Category Archives: Joy

Gift

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

​I could make my mother laugh
I can make my daughter laugh
I can laugh to myself
and this makes me
invincible
still vulnerable
I am traveling by gondola
in a narrow waterway
flowers blooming everywhere
roses, peonies, ranuculus, hydrangeas
queen anne’s lace and baby’s breath
hot pink and cream, riotous colors
light glistening, shimmering
on the water’s surface
the sun and moon
are about to kiss
I, we,
don’t really know
where we are going
we just see love
I have to believe
the angels
are laughing with us
and love will save us
love saves this impressionistic
shabby, tie-dyed
magnificent
world
I have to believe
we will prevail


COPYRIGHT 2017 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

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Palm Fronds 

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By Dana Janine Diamond

The mystical holds
no meaning for us
now
the lulav and esrog
and too many of
the species you concocted
are shaking us around
and the clouds of glory
are traveling, traveling
hard to tell
if they are pleased or
dismayed, gathering
I miss the illusion,
your protection
of knowing we could pick
up stakes and fly
and never fall
the winds picked up
and there’s no trace of 
us, the mirage of joy
all the years we danced
were a drunken lie
I held that torah up high
in my mind
from behind
the mechitzah
those temporary walls
erected around the world
for thousands of years
I wonder what would happen
if I threw the torah down
and smashed it like a wine glass
at a wedding

this is the place I come
to for refuge
words and poems
are abiding
only here my heart sings
these are my moments
of bliss and transcendence
this is why I write
them over and over again
for 40 years

the decorations
are paper thin,
I’m no longer certain
if we are sitting in
a sukkah
or an abyss
the lemons taste inexplicably sweet
I just know
we are in interludes
of pain
I can’t transcribe
all this time we
were celebrating you
I never knew
you hated us so much
I don’t know how
I’ll ever trust
again
you are breaking us
breaking away
how do we find our way…
I think America
is secretly angry
with you
I need a new
cartographer
we wandered afield,
I don’t recognize
this forsaken landscape
we’re crawling through
tree branches thrown
to the ground,
duskily hoping
ahead we’ll find a cove
or sound
to burrow into
to listen to our breathing
lift the the sky lighter
we are the Belt of Venus
hovering, taking cover
from a persistent night,
nature
is all we have left

COPYRIGHT 2016 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Let My People Go

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        By Dana Janine Diamond 

And by people,
I mean women
and girls,
Let us go to the Wall,
and above

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Let us pray, move,
love
as we wish,
we are constellations, traveling

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how many thousands more
years, tears will it take
to be free,
to be safe in this world
from Tennessee
to the Red Sea
to the Dead Sea,

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a multitude of minyans,
we count.
Stars hurtling, leaping,
fascinating,
we are floating,
we are salt

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binding ourselves
on an alter of self-sacrifice
to make space
for a relationship
with a God
who surely must love
us

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Maybe now
is the time
to shake the Shechina up!
Unveil our hearts

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We sway, we sway,
we chant, we pray
we sing, swim
traverse the high waters
storm out of the desert
towards grace,

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Holy we rise
at last,
we live here.

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By Dana Janine Diamond  
c2016 thejewishpoetess ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Neshama’s Song

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2238509174_1e516b1d48       by Dana Janine Diamond

When one soul cries
we join hearts
and listen,
Shush! Pay close attention…

There’s a song in Neshama’s heart
and it goes like this
Boom di da boom boom
Tra la la la la
Sing me the sweetest melody

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Blue, green, yellow, and red-wing birds
circle overhead to rejoice
all the bright and soft colors
spread their wings

This is the way the world was meant
to be
the seas
are jumping
in a white-foam tizzy
the trees are clapping their leaves
the stones are skipping
into the mossy ponds
to swim with the guppies
the winds are breathing their soft breeze,
The morning stars are arising
The angels are stomping
Singing and shouting their glee

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For there’s a girl with a Cookie
and Lemonade stand
with a sign turned upside down
on the side of the road
and we all pull over

We turn the radio down
to hear her sweet song
we are breathless
with anticipation
to hear her sweet soul song
she was always, always
meant to sing
notes so delicate and powerful
she stopped the sorrow.

Her song asked us to dance
and it went like this…..
Twirl and twirl and
Spin and spin
Cartwheel in the air
and land, hands held high!

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Together, as one,
The way the world was meant to be
the way the world was meant to be

In Neshama’s song
We all live
We love
when the morning stars sing together and all the angels of God shout

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with credit to the Book of Job…

To donate to my friend’s daughter to enable her to get the help she needs, visit here:

http://www.youcaring.com/tuition-fundraiser/help-neshama-go-to-school/216679

 

COPYRIGHT 2014 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Country Love Song and Other Journeys

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by Dana Janine Diamond

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I didn’t know I was going to fall in love
I probably should have
when I discovered the legend
of Granny White
who left the Carolinas
in the middle of the night
Lucinda walked here
on foot
through rugged, mountainous terrain
some nine hundred miles
I drove nearly one thousand miles
to get here
through boring, snow-dusted Virginia
not quite the same

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She took her grandchildren
in tow, widowed woman
I don’t know how she survived
yet she arrived
here, at 60, opened up her
apple cake stand and
soon her Inn
where presidents and generals laid their heads
she began anew
well past the prime…

of what king makers believe
women can be
for today’s art and commerce,
men live longer
and women merely age…
perhaps revenge
for our added years
and the miracle of life?
Some people really know
how to hold a grudge.

But I digress,
let no injustice
be done
when the headline is
She ruled this town!
She is a park, a pike,
an historic site
How many women have this
to say
for themselves?

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I think this city
can welcome
a single mother
I surely think
it can
Bless its heart

You see,
I had a vision,
a strong intuition
that I was meant
for the sea.
This place
was part of my pilgrimage
on my way
to County Waterford or Cork
or perhaps The Giant’s Causeway
along the Antrim Coast (or at least perchance Key West.)
My home was to be made
upon the cliffs,
so that each morn
I would breathe
in the salt air
and let the tides
pull words from my soul
to float out
across the ocean
where the poetry of kindness
could flourish and live…

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So this was just
my stopping ground
my stomping ground
as I danced away
from constraint
slipped free
of the shackles
I had placed
on myself
some twenty years past.

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Each day has been a revelation
each day I awake
to the whisper
I’m free, I’m free
I’m gloriously free
and the air is so sweet
with honeysuckle and arugula
an undefinable mystery…
The leaves sway
the cardinal sings
the bunnies greet me
as I start down
the stone driveway
to come home.

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The trees, the woods
of the country
they see me naked
as I arise each morning
throwing caution and pajamas
to the wind
if someone has a telescope
a few acres away
then I guess they got lucky
unless a woman,
a mother in her prime
is not their idea of lucky
to which I would have to say,
Oh my! Oh me, oh my-ah.
Phenomenal woman.
Because we cannot forget

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in County Galway
they buried 800 children
in a septic tank
some twenty years ago
the Fallen Women were shunned
and punished, by the nuns
for the sin
of having been alive
of having taken
a giant bite
out of life
or maybe for falling victim
it didn’t matter to them the who or why,
the single mothers
and their children
were starved and suffered.
These Irish babies need a resting place.

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They say this place
is a good ol’ boy’s town
those are the songs
the world wants
to sing to itself
but I believe in Granny White
and Naomi and Ruth
and in the power
of a mother telling her stories

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In greeting the wide, open countryside
where farm tables and horses coincide
delectable fresh-grown feasts await,
herb goat cheese salads, avocado popsicles, sate
seemingly effortless
that’s how it’s done here
with music in the air
I sift through jewels
as the old man in the aisle over
picks up a guitar and
picks out a tune
I walk outside,
the gentle summer rain
starts to come down
my child and I
make our way
over the brick cobblestones
the light in the sky
could be grey
or shimmer incandescent,
the endless farm land and luminous
evening stars whisper
I have fallen
in love
with this place
I have fallen in love with this place.

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COPYRIGHT 2014 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Ready to Fall

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         by Dana Janine Diamond  

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One morning, I walk out my door

find the air cooler

than it was the day before,

a light, minty leaf dances

toward me, immediately

the promise of pumpkins,                                      10966526-fall-harvest-festival-decorative-vegetables-with-festive-gourds-and-colorful-squashes-with-assorted-

creamy butternut squash and sturdy gourds,

line up on the farmer’s table,

ready to be taken home,

hoping to be picked.

There was a time

I would follow this adventure,

but now I pause imperceptibly,

go about my day.

Gather the harvest

bushels of apples

Delicious, Golden, Granny Smith,    cider

sweet, sour, sliced, bitten

check for bugs or worms,

polish to a fine shine,

until we’re tucked in again

for the night

the epic cover

protecting us from a baking sun,

that was once summer.

Soon we will hear

the crunch under our feet

a sky decorated and punctuated

with a lover’s hand                                                   images

amber, maple-shaped, fiery red,

speckled light brown on pale, faded yellow,

cheerful, everlasting smile,

green becomes sage,

seemingly, suddenly,

bright orange turns to rust.

Get ready to cook,                                              imgres

your grandmother’s recipe,

or one from a book you read long ago,

but no one knows your secret.

It could be coriander seed, or cumin,

or just more thyme, and the realization

that an entrée can be served without anything hidden.

Begin again.

It seems, when asked,

why did a woman veer off her path?

(when the whole world knows

we know the directions)

The answer is loneliness.

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Now that is the real curse,

is it not?

Busyness can play the charmer,

contentment and even occasional happiness

can snake its way through our lives,                          imgres

productivity and grocery shopping

can purchase complacency

for a time,

until stock has its turn

at being taken,

rather than stirred briskly.

imagesI am the esrog,

I am the Lulav, too.

Complex, complicated and mystical,

shaken and held

for very short bursts.

You bring me forth

maybe give me a kiss,

inhale my deep, provocative,

exotic scent,

caress with your eyes,

select a firm grip,                                      lulav&etrog

as if to never let me go,

as if I am so close to your heart

that a whisper is all that is needed

to beckon me nearer,

and I am there, inside you,

or did I have that turned around?

For now, seemingly suddenly,                  $(KGrHqF,!oUFDCbMNoueBQ9Zc9S5mg~~60_35

I am being sent

to all ends

of the earth.

In my travels,

I have seen your suffering,

felt your joy,

absorbed your pain,

known your love,

I am sitting in this hut

alone, ‘til finally

even the walls

around me are torn down.

collapsed-sukkah

I might survive

as a house plant

(for a time)

I might even find myself

pricked with cinnamon sticks             ETROG_HAVDALAH_NEW_WP

and retrieved from behind

the glass case,

or the drawer where you’ve stored me

to add a certain sweetness

as the candlelight holds back the

darkness,

and a family embarks on their poignant week.

Where to begin,

as I bring my offering,

I seek to understand

and I experience an existential rejection            09

with every wrong occurrence,

a broken canister, wasted food,

my child’s tears, missed opportunities

to pray, with domestic chaos

swirling around me,

a storm of anti-Semitism

raging in the streets,

I still see the colors

raining down.

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I am lying on a bed

of drying up leaves,                                 images

caked somewhat in mud,

You’ve got me right where

You want me

readying myself

to stand up

and get clean.

And as I begin

the washing up

that inevitably follows every

holiday or excursion,

I take soap to dish,

scrub in a circular motion,              3890318312_59e4dd8729

rinsing and inspecting,

feeling the calm sense

of satisfaction return

as lemony scents

fill the air above

the kitchen sink,

and while my hands are moving,

moving, ever restless,

my mind soars

with possibilities, decisions, new ideas.

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Esrog by Michoel Muchnik

Esrog by Michoel Muchnik

COPYRIGHT 2009 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

The Book is better than the movie

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By Dana Janine Diamond

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In the movie, 27 Dresses,

the lead character

is forever

a bridesmaid,

never more                                   imgres

she keeps all

her tulles, taffetas, silks,

squished in a closet

that refuses

to close,

such ugly dresses

so that she’ll never

seem more

beautiful than the bride,

her role

will always be

to stand aside,

smiling on

as the ceremony

unfolds,

billows like sails

unfurling

against the horizon,

until the last scene…

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We sail out to sea, we sail out to sea,

through storms and clarity

we believed you

when you told us

who to be.

 

We turned away

hush, hush, quiet voice,

we swam further out                         1148010_10151864133256228_1048441409_n

away from the land

to the silence

we were lost,

looking for peace

sweet voice insistent,

clamoring

for peace.

Can you hear her?

Can you still hear her?

 

Those who wish

to be blinded

will enshroud

themselves in the darkness,

of the deepest black harbor,

and those who wish to seek,

will lift the veil.

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We are here, we are here,

come gaze upon our beauty,

we are here, we are here,

let us take our souls out to sea,

cup a palm to our ear,

hold a seashell close and dear,

and on the wind they will travel

their voices, they will travel

one hundred and twenty strong.

 

We are all in this boat together,

stay afloat, stay afloat,

never fear,

for married we are to be,

we are all brides before our God,

we are all whispering words of love,

out to sea, out to sea,

souls’ never-ending story.

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As we sing

our notes

float to form

a crown,

our notes

form the sweetest song

round and round,

we go

to the Wall,

we go

to the Wall,

for You.

 

In the Book

of Life,

the heroine

doesn’t stand off

to the side,

anymore…

She soars

through

the sweet, salt air,

as joyous waters

rise up

to wish her well,

over every wall,

she travels

to place

a crown

around

You.

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COPYRIGHT 2013 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com