27 May 2015

The Bookseller

File:Blown dandelions - blue sky (Ugress på langtur).jpg

Look at her selling books at flea markets,
the weediest person I ever saw—
despite multiple attempts  to cultivate her,
she remains herself.  No apologies.  No regrets. 

She’s read each book twice: sci-fi and murder
mysteries,  finding God and edible
flowers, busking and classical drama,
Simone, Maya, e.e., A.A. and me.

In flowered shirt and toe-cut tennis shoes,
she hums blues in parking lots of vendors
as if normalcy existed as foil
to exceptional, as if God’s treasure.

And she is like a dandelion tree in
in a plastic sea, parachuting seeds
that will grow minds and imagination
in any ground, government and season.

For my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Weeds/Weediness

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast 

25 May 2015

The Professional

She’s definitely more at home with rough
than classical lines and delights to draw
fallen figures—perhaps self-portraits—
with feet swept out from under them, indeed,
with legs that couldn’t hold her to the rules
for threat nor promise, so intent is she
on finding her own pathways and muses.

She pencils caricature scribbles with-
out precision as if she is laughing
at herself trying to find balance or
genius on this day’s outing.  But the joke
is on her, as her very casualness
winks at the viewer, and her clumsy lass
            reveals herself to be siren-temptress.

For Artistic Interpretations with Margaret - Sketchbook Poetry as part of  Play It Again, Toads # at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast 

24 May 2015


Gathering by the long river again—
our sacred present and profane current—
of which we are both part and passenger.

We used to picnic more than once a year,
generations of mothers and fathers
gathering by the long river again—

To exchange gifts that were precious to us
because they came from the greatest waters
of which we are both part and passenger.

But now, there have been years of excuses—
realities preventing many from
gathering by the long river again—

And so this reunion is more precious
to those who rarely miss the melody  
of which they are both part and passenger.

And we who were absent hasten our steps
to drink of life before we die without  
gathering by the long river again—
as both part and passenger.

    Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast 

23 May 2015

The Get-a-Way Sack

What is essential to conserve and what
can be—what should be—left out?  Consider
this question while standing outside your door
in a hallway or front yard with a sack
open in your hands.  Imagine you have
just five seconds or three minutes before
the next bomb or aftershock hits you—and
that’s when you realize you might have nothing
but food in your sack, if you have food at
home, because your mind stops.  My mind can not
hold to the image of home crushed naked—
its timbers askew and its roof aground
maybe with a mark of red blood above
where the entrance used to be. 

I force myself to fill a get-away-
fast bag to leave under the porch or in
my trunk.  I remember reading some lists
in telephone books when I lived on fault
lines in California—but I cannot
remember now.  Clean water, I am sure,
maybe a change of underwear, a can
of tuna fish and bag of cat food.
Maybe a cat or child if I have one—
a framed picture if they have moved away,
gotten away before the tragedy.
More than likely I’ll be running in tears
naked along rumble pathways in hope
someone needs help so I will snap awake.

I remember how when babysitting
I had no fear because I was in charge
and thinking of others, not just myself.
That’s key, I think, as I hold open my
big sack and start filling it with water
and medical supplies, extra blankets
and jackets.  I amass more than will fit
in bags, car trunk and crawl spaces and go
to buy batteries, radios,  and bags—
plastic multi-use bags.  I call neighbors
to leave my phone number in case needed,
and tell them where I stashed supplies in case
and ask for their cell phone numbers as well.
They don't respond as if I’m too crazy.

Posted with Poets United

Poetry Pantry #253

 (Rough draft)

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast 

21 May 2015

Getting the Gist

Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Mother Mary 
Come to me

I hum Paul’s soulful song imperfectly
throughout the day, training down my anger
into a tiny moist wad I can shove
into the bottom seam of  the jean jacket
pockets my fists hang in when not busy—
I mean my fingers and hands, of course—.
I don’t have fists, and even if I did
they wouldn't be busy.  The only use
fists have is in plumping feather pillows
and I did that already this morning.
Let it be.  There will be an answer, let …

Don’t tell me you must know WHY I’m angry.
no WHYs or WHOs or WHENs matter to me—
just the bursting temples and stomach knots
that split me in half when I can’t do what
I want—that’s WHY.  Get it?  I fail myself.
Mother Mary, tell me, c'mon  You never
failed, did you?  You never failed to do
what you should and wanted to do.  Never
aborted a creation in mid-stream. 
Never cut short the promise of a child,
premise of a parable or prayer …

Ok, so you failed, but did you lose your
temper?  At God, say, or your prodigal
son or the tax collector?  Or the sun
for rising or yourself for NOT being
ANGRY enough to say “No” I won't play
inequality anymore, I won’t
be less than co-creator of this mess
and won’t be less than the solution next
time around.  Before there is a next time.
See?  Words of wisdom.  Light in the darkness.

Let it be.  Shh.  Hush. Whisper.  Let's sing.

Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Let it be
Mother Mary 
Come to me.
Let it be.

Taking a chance that this is list enough for Fireblossom Friday: Recipe For....Poetry at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast