I First Sight
The wadi walls cut deep by time
rise steep and tall to greet the sky,
the furnace sun its desert bakes
while cooler shade invites men climb
their welcome depths, a watchful eye
required. Apart, one man forsakes
the fellowship of tea and talk
with those who follow his command.
Yakov, does not let down reserve
at once, but schemes the paths to walk,
observes a dangerous lay of land,
he has not come so far on nerve,
alone. His pensive face belies
the turmoil flaming native wits,
"How could brief moments at a well
rampage an ordered mind that tries
control without effect?" She fits
the dream of love for life, Rachel!
II First Sister
These posturers who rule the land
who life and death decisions make
care not a fig for woman's heart,
but flaunt their power to demand,
obey, or lock away, then take
a sister's place to play the part
of loving wife, the bridal night.
No word till dawn did Leah speak
that Yakov know it was not I!
Purporting she by father's fright
was mute, but sister was so weak
with stolen husband she could lie,
and know no shame! Yes, Yakov, too
I blame! Though not alone since when
we spoke as water slaked the thirst
of flocks, how could beloved's view
though dark of night, no message send
by touch or smell, of plans reversed?
III First Sons
The dreamer's staircase to the stars,
the seven years plus seven more
a price for me he gladly paid,
the earnest heart that nothing scars
nor time erodes its fervent core,
in all his timeless love displayed.
All, Leah, Zilpah, Bilhah, too,
gave birth, a barren womb was mine
till Joseph blessed. As if his first
born son, his father would accrue
the fruits of his delight, consign
to me the toast assuaging thirst.
Forgotten now my father's hand,
the years of wait, the barren state,
remembered more this second son,
a gift to His beloved man,
the favor of a promised fate,
of Yakov's seed, the Anointed one.
IV First Silence
The sound of Death is not a kind
of raging wind, or battlefield
where life in unbelief runs red.
It is the silence left behind
when joys of sharing at last yield
their memories to hopeless dread.
The midwife sounds a newborn child,
the joy short lived, when death the price
of life. When two are joined in heart
and mind, if Fate divides, defiled
the day, deprived the night, advice
despairing, done its giving part.
Who wrestled Life throughout the night
cannot with Death. An Ephrath cave
contains remains of finite love,
but in my heart she will delight,
commemorate the joy she gave,
till Rachel greets Yakov, above.
Women of the Word
Poems From the Goober Tree http://nathoo.wustl.edu/goober_tree.htm
[This message has been edited by H. Arlequin (edited 11-14-1999).]