15 December 2018

An Artifact of the Real

File:Winter Solstice Eve (11471328566).jpg
Winter Solstice Eve: The sun will return

Everything has been given and received.   

If air-life-love is too enormous to see,
I will carve out a little piece of it
to wrap and place under your Christmas tree.

Perhaps a kite of paper and bamboo,
carrying these words and strung with my breath— 
one we fly up to the expanse of your
limitless existence, one we hang on
the wall to remind you of air-life-love.

Perhaps a candle with everlasting
wick and wax, to glow beyond gravity
and illuminate the Light burning here.

In the Poets United Pantry, revised

First posted for dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night ~ Week 125 
Copyright © 2013  S.L.Chast

I cut the 5th and 6th lines:
"I will shape an artifact of the real
as precious and pure as a saint’s relics"

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

11 December 2018

Good Morning

Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.

~ Maya Angelou, from “On the Pulse of the Morning”
(The Rock Cries Out To Us Today)

Sing with me.  Someone said to sing, and I cannot sing alone.
Sing, said the voice, “It’s now time to sing Peace on Earth.”

I’ve seen peace hide in my cook pot and in your bed. Good Morning.  
Sing Peace out into the open where it belongs.

No time to discover where the voice originates.  It is—
or it isn’t. Let’s sing, not knowing.  Let’s sing Peace.

Drones will drop from the sky in the instant.  Border guards will put
down their guns and lend a hand to those who need help.

Apples, cheese and sunflower seeds will erase hunger.  Water
will stream clear and potable in roadside ditches.

Sing, sing.  See how safely welcome opens doors.  See how ceilings
hold when bombs stop flying.  See children stop crying.

Sing ourselves into hope.  Believe it is now time to sing Peace
on Earth.   Sing in tune or out of key.  Both will do.

We’ve waited for our cue, and here it is. Now.  Peace on Earth.  Now.
Lift on the song, spondee or anapest. Peace On.

Earth Peace. On Earth. Peace On. Earth Peace. On Earth. Peace on Earth.  
Is it rising like sun at dawn?  Like moon and tides?

Is it rising invisible like ghosts or winds, that movement
reveals?  Let’s sing into movements, sing unto life.

It’s a good morning, indeed, when we wake ready and willing   
to bring peace out of hiding and make it flourish.


(After reading Angelou's poem, I had nothing more to say.  She says it all.)

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

03 December 2018


From the north rim of Grand Canyon National Park

for Peter                                               

Up on canyons’ rims
where seedlings find the best light
aging is thirsty.

“Know you do matter”
your five unexpected words
drop like gentle rain

and all of us trees
applaud from our deepest heart
where warm sap fuels earth.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

02 December 2018


File:Edvard Munch - Melancholy (1911).jpg
Edvard Munch - Melancholy (1911)

Call it the grand canyon, and walk across
or climb down once or twice every year.

So far, we’ve returned home successfully,
and wearily brushed dust from each worn heel.

We’ve come to see the trip as privileged,
part of leisure and too much time to think.

(Actually, parents ingrained that message,
while we pulled sprigs of pine out of our hair.)

Burdock is harder to remove from clothes
and brains.  It holds ideas stronger than blood,

longer than glue.  We think we’ve recovered
but follow grit and traces down again

without thinking.  Every year.  Boring
down, down we go—unless held up by new

practices—mindfulness accompanied
by delight and intentional desire.

What shall we desire this year but time
to slow down and notice we matter?

What can we want this season but good time
to walk among the seedlings on the rim?

Call it a great canyon and thank the earth
for more than one choice of finding a voice.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

28 November 2018

Morning Impressions


I’m late for nothing.
I roll from bed stretching
into my skin and this grey day
that tricked me into sweet rest.

Such mornings are the privilege
of retirement.  They compensate
for aches in joints and unresponsive
nerve endings.  I take them too rarely—

This reaching into fingertips and toes,
smoothing wrinkles from elbows,
and neck and stomach as if I were
a pillow to plump into crisp casings

and not a collection of blood,
bone, bloated bowels and bile.
Today, fluffed into freshness,
I trace memories of you:

How we shared mornings,
cradling each other into caresses
delight between night and daylight
How the pillows remembered.

For Sumana's prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Morning Poem

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast

20 November 2018

Living a Prayer of Peace and Justice

My soapbox speeches call
for active prayer as part
of any radical revolution.
But everyone cannot
do everything alone—
so you go out, and I’ll pray, or I’ll go out and
you pray, or—better yet—
let’s both go out engaged
in prayer, as prayer, as an act of prayer.

I’ve heard that suicide
bombers have this practice—
at least Islamic ones die while praying
while family and friends
pray elsewhere in great
trust and love for their sacrificial lambs.
Perhaps someone prays that
justice and God will in-
tervene and say No more blood, please, no more.

That’s part of my prayer,
it is, but the rest is
to live as powerfully as we could die.
I’ve had sound when oppressed
peoples can’t speak at all—
no more.  I pray to hear more voices now
especially those who
could or would not speak up
before.  Let's pray to care for each other.

Like suicide bombers,
I am willing to die—
but what I carry is just love and food,
water and ideas.
I bring my ears with me
and use them—learn to hear unfamiliar
voices and what’s between
the words.  We bring our hands,
pens, paper, word processors and cell phones.

This is a prayer, these words
strung here in rhythm, two
short lines and then one in pentameter.
It reads like prose.  It moves
like slow walking.  It asks
you to join in, to stir power like hot
coals ready to flame up
inflame the next person
and the next for a world without an end.

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

© 2018 Susan L. Chast