Rainy Season

when the rains come at last

there is no mistaking what will happen

one person uncovers the cistern

he dug years ago against thirst

another brings out buckets

to place beneath the leaky roof

oh, let me be the one

Who opens windows and unlocks the door

who presses her face against the screen

inhaling the mist like life itself

let me gather my children

to trace raindrop outlines

upon the glass

to clap and dance with joy

for gardens yet to be

and for promises kept

One Day

I once danced alone

in the garden

in the streets

in the sanctuary

where all was hushed

solemn and proper

I danced

with joy and noise

and sang with delight

“shhh” they said

“we are praying”

I am praying too

and one day

You found me there

silent and weeping

and one day

amid the trees of the forest

I heard your voice

felt You smiling in sunbeams


with wind and rain

and my prayers ascended once more

waved heavenward by cedar and myrtle

and again I swayed

with branches reaching high above human constructs

bowed down beneath a ceiling of stars

beneath a singular sky

to the One

Only A Sukkah

remember how it feels

when light recoils before your grasp

they say it will return

but you can’t help trembling

and when autumn wind and rain

are not the blessings you prayed for

they assure you

everything in its season

you are only a sukkah

a booth standing fragile at twilight

but if you welcome them

guests ancient and living

if you dance with myrtle and willow

caress the sweet etrog in your hands

your leafy walls will breathe

again with singing

you will remember Adam’s fear at dusk

and those forty wilderness years

and you will reach up again

a child of starlight once more

My Ten Favorite Books

Dear Readers,

Think back, way back, to the many books you have read over your lifetime.

Remember how it felt to curl up in your father’s big armchair on a frosty winter night, your favorite book in hand, delighting in every page you turned?

Remember perching in your favorite tree on a lazy summer afternoon, lingering over a masterfully constructed sentence, an imaginative phrase, the perfectly chosen word?

Remember when you simply could not put down the book you were reading?

And remember how you read your absolute favorite books over and over again?

Me too!

Well, talk about a challenge: I have been asked to whittle my lengthy list down to only 10 favorite titles!

Here are the rules for this CHALLENGE:
1._ Think about those books you enjoyed over a lifetime of reading. It is not easy to do because you have to whittle your list down to only TEN books! Write them down – make a list of 10.
2._ When you complete your list, post it on your blog.
3._ Send a link to your blog post to 3 friends and Invite your 3 friends who love books to take the challenge. List the 3 friends you are inviting at the end of your blog post.
4._ Ask your 3 friends to send you a link to their blog post so you can enjoy seeing their 10 favorite books, too.
6._ Your 3 friends will invite 3 of their friends to continue on with the challenge.

Here is my list:
My Ten Favorite Books
Compiled by Joan Myles

1. Rosalie the bird market turtle
By Winnifred and Cecil Lubell

2. Beautiful Joe
By Marshall Saunders

3. Little women
By Louisa May Alcott

4. The Martian Chronicles
By Ray Bradbury

5. Les Miserables
By Victor Hugo

6. Crime and Punishment
By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

7. The Time is Noon
By Pearl Buck

8. The Prophet
by Kahlil Gibran

9. Grapes of Wrath
By John Steinbeck

10. Pollution of the I
byJacques Lusseyran

I invite 3 friends to share their favorites:

Weeping Pines

I refuse to give up

And yes, you, my darling Colleen-
It’s Colleen Myles

Please send me a link to your blog post– I can’t wait to know about your 10 favorite books!

After Yom Kippor

the world is new

when you come back from the dead

apples are honey on your tongue

and breadcrumbs in your pocket

–unlike those you tossed into the Willamette on Tashlich

cast away with the year’s sins

to feed ducks swimming

just beyond the narrow bridge–

are loaves for your table

the world is holy again


in dawning light


with Hummingbirds

only faintly echoing

the shofar’s blast

the primal cry


the world is new

Baruch She’emar

Who knows what worlds might spring from a single word?

And who knows what worlds might collapse?

Therefore, let Your words come to me.

Let them well lup in praise and frustration.

Let them overwhelm the page, my heart, my eyes.

Let them wash away any undue pride or fear.

Let them be my wings, carrying me ever higher;

Farther from a sense of the ground, yet nearer to true groundedness.

Let my words create as You create–

Who spoke and the world was.

Paper Cup

the wind is just
too fierce sometimes

it sweeps down alleyways
shuffles debris

like old men’s feet
trying to keep up

it snatches leaves from living trees
tosses and swirls them like dust

no wonder my paper cup
went sailing

off the patio table
empty and abandonned