Saturday, September 19, 2009

Poem for Rosh Hashanah

Days of Awe
By Alicia Ostriker

we are told to say the following
every day for a month
in preparation for the days of awe:

you are my light my help
when I'm with you I'm not afraid
I want to live in your house

the enemies that chew my heart
the enemies that break my spine
I'm not afraid of them when I'm with you

all my life I have truly trusted you
save me from the liars
let me live in your house

rosh hashanah

the birthday of adam
the innocent earthling
and the day hagar and ishmael
found water in the desert

in memory of whom
mud staining our shoes
water flowing in handfuls
we sniff the smell of living dying things

reach into our pockets
for the bread that represents
our sins, toss it in, praying release
us, help us, forgive us

the river answers
by swallowing our crumbs

do our prayers travel upward
do they defy gravity
like rain splashed on the windshield
of a car speeding through storm

in ten days we will go hungrier
pray harder

yom kippur

we destroy we break we are broken
and this is the fast you have chosen
on rosh hashana it is written
on yom kippur it is sealed

who shall live and who shall die
which goat will have his throat cut
like an unlucky Isaac

spitting a red thread and which goat
will be sent alive to the pit where the crazies are
thread lightly tied around its neck

who will possess diamonds and pearls
and who will be killed
by an addicted lover

who shall voyage the web of the world
like an eagle, and who shall curl to sleep
over a steam grate like a worm

who shall be photographed and whose
face will disappear like smoke

this is the fast you have chosen, turn return
how to turn    like leaves   like a page   like a corner 
what is our knowledge, what is our strength

I am like the stones people place on graves to make them a little heavier
such a stone says, in its oracular way, don't come back or return only as grass
but it is tired of being a stone, it wishes to be open, it would like to be an egg

honeybees manufacture honey, a power station generates electricity
cotton plants extrude smooth fibre, and my cells secrete anger
my mind propagates envy, but repentance, prayer and good deeds   

avert the stern decree,  I am like a ramshackle house during a hurricane
struck by guilt waves and fear waves, the walls could collapse any time
but the foolish old woman who lives there refuses to leave


I had a pretty quiet Friday before Rosh Hashanah. The WSSC knocked on the door at 10 a.m. to tell me they had to shut our water for several hours to repair a nearby water main break, so it's a good thing I'd been in and out of the shower before I started writing my review of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Conundrum" (watched this morning since we were out last night, highly enjoyable after two decades). After I finished the review -- and a co-written project draft that's been in process for weeks -- I tried to catch up on e-mail, though I'm not there yet.

The kids were very happy it was Friday since we're back on school schedule, meaning no video games except on weekends. We had dinner with my parents, which was fabulous -- gefilte fish, matzoh ball soup, chicken, carrot souffle, potato pancakes and more -- and dropped the minivan off for service, which hopefully will include fixing the radio display which right now displays jibberish instead of CD titles or station numbers. Then we watched Due South's "Dead Guy Running," which I didn't think I would like -- I didn't particularly like Weekend at Bernie's, and there are definite parallels -- but it works, particularly since it's so nostalgic for Ray V.

Fannish 5: List the five scariest characters ever. Hannibal Lechter should be on this list but I despise The Silence of the Lambs so much -- and it so revolts me that it won Oscars -- that I don't want to give him that much credit. Darth Vader should be on this list, too, since I first saw that movie in elementary school and his voice alone scared the shit out of me, but George Lucas destroyed him for me in the later (earlier?) trilogy. From the sublime to the mundane:
1. God, Genesis and Exodus
2. The Alien, Alien
3. Sylar, Heroes
4. Dukat, Deep Space Nine
5. The Stepmother, Cinderella

Adam feeds a goat during the summer at Clark's Elioak Farm.

Though the farm is best known for the Enchanted Forest fixtures on display, there are also many animals, including a petting zoo.

This wandering chicken, for instance, was not impressed by Cinderella's coach.

The farm gives pony rides on Picasso, above, and Captain Jack.

The sheep are perfectly willing to be petted so long as they are fed.

This frog is not an official farm animal but lives in the water near Little Toot the tugboat.

This bunny was behind the cornfield near the fairy tale maze in the pine trees.

And here is a butterfly by the pond.

L'shanah Tovah!

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