3 Poems – Ryan Harke

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sunday School

I glued the googley eyes
on Jonah and cut
purple construction paper
pants and doubted
Adonai.
I asked but why
to Mrs. Bulbin
who replied with clippings
from Time. She told me
how she skated on
a frozen pond
in December
1941
waiting to hear
her father’d gone.
She told me
make sure you say
the Shema
twice a day.
I didn’t
believe,
but she gave me lemon drops
for being a good
listener.

 

Hear me, Adonai

Hear me, Adonai,
Hear my cry.
Help me bring joy
To just one.
Baruch ata Adonai,
Let my every heartbeat
sound with you,
Let me walk with you
like Enoch.
Let you be the lock
That protects my mind,
Guards me from insanity,
Gives me everlasting tranquility.
I beg you spare Isaac,
I beg you not let
My brethren, my kindred,
From the dirtiest fungi
To the most enlightened genii,
Be consumed by fire,
Heat, desire,
Consumption,
Plastic,
Rifles,
Runoff,
Straws,
Tuberculosis,
Ebola,
Cholera,
Syphilis,
Spare them all your wrath.
Spare us despite
Our desire.
Spare us–
Despite.

 

Hine Ma Tov

How pleasant and good it is
For brothers and sisters
To sit together.
A minor to D minor,
G to E,
and finally,
A minor—
This is God’s song,
This is brotherhood.
Take note of all
The minors,
Take note of all
The suffering.
When scribes sat down to feast
In the Ancient Near East
They knew all the while
How most would revile
This message of the indigent.
And yet
Do not forget
how pleasant
is the refrain—
How good is reaffirmed,
The disparate made kin.
This is instruction,
Torah.
This is persecution,

Diaspora.

Share