12 November 2016

In the Beginning, Middle and End is the Word

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Words will come back to haunt us soon—
indeed, they have already—hours of talk-
talk media somehow ordained to think
for us before events and during them
and now un-apologetically 
considering how they might have been fooled.

It is too loud in our fun-house mirror
of words, our poor excuse for engaging
our times, our substitute reality
verbal shows accompanied by newsreel
images and quotes out of context.  Help!
Find us firm ground to unbury ourselves.

Even our inner life is infected
beyond internalized oppression—though
I’m told it is identical—this flood
of suggestive reporting and our search
for an authentic voice that’s not our own
or an exact emoticon for screams.

My prayers try worming themselves out from hand-
me down phrases and stacks of dusty tomes,
try humming hymns without nobility
reflecting what was holy and still is. 
My prayers drink up words that awe and haunt,
that grow from holy wells and hurt and hope.


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

© 2016 Susan L. Chast



24 comments:

Mary said...

Oh, indeed the words will come back to haunt us....the sound of talk media echoes in the brain, and to think that we BELIEVED what they said. Quotes out of context fooled so many. And our inner lives did suffer for months and continues to.

And, by the way, she ended up winning the POPULAR vote by 2 million people. 1.5 %. More votes were cast for her than against her. But, sigh, it doesn't matter now!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

So many wonderful, powerful phrases here, hard to pick favourites. But perhaps this one, for the hint of hope:
Find us firm ground to unbury ourselves.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Those talking heads should pay rent for the space they take up in our heads. I love the last two lines especially.Bernie Sanders was and is the voice of reason sigh. We missed out. And I hate a system where someone gets more votes and still doesn't win. I would work to change that first of all.

Sumana Roy said...

"verbal shows accompanied by newsreel
images and quotes out of context. Help!"...sigh. This result was not unpredictable since Bernie was out sadly.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Weasel words, too.

SuyashJ said...

Yes even our inner lives and psychologies have been infected f

Sanaa Rizvi said...

My prayers try worming themselves out from hand-
me down phrases and stacks of dusty tomes,
try humming hymns without nobility
reflecting what was holy and still is.

Such beautiful and heartfelt lines ❤️

Lots of love,
Sanaa

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Truly a superb write Susan.

I have read it again and again and so much is in there, truly superb.

Kind regards
Anna :o]

Old Egg said...

It is difficult for an outsider to comment on a different country's politics but sadly you will have to endure the unendurable for four years and hope that the choice then is made to suit the majority without too much damage being done in between times.

brudberg said...

I sometimes find that only fiction is capable of truth, or it's just the same, those bubbles were we're safe and everybody shares our views.

thotpurge said...

Even online, everything we get from search engines or newsfeeds is curated bases our our displayed preferences, using algorithms. I suppose one can disengage from it entirely or figure out how to use information wisely. Wonderful images in your poem, esp like search
for an authentic voice that’s not our own or an exact emoticon for screams. ..great writing.

telltaletherapy said...

some remarkable phrases Susan all through this poem Susan

"It is too loud in our fun-house mirror
of words"

why do we spend so long listening to politics and predictions as though truth can be divined by straw poll and where is the voice of objectivity, the sound of representation?

Jae Rose said...

Perhaps personal prayers reflect a bigger social awareness and conscious.. i think at the moment however we say it those who care about the world and people have a common scream..

Matthew Henningsen said...

This is a wonderful poem, mainly because it does seem like words now are the most polluted, and that we need to clean them. Purify them somehow. But... can we do this??

annell said...

He was created by the media....thanks to them, we have a person who is just not qualified...but people in our country are desperate, we are all in our bubbles, trying to find the "right" answer. These days have gone from "interesting times, to troubling times" for sure.

R.K. Garon said...

Beautiful and sincere, as usual.
ZQ

Martin Kloess said...

Hope filled reflection and inspiration

kaykuala said...

My prayers drink up words that awe and haunt,
that grow from holy wells and hurt and hope.

Much fodder been bandied about during the campaign that one just cringe to think of the consequences going forward!

Hank

gillena cox said...

Live that last verse best. Your images are stunning

Much love...

Wendy Bourke said...

So much to ruminate on here, Susan. We are pummeled with sound bites - even the debates scarcely allowed for any real depth or scope or truly sussed out the magnitude of the (handful) of words just uttered. Now we are being told most of his promises are impossible and many of the ones that he does attempt to act upon are going to exact a brutal cost on humanity. Well DUH! That caveat (as in a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations) should have dogged that man every time he opened his mouth.

Truedessa said...

Today, I took part of a movement for healing, drumming for guidance and light. Your poem speaks to me as words will haunt in the coming days. Reflections of what has transpired and hope for some sort of unity.

Julian said...

I can only add to previous comments by saying your poem was such an enjoyable read, so thank you, Susan for that.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I've been fasting from news as much as I can since the results of last week's presidential election were announced. It helps. But what helps most is sitting with the hurt and hope as I drink from the holy well. For this poem, I thank you.

signed...bkm said...

We have all looked for truth from various channels and twitter accounts. Maybe we need to look within. Maybe we should talk as well as listen. Now we can only pray...bkm