What or Who Is the Source of Blessing?

What or Who is the source of blessing?JOLI leader with stick on mountain
Where is its source?

We wander aimlessly in desert dreams
Searching memories
Of ones we have loved
In embers of a long-forgotten
Yet all-too-near fire

What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

In the mountains we purify
Ourselves in glacial tarns
Smear our fingers with bristlecone sap
Search out the elusive fairy primrose
Among the pika eskers

What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

Daily rise into routine
And nightly settle into sleep
We complain, rage, waste time;
Fall short and rise high
As if nothing else exists

What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

At the ocean we scrape our feet
On wet sand and dance
Among seaweed bulbs we
Bury our toes in soft hot sand
While sandpipers poke for sandcrabs

What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

In so many ways we destroy
One another, ignore our way
Through suffering forget ourselves
As we remember, only to forget again
As if nothing else mattered

What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

In a forest we close our eyes in the fullness
Of the midday sun and stare into
Darkness lit by heavenly wheels
A landscape of bright starry angels
Surrounding an ancient face

So that we no longer need to ask
What or Who is the source of blessing?
Where is its source?

c 2015 Henry Rasof

Attention poets! This piyyut (Jewish liturgical poem) is meant to follow the hatzi kaddish and precede the Kriyat Shema and its blessings in the traditional prayer service (and more likely to be used on shabbat, whose liturgy is enhanced). You are encouraged to look at the prayers, see if they evoke any thoughts or feelings in you, and if they do, express them in a poem (in any form you wish, with or without poetic devices such as rhyme, meter, and sound effects like alliteration). If you prefer, express yourself in prose (or in a combination of prose and poetry, as did some of the medieval Spanish-Jewish poets, who sometimes wrote in rhymed prose).

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About Henry Rasof

I have been writing poetry for over fifty years. During this time, I have worked as a musician, chef, book acquisitions editor, and creative-writing instructor.

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2 comments

  1. An answer from Reb Zalman Schacter-Shalomi's translation of psalm 121: the Source is Divine Presence Who constantly creates Heavens and Earth.