Peaces, or: Jerusalem

I.

     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
     Only
     The truest of passions are pain

II.

         I-
       Live you and love you
     I'm in and I'm of you
     Your hilltops have
     ruined my knees

         I've-
       Found naught above you
     But should I unglove you
     How bloodied would your
     knuckles be?

III.

     Yerushalayim
     a city of two
     peaces 
       at war 

     peace 
       rooted 
     in wholeness
     completeness completely
     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
     ruptured

     ruptured 
     peaces begging 
     begging begging isn't
     peace the beginning
     isn't
     
     peace
       rooted
     in wholeness

     begging isn't

IV.

     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

V. haiku

     Could she possibly
     lose you, blissfully skipping
     downhill to preschool?

Today, for d’Verse’s “Open Link Night”, I’d like to share a poem that I wrote last July, a few months after creating this blog.

I decided to share this poem mostly because I’ve been in a reflective and sharing mood recently.

This is me, Friends – an Israeli Jew living in and loving Jerusalem.

Poet dude, or: Symbol

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ tanka

Wanna try? Click here.

masculine mouth smiles
 that smooth sensuous mustache
 more symbol than style
 sexy face a mystery
 poet dude's alluring ode

Notes

  • Last time, I attempted to write a poem with the ‘Geek Set’ for the first time; and for this poem, I decided to try out the ‘Mustache Set’;
    • I had thought that the ‘Geek Set’ would be easier than the ‘Nature Set’, but – oh boy – was I mistaken about that;
    • And – just now – I discovered that using the ‘Mustache Set’ is even more difficult;
  • I again opted for a tanka, rather than a haiku;
    • Tanka traditionally have a ‘turn’ in the 3rd line, but I didn’t include one in this poem because it turned out to be too much of a challenge for me;
    • In fact, putting together any mustache-themed words at all that sounded anything like a poem was not easy;
  • I searched for a photograph of this particular model smiling (as the poet does in the tanka), but I couldn’t… so I opted for a pensive pose of his instead, which, I decided, is what he looks like when he writes poetry 🧔

Jagged, or: Tender

‘Edges and Fringes’ – a d’Verse poetics prompt

(best viewed on a horizontal screen)

Papa,
can you
visit us
from the unknowable beyond
to hearten us, for we miss
you
so
and grief’s jagged edges cut us
even as the edges of mortal life are
clear
to us
remaining, as we do, on this side
living; broken; aching
Boy,
hear me
in dreams
I call
you
every night, all night
tenderly, I watch over you
With love
glowing
and reaching out to inspire you
from beyond the very fringes
of life
to believe…

The prompt

The above poem is my take on d’Verse’s ‘Edges and Fringes’ prompt.

Our mission was to spark on one of these paths, and I primarily found my way along the 1st and 3rd paths:

  1. Write a poem using the word edge;
  2. Write a poem that keeps Millikin’s question in mind:
    • What is the word, the line, that cuts, that can show that edge?
  3. Write a poem using the word fringe;
  4. Write a poem from the fringe, however you define it.

Mailwoman, or: Policewoman

My response to d’Verse’s prompt for Haibun Monday:

‘Walk with me down Memory Lane’

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...
not from the police

The haibun above is my response to the d’Verse Haibun Monday prompt.

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.

Digital love dungeon, or: Sexy girl games

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ tanka

Wanna try? Click here.

they uploaded her
to digital love dungeon
from native planet
to play sexy girl games
but she was not humanoid

Notes

  • I decided to take a [temporary] departure from the ‘Nature Set’ of virtual magnets because the words were beginning to feel stale; I selected the ‘Geek Set’ instead;
    • I had thought that this would be easier, but I was wrong;
    • Writing something that sounded poetic with the ‘Geek Set’ was challenging, despite my strong affinity for Dungeons & Dragons and science fiction;
  • I once again opted for a tanka, rather than a haiku, because I enjoyed the challenge last time;
    • Tanka traditionally have a ‘turn’ in the 3rd line, but I didn’t include one in the poem because I couldn’t put together one that flowed well;
  • This tanka was inspired by the image of the flying saucer and cow above; from there, it quickly became silly;
  • The shape of the poem itself is intended to resemble a flying saucer and light beam coming down from it,
    • Actually, I just realized that I’m missing a syllable in the 4th line, which means that this isn’t exactly a tanka… but the shape of the poem works for me 👽

Long lonely tendril, or: Poetry upon water

A ‘Magnetic Poem’ tanka

Wanna try? Click here.

dark dusk colored clouds
sweetly secret soft sun shine
loving light beneath
grows like long lonely tendril
poetry upon water

Notes

  • Once again, I stuck with the ‘Nature Poet’ virtual magnet set for this poem; but I am ready to move on, I think, particularly because it seems that no changes are made in the sets of word magnets available to me week after week;
  • This week, I opted for a tanka, rather than a haiku, which was more challenging, given the limited amount of magnets;
    • Tanka traditionally have a ‘turn’ in the 3rd line, which I attempted to employ, transitioning from the sun above to its light upon the waters;
  • For this particular poem, I drew inspiration from my own haibun, which I wrote just last week;
  • That haibun of mine led me to search for and discover the stunning sunset photograph above, which I then attempted to portray in this tanka.

Twitter poetry 2021: Week 8

My blogger-poet-friend Ingrid inspired me to create a Twitter account and start writing #APoemADay, which I began on January 1, 2021.

To make this challenge easier for myself, I have recently taken to using some of the poems that I share here on my blog on my Twitter account, and I’ve also taken to writing more haikus, which are short. To be honest, I somewhat feel that I am hitting my stride with this daily challenge, and I am enjoying haikus more than I would have expected 😊

Below is my 8th week of Twitter poems:

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,
David