universities, public
transportation and libraries.
Did I say you were free to go
wherever you wanted? Part-time
employment paid the way downtown
to serve ten-cent cups of coffee
fried egg sandwiches and donuts.
Compared to
the unlocked
gossip town
I came from,
HERE was watching out and lying
to protect family from shots
and whistles and discomforts of
walking alone.  As counter girl,
you had an island of safety
with lonely seniors and out-of-
work hang-abouts—mismatched
and grumpy allies—not strangers.
Compared to
the spread-out
square-dance town
I came from,
HERE was anonymity when
wanted and diversity, too, as
time swept life swiftly forward
full of adventure and freedom.
Decades and many cities passed
before I recognized I saw
with eyes and soul shaped under trees,
with heart shaped by my country town.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ City

*My First City was Worcester, MA.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

08 July 2018

What Did You Do this Week?


This week? 
Wore clothes, washed laundry. 
Some weeks are exactly like: Use dishes, wash dishes,
repeat. And wake up, go to sleep, wake up,
go back to bed.  But then, the sun also
rises and sets, rises and sets again.
And breath goes in and out, and hearts bu-bump
bu-bump, bu-bump.  Perk up with such nurture
of blood and breath and food and drink and crap—
and food and drink and pee, and wake and sleep—
and one and two and three and four, and one.

This week?
Awareness of lifespan longer
than mosquitos and mice, with ample time
between repetitions for un-patterned
actions, relaxed seconds here and there for
catching a break and casting an idea.
How long can we keep this going?  Dragon-
flies get four months, and houseflies get four weeks.
Mayflies have only twenty-four hours.
We have just long enough to learn, create,
converse, commune, advance and inspire.

I wanted to express the idea in here that we differ from the sun and breath, etc, by variations between the beats being desirable, while we want the former to stay the same.  We hope they don't get bored with the same-old, same-old--while we want humans, to a certain extent, to vary and change. But that would take another stanza--and I'd have to find a way to put in that in matters of romance, less changeability is desirable--that we want and deserve, to some extent reliability and grooves, and to be able to take the relationship for granted like breath and heartbeats and the sun.  Don't know when and where to put that.  This poem is half done.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast