Tag Archives: Pregnancy

Backfired

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911-Memorial-WTC-Footprint

by Dana Janine Diamond

 

 

Oh, no, you have not been a blessing

to man or woman kind,

to my kind

the Jew

you want to annihilate

with your policies, deeds,

words that wish

to exterminate

the truth

of the everlasting, eternal Lord-driven people.

 

It’s been twelve years, four months, and one day

I remember

the smoke and screams

coming out of my television,

over and over and over

again.

 

My ex-husband’s ex-wife called

when I was still married

to tell me urgently

turn it on, to see

the death and destruction

of such shocking proportions

it had to be…

the abyss, the void

 

I hear their hearts beating in fear

I hear the beating flame of their hearts,

I hear the flames beating against their hearts,

I hear their hearts exploding into flames.

 

Living next-door to

the Simon Wiesenthal Museum

we thought we could be,

we thought we were next.

 

And though, here we are

some twelve years, four months, and one day

later,

the world forgets.

 

I was admitted to Cedars-Sinai

a day later

for dehydration

(who could get enough water

when too many stars

rained down from the sky?)

The hospital halls

were stretched with stretchers

filled with vast wells of

pregnant women in Los Angeles

too thirsty to give birth,

mourning, mourning for New York.

 

Oh, how I long for Marjorie

and her, my innocence.

 

And so I see you build

your lies, carefully placed,

penned, stroked,

as bearded commentary

in certain circles

or blatantly shouted

from the noxious, mad

lines in your mind

and they all fall in line

to snap their fingers

as in days of old

before I was born, anyway.

 

Take your Jew hating, Israel hating, lying lines

Take your art, your poems, your songs, your dance

Take your mayoral aspirations and misappropriation

of both busboys

and poets

Take your pseudo-liberal, new, cool, fake

Take your readings cum auto-de-fe’s

Take your self-proclaimed, self-named blessing,

Take your age-old misogyny and hate

(Oh, are we not supposed to talk about that when you’re the man?)

and, well,

shove it into the ground.

 

You abandoned your children.

You abandoned your soul

and all those who read you

should ask themselves

how much hatred of self

are they willing to put up with?

 

I am a Jewish woman,

I love Israel,

I love my people,

we are the definition

of good people

we are the

people of the book,

we are the writers of poems alive throughout time,

read today across the world,

as we pray for peace,

we are the hope.

 

And today, my daughter lives, writes, sings.

 

 

Written upon the demise of a poet…

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

 

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Bobbing for Apples in Hard Times

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           by Dana Janine Diamond

I’ve had a craving

all day

for a cup of red lentil Minestrone

at the Eden Cafe

I’m immersed in Hass’s

The Apple Trees at Olema

chosen because it’s

Rosh Hashana, the new year.

My head is leaning in

taking poetry by the teeth

spooning on honey

from the sorrel tree,

to infuse, offer

succor from its redolence,

traveling through the spicy sagebrush

as I savor silky leeks, savory tomatoes, and soft sweet potatoes.

We tatterdemalion, pretty poets,

who wouldn’t want to be,

ahem…read a Poet Laureate?

I have to write

while I still have time

it’s the night

before Yom Kippur

have I awakened from our dream?

A blond-headed girl suddenly

lets out a loud, piercing sound

a unison call of the whooping crane,

startling me from my reverie,

her father glances at her,

“I’ll behave, Daddy,” she says.

I smile in complicity,

wishing to emit

letters from the arc of the ellipse

to sing us from slumber,

a parade of others

with downs syndrome, autism, special needs,

whatever we call different these days,

stream by accompanied

by guffaws, utterances, greetings

the girl and I wave,

Rebecca, I discover,

she boldly walks over, shakes

my hand and introduces herself.

“Now you know me?”

“Now you know me.”

“Now you know me!”

She exclaims with her hand on her heart.

Hope has arisen in mine,

a blessing from her pristine, holy soul.

I feel purified,

my metaphorical crumbs

swirling in the creek

for symbolic birds and swift fish to feed,

the hush of moving water

slips in between

peaceful pebbles,

tangled branches of leaves still green

hovering, these souls

marching before me

are my mikveh,

a second time in, and

tashlich revisited, revolving…

spinning sins into kindness,

these angels limping, helped along

by watchful parents, unsure aids, silver walkers,

their lopsided smiles

only only only

because the world is turned

upside down,

a dream within a dream.

An old man, stooped over,

his back curved into a hump,

is carefully washing a container

in the sink at the condiment station,

not shy, a large lime green kippa

clipped merrily atop his head,

above a twinkle in his eye,

a wild printed shirt and wide plaid pants,

cinched in with care

in contrast to his frail body,

something in his air

evokes Elijah, hints

at a hidden tzaddik;

despite his garish ensemble,

he manages to retain his dignity

as he shuffles lightly to his table,

in a honeycombed rhythm,

a kind of remembered grace

enhancing his step,

I close my book,

ready myself to leave,

resolve not to miss

my chance

in the Book of Life,

I wish him a Sweet New Year,

pause as he looks up,

no Tamerlane moment here,

he reveals his toothless grin,

responds, “You sure look beautiful tonight.”

“Why, thank you, um…what’s your name?”

“It’s Bob.”

“You’re real sexy,” he continues,

“Can we have dinner sometime?”

Shaking my head, I turn to go,

(I, who am covered head to toe)

turn again, “how old are you,

if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Old enough to know better

and young enough

not to give a damn!”

He interrupts his chortling

to add, “85!”

Ah, I see where I’m headed, Bob,

but I’m not there yet.

He reminds me a little

of my father, of blessed memory,

who would have turned ninety-three

this Yom Kippur,

what was that like for his mother, I wonder,

to be in labor, give birth, on the holiest of days…

he came to me once in a dream

he was floating in a canoe

on the stillness of the lake

tendering words of fatherly love,

in life, he talked of the future,

in death, he spoke only of the present.

And birth and death and the small

i in between,

begs the question,

are we as we seem?

I’m in love with truth,

if you can’t speak it, be it,

don’t waste my time, know

I will not forsake my birthright,

mine is a poet’s birthday, a poet’s namesake,

and tonight, the apples, an auspicious beginning.

*Written Eruv Yom Kippur 5772, October 7-8, 2011 (the week of Steve Job’s passing.)

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

 

Her Laughter

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     by  Dana Janine Diamond 

Shabbat is half a day away and the full moon is shining brightly, directly above our window. God is smiling on us as Fall turns to winter and we are floating like the harvest colored leaf, up to the light in the sky. Her laughter is in my heart. She laughed within herself. Was this her brilliance, her modesty? We are the deep, the divide, the mystery of mysteries. And our laughter, what do You and you make of this? Is our sweeping sound our deepest truth?  An expression of our awe, humility, incredulity, the foreshadow of the pain of birth. A deep inhale in preparation for what comes next.

Our mother wants us to laugh, our mother wishes us joy before the day begins. There’s no man in the moon, silly story. It’s our mother, the gentle tug of the tides, bathing us in laughter. It’s within her and within us. So much we must keep to ourselves, we all live in secrets but this, this, this, we can share. She is sharing her moment with God, she brought the Almighty humor into the world with her laughter, and so begins the birth of joy. The cachinnation that births a nation. We celebrate, we light the light, as she foretold the parting of the waters, in her dialogue with God. The ironic, iconic, twist and we’ve come through, the bellows of her laughter echoing in our memories, the chord that ties us to her love.

Even late into the day, at the end of the night, we still hear her after all this time, this waiting. Even as the leaf leaves the tree in the lighter light, carried away in the arms of the wind, and snow readies itself to purify. Even now, it is not too late. Rejoicing waits for us. And the muse of amusement is missing us. We pine, we long to fly up to the moon. And the laughter, the laughter, the laughter is our knowledge, our deepest expression of our truest truth. And she laughed, for she understood more of God, she knew Avraham and the world a bit better. The infinite howl, the chortle, guffaw, the giggle, mirth, the peals, the glee and the great Tee Hee! The insight, this is her gift, a mother’s gift that precludes all words. So we know, once and for all, we are born in joy by the light of the moon and all the stars in the sky.

detail from The Wedding Candles by Marc Chagall, 1945

Detail of The Wedding Candles by Marc Chagall, 1945

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