A poem for #blogElul 15: Learn
A poem for #blogElul 17: Awaken

A poem for #blogElul 16: Understand

Blogelul2014-1UNDERSTAND (ELUL 16)

Why sickness, why children
cringing from a blow
or broken by bombs, these
will never make sense.
Why cruelty. Why bar
anyone from the common table.

The sages say the world
was broken from the get-go,
too fragile a vessel
for God's infinite light, but
how can I listen to the news
without shattering further?

Our prayers talk about
who by fire, who by water.
It's the wrong question.
When will we rewrite
the words? The book of life
reads from itself, remember,

and inside is the name
of every living being
no matter our politics.
Our time here is so brief.
Scatter love like seeds.
Stop trying to understand.

I've been trying to draft each day's #blogElul poem a few days in advance so that the poems can benefit from a bit of revision before they go live. I wrote this one some days ago, not realizing that the 16th of Elul was going to correspond to September 11th on the Gregorian calendar. The confluence seems appropriate, though.

I'm participating again this year in #blogElul, an internet-wide carnival of themed posts aimed at waking the heart and soul before the Days of Awe. (Organized by Ima Bima.) You can read last year's and this year's #blogElul posts via the Elul tag; last year's posts are also available, lightly revised, in the print chapbook Elul Reflections.