04 May 2021

May Day Gratitude

 

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 I take in the magnitude of the white pine in the yard.

Gratitude washes over me. I release words that tried

to be a poem on May Day Eve—too full of history,

worker's rights, and ritual.  I let go of words of

mere love I inserted while rereading on May Day. 


And I start over, letting go of all disappointed

productivity.  Instead, right here and now, I let go

like pine needles let go of dandelion spores, and let

today sway me. A gentle and glad wind rings these new words

from me, I a bell who comes alive in the breezes. 

 

Singing, I water cedar and hosta babies a friend

helped me to plant yesterday. We worked with concentration,

enjoyed digging holes, placing plants, piling in and patting

down new soil, bringing water to welcome them. Here’s the holy

day I tried to capture, the one I thought had escaped.

 

It didn’t escape. It waited for me, and curled up in

my lap when I wasn’t looking. Gratitude washes me.

I say to the seedling cedar, "Look how tall you will be

someday!  You are in good company."  Next there's a surge of

gratitude that we are alive on this holy May day.


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My blog poems are rough drafts.
   Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.

     © 2021 Susan L. Chast


22 April 2021

Earth Day, after a lawman is convicted of murdering George Floyd

 

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Listen, dear Mother Earth!  I’m learning that if we humans

put our own species first—all humans first rather than a

select few—we will finally be taking care of you.

 

Listen to human cries of hunger and thirst, of ruined

lands, joblessness, and murder!  Yesterday, as we held one

lawman accountable for murder, I saw a greater light.

 

By taking care of our own species, we take care of you.

We’ll have less violence, less poison, cleaner water, more

creative solutions for recycling waste.  We’ll have hope.

 

And we’ll have love.  As my species gains health, you will gain, too.

Every species on earth, dear Mother, will benefit when

humans can care for each other without exception. 




My blog poems are rough drafts.
   Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2021 Susan L. Chast


19 April 2021

To End the Day

Sometimes I forget to end the day, 
to draw the covers of the night up 
to where my open mouth breathes in 
the whisper of an idea. 

A professor friend once counselled me 
to remember how rare an idea is. 
Like a tea kettle, it does not boil 
while you stand yearning, 

your hand wrapped around cup and strainer. 
Like a butterfly, the idea flirts 
around just as you want tea and sleep. 
Then, I cancel day's end, and follow.



My blog poems are rough drafts.
   Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2021 Susan L. Chast


 
 

12 April 2021

Writing in the Shallows

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When words feel less than adequate they stall
and quake as they try to express meaning,
like angel-wing begonias weak and
faded for lack of sun and nutrients.

Unable to flower, they drop their wings 
one by one, hoping to draw relief
from beings like me who breathe next to them,
and sometimes remember to love and serve.

Loving service seems lost in the shallows
of partnership these days, but the lapse is
temporary. Who will turn to whom first?  
Who will succumb to longing and to thirst?

Rather, why stall and fade and worry?  Why wait?
When you know living together is fate?

   

 My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2021 Susan L. Chast


11 April 2021

Spilling Surprise

 

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Who do I not yet know? What has not yet arrived?
Looking for a surprise in these words that spill out,
I rest with memories. I wait in the present.
Grateful for familiar surroundings and faces,
I’m ready for surprise. Whales breach before my eyes.



   My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2021 Susan L. Chast


09 April 2021

A Week in Spring

Flora (from Primavera by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1480)


A week of resisting this poem here by
my computer and there under the cherry trees.
Inside and outside in this marvelous spring abundance:
The lilac and wisteria and azalea and dogwood are all
about to push and pop into bloom in shades of white,
purple, pink, red, yellow and sweet sweet air, intoxicating
tones over the smell of cut grass and pines. Green and brown
smells key notes of well-being, soft and hard underfoot.
I pause now to grasp all, breathing with blood pumping,
my only seasons being life and death. I choose life.
Every spring I know I’ll drag my feet when leaving
this incarnate existence. Even expecting I could
become part of it in a different way, I want to stay.


Posted at  earthweal weekly challenge: THE TEEMING

My blog poems are rough drafts.
   Please respect my copyright. 
 If you quote, credit this page.
     © 2021 Susan L. Chast