A poem for #blogElul 16: Understand
A poem for #blogElul 13: Pray

A poem for #blogElul 17: Awaken

Blogelul2014-1AWAKEN (ELUL 17)


Suddenly everything is new.
And these eyes
can't widen far enough
to take in the universe
contained in your heart
spanned with your hands.

There is no word
which means red and green
at the same time
but the apple
cupped in this palm
sings it joyously.

Time eddies and swirls
like the exuberant river.
The new year, the old year
the new year again.
Every instant precious
and then gone.


This poem arose out of the experience of holding a beautiful fresh apple, one of the varieties which is mottled red and green when ripe. I thought I remembered learning at some point that "cinnabar" meant both red and green, but it doesn't; it just means red. And then I thought: there's no word for that, but this apple is manifesting it anyway. It felt like a tiny moment of awakening. Hence the poem.

Shabbat shalom to all!

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.

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