Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category


A Song, A Psalm of David

July 18, 2007

Mizmor L’David
A Song, A Psalm of David

Memories of  a Visit to Jerusalem, Friday, June 29, 2007

If I wept when I first laid my eyes upon You
were they tears of sorrow or joy
or both, commingled in a prayer of gratitude
as I glimpsed Your shining walls and towers
Your rolling hills blinking clean and white
with Jerusalem stone, bathed in sunlight?

I first saw Your red-shingled roofs
and minarets, steeples, spires from
the overlook, perceived from a distance
that Your patchwork of pieces was inseparable,
each as much a part of the whole as each,
intertwined, not in quarters or halves.

As I ascended to Your holy mountain
I paused, rested in the city of David,
walked in her passageways, deep within
her bowels where ancient workers, hearing the
thunder of oncoming armies bent to hear the
whispers of the chiseling hammers, carving pairs

meeting in the heart of stone, creating arteries
to ensure that Your lifeblood would continue to run.
I stopped to look upon the mountain of olives
where, amid the sleeping graves of countless others
a new addition, interred, carefully so as to preserve
what came before, mouners suspended over history.

And finally I climbed Your holy shoulders
stood standing before the remnants of Your majesty
so powerful in their ruined state, yet complete
in my soul.  Laying on my daily reminder to speak
of You, I contemplate Your work, and I am reminded
that Kol Hanishamah, all creatures of the world

Sing Your Glory!


A Blessing for Eric

August 11, 2006

May you have the wisdom of Abraham,
finding the courage to question
and the certainty that there is an answer.
May you have the strength of Jacob,
wrestling with the messenger
and questioning the message.
May you find the same joy Miriam found
at the shores of the sea,
bursting into a song of gratitude and awe.
May you follow in Ruth’s footsteps,
taking strength in the faith of our people.

May you know what it was to be at Sinai
when the mountains trembled
and the trumpets blared
and Moses spoke to the assembly
saying, “All that Adonai has spoken
we will faithfully do.”

Today, we add your name to the list of those
who witnessed the fire in the desert.
You are now counted as one of those who
live by the example of the Torah;
subject to its commandments.
Your future is tied to its past.

You have been counted today.
And we are blessed by your action.
We are better for having you among us.
We welcome you and honor you.

It is often harder to stand up for something you believe in, and make a change from what you know to what is new, than it is to simply be what you always were. This poem / prayer was written for our friend, Eric, who converted to Judaism within the last several months. I offer it to you as a prayer for someone newly converting to Judaism.



November 16, 2005

3/31/1983 (added stanzas 11/16/05)

I walk through the fields of your mind –
I live in the questions of your brain –
I fly over eternal clouds of knowledge –
I fall in the crystal of the rain.

I ride on the waves of many oceans –
I live on the salt in the sea –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

I feed on the embers burning lower –
I drink in the liquid of your tears –
I feast on the hunger of affliction –
I share in your hopes and darkest fears.

I shout when the agony and horror
I witness, become too much to see –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

I wait for the challenge of your question –
I thrill for the piercing of your doubt –
I answer with languid flowing rivers –
I withhold so you can go without –

I fashion the passing of the seasons –
I paint with the shadow of the tree –
I am every unanswered question –
in the unequal equality.

You wonder what maker winds the timepiece –
You ponder what power set the stars –
You question the nature of forgiveness –
You struggle, and thus you wear the scars –

Of those who would seek to know the answers –
To questions they cannot see to see.
I am every unanswered question
in the unequal equality.


Glass Reflections

October 1, 2005


Glass reflections
of autumn’s harvest . . .
which artisan
framed in delicacy
your shapely beauty?

This is my 100th entry. In a little less than a year, nearly 100 poems posted on the site. And for every poem, about 2 comments. Thanks for joining me on the journey so far — let’s see where we head next.

(for more photos of MIT’s Great Glass Pumpkin Patch, click here)



September 16, 2005

Mother Source of Life
You my eternal Power
why did you curse Eve

brought forth from Adam
was she a pain in his side
meant to torment him

was the snake a joke
Adam’s genitals removed
and given power

You must be Woman
to understand with true loss
comes real wisdom.

You, O Source of Life
too the Harbinger of Death
You like sarcasm.


I Sit and Think and Wonder

June 24, 2005


I sit and think and wonder
about life’s fantasies
and how they compare
with life’s realities.

And how I would love to be
a pirate on an open sea,
a warrior back in days of yore
fighting a dragon for his hoard.

I pity those who never have
fantasies like you and I have
for they never know imagination
and with it the realization
that the world is not concrete.

I sit and think and wonder…


The Quick and the Dead

June 11, 2005


We are the quick and the dead,
the leeched and the bled.
Until, on that day,
HE’ll take us away.

HE is alive and well and living in San Francisco

We are the old and the weak,
the strong and the meek,
wasting away
until Judgment Day

“Thank you.”  “You’re welcome.”
”Thank you for saying ‘You’re welcome!’”
”You’re welcome for saying ‘You’re welcome!’”

We are rude and polite.
We are black, we are white,
We are red, yellow, brown
Awaiting the sound.

“Oops,” said the flea, “there’s a horsey on me.”

We are the quick and the dead.
By HIM we are led
through the end of all days
by forgotten ways.

For thine is the freedom, and the flower, and the story,
for ever and ever.

A bit of whimsy, playing on the idea of the “quick” and the dead.  I never understood the juxtaposition of those thoughts — what’s fast about the dead?  Kind of a “Lord’s Prayer” after the fact.


You Shine

May 25, 2005


You shine
Like the water rippling
You shine
Like the incandescent flame

You shine
With an inner radiance
You shine
As you share your inner grace

I stand and watch your reflection
Mirrored in the eyes I see
Your fluidity, perfection,
And melodic harmony

Belie a deeper call,
A spirituality
That inspire contemplation
Of my mediocrity.

You shine
As you calm the raging wind
You shine
As you calm the spirit within

You shine
Bring me to my higher power
You shine
Bring my better self to flower

And you call me to shine too.

I saw U2 perform last night at the FleetCenter.  An amazing performance, and one which inspired this.  The poem is in first draft, so I could use all the help I can get. 


Dirty Pipes or The First Plague (revised)

February 11, 2005

I turn the tap on my faucet and the
Water runs russet.
What turns the water red?
What sediment of ages past flows in my pipes and into my body
Turning what was a fountain of life into a repository of death?

Was this what the Egyptians saw with the coming of the first plague
Life-giving water turning to blood
Mother of rivers brought to her knees,
Raw, bitter, bringer of death
To her children?

What did the Egyptians do for water during those terrible days
Did they consume the red liquid
Taking into their own bodies the pestilence and disease
Or did they run parched and dirty
Through the streets of the great city?

Did they marvel at the Awesome Power that brought the first
Menstruation of their Mother
And what of the Jews
Beneficiaries of this first great tragedy,
How did they satisfy their thirst?

But back in my kitchen I look to much more mundane realities
I call the plumber and make an appointment
Ensuring that he Roto-Rooters my drains,
Snaking through my pipes
Removing any doubt about their cleanliness.

And I am free to wash away the blood that runs through my reality
Chalk it up to past experience,
Forget about the lesson I unwittingly learned
That behind every bringer of life
Lies the potential for death.

This is the 2nd try at a poem that I posted in its first form here. Today, I am heading over (at 12:00 noon) for the weekly MIT writers (students, faculty, staff) who offer critique to each other on their writing. Each week a different person brings something to share, and we offer our insights. A great group which meets in the Writing Center in Stata on Fridays during the year.

This version of the poem is slightly changed due to some feedback I have received from last week’s session (during which we began to consider the piece) and some feedback from the Critical Poets online forum (another great resource for poets) where I had the piece reviewed under the category of “Poems for Critique and Revision”.

If you want to add your two cents, please feel free. I will be posting my final(ish) version sometime next week.


“Seven at the Golden Shovel” or My Father Died and the World Passed Away

January 11, 2005


Seven at the Golden Shovel,
Digging all the day,
Hoping with a Heavenly Hit,
To break their chains of clay.

Six at the Endless Table.
Feeding on “swich licour.”
Endless dining and reclining,
Heaven loses its lusty allure.

Five in the Incense Inferno,
Burned with sweet-smelling soot,
Chained to the Wall of Agony,
Bound, both by hand and by foot.

Four of the Angelic Altos,
Singing of “Gloria Deus.”
Ranting and chanting their praises
All to the Almighty Zeus

Three on the Plain of Nirvana,
Experiencing Passionless Peace.
Seeing their Buddha by Bodhi,
Knowing the wonders won’t cease.

Two hide in the fields of Elysia,
One is named Adam, one Eve.
Knowing too much about clothing
Now for Gehenna they leave.

One on each throne of Eternity
Are they that far apart?
He and She both fear each other,
Both of Them act as a part of . . .

Zero, the infinite in us.
Who controls all that we feel?
Defining what’s good and what’s evil
We extol _____ at the keel.

Another of the poems written after my father’s death.  An attempt at an understanding of the various forms the afterlife could take, and a real questioning of who is in charge. The title comes from Gwendolyn Brooks poem “We Real Cool”.