Desert-tan (a poem)

dear jesus, help me create

a life that’s noble,

not absorbed in the

hurry of moderns –

not clamoring for my

next fix – let my fix

be you, the real you

desert-tan & calloused feet

from walking miles &

healing wretches like me

(Photo by Robert Thiemann on Unsplash)

The Center of Things (a poem)

i’ve always admired monasteries

monks cloistered from total noise

alone with demons

swimming in silence & striving

for divine union that no one

can name, but only point

to, the center of things,

the seat of the soul

(Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash)

Street Preachers (a poem)

spiritual growth – i used to be preoccupied with it

maybe i still am, fixated on flaws

all the ways i fall short of a standard

even saint francis couldn’t meet

on the streets, i’m incited by insights

from preachers who peddle notions

of salvation & give me holy books

i peruse by glow of lava lamps

in the comfort of compounds

where i keep my secrets

& share my miseries

(Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash)

Shanah Tovah U’metukah

The year 2020 has been a strange year, and so has the Jewish year of 5780.

As the sun sets tonight, we hope and pray for a better year.

What will 5781 bring us? Do we dare to dream of health and happiness?

Or shall we begin to brace ourselves for a long, hard winter?

It is our hope which will sustain us, and we pray for a better year.

5781 brings us hope, and another step closer to coming back together.

Medusa’s Eyes (a poem)

One look into Medusa’s eyes, you turn to stone

as Perseus knows – but the demigod is brave

he must save his princess

there’s no getting in his way

deep in the Underworld, toss a gold coin to

cross the awful river

Medusa slinks + slithers in her temple

‘till he slices off her head

uses it to kill the Kraken –

oh! how the gods play games with us

atop Olympus

one day they’ll pay for this

when they’re gone, forgotten

when we move to monotheism +

Zeus, Poseidon, the rest are studied

instead of worshipped.

(Photo from themarysue.com)

Note: I was inspired to write this poem after watching the movie Clash of the Titans – both the original 1981 version and the remake from 2010.

Shabbat (a poem)

I knew nothing of Shabbat before you

or the prayers we say on Friday nights

as we break off pieces of challah + let the candle

burn all night by the window –

I’m happy you’ve taught me, it’s brought me

a new ritual in this life, the life we share together.

(Photo source: shutterstock.com)

Saying Grace (a poem)

We say grace before meals, give thanks to God

for food in the fridge + what’s set before us

knowing not everyone is as fortunate +

there are some, right here in this city,

who are starving + scraping by –

God, thank you for our daily bread +

nourish those not at our table.

(Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash)

Everyday Saints

I was a mess in college.

Two years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was enrolled at a university in New York with somewhat of a life trajectory, a moral compass, and many good qualities.

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Book Review: The Plague by Albert Camus

I have a (slight) problem with going on book-buying binges. When I feel anxious, sometimes I buy a book. I’ve reined in this annoying tendency recently to cut expenses. But when the pandemic hit in early March, I saw an essay about Albert Camus’ novel, The Plague, and knew I immediately had to read it.

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