28 August 2018

Tangle to Untangle

Knitters With Hopelessly Knotted Yarn Call ‘Detanglers’ for Help
From Wall Street Journal article by Carrie Melago
(2015, 2018)

Grab hands
Into a tight
Tipsy knot.

Still clasping—
Grunt, nod, nudge
Sans words
Shh!  Shh. 

What if we stood so close we touched
And saw the expression of mouths
And looked into each other’s eyes?

What if we learned how to read hearts
And didn’t look away?  What if
We remembered we once knew how?

What if we each had fairytale
Stories?  What if we untangled
Childhoods that were wrong or absent?

What if we spoon fed our stories
To strangers, listened to stranger
Tales and wove them all together?

What if we took the Fates into
Our own hands—to spin, measure and cut
As if nothing were determined

As if we could separate strands,
Untangle months of neglect, years
Of forget, eons of nothing.

Something lies underneath the game,
Veins throb beneath the disguising
Clothes and skins of our suffering.

The knots aren’t too tight—not yet—
Lightness loosens them, touch is balm
For open wounds and angry scars.

And what if healing mattered more 
Than tyrants and presidents, more 
than languages, homelands and stars?

Image result for three fates creative commons
The Three Fates Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos  (16th Century)

My blog poems are rough drafts.

lease respect my copyright. 

© 2018 Susan L. Chast


  1. What, indeed, if healing was what mattered most, of us, each other, the earth itself? Wonderful, Susan.

  2. Liked that. Thought provoking.

  3. "What if
    We remembered we once knew how?"
    Yes we did, and how sad it is (that to some extent) we have forgotten to care, to be close, to read others and offer ourselves in the healing.
    Healing matters for in the long run, we heal ourselves.
    So well done Susan, a thought provoking write.
    Anna :o]

  4. What if we were all charitable and just kind to each other as you suggest. It would be a better and kinder world.If we do not genuinely uphold a belief system or a moral ethic to support these values then we do not stand much of a chance.

  5. You raise some profound questions

  6. I really enjoyed the what if's here.

  7. How I wish this 'what if' dream becomes the reality one day. The last stanza is stellar.

  8. Susan, some dreams come with a heavy price that we shouldn't pay, but do. One day, maybe, we'll wisen up and realize this. Until then, we must lessen this toll upon the world.

  9. These words are of such significance, they have to be asked and asked again till they overshadow all else, all the trivialities and absurdities of our modern lives.
    What if we actually heard each other's voice, what if we actually tried to understand, what if we could provide a healing touch?

    Beautifully done, Susan. I really like how you intertwined the fates here. <3


  10. Each section is complete unto itself and yet follows into this story, a creation story - or perhaps, a recreations story - one long lost, but still, not entirely forgotten;

    and I have to say, in each section, there are some amazing images, metaphors, that speak broadly and yet somewhat specifically, in a concrete way, that offers this piece up as a universal prayer, hymn, "cry in the wilderness" of our hearts?

    I loved the opening, the idea of a tight tipsy knot - that is just wonderful.
    What if
    We remembered we once knew how?
    and then, turning to the idea of the Fates, the three sisters, spinning, cutting, measuring, and altering this tapestry, questioning it, choosing to somehow, possibly, affect a different outcome ... what if what if? is it possible?
    unanswerable I suggest ...
    but the ending here, in this piece, speaks of hope, and healing, and trying - which is heroic and perhaps, this has to be .... enough.

    A rich and interesting poem Susan - and certainly, the asking of the often too unanswerable questions - you've tackled this in fine form and I think, have left us with a very sound conclusion.

  11. What a wonderful poem, of tangling and untangling, weaving and unweaving. What matters most?

  12. Gosh this is a deeply poignant write, Susan!💞 I especially loved; "What if we took the Fates into our own hands—to spin, measure and cut as if nothing were determined."💞

  13. Profound, moving, and beautiful. So full of a longing for the better--one we can all realize if we chose to do so together.

  14. Sadly we don't think of the "What ifs" do we? We think we are free but get tied to habit, follow the rules in force an forget what is really important in life. This is to love and be loved and do no harm; which seems to be the last thing on most peoples minds.

  15. The second stanza of III and the last stanza of IV would stay with me for a very long time. The first because I believe that we could do so much if we make those words work for us. And the second because I think the answer to it could make our world a place that cradles instead of squeezing.

  16. what if indeed! especially What if we untangled
    Childhoods that were wrong or absent?... how much of a better world would we weave...

  17. I found myself entangled in the untangling of this 'what if?', Susan. I also like the shape and form. I particularly enjoyed the lines:
    'What if we each had fairytale
    Stories? What if we untangled
    Childhoods that were wrong or absent?'
    'The knots aren’t too tight—not yet—
    Lightness loosens them, touch is balm
    For open wounds and angry scars.'

  18. amazing talent of creative thoughtful writing...what if we could meet each other, what if we would be allowed with little restrictions to share and listen face to face poetic expressions of peace and prosperity..what if there was no such thing as hate speech and fear..there is no what if about being human as we are all human beings...may there be peace for all amen.

  19. “What if we learned to read hearts and not look away?”

    Such a beautiful thought, continued through that wonderful ending.

  20. It's a relief to know that the knots aren't too tight yet. There is still hope---barely. We'd be fools to let this chance slip away.

  21. There is so much wisdom and magic in your poem - and hope - as so many before me have mentioned - and hope. I feel a bit chagrined that I've posted such a negative bit of cynicism but, it is what it is, as the kids say. Really a wonderful poem, Susan.


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