Sunday, July 31, 2016

49 toward the Omer

The trees wake me up. That's what it is to live in a house surrounded by forest. Water meets leaves. Winds meet watered leaves. Womb sound: mother moves, steps smooth, shakes the room. I find I have enough. The windowsill collects droplets. I'll make sure to water the plants.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The other day

The other day I tried to clap myself into being.
Two clay pieces face each other across the field.
Trees know they exist because they drink and die.
Two fire extinguishers look over the flames and fall in love.
A hand reaches up. She is learning to tread the water.
The table, this table, has more desires than I do.
I'm supposed to learn to be afraid along with everyone else.
Sometimes the ground doesn't push back against my feet.
The cup of hot chocolate says trust me, what nourishes you is here.
Here is two feet from your face. Here, an anchor, a string, a boat.

Friday, June 10, 2016

35-48 toward the Omer

Days 35 through 48 of the Omer have spanned a life transition, and I am not able to catch up on poems before Shabbat starts. I wish you all a lovely weekend, a good day after 48, and a rejuvenating time with your sources of learning and community.

Friday, May 27, 2016

34 toward the Omer

I didn't finish registration but still have a nametag, a folder, a mug, a crimson baseball cap. Pablo asks what I am looking for in reunion. I say I can't see underneath my memories.

33 toward the Omer

Splendor, humility, gratitude, in splendor, humility, gratitude

Sometimes when I have trouble perceiving the world as real I soften and crouch my own importance and what a gift it is to be a smallness among air, trees, parked cars, houses

32 toward the Omer

What does it mean to count? To mark each number as coming after another? To say we have arrived here? Counting is thanking the earlier years of not knowing but somehow persevering.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

31 toward the Omer #2

I restore ease
to my throat
by drinking just
a couple sips
of green tea
from the mug
sitting right in
front of me,
kind of hope she
reads this poem

31 toward the Omer

tiferet shebhod

A balloon rests against the ceiling of my girlfriend's co-op's living room. I do not know where it is from. Is it where it wants to go? How would I know?

Monday, May 23, 2016

30 toward the Omer

gevurah shebhod

After days of feeling my fingers into the thinner patch on the right side of my head I realize people spend to be safe from imperfection and it doesn't work

29 toward the Omer

chesed shebhod

After the show we pose with the Blue Man who had seen me while searching through the audience for human contact and I almost walk away without thanking him

28 toward the Omer

malkhut shebnetzach

The watered brush brought
slow across the cotton,
slow, so color drops
on every single fiber,
or maybe it is
just arising through, a
wellspring seeping resolutely through

Friday, May 20, 2016

27 toward the Omer

yesod shebnetzach

Continuing to be with a friend after both of us have finished our tea I realize it takes going past the end to find the center again

Thursday, May 19, 2016

26 toward the Omer

The last thirteen minutes free before the end of the day, not that the next two hours won't contain other personal goodnesses like soup and friend

and I had such high hopes or maybe they were even midlevel, just the notion of space and time and me all smiling with each other

with this notebook and my pen and my hand, and you would be there, whether or not I remembered to notice as such, just like now,

just like that Jen opened the kitchen windows an hour ago and then I forgot and am only starting to know again I hear birds twittering

and even so I have to look to see the wind moving the clusters of burgundy leaves on branches of the tree in the neighbor's yard

and I get it, the pattern of naaseh v'nishma doesn't end, it only fractals, the twin vectors of do and learn forming your tiny little pathways

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

25 toward the Omer

netzach shebnetzach

In therapy I watercolor a four-leaf clover before noticing that my tea mug of now green rinsing water has three-leaf clovers painted all over it

I colluded with the forces to make me feel they had taken life away from me and had God passed me by or did I

first push away God saying no I just want to read this book in this chair I have no interest in playing squash anyway or

was it enough that God did not invite me along which is what I would have needed to feel I had been welcome to join

is God asking right now as I sit sullen in the cave jealous of the wind the quake the fire thinking where is my noise

and then the voice says What are you doing and I say I am jealous I am left alone and it says There is no

and invites me Go Return on Thy Way which may be the same way it is traveling and I undo the cloth from my face

and squint into the stillness and the smallness which from this angle seem to shimmer quietly within the entire realm of being and I find

the required brow furrow moves me just far enough from big-eyed fear that I have come half way to a new smile so I start

24 toward the Omer

Driving away home we start down a hill so soon after the steep up and I realize that's just what the earth does sometimes

Monday, May 16, 2016

23 toward the Omer

As the day wanes and we study Rambam in the cafe my stomach says something wasn't cooked all the way. I think back:

Butter beans, kidney beans, can of corn, frozen peas, garlic, onion, kale, eggplant, oil, broccoli, spices, brown rice, water, 45 minutes; acupuncture, 35;

meditation, 5; toothbrushing, 1; conversation, 2 hours; writing, 1 hour; other conversation, 90 minutes; walking, 1 hour total; breaths, some fuller than others--

or maybe each thing had just the right amount of its own time, and it is just that some things leave me churning--

isn't that the nature of the season, all the flowers bloom and vanish leaving us brushing phantom pollen off our every forgotten fabric--

22 toward the Omer

chesed shebnetzach

Again, words of blessing for a baby who has decided to come at last, in lovingkindness to his mother in her endurance:

May you know the love in breath, thoughts, steps; may each moment hold blessing just as it is, just as you are.

21 toward the Omer

A party, a morning, a wedding, a resting, a park, a soccer ball, a Frisbee. A dress with shorts under it.

21 toward the Omer #2

Only while singing in Memorial Church for a wedding do I realize that ELP's "Jerusalem" is about someone else's native land.

Friday, May 13, 2016

20 toward the Omer

Twice-twenty words of good wishes for the new child of friends, on this, the twentieth day of the Omer 5776:

Joy. Feeling. Dimension. Engagement. Relationship. Softness. Dance. Breath. Wonder. Abundance.
May you experience lovingsafety and explore with trust and delight.

19 toward the Omer

A black woman in the pizza boutique is told to stop shouting even though she isn't. Her daughter watches.

18 toward the Omer

A woman double-takes in Boomerangs and speaks although she knows that I am not the one she misses.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

17 toward the Omer

It is only today while running that I realize it is uphill to both of our houses
On the way down to the last slope I pass cars stopped heading in the other direction
Reggaeton beats out of a window and I almost pause to dance, to salsa them into smiles

Monday, May 9, 2016

16 toward the Omer

On her couch, wrapped in a blanket the colors of the prayer flags out the window,
flatness curved as the dimensioned world breathes its way through them, touching each imprinted black word
until it is whisked and whispered away, like soot, like us, eroded slowly into the spirit
that leaves with the filament of our lives, lives on with a new touch of radiance,
I watch the fading play of the tree on the wall, then turn the light on.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

15 toward the Omer

God and I wait, calm and anxious respectively, on the train station platform for me
to show up. The hot wind comes, the whistle blows. The train appears, slows, stops.
There she is! God says and points. I follow along God's right hand and see
myself reflected in a window. I look at God. Yes, God says, yes, and waves.

14 toward the Omer

malkhut shebigvurah
parshat acharei mot

Only after being called up do I realize what I am called up for
I kiss the fringe that touches the first word of unraveling and bless Who

Friday, May 6, 2016

13 toward the Omer

yesod shebigvurah

I give my girlfriend a perimeter cut, a friend modeling the hand shapes
We walk the path that borders Jamaica Pond in a soft asphalt curve
I destroy my room, head in a checkered scarf, girded toward my intention
God's eyes say here we are, don't worry, I know all about boundaries
I push out an outbreath, fill the walls of my lungs with foundation

Thursday, May 5, 2016

12 toward the Omer

The steam patterning on the window in the shower like rising souls

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

11 toward the Omer

The gutter-spatter of rain, the kitchen window a pointillist canvas, birdsong,
my two hands, a purple mug still warm from ginger tea,

a breathing, remembered, forgotten, remembered again, like the feel of God

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

10 toward the Omer

tiferet shebigvurah

The broom, then the mop, then a paisley of footprints

Monday, May 2, 2016

9 toward the Omer

gevurah shebigvurah
In loving memory of my grandmother, Sylvia Greenfield Moses,
whose love remains a blessing through all harsh times

Walking, I stew in constrictions created only by myself,
escape through love, see pink petals littering the car

next to the car where my love sits waiting

8 toward the Omer

chesed shebigvurah
(lovingkindness in discipline)

Back on the badminton court, a borrowed racket,
my arms again rotating free in their sockets,

each butt muscle twinge a smile of relief

7 toward the Omer

malkhut shebchesed
(majesty in lovingkindness)

What do you call a hell that
is made of kittens? is what I

think he asks me, so I think.
He appreciates my effort, misplaced. He says

a meowntain. It's Shabbat, I don't have
the ability to save the children today,

can't write, can't give, I'm late anyway.
I appreciate his effort, misplaced. I imagine

it's hard, what he does. He says
he watches the ocean, full of waves,

without expecting each to carry a shell
to his feet. His name is Shawn.

We shake hands. I keep on walking.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

6 toward the Omer

yesod shebchesed

I wait, watch my dog barking
at the door where my brother

is the one who enters and
walks toward me and takes me

to a restaurant with green tea

Thursday, April 28, 2016

5 toward the Omer

hod shebchesed
(humility in lovingkindness)

I named breath in my
daily intention and breathe was

what I could do in

my blue bedroom rocking chair,
here, when you were there

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

4 toward the Omer

Netzach shebchesed

Weary, shirtless, he walks
back into the kitchen,
opens the fridge door,
pours apple juice into

the tinted plastic cup,
adds water, closes all
except his own eyes,
climbs the stairs, gives

3 toward the Omer #3

I dream of
a friend I

can't get to
agree to my

help, wake in
my sore body

3 toward the Omer

My hand sweats
onto the page

before this one,
pulling it back

to make room
for me to

see what it
is I'm writing

Monday, April 25, 2016

2 toward the Omer

gevurah shebchesed

Seldom thanked,
resident anesthesiologists

puncture us
safe from

other pains,
sleep us

toward a
new awakeness

Sunday, April 24, 2016

1 toward the Omer

chesed shebchesed







Friday, April 22, 2016

pre-Pesach poem 5776

Swept-up crumbs,
burnt, leave no path
to be eaten by gulls

I cast around for
the next words
to lay under me

Ahead, last year's
days, around again

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Walk down the
dark road lit by
tall lamps spreading pale
circles on the ground, say
with each sound, I left, I'm right, I'm left