Nay, need to
Must- simply must
Express love deep for you
Aroused by the depths of our trust
‘Tween ashes and ashes; ‘tween dust and dust
Souls float together above the ground and the sky
We spiraling-twirling through gale and gust
Flowing on respect true and lust
One another - pursue
Together - thrust
As birds do
I love trying out new forms of poetry, and I just discovered the diatelle form via Linda’s lovely poem ‘Rain’, which you absolutely should read for its vivid imagery and flow. I am so appreciative of d’Verse for introducing me to so many fantastic and supportive poets.
You, wholly holy; we, ever so lowly
Slip on limestones bearing your name
Winter winds whip our brollies
As we boldly, with folly
Venture out to the streets in the rain
Yet your sun's more unworldly
Harsh gold rays broil slowly
Through the Mid Eastern summer's domain
And though your fate seems lonely
We who are yours know
The truest of passions are pain
Live you and love you
I'm in and I'm of you
Your hilltops have
ruined my knees
Found naught above you
But should I unglove you
How bloodied would your
a city of two
sundered and some dare
to brandish those plowshares
not plowing, not sharing, not caring
that their swords were beaten
out of shape for a reason
not for men to be beaten
broadsided by the flat sides
pierced through to their insides
begging begging isn't
peace the beginning
Plead 'next year in Jerusalem'
That loss to our children remain unknown
We've yearned ev'rywhere and always
Here we belong; the Jews' hearts' one true home
Your rhythmic rhymes stretch space and time
A new bridge of chords; an old wall of stones
Plead 'next year in Jerusalem'
That loss to our children remain unknown
Could she possibly
lose you, blissfully skipping
downhill to preschool?
from the unknowable beyond
to hearten us, for we miss
and grief’s jagged edges cut us
even as the edges of mortal life are
remaining, as we do, on this side
living; broken; aching
every night, all night
tenderly, I watch over you
and reaching out to inspire you
from beyond the very fringes
I have poor long-term memory, but an amusing recollection came to me as I was perusing my limited memory banks for this exercise.
Between the ages of 1½- and 3-years-old, I lived in Columbus, OH, while my father was a visiting professor at Ohio State University. That was our first home in the USA after we’d left Israel. I hardly remember anything at all from that time, but, strangely, I do recall opening the door to our apartment to receive a letter or package from a mailwoman (I’m pretty sure it was a woman, but I could be wrong about that).
I knew that she was either a mailwoman or a policewoman because she was wearing a blue uniform, but I wanted to be sure so I asked her. She smiled and said, “What do you think?” which made my little self feel silly, as I scanned her and ascertained that she was delivering mail to our home. “A mailwoman,” I responded, feeling rather foolish. It is that feeling of childish foolishness that remains stuck in my mind.
that blue uniform...
woman delivering mail...
notfrom the police
We were instructed to do a memory exercise BEFORE writing our haibuns:
Get a few pieces of blank paper, have pen in hand, close your eyes for a minute and go back as far as you can in time… to your first memories not triggered by a photograph or by family lore. Maybe it’s what your very first house looked like. Maybe you suddenly remember your dad teaching you to ride your first bike. Or what your yard looked like – or the inside of your very best childhood friend’s house. Now for your haibun, pick one memory you’ve written down and relay it to us.
Today marks the Jewish holiday of Purim, one major theme of which is the Hebrew phrase ‘nahafokh hu’ (נַהֲפוֹךְ הוּא), which, loosely translated, means ‘it was turned to the contrary’. This comes to us from a particular verse in the Book of Esther (9:1):
Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;
In short, the Persian king’s advisor Haman (the villain of the story) convinced him to establish a date (the 13th of Adar), upon which all who so wished could kill Jews with impunity, and the Jews would not be allowed to defend themselves.
Without getting into the story, suffice it to say that the king’s decree could not be repealed, for it had been issued with his seal. Rather, the decree was reversed such that the Jews would be allowed to defend themselves against their enemies, as we read on in the following verse in the Book of Esther (9:2):
the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt; and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them was fallen upon all the peoples.
Now, ‘nahafokh hu’ is somewhat more precisely translated: ‘it was turned over’, and Purim has come to be the topsy-turvy Jewish holiday of reversals, in which everything is not what it seems, but rather its opposite. Purim represents the impossible becoming miraculously possible.
The Jerusalem winter skies
In Israel, the winter season is rainy, and the Jerusalem skies fill with clouds, which, in turn, produce some majestic sunsets.
Several weeks ago, my six-year-old and I were returning home from the store in the early evening and Jerusalem’s creamy clouds caught our attention. Not much for photography, I nonetheless put down the groceries and pulled out my smartphone to capture the moment.
The most fantastic aspect of those particular clouds in that particular sunset for me was what they looked like upside down. With a bit of fiddling in Microsoft Paint, I managed to flip the photograph upside down and zoom in on the clouds between the building and lamp post. To my eye, the picture looked just like the setting sun reflecting off of a foamy sea.
sun sparkles on clouds
sea foam glistens overhead
one need only see
Middles & Turns
The d’Verse prompt was to look to our [poems’] middles and see if we can build in dramatic turns, open a new window, pick a sonnet or a haiku, write in blank verse or pentameter, just show us your best turns.
Harkened through the snows of New Jersey,
Heeded through the storms of Cleveland,
Purest nothing, on nothing, absorbed me,
Sheerest nothing, on nothing, I am
Upon nothing, nothing I, one/dering
About nothing, not touched much by snow,
Where nothings, together, not nothing,
Where something within ached to go,
Nothing, listened, through blustery blizzards,
Whispering, nothing, nothing, here I am
Through cold nothing, I heard, I shivered,
Something, mine, called [from] Jerusalem.
The writing challenge: We were to focus on the theme of ‘paradox’ and select one of the following to build poems around, of which I selected #2:
1. Here are some lines from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox: – select ONE and build your poem around it.
I am thy fool in the morning, thou art my slave in the night.
I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;
I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf
2. Take the last lines of Wallace Stevens’ The Snow Man and write a poem that is imbued with the existential paradox implied there. [the meaning of which is the ridding of our usual human observation and viewing winter as a ‘man of snow’ not a snowman! (more HERE)]
For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
I’m lettin' go, goin' public;
here I go, goin' for it:
I’m goin' grey, have gone bald,
(not yet blind or deaf);
I've long gone out of fashion;
am goin' downhill;
but I won’t go out softly;
phat flow's goin'...
for the kill! 🎯