07 August 2020

Tempest in a Pandemic

 

O brave new world / That has such people in't!  Shakespeare, The Tempest (5.1. 186-187)

 

 

No one enters the island of my home.

The isolation is total, no-one

shipwrecks on my shore. I am magician,

Miranda, monster and Ariel—

gender and age-fluid, all castes, all time.

From here, I watch strangeness float by, and wait

for wonders where I intersect myself.

I wait in patience; and wonder when and

how to reach out, how un-strange someone, how

invite them in.  I am curious.

Do persons all have I-lands?  What will I

do if someone invites themselves ashore?

 

 

For the earthweal weekly challenge: STRANGE WORLD

(Odd how the meaning of the S&G song changes with the times.)

 

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

29 July 2020

Sacred Sea





From Morocco in North Africa where
the Atlas mountains gave the Atlantic
Ocean its name, to my two feet buried
in Jersey shore sand—what is not sacred?

The ocean holds more in its big belly
than we can know: skeletons of people,
cargo of slave trade and its dark secrets,
ship bones and treasures, plastic waste and more.

And of those who live in the sea, minnows
and shells, death and life in sharks at beaches,
pregnant Orca in pods, coral and plants
and innumerable species of fish.

Here at the Jersey shore I see myself
younger and swimming with dolphins, ready
to run from tasks God planned for me, ready
like Jonah, to be swallowed by a whale.

The sacred ocean would spit me out, dead
or alive, and send me on my journey.
I wish it would speak, wave after wave, tell
me where I am going in wet whispers.

Ocean is everything I know just now.
We share unvoiced history. We touch God
in each other, Remember what we share,
blue, green, brown, burnt, pale patternedlife on earth.






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

24 July 2020

Show Up, Stay





After four years of disappearing, my twin cats adopted me. 
During the novel corona pandemic, they shadow me,
sit near and touch me as if they waited for my need to peak,
as if uninterrupted presence can be rewarded in kind,
in kindness.  So I set this reminder: Show up, stay there,
be kind—break all the rules of introversion, throw away
the bungling clown persona you invented for public
appearances, grow into dignity.  See others' dignity, too.



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


24 June 2020

Waiting for Magic





This poem tells me it’s tame and local, but

wild enough to commune with earth, air, fire,

and water as if I didn’t exist.



Like the red fox who moved her kits under

my cousins’ backyard porch, it needs safety

enough to move closer, but no touching.



I lay my hands on pen and paper, and

the poem laughs.  That is not me!  it exclaims

as if it is a god I try to name.



The earth is at stake, it crows, not one fox,

one backyard, one sunset, one dogwood tree.

Could such arrogance lead to unity?



Here I sit among the tools of my life

frozen between extremes of fight and flight,

while an invisible force faces me.



A big black bird lands on the nearest pine

and waits.  The wind stops, too, to see what’s next.

The roses need trimming, but I don’t move.



As if I asked, the answer comes: Because

you wouldn’t listen, no one would, to soft

words from us and those you looked down on.



We are all around you, waiting, sometimes

loudly, to be heard, to be respected.

I fear breathing will break this magic.



But as sun slips into night, and black bird

leaves, I feel a faint breeze.  Under my hand

the words stand “Forget magic, we need you.”



  

For earthweal weekly challenge: CULTURE AND NATURE





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