Where Was Your Watchman?

By the shores of Galilee, in Acts, after I thought you a gardener

in Gethsamane, stone rolled away as the angels cried dead bread

and maggots no more, the worms of Hades crawl blessed in soil

under the leaves you pluck, cursed figs still sweet on Yeshua’s lips,

the sand is bright, the waves lap like a man at his women’s sex the

white shore, and my footprints besides yours are washed away in

lunar tides.  We sit sewing cloth for the disciples, shrouds to remember

you by, and I Magdalene witnessed you first rise from the grave, held

you close as I burbled a brook pouring from your heart, and Rabboni,

you said: Woman, do not cling to me.  Were you teaching me how to

grow old without you?  The sun is setting, Rabboni, the ocean wind

is salty like a fish, and I crave only your blessing, and I want only you.

Thousands of years pass, but somehow the memory is fresh as a wound.

I rub salt in my stigmata, salt of the earth, light of the world, and I wince,

and I starve, and  I beat myself scourged, a festering pus-filled whore,

and I am only ruined out of love for you, your qadesh, o my Lord.

So quickly, cast the seas to drown me on the shores of Galilee.

I would but swim in your enigma, and drown in your undertow.

Fisher of men, take the reel, hook my mouth, and pull out

an Alleluia.  I have Hosannas enough for all time. I have thread

and needles for our garments of skin, and it all began

in a

Garden.

 

Right?

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In the Shadow of the Cross

Weeping wood, burls of blood, I see an arc of ancestors,

a Jacob’s Ladder from my Jesus’ brow, back into Avram’s

bosom.  This tree without leaves will bear only gory fruit.

Water and wine, and these punctured feet I clutch, oh how

visceral the silver nails stab into Godly flesh, moldy bread.

They will say I was taken up by angels and did not putrify.

But penitent in the desert, I was a corpse, and my seven

devils taught me philosophy, arithmetic, divination, magic.

There is always a Sorceress at the heart of every story, a

prophetess, whether Daughter of Zion or Morgan Le Fay,

and at Bethany in my sister and I’s house, Martha baked,

and I listened to Gospel, and I anointed with myrrh saved

for three years, cost a fraction of the tribulation to come.

And now the angel of my better nature is suspended between

what is and what is not, and I am Eve in his skin cloth, wasted.

I will drink my fill of Him in time, but grow old and cold.

At the foot of the cross is a shadow, it says, be fruitful and

prosper.  But mine is a covenant of wicked delights, found

at epileptic fits and bipolar highs and lows, and only cool

hands of thunderclouds can ease my sorrows, in his Death

and Ressurection, there was a voice of mice within me: oh

Miriam: be bold.  Live like Gabriel’s trumpet is lowing, take

your words as swords and preach in the desert, they will

call you a whore and heretic, but my Qadesh was my goddess

once, and I Michael tell you, better to have tasted the parting

of love and buried your father, brother, and son, then to never

know the shadow of the cross.

The Ocean of Tears, The Lake of Memories, and the Heart of Heaven

Tears are holy, and at the heart of Heaven, is the Ocean of Tears from Chassidic myth. Michael tends it, and I always grewing up calling it the Lake of Memories. Heaven is lovely, from Metatron’s library to Uriel’s beaches to Raphael’s nursery to the Tree of Life, but I have always found the Ocean of Tears to be the most holy of places, and it is the first place I met Michael at twelve. Neshama Carlebach set it to song, and I like to think the holy dead are on its shores. Scars like the Holocaust, which I as a German woman know all to well, and I like to think of the victims of it are in the forests and fields and beaches of Heaven, at rest with Adonai, at peace. The souls I have had the pleasure of meeting are, but there are tears in Heaven, and there is still sorrow even at the Heart of God’s Land.

“The time came when Reb Yitzhak died. His son Mendele kept expecting to hear from his father in some way, even if just in a dream. No message came so about a month after his father’s death Mendele went to visit the Kotzker Rebbe to ask why he had not heard anything. The Kotzker Rebbe said that he too had expected Reb Yitzhak to contact him from Heaven and when he heard nothing he decided to go to Heaven to find him. He looked in all the palaces in Heaven and found no Reb Yitzhak. Desparately he went to the angels and asked. From them, he learned that if he wanted to find his dearest friend, he would have to search for him in a dark forest at the farthest end of Heaven. He mustered all of his strength and entered the forest. Finally he came to the end of the forest and saw a huge ocean. Leaning on a walking stick, staring out over the vast sea, was Reb Yitzhak. The Kotzker Rebbe rushed to him, embraced him, and asked what was happening. Reb Yitzhak pointed at the ocean and said: “Don’t you recognize this ocean?” Kotz replied: “No, what is it?” Reb Yitzhak said: “This is the ocean of tears. In it are all the tears shed over the centuries by God’s Holy people, the community of Israel. I can not leave this dark place. I spoke to God about the countless people who’s suffering this embodies. When I left, I vowed to God that I would not leave this place until he has wiped away all the tears of our people!”

Eclipse Heart

In a tower locked away from whispering woods
the princess slept, necrotic heart, dragon
curled around her castle like an ampersand.

The knight braved the rose thorns, crept
into the tower, and cooked up his heart
as her vittles. Heart of a sparrow, heart
of a dove, heart of a raven, hearts turn.

And so she at Fafnir and Zagreus’ heart.

And twice-born was she, eclipse heart.

Sun and moon on her breast, resplendent.

And she awoke from the dream, and she
longed.

Knossos

Dance of stars, sages in the sky
Apollo and Artemis let forth cries:
“What hope blossoms here, golden
honeydew sweet? From the teat of
hamadryads comes such a treat!”
And I am Zeus in lightning glory,
one with stormy sun, my brilliance
undeniable, like fire Prometheus won.
And in the small town of Knossos,
comes forth my birth, colossal Titan
who would topple the sky.

Vaudeville Kings

Dancing in the grips of the hurricane,
dark doo wop, bones of warriors turmoil
on this carnival ride, the mummer king
and crimson knight ride the roller coaster
of my heart as the storm crescendos, in a
ragtime vaudeville abandoned, stage, caress
the angels of our better natures and demons
suckle at witch teats, Satan’s spear and
Michael’s sword are long as providence and
perdition, spelling out roods, daydream, doom.
Be born in me, oh Plague Mary. May lightning
impregnate we with the motherless child, cast
to the trickster’s highway in cradle fallen
with a third of the stars, languid honey tears
I will weep as I give my babe to the jackals,
and the kings of my heart choose to burn eternal
for some sense of justice or repentance beyond
human machinations, I am not brave, I’ll never be
the only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy, I’m
just a girl, nothing more, but I am willing, I am
yours.

Too Early Dawned

Great burl on the tree, render my plea
up to the honey of heaven beyond seas
of poison, plains of despair, in the air
is a promise, calm before storm, born
into providence in a bed of rosy thorns
lays the stillborn hope, too early dawned.

Saint George

The cock crows, the midnight ghosts

arise to haunt the day. Lance at ready,

golden visor gleams, all Heaven’s hosts

follow as you charge forward steady.

White mare, red bands of cloth, fire

in amber eyes, deep is this Saint George

fury sundering apart the demonic impure

and for the death of evil I sing my dirge.

But what is on the horizon? A ship of silver

to board and boast of deeds long done.

We board and sail off, the moon a sliver

and know that our charge’s peace we’ve won.

Gold’s Delight

The elegance and eloquence of placid rain

Brewing winter storm, frost musk dusk in

your hands. The world your wide cup, blue

flame engulfs me in purifying downpour. I

sip at the heart of your divinity and seek out

the treasures of Saint George, holy lance.

The Dragon tempts and teases – knights are

jackasses in a can, but you with clarion blade

will not be prodded by the Beast. And so you

clear a kingdom for me to rest in, provincial

town of somnambulent wonder, and by my

side, you stand tall all night. For Michael, truly:

You are Gold’s Delight!