Tag Archives: Song

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

Autumn’s travail

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

Hunkering down
it will be a long haul
the elections are nearly upon us
though it’s still warm
almost oppressive
when we take note
fall comes slowly
in the south
leaves just beginning
to blow away
songs are saving us
though there’s a chance 
they might not
get written anymore
for the fate
of the world is upon us
the sadness takes
up all the space
until the show begins
and the comedians and singers
take the stage
if only they knew
the lives they saved
I’m leaving a trail
in the forest
with just the deer
and birds for solace
where will we go
homeless souls
when winter comes

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

To the fields we go

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by Dana Janine Diamond

Summer has ended
the cool air lasts longer
on my morning rambles
the sun feels calm and pleasurable
even without the cover of shade
or thick foliage
I’m attuned
to the wind’s whisper
singing her inspiration
mildly mesmerized by
the yellow and white wildflowers
reaching upward,
the big sky and open space
are the keepers
of my perspective
for years I’ve waved
to the King in the fields
listened to the stories
hummed the melodies
so quietly
cried and shouted
to the tall weeds
in my heart
beseeched the nearby King
for Mercy
and now that we have
a new beginning
it occurs that perhaps
the metaphor is turning
the Queen is in the fields
beckoning, twirling
she’s been dancing since Tu B’Av
She’s calling for us to rise up
to Elul, to know our worth
this year, to measure ourselves
in love
we can sound new notes
the world has been waiting for
turn tradition on its ear
the female sheep, the lovely ewe
has horns
the best are called Jacob’s sheep
(of course)
though ewe in Hebrew really is
Rachel
so we start with naming ourselves
we begin our own song
understanding that ewe
really means journey

 

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

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,

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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,

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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