17 October 2018

Abundance Makes A Bun Dance

Hot cross buns - fig and pecan.jpg
Hot Cross Buns

Mention abundance to me and I have visions
of hot-cross buns dancing, everyday a Good
Friday with lilies and eggs in the palms of hands
everyday Easter rising with gifts and promise.

Mention abundance and some imagine money—
paper bills and bonds, bank accounts and gold, silver,
diamonds, mansions, ocean liners and jets—
all in turning bingo cages, prizes for all.

Mention abundance and a girl clears overflow from
closets, drawers and bookcases.  Who needs seven
pairs of sneakers, four pairs of boots, five coats, twenty
tee shirts, ten pairs of pants and eight hundred (plus) books?

Mention abundance and she helps us open doors
for world-wide feasts and giveaways—pot-latch learned from
the first peoples of North America.  We feel
the gains of giving, its love and spacious-ness.

Desire abundance and create a bun dance—just 
by mixing dough, adding crosses, letting them rise, 
and baking—just by opening the door to give
and take and celebrate the end of scarcity.

For my prompt at Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Abundance

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

13 October 2018

The Hoot of the Owl*

What a Hoot! brochure owls coxsackie
Owl brochure (with map), Coxsackie, NY (2018) 

The little Screech Owl in the pine tree cries
     with ruffled feathers and accusing eyes.
My arm hair starts to rise in empathy
     as she troubles about  community—

this Coxsackienamed for an owl’s sound
     by Dutchmen in mispronounced Algonquin—
kuuk-SAK-ee. * That’s it: Coxsackie, meaning
     Hoot of an Owl.  This little one’s keening.
We took the Great Horned and Snowy Owls from books,
    and made plaster copies to improve our town’s looks.
Now tourists see artistic puns on owls—
     and none is Athena’s or Lakshme’s fowls.

I stand with Queen of Hearts and Snowy Bird
     where the tiny Screech Owl waits to be heard
about these paintings by well-known artists
     meant to be pretty and raise money at auctions.

The Screech Owl speaks truth in whistles and trills—
     not hoots—on wisdom, good omens and chills.
She teaches myth, history and respect,
     saying Co-opting can’t go on unchecked.

I silently agree, but should confess
     I like decoration and playfulness.
Of course, I am of a species unused
     to see ourselves similarly abused.

The owl speaks in the common language
     of those most often taken for granted.
Here’s another mission, should I agree
     to stay faithful when visions come to me.

Eastern Screech Owl

Posted at Poets United Poetry Pantry
Prompted by Sumana's Midweek Motif ~ The Owl

 *Link: Coxsackie, NY

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

08 October 2018

The Poetic Touch

File:The Soul of the Rose - Waterhouse.jpg
The Soul of the Rose  by John William Waterhouse (1908)
"the mortal Psyche admiring the Eros’s magical garden"

What makes me 
exquisitely happy 
when confronted by a poem 
is such falling in love 
with sensations 
mere words 

like night visitors
quickening breath 
and closing eyes to see 
what rises
with irresistible recognition

bright rose gardens grown
(or broken)
greenish vines
and veins of red 
full heart beats

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

03 October 2018

Finding the Road of Balance

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
~ William Blake, “The Proverbs of Hell”
 from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I use the fall and catch method to walk.
Balance faltered when I sold my bicycle,
or vice versa. The more distance I tried
to cover, the more headstrong and headlong.

Physical balance declines, but other
hidden powers gain equilibrium:
Passion partners with common sense, rashness
bows to temperance, and eagerness waits.

Momentum fights this alteration.  Habit
cries out “Get hot” and wisdom sighs “Stay Cool,”
as if gangs wrestle in my soul.  Yet right
sharing of personal resources must win.

Join a protest or write a poem?  Accept
new appointments or practice saying  “no”?
Tell all the truth, or tell it slant?  Provide
an answer or give someone else the chance?  

Read two chapters instead of the whole book.
Play solitaire for minutes, not for hours.
Eat one plateful, saving for tomorrow.
Stick to the lesson, not juicy tangents.  

Meditation helps, even five minutes
a day.  No need to crowd and overdo,
substituting falseness for innocence.
Nothing more urgent than patience.

For my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Balance

(I allude to a song in West Side Story and an Emily Dickinson poem.)

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

29 September 2018

It Takes an Egg: Register to Vote Weekend

Egg yolks are the emulsifier in mayonnaise.
Egg yolks are the emulsifier in mayonnaise. milanfoto / Getty Images

Time to knock on doors and enroll voting slackers—
those who might “save the nation” by turning
districts from Republican to Democrat.

Democracy requests we walk about and talk to 
each other. And what if we were curious enough 
to talk with people instead of to them?

We could be the emulsifiers, the eggs who make
temporary blends of oil and water more permanent—
at least tastythrough upcoming elections.  

Or, do you (like me) know we are the eggs but fail 
to join the mix?  Wake up at noon and watch TV,
eat mayonnaise on white breador walk

In various wildernessesforgetting that
neighbors are also nature—and, communing
with trees and birds, think we’re free?

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

26 September 2018

I've Known Great Walls

Great walls have holes—windows and doors 
to rooms and landscapes of our own—
which we open, close, lock, show.

Great walls have holes that breathe in 
and reveal beyond, with surfaces 
for art, mirrors, vases.

Great walls let us loosen our hair and our guard,
to indulge memory and—or—to 
create something new.

My great walls hold two cats for company.
I bring in flowers and the bark of trees,
stick up notes between paintings.

These great walls would expand for refugees
if I act on need, love and empathy 
and make another key or three.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast