Tag Archives: Soul

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

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

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

Dream America 

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By Dana Janine Diamond 

What has become
of our country?
Why are so many
hanging on
the every word
of a madman
What is the soul
sickness that plagues

God, I miss daisies
and kindness
on the summer lawn
fruit pies, flags, and
the band
the hazy, beautiful memory
of who we once were

We might not
know the answers
for years
to come
24/7 tells
us less than
an investigation
or a simple
mental health diagnosis
like when his psychiatrist
said, ‘If you stay,
he won’t stop
trying to kill you,
he hates his mother,
and you’re here.’

Bring us
the grace
out on the water
bring us
the light
out to sea
give us the
sweetness of
the farmed land
elusive serenity
let our Plains
sing
and mountains
tremble,
as we gather
in their shelter
bring us the love
bring us love
we need to pray
for love

lay the dark down
aren’t we just exhausted
from it all

Raise your hand
if you’ve lived
through this before
now America knows
what it’s like
to endure
domestic violence
stop
the
abuse
stop
letting him
berate us

I once was on
the lam
with my infant
in my gold
mini-van
for 100 days
hiding from the
crazy, violent man
I had pledged
my allegiance to
the police
said my home
was no longer
safe and secure
mezuzah, talismans,
and candles
notwithstanding

Dear America,
tea partiers, hemp fans,
middle road warriors
time to call
it a day
let the sun
set on this son
a lot of these
men are confused
they don’t recognize
what’s happening

It’s painful and sad
the loss of a dream
but we must
rally and overcome
pick up our babies
and go
we will love
our way
forward

This poem was originally published in Times of Israel on August 4, 2016. 

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/dream-america/

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

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