Birthday of the World


I used to send so many cards

With shofarot and honey jars,

Cezanne pink apples, purple wine,

Or Cubist style six pointed stars,

And wishes for a sweet New Year

With safe progression through the fast;

The first class stamp, the letter box,

Equipage of the recent past.

Now I customize and click,

An inbox blinks, a mobile chimes

‘Shanah tovah’ across the world,

As spoken too in ancient times.

The year begins; we know the taste,

The harmonies, the sense of awe,

Remembrance and rimonim,

The Written and the Oral law.

Our names are in the Book of Life

Inscribed, not tapped by SMS,

We think God may not be online

And heaven has no e-address.

The world, they say, was born this day

With quarks and photons at the birth,

The angels watched and voiced their doubts

At God’s creation of the earth.

They saw the holy algorithm,

Shattered vessels, spilling light

The forward march of endless time

And day, the firstborn child of night.

September 2016

B’Ezrat Hashem [1999]

Rosh Hashanah
Like a beggar at the Western Wall
I approach the Days of Awe
Greedy hands held out for more
May the Creator hear me call.
Like an infant at the breast
With ferocious appetite
I come to Rosh Hashanah night
Prepared to utter my request.
Everything lovely I require
Pleasure joy fulfillment ease
In abundance to appease
The long mourning of which I tire
Surely I am not to blame
In presenting my petition
If it is a sin of commission
May He hear me just the same