Tikkun Magazine, Winter 2011

Advice to Young Tikkunistas

by Peter Felsenthal


Before you do

before the act

or think or wish

know who

know compassion

know your heart

and because that is too much to ask

too much for anyone

know who, as you walk your path

go deeper and deeper

and then still deeper,

it is a life long task;

compassion, why?

for whom?

are you not the same?

not the same.

hold contradictions together

there are many,

as for your heart

changeable, seasonal, steady

unstudied at any university

known to your god or God or gods

seek its advice

don't ignore its cries, its pain

its selfishness, its expansiveness

If you don't fail you have not had success

god be with you (goodbye).

Peter Felsenthal is a Chicago native educated and brought up on the East Coast. He published his first collection of poems, titled More Scents Please, in August 2009. His poetry took second place to earning a living for many years. Peter is the father of four, grandfather of nine.

Source Citation: Felsenthal, Peter. 2011. Advice to Young Tikkunistas. Tikkun 26(1): online exclusive.  

tags: Poetry & Fiction  
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