Felice Miryam Kahn Zisken


Almost Shabbat, Jerusalem

Create for me a pure heart , O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10


Friday morning -- writing in a café/ bakery

in Mahane Yehuda shuk, where the Holocaust survivor

cheers himself up, walking in the abundance.


Writing Jerusalem gold, copper, light.

Writing to build upon --

Ma welcomes the Shabbat queen

Dad holds a grape cluster rimmed Kiddush cup,

globe artichokes open the festive meal

"remove choke--the heart is yummy.”

Three-year-old brother wraps a wimpel 

around the Torah scroll.


Writing to highlight the good,

for myself, for the other. If not now, when?

In the face of hard realities, no to despair.

Writing to talk less, construct more

thank God

un-shutter my heart, your heart

our hearts.   






In the Heart of the World


Blue resembles the sea and the sea resembles heaven and

heaven resembles the Divine throne.

 Talmud Sota 17a


In the heart of the world

pupil of the iris

we are part of the larger

ongoing construction


refreshed in the early blue

under and above the sky

we return, and thank You

for the miracle of life.






In Jerusalem on the eve

Pray for the well-being of Jerusalem

may those who love you be at peace.

Psalm 122:6


In Jerusalem on the eve of the New Year,  

honey jars instead of parking tickets—

on the windshield, near the wiper--

greeted our return


to the old Toyota and the new Hybrid

left right outside Dung Gate.

Everyone’s destiny intertwined.


Metamorphosis on our lips.

We can heal with words.

In our hearts, heaven can happen.


Sometimes a little dot lets the sky in.