Mizmor L'David Anthology 


Poetica Magazine: Contemporary Jewish Writing


by Richard becker


Whether in victory or defeat

with all the risks of war

                                 not knowing why

or what it is or where

nothing redeems like coming home.


Li Po mistaking the moon-lit floor

for frost on the ground looks up


at the moon in the mountains

and thinks of home.[2]

                         A laboratory

test bird bangs into cage bars

until freed.

             And at birth when life

breaks free

             to breathe the vital mortal air

though there be nothing there

                                             we want it still

feeling its presence not knowing why

or what it is or where.


[1] Rabbinically, god’s presence in the world. It is said the term’s feminine form gave rise to mystical expression of God’s feminine attributes. Hebrew: שכינה

[2] My paraphrase of Chinese, T’ang Dynasty poet known also as Li Bai, 701–762.