Hebrew Musics

Musics I

The cantorial face, jowls distended, intoning the remembrance of past 
times whose only echo is that never again shall they be, while the 
dirge-draped congregation hope but say "Why not?" Why should tomorrow 
in Jerusalem be any different to yesterday or today? Yesterday in 
Jerusalem, tomorrow in Jerusalem, the litany of remembrance, 
forgetting, not forgetting.
      Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu
Wailing at the wall that is ever broken
kissing the book, fiddling with phalacteries,
praying to the god who shall be nameless,
whose only hope is forgetting,
forgetting the messianic presence
(the straight gate through wich Shekinah might enter)
the immanence of the present
       kol nidrey ve-esarey va-ha-ramey v'konamey v'hinu-yey 
       v'kinusey u-shavuot
the community of wanderers at home,
but not home, here but not there.
        Avinu Malkeynu, honey-nu va-aneyu, ki eyn banu ma-asim
        asey imanu tz'dakah va-hesed v'ho-shi-eynu.
ineffable oneness, nothingness,
other-one, book-one, lost one,
one of the dispersed, of the fragmented.

Cantorial jowl, intoning a book
the have beens, might-have-beens, ghosts of has-beens,
compose an insertion,
the chord of the now.
        Avinu Malkeynu
But Now is your chorus: silent, praying, the congregants
mimicing, transcending, transcending:
hairdresser, accountant, mother,
father, child,  sister,
your arcane lilting
       Avinu Malkeynu
me! now! here! 
tapdancing to their own music -
rock, ska, reggae, folk -
counter-point to your dismal classics,
dancing before the ark.
       Avinu Malkeynu

But you, dear cantor, intone the book! Without it there would be
no words.
In the grimy tone of your Russian angst
hymn the text
to be written against, 

Sh'ma Yisrael. 

Ioan Davies

Back to Table of Contents

Welcome~ rationale for these pages | bio and c.v. | table of contents: poetry, fictions, works in progress | Links to interesting sites

This page brought to you by Ioan Davies