Thursday, November 02, 2006

New Psalms 3: Feeding The Lion

Written in contrition after derailing a group conversation with an angry explosion.

Pride has consumed me.
A great lion tosses his royal mane.
I open my mouth
All that comes out is a roar.

Shy people cower.
Kind people shake their heads.
Other proud lions intensify the brawl.
Agreeing, we stand side by side.
Our declaration blasts the rafters
Scatters paper and dialogue to the floor.

Disagreeing, we stand face to face.
Blasting each other.
Hair streams out from our heads.
Veins pop in crimson faces.
Heat in shock waves fills the room.

We finish satisfied
But empty.

Others leave frustrated
And empty.

You wait

You do not hear these lions.
You do not see these lions.
When my longing turns to You
I stop feeding the lion.
He sleeps and You speak:
Welcome home.

© 2006 R. Elena Tabachnick


  1. Your poem reminds me of this that I wrote.

    * My Mind is a Kind of Sky
    My mind has a trillion stars. It has constellations. Some are so powerful, they can speak. Even when they are speechless, I can feel them pulsing.
    I call the brightest constellation Fear. I can feel Fear throbbing behind my eyes now, at this moment. It feels like a blue flame. Behind it, I feel older fires.
    This is why I drank too much. It is why I stopped.

  2. Thanks Bruce for sharing your piece.

    One thing I love about the psalms (and Judaism of that time) is human emotions and relationships with God are also earthy, nature experiences.

  3. Bruce1:02 PM

    Here is another piece of mine.


    I am in a forest that stretches to the Canadian tundra. I am in a one-room cabin. I am sitting in a chair. My mind is a wall of black slate.
    I begin to imagine a low valley. Its slopes are covered with trees. A stream flows down the center. I look up. At the head of the valley is a mountain. Its summit shines like a white robe.

    I invite the boy who is within me to join me here. He is so slight. I take his hand. We begin to walk together. The air is warm. It is a sea we breathe. Cottonwoods hug the stream-bed, their large leaves swinging and pealing in the tide.

    We keep moving. The ground rises. The boy's right hand holds my left.
    The trees begin to thin. We pass into a grove of aspen. The leaves on the trees quiver as if they were Sisters celebrating our coming. His hand stays in mine.

    We leave the stream behind. The flank of the hill is covered with swaying grass and scattered pine. The air has cooled, but my pumping heart is warm. His hand is still in mine.

    Then it is not.

    Look, the boy is changing. His head is becoming, I think, feathery. Brown feathers sprout across his head. Now they cover his face. I see his curved beak.

    We are close to the summit. We turn and look behind us. The stream is a distant green scar. The horizon seals sky and earth, and the sun bathes both kingdoms. The vista seems as vast as my past and my future.

    The boy is now fully covered with feathers. I raise my arm, elbow bent, until it is parallel to the ground. He is on my arm but weightless. Look, his wings are lifting him into the air. He is flying, lifted away, receding. Now, he is obeying a wind only he feels. He is fierce, unworldly.

    Someone asks, is this the rapture?

    I wonder, is sanity an act of imagination?

  4. Thanks for this piece also.

    Those questions after your inner boy transformed into a hawk are entriguing.

    Ahhh rapture...

    What if "imagination" is the organ for perceiving the divine? If "the divine" = Reality, and sanity is willingness to shuck illusion and live in Reality, then imagination opens the dooor to sanity... Even if everyone calls you a fool.