Thursday, February 21, 2019

Elijah Invented Sarcasm - for the Haftarah of parashat Ki Tisa

Elijah invented sarcasm.
Before stones and altar;
before water flowed like blood;
before hearts moved backwards,
and fire rained down to
drench the waiting sacrifices -
First there was sarcasm.

Perhaps your god sleeps,
or maybe he's busy,
running a few errands,
said the Undying One.
We'll wait - and why not?
He had all the time
in the world.

Elijah is way too holy
to hide a smile behind his hand,
or wink on the sly
to all the terrified masses
assembled and cowering,
who had, after all,
backed the wrong horse,
and the wrong god
and knew not of sarcasm.

But they knew -
after the shouting and slaughter
the water and blood and fire
that streamed down like rain,
that lifted smoke and smells
to Israel's God.
They remembered,
and remembering,

Based on 1 Kings 18 1-39

Saturday, February 2, 2019

I Hold Up the Sky

I hold up the sky.
My arms stretch deep into blue,
a trick of the light.
Its waves echo the waters
ruled by the moon,
that circle and curl against my legs
and my grounded feet,
set apart, according to the 
rules of prayer,
as if I were praying.
I am not.

I hold up the sky,
my arms reaching upwards,
trembling with the weight of heaven
and the glory of God.
The waters are cold against my skin,
but I stretch into blue,
and hold the glory of God.
I will not bend.
To bend is to break.

I hold up the sky
until I am bowed. trembling 
under the weight of blueness.
I am bent, according to the rules of prayer.
I do not pray,
and it feels as if I am breaking - 
its own kind of glory, 
under this vast rim of heaven 
rooted in the the mutable 
curve of water and earth.
Its blueness is a trick of the light.
I am bent; I am bowed,
and I pray.