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15 March 2013 @ 08:17 am
Poems of home  
My therapist gifted me a sweet small mezuzah for Conspiracy of Delight. I plan to replace the scroll with a poem or two. I have a couple in mind, but this strikes me as a wonderful moment to solicit new poetry into my life. Do you have favorite poems of home, abundance, blessing, or other ideas that you think would be well-suited for a threshold and homecoming?

Here's one from my potentials:

What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

(Wendell Berry)
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ruthless compassion: flowaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 01:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love all of these. That's one of my top two favorite cummings poems.
lazyzlazyz on March 15th, 2013 01:30 pm (UTC)
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your resources. And these things that I command you today shall be upon your heart. And you shall teach them to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you go on the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be an ornament between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

And it shall happen, if you obey my commandments which I command you today, to love God within all your hearts and all your souls that I will give the rains of the land in its proper time, the light rains and the heavy rains, and you will gather your grain, your wine and your oil. I will give grass in your fields for your livestock. You will have enough to eat and you will be satisfied. Guard yourselves, lest your hearts lead you astray and you will serve other gods and you will bow to them. God will then become angry with you and will withhold the rain, and the land will not produce its bounty. You will quickly be lost from upon the good land that God has granted you. You shall place these words on your hearts and on your souls. You shall tie them as a sign on your arms and they shall be head ornaments between your eyes, and you shall teach them to your children to speak about them when you dwell in your house, when you travel on the road, when you lie down and when you arise. You shall inscribe them on the doorpost of your houses and your gates. So that you and your children may live many years on the land that God has promised to your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.

Just sayin'

Edited at 2013-03-15 01:31 pm (UTC)
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
Just sayin'

What are you just saying with this? I think I'm missing your point.
lazyzlazyz on March 15th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
1) It's the ancient, traditional, expected and only accepted insertion for a mezuzah.
2) It's very long, i.e. you don't need to choose a short poem.

You know, a mezuzah scroll normally costs around $30 to $80 depending on the store, the quality and the size. So don't toss it.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
1. I'm replacing it with something that works for me and my household.

2. We may replace it with several poems.
lazyzlazyz on March 15th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
V creative. Please save me the scroll, if you would.
ruthless compassion: martini handsaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 02:07 pm (UTC)
You can have it in May!
ruthless compassion: happyaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Both of these are new to me.
sunstealersunstealer on March 15th, 2013 07:26 pm (UTC)
The Leonard Cohen piece is also an amazing song, especially in light of Cohen's age (upper 70s) and the obvious metaphor of going home as a transition from life to whatever is next. All the songs from that album, Old Ideas, are very good.
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ruthless compassion: flowaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Keys and locks, roots and branchesomnia_mutantur on March 15th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
This idea brings me great joy, I love the idea of the marking of athreshold in a not-religious way and I enthusiastically second Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. On a more literal front

Perhaps the world ends here - Joy Harjo
House: Some Instructions - Grace Pelland

And I feel as though there must be an appropriate Seamus Heaney and an appropriate Rumi poem, but I can't quite put my fingers on them.

ruthless compassion: happyaroraborealis on March 15th, 2013 02:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
jordanwillow: holding the sunjordanwillow on March 15th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
I don't have any poem ideas just now, but thanks for this post -- it's been beautiful to read everyone's suggestions!
unintentionally intimidatingcoraline on March 15th, 2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
I love my mezuzah from her too :)

but I also love this idea -- I may have to rehang mine with some other contributions, since judaism is not the largest part of my domestic tradition and ritual. i made my mezuzah part of my larger house blessing ritual, so it's already not precisely a traditional jewish one. so thank you :)
sunstealersunstealer on March 15th, 2013 08:09 pm (UTC)

Come, Aristotle

On April 4, moving
the pea fence to
another row
we unearth forty
perfect parsnips
that had spent
the coldest winter since
the seventies
condemned like leeches,
Aristotle says,
to suck up whatever
sustenance may flow
to them wherever
they are stuck
Abandoned, overlooked.
Our good luck.

We ate them
in groups of fours
braised with a little brown sugar
(though they were sweet
enough without)
paler than cauliflower
or pearls, inverted fleshy angels
pried from the black gold
of ancient horse manure.
Pure, Aristotle.
Come, philosopher.
Come to the table.

- Maxine Kumin

Edited at 2013-03-15 08:11 pm (UTC)