The Poetry Bar

Blogging, or: Abraham

Once upon-

he cared- what they thought of him,
Wrenching- at him- soul and limb;
Oh- how things changed;
And the days, of course, as they ran their course,
Only saw things go- from bad to worse;
All became more estranged;
Then came a day- he was faced with death
(Though he wasn’t there for love’s last breath);
Darkness- swallowed- his light;
‘Safe’ and ‘simple’ broke, something black awoke,
Fingers- aching to write

All the prose he wrote- and the poetry,
Available to friends and family,
provided- release;
He wrote long and short- and slow and fast,
some of- his own truth at last;
Mind and heart wouldn’t cease;
Language took him- far away from grief,
Daily blown- and battered like a leaf,
He kept at this, day and night;
How, he couldn’t say; kept the tears away,
Couldn’t fake what he’d write

Rejecting tweets, soundbites and Instagram,
He welcomed
meaning in- like Abraham
Would invite his guests;
Arguing with God- about beliefs
Brought him
no small amount of relief,
He was granted some rest;
And there arose long buried memories;
Breaking past thin mental boundaries,
Strange fancies took flight;
Down upon his knees, whispering- God please,
Please- make it alright

In Hebrew, ‘ben’ (בן) means ‘son’ or ‘son of’.
* * *
ben Alexander was born in Jerusalem to parents who made Aliyah from the USSR in the mid-70’s. He grew up in America, and returned to Israel as an adult. He works for Hiddush – Freedom of Religion in Israel. He and his wife and daughter live in Jerusalem.
He began writing the ‘Skeptic’s Kaddish for the Atheist’ in Jerusalem, Israel, 30 days after burying his father in South Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. His series was originally published on the Times of Israel blogs.
Read his kaddish memoir.


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