22 January 2023

Crow on Stilts




Visual images
remind me to play with
word images too—
oil to sounds as pigment
to words—enriching sense,
lifting cackling erasing
barriers in all their
Limits to perception
lift when 5 senses act
together with kinetics,
time and sometimes rhyme.
Caw Caw. The white pine tilts
its head to a passing
crow who circles back, sits
at the very top where
a hand offers a gift:
seeds wrapped in a pine cone.
Crow eats.  Crow notes kinesis
below: child in a box
attempting to drive his
brother through the forest
of one tall tree on stilts.
I see and smell the forest
and song and the rhythm
of feet walking in unison
like a pre-digital
army of joy, happy
people trying to know
each other in voice and
in gender and in history.
Imagine walking in sync
without hurting a tree
or displacing moss.  See
the color: purples and browns,
plaids, reds, denim, whites, and gold.

 Posted at earthweal's open link forum #153


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

© 2023 Susan L. Chast

18 January 2023

Meeting for Worship

A trouble-weighted cloud followed her in, and sat
on her lap. Let it go, I radiated before
feeling my own burden curl silently
into me.  For a minute, I had forgotten
sorrow, so happy was I to see my dear friend.
For this hour, I prayed, let’s turn these weights into
purr-cats, into babies, into love-warmed sunshine.
Now I see her more clearly and our smiles meet
before we close our eyes and float in gratitude.
Look at us here in this circle of friends, I pray. 
We don’t have hot hillsides like in ancient theaters,
but, gathered, we listen as if we were audience to truth
performed through us, sometimes knowing our action is
a stage where the creator watches friends of truth.  



My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2023 Susan L. Chast

16 January 2023

Allowing the Journey, Part 3 (and 4)


I swallowed the song “the way knows the way” today,
and then robin-like, regurgitated and fed
its words to friends everywhere: Here is a foot
on the pathway to truth; get on, get on.  Let’s make
metaphor a shortcut instead of a puzzle.
The sun doesn’t read directions each time it turns.
Chefs need not use six recipes to prepare one.
Yet I check how to direct each time I stage plays.
And then, laying the books aside, noting past lives,
I hear my voice discovering, each day the way.


My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2023 Susan L. Chast

Allowing the Journey, Part 4

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?                
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.                   
Alice: I don't much care where.                                       
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go                                  .
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.                                  
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”     

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

15 January 2023

Allowing the Journey, Part 2




I cannot “allow my feet to carry me . . .” 
to soul time.  I lie.  If I had to rely on
my feet—or my legs, more precisely—I would go
nowhere.  But give me six feet per line of meter
and I travel.  And when I take time to journey
toward openness en-route to wholeness, I could
be sitting still, dancing, writing, praying, even
watching a performance, listening to a song
or floating in water, and driving east toward sun-
up or driving west toward sunset.  But the word
“allow” is true, and so very hard.  Allowing
action is easier than the waiting involved
in journeying to soul. The trick is to allow
distractions—particularly sensual  ones. 
Yes.  This isn’t meditation nor is it making
lists.  Instead, let sense engage the environment.

           No, not common sense—though that, too, can help—
but several senses: The sensations of smelling
and tasting, touching (and being touched). 
The sensations of hearing, seeing, moving, approaching,
parting, joining and rushing and slowing all provide
soul time and space.  Surprise!  Journey time!  Allowing
control to rest, waiting to cease effort, and invitations
to open and—without seeking—find.  

          Once upon a time I sighed, stretched back and arms,
sighed again and turned right, then left, and grounded my
feet and stood and marveled at earth rising to meet me
through two floors of apartments, marveled at the
shape of limbs and the torso that joined them—
locomotion and touching-taking-giving and thinking-
wondering-hungering and remembering times these
appendages were engaged.  What a piece of work is woman: 
 “How noble in reason,
how infinite in faculty, In form
and moving how express and admirable,
In action how like an Angel,
In apprehension how like a god,
The beauty of the world, The paragon
of animals. And yet to me, what is
this quintessence of dust?”
            Dust unless (unlike Hamlet) we walk with all animals like angels and ghosts, we root with all plants and all minerals: part of a whole and journeying by eating and going about the daily tasks we’ve set for ourselves with wonder and expectations and words and joy and anger and all the tools we need to live.
            Are you with me?  
            That is spirit coming through, that is soul time, that is creativity.

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2023 Susan L. Chast

14 January 2023

Allowing the Journey



No striving for me today. I don’t want to be
someone special—although each of us is special—
that’s not what I mean.  I don’t want to be busy. 
I don’t want to be a woman “on a mission.” 
I don’t want to be needed for urgent answers
or probing questions. I don’t want to hear phones ring.
I don’t want to save anyone, not even me.
Ah!  You say. You want an isolation tank!
No.  No sensory deprivation.  I want to
turn my body over to my feet and see where
they take me—both the journey and the arrival.
Last time I took the risk and time, I found myself
in a cemetery, soft grass underfoot, hard stone reality
and leaves at hand, whiffs of lilac and pine, muffled
traffic noise, and an ache in throat and eyes until
I tasted the salt of tears, and my heart opened.
Today, I may laugh.  I can’t predict how
I will open, but I will because I allow
my feet to carry me into the here and now
where God and earth beings relate as one.

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2023 Susan L. Chast

12 January 2023

Humanity and Destiny

  (from a Euro-American POV)


Who are we?

Imperialists. Humanity's blind design, destined to absorb everything for our own use 

regardless. . . . regardless of every other concern.

Regardless of the planet’s heartbeat and evolving material, imposing imperialist forms: 

Using and changing earth's lubrication, water, crop cycles, its hair and trees, its convictions and faith and diversity.


Blind, destructive humanity.  Watched by those ever and still and newly attached to earth.  Destined to absorb and also, finally, the opposite: destined to break through blindness, 

to force cracks in dominance, cracks admitting light and delight.

Some of us splinter the language of empire to see how

heartbeat depends on material and form,
material requires form and heart,
form reveals matter alive.

a part of humanity has been pushing for us to find our destiny.  For us to discover . . . to remember . . . how to serve our planet.

We are destined to rise up . . . on the brink of too late . . . to upset empire.

Repair our pasts, we cry . . . but how can we?  Impossible.

We assist those waiting.  We take on simpler tasks: talk with those we ignored and imprisoned, even the polar bear who needs ice and the rice seedlings who need water. 

We decide to move into the reality under our constructs. We decide to cooperate, to re-name, to restore. 

It’s late, but not wholly impossible.


I am struggling to write!  

This is my first poem of 2023, 

and it is not quite a poem

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2023 Susan L. Chast