19 September 2015


How can I know it—
a Western woman
          hearing the sea
reading sentences
inscribed on paper
          gently waving in
and imagining
with one life’s practice?

How can I acquire
Prāāyāma here
          quickly rolling out
alone in my house
without assistance
          becoming ocean
now that time passes
from fall to winter?

Reverse the flow and
inhale to ocean
          again and again
exhale to shore and
sand when I believe
          as is all nature
I am sitting still
and spirit rises?

How to take a chance
for enlightenment
          leaving illusion
and dance beyond
the garden I grew
         of separateness
into larger pastures
which will never end?   

So much pain in me
and around the world
         entering oceans
must have an ending,
must become something
          again and again
more.  O!  Let me know
such boundless freedom.  

Poets United Poetry Pantry

Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

This poem is as expansive and all-inclusive as the ocean - and as powerful. Oh, me, too, let me become the ocean, and may the world's pain have, if not an ending, at least a transformation. Loved this one, my friend. You dove deep.

Mary said...

This poem expresses such deep longing and recognizes the pain that is everywhere in the world. The search for enlightenment is a worthy search and as vast as the ocean. Yes, we need such freedom.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh wow, a poem within a poem! I love this, in every way of reading it. It has an oceanic rhythm to it; beautifully done. (And the photo is perfect.)

X said...

Let the world know such freedom. It all seems a dream at times. Of maybe a nightmare. The odds seem insurmountable as crossing the ocean, but we did. And once they thought we could not. Perhaps we just need to break through our preconceptions. Find a new way. Be creative.

Sumana Roy said...

wish we could all extend our life force and make this world a little less painful...a beautiful all embracing poem Susan....

Old Egg said...

There is indeed so much pain entering the oceans even here in far off Australia. What mindless fools we all are.

Anonymous said...

It's the person..the spirit and the openness...doesn't matter where he or she is from....a seeking mind will surely find peace and freedom.

Anonymous said...

not hard to let go or understand that even pain is an illusion - the poem narrates so well the questions that arise with each breath

Sanaa Rizvi said...

So much pain in me
and around the world
entering oceans

This is so true.. there is pain and suffering everywhere we go.. the world needs love and compassion.. not to mention a bit of humanity. Beautifully executed.

Lots of love,

Jae Rose said...

Thinking is both a gift and a curse - often it stops us from just being...feeling at peace..there is always some nagging pain..physical..emotional..spiritual..perhaps we need to acknowledge them let them make some noise before they are ready to be cast out to sea? Perhaps writing is an equivalent to that - i certainly felt it in this powerful poem

Natašek said...

imagery of the ocean is very meditative.. it's hard to find that peace in a hury.

Unknown said...

Let me know such boundless freedom :) something we all are striving for.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

It touches on things that mean so much to all of us.

totomai said...

Life, like the ocean, is continuously flowing. I really like how you made the ocean integral to your poem - it's a perfect representation of what life is all about.

Hope you are feeling more fine Susan

kaykuala said...

So much pain in me
and around the world
must have an ending,
must become something

How one craves for an end to the sufferings of those weaker groups of people. They take the brunt of human conflicts and are the ones most visited by natural calamities somehow!


ZQ said...

I held my breath for a moment :-)

Myrna R. said...

This is exquisite Susan. Every word resonates with me. How do we reach enlightenment? You've done it by living. The light comes in a little at a time. Lovely wiritn Susan.

Truedessa said...

The ocean has such energy and it frees us a bit when we watch the waves roll in and out. I often find this a place of refuge for me. You are a deep thinker and we need thinkers. To be enlighten we sometimes need to leave the illusions and create new energy...my favorite part of the poem:

How to take a chance
for enlightenment
leaving illusion

Gillena Cox said...

The first three lines of the last verse is vast and astounding in its capture of time and occurrences. And, at the same time, very present day. It prepares us well to leave this poem

Have a good Sunday

Much love...

humbird said...

The ocean, the nature able to heal all wounds in one's body...let we all recognize this kind of freeing and transformation! Much Love!

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

I agree this poem is a deep dive in that ocean....with so much limitless life abounding. I hope we can ease the pain in the world by our one effort in our separate lives....Namaste!

Anonymous said...

Powerful and dynamic demanding far more than only one reading,


Gen Giggles said...

The blending of the two views makes this a very powerful poem.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is such a lovely piece, Susan. I grew up in a city beside the Indian Ocean and have always felt that kind of kinship you describe here.

Loredana Donovan said...

Oh Susan, I sense you're still in pain perhaps from the surgery and hope you're not going through this alone. Feel better soon! This is a lovely piece, may pain in the world be relieved by healing as soothing as ocean waves.