Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WHOM THE NEW MOON MOCKS, by FANIA KRUGER



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WHOM THE NEW MOON MOCKS, by            
First Line: The sky unfolds a starry cover
Last Line: Above the young leaf and the lover.
Subject(s): Moon; Rachel (Bible); Women In The Bible


The sky unfolds a starry cover
Above the April leaf and lover.
Alike young love, a diadem,
Touches Sinai and Bethlehem.
Youth sees the charm of bud, while age
Perceives the fruit and heritage
That clings to weathered foliage.
But love defeats theologies
And creeds of men and deities.

Old grandam Rachel built a fence
Of love against malevolence,
Lest evil touch her orphaned lad:
Her daily task to make him glad.
She rocked him in the Talmud law
That he might learn and live in awe
Of God; and like a Sabbath flame
A holiness enshrine his name.
Thus Rachel prayed her Joseph be
As rain on parched land, free
Of all that baffles like a fog --
A gold light in the synagogue.

Frail in the flesh -- in will a giant --
From Rachel's lips curses defiant
Fall on her grandson if he stray
From the ancient Hebrew prophets' way,
Or wed with one not sheltered in
The fold of faith. "If this his sin
And should he dare to flout belief,
Let life for him be dark and brief.
O hear this prayer: that pain devour
His day as frost consumes the flower."

Like flesh and bone, like fowl and feather,
Her prayer and curse have grown together.
While curses fall, light deifies
A thin new moon in clear blue skies,
A moon that mocks her futile words
As transient as the flight of birds.

And what of Joseph, who had wed
A gentile bride? Love comforted
And made him happy for a space,
Giving the world a Springtime face.
But who may know when Death will creep
Intent on silence, intent on sleep?
A boisterous wind and blinding rain
Muted the rumblings of the train
And death swift dropped from out the dark
To kill joy's quick tumultuous spark.
O hour when eager life is caught
And crushed beneath a juggernaut.

Now darker than the dusk of death,
Grief stays the warmth of Rachel's breath,
And grips her throat with claws of steel,
Until, immune, she does not feel
The cruel wind, the icy weather;
Her prayer and curse have grown together.

Oh, who is there can stand defiant
Before young love and death, the giant?
Like a stricken tree where crows carouse,
Or like a long deserted house
With eyes two clouded moons she stares
At peaceful stars. Too deep her cares,
Too stark her grief -- this was her plan:
To rear in faith, to train a man
In Hebrew law to be content
To go the way the prophets went.
And he who dies, his faith betrayed
Must bear the name of renegade.

The new moon mocks her pious grief;
He went as goes an autumn leaf,
For love defeats theologies,
The man-made laws and deities.
And spread against the dark of night
A cabalistic script of white
For love's enduring anchorite.
The sky unfolds a starry cover
Above the young leaf and the lover.





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