Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

Please join me with your comments and make this a dialogue . . . and visit Susan's Poetry!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Living Together: just a song or two

I'm posting a song today, inspired by my Thanksgiving and last week's prompt at Theme Thursday: "Theme Thursday for November 22, 2012 - TOGETHER."  Hokey?  Maybe.  I haven't thought about this song in YEARS. Here's another version, maybe better, but without as much instrumental as above:  

I love the sound better than the fashions of the time,  Who remembers the variety show?

Eight years later Sade took this sentiment in a slightly different direction:

Powerful, powerful, but Sade covered an even more powerful version: Timmy Thomas wrote the lyrics and the music and recorded in 1972 during the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights struggle in the USA:

On and on we go.  I hope the music of togetherness never stops.  Someday everyone will hear the music in the air and get it together, right now.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanks Giving Eve

Minestrone scent curls to living room—family dinner for the day before Thanksgiving. 

Thus I greet my travelers whose accumulated miles this day are more than Pilgrims could travel in a life-time to eat more foods than grown locally and to enjoy more diversity beneath one roof than Pilgrims allowed on their shores.

We are bigger in our gathering: We reject Pilgrim occupation of land not their own.  We condemn betrayal of native generosity.  Tomorrow we join them only in eating free-range turkey, happy food, so we need not chew and swallow anger from our brutality.

We eat our history in the new world: Italian today and American tomorrow, friends before and enemies after, inviting in now and killing later. 

We plan our future is better than guns and germs and steel because we have dug in and we have seen the promised land and we forgive it and them as we wish to be forgiven by it and them still.

It is time: Cars pull into the driveway and line the street. Sugar-free apple pies and ice cream, banana bread, fruit salad, cucumbers, creamed onions and cranberry sauce climb the stairs to fill the table and contribute to the nosegay of this holiday.

In Plymouth, some Americans gather to mourn the past and in the Middle and Near East some United Nations' forces have a minute to share stories this evening here and in other places they have been.  I give them thanks.

In my family, those not in Pennsylvania are attending a birth in Ohio, the first baby girl to join our family in 61 years.  I know because I was the last one.  I smell the minestrone soup, grateful, indeed, to have home and family, cat and tablet—this big old desktop of a writing pad—my soup pot calling me into attendance and sunshine down the way.

Posted at Poets United where Ella asks us to write about gifts in "Wonder Wednesday #10 Gifts ."  This was already written, but it will do til I have the gift of time to give.

Copyright © 2012 S.L.Chast

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Fourth Wall

(Warning: This may not be a poem.)

Rooms and houses have 4 walls with doors and windows, but on the stage the number of walls depends on the actions of actorsIf actors see them and/or use them, they are there.  The audience will believe the actors and accept the fiction/reality they give us.  If actors talk to and interact with the audience, they have "broken the fourth wall" of their fictional world

Rooms and houses have 4 walls with doors and windows, but in the world of the spirit, four walls never exist, whether or not any human wants them to or believes them to.  By definition, spirit is not contained in a way that cuts it off from its source, IE, no one needs to break a fourth wall to communicate in realms of the spirit.  It is as if walls that appear to exist are porous or imaginary.

Rooms and houses have 4 walls with doors and windows, but--in the realm of spirit--four walls are only solid through magic or neglectIt must surely be a kind of hell—even nihilistic—to admit no way of breaking them.  When I think of settings like Sartre’s No Exit or Becket’s End Game, I shiver.  Although I am a confirmed hermit and in perfect puddles of solitude most of the time, such spiritual isolation terrifies me.    I am spiritual and in relationship with God.  This faith is not blind.  I believe because I know—experience of the supernatural has given me faith.  In me, the fourth wall can not be broken, because it never naturally existed.   

Rooms and houses have 4 walls with doors and windows, but in labs of contemporary psychology internal human walls are often insubstantial structures strengthened by phobia and experience.  These walls may be broken if a person chooses to break out of them, but the task is not easy.  It is as if we are all actors on the stage of the subconscious and the number of walls depends on what we see and use.  If we find barriers to be useful, we build them into the many-chambered nautilus that we present to the world as if self.  Psychology and religion assist in cementing or breaking these walls at their pleasure, but the walls themselves are emotional and barely touch on the spirit.  

I speak of The Fourth Wall today because I am a member of Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads where yesterday, Kerry issued the challenge "Breaking the Fourth Wall" which asks us to see if we could do this in a poem.  Her explanation on the site is invaluable, and I know I have done and will do this type of poem again.  But instead of taking me to poetry this time, it took me here, to whatever this is.  It may be merely the ruminations I go through en route to a poem.

The poem arrived on 11/19/2012!  Find it HERE.


Friday, November 9, 2012

The poem that got away

                    I dreamed a poem in my sleep last night.  I remember the entire process, but not the poem.  I rewrote it in my head several times: once to balance the comparisons, once to make the images more vivid, once again for both rhyme and alliteration.  I vaguely recall it had to do with the peace we have now.  I recall a deep satisfied smile at the result and a pleasant drift away from consciousness.
            I woke refreshed and happy after a great night’s sleep.  Since I’ve been sleeping in 2 to 4 hour naps lately, this was glorious!  But for the life of me, I cannot recall the poem.   
            I sat here waiting for it to re-emerge.  Then I started writing this in the hope that the brightness of the poem would return.  It has, but not the details—no words, no lines.  Only a sense of accomplishment.  
            I hope that I live my way back into that poem and its sense of victory.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

election 2012

My blog today is a cumulative poem written throughout Election Day and Night. Thank you for voting!  I was in line at 6:45am, and voted at 7:05am.  It was 8am when I started this poem and I finished it 24 hours later.  The poem is in 5 parts, the 5th of which was inspired by "Words Count With Mama Zen" at Imaginary Gardens.

Election Day 2012
Part One: 8 am

We watch the polls, those of us on-line
for our candidate for a year, 6 months
and the last 4 days, non-stop. Pay?
No. But if that time means we have
our FaVoRiTe working for us for 4 years--
what a pay-off.

Gamblers at the racetrack could not be
more engaged in the 5 minutes from
ready set to go. In the casinos and
backrooms of bars, could it be more
exciting than all of these baseball-trained
game callers on cable who have less
to say today than in any true sport?

Remember Valentine's Day ballot boxes,
waiting for your name to be called, your
head drooping lower when it occurs
to you—you could have stuffed the box
with your own, from whom-ever you
wished instead of biting your lip to blood--
no tears--Will you remember someday
to praise yourself for honesty, for
integrity if someone else is so much
more popular that you-could-die?

In this election, more is at stake, but I
feel the same.  How can—after all this
time—how could I lose?  How could
anyone disagree?  How could you
bring a card for him and not for me?
All day long I drive to the polls again
and again and again, not to watch
the polls, not to influence them, but
to take my mind off that Valentine's Day
box and my choices 50 years ago.  Will
I be willing to say to whom-ever wins
"In a democracy, you too are mine, I am
your valentine?"

Part Two: 1:30 pm

After 99 "Have-you-voted-hurray! and
calls and one drop off for a canvassing, 
pair, I check back to the office, prepare 
to leave, ask "where is the win-win party 
tonight?"  Vote for America people look 
up from phones and maps and snacking  
open mouthed and eyed, sleeplessness 
creasing raised brows: "At your house?"  
they joke.  Uh-oh.  What, me?  I want it,
but I don't want to do it.  I voted.  I called.
I might sleep through tonight's poll
closings.  But not celebrate?  Leave it
to tomorrow?  That’s ritual broken.
"With the Ohio count, we may be able
to hold a victory party next February,"
one grouses.  What? What kind of hope
is that?  Have we fizzled out?  Get out
the vote, get the vote out!  Get out! 

Part Three: 8 pm

Woke from my “nap” 5 minutes after
Pennsylvania polls closed feeling more
elated and more depressed than months
of engaged campaigning prepared me for,
more hungry than tired, more like hiding
behind the piano to watch as if I was still
little and the Lone Ranger was in danger.

The television and piano at Grandmother’s!
Gone now--but at age 12 I was there watching
the November that JFK was shot, again and
again watching Jackie move in the convertible–
Why am I thinking about that now? November
November is about citizen pride—election day
and Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day, all. 

The television is on in the living room and 
National Public Radio is on in the study;
dinner is on in the kitchen where I stand
in prayer, trying to wait on God, not strain
my ears to hear nor watch the pot come 
to a boil for the tea I make to calm elation,
lift depression, and ease and seize this day

Part Four: Midnight Sonnet

My candidate wins according to news!
Please scrape the bottom of the ballot box
so we wake up tomorrow with the same
good news and tomorrow and tomorrow
just promises more ripeness and we grow
this sign of prayers answered is real change
—not luck, not hurricanes, not a bet won,
not anything but right and left progress

My candidate wins according to news!
Facebook is filled with sighs of happiness
leaving the grousing for another day
or morning recounts by discredited
machines.  I go to bed happy packing
up this effort and ready for the next.

Part Five: Win Win
Tabulations continue
to show citizens win again—
and voters split near 50/50 prompt
our president to praise and promote unity.

Feel free to add some lines or more as a comment.  Critical comments are welcome too as are comments about your election day experience.

Posted at the Imaginary Garden's "Open Link Monday" because I am a Real Toad; and at dVerse Poets Pub's Open Mic Night because I like them.  This is not my regular poetry blog, which you can see here.

 Copyright © 2012 S.L.Chast