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Monday, January 29, 2007

I've made a little change (1st stanza here used to be 2nd to last) -- is this better than before?

There's magic in the world today --
as the city still sleeps
looking plain as usual
tiny angels flutter all about
paving it over with change.
There's magic in the world today --
I can hear it in the wind
splashing against my face
as if to shout "Wake up!"
with invigorating exuberance.

There's magic in the world today --
I can feel it in the chill
making my cheeks tingle
I know if I could see them
they'd be pink as fresh blossoms.

There's magic in the world today --
I can see it on the ground
turning concrete into lace
softening angular edges
my feet walk on clouds.

Dawn rises
on the first snow of the year.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Vessels of Light

This is one from the archives, not the one that I lost and am still working to retrieve. It is based on the same idea as a hebrew song called "Kaylim shel ohr," vessels of light. I don't know the song, but I heard the person who wrote it speak about it. The concept for her song came from [forgot which sefer, I think a chassidic work] who compared the Jewish person to a vessel of light, drawing parallels to other types of vessels of clay, silver, etc. I wish I could remember the original. We took it in quite different directions. Anyway, without further ado:

Deep within you
A G-dly flame burns
Leaping and yearning to make itself known
Covered in layers
Of ashes and grime
Its light to the world has never been shown
It's waiting for you
To polish and clean
The little encasement in which it's confined
Peel away the externals
Scrub out old habits
Though the work may be scratchy and take lots of time
When at last you reveal
The shiny, clear glass
Its glow can shine forth and make the world bright
The purity of an infant
Shining face of a tzaddik
Can be yours, too, when you release the light.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Writer's Block

No, that's not the title of my next poem. Or who knows, maybe it will be. But not tonight.

Tonight I am feeling blah because I lost my next post. It's been about a week now and I've almost given up hope of getting it back. I will give it one more try, though, and post the result, PG.

You see, it came to me in a "moment." The poem was in the moment. Or perhaps I should say the moment was in the poem. I mean that it wasn't something I worked at and developed-- it just came and started blossoming in my mind, line by line, editing itself as it went.

Of course, this happened on the street, in between two tight appointments, and by the time I caught my breath and took out my notebook....

And I've been feeling uninspired ever since.
At least I still remember the idea. It's just that the words aren't coming back. The only words I can think of now sound fake and forced because I'm not in the moment anymore. I have but one encouraging thought: From my experience as a perfectionist, I have found that sometimes even when I am dissatisfied with my mode of expression, people are impressed with my ideas. So even though I will know how naked the idea feels in its new form, there is still some hope.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Raw poem [untitled]

This one is brand new, completely unedited yet. It was one of those times when an idea comes just as I'm getting ready for bed, and though I was falling asleep already I couldn't let it go. I ended up just writing the whole thing then, with no energy to think it out, so this was quite an experiment for me. Actually, it ended up converging from three totally separate ideas, so I'm not quite sure how well it works... Please let me know!

I traveled from Egypt
some time ago
followed my soul
into the desert
and into the sea.
I sang by the shore
the song of survivors
seeing the wonders
You made for us then.
The tune still resounds
in the depth of my heart
stifled for now
exiled once more.

On foreign soil
I cast away
my instruments
fearing I would never sing

With time I healed
and saw the truth,
remembered Your promise.
The time is not now
but I will keep my music ready,
carry it with me in my desert wanderings.
I will teach it to my daughters
and show them the miracles
that echo through the ages
so they will know You
when the time comes.

Now we wait
stumbling through the darkness
hastening last minute details
for soon, soon
the curtains will rise
and we can burst forth with song
to You.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Cover of my novel

I'm not sure why, but when I was younger I had almost this exact image in mind as the cover of almost every fleeting novel-idea that came up. (I discarded a lot of ideas before I wisened up enough to realize I'd regret it...) First it had a sillouhette of a girl at the end of the dock, her hair and skirt blowing in the wind. Next it didn't. Then it had two people side by side... Sometimes the sun was setting or rising. Sometimes the dock was a completely blacked-in sillouhette.

Anyway, none of the stories made it, and I completely forgot the whole idea. It's been a very long time. It just came rushing back to me when I saw this picture on my friend's camera.

That's all.