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Tag: Poem

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  • Poem: Echo Locating

    3 days ago

    If you are lucky

    you will find your echo,

    not the cartoon version,

    perched on a canyon’s edge

    with the empty yelling

    & cheeks like apples,

    but the space that extends you,

    fills the void

    & becomes you

    the way twigs return to a tree,

    nest-warm.


    First published in “The Breath Before Birds Fly” (2013).

    M.E. Silverman is poetry editor at Blue Lyra Review and review editor of Museum of Americana and author of the chapbook “The Breath Before Birds Fly” (ELJ Press, 2013).

  • Poem: Souvenir

    2 weeks ago

    In Kraków’s marketplace, the kiosks vend             
    carved men at thirty złotys each:  a Jew                 
    who grips the Torah in his wooden hands,             
    a beggar Jew, a bobble-headed Jew                        
    whose body sways and nods with just a pull         ...

  • Poem: In my hands

    3 weeks ago

    In my hands I lift

    the goblet of red wine

    in the middle of a field

    up toward the sky

    and bless the red strength

    that flames

    like a torch

    in dark

    bony hands.


    “In My Hands” is translated by Sarah Traister Moskovitz. The poem is from the Ringelblum Archives and appears in poetryinhell.org

    Simkha Shayevitch died 1944 in Auschwitz of typhoid. He was one of the best-known poets in the Lodz Ghetto and his poetry was popular throughout Jewish Poland.

  • Poem: The Little Ice Age

    3 weeks ago

    Europe shivered for centuries in the Little Ice Age.

    Rivers froze; crops failed;

    people chewed on pine bark, begged             

    the stubborn heavens for mercy;                                  

    people...

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  • Ecclesiastes

    May 27, 2015 | 10:03 am

    Katamon, Jerusalem

    It’s so nice to be pretty and wearing polka dots
    on a swinging dress with a small cinched waist
    pushing a blue-eyed child through
    the trade winds in her pram. The trees
    are swaying, and on the bench below them
    an old woman looks up through the boughs
    to a...

  • A Lollipop for E.P.

    May 20, 2015 | 3:24 pm

    Stuck a Chupa Chup into the ground

    Beside the grave of Ezra Pound

    Then jumped aboard the vaporetto

    To lose myself in the Jewish ghetto

    Looking for the synagogue

    That kept moving in the Venice fog

    Like an apparition in the crowd

    Where Jews were sometimes allowed.


    Joshua Weiner is the author of three books of poetry; his most recent book is “The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish.”  He lives in Washington, D.C.

  • Poem: Bailout Package

    May 7, 2015 | 3:45 pm

    They paid the farmer not to farm.

    They told the surgeon to do no harm.

    They paid the parishioner not to pray.

    They paid the piano player not to play.

     

    They paid the doctor not to heal.

    They paid the thief not to steal.

    They paid the writer not to write.

    They paid...

  • Like a Miracle

    April 15, 2015 | 12:56 pm

    And still it is beautiful as a miracle
    This rosy twig of lilac…
    Even in our days
    of evil, terror and dread.

    Even in our street
    when hate swells grand with khutspa
    the little lilac twig stretches out
    to you and to me like a miracle…


    Zusman Segalovitch (1884-1948) was...

  • Poem: Death Fugue (Echo) after Stefan George

    April 9, 2015 | 9:24 am

    In wind’s web

    Was my fate,

    In trauma’s eye,

    In only a smile

    As you gave

    At moist midnight

    When your glance ignited.

    Now Mays drone on:

    Now I grieve only

    For your eyes and hair

    All day

    In always longing,

    dein goldenes Haar Margarete

    dein aschenes Haar...

  • Poem: How to Make a Jewish Marriage 1949

    March 26, 2015 | 11:15 am

    Beware the grinding fist, the blanched knuckle, the outstretched hand.
    Beware the man who takes any girl’s face between his hands.

    The laughing man — greet him with your entire self. Take him
    patiently, but take him: his want makes an open, flattened hand.

    Ride his wishes to...

  • Poem: The Hebrew Word for Mysticism is the Same as To Receive

    March 18, 2015 | 4:02 pm

    I was walking across the parking lot

    morning smell of lilacs

    when a girl fell like a bird

                             shot.

    Blood splayed from her lip,

    her body shimmered like a rain stick.

    I held her hand.

    The Talmud considers the soul

            and when it becomes...

  • Poem: Pursuit

    March 11, 2015 | 2:59 pm

    Like the deer stag in my garden

    who batters his head with his hind leg

     

    to free himself from a huge poplar branch

    caught in the great crown of his antlers —

     

    Like one of the furies torn from ancient myth —

    I drag the forest along behind me,

     

    my dead crowded...

  • Poem: The History of the Date

    March 4, 2015 | 4:01 pm

    Those aren’t wrinkles, merely places where

    the skin is burrowing to lick her own

    dark sweetness. Since her body’s fashioned from

    the clay remaining after Adam’s spine and hair,

    she often yields the fibers of her trees

    for baskets, shoes, the rope and needles, thread

    her...

  • Poem: Josephs, In a Time of No Peace

    February 25, 2015 | 12:24 pm

    A gnarl of streets
    and Purim boys — my sons with striped towels
    for their many-colored coats — roam them
    until a rock, a boom, debris.

    Then a rain of flesh on a door in a city

    Because my father’s father’s
    father stole a goat, the child of that goatless
    father’s father’s...

  • Poem: Where I Live Now

    February 18, 2015 | 12:56 pm

    Tall Janet’s cane sounds a jangle of keys

    Melvin keeps time to a thud as he seizes

    the wooden handle of his, rubber-tipped, sorely

    needed on carpet or linoleum floor.

    A third leg evolves for many here.

    Zigzagged by Peter, motorized, who steers

    with childhood memory of...

  • Poem: From the Whirlwind

    February 4, 2015 | 12:34 pm

    From the whirlwind

    a voice answers

    the ill asked question

    and the answer is

    no answer

    a caution

    a rebuke

     

    an evasion

    for the question

    ill asked

    can the answer be other

    than no answer

     

    June 2000


    From “The Lord Has a Taste for Clowning,” Skirball...

  • Poem: Funky Fuchsia

    January 29, 2015 | 1:16 pm

    Friday nights at my mother-in-law’s

    I follow the exquisite nails

    of my Armenian sister-in-law from Iran.

    Pale blue sometimes like her mohair sweater,

    or yellow, pushing back a strand of dark hair.

    Burgundy on the white bread she raises

    to her lips at the evening meal;

    ...
  • Poem: Meet Me (Breathless)

    January 7, 2015 | 11:14 am

    on the corner of sky and lamppost. I will look for you so wear your eyes. Wear your face that has slept in curls. I will breathe the tulip scent of your hair and the sidewalk’s soot-lined snow. Don’t forget to bring your delicate feet, those edible toes uncold in your oversized...

  • Poem: Small Antiques

    December 17, 2014 | 1:37 pm

    Once there were three girls beautiful as gold,

    who bragged about the rare antiques each of them did hold;

    “I have a little head scarf,” one boasted with pride —

    “From my great grandmother, with squares and flowers wide.” 

    “I have a jeweled needle” — the second proudly...

  • Poem: Sticks and Stones

    December 17, 2014 | 12:55 pm

    Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis wrote this poem about genocide on the eve of the High Holy Days earlier this year. He submitted it now as a reminder that "Never Again" should be pledged to halt the killings of unarmed Black men by police in New York and Ferguson, Mo., and many other...

  • Poem: Yeshiva in the Pale, January, 1892

    December 11, 2014 | 1:08 pm

    Early morning, as Cossacks on horseback

    circled the old wooden synagogue, chants

    seeped out like smoke through the walls. Black

    hatted elders inside shut their eyes and danced

    in circles of their own before the holy ark.

    Prayer deepened the air as one fat soldier nailed

    ...
  • Poem: Climbing

    November 19, 2014 | 12:00 pm

    This morning,

    in the small basement shul,

    amidst several Chassidic students lost in prayer,

    I looked up from my siddur

    to see a man in worker’s clothes climb a ladder

    and enter through an open ceiling panel.

    And I thought, Oh yes,

    he is just another one

    like all of...

  • Poem: Isaac’s Body

    November 12, 2014 | 1:03 pm

    The Lord took note of Sarah as He had promised, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken.

              -Genesis 21:1

    From the beginning she had not believed

    It could happen. This voice that summoned

    Her husband to perform these rituals

    Cared nothing for her: she knew she...

  • Poem: Elegy for a Child Who Fell

    November 5, 2014 | 2:42 pm

    This fallen child, whose empty eyes

    mourning could not harmonize,

    nor the reaching requiem

    contain the wood enclosing him

    slips from the circled reach of eyes

    without a jolt, without surprise,

    whose stuttered step has stumbled in

    to words that now embroider him.


    Published in Blue Unicorn magazine.

    George Ellenbogen is the author of five collections of poetry and a memoir, “Stone in My Shoe: In Search of Neighborhood.”

  • Poem: 55th High School Reunion

    October 29, 2014 | 3:24 pm

    Smoked fish, an omelet station. It was a bar mitzvah

    but only the grandparents were invited

    and the child may just have died. 

    We wore on our backs our graduation pictures

    for pats or slaps, for easy recognition.

    Programs and bags were shoved aside

    in the rush to claim...

  • Poem: Sigh in Silence

    October 14, 2014 | 1:07 pm

    Ezekiel 24;17

    said the Lord, this sigh indiscernible,

    although the si- contained is louder than

    the second fiddle, second syllable

    that ebbs into its chopped-off sibilance.

    The first one lasts awhile, the way we wish

    that pleasure would endure, the vowel long,

    it’s...

  • Poem: Freestyle, on the first of Tishri

    October 7, 2014 | 2:06 pm

    The metaphor here is the pool, regular

    and deep as the tradition itself. First I float,

    still and buoyant in what I don’t

    accept. Then I shatter the surface, a scholar

    dissecting text not to destroy but to enrich,

    a farmer plowing and disking the earth

    before planting....

  • Poem: Yom Kippur

    October 1, 2014 | 12:48 pm

    A tree beside the synagogue atones

    of all its leaves. Within the ram’s horn blows

    and sins come tumbling down to rest among

    old cigarettes and handkerchiefs. My sins

    are dried and brittle now as any leaves

    and barely keep me warm. I have atoned

    for them before, burned...

  • Poem: My first theology lesson

    September 23, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    Rumpled and furious, my grandfather’s friend

    stood up in a bookstore on the North Side

    and lamented the lost Jews of Poland

     

    and declared that he felt sorry for God

    who had so many problems with Justice

    and had become disillusioned and sad

     

    since He wanted to...

  • Birthday of the World – A psalm for Rosh Hashanah

    September 17, 2014 | 1:36 pm

    Today is the birthday of the world.

    But the world knows nothing

    of this invention.

     

    The world just keeps moving about itself,

    buzzing and humming, exulting and keening,

    birthing and being born,

     

    while the mind keeps on its own way—

    form-craving, metaphor-making,...

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