Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Magnetic Attraction of Hope

So you try, even now;
You hope, eyes closed
breath held,
to hold absolutely still,
willing the universe
to somehow overlook you
and pass you by.

Except hope,
you find, too late,
is a magnet,
obeying strict laws of attraction -
the laws that move stars
and iron
and hearts -
it pulls and teases and
grasps everything in its path.
And all those things,
those flurried, fluid things,
they race along the trajectory
of your hope,
flowing at the speed of
your guilt and need,
faster than light,
to leap and cling and
be carried by your longing.

Hope is a trap of magnetic attraction.

But you do it anyway -
inhale and hold on
for dear life,
riding that wave of
your own giddy desire.

Just like hope,
you hold on.
In your stillness,
in your fear.
You hold on.

And God!
You can feel it -
the air, trapped in your lungs,
fluttering wildly,
desperate for release.
You feel its wings like a raven's,
beating madly in your chest.
You feel its wings like a dove's,
frantic -
frenzied -
and you hold on,
tight and grasping,
to keep the all and the everything
close, keep them near -
all those bright and shiny Things
that you have captured,
captivated by their glimmer.
They name you
and claim you.
They have their own laws
of attraction, like stars
and iron
and hearts.
And you are caught and kept
as they are caught
and kept,

And your wings
beat against the walls
of your chest so madly,
so weary,
and spent,
but still they beat.

And all you need do
to calm those wings
that catch
and clutch
and beat,
that long for
in hopeless,
helpless abandon

is breathe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Forever of Us

Maimonides and Rashi;
Spinoza, too,
and Buber.
I saw them,
just over there,
talking the deep talk
of this and that,
while the Partisans
sang drinking songs
and laughed at
the rumbling,
booming gravitas
of God's own mountain song.

Miriam tapped her timbrels,
in time to the thunder,
calling us all to dance -
Sarah led it,
and Deborah
and Ruth
and Yetta, my grandmother,
who could not go to school
because she had no shoes,
but she danced
that wild and weary
dance, holding hands
with Esther
and Golda.
We all danced,
and trembled.
I could barely hear
that tinny counterpoint
that threaded itself
just beneath the
deep and blaring bass
that shivered the air under
the deep bones of the Mountain.

Let Aaron and the
others play with
their tinker toy gold!
The rest of us -
the long chain of us
that stretched into
the forever of us -
we could feel it:
the fierce and jubilant
joy of it,
the not-yet-but-
almost of it.

And then the words came.
Oh! they came
like rain, like riddles,
Like ropes of silk,
And caught some inner light -
Some spark left over from creation -
And flowed like water over rocks;
All those words of binding and gift and grace,
They carried us,
And caught us,
And led us,
The long forever line of us,
The words that created
the All of us,
led us

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Speak of ritual and rules,
of purity and piety
Speak of celebration and time
that drifts and flows
in a spiral of
light and dark
and bounty and decay.
Speak, in each season
of coming and going and rising
like smoke, like breath,
effortless as thought
and rising, ever rising
kadosh, kadosh, kadosh.
Speak of light and dark
and oil that is holy
and bread that sustains
a bounty, a banquet, laid
before you in My presence.
Speak of betrayal and death,
of oaths and lies.

Speak of life and all that is -
Life, filled and whole
and pushed to the
edges of everything.
A life that is filled with weakness
and strength
and holy and profane.
With sacrifice and binding.
This shall be for all time
in every season under every sky
empty and filled,
broken, whole.
Speak of the whole
of life.

Monday, May 4, 2015

On the Periphery

Love lives on the
it slips about
in liquid
just out of
the corner of your eye,
like a shadow
or a memory
of smoke
or light.

My heart can feel it,
eager and
pulled along a
tidal edge of
and need.

I feel its
electric current
play against my skin,
moving with a
pulse-beat rhythm,
and I long to
to carry and
be carried
out to the edges,
into the corners
where love lives
and lingers
and slips in
recursive arcs
that connect
each beat
each breath
each secret and sigh.

My breath is caught
in that slipstream,
a heartbeat stutter,
filled with
edged in light.
And there,
love finds me,
naming me-
   inviting me-
      urging me
to dance.

And oh!
I so long
to dance!