Category Archives: Torah

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

Fallen Apple Blossoms 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

It is quiet
in my heart
as we approach
this day
reflecting on all
and one
that has been given
and stolen
like a lone icicle
left on the roof
after a winter storm
spring and summer a blur
we are distilled
in the moment
drip
drip
drip
the puddles are forming
and when we look down
we realize we are at sea
it’s impossibly loud
we’re holding on fast
as the waves are crashing
we’re taking in the ocean
it’s soaking us
sinking us
we step away
slam into land
run sopping, sobbing
apples are blanketing,
covering the meadow
like large, wild roses
round and perfect
green, red, yellow, pink
so many subtle shapes
we are walking, resting, drying
miraculously
they are sweet and tart
at once
the bite, the crunch
resounds
all the way down
to contemplating the core
and the seeds
it is the day of deep
breaths
until shofar calls
on you to give
what has been
absconded with
the apologies
are too hushed
like a basket of all
the fruit
put aside 
I’m seeking
listening
ear to the sky
in this upside down
life
you have left us
here, silent
just
wondering
if this day will bring
atonement
a note meant
for unity
when hope
was lost


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

Day of Silent Shouting 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

Every year I pray
think positive, good
thoughts
so that the head
day
of my year
will shed light
on the rest
this year I
tried something different
told God he was
a mother-fucker
didn’t edit
or narrate
or sing
Our Father, our King
because he done
fell off his throne
just me in the corner
finding my religion
trusting intuition
maybe since his head
is lolling and rolling
around on the ground
with the rest of us
or at least just
beneath my feet
it will be good and sweet
taking a bite
out of these apples
waiting
perhaps in vain
for his apologies
to me and Eve.
He had to close
his eyes
perhaps he’s just
a coward
after all
I’ve got mine
open
still
sitting vigil by the windowsill
anticipating light
every day


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

Cart Wheels

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By Dana Janine Diamond

We had a peaceful day
there won’t be many
this one nearly wasn’t
but it’s still mid-evening
my job now
is to report from the inside

the way we got here
the echo of…
this is my happiness
distilled to the most
benign expectations

Journey, journeying
galloping, memories
in pointillist paintings
true moments
like night stars
we can’t see them all
but we look up
and receive the impression

It turns out
humans mated with neanderthals
not sure who
got the better deal
if it was love, if God
ever really loved
us
he or she has not yet
proven their point

are we like chimps
or chumps
in the zoo
bewildering
to those on the outside

Job should have fulfilled
the prophecy
and cursed you
maybe he could have
spared us the task

We are holding the water
down
traveling, traveling
I need all the stars
turning and twirling
to deepen dusk

 

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

An Un-Love Song

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by  Dana Janine Diamond


I wake with tears
beneath the clouds

my soul may well have been there 

it’s been a long, weary journey

from the mountain

to hear, to here.

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I don’t know why she did it

why she converted to this religion

I don’t know why these women

chose a hard life in the corners

of the fields

maybe they just

wanted to be mothers

maybe they just

wanted to be daughters

maybe they just

missed their men

maybe they just

wanted to love

God.

1896JamesTissotRuthGleaning

So we have their story

we have the poem

the love song of all love songs

we were there

when it was written

we were there

when it was told

I have loved

You God

with all my soul                              

I have danced

to Your music

donned the costume

for Your play

I have stayed

the night

many nights

learning Your words

as if by candlelight

I have thrown myself

upon the rocks

for You

I have loved

You

have felt loved

by You

I was Your child

now grown

to half a life


Once a man told me,

one of us is a rock

and one of us is a flower

Damn right I’m a flower.

 

he broke them

he broke them

I woke this morn

feeling the weight

as they came crashing down

I want to dive into the crashing

waves, they’re waving me on

I want to live, to float

not knowing

where I’m going

never wanting to leave

we are the leaves

and the buds

and the honey

and the streams of milk

we are the land and the sea

Rising up to greet us

We are everything

and we are nothing

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My heart is heavy

those who worshipped idols

who worshipped the body of

both meat and milk

the cow is a female

but there are those

who do not understand

the precision of language

who do not distinguish

between a cow

and bull

They are here with us now

they are worshipping their cows

they are worshipping their bulls

they are worshipping themselves

they are burning us down

they are dancing around

burning our hearts

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They are false idols in our midst

Our leaders, they have fallen so low

the women wrap

themselves in prayer shawls

and their eyes burn

on the other side

of the divide

the men throw tongues of fire

the women raise their children

and they know not

from where they came

they should have been scholars

they should have been leaders

they should have loved

the children

more than they loved themselves

they dropped us

they stomped on us

they stomped

all over

all over

all over

God.

 

Our dog is barking

howling, growling

driving us mad

he sniffs out a fox

or some creature

he detests

on the edge

of our home

amongst the weeds

there is no peace

in our home

under the trees

we fall

to sleep

we are asleep.

 song-of-songs

I awake

this morn

with a heavy heart

the animals

have taken over

they have made

our children

the sacrifice

for which they received

no commandment

they have desecrated

The Holy of Holies

they have lied

and murdered our souls

I am here to tell the story

to write the poem

To cry, my heart,

To cry, my heart

 

Oh Jerusalem

We are burning

from their fire                            

they have written

a new song

of rage

they remember the fire

and not the sea

they remember the fire

and not the stone

they remember the fire

and not the mountain

they remember the fire

and not the Glory

they remember the fire

and forget the stories,

there is no all-night toil

that can eradicate

the need for justice

 

She is crying in the streets

She is burning to the ground

She is weeping from there to here

muting the trumpets

to no avail

the tears have not,

are not, enough

to drown the fire

there will be no peace

until justice is done.

 

They have forgotten the poem

they have un-sung

our song.

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

Unspoken

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          by Dana Janine Diamond 

In our time

of rejoicing

I sit alone

waiting in the sukkah

as light touches darkness

I have no guests

they have not come

for I have no husband to entertain them.

At this feast

I partake in luxury

every spice lingering

on my tongue

not wishing to be left

alone,

alas,

the taste is wasted, waiting

to amass

the wine and grain

fallen on the wayside,

for I have no husband to tend to,

ask,

“how does this taste to you?”

I sit alone

as still as possible

strive to sense

an embrace

as distant as the stars

glimmering above the

willows of the brook,

I rest in this sukkah,

hoping you took,

the long but short way,

that you are flying even now

in a carriage of peasant descent

through the enceinte woods

led by fearless one-toed horses

the Baal Shem Tov

whispered, their quivering ears alert

gracefully persuaded to traverse

all space and time,

you arrive at last,

satchels of endless stories in tow.

So who will come

while I sojourn,

who dares to visit

the bleak, solitary hut?

The angels are floating on myrtle,

murmuring inpenetrable names,

like husks of corn,

growing side by side,

the men, they have abandoned me,

as maise to a maze

by death or wish

they pass me by,

no glass raised

or broken.

Sarah, Miriam, Devorah,

Chana, Huldah, Avigail,

and Queen Esther,

will you be my ushpizot?

Will you divine the dream for me?

I will serve as your retinue,

awaiting to begin anew.

We are bound together

like the scent of lemons

to a sweet verbena tree,

yearning to be rooted,

to withstand the coming wind,

I lift my hands to draw

circles of blessings

in to my body

feel no heat,

nor coolness of air,

barely hear

the night’s symphony song,

for I have no husband to sing to.

COPYRIGHT 2011 Dana Janine Diamond  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com