07 April 2024

Spring is April is Poetry


Vincent van Gogh (1887)

April returns in the clockwork
of the calendar, and spring returns, too,
but not in sync with time constructs.
We have spring warmth in February and
March winds and rain in April, oh,
surprising month when life is born.
Sap rises and with it I radiate
spring fever—a welcome dis-ease,
with a readiness to propagate
ideas, or to rub up against
another life so every inch of skin
tingles and remembers.
Names are irrelevant to memories
of physical comfort with the hot blood
of desire and fulfillment, or alone,
of sun and moon baths, daring to
be naked and alert to teeming life.
With aging, nakedness moves into dreams.
April is flashy, but I’m no longer
radiating for others to see.  Oh,
I’m taller and attuned to budding trees
but not so a passerby or best friend
would notice.  I find expression
in poetry, and let its pollen flow.

For Sumana's prompt "April" at What's Going On? 

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2024 Susan L. Chast

02 April 2024

We are the Miracle we Need



It’s going to take a miracle,
or several, to end killing
in war, in streets, in homes—
but the miracles could start out tiny:
We could offer a hand to strangers.
Pick the nearest one, and the miracle
would have them looking for you, too—
and not just here, everywhere.
Is that miracle too large?  What if all
weapons turned into musical instruments
from the smallest to the tympany
and tuba?  Music would burst
forth to replace bombs, knife slashes,
gunshots, and fists.  And now you
tell me I’m living in a world of fantasy.
But look at the birth of any being from
whales to humans to butterflies. Can there be
anything more fantastic? Watch tall pines
grow from tiny seeds winged or unwinged,
and watch birds carry them along with
dandelion spores.  Look at the million ways
species propagate and spread despite sand
and cement and poison. Note how plants
are forever cleaning the air, even when rain
is no longer innocent. You tell me we aren’t
God to balance life and death. But I
tell you, if we don't join the other animals
and the plants on the life side of balance,
if we continue to manufacture death instead,
death is what we are as the hands of God.

 For Mary's prompt "Miracles" at What's Going On?

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2024 Susan L. Chast

27 March 2024

Morning Light

My home is high up in a castle
with a vista of grass and woodland.
The rising day rims distant trees
and then hits magnolia blossoms—
so sun or cloud cover, I don’t need
curtains to feel private, protected.
Here’s a daily invitation to wait
near the glass and secretly watch
swift moving cardinals. Here’s
an invitation to walk across the grass
toward the trees, pausing and
lifting my walker with each step. 
Finally, I learn the slow motion  
that morning light seems to prefer,
a speed meant to feel and to bless
the light, to see and to accept
the blessing of the grass, to welcome
the shadow of the woodlands.


(And here is a simple song.)

The Coming of the Light
It’s a long time coming,
The light of dreams
The light of reason
The light of love
I expect it each day
In morning light
In silver-lined clouds
In rainbows
But I know, without hearing the news
That famine exists
That blood flows
That neighbors hate neighbors
I stand with others working for the light
To heal the earth
To feed everyone
To eliminate revenge

It's a long time coming
Expect it every day
dream light
love light, holy light

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

© 2024 Susan L. Chast 

25 March 2024

Humans are Animals, too.



What happens to sunlight over bombs?
Is it friend or foe?  Or, like me,
is it an inactive witness we think is neutral
because it does nothing?
I think of psalms.
But what praises can we write
for any sides of today’s wars?
Surely all sides claim God.
What counts as winning?
A tally of the dead?  A promise
That no country will attempt to push
any other country into the sea?
Sunlight here brings things to life.
Neutral, it is nature assisting nature.
Where in all the bombs and strife
can plants and animals find pasture?

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2024 Susan L. Chast

Prompts for April 2024 from thotpurge



14 March 2024

Lady Macbeth Advises Her Husband



Really listen.
The blood won’t wash off my hands
or out of my clothes.
Will Not Wash Out!  Look! 
I didn’t know before I killed,
and really, killing was easy,
but blood won’t stop flowing.
Listen, my husband, do not kill—
not again.
You killed the king at my urging.
I should have known better.
But how many others must die? 
Did you target my friend, Lady McDuff? AND HER CHILDREN? 
Killing is too easy.
Do you aim for Malcolm?  Will you kill 
all those who oppose you?

It doesn’t matter if you win, I tell you. 
You’ll be standing here like me,
unable to wash the blood off your hands,
unable to wash the blood off your clothes,
from your land, and from your soul. 
The blood will drive you mad!
Listen to me now. 

Really listen.

 For my prompt "Character(s) in Action" at What's Going On?  (With thoughts of contemporary wars and those who promote and prolong them.)

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2024 Susan L. Chast