Mizmor L'David Anthology 

 

Poetica Magazine
                                           Contemporary Jewish Writing

Bruce Black is the author of Writing Yoga (Rodmell Press/Shambhala) and editorial director of The Jewish Writing Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MFA from Vermont College. His work has appeared in Elephant Journal, Blue Lyra Review, Tiferet Journal, Hevria, The Jewish Literary Journal, Yogi Times, Mindbodygreen, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and elsewhere. He lives in Sarasota, FL.
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Where Can I Find You
Bruce Black

Where can I find You, dear God,

and what can I say to You?

Some people say You are everywhere—
in the stillness of the forests and
in the clear air of the mountains,
in the salt spray of the sea and
in the desert’s vastness,
in the majesty of valleys and
in the noisy streets of cities, too.

Others say You are in the sanctuaries
that we build for You with stained glass
windows and polished wooden pews
and a holy ark to hold Your Torah
and a burning eternal lamp
to remind us of Your presence.

Will You listen if I go to the seashore
alone, or to the mountains or
to the desert, and pray words
that come only from my lips,
no one else’s?

Will You hear my prayer if I go
to these sanctuaries and pray
with other Jews?

Where can I find you, dear God,
and what can I say that You
haven’t heard before?

Doubts Creep in Like a Vine
Bruce Black


Doubts creep in like a vine

crawling up a wall, and I wonder:


Are You there, God? Up there—in heaven?

Above the clouds? Beyond the blue sky?

Where I can’t see?


Or are You hiding somewhere else—

behind that tree or inside that flower

where a butterfly is whispering

its secret prayer to You?


Maybe You are the voice I hear

when I write these words.

Maybe You are the air I breathe,

the golden light of dawn, the songs

that birds sing?


Maybe these doubts are just an illusion

You create to see if we are seeking You

sincerely, to see if we will persist in our

search or just give up.


Or maybe the doubts are Your way of

asking a question, a way of drawing us

closer to You?