Tag Archives: The Jewish People

J’Accuse 

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By Dana Janine Diamond

Are you impotent
Or did you just
fall down on the job
why does the one thing
in your name
perpetuate so much
evil
pretty soon
looking for the good
will require
a telescope
your city of refuge
has become a country
where women and children
are subhuman
expendable in the name
of raging sickness
and power
asking us to look
the other way
because they’re ‘worse’
than us
so that makes it okay
and across our nation
we send our children
on planes and busses
tourists viewing the ancient
and the quaint
as if what they’re seeing
isn’t actually a living
Holocaust
seething and raging
underneath

While I was praying
you looked the other way
how are you going
to beg
for my forgiveness
this year
every year
how will you
do it
until the end
of time
when the dew drops
I am not going
to humble myself
before such a screw-up
maybe I’ll deign
to go another round
maybe you’ll be dead
in my heart
but if you want to
really be in this world
have a dwelling place
then you better get down
here
and clean up
your own mess

Dieu,
is this really
what you imagined

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

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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

For Three Children

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by Dana Janine Diamond

 

How do I speak

for these three boys?

How does a mother

Cry

for her son?

How does a father

own this sorrow?

We are one, we are one

 

Let us know

no sorrow

Let us bring life

back to life

 

Head over heart

Hand over heart

We all die

a little

inside

from this pain.

 

Would these innocent children

want vengeance?

They were peace-seekers,

their lives were dedicated

to learning the ways of peace.

 

Israel, we are free!

We are the fate

of humanity.

 

You foolish, dangerous despots,

ruled by insanity

you kill

but you cannot bury,

you cannot drive us

into the Sea

For we are the Sea!

 

Let all people

Devoted to Goodness

Let all people

Devoted to Love

Let all people

Devoted to Kindness

Let all people

Devoted to Life

Live

 

Creator of words,

Heal us

Mother of life,

Comfort us.

 

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

 

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

 

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

An Un-Love Song

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by  Dana Janine Diamond


I wake with tears
beneath the clouds

my soul may well have been there 

it’s been a long, weary journey

from the mountain

to hear, to here.

250px-Mount_Sinai_Egypt

I don’t know why she did it

why she converted to this religion

I don’t know why these women

chose a hard life in the corners

of the fields

maybe they just

wanted to be mothers

maybe they just

wanted to be daughters

maybe they just

missed their men

maybe they just

wanted to love

God.

1896JamesTissotRuthGleaning

So we have their story

we have the poem

the love song of all love songs

we were there

when it was written

we were there

when it was told

I have loved

You God

with all my soul                              

I have danced

to Your music

donned the costume

for Your play

I have stayed

the night

many nights

learning Your words

as if by candlelight

I have thrown myself

upon the rocks

for You

I have loved

You

have felt loved

by You

I was Your child

now grown

to half a life


Once a man told me,

one of us is a rock

and one of us is a flower

Damn right I’m a flower.

 

he broke them

he broke them

I woke this morn

feeling the weight

as they came crashing down

I want to dive into the crashing

waves, they’re waving me on

I want to live, to float

not knowing

where I’m going

never wanting to leave

we are the leaves

and the buds

and the honey

and the streams of milk

we are the land and the sea

Rising up to greet us

We are everything

and we are nothing

images 

My heart is heavy

those who worshipped idols

who worshipped the body of

both meat and milk

the cow is a female

but there are those

who do not understand

the precision of language

who do not distinguish

between a cow

and bull

They are here with us now

they are worshipping their cows

they are worshipping their bulls

they are worshipping themselves

they are burning us down

they are dancing around

burning our hearts

img-purim-1

They are false idols in our midst

Our leaders, they have fallen so low

the women wrap

themselves in prayer shawls

and their eyes burn

on the other side

of the divide

the men throw tongues of fire

the women raise their children

and they know not

from where they came

they should have been scholars

they should have been leaders

they should have loved

the children

more than they loved themselves

they dropped us

they stomped on us

they stomped

all over

all over

all over

God.

 

Our dog is barking

howling, growling

driving us mad

he sniffs out a fox

or some creature

he detests

on the edge

of our home

amongst the weeds

there is no peace

in our home

under the trees

we fall

to sleep

we are asleep.

 song-of-songs

I awake

this morn

with a heavy heart

the animals

have taken over

they have made

our children

the sacrifice

for which they received

no commandment

they have desecrated

The Holy of Holies

they have lied

and murdered our souls

I am here to tell the story

to write the poem

To cry, my heart,

To cry, my heart

 

Oh Jerusalem

We are burning

from their fire                            

they have written

a new song

of rage

they remember the fire

and not the sea

they remember the fire

and not the stone

they remember the fire

and not the mountain

they remember the fire

and not the Glory

they remember the fire

and forget the stories,

there is no all-night toil

that can eradicate

the need for justice

 

She is crying in the streets

She is burning to the ground

She is weeping from there to here

muting the trumpets

to no avail

the tears have not,

are not, enough

to drown the fire

there will be no peace

until justice is done.

 

They have forgotten the poem

they have un-sung

our song.

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

Wintry Night

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By Dana Janine Diamond

Winter has stolen
life from the trees
she can only admire
the foliage from afar
the vibrant images caught
in so many pictures
hold no meaning,
the family stories
are hidden
under a fallen bed of snow
that blankets the once fertile
her hand shakes as she absently
smooths her hair
like a leaf blowing to and fro
her shy, uncertain smile
takes over
where raucous laughter
used to live
yet her hug can still offer
a firm grip
I will take my solace in
this small comfort
the intermittent moment
when she knows me
her eyes afire
I blink
it’s gone.

I long for the day
when a blank canvas, a white page
was inviting,
an enticing beginning,
not most of her mind
dark, at the end
of a long night.
I know the story
hers to tell
after she went to mikvah
on the eve of her December
wedding, surrounded
by her mother and aunts
smiling, waiting for the rushing train
to take her home
while icicles formed and froze
on her hair.
The way she told it
I felt I was there

Still, her white hair
is remarkably thick and dense,
as if there should be more
to hold onto in her mind.
It is my hair, my eyes,
my humor, my drama,
my music, my destiny?
How she loves to dance

I will walk now,
see the hills and the many trees,
caress my daughter’s hair,
she has learned to arrange
on her own,
marvel at her alacrity,
cherish her sparkling eyes,
sweet voice raised in song
eitz chaim hi lamachazikim boh,
how we love to dance
I am holding on, holding on
Floating above the trees
Floating on a sea of tears

It must be a wintry quiet
a snow globe shaken
until all disappears
yet she finds contentment
we Jewish mothers
are resilient.
Even when we take leave
of memory,
this is our legacy
we carry, we carry
even when our life
leaves our mind
and life leaves
our womb
never let go, never letting go
and your laughter, our laughter
always

COPYRIGHT 2010 Dana Janine Diamond ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See Copyright Notice pertaining to thejewishpoetess.wordpress.com