Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shabbat VI

The day of Unrest:
The holy army advances
And the double edged sword slays
The men and women and children in the street.
In the homes,
The sword brings death.
The city is ruined.

But don't give up hope.
Is this the sort of Sabbath I want?

All is forgiven.
This is the sort of Sabbath I want:
Loose the bonds of oppression,
Feed the unfed,
Stand for those who can't stand,
Release the widow and the orphan
And the prisoner in chains.

All is forgiven.
Herein is freedom.
Herein is rest.
Atonement, my grace, my love—
Today is the day!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shabbat V

To remember Rahab
May be a noble and wise task.
The second Passover,
The second escape from sin,
The second red paint at the lintel—
Behold, in Israel, the day of rest.

It is now
Fourteen steps to the entrance,
Fifteen steps to the exit,
But by faith comes escape.
By escape it comes to salvation.
Rahab escaped—cursed is he who rebuilds the city.

And it was Ruth who
Ran to be redeemed
In the face of the brethren.
The harvest came and she was not torn;
She gleaned the corners instead,
The corner or her redeemer's garment.

It is now
Seven courses to the meal,
Forty-nine broken pieces of bread,
And the fiftieth is dipped in the bowl.
But it was forgotten
That the seventh course cleans the palate.

So it becomes that there is no escape from exile
Until every redemption has been paid.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shabbat IV

I think the answer is freedom.
The one day we receive
To not do what we hate.
It is ours to own,
If only we'd have it.
Just like the kingdom of heaven,
If only we'd have it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shabbat III

Dritte, we have a movie of something sweet.
A celebration they had
In the early hours
Of their great victory.
The end of the age is at hand
The new age is upon us
And you should have seen them dancing in the streets.
They had banners and streamers
With big, bold words printed,
Telling the world of their Banner.
But the world didn't need to read,
Because the world was defeated.
They had won,
They had won,
And oh, you should have heard them singing!
It sounded like the cool mountain breeze,
The scent of sweet lilies blooming in spring.
And then the sight I must share,
The one that will stay with me forever,
Is when I watched them cheer and
Jump and rejoice
When their Lord came up from the garden.
And what made me weep for joy
Was when I saw him walk over to a girl
Who was lying on the ground,
Suffering from a poison arrow in her chest,
Taken in battle.
He knelt by her, pulled the arrow out,
And said, "Talitha, kum!"
And she rose.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Shabbat II

I was waiting at the edge of the water for hours,
Waiting for her to show up.
But eventually my brother came by
And asked me to join him in his boat
So that we could go out on the water to meet our father.

I looked around for a moment, wondering what was taking her so long,
But then I went with my brother
Because I knew I'd be back later.
So we went out on the lake
Where the sun made it warm as we reclined and watched the waves.

I think I took a nap at some point out in the boat,
As my brother and I talked
About everything that was good in life
And all of the good things to come.
When we headed back to the shore, I watched the life below

Sway with the moving waters. At the shore,
She had not yet arrived,
But it was all right,
Because we had rested.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mr. Cheshire's Collar

There was a cat
Sitting on a chair.
He smiled and it wasn't that hard to see,
Because all but the grin disappeared.

Yes, he was amused
And yes, he was diverted,
But I tell you this truly:
Inspiration may end, but he will not be halted!

Though with wisdom it seems
That one should run slowly,
Even while having too much fun.
Clearly, it has come to this.

Imagine the tricks
That could belabor a scheme
In the depths of the night
After the Kiwi art.

Hier Amuse

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Onward, My Muse

Maybe someday soon,
I will regret having written this.
But until then I must say,
It's a true tale—
You made me write this.

And it is always,
Always yours.
Because like the bumbling fool told you,
"You know you're not telling me."
But at last you told,
And so I wrote.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shabbat I

I would wake up on a Saturday morning
Into the cool light of just after dawn,
That light that seems to chase you
Because you stayed up too late the night before.
And I lay there before my Judge
And I scream in my head,
I scream, Today!
Today, Father, give me rest.
And I'm praying,
Because I don't have enough faith.
There's not enough in my heart
When I see men and women
And children
Striving for something that cannot be earned.
I watch cold hearts grow colder
And fired hearts turn hard.
I hear words and rumors,
Gossip at its harshest.
Get out of my head!
Because I don't want to see
And I don't want to hear.
So sit in rows,
Sit in a circle,
Because it doesn't matter—
It would be better to stand.
But none of it matters—
It's all meaningless.
Go outside,
Find someone to care about,
Find someone to talk to.
But don't talk—listen!
Listen…to the words of the teacher.
Our schoolmaster says
To work for six days
And on the seventh day rest.
But this one thing should be clear:
You cannot earn that rest.
At least, not by striving after the wind.
This day is important,
This day is a weightier matter,
But this day is never for strife.
This day is for rest and peace and rejoicing.
So I would get up in the morning,
Prepare myself to smile,
Prepare myself for pain,
And remember the words of the Teacher,
"The Sabbath was made for man,
And not man for the Sabbath."

Friday, October 8, 2010

When Shiloh Comes

Candlelight Luminosity—
No, the gloaming limn.

Evening comes quickly,
Winter comes harshly.

For lo, when things are made new
The winter rains are over and gone.

So buy your oil,
Stay awake.

He's resting in the lily gardens,
And then he comes your way.