Sunday, November 19, 2017

“Heir”

You have always been bigger than me.
You were born an old man,
Strong-featured like your fore-fathers,
Your great cries straight from your heart.
I held you in the rocker, attempting to
Mother and nurture you, taken
Aback as you held a tiny finger to
My lips, commanding “No,” to my song.
Your curls were clipped too soon.
You were one year old and eating
A man’s dinner, with two desserts.
Your tiny body saw no contradiction.
Skipping the toddling all together,
You climbed, slid, shot and leapt
Over every obstacle, each landscape
Posed not even a hesitation.
You never knew you were small, because
You were always the King of China,
The ruler of your realm,
The biggest fish in the pond.
When you show me that you’ve outgrown me
I’m not surprised. You have grown into
That boldness you were born with.
You have always been bigger than me.

Tasha Cheney © 2017

Monday, June 08, 2015

Contraction and Rebirth

These babes of my heart
Growing rapidly out of my reach
My control
I must hold you
Retain the moments
That slink through back doors every time I'm busy.

I packed you into a car and ran for it
Fleeing the engulfing vastness of life.
I have to get you out of its reach
If I am to keep you.
I drove like mad
Through unknown country
And came out in a place
That could scare the ticking time out of you
It was bigger than all of us
Bigger than time

Yosemite
With its great looming
Mounts of granite
Grey domes of rock
Giant knuckles of agelessness.
The trees were monstrous, and gentle
The bears looked you right in the eye.
The water fell in sheets
And pounded in syncopated rhythm with my heart.
This place was mighty.

But when I looked to see its affect on you,
There you all were,
Bigger than ever.
You had crushes
And your vocabulary was shocking
And you built fires
And read maps.
I had to keep going.
I knew one more place.

Bigger than the halls of the Titans.
My mother.
My home
Womb of my heart
She calls to my guts
And reminds me I am a tiny thing.
She will slow your aging.

Pacific
Vast and eternal
Roaring and raging
Noisy voice of ageless whooshing
Home of leviathan
Blue whale
Trenches miles deep
Covering the earth
Swallowing sailors
Erasing history
Slowly, steadily, endlessly.

And here I sit on a rock
Hypnotized by her.
We walked hours and miles on her shores
And forgot where we started.
I watch my babies playing in her surf
And they are giggling, cooing little ones.
They have shrunken to their proper stature.
They have surrendered.

Thank you Ocean Mother
For slowing their growth
For bathing them in your purity again
For delivering me three sleepy, happy, tiny, humble babies
Who I can calmly drive home again
Amid sandy seashells
And salty smiles.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

On God, Life, the Universe, Gender, the Heart, Comfort and Futility

I climbed this peak to try to hear from God.
Or to listen to my heart.
Or to get an answer from the Universe.
Not sure if the Universe is capable of answering.
I know that Life answers. Eventually.
Are Life and the Universe the same thing?
I know they aren't God.
I fully believe in God.
Not that he always answers, but he does speak.
I'm saying He although I believe God to be genderless.
Can't call God It can I?
In this world nothing worth respect is without gender.
And only men are given real respect.
Though they deserve it much less often than they're given it.
And they take it for granted.
So how to refer to God?
Is there a pronoun worthy of the Divine Creator?
I'd ask, but I've already referenced the more or less futility of that.
But hear I am.
Listening.
My heart has chanted the same phrases to me for a very long time.
I don't think it's to be trusted.
It's full of deceit and desperately wicked.
I'm sure I don't know it at all.
It is a discouraging organ.
And it seems its supplies of cortisol never run low.
It is heartache this and heartsick that.
My heart is always broken -
Which God calls blessed, for I will be comforted.
But my heart quit waiting for the fulfillment of that promise a long time ago.
I don't think I even know what comfort really is.
I used to think it was a total cleansing of the hurt.
A purging of pain and suffering.
The ability to forget it all...or at least, to understand the reasons for it.
Or maybe it was tied to another promise from God -
He will give you the desires of your heart..
Is that comfort?
To get what you wish for?
I wouldn't know.
I waited too long for that too.
My heart wants Everything and is too used to settling for whatever it can get.
I just turn it off at a certain point.
There's no use in nurturing these unattainable yearnings.
Still, sometimes I put out little feelers in the great unknown.
I tattoo "WISH FOR EVERYTHING" on my arm.
I pray.
I climb to the top of the world and wait.
Wait for the sky to open up.
For lightning to strike me.
For a moment of clarity.
I am Cool Hand Luke standing powerless in a storm.
And I am left with thoughts, silence and blank pages to try and fill.

(c) Tasha Cheney 2015

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pledge

Come home to me
let me be your home
your haven
a safe harbor
in your storms
your place
of solace and refuge
come home to me.

Be at home with me.
Feel that you belong
where I am
In these arms
An empty space
in the shape of you
where you are meant to be
 Be at home with me.

I'd do for you
Whatever I have to do
Fight battles
Wait years
Sail oceans of tears
I would kill
I would steal, I would do
Anything for you.

Walk next to me
through the night
and the day
hold my hand
all the way
if you get stuck
I'll stay till you
can walk next to me.

I swear to you
I'd prove it if I could
I'd cut out my heart
and nail it to yours
I'd burn up with the stars
I am yours. I am
yours. I am yours.
I swear to you.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2013

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Belewe Mone

The Moon is blue
She looks at us
From far above
And she is yearning.

Blue Moon shining
Pulling at my veins
Singing a whale song
To the Earth.

What if the Moon loves?
How can she say it
Out there in the cold
She floats, alienated.

She glows and hums
Resonant light
Loving reflector
Mooning for Oceans.

The Moon, like a woman,
Floats in orbit
Draws us closer
But never close enough.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2013 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

A Dream

In my dream, 
we walk amid sidewalks
and talk of dreams.
Our dream-life is reality
and I can dream yours 
and you see mine clearly.
And the sleeping fish 
we walk past,
with their vulnerable bellies,
don't mind us
we are only dangerous
on the inside,
the dream side.
We thrill and excite
over seeming nonsense
and you feel my heart race
and I know what you're thinking.
And I can sing to you,
and you remember something 
I said fifteen years ago,
and you do your silly tricks
and my eyes dance
waiting for your finales
and your punch lines.
And I would never 
wake up in the morning
and find that you'd
stopped dreaming.
I would never have
to wake up and try
to live this dreamless
fish bowl
nothing.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Offering

 
Take this prayer
Take this prayer
Take this silence.
This voiceless morning
These thoughts
These breaths
     Read them
     Know me through them
     They are for you.

Take these looks
Take these looks
Take this watching
The sighs
The smiles as
I notice what you've done
     Join me
     Delight with me
     In beauty.

Take this song
Take this song
Take my worship
It wells up inside
Take the hums
The whistles
     The words 
     I sing
     or whisper.

Take my heart
Take my heart
Take my searching
My intention
My desire
That sought you here
     I need you
     I'm calling
     I love you.

(C) 2013 Tasha Chinnock

Moony

Lately I've been hypnotized by clouds.
I go through too much of my day
Distracted and burdened,
Looking down,
Looking within.

Last week at the carnival, 
there was a chance in the hectic heat
for me to strap in to elastic ropes
and soar into the sky.
I jumped higher and higher,
Looking straight up
into clouds that opened up
like a door.

I felt out of my head,
rising without falling.
I lost focus and remained. 
Perhaps I took a quiet nap
Up in that blue retreat.

(C) 2013 Tasha Chinnock

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Deep Greenness of Early Spring

Child, a crooned lyric
She began as a boon
A pot of pure honey
A map of nearby stars

Her tan, bare feet
Ran on a lark
Kicked and giggled
Her youth song into the air

Storm clouds rolled in
Darkening that clear blue
That velvet ocean
Stifling her very atmosphere

A contrary garden sprouted up
Overnight she was a jungle
Roots white as worms
Nubby stalks of nettle

Milk-weed dripping
Leaves purple-tipped like bruises
What monsoon song is this?
Twirled by whirlwinds and swirling pools

I spurn gloves for this work
Her thorns deserve my blood
And what pruning or weeding
Can I claim any right to?

I'm blessed by her scent
A dab of nectar
A visit to the honeycomb
Which flourishes within her now

Her primroses enclose a secret
Still-budding bird of paradise
Flaming orange
Shouting angry verses with its spiked tongue

Crying and pounding paths
Untamed and unfinished
She will burst the gates
She will break out in full regalia.

But a bell still rings
A tinkling there in the trees
A hum and buzz
Among the blossoms

Yet she gazes up at starlight
Feels dusty ground underfoot
Still sweetens my tea
With her honeysuckle voice.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Myself

I am an impatient sinner
Swearing more artfully than a sailor,
And then apologizing
in an endless cycle -
“I fall down, I get up, I keep on dancing” -
My heart spends penitent eons
face-down in worship
of a mighty, holy God,
baffled that he loves me
In spite of my vices.

I am a turtle-loving,
literature-shoveling,
artist-in-training,
Internet-dweller, with little freedom
for friendships in real life.
I am a compulsive
lesson-planner
list-maker,
ex-slacker, exhausted
from striving to succeed,
pushing myself ever forward
for the sake of three
who depend on me.

I am a homework-helper
Staying up late to have time
with my own kids
Responsible by necessity
Training myself to do it all
Early riser, bill wrangler,
housework hustler, mistress of car maintenance,
natural remedy distributing
Doctor of Motherhood
Specializing in selfless love.


I am a song-singing, story-telling
Hand-motion choreographer.
I am an eye-popping
Knowledge dropping
Guide to seventeen 5-year-olds
The Pudding Whisperer
Apronless painter
Science experimenting, air guitar rocking
Second mom to a school full
Of runny-nosed angels.


I am a solitary diamond
Too elegant for a mate.
Sleep alone, rise alone,
pray alone, wait.
I am not in a hurry
I don’t need to know
my future – the how or when -
I know the One in control.
My God is great.
I can wait.


I am harmless
I am fierce
I am silly
I am smart
I believe life is an art.
Not a science
Or a dogma
Or even a test.
I live each new day thankfully
I do my best.
And over and over
I am abundantly blessed.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2013


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Feet In the Stream

This is real
Purity, natural
calm and serene
This is where you are
surrounding us
in your creation
Not in the cities and towns
busy and noisy
carnal and carnivorous
But this quiet
simplicity
Moving, breathing Earth
You are here.
In the heights of the trees
in the call of squirrels
and crickets and birds
In the endless song of the water
a song of communion
with you
Nature's best friend
constant companion here
It's true you are everywhere
But sometimes, though I seek, 
I can't find you there.
I find worry and trouble
and selfish flesh
I find need and priority
And every high thing that exalts itself
above a knowledge of you.
Nature exalts you,
not itself.
And when I sit here -
in natural silence -
Your voice is clear,
your presence obvious,
your love astounding,
your joy contagious.
Let me take it with me
when I leave this home.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Eyes Downcast

We go out walking
explorers and navigators
Adventurers
But with the first discovery
a colorful stone - 
a bug on a branch -
We become something else.
Our research takes over
There is no more landscape
no vast, blue sky
no far off mountain
Only this square meter where we stand,
Eyes downcast,
scanning for a treasure.
We take small steps,
carefully placing our feet 
on a spot we have already checked.
Methodical finders
prayerful monks
A vow of silence
not as necessary
as a vow to see everything
a fossil
an arrowhead
the archaeologist in us
will carefully unearth
a slightly exposed bit of white
bone or basalt?
Everyone come look
a funnel spider!
And we are each entomologists
A traveling lab
Mentally documenting our discoveries
Sometimes even with a camera
Geologists, anthropologists
theorizing about 
what happened here?
who lived here?
Did the flood do this?
Animal trackers
wildlife experts,
and survivalists.
Moving slowly
getting the entire hike into a specimen jar
carrying the Great Outdoors home 
in pockets, backpacks and lunchboxes.
A shell, a seed pod, a pellet.
here a bullet casing - proof of human life!
An old indian beer can
a smooth skipping stone.
These expeditions make us
doctors
truth seekers
history keepers
creation lovers.
And we go home with the 
backs of our necks tired and red.
 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Under the Hood

These days, you know,
I'm hardly more than
a grinding clockworks
a shoddy transmission
ready to seize.
I churn on
I scree like a terrible locomotive
halting on the tracks
A dry tank
A friction machine and
a stripped out thread.

Those old contraptions -
ones referred to in a feminine
personal "she" -
require more intuition
to operate
More subtle artistry -
It's all in the wrist.

She must be spoken to lovingly
shifted and maneuvered
with a gentle touch
Oil and chamois at the ready
and easy, easy with the clutch.
And she will drive you where
you need to go.
Her engine will sing and purr
with the deep, low, hum that comes
from really knowing her.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Utility

An umbrella gently
bounced down the sidewalk,
dwarfing the small frame
that sloshed beneath it.
Wet wellies kicking spray,
forming tiny wakes
that rippled softly and
once again spread over the concrete.

It was navy blue,
not bright and ostentatious.
It absorbed the light.
It defied notice -
a mere shield -
a little pitched tent.
It glided along,
bobbing and swaying,

Growing smaller down the way.
No gust of wind
disturbed the pace.
The gait I counted
down the walk:
one, two, one, two.
The roof-like tarp
steadily took the patches of block
until at the corner
it escaped my view.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Wager

I dare you, days,
To try and outlive me.
I was built to last.
I'm cast in brass.
I carry on.
On my knees,
I'll just get stronger.
Lonely and sad
Convince me to wait.
Angry and scared
Keep me breathing.
Hungry and tired
Are a challenge, a dare.
They remind me to care.
Feed love, starve hate.
Music and rhythm
Are always right here,
Singing and pounding
My heart to a prayer.
There isn't a secret
Or a darkness so deep
That it can stop me
From taking my next step.
I keep getting up.
I'll never retreat.
Competition with life itself.
I'm a finisher.
That's how you win -
You just don't give in.
So, let the world turn.
Let the sun burn.
Let the wind and water
Grind and persist.
Time is only a measured thing.
It was made to run out.
It falls short of eternity.
Eternal me will outlive Time.
Outlive the aching
and the inadequacy
of weekdays and weakness.
I plan to be around
To see the Plenty when it comes down.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Metanoia

It is true I never loved
the way that love was meant to be
I loved with fickle, selfish stuff
and all centered on me.

And yet it was a greater love
than ever I'd felt before
A willingness to die to self
and live for something more.

But in my flesh such passive love,
Inadequate at best,
You felt like a nagging wound.
It never let you rest.

I love you still, but selfish love
Is forever gone from me.
I learned too late that all is lost
If I put me before thee.

And yet I plead with God above
Fill me, O Lord, with perfect love!
Give me what lacked in all those years
I've paid for love with all my tears!

Now see, I'm still here looking out
at a world of unknown fear
And I will face that world again,
side by side with you, my dear.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Conflict

My heart and my body
don't understand my spirit.
They are all fighting for me
but at war with each other.
Like life-long friends
engaged in a constant cat fight.
My body fights for its needs
the cravings,
biological demands
of my humanhood.
My heart fights for its desires
My hopes and dreams.
It tells me they are my right
It drives me forward.
My spirit fights for my freedom.
It reminds me who I am
in the eyes of heaven.
It whispers the promises
that can't be broken.
It calms my body,
It soothes my heart.
It chants to me
Peace, peace, peace,
Be still.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Thursday, January 05, 2012

What is a Man?

What is a man?
He is put together
of muscle and hormone
and other hard, hard stuff.
He is instinct and reflex
and all for self.
A man will bury the bones
of all his past sins
in the soil of your heart.
A man will hold tightly
to his dreams, unaware
that they are choking the life
out of everyone around him.
A man won't wake up
and see you.
He is basic and static.
A man is an island of disregard.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Idolatry

I have always carried around
in my raggedy heart
Your pains and worries.
I have allowed all your burdens
to be my own.
You didn't deserve my love
any more than you deserve God's love.
I just gave it to you.
A whole lump sum.
I poured out myself
And became a vessel of only you.
I walked and talked and ate and slept
as unto you.
I allowed you to be a god to me.
Some would argue
you weren't all-powerful.
But you had power
that you didn't even recognize.
You had so much at your beck and call
I would have done it all.
Killer, sinner, beggar, slave -
your fool. Your willing fool.
You are still here.
Carried on my back.
A burden I cannot loose.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Goals

I want the woman I see in the mirror
To be the same one I see in my own heart.
I want to stop seeing as the world sees
and see myself as God sees.
When I lay my head on my pillow
and silently reflect on my day
I want who I was today
to be something I am proud of -
not something I defend.
I want to be who I was created to be.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Monday, January 02, 2012

Grace

How can it be
that you will cry out to God now
after so much is all said and done
and broken and lost
and damaged and hurt.
After all your rebellion
how can it be
that God will reach out to you
and you will get your way?
Still free from me
Still there and not here.
But back in the light?
How can you deserve that?
The miracle is that you don't.
And you don't have to.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2012

Friday, December 23, 2011

Making a New Friend

I can sit here and snuggle with the heater
Alone. Alone. Alone.
I can be solitary
Fall in love with myself
I'm meeting myself
And it feels like the first time
This person -
I never knew me at all.

I can think about things
for a long time
And sometimes, when I wish
I had a reason to
speak a thought out loud
I try it out,
Weirded a little
by the sound of my voice,
like looking into
your own eyes in a mirror.

I can ride it out
Wait for it
Stare down this season
of empty
of quiet
I'm better than it.
I have power
this silent house
Hasn't even seen.

(C) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Monday, November 28, 2011

Isaiah 42:3 [ACROSTIC Part 2]

Read Part 1
"He will bring full justice to all who have been wronged."

Heaven's glory
Emits passionate love

Where the dark of the world
Is oppressing
Loved one, your God is
Listening.

Be still.
Remember His promises
In the day of your affliction.
Nothing goes unseen,
Give it to Him.

Find a place to rest
Under His covering.
Let Him act on your behalf.
Look to Him to be

Judge of righteousness;
Undertaker of your cause;
Swift rebuker
To the wicked and corrupt.
In His mighty power, the
Creator and finisher of
Everything

Takes up your case,
Orders His armies.

Angels in ranks
Leap to obey,
Live to do His will.

Why are you cast down?
Heart, be lifted up.
Open your eyes and see

Him fight for your honor,
Avenge you at last,
Victorious,
Eternally fair and faithful.

Behold your conqueror,
Enthroned in the heavens,
Even now steps down -
Name above all names,

Wielding truth and holiness,
Raising His awesome hand.
Order will be restored
Now and forever.
Give your hurt to God.
Everything is His to
Decide.

(C) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Our Alliance

Our alliance
Speaking - and knowing without speaking
The reassurance
of limitless solidarity
Bound to eachother's burdens
The sacred communion
of mother and daughter.

(C)2011 Tasha Chinnock

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hermitage

Its quiet here
when they are gone.
Blank, white walls
Hold their breath
Stubborn as toddlers.
The lightbulbs sit and burn in silence
Like angry friends
Intent on not speaking first.
I don't even talk to myself.
It feels irreverent
To interrupt the wake,
Observing all the loud, messy laughter
That dies every other Sunday
when the sun goes down.
This extended moment of silence
Reminds me with its nothing pulse
That they are missing.

(c) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Jazz

A Grievance!
She cries out indignantly
at the swarth of the mercury.
It rises, it falls,
and all the while it is
a dark, untrustable thing.
Does it even believe in itself?
Like a tepid bath boasting steam
that delivers little more
than shivering wetness.

A lie! A lie!
And I knew not to listen.
I said I wouldn't
but plugging my ears turned out
to be pointless
with my uncanny talent
for lip-reading
I wish I could read your mind instead
I wish I could turn my back on you completely.

(c) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Naptime Adorations

Little cheeping chickies
With wide, watching eyes
Trying tricks
Banging sticks
Find the pecking order
Repeat all you hear
Believe it all
Beckon and call
Learn so much more
Than what is taught
Lick and feel
Find what's real
Exhaust yourselves
In half a sunny day
Nod your head
Sleep like the dead
Climb up high
And preach your innocence
When you cry
So will I
Words of wisdom
Blown like bubbles, free
Skip away
Back to play

(C) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Consciousness

I was blind and empty
A vapid reflection
Deceived by my own titles
With a mere air of reality.

And then a crux
A solid, dense cross
Crashed on the shadow of my back
Creating a surface
And my life was formed
Of something heavier.
I took on mass
And grew opaque.
I was real, real, real
Vivid, almost garish.
Painful in existence
Shrill and stuffed with knowing.
I saw in three-dimensional contrast
The good and evil and fearful
In the world
And I longed to go back.

I sought out misty echoes
I shrunk into shaded caverns
Of half-life dreaming
I hummed a partial tune
I squinted and blurred my sight
Willing blindness to return me
Up that twilight path
Of intuited perception
To forget again the
Sharp, tangy peal and clang
That wakens slumber
And shakes us out of bed
Into the daylight.

(c) 2011 Tasha Chinnock

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rooms

We have themes for every room
Like three parties
All happening at once
Because this is a home
Whose promise we sense
But can't define
Its a scary proposition
Moving in to a place
With no idea of its future
Its purpose
So we have given it purpose

Wild flowers - untamed, ecclectic
Life based solely on whim
And personal preference
Not here to impress someone else
A place of my own

Light green with butterflies
The quiet place she goes to
In her heart and mind
In the counselor's office
The color under her eyelids
The soft little creatures
Almost mythical
Who flutter and light on her sorrow
And drink it away through curlicue tongues

The bottom of the deep blue sea
A new adventure
Where courage and bravery
Curiosity and momentum
Are rewarded with visual wonders
Mysteries revealed
Treasures collected
Making the frightening darkness of getting there
Worth it after all

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2011

No Room For You

I have a new house
One you've never seen
And there is no room for you here.
The owner called it little and rustic,
it is old and decrepit
with flaking paint
and clogged pipes
but it is free of any hint of you.
The children explore the overgrown yard
and I sweep the cobwebs off the ceilings
and never wonder if you will arrive.
You can not arrive.
I decorate my room in fans
and four mismatched bookcases
and I do not leave one shelf
empty in anticipation of your appearance.
The king sized bed is
made up on one side
and the other still holds laundry.
There is no place for your tools
Or your belt to hang in the closet.
There is no place for your razor
or your keys.
There is no room for you
in this house.
You are gone.
There is no room for you
in my life now.
It is full already,
with all that you abandoned.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2011

Quiescence

I wait in stillness, a holy silence
I've been in this state of expectation
for so long now, it is home away from home.
A hundred times I have felt certain
a breakthrough was imminent
A change was coming.
I pray
I wait.
I consecrate myself.
My food is an offering
My heart on the altar,
I believe. My trusting heart
sits.
Like a dog awaiting permission to move.
Yes, you have trained me to wait.
I've forgotten how to
anxiously wonder
The hows and whys and whens
belong to the Master alone.
All that is left for me
Is Amen.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2011

Emergency Room

A heart condition.
So much implication in that.
A needy heart.
A greedy heart.
A broken heart.
Pierced through with its own sword?
Disappearing like grass?
What depths are in my own
too-human heart?
To wish someone's death
who I don't even know?
To calculate how this may be
my answer to prayer?
I despise the thought
and still entertain it.

She is a child;
a mother of children;
a weak, frail thing.
That I never was,
nomatter my submission.
I was never weak or frail or a child.
Does that give him power?
Does he feel big and strong?
As his pipes in his divey apartment crumble and
his ceiling caves in.
As his business falls apart
and disappears like sand through fingers.
As his children become strangers
hating all he stands for
because it is not them.
Does he derive power
from a child-lover
with a bad heart?

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2011

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Frontiers

I don't want to plan your future.
I want you to be happy right now.
I want to hold you in my hands as you blossom.
I want to shower you with joyful moments,
seeded with promise.
If I can lay a foundation of wonder
and strength for you to grow on,
I can trust your future
to branch out in beauty.
I can believe you'll go
in directions I've never even imagined.
I can look in your face and believe
there is so much for you to thrive on.
Your future is too big for me.
But right now
I am here for you completely.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2010

A Frozen Moment

Standing on the watershed
of a century-old mine,
where thick ice paves
a surreal walkway
over tumbles of water.
The great, polished granite
that ushers this rindle
down the mountain crevices
is balanced
by skyfuls of evergreens
towering up the steeping slopes.
Winter birds - the juncos and flickers - survivors,
are hinting at things
with conspiratorial chirping.
And the wind
through winding tunnels in the earth
is moaning secrets
not meant for my naive ears.
The tissue-thin air
is hypnotic and dangerously freeing.
In this cold,
on this magical frozen stream,
at this altitude
a person could feel anything,
could think sacred thoughts
and soar into fairy tales
with eyes gently shut.

(c) Tashas Chinnock 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Regimen

Be thankful for fatness
It is contentment
You have all you need
More than enough
The love and security
To sleep at night
The passion to wake famished
Demanding a big breakfast
The leisure to cuddle on couches
You are fat and happy
Because you know your future
Waits for you like
A familiar friend
Who stands in an airport.

Don't admire my lean bones
Ribs and hips and angles
Of shame and sorrow
Do you envy prisoners of war?
Or concentration camps?
A diet of worry and grief
A workout of nausea
My aereola look bigger and bigger
As the rest of me shrinks
Like huge, bulging eyes
Staring in shock and fear
At the dark future
Without the comfort of food or couches
Or a strong embrace.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Captive Thought

He stands startled
In a sequestered corridor
Slender and meandering
Like a swan neck, a champagne flute
He takes a step
Heavy with dread
Down this hall of thought
This stem of philosophy
A conduit, a pipe of dreams.

He didn’t want this
Never wanted to be here
Unrelated, quiet
Impervious to nearness
And cold as a death rattle.
Where is the sunshine?
How far is tomorrow from
All his yesterdays?

Yesterday is the sound
Of a rose blooming
Its red thundering like chariots
Into the dark of today
Dried and dusty
A crumble of neglect.
He can’t recall
Can’t pull it together
And the weave unravels
And falls in coils
Under concrete feet
Under a spell
Where lies are whispered
So very well
And darkness boils in
Like storm clouds.

Strip it bare
Release the echoing reverb
Into fresh air
Set him free
Let his thoughts spread out
Into everywhere
And the lies disappear
Let the truth line up
And speak order
Repair.

(C) 2010 Tasha Chinnock

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Written in the Wake of Calamity 3/4/10

Walking in slow motion
Moving through icy tunnels
Silent and spooked
without you, without
You
Who am I and what
do I do?
How do you explain
one half of a whole
but empty like nothing?


When the moon is shining
through the window
when the dawn is creeping
to my lids of glass
How can I roll over
and make you be here
smiling at me
comfortably
like a love letter?


When both of us
are stunned to silence
and pain is written
on the backs of our hands
to remind us
to warn Do Not Return
But our hearts return
we regress so easily
to simple forgiveness
that costs everything

(c) 2010 Tasha Chinnock

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Keeping Awake

It seems a shame to sleep;
to waste all this lovely silence.
Hours and hours I have
all to myself,
while the blessings
and burdens of daylight
are tucked sweetly away
and the naked night,
Precious and peculiar,
stretches out like a sea of onyx.

It is not insomnia
but stubborn indulgence
that keeps my lamp ablaze.
I will have this time,
Though my eyes burn
and my shoulders ache.
By rights it is mine
And it will serve me
And I will use it up,
Filling it with silence of my own.

Hush, pillow, I'll get to you
when I'm ready.
Leave off, dreaming, wait your turn.
The quiet isn't finished yet.

(C) 2010 Tasha Chinnock

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lessen

Make me less of a woman

Less soft and more firm

Not so smothered in feeling

A rock undisturbed.


Free me from being a woman

Slave to moon and tide

Undo mood and desire

And all their lies.


Make me less female, girly

Needing a man’s caress

Thriving on word and gesture

Make me less.


Call me andric, ascetic

Eusocial as an arthropod

Wanting no affection

Pure as a god.


Take away curves and cravings

And love songs played in my head

Stop up my teary eyes

To be stoic instead.


Make me less of a woman

I hate to care so much

To want his arms to hold me

And feel his touch.


Make me less of a woman

And if you can’t then please

Give me someone man enough

For all my needs.


(c) 2010 Tasha Chinnock

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Phantom

He is here
stalking around like a dark ghost
haunting my house
hovering my heart
I am bedeviled by his nondescript nearness.
I can just make him out
but there's no denying he's here.

In times past
a priest would come and rattle off prayers
as the dead rattle their bones
and exorcise the specters
that tormented women like me
Or some gaudy, draped clairvoyant
would roll back her eyes and try
to communicate with him.

Ha. Communicate
This ghost will have none of that
he is merely here, possessing
not at rest, but wanting nothing more
just to keep being here forever
appearing and dissipating
howling then surly
Driving off the living.

He walks by with a chill
his voice - an eerie sound
his touch - lifeless
his eyes - hollow.
We are spooked by his empty presence.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hope

I'm waiting like a blind man,
a prophet
Expecting what no one sees.
I'm trusting against
my senses
I'm waiting because I believe.

I believe because I know you.
With your true eye
that sees deep and far.
I know the pure heart within you
I know
this is not who you are.

I know you're the man
who loved me
And asked me to follow along
on a road we knew
wouldn't be easy
But the One who you followed
is strong.

He was strong
when we walked in a war zone
He provided us
raiment and bread
He healed you
when you were broken
And for every transgression
he bled.

A transgression
cannot condemn you
or snatch you out of his hand.
And I'm trusting in Him
to reclaim you
and to give me back my man.

My man, your heart
can trust me.
I've been here and
always will be.
I believe in, not just God,
but in YOU
to be a husband to me.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Epinican

We’re singing the song

That can’t be learned.

Its built into us

In darkness, in fire.

It’s the aching moan,

The lonely sigh,

But the chorus is a glorious

Battle-cry.

Stone by stone

Without mortar or tools

An altar is set up

That carries the tune.

It’s a song of grief

That has made us wise

And of trusting in unseen

Victories.

A chorus of hearts

Once broken, now bound

Will soar to the heights

Lifted up on wings

With strength we don’t have,

Like this world’s never seen.

For the song that we know

Tells of conquering.


(c) 2010 Tasha Chinnock

Monday, June 15, 2009

Speaking Up

Will you sense
My pure desire
For the right words
This moral unction
To a wise response

Do I dare
Utter this oracle
Clear and low
Humble and trembling
Serving up truth on fine crystal

Defenseless
With this insight my burden
Vulnerable as the young doe
Fierce in my fragile fairness
I stand a cipher, a martyr.

Reach out your hand
Take hold of my message
To crush or to embrace
Only vanquish the fear
Of standing before you.

(c) 2009 Tasha Chinnock

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Elevation

Without method we light on
A cranny of creation
Delicate as a breeze
Over marshy puddle land
Where crisp, dry grasses hide
Snake skins and beetle wings
And a tarantula with two legs gone
Dangles from a broken branch
Over the inlet.

My expeditious tramps
Are here and there
In twelve places at once.
Like multi-colored katydids
Under the tree –
Over the boulder –
Behind the thicket –
And cautiously creeping
At water’s quivering edge.
Near and far
And near again
In a matter of moments, for
Running is the only gait
Appropriate for our excursions.

Now stop and wave,
Shading eyes from the mild sun.
Now hide from cohorts,
Hair wild in the childlike gusts.
This is the warmest of winter afternoons
Where drowsy garters and lizards
Venture from rocks
And smell our breath
Before small voices reach them.
Reach for them,
And their half-awake tails
Unhinge in reptilian fright.

But we count all this gain –
Each incident fills the vacuum,
And builds a hunger
For days to come
Like this – or something else entirely.

© Tasha Chinnock 2009

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sprawled on a grassy bank, drifting in and out of waking, quiet summer day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Playground

Theirs is a flashing sort of ecstasy.
It melts into grief
and returns in moments.
It takes my own heart for a ride.

Public Awkwardness

He was suckered by a noise in the bathroom -
A boy and girl laughing.
Which one was displaced?
Only he, himself.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Flipped

ʇsɐʃ ɯɐ ı ʍou puɐ
ʇuǝɯuopuɐqɐ ɟo uʍoɹɔ ɐ ɹoɟ
ssɐʃƃ ʇno pǝɹnod ɐ ɹoɟ
ʎʇnɐǝq ɯoɹɟ ʎɐʍɐ pǝʞʃɐʍ ı
sʃɐoƃ ʎɯ ʇoƃɹoɟ ı
ssǝuısnq pǝıɟıɹɹoɥ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
ʎʇıʌıʇɔɐ ʃnɟǝɹɐɔ ɥƃnoɹɥʇ
sǝƃunʃ ʎʃıɯɐǝɹp ʇɐɥʇ
ǝɯ ǝɥʇ ǝǝs ʎʃuo uɐɔ ı
ʎʃpɹɐʍʇno ʇou ʇnq ǝɯ ɯɐ ı
pǝddıʃɟ uǝǝq sɐɥ ǝɟıʃ ʎɯ

Monday, May 12, 2008

Welcome to the World

I awake with a feverish pull
And my guts tell me what I must do.
I pace and I breathe, slow and full -
Working to open the world to you.

I swell and I shrink through and through
As your father massages the dull
Ache in my back till it feels black and blue

Now harder and closer together they cull
The midwife assures me that it’s almost through.
I focus and charge like a bull,
Working to open the world to you.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Found

Crook of limbs unhinged
worm-eaten and skinless
a club, a weapon, a tool.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Yearning for Freedom

Were it merely adding a few concubines to the harem
Or joining several willing hearts
To a connubial orgy
Were it only the pluralism,
The multiple partners,
Accompanied by the sad plight of necessity
All this, I could consider
Religion
…………………… Legalism
…………………………………………………… Folly

If never a little girl
was wounded
Forced to conjoin
Bred to likewise breed
Robbed of value or purpose
Caged and beaten like a dumb beast.

Sacred defiling

If never a little boy
Was marinated
In hate and lies
In suspicion, and savage misogyny
Stewed in corruption
Until competitive fear seals his exile

Sacrilege sanctified

If never a mother
Was manipulated
Pummeled to submission
By husbands, or wives with seniority
Doling out intimacy like a duty
Between laundry day and Sunday service

Sacrosanct perversion

If never a family
Was made inferior
Not worth supporting, indentured by their betters
Held under the fear of stolen children
Granted to a more worthy mother
Spirited away without a warning

Sanctimonious maleficence

If no innocent one ever kept the horror
of a secret ceremony,
a sordid night,
in the dark bedchambers
of her nightmares,
I could tolerate
So much that I don’t agree with.
I could uphold freedoms
I could shake a fist at judges,
If no victim ever
Fled
…………… called
……………………………………… cried out.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Waiting

I’ve born a thousand careful words
I’ve held in hand your dogged chin
And listened for a risk
And hurried through the endless fits
Through slits of eyes
And gapes of lips
It came in choppy bits.

As time has written down our words
Your figments barely peeking in
That fought for yesterdays
And calmly pushed us through the dim
With slabs of palm
And steady hips
Bridged with writing over them.

When under plaster skies a lamp
Was burning blaring yellow white
It all became so final
We reached to pull the curtain down
It stuck half-way
And light blazed out
Leaving you staring at the ground.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Microscope Families

Beautiful protist
Invisible life
In your puddle home
Do you have a wife?
With a flagella
long and wavy
Does she cook up
puddle gravy?

Paramesium
in the slime
Bean shaped
since the start of time
Do baby amoebas
climb on your lap
and snuggle up
to take a nap?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hypnosis

Take all this thickness of thought
These foggy recollections
My clouded version
And pull from it
The hard-handed facts.
Dissect my soul mumbling
And tell my story back
Like a lesson, like a lecture
I saw something coming
And I shut my eyes
For years
And I shut my eyes, I shut
My wincing eyes
Tight so as not to see
And so I was not there
It may not have even been me.
I will fish it out and tell it
I will sketch it out in greys
And you tell me what it says
Tell me, tell me
Who I was and why this fog
Obscures the words
And fills the skies
And calls to me
Open your eyes!

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Financial Stress

I say hello
To that old crimp in your voice
I’m familiar with the drum skin pulled
- taut over your throat
I hear it and my forehead reacts
Pulling up into tight pleats – ironed in place
By years of these calls

Circumstance is a fickle companion
Left wild, it will always turn on you
And you and I have never quite
Gotten the knack of training
:Shush our rowdy children to hear you speak
:Grab a cigarette and pace the walk
How do you train circumstances?
The whip flails in a useless Q
Over our heads without a crack
Never accomplishing anything
Nothing is subdued or controlled

So I hold numbly to the phone
And sink dully into quiet
No point really in listening
I know the words already
We’re screwed.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2008

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Landscape

Months passed without a stroke, but
Does the artist dry up with the paint,
Or fade like old, abandoned pigment?

The wood box creaks open on tired hinges.
The smell is there -
Ancient oils, mineral spirits.
And here are the brushes
Of ox, camel and sable
Laid out, anticipating…
And there the vast, white canvas
taunting.

Slow, wide strokes begin.
Hues spread out gradually,
Picking up speed
Like an old steam engine.

Then smaller brushes,
Tender lines emerge by the
Hands of a musician,
A chef, a gardener,
A father.

Hours go by, muscles ache
But the colors are singing
On submissive canvas.
Vision is clear,
Rhythm is set.
Life, texture, dimension, emotion
Dance unbridled.

Don’t pause or hesitate!
Paint unwavering,
Confident of victory
Over blankness.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Haiku

Bubble floats on a
puddle in the rain until
drip drip drop it pops.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Accustomed

There was an incredible sound
In the bright light of
last night's moon.

And I hung on a long time
waiting to hear it again
listening to ordinary stillness

You weren't here to consult
I was sitting in our spot
smoking a lonely cigarette

But I went ahead and pretended
"What the hell was that?"
I asked the empty spot beside me.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

The Gamblers

These generations of men
that we cannot do without:
Infectious deviants
whose winning smiles
incur our wrath
and our devotion.
One by one
they tempt
and they taunt
and they goad one another
into utter folly.
In the end, adding one
more bawdry story
to our repertoire.
Saving up memories
like a treasure trove -
or maybe an arsenal -
for the day they are too old
to do more than
tell their tales. Yes,
They will have some to tell.

We sideline observers
vie for their dedication
like jealous cats
and curse the last dregs
of their spontaneity
as if we were surprised.
Somewhere within us
it is their predictable
unpredictability
that lets us welcome them
home again warmly on
yet another early morning.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Turning Thirty

And so it has been
three full decades.
The first one marked out
in a neat row on the chalkboard,
rhymed and colorful.
The next, glommed together
In a reckless, vibrant heap of late teens
and early twenties.
Followed by this last set
of full, budding years -
a crucible of human experience,
of realizing and forsaking dreams.

At thirty, coming into my own.
Full-grown
but young and open and fertile.
Stronger because of failures,
not yet overwhelmed by grief.
Walking more securely through life,
with a healthy tiredness
attesting to so much hard work.

Jesus was thirty
when he went out to preach.
Old enough to really know
the world he cried out to
and young enough to love it
in spite of what it was.

My own mother was thirty
when she bore me,
her fourth darling –
and most like her.

There is a pride comes with thirty
we look forward to it
we advertise it
and hesitate to move beyond it.

There is an introspection comes at thirty
Tallying up what we amount to,
setting our sites a bit higher,
striving for the mark with fervor.
At thirty we have permission
to fine tune things
or completely restructure
before it is too late.

Because forty will be set in its ways
and growing old will then be
imminent.

(C) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Look At This!

You say your don't believe
in luck, with a pitying smile
at my simpleness
I know exactly what
you mean, but act intrigued
urging you - tell on
Tell of Careful Design
the watch in the junkyard
Texas knee-deep in quarters
Quote chapter and verse of
the end from the beginning
your practiced apologetics.

And never take one look
At the wondrous four leaf clover
I was trying to show you.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Parade Day

As usual, I’m ill-prepared.
We rush off
Without breakfast
Hoping to find parking
Within a mile.
Detour around the route -
A-flutter with feathery marchers.
Wind up at the garage
Where a smiling old man
Forgives our lack of cash.
We park for free
On the fifth floor.

Find our friends, and settle in.
We are all young and old.
As the first flag passes
We are awestruck, reverent,
Cheering, remembering
We are free
To parade our colors.
Bagpipes whine right in
To my heart
Pushing goose bumps
Like champagne bubbles
to the surface.

We clap and wave for
Magnificent Clydesdales;
For rodeo queens with
Cascading curls
Under their hats;
For the governor in
A shiny red convertible –
Even though she isn’t from our party.

The real fun begins
With the firemen. One we
Know is uniformed
And stiff, but smiles
Covertly when we call his name
We never seem to be ready
For the cavalry and their
Real gunpowder muskets;
The whooping, hollering of
Mountain men and shady saloon girls;
Or leathered bikers,
Their vrooming hogs
Always leave one baby crying in terror.

Local businesses display
Decorated floats to honor
“Unspoken Heroes”
They toss candy, souvenirs
And we wave our little flags at them.
Cheerleaders march between floats
Carrying banners and we
Have fun requesting
The turn-around they must learn
In parade class. They do it
Faithfully, aiming to please.
Enter the pooper-scoopers
In cunning disguises
Competing with rodeo clowns
For our laughs, easy today.

We’re so worn out by the end –
Sugar high is fading –
The final floats are a blur
Unremembered.
Who can stick around for a boot race?
The winner will get ice cream.
Anyway, we ought to have
Ice creams all around
And drive home in sleepy,
Sunburned silence.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Day of Sickness

I barely slept
Awakened all night
By my own snoring
I ached all morning
to the vibrant shrieks
and squabbles of children
resounding through my deaf head
conducted by swollen glands
into the throbbing
echo chamber

I winced all day
with rolling over
lifting an arm
walking to the toilet
my skin hurts
I'm dying slowly, I'm sure of it

Still not sleeping
fitful at best during
naptime, my toddler
nearby with angel lids
still as a stone
he coughs and coughs
and smiles in his sleep
Phone ringers are turned off
but still the muffled trill
of the fax machine
stirs me again

Afternoon was chaos
so unfair
no one to tend me
no chamber maiden
the children seek out
mischief, trail in rubbish
a toad in a bucket
very special sand
and God knows
what is going out with them

I bravely rise
to get them ready to leave
but horror strikes my senses
its worse than I thought
I buckle...really lose it
name calling
swinging my angry spoon
shooing them off like dirty flies

Alone, I collapse
try to read
I hurt, though -
like Joyce, too aware
of my iniquities
I must bathe apologetically
wash it all away
down the drain
trade it for a fever
precious burning
purging heat
in my joints, my eyes
my wet, dark mouth

I simmer and ache
through the evening
peel an orange
hardly tasting the juice
for all the mucus in my
throat my nose my ears

what cruel neighbor
would pound on the door
at the bottom of
all those stairs?
I carefully descend
hunting his quarry
in confusion
utterly displaced
trying to seem normal
am I dressed?
Oh, good at least there is that

Once alone I phone you
bleary-voiced
I can't laugh at your jokes
I just need some soup
not from a can
even a packet would be better
yes, yes I have taken
my vitamins
yes, hurry home and
rub my back
It will be ten
when you get here
and I won't get a moment's rest
without you.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007

A lark sang to my want of words.
A bird, a lark, a silly whim.
I heard the song as in a dream,
and sighed o`er whispy thoughts of him.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Storm at Sea



Storm at Sea by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Storm at Sea
by Tasha Chinnock

Why throw off balast?
Its too late for precautions
Swells bounce
Every which way
Birds circle
in black of sky
Wreckage of ships and
of nature herself
A gutted whale
Headless, ship
without a sail
Here in this aqua eye
a beacon from below
exposes the ruin
But the far off shore city
enjoys sunlight and seagulls
the latter perhaps a little
fatter for the storm fishing
Tiny pillows of overturned vessels
sideways sails
dot their horizon
looking restful at such a safe distance
No muffled screams
reach their ears
above the roar of wind and wave
and screeching scavengers
You are alone, desolate.
Nought but deep stillness awaits you.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Misanthrope



The Misanthrope by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

The Misanthrope
by Tasha Chinnock

There is a little
of the misanthrope
in all of us

and who can blame you
to have reached
your winter years

and still have all
the filthy, smiling beggars
pilfering your heart.

Oh, to fold my own
tired hands
and turn a dark shoulder

to the sheep
and their stooping shepherd
and the miller beyond

to become a part of
the greying expanse
of sky

and blend with
the shadows
of a nearby wood.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Two Monkeys

" Two Little Monkeys" by Brueghel the Elder



Two Monkeys

It looks like a lovely imprisonment
Situated high on the wall
A view of the sea
boats in the harbor
salt air tousling fur

But imprisonment itself
goes against their nature
their ape eyes are wild
not docile and tame
what torture to see it all from afar

Theirs is a sad, powerless state
nut shells litter the little cell
seagulls laugh at their captivity
some vain owner calls
the painter for their portrait.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Fish

To see where the inspiration for these poems came from, go to my other blog

Pictures From Brueghel

The Big Fish Eat the Small Fish
pen and ink by Pieter Brueghel the Elder 1557


Big Fish
by Tasha Chinnock

I nearly nose the stench
swamp-foul and spilling
out like a hard-learned
lesson. Listen
to your father, son
let him
warn you, urge you
beware the powerful;
ascertain your own guts

The truth of the big fish
is boundless
no species is safe
snake, crustacean, mollusk
even bird falls prey
to that predatory pisces
He won’t stop with his
own watery country
Taking wing
making tracks
to gorge himself on paltry
to conquer
because he can
he must cloy with his
wide open mouth
never sated until he
outgrows his pond.

The one aberration to the proverb being
man: the biggest, hungriest
most consumptive fish in the sea.
Yes, Father, I see.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Conversion

Regrettably, I interrupted
a carnivorous frenzy
a ravishing of corpses
meat stuck in the teeth
What were there, ten,
twelve on your plate
the last time I found you?
It is savage
the heart’s blood still pumping
sharing a common rhythmic drive
It is dead blood,
smelly and coagulated
but you have a taste for it.
What makes you crave
that death feast
stacks of steaks
looking at you alluringly
tough not tender
a whole side of gristle

I want to avoid that corruption
Give me the clean water-blood
I will eat plants
the fresh, chlorophyll taste
that grows in the garden
Purify me with such roughage
In bright, lively colors
sweet and fresh
it tastes so chaste
it is right, this diet of purity
this Eden meal
without hair or bones
without fat or a name
the seeds and pits that remain
will continue to feed me
life after life
while your orgy of carnage
can only breed death.



(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lamenting for the Children

For me, it was a returning to my past
It was waving the dead cat
above my head
Its mortified flecks
Falling in my teacup
spattering on the bed sheets
smudging my children.

For you, it is something new, now
Never put to death or buried
Dangerous and cunning
hot with fervor
slicing with a switchblade
at me, at us and
our defenseless children

These are only two things out of
the hundreds that threaten
monogamy, purity
true fidelity
openness with a spouse
marriages all around us
hang by a thin cord,
thoughtless of the children.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Failure

Lord, bless this egg house
This poor, debauched room
It has suffered enough

This is your punishment
for faulty carrying of
that fragile package marked
Handle with Care
(Never mind that I slipped it
into your box unawares)

This torrent of sorrow
that crimps you
pushing blurbs of cooing
to the surface

In your defense,
it was not you
but a bad batch of jelly –
no tenacity
that dropped my parcel
(Butterfingers, you maladroit)

Did someone say punishment?
But that debt is pre-paid
This must not be put to your charge
you are acquitted.
Now, hold on tight,
this one will be true.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Alex on the last day of school

Sonny, you are right at the edge.
This summer is given to you,

hung around your tan neck
like an Olympian’s medal.

For all the afternoons that you sat,
quiet with your books -

a word worm,
young philosopher -

remembering four years of lessons,
combining them to make

a volume of riddles,
delivered with clever expectancy

and perhaps an excess of sobriety -
a need to be taken seriously, even in jest.

So, outside is dusty sunshine,
promise of an endless respite

and here in my nap house
your clean, white socks rest

on the cushions of my Swedish couch.
You are bored, but optimistic.

You brandish your neat row of early letters -
A’s and B’s that announce your realized potential:

You can rise above the turmoil
of a fragmented picture frame.

You are worth over a million words,
more than a mere merit;

augmented by the extra letter of reference
tucked sweetly by –

the unofficial with the certified,
both of solid value.

So, this is the content of your pack -
a year’s hard work summed up

in seven bent papers and a book
of head shots whose names will ever be

embedded in the synapses of your mental corridors,
though you may capriciously scratch them off the page.

Not just work – experience. Social forays,
physical testing, the ultimate feat of overcoming.

I am trying to see you as a peer,
to remember who has ever been like you -

Handsome and awkwardly funny,
sugar cane brown and a smile like an epiphany.

I am tempted to find your strata, your niche,
but you are worthy of so much more.

Juvenilia should get its sticky fingers off you.
Even your vices are pure

in the light of the future
and the inevitability of growth.

(c) 2007 Tasha Chinnock

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What is the moral?

It was a day of over-emoting
my children swam through
bleary pools of compassion

Early morning was ushered in
with vindictive back-slapping
met with my barked reprimand
Broke loose a floodgate
of self-pitying sobs
utter despondence in the eyes
that swept through me
exposing my despotism
impeaching my love

Detour to the garden
as micro-examination closes in
on a tree, a leaf, a web
a massacre of miniscule
proportions. The horrified
shriek that conveys
torture, blood, painful
suffering and death
rings through the
neighboring yards. Panicked
pleas for aide answered
by futility – a spider has
caught and poisoned
a fat, green caterpillar
no winged glorious future
only writhing, spewing
malevolence. My soothing
assurances that all is right
smack of disinformation.
Her cries of compassion
are real – not affected

We stay inside, huddling
on our cozy sofa with the TV
relaxing in musical utopia
Even here, fear
and sympathy invade
the smallest mind
bring momma running
to calm a pounding pulse
rock away alarm
wait for the next melody
to chase off this latest
affront to a child’s
tender awareness.

I am teaching them to
accept injustice and misery
I am pointing them
toward pleasant apathy
and the bliss of ignorance
Because I am their mother
Shouldn’t I lead them around
all the painful rocks of
hardship they are powerless
to maneuver?

(c) 2007 Tasha Chinnock

Spoiled Serenity

I sought out a public refuge from
the corners of my mouth
clamped around gall
I chose my idyllic grassy plot
to forget the whole sour chronicle
I floated there, quite apart
suspended from listening
exempt from watching
immune to doing
only in such busy pavilions
can I momentarily be set free.

Until one shirtless invader
compromised my immaculate sanctuary
with wall-eyed vulgarity
with blaspheming spittle
and confused laughter
I was accosted with
unsanctioned familiarity
and repelled back to my piss-bog
unraveled further
rent and shaking like a victim.

It only confirmed to me that either
infirmity does not speak to infirmity
or I am not as touched as I once surmised.

(c) 2007 Tasha Chinnock

Magnetic Poetry #3

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Magnetic Poetry #2

A collaboration with Ardara



(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Magnetic Poetry #1





(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007

For Sara

My enemies have always been Sarahs
They are following me
haunting me through life
Baning me with their name.
At seven she was
the prig who unctioned me
told teacher on me
laid bare my secret
At twelve she was
the ugly, weird object
of my derision
I kicked her hooded head
on long bored bus rides
Of course, those days
the stigma wasn’t set.
I hadn’t realized that Saras –
with or without the sneaky, silent H –
were my nemesis
their evil didn’t signify just yet.
And so adolescence and its
high-low shame had something
to teach me of that
princess name.
That royal Sara of my lover’s covet
whose perfume I was taught to wear
whose hair
was straighter than mine
Taught me to hate
in spite of virtue,
to despise my betters.
I was the exploited Hagar
dark and bitter
the more faithful, and second-loved.
And moving on through closets of men
I saw Sarah pursuing
each of them.
Enchanting, stealing
harrowing them.
Sara mocked me
and pilfered my joy
Sarah - accented, busty
talented, smart
well-traveled, well-versed
well-endowed -
sent me into hiding,
sealed my Ishmaelic curse
to roam the land unloved, wild
the rejected mother,
wasted child.
To all my Abrahams,
I still can’t forgive your precious Saras.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Leaders and Followers

You favor one foot over the other
So I can always hear you
shadowing me
sneaking up behind
ta-tump, ta-tump
you come
I refuse to be frightened by it
your handicap, not mine
I could wait in shade
and quietly point a toe
trip you up
send you sprawling
If I had to outrun you
I’m sure I could
Fly away, fleet of foot
With your ta-tumping
growing quicker and quieter
behind me
I could escape
I could overcome
I am not worried
over you
Gimp limp
sneaking shrimp
I hear you
You’re a sloppy spy
amateur stalker
your stockings slid down
quitters
shaken loose by your
uneven reverb step
why not pull it over face
become shadow
no, you are too keen
on being known, heard, seen
I could take you
but I’m not sure I want to.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Disfiguring

Looking is all its good for
This smooth, flat kitten foot
Rabbit’s paw good luck charm
You look and don’t touch
No, please, don’t touch

It is childish but seasoned
Dappled and coarse
Its good enough
It will do for you
Don’t feign shame
You wear it well

Do you have to feel
To go against my grain
Your vigorous shoving hands
Sanding and sawing
Don’t feign consideration
This is all of you

I wish it was of me too
I drive myself to that end
But I confess I am elsewhere
Mine is a different softness
Not the smooth of satin,
but cushion of tenderness
The gentle softness of giving

What have I done for you
Today or ever in life
This is one thing
But it wouldn’t satisfy me
If I were keeping score
Which I’m not.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Liberty of Love

I drank wine with my lunch today
because you were gone.
I had cioppino full of clams and mussels
the fishy taste that you despise.
I sat in silence without leaving my chair
and ate every drop
I didn’t have to share
because you were gone.

I heard a song that I used to love
so I cranked it up and danced
a silly dance with no one to watch me
because you were gone,
and I didn’t care if the neighbors heard.
I watched that show that drives you crazy
and I laughed and laughed
at every obnoxious word.

I got a note from a friend
that his lover’s gone for good,
he was crying and upset
and a part of me sort of understood,
and I told him I’d be praying for him
and he knows I really am
because you were gone
so in silence, I really can.

And now I know that when you come home
and do the things you’ve always done,
I may wish to dance
or eat dinner alone
but I don’t really wish you forever gone.
I don’t want to find myself broken like that.
When you are gone,
I thank God you’ll come back.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Haiku

They fight like bandits
wrestling over trinkets
and who reigns supreme.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

What a Flame it Makes

Where is the gall
that lets you execute your
disdain on me
like a guillotine
a judge’s mallet
looking at me through your ivory glass
telling the world that I am brass
and all the while
You kiss me like your meat
You coddle me with notions

I have no delusions
I know who greets my morning
I know what I behold
in slow motion odium
I see the sagging double you
hiding loosely in folds of fabric
and the hips agreeing with
the stretched out elastic
that strains to cover them
make them fit
perceptions and corduroys alike

No, maman, it is not flaunting
that your refined taste abhors
it is apathy
for you,
for the men -
your constant suspects
accused of staring,
and for myself -
I am finished caring

I had a day in the sun
when your contempt would have been just
I have been the sparkle-lust
This is altogether different
I am older
My passions molder
in a sess of empty eyes
and why try’s

Suspect yourself
discover what you’re hiding
covet someone else’s privacy
invade the rights of number two
you.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Don't force it

Maybe I could just sleep
While the words wash over me
Internal poetry
The feelings just get swallowed
sucked back down
sponged up
maybe I don’t need a pen
to set it all in order
line it up
put it in its place
for once and finally
I told you I was too tired
too somnolent to speak
exhausted by silence
drained into quiet
Perhaps I don’t need to write it
it is there and obvious
apparent to me
and easier to feel
than to say, to repeat
in words and their limits
Come closer and I’ll whisper it
sing it to you in a minor key
Or stick it like a shiv
under your rib
so you can feel it
deeply
and see what words come to you
Beautiful and poetic
or seeping and weeping
I chuckle seedily
in my unfit sheets
I am sleeping
I don’t need to write it
I only need to sleep
through the sensations
and the lack of
orations
I am a drowsy silent poet
and you are an unworthy audience

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Listener

How useless for me to understand.
For all my cries of “understand me”
what good will commiserating do?
I won’t change the way you feel.
You will still seek blankness
albeit knowing that I do too.
I wanted to knell with you
Express that I too, my dear clay one,
conclude us to be the balanced, authentic few
while those who don’t grasp it
are liars, dirty cowards.

You do know.
Have felt this!

But why does it hunt us so heavily –
others shrug it off
resuming their smiling lives –
Is it there, but unrecognized?
Too scared to acknowledge it
in all its renoun
In any form, it comes as
a welcome relief
the ecstatic release
A period to passion.
If only some merciful quietus
would find us and spare us
the difficulty
that captivates us in stasis.

(c) Tasha Chinnock 2007