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Without Saying Why

You brought us into
A world You created
A magical world
Subtly so

On a trail in bear country
No bears, just bear poop
Red rocks everywhere
Asking to be climbed

White aster clusters
Fading at season’s end.
A nearly full moon
Awaiting harvest

None but You could
Turn the leaves at just
The right time, leaving
Some, though, for winter

And without saying why,
So that we would require intelligence
To soften the cold blows
Awaiting Your approach.

Who else but You
Could have made these things
Set in motion a creation
Heavenly with sensation

Given us choices
To make, determination
To succeed, will
To ask and receive

With a neatness
Of purpose, single-
Mindedness of design,
Brightness of presence.

You are incomparable
In your majesty, sweetness,
Wisdom, and humor. No one
Can compare.

But can we forget
The wars created
In Your holy name,
The children murdered?

Do we understand why
Children die before
Their parents and sometimes
Their grandparents?

Why people harbor grudges
For centuries, their blood
A basket of sad sour memories
Staining the earth indelibly red?

No, but You are this
Too, along with the sweetness,
The gladness and the
Gentle rain soaking that red red earth

The only One Who could
Do both, create the suffering
And medicate it too,
An all-powerful band of one.

So in spite of the doubters
You are still the one.
Whatever people say.
You are but one.

There is none but You.
No one else.
You are the one
And only

Nothing exists but You.
You are everything
And everyone, all
And nothing, one not many.

Ayn Elohim Zulatecha
There is None but You.

Here is a zulat, a piyyut or liturgical poem that asserts God’s uniqueness. It is meant to be included in the Shabbat-morning service following the passages from Numbers following the Shema. As with other of my poems in this series, this one is intended to help make sense of things like injustice that may trouble us.

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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