Friday, August 31, 2007

A Holiday Conundrum

WE are fast approaching the Jewish High Holy Days, but I have often wondered what do you do when you go to the synagogue to pray and you can't pray? You mouth the words, you go through the motions, but there is no feeling behind what you do. Does it count? Do you contintinue? Should you? Maybe it is more ethical to sit down and think. There was a period in my life when I could not walk inside a synagogue, so I didn't. We teach words in all Sunday schools of all faiths, but do we teach people to pray? Can we teach this is really the question or is praying so close to faith that it is something one cannot teach? I don't have answers today- probably never, just questions, that's why I am dwelling in the desert. I am not ready to dwell among my people yet. I don't have enough answers. Can you help?
And when so much is going wron in the world, doesn't it make it even more difficult to have faith? Yesterday there was a story on the news about a family in Clovis, CA. who had lost two sons to this war. With all the thousands in the war, why take two from the same family? Isn't that more grief than they should have to bear? No one ever promised us that life would be fair or that justice would prevail on earth, but sometimes I find these occurrences to be such a stretch of faith or a kind of test tima and again. When will it end? I know it won't as long as I am walking around, and that's what bothers me. Commemts invited.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Memory is like dreaming
through a viscous cloud
whose details sharpen
with the weather
and flow as a river in spring,
bubbling up with seemingly
insignificant details one day,
while forgetting what should
be memorable another.

The ebb and flow like the tides
makes life rise out of Stygian
darkness to live another day.
I bless those whose life is pure:
the simplicity of touch, smell,
and a wet, wagging tail.


Memory is something I have been thinking about for many years. It can play tricks on you. You think you are sure you remember something one way, when someone else has a completely different version of that occurrence or event. So how trustworthy are our memories if we are looking back on our lives? I am sure that certain events and certain short scenes stick out in our minds, but what about the rest of it? Most of us live from day to day without thinking in terms of preserving for posterity each and every event; besides, what a boring folly that would be! I wrote a short poem to express some of these issues:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ode to the D7

Standing at the behemoth to progress,
glassy-eyed, stomach-rumbling beyond help,
I stare in confusion at numbers and letters
written like a Chinese menu.
Starry-eyed and in a trance, I am
having a mystical experience as I am forced
to choose. Searching for coins produces crumpled
dollar, when inserted face up rolls back and forth,
back and forth, unwilling to cooperate. Frantic,
devoid of patience, I empty my bag in search
of coins, dumping out the myriad contents on
the floor, watching them scatter. I stoop and grab
and count till I arrive at the precise amount, while my stomach
continues to utter disgraceful words in public;
students rush by, some give strange looks,
others too oblivious to know the day. I shove
the coins in the machine, pushing the buttons
for D7...and out comes Three Musketeers! Damn.
Give me my Baby Ruth! No returns, no refunds.
Always choices: eat the damn Three Musketeers
or eat nothing. No choice at all--peristalsis has begun
before the candy hits my palate.

Welcome to a New Blog

There are so many things big and small in our daily lives to talk about: from genocide, Iraq, a war gone wrong, poverty, Darfur to standing at a dumb vending machine pushing the right buttons and getting the wrong thing. Yet all these things have a piss-off factor- not the same, I hope. But here is a place to let it out. As a poet, I look at the world through glasses tinted with remorese, or regret, or happiness, or stupidity or even through what I ate last night (chicken). This may make for something different. Maybe something mystical as dwelling in the desert produces those thoughts if alone, especially without a tent or water, like Hagar in the Bible.

Something New

They say ex nihilo nihil venit- there's nothing new under the sun, but every day the sun shines I see something new, whether hidden or exposed. I may have to look hard to find it, or even use my imagination, but I know it is there. Today, it's this blog- as if there aren't enough of them. So what's different about this one, you might ask? As a poet, I see the world through glasses tinted by imagination, or tinted by a mother's view of the world, or tinted by what I want to see that day. This could make for some interesting blogging. And don't be afraid to join in the discussion. There's too many things to comment on to let slip from this facile pen: war, love, hate, poverty, genocide, corporate greed, in short, all the "big issues" of today.