Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Fledgling

Like a newly hatched bird, I crane my neck,
open my beak to life. Quiveringly wet,
I await sun, breeze, and touch of love.

My first nest is a tangle of branches,
bits of fabric, silk, burlap, my mother
father, brothers, sister, all of us hidden
in the boughs of a linden tree.

Quiveringly I say, "Please love me."
Do they hearken? There are times
when I am rejected, unseen, but grub
is provided. I do not go hungry.

Time passes. I quiver with awe, with
delight. Trees are awash in color. I
sing my warbled song to the night.
Will they still hear me calling?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ever, If At All

Can one return, ever, if at all to
a corner, a tree where he swore his love,
to the house of a scavenged photo, to
a beach where beauty danced with light.

Where joy, radiant as the sun pierced a heart,
to a certain corner in Jerusalem?
Rambling down Ramban, swishing along Ussishkin,
then Bezalel, artist of the ark,

King George, Ben Yehuda, a breezy April
day before Pesach. Forty years have slipped by.
Yellow and purple cascading over
Jerusalem stone, plaques announcing streets 

in three tongues: Hebrew with the kindness of vowels, 
Arabic's prancing script, English clear as night,
All three heralding my wayward approach.

In the distance, I see my corner, the
book store, the falafal stand with its wrinkled
man stuffing falafal into pita, 
adding salad, pouring tahini, my

shops laden with shoes, purses, dresses,  
bibles, menorahs, mezuzahs. Tilting
my head, squinting, my heart dancing to a
lost tune, pinching myself, I have returned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Last Night in Tel Aviv

Last night in Tel Aviv, a seaside cafe
eating humus, Greek salad, burning red
peppers, drinking Gamla chardonnay,
crescent moon, shiny black olive sky,

and one lone star beneath her.
You, lone star, you sink into waves,
you, passion fruit moon, you vanish
as though by sleight of hand.

Last night in Tel Aviv, at water's edge,
a father trudges along, son slung over
shoulders like a sack of rice and later,
two horses pass before me and the sky.

Last night in Tel Aviv, could be
Casablanca of '44, no piano,
no song, yet sure wish I could play it again.
And when, if ever, will I return?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sita

Rummaging through sweaters on a sale table
in Birmingham, England, that frothy cauldron
of Brits, Moslems, Jamaicans, Indians
I beheld her.

Rummaging through sweaters of lime, red, blue,
I beheld her - gorgeous, as you might imagine,
Gold hooped earrings, kohl lined eyes, there she was --
Sita -- holding a sweater at arm's length.

Even then, I held no doubt as to the whys
and wherefores of her abduction, nor doubted
I, the surety of her rescue by brave
Rama and Hanuman, his monkey friend.

Sita smiled, her eyes jumped out at me, her
golden earrings shimmered, we exchanged a
few words, small talk -- women in search of a
bargain in the right size and color.

Rainy day in Birmingham, mid July,
and I'm certain as breath coursing through me,
that she was Sita, abducted by Ravan,
restored by Rama and Hanuman, his monkey friend.