19 November 2017

A Song After Loneliness

Dolphin Vector Graphic.svg

As drowning began
she instinctively called "Help!"
Dolphins responded.

They swam parallel
to her intention until
her breathing matched theirs.

And there were people,
too, rafts answering the call
unseen, sensors reaching

To restore her breath,
To help her float, until her
breast stroke took over

And she was safe in
the bigger, balanced and good
consciousness.  Again.

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

18 November 2017

Soul Poem

Fermat's spiral

On our journey toward a lost wholeness
we look inside for shreds that could lead us
one step after another to our goal.

On route I learn that finding steps and shreds
happens best when I help another seek
(whether or not they know that they journey).

To abdicate ego while seeking soul
is counterintuitive, but
the guides assure me practice will reward,

That soul—no matter how obscured—is here
always, and that companions on the way
are part of the way and not distractions.

I feel as if Jesus is guiding me,
how friends record his defiance and fierce
desire to heal that takes those lost back home.

Or, maybe he was never lost, surely
the task he could not not do revealed the way,
the inner truth that joined the shreds and steps.

So I, like him, seek God's guidance for when
to sit, to talk, to stand, to take a stand,
and how to ask others to talk to me.

And I can tell you now that Jesus has
many shapes: He’s a young and middle aged
black woman, child, old white man and a dream.

Finding the soul together takes unexpected turns,
delights with surprise words and unbidden
tears, finds us no matter where we hide.

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

More: Finding the poem within "Soul Poem"

the whole journey 
takes shreds, 
hears step stories and shred stories
sift through a companion's ears,
a glimpse of soul
weak but alive
in our own heart cavities
for those who listen
for God who lives over and over
so soul patterns are visible
in me and her, in him, in they
any age / gender / color
his journey from life to greater life
sometimes capped with death
sometimes with sleep.

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

15 November 2017

How Nature Balances

Fireball from the 1998 Leonid meteor shower on Nov. 17,
Photo by astrophotographer Lorenzo Lovato, 1998. (SPACE.com)

Imagine sitting on a rock, tree top, or lone
and naked peak while fireworks of celestial
origin fizzle so near you must cross your arms.

I stood quite close to sparks of paper burning once—
back when we burned our own trash in backyard barrels—
and loved how front and back of me turned hot and cold,

but found eyebrows and hair ends singed, curled back and scared.
I see the moon. turning on its spit, roasting in
the sun, but split and pocked into craters and crags.

Perhaps celestial showers are also beautiful
and ominous.  Imagine clinging to a rock,
rooftop, or lone and naked tree, admiring

the stunning fireworks as meteors miss us
this time, leaving a trail of destruction elsewhere
where they’re from, where they are and where they’re going.

For my prompt Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Meteor Showers

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

08 November 2017

Holy Noise: a poem with very little pain in it

Cathedral MG 2652.jpg
 Muir Woods National Monument: a natural cathedral, photo by PeteBobb 

Most apparent when silence is the goal,
noise can be the sounded silence 
of a child's sobs or make-believe 
or a Meeting for Worship’s hush as 
humans breath, cough and wake 
in heightened awareness
of God’s presence.

Alone or together, we are akin to trees
our silence rustling and creaking welcome 
to bugs and woodpeckers and wind,
to chipmunks and other passers-by.
We still ourselves, lean against 
tall pine trunks or chair backs,  
listen heart to heart.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Silence

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

01 November 2017

Goodness on Parade

Mano sinistra di santa Caterina da Siena.jpg
Left hand of St. Catherine of Siena,
preserved in the monastery of Santa Maria del Rosario
at Monte Mario, Rome

Goodness on Parade

The saints marched into view—by fingers, bones,  
pieces of cloth and wood and stones—standing
ruins scattered throughout the Apennines.

They brought bios and cautionary tales—
Be Good even if tortured Unto Death,
and then intercede for the living still.

This isn’t an ordinary parade
like those that crisscrossed small town childhoods—
no bands and floats in colored carnations—

But faithful soldiers dismembered, as if
the war had ended and ended poorly,
as if battered by the cross of Jesus.

Those who survive this barbarity could
inspire apostles and new miracles
whether or not called holy by a church,

whether or not claimed by a religion,
whether or not they know answers or languages,
whether they are giving or receiving.

Now comes a procession with brass and string
bands, dancers, clowns, buskers and hawkers—all
marching, moving through fields of bright flowers.

Here is neighborhood and sanctuary,
faith, harmony and passion, but something
is missing, some vision and mystery—

Where is Jesus or some other children
of God, a wild blossoming, willingness
to die rather than keep on stepping on

around and through those not invited to
the glory of righteousness?  Look, it comes!
Living morality plays for everyone!

Goodness is marching in again, beyond 
what's known as possible, and I, unchurched
and unschooled, want to be in this number.

It isn’t an ordinary parade
nor a tidy garden, but it is gaining
momentum, interceding for us all.

And maybe there will be no body parts
but heart and breath, maybe the few ruins
will be dead laws that we let scatter us.

I cannot seem to get this right.  I may need to abandon form 
and free verse it.  But I have to move on and 
post it anyway, for my prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Saints

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast

25 October 2017

An Ordinary Day

We are such stuff               
As dreams are made on, and our little life               

Is rounded with a sleep.               
               ~ Shakespeare, The Tempest IV:1, 146-48

East to West, dawn to dusk, curtain to curtain,
cover to cover—I turn my single day’s journey
into many, each with rising action and a hope of resolution.
Each has a beginning, though the end is uncertain.

The length of this play—five-acts, three-acts or one—
I travel with characters by bus, by flying carpet,
by streetcars of desire, and by holding on
while we rotate with the earth, moon and sun.

How dizzying to follow the plots, to find what they mean—
or to try and write the chapters, predict and control—
when I could let go and live them, collaborate, and,
in between, embrace the clutter and the dream.

For Sumana's prompt 

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Journey

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

© 2017 Susan L. Chast