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VCU Menorah Review Summer/Fall 2013
Number 79
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

Two Poems by Richard Sherwin


what will stop, what stops indeed
the time seas drowning us

what blows the currents sideways making room
eternity more fragile than foam

the lord has bought us caught us
out of darkness slaves to desert stone

built a way of faith indeed a faith road
thru the sea the death builders drown in

the children of Israel walking its frozen walls
deep time creatures stare thru glassy

each step planting its promised life tree
promised land together

erupting volcanoes and holy tremblings
firing the fragile futures of

tabernacles now eternal
prows dividing currents

faring any every where
harboring in the lord

nothing stops


in my courtyard move
from house to house the sabbath
shards humpty dumpty
couldnt put back together
again tho maybe Gd could

im not sure my minds
eruv is ever kasher
enough for scraping
my muddy memories off
the years come to carelessly

all the fragmented
pieties attempted dumped
in one trash heap old
i scrabble thru hoping one
will recall one clean praying

what will i do with
the rest when swept asea in
the clattering ebb
the undertow of judgment
what use for anyone then

where was rava when
i trudged those market years all
that muck all alone
and where was i becoming
peddler of such these my shards

which of all my sins
saved my soul from brink to brink
of death to this day
the levels Gd works my clay
baked in an infinite sun

Richard Sherwin is an associate professor (retired) of English at Bar Ilan University, Israel, and a contributing editor.

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