Saturday, December 13, 2008

Miracles for Read Write Poem

[Read Write Poem provided a Wordle as a prompt - a cloud of words to choose from. The words in that image sparked this poem.]


Shadows gather then race westward,
wrapping night across the continent.
The murmur of the frozen north
is punctuated by dandelion-bright candles.
At Chanukah carnivals
Jews gather in congregations,
a religious archipelago in an ocean of gentiles.
Grandfathers wearing tallisim with an indigo thread in each corner
strain the last of the meniscus in their rusty old knees
to teach the little ones to play dreidel.
The smell of frying fills the buildings
promising sufganiyot drizzled with honey
and humble potatoes suddenly made numinous
by their bath in hot oil.


for those who have other traditions, here is a small glossary:

Chanukah is also called the festival of lights, and you'll find a menorah (a 9-branched candle-holder in the window of many Jewish houses). The holiday usually falls some time in December.

tallisim is the plural of tallis, which is a kind of scarf with religious meaning, warn by more observant Jews. Each tallis has a thin white tassle at each corner. Many tallisim have one blue thread in each tassle.

meniscus is cartilage in joints like the knee.

dreidel is a 4-sided top, used in a game of chance at Chanukah, often played for pennies, nuts, or chocolates.

sufganiyot are deep-fried donuts, often filled with jelly.

oil is the basis of the Chanukah holiday because of a miracle when oil that should have lasted one night instead lasted for eight nights. Foods fried in oil are a Chanukah tradition, hence potato pancakes (latkes).


Anonymous said...

very nice, i love chnukah and this celebration of lights (which fall somehow with all (most) other religouns celbration of light.
and even learned few new words (is this yedish? couse the hebrew once i know:-)
happy Chanukka

sister AE said...

Hello, utopianfragments, and thanks. The only yiddish word in this is dreidel. You'd have to tell me the other words for me to say what language they are from. Meniscus is Latin and both archipelago and numinous are from Latin. Let me know if there is anything else you want to know.

Anonymous said...

shalom sister
thanks for explaining.
beautifl dayss