POUR YOURSELF LIKE WINE INTO THE GLASS
Pour yourself like wine into the glass,
A liquid shaped by glass blown long ago,
Singing every year the words you know,
Songs that do not change as your years pass.
Old glass, new wine; new matter, ancient form;
Vintages that burst with life and joy;
Enduring hope no horror can destroy;
Ritual that makes a faith a home.
THE TOMB OF CHRIST IS BUT THE BED
The tomb of Christ is but the bed
He rested on three days.
Easter morn He rose again,
The flower of our spring.
On Him, arisen from the dead,
Must we, though flesh decays,
Bestow our faith that when we die
Our souls, like His, shall not long lie
Forsaken in our tomb.
Christ shall, with deep affection, when
He sees our soul’s affliction, then
Redeem us with His pain.
In His eternal suffering
Shall we find grace enough to bring
The seed of faith to bloom.
I DON’T EXPECT YOU SOON TO LOVE ME
I don’t expect you soon to love me,
Nor are my own feelings clear.
Passion is the ornate entrance
To a world we crave and fear.
We cannot know where this will take us,
Nor whether we will ride for long,
But pleasure is the overture
That flows into the larger song.
So come with me with open mind
And heart, and we the time will prove
With laughter and with joy unfettered,
And, perhaps, someday with love.
PART OF BEING JEWISH IS A CHOICE
Part of being Jewish is a choice
As one becomes an act of preservation.
Seders start the stream of admonition,
Stories meant to bind one to the past.
On words alone the exiles had to last,
Verses reified by repetition,
Each an heirloom of a generation
Reared to give those ancient words a voice.
A MOTHER SERVES HER SUGAR
A mother serves her sugar with
A bit of peppermint
To clarify the passages
That carry what she meant
When she first set to bear a soul
Quite separate from her own,
Whom she would cherish, yet must teach
To live and die alone.
JOY IS NOT A TREASURE YOU CAN LOSE
Joy is not a treasure you can lose.
Unless you will not, you will be consoled.
Linger with me long as you may choose.
In music as in life no joy is cold.
Undo, then, the tight corset of your grief
So that you might enjoy the moment’s keening.
Give ear to music, eloquent though brief,
Restoring to the miracle its meaning.
Of all we think and feel and say and do,
So little, really, must be bound by time.
Still palpable, I’m here with all of you,
Musical as ever in this rhyme.
All I was, I am, and yet will be,
No less in love, although in memory.
JOY REQUIRES ONE TO BE AWAKE
Joy requires one to be awake,
Adjusting the heart’s ambience to bright.
Some prefer the dark, as is their right,
On grounds of agony, and to forsake
Not only bliss, but all that’s blessed by light.