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





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

Here underground

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 dragonin 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, butI discover too late that all his white cartons, left at my door, were addressed to Pandora.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††                                                                                                     --Heather Dubrow





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,

Ofthe 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





††††††††††††††† "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