02 September 2015

Water Shed

Mourning brooches containing the hair of a deceased relative. Wellcome L0036197.jpg
Mourning brooches

When he dropped dead
And she started antidepressants
When he was dead
And she still cried and cried
When he was gone
And she stopped feeling haunted
When he left for good
And she rested easier
When he wasn't coming home again
And she wore his flannel shirt and jeans
When he was truly gone
And she received his letter
When he never returned
And she put his letter with the locks of his hair
When she began to forget his face and form
And stopped wearing his blue jeans
When she put her tears away 

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast

01 September 2015


for the Black Lives Matter Movement

Using the word power until it stops
shifting meaning like some protean man
we cannot hold onto for life or death.

The power, potent, able are we who name
power with our feet planted in Eden
or marching to the hells we made on earth.

Potent-ial power becomes real when we
block injustices by doing what is right
and do and do and call spirit to rise.

Finally rise, embrace the human race
em-power us to find our kin again
to take our very last real chance to live

with power, power, power power pow
not over, just and fair and true, among
us power, power pow, empowerment.

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Inner Peace (shanti) by Katarina Caspersen (2014)

I'm learning meditation—five minutes
a day—though I hardly need it because
I am a Quaker in the silent tradition. 

That's where I started.

But I counted breaths,
entered mindfulness, yo-yo-ed out and back
between the traffic and ceiling fan sounds

and found the sensual embodiment
of awareness I could share from my chair
with tendrils reaching other consciousnesses

of next year’s flowers hidden still, colors
that wait to bloom in weeds and autumn leaves now green
and breathing bricks of houses strong as seas.

My sitting self, heart beating down and through,
drinks these and more with breath and smell and touch
then lets them go again before stirring.

Told not to judge success or failure, I
accept the larger-than-my-life result
and consider steps I  once rejected—

(Buddha did not stay in meditation
though it informed his moves beyond its core)

Perhaps, I might try surrendering next.

(What have I got to lose behind clenched teeth
and stubborn jaw?  Is that where I locked up
my God so long ago in jealous fear?)

And then I’ll try the intercessory
prayer I once denied, reconsider
proselytizing and sharing the truth. 


I want to be with those who save our world
by participating in its life. 
I know that death exists.  Why deny it?

I'm learning meditation, finally
to cross the borders separating faiths,
flora, fauna and human families.

Possibly I'll understand sacrifice
as well someday, resurrect some angels,
carry my cross as if God’s greatest gift.

Under the Influence of Walter Wink and The Powers That Be.

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast

28 August 2015


 Panorama of the Grand Canyon from the South Rim, photo by Roger Bolsius

Scientists want to know if humans can
catch awe and its naturally smaller
ego that inspires generosity:

Is generosity catching?  And is
it greater after awe?  Syllogism:
from awe to selfless to greater giving.

I would set up my own experiment:
Add scenic views and spiritual pleasure
to teacher in-service requirements.

Check in every Monday:  Have you felt
awe this week?  Where?  In an art museum?
in class?  At the sea shore? On a mountain?

What were you doing?  Drinking in fresh air?
Overlooking a pristine landscape or
witnessing a birth?  Fishing? Praying? What?

Artists and writers deliberately
visit new places and activities
to boost creativity and break blocks—

Why not experiment with awe’s effect
on police and security people? 
On nurses, doctors and social workers?

Imagine awe displacing self enough
to solve burnout! Dissolve and break cycles
of rage, abuse and gross exploitation!

Imagine vast Catalogs of Awesome
Events!  Imagine Billboards showing Where
Stars Glow Brightest, Trees Grow Tallest and more!

Where libraries and books and computer
programs make us sit up and relax back
to share our lunches with nearby strangers

To put our guns away, to lend a hand,
to offer rides, to stop traffic, to save
abused species.  To share our awe as news.

Suppose this revolution already
in progress.  Look for what good is out there.
Notice it's catching on.  Spread the news.

Inspired by The Daily Good

How Awe Makes Us Generous

--by Adam Hoffman, syndicated from Greater Good, Aug 28, 2015

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast

26 August 2015

On Poetry

File:Rainbow in Se Catedral.jpg
Rainbow in Se Catedral

Hope flits in one window and out again
before we note it is the blue dream we
had courted when the two of us were one.

You follow but I gasp a while longer
to see such joy in flickering blue flame
far from the burner whence its birth resides.

If what we generated then still thrives
someone feeds it, at least, with longing eyes—
someone is nourished by it too, I think.

See how buoyantly it glides in and out
surviving despite us without surprise,
and without questioning its place—the world—

Where flying gold and brown and red join too,
in this draft house of language and of sighs,
each hopeful lens in search in sight and sound

Loosed by one, two, or more who dared to write
an aha moment down so truths crisscross
the land even without a place to stand. 

Posted at Sherry's 

Midweek Motif: The Joy of Poetry

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast

23 August 2015


Featherlite Reacher

One human reacher to lift a reacher
laying flat on the floor, lying still and
flatly refusing to fetch rose-colored
eye glasses fallen alongside my feet
in their sneakers that just might carefully
wedge either object between them to lift
knees bent to a nearby coffee table.

Visiting  Poetry Pantry #266 at Poets United

Physical therapy comes through again!  

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast