Monday, September 14, 2015

Rosh Hashana meditations

New years meditations from the new prayer book Mishkan haNefesh

I Was Never Able To Pray
Wheel me down to the shore
where the lighthouse was abandoned
and the moon tolls in the rafters.

Let me hear the wind paging through the trees
and seethe stars flaring out, one by one,
like the forgotten faces of the dead.

I was never able to pray,
but let me inscribe my name
in the book of waves

and then stare into the dome
of a sky that never ends
and see my voice sail into the night.
-Edward Hirsch

  Illuminate the welders in the shipyards with the brilliance of
their torches.
  Let the crane operator lift up his arm for joy.
  Let the elevators creak and speak, ascending and descending in
  Let the mercy of the flower's direction beckon in the eye.
  Let the straight flower bespeak its purpose in straightness--
to seek the light.
  Let the crooked flower bespeak its purpose in crookedness--
to seek the light.
  Let the crookedness and straightness bespeak the light.
-Allen Ginsberg

The Morning Wind forever blows,
the poem of creation is uninterrupted;
but few are the ears
that hear it.
-Henry David Thoreau

I am the blossom
I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years. . . .

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper....

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me. . . .

I am food on the prisoner's plate. . . .

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills. . . .

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden. . . .

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge. . . .

I am the heart contracted by joy. . . .
the longest hair, white
before the rest. . . .

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow. . . .

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit. . . .

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name. . . .
-Jane Kenyon

Migrating Birds
That same spring morning
the sky sprouted wings.
And in its wandering westward 
the breathing sky spoke
the Traveler's Prayer:
"O God,
bring us safely
across the ocean
across the deep waters,
and in autumn return us
to this little country 
which has heard all our songs."
-Lea Goldberg

Love God with your mind:
stay curious, open to questions;
marvel at the wonder of what is.

Love God with your heart:
stay alive to suffering and joy;
yearn for the world that could be.

Love God with your strength:
open your hands and give;
work for the sake of what ought to be.

My Lord is not a shepherd
and I am not His sheep.
No monarch greedy for my prais
is worthy of my prayers.
Oneness that exploded into cosmos,
spun the double helix
over eons of evolution,
made all things beautiful in their time
gave me intellect and initiative
to envision Oneness:
a single chain of life
a single human family
and myself in one part--
responsible and responsive,
member of a people
who dreamed of Oneness,
worked and suffered for its sake,
and still lives in service to that Unity:
This I honor.  This I hold sacred.
-Made All Things Beautiful In Their Time, based on Ecclesiastes 3:11


Haldane Dawn said...

Loved the poems you included from the new Mishkan Hanefesh!

Paul Rockower said...

Thanks! They really made my Rosh Hashana special.