Dreamland (a poem)

just before slumber

there’s a moment between

dream & wakefulness

a hazy realm

eyes closed

your smelly dog

at the foot of the bed, growling

the moment happens

in milliseconds

you fall into dreamland

shifting sands

awake to sunlight

peering through heavy curtains

a new day – but

are you still in dream?

this whole thing may not

be what it seems

(Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash)

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

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Valley of Shadows (a poem)

He traversed the valley for days

seeking the ancient one who’d provide

nourishment to his ailing soul

words from a holy mouth that

would unlock secrets of his inner-being –

sloshing through thick mud, the traveler perceives him

through the fog –

the figure of the ancient man

glowing, golden in the valley of shadows.

(Photo by John Joumaa on Unsplash)

The High Priest of Saturn (a poem)

The Hight Priest of Saturn tends to his parish –

you didn’t expect to find him here

hidden in this Rust Belt town

a town eager for rebirth

a town that’s lost its youth

who’ve fled the flaking steel mills that die

on the banks of the purple river –

The High Priest of Saturn expects a successor

someone to continue the cleansing

the vicarious pleasure of standing

before Saturn, our merciful Maker.

(Photo from sciencenewsforstudents.org)

Note: This poem was inspired by High Priest of Saturn, a musical group self-described as in the psychedelic doom genre. I’ve been listening to more groups like them lately, so I guess the cool band name was caught in my head!

The Golem (a poem)

A golem without a master is like a key without a lock

the sorcerer created her, this woman made of clay

now she’s gone astray, wandering New York’s streets

without a purpose –

a golem is made to obey + without a command

it scarcely knows where to stand, desires pushing it

to + fro until someone says the magic phrase +

it disintegrates into dust.

(Photo source: Wikipedia)

Note: This poem is inspired by The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 novel by Helene Wecker, which I’m currently reading. One of the main characters in the novel is a golem – a mythic creature in Jewish folklore.

The Snow Leopard (a poem)

Paw prints in snow point the way to the snow leopard

she hides in plain sight, her camouflage makes her a ghost

on these rocky mountain trails – we track her, to no avail

we only want a glimpse of this mythic creature

catch her on film + show her to the world in all her feline glory –

the stories of locals add to her legend

we walk for miles over many months

when we finally see her, we witness an apparition,

only to fade into the wilderness + white peaks of Chinese terrain.

(Photo source: © Mohammad Osama / WWF-Pakistan)

Note: This poem was inspired by a nature documentary Rachel and I recently watched on Netflix called Ghost of the Mountains. A team of filmmakers track the snow leopard in the mountains of China in the documentary, enduring brutal weather and high altitudes in an attempt to capture the creature on film. We highly recommend the movie!

The Poet’s Curse (a prose poem)

You humiliated the Netherworld Poet + now you must pay – the only way to avoid his curse is to sacrifice your first-born son. The Poet cackles like a hyena on arid plains of this sun-soaked frontier – you dared question his knowledge of tribe + kingdom that’s your birthright to lead.

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Soul Snatcher

The soul-snatcher glared at me from the dusty street corner with fiery orange eyes, his hands cupped over his mouth because of the early morning cold.

I had been out late that night, and I was returning home a little tipsy.

“Hello there,” he said. “Looking for your fix?”

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Come My Beloved

Love is one of my favorite topics.  If I’m ever asked to write or talk about anything, somehow love slips into the topic.  I mean, doesn’t “love lift us up where we belong?” The next topic, which honestly is the core to the first topic, would be that of God.

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