depression, or, “Sometimes I feel this way”.

March 7, 2018

You sleep

and sleep more,

don’t remember dreams

except to know they were somewhat disturbing.

You want a week

without interruptions

just to do nothing at all.

Every project thought of

feels overwhelming,

You don’t know how to begin.

There are meals to plan, diets to figure out,

power points to create for chapters unread,

Shelves to dust,

budgets to align,

Boxes of stuff to organize,

A 2:00 appointment

intrudes on your day,

makes you feel like

you can’t start anything.

You know how unreasonable

all of this sounds,

and you know to do anything

will change how you feel.

You decide on a shower,

This, itself, an accomplishment,

that gives reason to celebrate.

cfblack 03-07-2018


Poem to the rain

January 28, 2018

A day without sunshine,

only clouds,

and muted light from gray cloud skies,

until this hour,

when water is released

like a furiously falling waterfall.

I want to lay in the dark


lulled to sleep by the lullaby,

but my clothes are drying

and need hung tonight

or the wrinkles will set for eternity,

so I sit at my desk

grade some papers,

and write this poem,

to the falling rain.

cfblack  01-28-18




Travels home to Indiana

December 21, 2017

I think our car will find the way,
It knows this trip
from South to North,
where the Mountains rise before us,
Ancient beings, asleep but alive,
They breathe and sigh as we drive through
their winding curves and valleys,
to the rolling hills of Tennessee,
and then on to Kentucky.
I feel almost home
when we reach the rolling waters
of the Ohio,
where the waters stretch wide,
and slaves crossed over
to the beckoning arms of freedom.
A church now sits on the other side
my great-grandfather’s wife attended,
a stop on the Underground Railroad
in the time she was a member.
I love the South, the Palmetto trees,
the fresh smell of pine forest,
The Sun that greets me every day,
the artists and the people,
but I can’t help feeling a sense of pride
when I cross the great Ohio,
and know that my great-grandfather
wore a uniform of blue,
and once the lands lay flat on their back
and the Sky reaches down to kiss them,
when I see the corn and soybean fields,
then I know how much I missed them.
                            — cfblack 12-21-17

Child Within

December 18, 2017

Child Within

This child within,

if you could know, right now,

Would it better prepare you

to love him or her,

to know if this fetus were boy, or girl?

This child, within,

if you could know, right now,

would you want to know who this child will love,

and if they are gay or lesbian?

Does it make you feel vulnerable?

Does it make you sad?

Does it make you worried,

or make you glad?

As parents, we are not entitled to choose

who are children will become,

Science-based learning cannot pre-select

hetero, transgendered, or intersexed,

We can’t punch a card and order us

a musician, athlete, or architect,

If we allow research to freely pursue

knowledge of us that is evidence-based,

we clearly see our complexity,

the beauty of human diversity,

and our capacity to love unconditionally

the child who is born to us.

cfblack 12-18-17          Based on the decision of our administration to ban these words from use by the Center for Disease Control and other health agencies: “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Nowhere to Hide

November 6, 2017

I want to call all my kids

Tell them I love them

Tell them to drive safe

Wear their seatbelt

And don’t go sit in a theater,

Walk on a sidewalk,

Or go to school.

It is too dangerous

to ride your bike

walk the streets of Times Square

or go to a music festival

held outdoors.

I want to tell them

Not to attend church

Not to invite a stranger

Into your prayer meeting

because he might be a terrorist

a delusional white supremacist

or someone who was in the military

(which doesn’t seem to bode well

for your mental health these days).

I want to tell them

to be safe, always,

Because if I had to go through

what hundreds of other parents are going through right now,

I don’t know how I would survive.

I want to tell the NRA

to go hide in a cave somewhere

and take all their guns with them

because no one needs any kind of gun

that can take 26 lives in 15 seconds

because they were angry at the world that day,

And the person who shot back

Couldn’t fire fast enough

to save them.

No one could.

And I want to write my Congressmen and women

to demand gun control

But I feel they are already bought out

Lock stock and barrel

and nothing will change.

I do it anyway

but it’s getting a little difficult to breathe in here

a little challenging to hope.

Why can’t we love each other?

Where does this hate come from?

“Know ye not why We created you all from the same dust?
That no one should exalt himself over the other.”*

cfblack  11-06-2017

*Writings of Baha’u’llah

No one knows the memories

October 22, 2017

No one knows the memories

you carry in your heart,

over 60 years of them,

never apart,

your love starting fresh

on a country road

as a serviceman offered you a ride,

letters written during WWII

promises made and kept,

He came to see you before his mother

a new life begun together,

the birth of 6 children,

too many grandkids to count,

weddings and holiday gatherings,

Bodies turning old

but spirit the same,

you shared this journey together,

no one knows the memories,

but we see them in teardrops falling.

cfblack  10-22-2017

Death is not pretty

October 22, 2017

Death is not pretty,

It is not meant to be,

The body decomposes



The process begins

before we are gone,

We stop nourishing it

before we go home,


Loved ones surround us

at our bedside,

There is no hiding

what is happening inside,


Skin wrinkles and withers

face sunken and hollow,

We are giving up this life

and leaving tomorrow,


Death is not pretty

and so we see,

what is left is the shell

where our soul used to be,


As the process unfolds

we leave body behind,

The spirit is freed!

because our God is kind,


So don’t worry for me

as I leave you here,

for my spirit is soaring

to other spheres,


You will see me again

in a very short time,

We are always, forever,

united as one.

cfblack  10-22-2017 


After Tonight

October 21, 2017

After tonight,

you will visit him

in your dreams at night,

You will see his smile,

and think of him,

hear his voice and laughter,

Connected throughout the realms of God,

disconnected from time and space,

His presence will be with you there,

and also in your prayers.

We wish we could do it all again,

be a better daughter or son,

No matter how long our time has been,

the pain is still acute,

Years and years of parenting

now coming to a close,

memories flood back to us

like the sweet smell of a rose,

So rest, my dear, his time is come,

You need your sleep as well,

For you are destined to be with me

for a little while here on Earth,

A generation passes on

from this world to the next,

Rest, and hear his voice again,

for he is with you still.

cfblack  10-21-2017

Chet Black

October 21, 2017

I must write about you

for the next generation,

and the next, and the next,

for they will not have the good fortune

to have known you in this life.

I may write about how

you found your wife,

walking on a road near Mascoutah,

You talked, and I think offered her a ride,

you, a serviceman stationed there,

and you and her made plans

for a life full of love,

for a home full of kids,

and after you returned from overseas,

that is exactly what you did together.

Your mother was mad

you went to see your future wife

before you went to see her,

and so it goes.

I will write about your politics

and how it took me

at least 5 years

of sitting in your living room

to get used to the constant opinionated challenges

being thrown about

to realize

it didn’t matter if I disagreed with your view

as long as I spoke my mind.

All opinions respected

but you had to have a brain

and be willing to banter back and forth.

I could write

about how you cried

at the slightest things

in your later years,

emotional in your 90s,

well it’s about time, old man.

I will have to write

about how you voted

for the first Black President in America

because the party you were loyal to

disappointed and betrayed you,

that party didn’t give you

all your due

in your later years of life.

Oh my God, how we will miss you,

how we will hold you in our hearts!

You stubborn soul, still, you supported us

and loved to have family around,

We were always welcome

at your table

or to sit in your living room,

ALL the TIMES we played euchre

in the kitchen,

ALL the JOYS of this life

and its cares,

We cannot imagine life without you,

We cannot believe you won’t be there.

We are happy for you in your journey

to leave us and move on to there,

All roads lead us to one another,

All paths will bring us together.


EarlChet and AL 170903 walking


The 200-year-anniversary of the birth of Baha’u’llah

October 14, 2017

Baha’u’llah is my Champion,

my Hero, my Adored One,

Baha’u’llah is my Inspiration,

my Holy One,

my Loved One.


The Kindest Person to walk the Earth,

the One most Wronged by all of us,

He who brought teachings to unite mankind,

to solve problems of the world,


the One most loved by all Who knew Him,

the One rejected by leaders and Kings,

He Who suffered in Tehran’s dungeons

meant for killers and thieves,


Called the Father of the Poor,

Inheritor of wealth He gave away,

for bringing teachings to heal our souls

He received a galling chain,


Forgive our weakness and frailties,

our not doing enough in Your Name,

Know that always, my heart follows You

and could never turn away,


“He doeth what He willeth,

what recourse have we?”

We offer little in return,

We call to Thee continually,

the flame is lit and burns,


O Holy One, Who suffered here,

accept our love, we pray,

You come but once in a thousand years,

God’s message for this Day,


You promised to return “as a thief in the night”,

before the world knew You were here,

The Sun returns every morning the same,

though it moves a bit on the Horizon,


Your presence left us forever changed,

Your Message for all to see

is left for each soul to judge its worth,

and some whose hearts leap toward Thee.

cfblack  10-14-17