July 27, 2020 · 6:50 am
by Brad Jacobson (Columbia, MO)
Down more than one hundred steps
by an old graveyard and a green mountain
resembling camel humps.
A white towel hangs on a hook.
Water drips into a small pool of water
sunken in a cave. A tsaddik is buried here.
Legend says those that immerse
Bobbing in chilly water:
Ad-dah-mah, mah-yeem, shah-mah-yeem.
Earth, water, sky.
I dress without drying off.
In my journal, I write:
My father and I are here together.
Afterwards we walk on the ancient streets of Tzfat
talking and laughing.
My mother joins us for tea.
Brad Jacobson is a volunteer every summer in Israel in the SAREL program. He teaches TESOL at the Asian Affair Center at the University of Missouri, where he has an MEd in Literacy. In the summers he enjoys exploring places with his camera like the Old City of Jerusalem, Tzfat, and the Red Sea where he scuba dives. He has been published in Tikkun, Voices Israel, Poetica, Cyclamens and Swords, and the University of Missouri International News.
“An Afternoon Cup of Tea” is from Brad’s new book, “Lionfish: The Poetic Collection Of A Traveler’s Experiences In Israel,” and reprinted here with the kind permission of the author and publisher.
You can read more of Brad’s poems in his new book. Visit the link to see more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946124648/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860&linkCode=sl1&tag=beeps-20&linkId=b8e4722d77fdd5f0148ae60390d40ec2&language=en_US&fbclid=IwAR3ZBUQsla0CdU7voiaWm5FRPXzEEIglc0tuceGIUFwSsys5u14kBYEscLU
Filed under American Jewry, Family history, history, Jewish, Jewish identity, Jewish writing, Judaism, poetry
Tagged as cave, cup of tea, family reunion, fathers and sons, immersion, Israel, journal, rabbinic legends, tsaddik, Tzfat
July 24, 2017 · 8:33 am
by Janet R. Kirchheimer (New York, NY)
I was eleven the spring my father singed his eyebrows off
while burning down pear trees.
Anne Carson says dirt is a minor thing.
This is not true.
Perhaps she has not seen a string bean pushing
its way up through the dirt.
The Rabbis say that Adam gave names to all the animals,
but do not say who named the trees.
These are some of the plant names I love:
Joseph’s coat, Persian shield, Silver shrub, African mallow.
Once in January, my father woke me at four o’clock in the morning
to help cover the parsley in our garden with blankets.
Frost was on the ground.
Stars, so bright at that time of the year, lit the garden.
In June, I call home to ask my father about the gladiolas.
He says some are coming, some are going.
The Talmud says occasionally rain falls because of the merit
of one man, the merit of one blade of grass, of one field.
Janet R. Kirchheimer is the author of How to Spot One of Us, poems about her family and the Holocaust. Her recent work has appeared in The Poet’s Quest for God and is forthcoming in Forgotten Women. Janet is currently producing AFTER, a cinematic film about Holocaust poetry. https://www.facebook.com/AfterAPoetryFilm/
This poem is reprinted from Mima’amakim with the kind permission of the author.