Out of the silence of the heart,

patience is born, derived from

the eternal nature of the soul.

Patience blooms best in silence;

when the heart becomes still,

the entirety of the soul listens.

The fertile void of the moment,

births words of truth spoken,

within the heart of silence.

The soul that is present, here

in a moment of time, is waiting

to hear the footsteps of Messiah.

Redemption is at hand for all

who are able to acknowledge

the potential of every moment.

Reflections

I brush the small black spiders

out of my hair in the morning.

These creatures of death seek to retire

between the crevices underneath the baseboards.

My sleepy yawns echo

against the pile of broken bones in the corner,

remnants of my body that cried out in woe,

that broke when I fell upon this stone.

The rays of the sun glisten

upon the airborne dust.

The path of the sun hastens;

I glimpse a view of its brilliance.

The light through the window is golden.

The clarity of my mind is restored.

My tsedokah requests are overflowing,

I have to swim through envelopes to find the door.

Outside, the ice clings to pine needles,

dew covers the hidden manna on the lawn.

The sun’s brilliant rays melt the icicles,

water droplets combine with the dew as one.

I collect the manna – tastes like parfait on my tongue.

A gentle rain from above cleanses my sin.

Ahead of me is a land flowing with milk and honey;

above me is the Star of Jacob, my only kin.

This poem was written circa 2010, for a university poetry class, that was essentially a poetry workshop format. The class was divided in half; each week, half of the class would present poems. This poem was part of a three poem series. Each student’s series was read by the other students prior to class. The class would select one of the three poems to be read. When I presented, the entire class unanimously declared, Reflections as the poem to be read.

Sagami

Sweat, discipline, and a weekly regimen,

fosters a strong will, and a determination

that prevails each and everyday, until

the end of the semester, after testing

~ we cross the span of the river ~

To feast on miso soup, sushi, and sashimi;

cups of green tea, and sake throughout dinner.

Conversation turns towards Japan, where

all devoted students would like to train.

Cozy

Perfect, in the moment;

beyond that, I do not know.

Knowing that change is imminent,

would prevent me from being present.

Kairos will soon give way to chronos;

and, the moment will diminish,

retreating into the past.

Nearly forgotten, countless moments,

lined up as figurative points

on the receding path of memory.

Yet, the expectation prevails,

a hope for the unity of tomorrow,

when past meets future in the now.

Anxiety retreats, fear scatters,

and the familiar presence of being

one step closer to the Geulah,

brings solace to the heart.

Be-ing

Elusive, grey sky,

Background of countless raindrops;

Never ending flow.

Sometimes, like an ineffable puzzle, my mind rests in the midst of an incomplete picture, with the past on hold, and the future on pause. Time seems to be a superimposed structure upon eternity. Mood becomes everything – the ultimate color of an endless reality, never changing, always experienced from the center of being. The rain is a reminder that everything happens in the present moment.

Worry dissipates, fear diminishes, and peace reigns in the stillness of the heart. A meditative experience that blends into the passing hours of the day. There is no room for regret, nor concern for tomorrow. The potential of renewal exists in every moment of time, that passes unnoticed, because there is no linear reckoning of time as such. As is written, G-d placed eternity in the heart of man (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Waking Dream

Bolechov Synagogue, courtesy of Bolechow Jewish Heritage Society

“If you are a dreamer, come in.”

– Invitation, by Shel Silverstein

Standing in front of the door, I mustered up the courage to knock. As I was about to do so, I heard a voice from within the building say, “If you are a dreamer, come in.” Instead of knocking, I tried the doorknob. The door was unlocked; I entered into a synagogue, furnished with pews, lamps, an ark for the Torah scroll, and a bimah in the center where the rabbi and cantor were leading a service. I could hardly believe my eyes. I had travelled to Bolekiev, Ukraine from the States, to visit the town where my ancestors had once lived. At that time, the town was Bolechov, Poland, before the end of WW2. Now, instead of finding the caretaker inside of a dilapidated building, as expected, I entered into a world that I had thought vanished a century ago.

Eldridge St. Synagogue, NYC, courtesy of Howie Schnee