Songs From the Diaspora is a poetry blog inspired by the weekly Torah portion or other timely Jewish texts and sources. This week I turned Parashat Ki Tavo and the first fruits as a source of inspiration. I drew upon my love of the land, the ideas of harvest, offering, Avoda, and agriculture.

Ki Tavo

I

Rose gold overlays

the pigeons breast of morning

braided brows huff in the breeze

sheaves tied in knotted hands

the hour warming

 

II

A swoop and shush of wings

small feet chattering

amid scattered hulls

loose strands of the harvest tumble through fingers and reeds

to meet  drawing earth

 

III

Hand-print leaves, their upturned edges

a grey-green frill

Hems so like our own garments-

stained purple by the globes hung beneath

those flat awnings

 

IV

A crown of sweet stars

striking across a sapphire faced day

each spine a blessing, each seed an epoch

the honey of their palms

a constant river

 

V

The almond leaves slide underfoot

mottled leather riles apart to show

a furled pith

enwombing shards

of cherry amber

their burst a high swift call in winters breath

the gleeful contraction of a cheek

 

VI

Silver trees anoint the hills

we bind clusters of purple and green-

the oil remembers

stones and cypress

the small creeping heathers

the wood’s tight nap on our knives

 

VII

A mother’s curved back in each fruit,

robed in green, or dark like a wife in winter

a flushed nape of perfume

each round rib reveals-

the sugar of a baby’s mouth

a speckled river, teethed with seed and flower