06 April 2020

How to Pass the Time

Atop Haines Falls, NY

I wonder if—as I trek around  barriers
like legal systems and landfills—if I’d find time
to sit with trees, flowers, rocks or even slips
of greenery I can’t identify, for long
enough to feel my breath match theirs, to imagine
myself as important to how the whole earth turns?

And would I know to pause if seeking refuge from
virus or murder, fire, or flood—if the trek turned
into a trudge, shuffle or mad dash?  Constantly
suffering, would I continue to love life—at least
enough to defy death and save the children and
try again? Try something new given half the chance?

Would I take out Mary Oliver, John Lennon,
and Marvin Gaye to pass the time and learn to sing
with wild geese, imagining what the world needs now?
Sit in the mass of weeds drinking trickling water
right here, now, joining the poorest outcasts waiting
to live before rich men make it impossible?


My blog poems are rough drafts.
     Please respect my copyright.
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2020 Susan L. Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, I know you would, since these are all the things which gift beauty and keep us in love with being alive. Even in the midst of a pandemic, all of these beauties are still here, thankfully. Lovely to read you at earthweal, Susan.

Thotpurge said...

That's beautiful - to find that union with the earth and imagine what it needs and find a way to deliver..I'd read Agha Shahid Ali, sitting there by that water... or Lorca.

Kim M. Russell said...

Yes please, ‘time to sit with trees, flowers, rocks’ is just what I need! And, of course, music and something to read.

Brendan said...

I love that you enter this animal world with difficulty -- as still half-human, still recognizing the demarcations of what's left behind -- even as the animal is beginning to bound into the wild. Rilke meditates on this in his Eighth Duino elegy. Animals don't defy death, they swim freely in its womb. They ARE song, where we only try miserably to make it. The theme this week is too cerebral and this is a fine heartfelt response. - Brendan