Entering the Days of Awe: A Poem for Rosh Hashana: Everyday Magic, Day 418

This is the poem I wrote yesterday and read today at services at the Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation. L’shanah tovah!

Entering the Days of Awe


Let us walk unfettered into these days

unfurling in the sun, wide fields of old grasses

bracketed by sunflowers and pebbles.

Let us step into the lapis sky that fastens itself

to the driveway, the sidewalk, the worn leaves

of dying summer under new leaf fall.


Let us give up the wasteful thinking,

the 2 a.m. anxieties over what cannot be changed,

the waking with a gasp. Let us stand in the morning,

the new chill of the air clearing the disgards of time,

fear, reaching too hard or not enough.


Let the wrongs be made right. Let forgiveness

overtake the words we hear and pray, the stories

we’ve made and tilted. Let us remember this dreaming song

from all our beloveds long gone or just over the bend,

each note engraved with lost lands, singing

of how good it is when we dwell together.


Let the peripheral vision in the days of awe show us

the world, the first seeing of the heart, the last pulse

of those we love who travel with us. Let the wind shake

the trees, the tattered leaves shine, the last butterflies

flash their orange, the first dark blue of night

open into a panorama of past and present light

on its way to us all.


Let the next breath we take inscribe us in the book of life.

Let the next breath you give welcome us home.

5 thoughts on “Entering the Days of Awe: A Poem for Rosh Hashana: Everyday Magic, Day 418

  1. Nancy Hubble says:

    This poem reminds me of the time I heard Judy R. as Cantor. The clarity and wonder, holding and letting go. Thank you today Caryn, for this reflection of how to move into a New Year sensing great beauty and to Judy R. whom I never got to thank, for the treasure of you voice.

  2. Susan Elkins says:

    Such a pleasure to read your poem after having had the honor to hear it during services. It will be a constant reminder this week of what to breathe in (and out) as we face the new year. Complicated and simple, isn’t it?
    La Shana Tova.

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