Hanukkah: Illumined Nation/The Rededication Of Space

When the world is upside down,
I/Me/Us/We must flip the script:

Grab hold of the narrative,
revolt against the same old story,
resist the riptide of history
despite grim odds,

the plot twist brought
to untwist this plot.

Thus begins every
inner rebellion.

I/Me/Us/We enter
the cold wetness
of the cave
made of echo-stone
to retrieve the oil
hidden in secret
and maccabean shadow-folds
for generations.

When the world is upside down,
I/Me/Us/We must flip the script:

Watch the exalted letters
dance into all possible combinations,
account for every permutation,
precisely as numerous
as each luminous star
in the numinous field
of our milky and honeyed galaxy.

I/Me/Us/We reclaim our sovereignty
over the landscape
of our heavenly body,
shore up our borders,
draw constellations as boundaries,
rededicate the sacred space
in the center of us,
sanctify the nourishment
of moon and sun.

Let us rise elemental,
offer our/self as vessel,
four mothers to the left,
four angels to the right,

we long to be anointed, filled with
hyssop and frankincense,
spikenard and myrrh,
balsam and cassia,
jasmine and rose,
holy olive.

Pour in the gloaming
moment of every tiny brave blaze
thrown in stark relief

against the gift
of mysterious darkness.

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Check out a live performance of the poem with the amazing Brock Pollock on bass:

Photo: “crescent moon” by Jan Mennens

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With special thanks to my teachers, Sarah Yehudit Schneider, David Sacks, and Rav Kohenet Jill Hammer for their wisdom.