Tag Archives: Grace

Buffalo

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By Dana Janine Diamond c1993

What did I know of poetry?
White snow and dreams
empty trees below my window
sledding and screaming in the fresh, cold air
When summer came at last,
we played in the tall, blonde weeds
next to the creek
all the houses were built on swampland
we had lovely duck ponds in the yard

In the years before we wanted fences
they sat out back
in their lawn chairs on the edge
of the yard, sunning themselves
my grandmother spoke only Yiddish
her grandmother understood only Greek
they talked for hours and hours
days without purpose
other than just to be

Jazz in underground clubs
and hippies from Chicago
playing folk guitar
in my polished blue living room
I waited in the wings
while Steve sang
“City of New Orleans”
my brother was alongside him
under the spotlight
I was nine
and that’s what I knew

Manicured suburbia
with movies and Niagara Falls
donuts with powder on top
and shoplifting in shopping malls
Buffalo.
home of the spicy Buffalo wings
we traveled in packs
venturing into basements,
and haunted houses
surreptitiously playing
Spin the Bottle
with rum and coke
I don’t ever remember
liking the boys I kissed

Every summer I drove
to Fantasy Island
with my Dad
to hear Glen Campbell
sing
and see the showgirls
lift their legs
“The Sterile Honeycomb”
he wrote.
Arthur, my brother’s friend. Before
he successfully attempted suicide.
So, I knew that poets died
and that made sense to me

I read everything he wrote
and then I started writing
at fifteen, just when my brother stopped.
he moved back home from California
I thought I could not live here
because my brother left
I thought my spot was in the wings,
waiting for songwriters
to sing
I thought I could not write poetry
and survive
I knew that good poets died
and became better ones.
I write stronger now
for having died

Here, alive in the West
Or there, at that time
Snowdrifts or Western sea line
the smell and feel of summer grass
is the same
resting quietly, close to the ground
the poet is reclaimed.

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

Remembrance days

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By Dana Janine Diamond

We are in a daze
rhetoric swirling
to a crescendo
storm tossing all
we would rather forget
in my path
like a lingering scent
in the air that reminds
me, of something beautiful
and precious, perhaps an orange tree,
only irreconcilable,
in many languages
oranges are referred to as apples
with a different color
pommes like poems
in the palm of my hands
and this brings <span
a smile to my lips
but there is no time
to dally in harvest
season, we must gather in
our memories
prepare for the spiritual
feast, if there is refuse
in heaps
like malodorous haystacks
we will be forced
to confront them
search for the proverbial
needle, and at last
sew a sweater for protection
against the impending cold winds
or a quixiotic quilt
vestiges of luminous
days
when we didn't ask
what you reaped
or why you hovered
silently by
betraying my trust
losing all traces
of luster and grace
you seemed to descend
like a sunset leaving
merely a faint glimmer
of light
on the edge of awe
the world
is different now
with you gone


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

After the Snow

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by Dana Janine Diamond  

We are dazzled

gazing up

we see You

in the light falling

if we look hard

we see Your gentle

wonder, bursts of Glory,

we are angels

for a time

and when it melts

all the pain and sorrow

with a burning star

we will find

the jewels

waiting to be shown

off.

We trudge, we push,

we lead the sled down

and up again

but You,

You bring the hill

before us,

You cover us

with light

so that it permeates

the center

of our being

so that our breast

is no longer weary

so that our skin glows

with mother’s milk

and honey, Your gift to us.

After the snow,

we remember

if we’re clever,

the manna

melting stars on our tongue

snow like breast milk in song

copper mirrors dancing

drifts of undulating deserts

shtetl mothers milking

praise waiting

to be uttered.

~ written with Ronit’s recovery in mind.

COPYRIGHT 2012 Dana Janine Diamond  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com