Hannah (Baruch)

O my soul, why do you grieve

when it is the time for singing praise?

how can you proclaim, “Here I am,”

when you are not even recollected to yourself,

too full of the reproaches of the world

that tells you God has left you barren.

 

But it is you, yourself, who have stolen your joy,

thrown out with the promise

that you are called by the Lord for a purpose —

to shine and rejoice in your Maker,

a star in the night sky

while your people await the Dawn.

 

So if you cannot offer praise,

make a sacrifice of your sorrow,

giving it up to receive

what can be born of joy.

Naaman

disfigured

and consumed by the thought

of what others will see,

I almost miss the truth

of what you offer,

a way to shed this disease

wrapping my soul,

and uncover again

the smooth skin,

the trustful innocence,

of a child.

so simple,

what you ask of me,

who you call me to be.

and shouldn’t it be easy

to be your truest self?

sitting. watching. waiting.

hiding in a rocky cleft

and watching from the hillside

or in the cool shade behind the flaps of a tent,

I am waiting for a whisper of life,

a cloud of dust on the horizon

announcing your presence;

Love is on his way

and I would greet him with joy

and hear what he has to say.

For it is in the passing

that he lets his voice be heard.

“The Lord, the Lord…”

and suddenly I remember

the sound of my own name too.

For this, I would spend all I have,

my very life in the waiting.

Axé

axé

axé, my friend

there is no enemy here,

only good between us

and I give you what I have —

any truth or beauty or life

that is in me, in my soul

for this too is not mine

— poor myself,

I was given these things

to share with you,

with the world

to make us all the richer

axé

Dandelions

mowing over dandelions

is not quite the same

as the childlike wonder

of blowing away seeds and fluff,

the wind catching and floating off

tiny parachutes full

of imagination and dreams,

the world an endless possibility

of happy endings.

 

but there is something

strangely satisfying

in driving the motor over their bowed

and weed killer-sprayed heads,

the blade spinning impassively

and the wheels flattening their discarded stems,

while small puffs of seedlings escape

from under the sides of the mower

like dying breaths.

 

the small joys of adulthood.

snow in the spring

yesterday it snowed a late spring snow,

and today i watched heavy, wet mounds fall

from the branches, already laden with green.

 

rather than sitting in silence,

the weight of cold and frozen memories

keeping them still,

exposed limbs blanketed and tucked away,

 

the branches let the snow slip off in shrugs,

wet leaves dancing,

sending showers down,

too full of life, too awake to sleep another day.

reduce. reuse. recycle.

When you say, “I will give you a new heart,”

you do not mean that you will throw away

the one I already have

like a totaled car or a broken dish.

 

For you, new is a word

that means returning something

to its original purpose,

restoring its former glory.

 

Which is why you make reusable hearts,

something good of your own hand.

an up-cycle, this heart,

re-purposed into a new love,

what it was always made for.