Tashlich, poem by Rafael Jesús González


These are the days of awe —

time of inventory

         and a new beginning

when harvest of what we sowed

         comes in.

(What have we sown

         of discord &
terror?

Where have we fallen short

         of justice?)

 

The scales dip & teeter;

there is so much to discard,

so much to atone.

 

When our temples stood

we loaded a goat

         with our
transgressions

                  and sent it
to the wild.

Now we must search our pockets

for crumbs of our trespasses,

our sins to cast upon the rivers.

 

The days are upon us

         to take stock of our
hearts.

                  It is time to
dust

the images of our household gods,

         our teraphim,

                                        our lares.

 


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Rockets on the Bike Path & The Enlightened Fly, poems by Janice Rubin

Rockets on the Bike

Path

Hiking the bike path
a blast and a whistle above
boys firing rockets in the air
aspiring rocket scientists
little Hindenburgs.

The rocket lands at my feet
broken in half
it must be illegal
the boy with the mop of brown hair
declares "they are legal".

The Iraq war is in full play
headlines in the paper this morning
declared the war would last until spring
a rocket at my feet brings
a message from Gandhi
"become the change you wish to see"
I see the boy later at the grocery store
buying a six pack of crafted imported beer.

The Enlightened Fly

Holding onto the tail
of the horse
moving at a speed so much greater
than each days
erratic buzzing flight
destination, Mt Fuji.

The previous day flitting from
empty rice bowl
to the painted
porcelain tea cup
in the meditation garden.


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The Children and the Lighthouse Keeper, by Janice Dabney

 

In memory of the victims of the Great Tsunami of 2004

 

Children noticed water pulling back,

past where parents let them wade. As if

the Spirit had filled his cheeks by sucking in,

exposing rocks on shore, boats their fathers

used to fish in early morning hours. They saw

for that moment they could walk to earth’s edge.

 

Just then, a lighthouse keeper at Point Calimere, edge

of India’s face to ocean, turned to look back

towards bare land he had recently observed and saw

a herd of Indian antelope galloping from the seafront, as if

they knew they must escape.  He remembered his father’s

words when he took this job: Learn from them all, in

 

time understanding he meant the beasts and birds in

this wildlife sanctuary on Nagapattinam’s edge.

He watched and wished he could ask his father

why five hundred black bucks were bounding back

to woodlands from the coast, climbing the hilltop.  If

he told anyone about this strange event he saw,

 

they would laugh and surely say that what he saw

was the result of living alone so long. He recalled that in

the dead of night, working the late watch, he asked himself if

he had made the right choice. Naming animals near the edge

of extinction in his notebook, he prayed for everyone to put back

nature as it used to be, learn from the animals, listen to his father.

 

The children did not get the chance to hear their fathers

shout Run at Patanangala beach, before they saw

black water swallow them, felt their small backs

snap against trees, then sensed nothing. In

minutes, sixty people disappeared from the edge

of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park. What if

 

just one had recognized why the flamingos flew, if

leopards had led or elephants picked up fathers

with families to ride their backs to higher ground, edging

out disaster.  If only birds had relayed what they saw

beyond the ocean foam, translated water’s pulse in

language humans understood, we would have them back.

 

The lighthouse keeper, if he learned anything from the animals, saw

how he must tell of graceful figures who ran farther than ever before, in

search of that safe edge, never looking back.

 


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Mirroring, poem by Alessio Zanelli

We are all the others.

Each of us.

All we are or attain in life
is also due to all the others.

Everybody—alone—is nobody.

We are the success and the failure
of everybody else,
we are the joy and the sorrow
of everybody else.

We are the result—
besides of ourselves—
of everybody else’s life.

In each of us all the others are mirrored.

Each of us is the sum of all the others.

Each of us—
without exception.

Without anybody
being witness to us
we’d be nobody.

And we’d be nothing.


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