Tag Archives: Light

Sea Change

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By Dana Janine Diamond


It’s hard to remember
every memory during
a pandemic
much seems beyond
your grasp, submerged
in the gentle, rolling
silver blue waters
parted by
a sliver of light

Or perhaps
it’s the passing
of the years
the travail of loss
the propensity
for trauma
bestowed
upon us

We are sailing
coming about!
echoes of joy abound
and warnings
from many years past
Lake Algonquin, Erie,
the Niagara and Michigan
the Mediterranean, Caribbean
Atlantic Ocean
Long Island
Sound
the Pacific and the Hudson
calm and carefree
or so it seemed
lighter days
on all the waters
of my life
have brought me peace

We seek, we seek
we pursue
she advised us
to cast anger aside
toss it overboard
we have to
flatten
ourselves
to avoid
the boom

In other words
learn the language
of humility
and agility
and fragility
develop wind-
chafed skin
breathe it in
set forth
and let it go

We’re not alone
we do what must be done
and trust
we prepare emotionally
silently pray
for miracles
they do come
reflections
light and angels
we are not alone

It’s more than what you see
it’s more than what you feel
the love unfurls
effusively
inside you

an understanding grows
that the view
from starboard and port
are as different
as seashore
and seafloor
as seaboard
and seabed
we don’t fathom
each other
we might have glimpses
but we hear
and see
everything differently
we are each speaking
our own
languages
absent translation

Yesterday, I
came to learn
I can forgive
the blinding blindness
if not the storm

©️ 2020 Dana Janine Diamond. All Rights Reserved. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Starburst

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By Dana Janine Diamond

In order

to encapsulate

to begin to describe

my love,

a mother’s love

for her daughter

we usually start

with the stars

I love you more

than all the stars in the sky!

We must reach beyond

our own confines of earth

and even ocean

we have to imagine love

like an energy

beyond our real comprehension,

the stars fall

and they burst with excitement

they rise and set

shine and grow

absorb and reflect

all of our wishes

aspirations

they have complex relationships

with each other

they have stories to tell

there are times

when I say

I love you to the moon and back

but the stars, the stars

appear to bloom

like roses

glimmer and sparkle

dance

lift us up

give us hope

love, love, love, this love

Once upon a time,

I said, welcome princess

and you came into being

prayers, my song pulled you

from the heavens,

your destiny was clear as day

you were meant to be a star

you’re the essence of light

you are power and joyful

resilience and comfort

luminous

stars always sing

you are everything

we look up to

for Rosie on her 18th birthday with love
COPYRIGHT 2020 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining tothejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Nu

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by Dana Janine Diamond

I would wish you a sweet new year. I always have. The memories are gone, the future unknown. We have trees and stars and pink sunrises and pink sunsets, and lights sparkling over the river that is ever moving. There is a wheel turning somewhere in the sky, dispensing mazel. We stand under it, like we do with mistletoe, our palms outstretched, ready to catch it when it falls, ready to kiss the godliness within, ready to find love. We anticipate the embrace of love.

We carry with us a pink afghan. When I was younger, I knitted a beautiful afghan, all shades of green, from dark to light. And I carried it with me, everywhere I went, from room to room in my homes. We all have many homes. Some are waiting to be found.

So, here we are, searching. Our souls are slowly moving a flashlight out over the darkness. Our ancestors have been lighting candles for thousands of years. God knows the apple’s been in play since the beginning. Oh, but the honey. If only the sweetness would cover everything, would last. I remember dipping my toes into water and feeling refreshed, exhilarated, soothed.

This year will either make us or break us. It will take all of our strength just to lift the slice of apple with our fingers, drench it in a bit of honey, and slip it into our mouth. It will be tart and sweet simultaneously. As Jews, we never forget the bitterness; it’s always there. The joy can be elusive at times.

It feels like we’re living out the same story over and over again, peering out into the distance for happiness. It could be there, just over the horizon. It could be hidden within us, because we love. The journey could really be gratitude, and so we’ve arrived.

The challah is our reminder, be grateful. It’s full, like a soft cushion. Don’t be fooled by the harder, outer surface. I tell myself this. It’s our path to joy.

If I could raise my glass, I would wish you a sweet new year. Abundant and precious, filled to the brim with new hope.

COPYRIGHT 2019 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining tothejewishpoetess.wordpress.com

Truth and Forgiveness

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by Dana Janine Diamond

This year
I am starting to forgive
my ex-husband
for all the harm
he did
of course, it is not for me
to forgive
his evil deeds
toward others,
against my child.
and what is real
is that the best chance
he gave me
to forgive
him was in
dying young.
he tortured us
for too many years
and I could click my heels
now that he’s gone.
the rest of you
if you’re still alive
I wouldn’t hold my breath
are we supposed to ignore
the vengeful, angry God
who lives on
in all of us
should we pretend
there is only love
or are we meant
to emulate angels
who never move
their feet
are we never meant
to fly
across the horizon
will we ever see
all that is below and above…
we’re not done yet
so forgiveness is not
on the menu
this year
but I will sing
anyway
because I am moving
we are singing
my lips are praying
I have some measure
of happiness
and that is significant.
just one word
to the…
hey, God,
don’t close your eyes
on us
we have traveled
a year
and we are not there
yet
wondering
are you


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

Prayers for a Queen to step out of her shadow

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By Dana Janine Diamond

Buried
all the pain
but it insists
on climbing through the mist
spectral fingers clawing
peering out of the mud
feeling their way
pulling us back
underground
it’s been more
so much more
it shouldn’t have been
at all
for all the little flowers
emanating light
sending wishes
like honey candles
in the blue, sugared night
I don’t know
if a new sun,
a new year
holds more promises
than the last
I don’t know
if faith works
I don’t know
what hope will bring
all my memories
are here with me now
maybe this is why
we mark time
so we can remember
our parents’ songs
so we can sing
with our children
maybe this year
I won’t be alone
on the floor
of the chapel outskirts
awash in angst and despair
maybe this year
the good
will outnumber
the pain
there is no telling.
All the intellect
and intricate beauty
brings minute comfort
in moments
such as these
the unfathomable
governs
but we rise
by uttering, recognizing,
naming
our blessings
praising gratitude
and abundant, unending love.

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

Tides Against the Shoreline 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

Katie in
The Way We Were
was the first time
I saw myself on screen
my kindred spirit 
in passionate
politics and yearning
for a more fair
and just world
11, about to champion
Feminism
in a big, door to door way

Now we are fighting
a war
we never knew
would be upon us
and I long for
just 
one of Hawkeye’s
wry, comforting smiles
I’m crawling through
the mud, gasping
for any pebble
or lambent bead of light
any way of carrying
on

My daughter
is writing
another book, rich
with friendships and heart
struggles and triumphs
true
love
the imagination gifts us
when memories
collide
and I’m still
so still
writing poems
just as I first did when I was 14

I dreamed of bequeathing
my daughter a heroine
an explorer
a wild water tamer
in a country of poetry
I wanted to gather in
the ocean
just for her
wade through wildflowers
in the tidal marshes
untouched
bathe in incandescence
climbing
strewn on sun-warmed rocks
basking in
southernmost sunlight
sense the salt
in an air with no loneliness

once we swam
the night away
under the moonlight
now we want
to travel the world
away from the deep dolor
of nostalgia
we played Marco Polo
but you grew silent
my heart
is too heavy
with all the myths
lost at sea
where do we belong
longing for passage
home


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

These Days

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by Dana Janine Diamond

My triumphs are small
these days
summoning an expression
of gratitude
even though sadness pervades
invades
catching the joyous 
leap of a deer
in the woods
my dog taking me
farther than I intended
to go

Meditating on love
even in its absence
the loss of the best
of humanity
how to find it again
which of our children
will save the world
as they save us
every single day

Sweet noble knight
found his fair rose
wrote in the language
of love
the largesse of a soul
and spirit
too great to contain
in letters
wandering without borders
wondering without boundaries

Rising up
from all of history
like an exquisite
ceramic decantur
in the dirt of the dig
filling us to the brim
making us more
from the beginning and end

of time
’til this moment

J’accuse
it’s up to us now
to give voice
refrain from averting
our gaze
just a little longer
the ache is too deep
to contemplate

but morning
is the feast
of words, of a
full day of promise
the trick
is to keep traveling
the truth
is to keep
remembering

Sunlight sees us
waking through our day
speaking and writing
and finally believing
loving morning miracles

For Elie, part 1

COPYRIGHT 2016 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  

imgres

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.

alltishabbychic

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.

why20leaves20change20color

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.

etrog

Esrog by Michoel Muchnik

Esrog by Michoel Muchnik

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

Decanting Tu B’Av

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Decanting Tu B’Av

by Dana Janine Diamond

images

I’d like to think of Tu B’Av

as a sacred place,

that space

in the fields

where grapes are stomped

into becoming

the song I pour

down your throat

and mine

our garments intertwined

images

so that no one is seen

as less

and everyone

becomes…

more

lovely in the light

for our hope is full

as the gleaming moon.

Our beauty cannot be stolen                                      images

nor given,

I hope you look deeply for us

in the fields

we are waving

our arms

snapping our fingers

dancing to the ageless rhythm

with our

souls outstretched

to God,

for our lovers

on this earth

hovering near the vineyards

will wrap themselves

around us

the ocean rocking,

swirling side to side                                                         imgres

in the bejeweled glass

waiting to be

lifted

held

tasted

savored

embraced.

Decanting

leaves age and sediment behind

as the sweet scents arise

we choose

to breathe.

At last,

at last

to see

our quiet longing

images

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

Starfish and Stars

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By Dana Janine Diamond                         

My child has been ill

and like the restless harbor

that oscillates

and osculates

there is a deep mystery

that awaits

to be revealed

while we gaze

out to sea

count starfish

and hours

from Chanukah nights

to Purim treats

to Passover days

of sustenance

not fully formed,

wondering why

this difference

where are we going

how will we get there

when will we get there

like children

needing to know.

We sea the stars

keep the moon

in our view

from sliver to whole

and again.

So much cleaning to do

before we ascend,

before we grow,

I ask, is He asking

for her to be well?

Is She praying

for her to have health

and joy and light

and the sweet, slow-made candy

of life?

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