Water-color like image of a pink flower, green leaves, leafless tree trunks in grays in the backgroundDigital Art

Winter window—a poem with art

Winter window

Outside the opportune window one pink
head survives above geranium leaves
blowing in the winter wind, covered with
cold rain dropped from dimmed desire. The basil
released its hope in the face of the war—
forces of December and January—
mere stalks rising above the window box,
darkly silhouetted, backlit against
blind clouds.

                  And drought dropped across the shoulders
of Judea, Samaria's back—the
Occupied West Bank. It fell off the head
of the Galilee, the Golan Heights' arms—
all collapsing to dust beneath war's weight.
The Negev desires its few drops, water,
not blood.

                  This cold rain has its soft purpose,
offers some possibilities—for all
thirst, for all dry mouths—soothing rain will fall
to redeem the seeds that can still grow,
fresh dreams of seven promised species,
land with milk and honey flowing between
strangers and cousins who light bonfires for
warmth, not war—a light unto all nations.

                                                                        —Michael Dickel
                                                                             December 2015 (Link to Guardian article for background)
Water-color like image of a pink flower, green leaves, leafless tree trunks in grays in the background
Winter Window
digital art from photos
@2015 Michael Dickel

9 replies »

    • Biblical reference, as you no doubt know.

      אֲנִי יְהֹוָה קְרָאתִיךָ בְצֶדֶק וְאַחְזֵק בְּיָדֶךָ וְאֶצָּרְךָ וְאֶתֶּנְךָ לִבְרִית עָם לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם
      I the Lord, in my Grace, have summoned you,
      And I have grasped you by the hand.
      I created you, and appointed you
      A covenant of people, a light of nations—
      (Isaiah 42:7)

      and this, that I like better

      וְהוֹלַכְתִּי עִוְרִים בְּדֶרֶךְ לֹא יָדָעוּ בִּנְתִיבוֹת לֹא יָדְעוּ אַדְרִיכֵם אָשִׂים מַחְשָׁךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם לָאוֹר :וּמַעֲקַשִּׁים לְמִישׁוֹר אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים עֲשִׂיתִם וְלֹא עֲזַבְתִּים
      I will lead the blind
      By a road they did not know,
      And I will make them walk
      By paths they never knew.
      I will turn darkness before them to light,
      Rough places into level ground.
      These are the promises—
      I will keep them without fail.
      (Isaiah 42:16)

      and the one most cited, at least in re Israel

      וַיֹּאמֶר נָקֵל מִהְיוֹתְךָ לִי עֶבֶד לְהָקִים אֶת שִׁבְטֵי יַעֲקֹב וּנְצוּרֵי (כתיב וּנְציּרֵי) יִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָשִׁיב וּנְתַתִּיךָ לְאוֹר גּוֹיִם לִהְיוֹת יְשׁוּעָתִי עַד קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ
      For He has said:
      “It is too little that you should be My servant
      In that I raise up the tribes of Jacob
      And restore the survivors of Israel:
      I will also make you a light of nations,
      That My salvation may reach the ends of the earth.”
      (Isaiah 49:6)


      • It sounded familiar (actually it is the last two lines, I was thinking of), but I didn’t recognize it. Really weak on Bible, especially what we were taught of as the “Old Testament,” which is sometimes quoted at Mass. Mostly the emphasis in our education was New Testiment. Thank you, Michael. I just bought a new copy of the Bible with the intention of making my way through … New Year resolution,however belated.

        Liked by 1 person

      • New Year is next week, so you’re ahead for 2016 😉

        In the Jewish tradition, the Torah (Five Books of Moses) are divided into parshot (parts / portions)—one parsha (singular) per shabbat (with some tweaks for the various leap months, etc., that keep the calendar on track with both the sun and the moon). That way, if you begin with the the first part of Genesis right after the Jewish New Year, you make your way through the whole Torah in the course of the year. Simchat Torah is a Holy Day shortly after the Jewish New Year—it is customary to read the last portion and then immediately start the next one, to show it is a circle / cycle. Some synagogues unroll the whole scroll around the synagogue (held up by people, so it doesn’t touch the floor) and read the end and beginning from the same scroll.


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