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Nov 2020 · 48
A Sleepy Poem Before Bed
Anya Nov 2020
Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That the scent of him clings to all my clothes
And I bring blankets down from my room
So I fall asleep in him-scented perfume.

Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That as soon as my tired eyes flutter and close,
I'm no longer alone in my bed
But content in his arms in my basement instead.

Sometimes I wonder if he knows
That the warmth that I feel by his side only grows
When he says he loves me with a sigh.
Those three words form the lyrics to my lullabye.

Sometimes I wonder if we'll know
When the day will come that he can stay, and not go,
But that day is a promise we'll keep --
So for now, I'll let dreams of him rock me to sleep.
Nov 2020 · 63
Golem & Dybbuk
Anya Nov 2020
I love you,  my darling, as if I were blood, flesh, and bone,
For I am but clay, and my heart made of cumbersome stone.

And had I walked free, I would kiss you, ask you to be mine,
But I'm bound by nature, a slave like the rest of my kind.

And you are a spirit, a creature of malice and dread,
And when I embrace you, I touch the cold hands of the dead.

It's odd, how I love you, the very thing I should abhor,
But our time is fleeting. Soon, you and I will be no more,

Then we'll be together, at rest, and I'll love you in peace.
So I'll bide my time, wait for consciousness to ebb and cease,

Smile as they erase me, speak words that reduce me to clay,
Free to find you at last, and let the world I left slip away.
Jun 2020 · 188
Seasons
Anya Jun 2020
Summer and Autumn and Winter and Spring
Processed through the dale one day, to sing
And convene to discuss again
The sun, the moon, the stars, the rain.

And Summer led, bright, strong, and sure
Her hair golden with sunlight pure,
Her bare feet rooted in rich Earth,
Her wild eyes wise with age and mirth.

And Autumn followed, quiet, grim,
With hollow gaze and rawboned limb,
Cloak flashing yellow, orange, gold,
Voice vibrant, rich, exhaling cold.

And Winter walked with footsteps light,
Her ermine cloak a glistening white,
And gliding, floating, on tiptoe
As gently as the fallen snow.

And Spring skipped last, her wide eyes shy,
Her slender legs nimble and spry,
The air around her turning sweet
As flowers bloomed beneath her feet.

Summer and Autumn and Winter and Spring
Clasped hands and leapt, to dance, to swing
Along the shadows’ wax and wane,
The sun, the moon, the stars, the rain.
Apr 2020 · 46
When Springtime
Anya Apr 2020
When springtime sends the world outside a-playing,
And blossoms grow on branches set a-swaying,
And brightly bloom the flowers in the dale,

The gentle breeze blows through the hills a-ringing,
And from the trees floats sweetly down the singing
Of robins, whippoorwills, and nightingales.

The forest folk have roused themselves from sleeping,
And through the boundless meadow run a-leaping
Each stride seems to rebound with life anew,

As underfoot the ice melts fast and fleeting,
And clear creeks babble past and splash in greeting
The leaves unfurl and point my way to you.

So take me by the hand and lead me lightly
Up to the hill where the sun shines most brightly
And in the golden fields of grass lay down,

We'll play a king and queen so sweet and winsome,
And rule with grace atop our hillside kingdom --
I'll fashion for our heads two golden crowns --

And if you hold me close and kiss me sweetly,
Then I will give my heart to you completely,
And you will be my boy, and I your girl,

And we'll stay side by side, our time to treasure
At peace as cotton clouds drift by at leisure
And we won't have a worry in the world.

When springtime sends the world outside a-playing,
And blossoms grow on branches set a-swaying,
Then hand and hand shall we go to the dale,

And fill the clear blue sky above with laughter.
The sun will set, and we'll return soon after
With footprints left behind to mark our trail.
Apr 2020 · 65
For Haden
Anya Apr 2020
Humans come and go,
Existence melts like snow
Stained an angry red.
We’d be better off dead:
Strewn on the autumn ground
Where leaves slowly compound
Their scarlet shades a-seeping,
And we forever sleeping.

Children, listen close:
Do not become the host
Of deceit’s deadly blight.
Power is a parasite.
It’s easier, you’ll find,
To leave the law behind
When faced with what’s unfurled:
Purge evil from this world

And ****, ****, ****.
The wind whistling shrill
Is mimicking their cries.
Everybody dies,
But some with lesser worth.
The winds shift back and forth
To cover their pale faces,
Safe in hidden places.

****** were their bones to rot
Until the Earth forgot
What sickness walked its soil.
Let ivy softly coil
Around their vile remains.
Thank nature for its pains:
Pray we’re rid of the worst
Of mortal beings so cursed.

Some drift among the waves
That carry unmarked graves
Of countless peaceful souls.
The tide endlessly rolls
And whispers countless names
Of once-extinguished flames
Smote in the ink-black sea,
Hushed for eternity

And binded in their fate.
Their bones sink with its weight
And scrape along the floor,
Touched by the sun no more
As stars look coldly on.
It seems my soul has gone
To the sea to plot.
(I know, I know. I thought

That normal were such musings, but
I find I seem to visit there a lot,)
On any given whim.
It waits there, quiet, grim
Under the waxen moon.
It will come to me soon,
With a salt-weathered shell
And many tales to tell.

Sometimes I think that-- hey,
Don't quickly walk away.
When our time comes, they say,
The ocean will hold our bones too, someday.
Mar 2020 · 204
כל נדר' / All Vows
Anya Mar 2020
His hands shake as they grip the edge of the bima.

It was not always like this. Once
His fingers tapped spry and nimble,
His knuckles did not gnarl and swell,
Spots dotted his face in freckles and not his skin as it aged.
His right knee twinges. He swallows dry.
Perhaps he should visit a doctor.  It is not wise, they tell him,
For a man his age to continue his work under such pressure -- he simply laughs it off.
Pah. Meshugge, you are.
He maintains, he will manage, his kind were built to endure.

His kind have walked miles in red sand that burned the soles of their feet.
His kind have strained their eyes to see the hazy shape of hope
In lamplight that burned eight days too long;
His kind stood tall in front of kings and pharaohs and Führers
That ordered them to kneel, bow, lay dead, rot beneath ten feat of Earth.
His kind broke their backs to remain steady on their own two feet --
Who is he to fail them by resting now?

He can certainly stand on a bima, facing a congregation that has come to expect
The sound of his voice, passion in his words,
The life in his eyes glowing behind a cloud of cataracts
(I do not need to see, he claims, to recite the words of Hashem; I read with my heart.)
Like candles through a foggy window,
Tinted glass distorted,
Faint chanting ringing from within.

Kol Nidrei.
He had to break fast this morning -- God forgive me, I did not want to --
I’d rather have died. But pills must be taken.
He scans his audience and knows others must have taken pills of their own:
They are old. No one lives forever.
His joints ache as theirs do,
They too feel the weight of seventy, eighty years settled in their bones
Like rocks, like sediment,  
Shifting with the current of the river that teems above them.
Such is the will of God.
They will be carried upstream when their time comes.

Ve’esarei, ush’vuei,
A glass of water rests on the floor at his feet,
Already half drained --
Droplets still sit moist on his lips.
Vacharamei, vekonamei,
He is a humble man, as all of Hashem’s servants should be --
He is blessed with dexterity unusual for his age.
He has no cause to complain, and yet even on the day of atonement,
Deep within his chest burns pride.
He is scared.
Vekinusei, vechinuyei,
Adonai, please,
Give me the strength.
I know why I hesitate.

He fears his voice will catch in his throat --
Will waver, will break to cough,
That the silver in his tone has tarnished,
That his pitch will strain, fall flat,
That his voice is not fit to sing God’s words,
That this chant will be his last.
That he will have to stop.

Kol Nidrei. All Vows.
He is nothing but a man. He is a mouthpiece for the words that pour out of him,
That float through the synagogue as they’ve floated for years upon years.
If he silences himself, he has no purpose.
If he silences himself, he is already unfit to sing God’s words.
He must begin without fear:
His kind know how to endure without fear. It is in their blood.
His mournful voice sings for them.
He takes a breath. The congregation holds theirs.

Kol Nidrei.
Ve’esarei, ush’vuei, vacharamei, vekonamei, vekinusei, vechinuyei.
Prohibitions, oaths, consecrations, vows that we may vow --
His voice is his vow.
He vows his life, the rest of his year, however many those may be, he pledges all of them,
That he may stand before his people in front of him,
And sing to his people that lived behind him.
Kol Nidrei.
All vows.
His voice soars and echoes off of the ceiling of the synagogue.
Mar 2020 · 437
Hadestown
Anya Mar 2020
You saw it as I did, clear as day:
Orpheus, with his heart on display
Raising his golden voice as if to pray
That Hades would not make his lover stay.

I saw it as you did, on that stage,
Eurydice opposing Hades' rage,
Rallying the dead-eyed workers to engage,
A songbird trying to break free from her cage.

We watched it unfold before our eyes:
Hades penned that fateful compromise,
Persephone, her arms raised to the skies,
Hermes already fearing their demise.

And in those final moments, I was sure
As lovers faced each other on death's door
And went their separate ways to love no more
That I'd never loved you so much before.
Feb 2020 · 210
She Called His Name
Anya Feb 2020
She called his name out in the night, and he was there to hold her,
Drawing her near as her head found its way into his shoulder.

He kissed her hair and squeezed her tightly as if to remind her
That any time she needed him, his arms would quickly find her.

He rubbed the sleep from his tired eyes so he could see her clearly,
And whispered low, "Relax, you know I'll always love you dearly."

She whispered back to tell him of her dream where she'd been lonely.
"No need to worry," he replied, "You know I love you only."

He promised her no matter what that he'd always adore her,
She'd pushed the bedsheets to her feet -- he tucked them back in for her.

He kissed and kissed and kissed her until she burst into laughter,
Then held her close and shared her smile -- they fell asleep soon after.
Feb 2020 · 125
Autumn
Anya Feb 2020
When Autumn follows, quiet, grim,
With hollow gaze and rawboned limb,
He turns the warm air bittersweet,
Treading the Earth with silent feet.

The chattering of birds grows still
When gentle Autumn works his will.
He gestures once, his fingers poised:
He works best with absence of noise.

The trees stretch proudly in full height
As Autumn paints their foliage bright -
He sings out orange, yellow, gold,
Voice vibrant, rich, exhaling cold.

He visits every crevice small
And takes the time to inward crawl
To every creature huddled tight
And give to them a kiss good-night.

And as their noses sting with frost,
He quickly makes his exit, lost,
To radiant rustling leaves outside.
He walks the barren forests wide,

And scales the weathered tree-trunks broad.
He views his work and gives a nod,
For he is modest, sometimes gruff:
A job well done is thanks enough.

He sinks down with the setting sun
For Winter’s work has now begun,
And he is free to rest and sleep
As clouds of snow above him creep.
Dec 2019 · 156
That's A Plenty
Anya Dec 2019
Swing me!

Grab me by the hand, pull me through the door-frame,
Out of the sleepy twilight world and into the jazz bar bursting with life,
The air humming with sound, the lights buzzing vibrant,
The rhythm of the bass and drums already ingrained in the bounce of your step like it's a language you've always known how to speak.

Ask me for a dance, smile before I can even answer,
Dive into the mass of people who move, sway, breathe with the music, adding their own melodies with every clap of their hands, Every laugh that harmonizes with the trumpets and horns, the swish of every colorful dress that spins like a top --
Spin me like a top!

Pull me back to you just as fast, let our clumsy feet untangle themselves to step in unison,
Sing out in joy as the band drives the song on and on and on,
Bass and drums a motor endlessly running,
Trumpet a daredevil leaping and diving, piano bursting underneath like sparks,
Knowing that while the sleepy twilight world closes its eyes and drifts listlessly on,
This is where we are meant to be.

And honey, I don't care if you stutter when you talk,
I don't care if you trip over your own two feet,
If your laugh is too loud, if your eyes turn downward every time you speak,
As long as you love me here, and spin me like this music will never end,
Sweetheart, that's a plenty for me.
Nov 2019 · 113
Atlas
Anya Nov 2019
Atlas arrived at your front door this afternoon.

He stood waiting, head bowed, arms shaking
From bearing the universe in its entirety,
All that has been and will ever be,
Dying Earth, cold Moon, blazing Sun,
Mars, Venus, Pluto, Mercury,
All dots akin to marbles, playthings,
In the vastness of his burden.
And he gazed at you with eyes that cried a silent plea,
One of a thousand fading stars, a million candles burning at the wick, a hundred trails of smoke
That wisped into the nighttime air and disappeared entirely.
All this you saw, and more,
And so you bade him to bend lower than he stood before,
And with fingers that shook
But gripped tighter than a secret kept,
You closed your arms around the heavens
And, bracing yourself
Against the doorframe,
Placed his troubles on the frosty ground,
Eased the stiffness of his shoulders wide, and
Led hm through the door inside.

Atlas lays now on your floor,
His smile thin, his whisper faint, weakened inconceivably,
But at peace. His leaden muscles are at long last free
To be human. He may err, repent, love, find joy, cry with no apology,
Rest easy in arms
That ache from the weight
Of the skybearer's task for only a moment,
Let alone all of eternity.
And while the multitudes of worldy voices call from outside, beeseeching,
Time may wait. Time is kind.
Let Atlas be the one carried, let the eyes
Imploding on themselves slip closed,
Kiss his brow, and let the bearer of the stars
At last find darkness and sleep unopposed.
Nov 2019 · 78
Cloudy
Anya Nov 2019
Weathered mountains, silent, tall,
Watch the silver droplets fall,
Fleeting as a moment past.
Hazy shadows faintly cast.

Forest dampened in the rain,
Rivulets of water drain
Underneath the misty skies.
Breathe and clear those cloudy eyes.

Mossy cover underfoot,
Darkest green and blackest soot,
Smouldered memories settled still,
Shifting with the breeze's chill.

Faint cliffs drop into the glade,
Watch the daylight slowly fade.
Once forsaken, once unwise,
Breathe and clear those cloudy eyes.
May 2018 · 149
Garden of Dreams
Anya May 2018
Back again I was, it seems
Stepping through my garden of dreams
Feeling grass caress bare feet
Dancing through the blossoms sweet
Climbing tree and touching sky
Mourning wilted flow'rs to die
Hanging in the night the stars
Catching sun in sea-glass jars
Armed with free will, armed with *****
Digging weeds the fields forbade
Poisoning my garden fair
Souring the soil and air
Becoming then my flower's foe
Thought I, their place here is not so.

And, sinking knees into rich Earth,
And golden sunlight filled with mirth,
With *****, I did begin my task
And bitterness wih laughter mask
Silver metal touching fern,
My hands the soil did upturn,
And, tendrils curling, leaves apeel,
My tool the rivals dire reveal,

One leaféd foe remained entrenched
With fearful glare and rancid stench
So tall and straight with dreadful leer
His shadow clouded dark with fear
Malignant eyes with clear intent
To push my flowers broke and bent
And seemed it he could even draw
My breath from slack, loose-hanging jaw
When he then spoke, from op'ning torn
Each word a deadly sharpened thorn

Prepared was I to plead and flee
When quiet whispers spoke to me
And I looked down, when I did heed
To see, as clear as day, a ****!
Of coiling shape and lily glow
A-cheering to take on my foe
And, studying her roots spread wild,
Knew she'd grown when I was a child
And planted by unsready hands
Had grown to counter his commands
Had been fed friendship, watered trust,
Matured away from lies and lust,
Bound strong with laughter, stories, tears
A mindset wise beyond her years
And, spouting golden, crystal-bright,
Had rose to aid me on this night
And now was swaying at my side
While casting light a circle wide.
And she did gaily laugh and wink
So that my foe would backwards sink
And cry, in voice both kind and clear,
"Rot, burden, you have no place here."

And, snapping forwarrd with ghastly groans,
And rattling shrieks amongst loud moans,
At once dissolved his stature tall
As ***** pierced leaves and watched him fall
Out faded terror, fear, and war,
Until my foe became no more.

And when I chanced to scan the space,
The **** was bobbing in her place,
Sweetening spring-summer air,
Guarding flowers small with care,
Long I stood regarding there
If I would ever dream or dare
To ignore danger, do no less
Than guard my **** in peril -- yes.

Carefully, my heel did turn
Across the wheat-fields orange burn
Set fire by the sinking sun
And clouds like rabbits tinted run
The crickets in the reeds did hum
When I set down to ponder some
On values trust and friendship set
And whether one chanced to forget
That love, in its true form divine
Could only birth in comrades fine
And when I rose to onwards roam,
I knew her light would guide me home.

Here I am again, it seems,
Wand'ring through my garden of dreams,
Shaping paths of glassy streams,
Stiching Sky and Earth's frayed seams
Fast'ning buds on newborn trees
Weaving music in the breeze
Oft proclaiming, as the winds flow free
How very dear you are to me
And thankful, as the planets shine
That you have stayed in garden mine.

— The End —