Israel II

November 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

I’m not angry anymore

Just sad

Because you broke my spirit.

Israel

November 11, 2021 § Leave a comment

Once I was a young person with dreams

I came to you

My dreams dried up quicker than your wars

Quicker than your winters

They lasted the length and breadth of your empathy

That is to say; not at all.

I have come to you in my dreams

Many times

Nothing changes when I wake

Poison is poison

Youth is youth

Sight is eyes wide open

Nothing can ever close them

More’s the pity.

You are in my DNA and I resent every part of your presence in my life now.

I pray for your complete removal from my soul

You aren’t fooling anybody with the lights out.

World

November 8, 2021 § 2 Comments

I return to the scene of the crime.

My conquest.

My destruction.

Paris.

Tel Aviv.

London.

I lay out my sins like explanations.

I point.

Every illness must have an explanation.

Oh, were the world that simple!

I could explain myself away as though sugar icing, crumbling daintily on my birthday cake.

I’m here world, you’re here, whether we like it or not.

We’re stuck with each other, you and I.

The facts

October 31, 2021 § Leave a comment

It is not death that we fear but rather, life.

In this endless medley of circles we cut off our oxygen, pretend that we are breathing, pretend that we are not breathing, declare war on every atom that enters our lungs.

It is death, death we fear, we declare!! at the top of our voices.

We dance as though on tightropes.

It is not death that we most fear, but a life well lived, love and commitment, dreams fulfilled, failure, success.

We are so afraid to live that we believe ourselves perpetually ill or on the way to death, that great, unpreventable disaster.

We live inside the trauma of our own mortality so wholeheartedly, that we commit to waking up ill each day, being witnesses to the slow, cellular decay of our frail human bodies.

What if we say tomorrow- one day- we will live not in the shadow of death but in the sunrise of the astounding miracle of our aliveness.

Don’t learn the lesson of your aliveness too late, my lovely.

This poem is dedicated to the memory of Sara Yehudis. May her memory be a blessing and a comfort.

For Sara, forever ago

October 29, 2021 § 1 Comment

In memory of Sara Yehudis, who passed silently on Wednesday 27th October 2021, a huge, quiet hole in my heart.

You came from forty shades of everything under the sun-

Not that you saw that wretched sun regularly.

Such struggles, I imagine, we know less than half.

My darling, you suffered.

Through these hours since you have passed, the turmoil, the search for the next of kin, the formal identification, the endlessness.

I find myself in two parts. One part numb; sleep-deprived, malnourished but not hungry. The other part, finds itself on the outside looking in.

This could have been me. Levaya without kaddish, no shiva. The inate human selfishness kicks in- who will sit for me when it is my turn?

Sara my love, take me with you. Let us go to a quiet place above and paint watercolours of those strange people and places we encountered down below, or let us idealize, fantasize, artistic liscence.

Is it my time too? I long for the return of my alienated happiness, but have given up hope of its full restitution.

I wonder if you forgive us, if you can ever forgive my ignorant heart, which stubbornly keeps beating, as yours waits patiently to be reunited with the earth from whence it came.

Failure, is the only lesson I take from this, my dearest friend.

My love, I promise you all the forbidden things. I will shout kaddish over the mechitza. I will eulogize you until the cows come home and the walls come down.

Morte tua, vita mia.

If ever there was a time to scream:

Illegitimi non carborundum

Pillar of Salt

October 24, 2021 § 2 Comments

Shema

October 23, 2021 § 1 Comment

Somebody once helped me, and because of her I lived.

I think of that when I rise, when I lay, I say

Hear me, oh God of Israel, ah, here you are-

Yes, you.

Watch over her now, because she needs you, and I need her.

Because we speak our truth together.

Thoughts

October 23, 2021 § Leave a comment

If there were no spiders, who would weave the webs that catch the raindrops?

Perhaps the raindrops would be too scared to jump, knowing there is no soft landing.

Societies

October 20, 2021 § Leave a comment

It’s time to speak about the war.

The war outside, the war inside of you.

You are a mirror, society is a mirror- we are only as many pages deep as the books assigned to us by cold curricula.

How can you live in a teapot, Alice, in an upside down world, with a tipsy topsy roof and raspberry windows?

How can you live inside the whisper of what was supposed to be, but could not?

Inside the story of your self-sabotage, dripping with doubt? The self-sabotage of the state of Israel is my self-sabotage.

We olim. Work. Silent. We write, privately. Rarely participate in public discourse

Inside the denial of your own dreams- and you have worked so hard to eat cheese before every bedtime. Shame.

A part of you is that sarcastic, wizard, little girl.

A part of you is an adult, scarred by war.

To the lighthouse, then?

No other English girls live on this street, in this neighborhood. You are the only Jew in the village, so to speak.

But you feel at home because the anger and resentment of losing one month of sleep as bombs rained without so much as an introductory note, one month spent squatting in the stairwell with your pale-faced neighbours- that earned you the right to call yourself at home here.

It’s strange, you had intended to write in the first person, about the moral consequences on the individual as a result of the collective refusal of a society to make peace.

But in a crisis, after a crisis-

I call it going to ground. I grab my pen. I write. I ground my everything.

October 20, 2021 § Leave a comment

‘The moon is so big and beautiful. It is here to stay.’

Words I heard you sing so long ago.