VII.† Night and Day
The stars set every dawn. Save when the night
is overcastóbut who is haunted by
a starless sky? Not I. It is starlight
that keeps one up all night, having to write,
or pose, at least, with pen in hand, to try
to write. Starlightís like love that way. And I
am always smittenóby the stars, at least.
Of course you see me coping during day-
light hours, but donít conclude that I donít care
for stars, or you. I act because I must:
as pens unpoised will still have much to say,
and stars at noon, invisible, are there.
The star thatís the exception is the sun.
Like true love, I suppose, there is but one.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† óJames B. Nicola
THE STARS ARE HIGH
I guess the stars are high
But I canít see them any more
I saw them once in the field though
When I was my own ancestor
And I am comfortable
In my underground cave
Beneath the city and the tree
With no need yet to be brave.
Before I see the stars again
I must polish my glasses
Here with the glint of the quartz
Amidst the crevasses.
For all of the stars are crying
And one day I will hear them sing
Without any sound.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† --Yaacov David Shulman
Another reason I donít mind the gray
so much is that experience has proved
gray is a mixture of the dark and light,
not the absence of either. This is true
with gray skies as it is with me and you.
And when the grayís dissolved into a day,
the blue seems all the brighter, and Iím moved.
When, rather, it is stirred into a night,
the million trillion sequins in the skies
invite me, like the glimmer in your eyes.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††óJames B. Nicola
Near naps unmap, these shores unmoor: transformed into quondam amphibian, I slip and slide and wade in this wildest of territories, this beach between sleep and waking. Sometimes thoughtoids graze on unfurling fronds, laid back, lazy. Words scamper solitary on the dunes of the mind, playing alone before they get serious and become the dialogues of dreams.† Surely there arenít eleven six-toed kittens and an adolescent dragon† in our bedroom, I must be falling asleep, Iím sentient and sensible enough to murmur to myself.† Before beginning to feed the creatures my fingertips. For nightmares are kenneled on these borderlands too: their fragments uncage, not curled but coiled, goblins in training to be demons.† My plotting sandman gets by the liveried doormen of the sandcastle by pretending to deliver nutritious Chinese food rather than spoiled and spoiling dreams, but† I discover too late that all his white cartons, left at my door, were addressed to Pandora.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† --Heather Dubrow
SHARPS AND FLATS
My thoughts contradict each other,
Not because of their logic
But because they go off in different directions,
The comedic and the tragic.
Because they fly into my skull
And descend into my guts
Because they swing me into extremes
Of chromatic sharps and flats.
And only a man with a spear,
A shield, a powerful stance,
Can welcome these warring contenders
In the arms of turbulence.
As winds collide and rage,
And twist and pull at his eyes,
At their heart he sees their quiescence
And the sun at the core of the days.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† --Yaacov David Shulman
Light and brilliance they say are the signs,
Of† the wondrous, unsullied, divine.
The moon at creation was bright as our sun,
With the light of before this world's time.
The glory of God, so old books foretell,
Will light the whole world without shadow,
In the day of the end, when our eyes will burn,
Splendour's vision to view and to hallow.
The wicked will see the glorious saints,
Who rise to the presence divine,
The deeds of men are lucid and clear,
To the Eye that sees through all time.
†††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††--Michael E. Stone
FOR THOSE LEFT BEHIND
††††††††††††††† "Light is sown for the righteous Ö" (Psalm 97:11)
The light shines orange here.† The light shines green.
The light shines purple here.† The light shines gray.
The light shines yellow as we stand to pray
in silence.† Only silence.† In between
the silences, we look for walls to lean
against, and tzaddikim as well, since they
could say the words of prayer we cannot say.
We look for colors that we haven't seen.
We close our eyes.† The darkness brings us back
to where we were before we sought the light
we seek today.† Who do we find?† The dead
and the living.† Light!† Light!† The light shines black.
The humble and the proud.† The light shines white.
The foolish and the wise.† The light shines red.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† --Yakov Azriel