My Words

Understanding the World through words

Month: July, 2013

Old Blue House

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I remember
arriving in Texas
and
moving to
Denton,

to a worn out
blue house,
by
University Avenue.

I was a guest of my
parents.
Who opened
their doors,

temporarily
for my family.

We had just arrived
and needed a base,
a safe place
until we found our
own home.

As time took its
toll and my family
grew.

My father died.

Some years later
on a bike ride,
I purposed to visit
that old blue
house.

When I saw it-
tears came
falling down.

That
blue house
distant-

and full
of loving
memories,

was still
standing

and
my father
wasn’t.

Ripples At Clearlake

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By the lakeshore
the ducks scoot
along,
making their
way in life.

As they huddle
closely together;

they resemble
my family.

Our proximity is
felt-

with the ripples
that we create,
which
are quiet and
faint.

Just enough
movement
is discerned,
to distinguish
one from
another.

As we happily
move along;

together in
this journey
called
life.

Aphorism-Philosophers

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Conflict
makes
the best
philosophers.

Aphorism-Patience

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Time and patience
turns mere
sand
into
a pearl.

Altamont Pass

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On our road trip
we pass the
Altamont,

Straight up hill
the engine chugs
along.

This route leads
to the Bay
going Westward.

And the
Valley
going towards
the East.

It’s a landmark
that as a child
I still recall,

the giant
windmills
standing
oh so tall.

White markers
that harness the
wind;

some are
ferociously spinning
while
some stand
quietly
still.

They’re sandwiched
in between the
yellow ochre earth
of the rolling
California hills;

and the
infinite
cerulean blue
of the cloudless
Western skies.

When I spot them
I’m happy inside,

whether they’re
turning or not,

it makes no
difference to
me.

As they’re
like sentries;

that guard
my childhood
memories.

Aphorism-Bad Decision

One bad decision,
can have a devastating
outcome. Measure your
decisions wisely.

Habdaláh

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During Habdaláh
we gather around
the twisted candle.

My children cry out,
“Can I hold the candle?”
“Can I do the spices?”

Their enthusiasm for
this weekly event is
wonderful.

I light the wick
that drips
like solemn
tear drops.

It’s twilight and
time to say
goodbye
to our
sanctified rest.

Sabbath helps
restore
the light of God
in
all our lives.

As the flame burns
and the blessings
are recited,

I look around-

I can see
the flickering
of the candle’s light

in my children’s
dark almond eyes.

I lift the cup
of wine and
say the
beracha
over
the fruit
of the vine.

Next is the
spices,

we pass
the saffron
it reminds
us

of our
extended
stay in
Spain.

We all take
strong whiffs
of the delicious
besamim.

when I say the
beracha over
the fire,

we stare at
it’s dancing
flame,

it’s
warmth is felt
on our
skin.

the final
blessing
is said out loud,

hamachdil ben
qodesh
l’chol.

We end the
festivities
with embraces
and the usual,

buenas semanas,
shebuah tob!

Guadalcanal

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I remember one day
I was called to
patch a garage.

With charm
I introduced my self,
“How do you do mam?”
as I shook her hand.

After the greetings
were said and done,
I was escorted through
her house.

On my way
to the garage
I saw an old photo
of a Marine on top
of her TV.

I mentioned that I’d
been a Marine too.
She told me her husband
had been in the War.
And, that he had passed
on.

“I’m sorry to hear
that” then I proceeded
to asked her,
“which campaign
did he fight in?”

she replied that
he fought on
Guadalcanal.

“I still have
some letters and
a chest he brought
home”

“Would you like
to see them?”
she said.

“Please” was
my reply.

I was
unbelievably
ecstatic to
touch them.

Letters from
the war.
Written by
a Marine
who had
fought on

the first
of many
Islands.

It was on
Guadalcanal
that
Marines had
turned back
the tide.

“This is the chest
he brought home”
she said.

It was a typical
Marine footlocker
painted in olive
green, with the
markings of the
Division he
fought with.

“You can have it
if you’d like”

“It’s just taking
up space”
she said.

“I’d love to have
It” and
“Thank you”
was my reply.

It means a
lot to me,
to own a
a piece of
American
history.

A Marine
footlocker
that’s been
on that bloody
Pacific island
in the sea.

Loving Embrace

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(painting by Paul Klee)

A loving embrace
washes away
the tears;
it melts
away the pain.

A loving embrace
comforts the lonely;
solitude is sent
home.

Your loving
embrace
gives me hope.

Meaningful Words

Nothing is overstated
with meaningful
and well placed words.