Still Waiting

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

– Psalm 126:5

Weighed down by my cares,
troubled by the ways of the world;
the only recourse is to shape
myself from within this swirl
of emotions both dark and light,
by resting my gaze upon the Creator.

To be a light unto others,
as much as humanly possible
even while my own flame
is flickering in the wind,
with hardly enough glow
to light the path home.

To be lifted up upon eagles wings,
to have my soul refueled from Above,
to cross the narrow bridge of life,
in fear and trepidation of every step
along the way to freedom.

Is this the way that I imagined?
Is this the life that I expected?
Once becoming a new person,
upon committing my life to G-d?
Yet, I do not speak of joy in this life;
for, surely, I can wait for Olam Haba.

Chiaroscuro in Pixels

It is very hard to write this way, beginning things backward…
– Hemmingway, The Torrents of Spring (1926)

Like a canvas, a tabla rasa, a fertile void,

I sit in front of the screen with a blank document.

The contents of my personal past, impressions,

stored in long term memory, surface upon reflection.

The neocortex bears its fruit, when searched at will,

for the pieces, fragments, and shattered images.

What is actually “recalled” may be newly formed,

especially if semantic memories mix with episodic.

In placing any of these reflections upon a blank page,

they are first filtered through perception.

Perhaps, an artist has more control with a brushstroke,

than a poet, taking liberty with shadows and light.

This is the question, how to present the puzzle,

in a way that best represents the truth?

Humility

Am I on the derech (path),
or have I not even begun the journey?
If I have already taken that first step;
then, why do I feel stuck in the mire?

The adage, there are no shortcuts
in life, seems to be ingrained in me;
yet, too often, I miss the moment,
distracted by my surroundings.

I do not know where to start,
in order to begin anew; perhaps,
by humbling myself to the L-rd,
for the penitent man kneels.

In this manner, redemption calls,
every day, at the first rays of dawn;
when inclined to hear His voice,
the soul will be refreshed.

For the journey has begun,
despite my misgivings;
only there has been as a test,
stumbling blocks on the way.

Blue Calling

Blue is the color of techeles:
sky blue, looking down from Shomayim.
The ocean, likened unto Torah
flows within our veins,
whether recognized or not,
sometimes, only latent.

Until some rich experience,
a wake up call orchestrated
from He Who sits upon His throne
in His place (makom) gestures,
in a way that the designated angel
understands, and makes its way
to place the holy intuition
within the mind of one
who will be born anew,
as if he always knew
his origin, roots, and mission.

Promise

1 Nissan 5781

Running, the tempest behind me,

still present in my thoughts and dreams;

yet, somewhere on the horizon, I can see

in the distance, there is a place serene.

Joyous within myself, outwardly smiling,

my emotions never surface enough to be visible;

perhaps, a trait from my ancestors upbringing,

learned men of books, studying in the shtetl.

My father comprehends the silence,

that his view from heaven always reveals;

although, amidst my own earthly burdens,

much for me still remains concealed.

Yehi ratzon, I will be consoled at last

by the promise of the Final Redemption;

each year that closes the gaps of the past,

brings us closer to our future reunion.

Linear time and eternity merge,

as hours pass into days and years;

in a single glimpse, moments converge,

carrying the weight of golden tears.

The Beis HaMikdash looms visible,

in the inner sanctum of the soul;

a place of solace, clearly recognizable

by the light of the Shepherd’s fold.

Metamorphosis

“I wound, and I heal.” – Deuteronomy 32:9

“I am the bud and the blossom, I am the late-falling leaf.”

– Paul Dunbar, the Paradox

We are Thy glory, when we follow in Thy footsteps;

yet, when we miss the opportunity to do good,

in all likelihood, we might go astray.

Nevertheless, in every moment, we are given a choice,

whether to turn towards Thee, or to turn away;

let us not miss the mark, when clearly seen.

You are the beginning and the end,

of all that I seek in this world;

being above and beyond mundanity.

The initial intuition, and the resultant fruit,

of all the good deeds mentioned under the sun;

from birth, through life, and in the end,

You will be with me.

Reminisce

I went out to the hazel wood, drawn by the elaborate nomenclature,
of its trunks, branches, and leaves, as if something stirring in the wind
called to my soul. Because a fire was in my head, I needed to find a path, never before taken through these woods.


To my dismay, every way was already trodden with the footsteps
of my predecessors. For, my ancestors have passed by this way, on horseback, in carts, walking side by side. From the shtetls of Europe to the Golden Land of Opportunity. Assimilation entangled me.

Until the woods opened up to a grove swept clean of the debris
from past ages, raked clean by some heavenly angel, who with tears, showed pity towards me and my destiny. I have always searched within and without, above and below for a place to go, that I can call home.

Searching

I went out to the hazel wood,
drawn by the elaborate nomenclature,
of its trunks, branches, and leaves,
as if something stirring in the wind
called to my soul.

Because a fire was in my head,
I totally needed to find a path,
never before taken through these woods;
yet, to my utter dismay, every way
was already trodden with footsteps
of my predecessors.

Until the woods opened up
to a grove swept clean of the debris
from past ages, raked clean
by some heavenly angel,
who with tears, showed pity
towards me and my destiny.

For, I always search
within and without,
above and below
for a place to go,
that I can call home.

All Aboard

B”H

All Aboard

I watched pensively for the right moment to take a photo –

the gateway to all trains, so much more profound than it seems.

When their train arrives at its designated gate,

passengers, lined up near the kiosk, in the Great Hall,

march single file, behind an Amtrak employee,

carrying a numbered placard on a pole, raised high like an ensign.

The procession, in all stateliness, speaks of a grand affair,

as if they are walking towards a greater destination.

2.

I am patiently waiting for train #30 at 6:40 p.m.,

watching the time on my electronic device,

to make sure I can start moving closer to the place,

where I know the line will form for my train.

I was unable to get a seat on one of the

long wooden benches, closer to the kiosk,

where the official time, and news briefs

move across the digital screen.

Growing anxious for some unknown reason,

I get up to check the time on the kiosk –

panic, immediately sets in, for I had forgotten

to set my own digital clock ahead by one hour,

upon arriving in Chicago Union Station.

Too late, my intended procession already left;

and, the gate was closed. Destiny awaits.