16 March 2019

Vigil in Love Park (Untitled, revised)


Sliding into the stillness of sanctuary,
noting that we no longer call worship places
by this safe name, saving it for those in trouble,
in real danger.  Sliding into the quiet of
sanctuary, praying for mercy, praying
for families of slaughtered Muslims in two
Christ Church mosques, of slaughtered Jews in Pittsburgh's Tree of
Life Synagogue, of slaughtered Christians in Charleston's
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal
Church—praying for killers and families of racist-
misdirected armies of vigilantes.

Sliding into the spirit of sanctuary
sitting among those too weary to stand, blind from
eyes swollen, silent from throat parched, wanting mercy
and wanting forgiveness to slide over all.
And you question what for, why so humble, knowing
we didn’t cause and we weren’t in those death traps.  
But I say prayers for everyone on this booby-
trapped planet, ask forgiveness for the existence 
of bullets, hate and the right to bear arms and hold
firearms and hate.  Can we find forgiveness, mercy?
Sliding into the silence of sanctuary
finding it is a better place than most to hide
in the emptiness of religious halls and words
in the slippery quiet of sanctuary.


.......................................................................................
The original poem:  Untitled

Sliding into the quiet of sanctuary,
noting that we no longer call worship places
by this safe name, saving it for those in trouble,
in real danger.  Sliding into the quiet of
sanctuary, praying for mercy, praying for
source
families of the slaughtered Islamic worshipers
in New Zealand,  for those who vigil in Love Park,
for those who died in the Tree of Life Synagogue,
for those who bled for racist-aimed bullets while black
Americans or Palestinian or other.

Sliding into the quiet of sanctuary
eyes swollen and throat parched from wanting forgiveness.          
And you question what for, knowing we weren’t in
any of those death traps, and I say for every
one and the existence of bullets and the right
to hate and bear arms and bear arms and hate.  For that.
Sliding into the quiet of sanctuary
finding it is a better place than most to hide
in the emptiness of religious halls and words
in the slippery quiet of sanctuary.



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

© 2019 Susan L. Chast



8 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Sanctuary is uneasy. We cant find it anywhere. The right to bear arms and hate....the affliction that creates more of the same. I think the whole world is in pain. Surely, we can turn this Titanic world around and find a better path. Seeing how people come together at these times, and watching the kids marching for their lives, gives me hope.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Back for another read. I find both poems very effective. I love the title. I would love to find sanctuary in Love's Park.......though that is what this whole planet was meant to be.

Magaly Guerrero said...

The world is a wound right now, and so many seem to poke at it instead of helping it heal. Still, I am grateful for those who continue to do what they can towards the needing healing...

ayala said...

Devastating news. A sad day for humanity.

pc said...

I've avoided commenting but you are too free with what you do not understand.

The 'right to bear arms' has nothing to do with those who will not adhere to right and righteous, compassionate practice.

Hate and heredity, fear are your true enemies. That right you hate would help protect persecuted peoples if more stood up and used it intelligently. You will never stop Hollywood and the entertainment industry's money grubbing. Education and understanding are the only answers. Unfortunately it takes generations with interest.

Susan said...

Peter, it does. Why? Because we can't legislate the morality that--I agree with you--we should have. So we have to deal with what can be legislated.

pc said...

So its your wish to disarm all but the criminals and maniacs so that they can have free rein instead of training and arming more to help protect us..

Susan said...

Hmmmm. Is that the only alternative?