Whispered In The Wind

Whispered In The Wind
Just a fairy blowing in the wind, singing tales to the west wind

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Last Time We Were Human

Written this summer in Prague, in Pinkas synagogue, part of the Jewish quarters. Pinkas is a memorial to all that were lost from Prague lost in the Holocaust. The names of all the dead are written in red along the walls, while a voice plays on the speaker chanting the name as if they are the words of a Hebrew prayer. The Jewish quarter in Prague was preserved by Hitler, he planned to make it a museum of the extinct race of Jews.
But instead, I'm still standing right here.

When was the last time we were human?
These red names across the wall,
Don't you know
these are my people
and they're asking when was the last time we were human
when was the last time we were people
Today, today, my people are human
these names on a wall
no, so much more
my history, our history
our tears

And I'm not the first to sit crosslegged on our synagogue's floor
Wondering can you hear me?
I'm trying to hear you through
this memorial to life, this memorial to death, your names playing through my ears
Lord, these are the names of my people

And they preserved this synagogue to be a museum for an
extinct race
those Jews of long ago
But no.

I will take these names, write them on my arms
Lowenberger, Lowenbein
for Josef and Janeta, for Pavel
the Lowenbergs the Lowensterns
For the Marburgs and Gerta
The names of my people,
the people I stand among
The ones I stand for

There is no apology, no explanation
for the darkness inside a human soul
But my name isn't on these walls
and sometimes I think it's only because of
a on a twist of fate
as simple as a lock turn
or the tower's time hand

But this isn't simple
I can not consecrate this pain
make ravaged souls holy
Because all I know is how to hold a pen
That I write for you, that I write of you

Because we can not forget, we do not forget
we will not forget
the death, but more importantly the life
of my people
the names inside this synagogue
I will not forget my people

And I know that these words on a wall, these words on my page
they aren't enough
But they're something
Life after fire
growth within ash

And these words aren't human
but a promise of our humanity
Because they ask me when was the last time we were human?
And all I can respond is
today, today,
today my people are human.
Today, I'm human  

(artwork by Janis Yerington, my mother, for my bat mitzvah)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Backyard

My backyard consists
of fishing ships and gold shoes
the way waves tumble over the sand
desperate to feel the press of land
a little white and orange dog
that yawns like a wookie and sleeps like a teddy bear
rocks warmed by moss
pebble shapes holes in the beach
a city scape outlined by fog
blackberries tied to bushes
and dewey spider webs
My backyard is full of cliffs and scruffy hair
little brothers with soft tummies
Where I walk the concrete is a little uneven
and step on a crack and you'll break your mother's back
Heron's tip toe by and seals stare at you from
inside the sea
There's sea glass here and out of tune guitars
Hooded sweatshirts lean against the spray painted sea wall
fog rolling out of their mouths
playing scratchy tunes out of blown speakers
Seagulls drag their ankles through tides
and shoes fall in discarded pairs
girls grow up sad and strong
rocked to sleep by crashing waves
and babies breath salted air
In my back yard,
jungles are made of library drop boxes, abandoned blue chairs and hiking gear
people tumble out of buses and into seaweed
Gardeners aren't hard to find
in my back yard
ones without weed wackers and shears
just strings and brushes and dried up pens
Ones who always let the dandelions grow
and walk along the edges of the sea

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "

"I want warm summer nights, to lie in a hammock, staring at the stars, telling you stories. "
"When asked not to make waves, I just smiled and said, don't worry this is just a ripple"