A Basket of Poetry

Flowers in South Beach

South Beach Florida
Photo by Barbara Mattio

“Love more often is to be found in kitchens at the dinner hour,
tired out and hungry, lingers over tables in houses where
the walls record movements; while the cook is probably angry,
and the ingredients of the meal are budgeted, while some
where a child cries feed me now and her mother not quite
hysterical says over and over, wait just a bit, just a bit,
love should grow up in the fields like a wild iris
but never does.”
—–Susan Griffin

“Anger shines through me.
Anger shines through me.
I am a burning bush
My rage is a cloud of flame.
My rage is a cloud of flame.
in which I walk
seeking justice
like a precipice.” —Marge Piercy

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked the wind
roaring and whinpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm. —-Marge Piercy


June Rose
Photo by Barbara Mattio

“Neighbors, the old woman who knows you
turns over in me
and I wake up
another country. There’s no more
north and south
Asleep, we pass through one another
like blowing snow,
all of us
all. —Native American,Linda Hogan

The Miracle of the one single flower. Photo by Barbara Mattio

The Miracle of the one single flower. Photo by Barbara Mattio

“So you’re God
Tell me I’m straw, chaff, mist.

Tell me the sea has springs
deep and cold as dreams
that make me wake exhausted.

Enough thunder
What have you done
with my children?” ——Betsy Sholl


Greenhouse at Niagara Falls, Canada; Photo by Barbara Mattio

“God is fed up
All the oceans she gave us
All the fields
All the acres of steep seedful forests
and we did what
Invented the Great Chain of Being and the chain saw
Invented sin.” —-George Ella Lyon


“Gerber Daisy” – Acrylic Paint on Stretched Canvas
Painting by Barbara Mattio

Days of Awe

We are at the time of the year called The Days of Awe. The Jewish nation celebrates their highest holy days. Rosh Hashanah Is the celebration of the new year. According to the Jewish calendar it is now the year 5773. These holy days continue for ten days and end with Yom Kippur.

Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement and ends the new year celebration. What is so amazing about the Day of Atonement is that sins are personal but also communal.

The Yom Kippur eve service begins with Kol Nidre prayer. It is known as a formula to release Jews from foolish vows. Historically, it has released Jews from vows to worship in another way than how they have worshiped G-d for millenia. The Spanish Inquisition is one of these times.

In Judiasm, sins are more than the Ten Commandments and encompass a lack of compassion, good works, community involvement.

“O G-d, forgive our rich nation where small babies die of cold quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation where small children suffer from hunger quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation where toddlers and school children die from guns sold quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation that lets children be the poorest group of citizens quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation that lets the rich continue to get more at the expense of the poor quite legally,
O G-d, forgive our rich nation which thinks security rests in missiles rather than in mothers, and in bombs rather than in babies,
O G-d,forgive our rich nation for not giving You sufficient thanks by giving to others their daily bread.
O G-d, help us never to confuse what is quite legal with what is just and right in your sight.
—-Marian Wright Edelman

Sim Shalom—A Prayer for Peace

Let us live in peace, G-d,
Let children live in peace, in homes free from brutality and abuse.
Let them go to school in peace, free from violence and fear.
Let them play in peace, G-d, in safe parks and safe neighborhoods; watch over them.
Let husbands and wives love in peace, in marriages free from cruelty.
Let men and women go to work in peace, with no fears of terror or bloodshed.
Let us travel in peace; protect us, G-d, in the air, on the seas, along whatever road we take.
Let nations dwell together in peace, without the threat of war hovering over them.
Help us, G-d. Teach all people of all races and faiths, in all the countries all over the world to believe that the peace that seems so far off is in fact within our reach.
Let us all live in peace, O G-d. And let us say, Amen

—–Rabbi Naomi Levy

As the day progresses, names are asked to be added to the Book of Life for another year. There is a feeling of the closing of the Gates of Heaven. The last blast of the Shofar is heard.

” The sun goes down, the shadows rise,
The day of G-d is near its close.
.Lord, crown our work before the night:
At eventide let there be light.”

May the New Year be sweet for all Jews everywhere in the world. Shalom to all people in the world.