Chuppah

“This is / why every day I thank God / I was born a woman.” A new poem from Julie R. Enszer.

Dante’s Politics

The decorative mosaic adorning the ancient synagogue floor

is innocent of its future. Good luck, it means to say, or

 

my swastika hands miming perpetual motion wish you

everlasting peace and prosperity. And what coincidence

 

sends my son running across the plaza, blowing again

and again on his precious pinwheel toy? Say what you mean,

 

I want to shout. I am listening to the politicians

in the courtyard, excavating for small truths buried

 

beneath thick stratum of tedious lies.

Words of Devotion

Before the Door of God
Edited by Jay Hopler and Kimberly Johnson

The Sea Sleeps: New and Selected Poems
by Greg Miller

Once in the West
by Christian Wiman

Writing and Spirituality

Nobody Home: Writing, Buddhism, and Living in Places
Gary Snyder, in conversation with Julia Martin
Trinity University Press, 2014

Nobody Home presents three interviews conducted by South African scholar and writer Julia Martin with the poet Gary Snyder that take place from the late 1980s to 2010, along with a selection of letters between them covering the same period. Martin was a young academic in apartheid South Africa when she first reached out to Snyder, motivated by her critical work on his poetry and thinking. Martin’s study and practice of Buddhism and her intuitive grasp of Snyder’s importance as a forefather of a growing international movement of spiritual environmentalism provoked Snyder to respond with sympathy and encouragement. They had an instant rapport in letters, which led to the interviews. This is a great period for Snyder, as his thinking about the nondualism of self/no-self and its relation to the world and all phenomena is culminating in his concentration on finishing Mountains and Rivers Without End, one of the crowning works of his generation of poets.

Do You See Me

Between earth and Heaven? I’ve never been anything but alone. But your face warms my world. Everything that blooms, blooms from you. When you look at me,
My heart sweetens.

Babel

They used to conspire in a brother tongue
no one else could parse. They were its sole native speakers,
these sons of mine
who grew up talking their way to the table. They come back as men to the keep
of my kitchen, the habit of food and talk,
leaving their rented rooms
half a life away. Who are these children-in-disguise
with their beards and glasses,
smoking and joking, each in his own tongue,
about who knows what? Don’t get twin beds, I begged my mother, afraid
of the slightest space
between him and her—a nightstand
with its drawers and knobs,
foursquare and stolid as a gravestone,
the two of them
buried on either side.