Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chapter One Proverbs
My soul appears disheveled
As I wear indecision like
Torn garments shredded
Draped over my body
and tied together in knots
Without consideration
To a design that fits me.
This is the life I have led
And yet you speak of the limits
To your wisdom
Which might be lost
If I do find new clothes?

Am I sentenced to live naked
Wandering in a void
Of lifeless energy
Devoid of your counsel
Abandoned and forgotten
As if you had cast me down
To the Sheol of the here and now?

My hands and feet bear
The scars of rusty steel traps
Which you say I set
For myself
Pealing the skin off my bones
Leaving me to hobble down the alleyway
Scrapping through the trash
Searching for the beginning
Of wisdom which right now
seems to be despair.

You talk in proverbs and proclaim wisdom
As if to celebrate yourself
While I say to you that despair
Is what humans need first
To breach the impenetrable wall
Or to puncture the morning fog
That becomes the moment of inconsolable grief and
Rage at the world and myself
Which opens a creaky old door
That I will enter and receive
The proverbial moment of insight
That has eluded me in this journey.

The soul is disheveled
And wears indecision like a torn garment,
Draped over the body,
 Tied in knots
Well suited for the perplexed
Who grow impatient for answers.
Is this the limit to your wisdom,
To let this spirit remain in tattered clothes
Never to wear wisdom’s precious apparel
Leaving this despondent one
At the city’s gates as a beggar?

  The soul is sentenced to live naked,
Devoid of your counsel,
Abandoned, forgotten,
As if you had cast it down
Into the Sheol of the here and now?
Hands and feet bear the scars
Of traps set for myself.
To catch the beginning of wisdom.

The sky rains despair
 The soul is depleted
Dried and parched
Thirsting for the dew
Of the new season
Awaiting your arrival

The soul walks out of step
Wisdom feels like a fleeting shadow
Trailing every thought and movement
Pursuing the embraceable moment
When wisdom and despair unite
Confounding the macabre designs
Of a restless night.

Poem-Chapter Two

You make wisdom sound so simple,
as if I could change myself
like a stream, reversing its course,
rolling over rocks of mistaken judgments.

You speak to me of wonder,
Is wonder a question
that swirls around,
like a pestering gnat  
until I swat it?’
 I speak to you as prey
Duped by my own designs
Where life itself has hunted
Me and I succumb to the kill.
So I petition you
 To remove the torment
Which I carry on my back each day
A bundle of discontent
Weighing down upon my spine.
Is the grimace of a contorted face,
And Blindness to everything but my own suffering,
Deaf to the sound of your call
Tasteless as I ingest your wisdom?

The Aroma of Elul-Proverbs Chapter Four

I visit the spice market in the old city
Carrying a modest pouch
Seeking out the choicest fragrances
Of aromas beckoning
As the Arab merchant cajoles
Me to enter his stall.

It is Elul and the spices emit
A sharper scent than
The rest of the year
That peppers my palate
 In this trading center
 Between confession and forgiveness
As though the time
Of repentance has
Its own flavor of cayenne
Spiced enough to evoke
A tear and balmy to
Revive the memories
Of past deeds.

God loves the pleasing odor;
The ascent of burnt offerings
Soaring heavenward
Swirling into an ecstatic prayer
Penetrating divine nostrils
Leaning back on a heavenly throne
Satiated and content with blissful countenance.

But the passerby
Gazed upon the jars
Inserting his nose
Every so gently
Into the aromas
Where each spice
Is a sanctuary
A whisper of history
A hint of rumination
A pristine temptation.

Elul is a spice of sorts
Masking the odor
Of words which reek
With intent and hide
From the breezes
That fill a room
With a foul trace of deceit.

Elul is the solitary spice
The last kernel of wisdom
Inside the human
Hiding amongst these shelves
Is the cluster of choices
The admixture of what we could be
And the scent of what we have become.

Chapter Three Proverbs
I am praying to you
For this moment of weakness
To cast the fallen branches
Down the river of shame
From which I float leisurely
Seeing that wisdom
Is not in the sky
Nor upon the land
But in the measureless undercurrents
Of life for when I extend
My hand into the ceaseless
Pathway of the lifelike waters
Pushing against primitive instincts
That spiral an uncertain conscience
Down to the very core of thought
And raise it to the summit
Of enlightened sapience
I realize that the possibility
Of being is within reach
And the conceivability
That I could change
The course of an undercurrent
In my life is as a pure
As the vision emanating
 From my eyes piercing
Through these tumultuous waters
Into the river bed
Of this troublesome tributary.

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