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    poetry


    dots Submission Name: Sitting Shivahdots
    --------------------------------------------------------





    Author: drowning_queen
    Elite Ratio:    5.44 - 245/270/52
    Words: 268
    Class/Type: Poetry/Longing
    Total Views: 1543
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 1908



    Description:
       


    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsSitting Shivahdots
    -------------------------------------------


    Ha-makom yenachem et'chem b'toch she'ar avelei Tzion vi'Yerushlayim


    It is nearly sundown on the first day
    and low stools are scattered in pairs
    around the quickly darkening room
    no words have fallen from her mouth,
    the tallit swaddled woman in the corner,
    her parchment skin crumpled and fallen
    her thin, bare lips cracked and tight
    with desperately restrained grief.

    Hands bring too many flowers every morning
    they are spread trough the room in piles
    they steal the oxygen she wishes she didnít need,
    fill the space with harsh, unwelcome color
    when the seventh day comes she will burn them
    she will turn them all into charred heaps
    to match the next yearís wardrobe
    she will burn them and imagine they are his flesh

    Hands bring food, too
    she lets it rot around her
    she will sit and watch the body
    she will clasp her own hands and
    focus on not calling for him
    not screaming and thrashing
    and ripping hair from
    her scalp in handfuls

    she will not
    she will not
    run to him and
    claw through the shroud
    exposing his face to her
    ice cold hands
    and shake him alive

    Seven days she will sit alone
    in the corner and watch her
    dead husband for signs of life
    seven days she will not eat and
    her thighs will be soaked with urine

    and her lover still will not move.


    Ha-makom yenachem et'chem b'toch she'ar avelei Tzion vi'Yerushlayim







    Submitted on 2007-01-15 14:26:49     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      This was beautifully intense--as Azura said, the image that came to mind was Kali with her foot on Shiva's chest. It makes me wonder where the term came from...if it indeed came from Indian origins, then why did the Hebrew take it on? The haunting quality of the [what I assumed was] Hebrew at the beginning and end of the poem make it all the more atmospheric--and the way it was done as a fugue. It also reminded me of Desdemona Stephanides [Middlesex] when her husband died. She did everything she could not to tear her legendary hair from her scalp and then crawled into bed for the next 20 years. This was a frightening, resonant piece.

    melora
    | Posted on 2007-01-17 00:00:00 | by Melora | [ Reply to This ]
      how every part of this is lovely and cruel, i cannot tell you. only that when i read this, i understand what it is to lose an essential heartbeat and forever miss it's absent sound in my chest. from what i know of shivah (and that is very little), it's a standstill while the hurt and the shock of the loss settles in and the world passes by without you. perhaps at the moment i'm not equipped to talk about this, worrying about having perhaps to sit shivah for my grandmother, frail in a hospital bed and floating in and out of consciousness from a morphine-induced haze. but you should know that this is excellent in its presentation and point, and would be a comfort to read, despite the cruelty of unbridgeable partings here.

    thanks for sharing this - your talent, i see, has only grown.
    ~blue
    | Posted on 2007-01-17 00:00:00 | by blueorchids | [ Reply to This ]
      This is intensely beautiful, DQ. I have a sense of love and how it emanates from the woman to her lost lover. But also of the shackes of tradition and how they mar our lives. But am I the only one who has commented with this theme in mind?

    Having just lost my father, I think the devotion we give to our loved ones as they pass is essential. And yet the question of culture and religion make for interesting writes. I think ritual has a resonance within that brings the soul to mercy.

    Beautiful and yet very sad,

    Nan
    | Posted on 2007-01-16 00:00:00 | by nansofast | [ Reply to This ]
      The feeling of a Goddess made seemingly mortal by the anguish of lost love is realized here for me. Shiva and Shakti, the Dance of life and death, right?

    I like the prose-narrative style you employ here, with short, clipped sentence fragments giving this subject more resonance.

    As a eulogy given voice through grieving imagery, this is flawless.

    Peace,

    Jase

    P.S. I think you meant "through" *wink*
    P.P.S. I just looked up "Shivah" and found it to be this: the mourning period, following the funeral and lasting traditionally for seven days, observed by Jews for a deceased parent, sibling, child, or spouse. My bad, I had no idea it was a Jewish term, but now I know lol.
    | Posted on 2007-01-15 00:00:00 | by alteredlife | [ Reply to This ]
      Kali!!! Omg, I learned about hinduism in my Religions of the world class, and when I read this poem, I could just think of the picture of Kali standing with her foot on Shiva's body. This is a blessed piece of writing, and I think she would appreciate it. It's so sad. I love how you described the woman's skin as parchment, because it truly gace the feeling of being old, and worn out, but still strong and useful at the same time. The ending was so powerful, and I could just picture the woman, wild like an animal clawing at Shiva, who represents life, while Kali represents death. I love that so much. Amazing, truly.
    Blessings,
    ~Azura*
    | Posted on 2007-01-15 00:00:00 | by EmpathicAya | [ Reply to This ]
      Kali!!! Omg, I learned about hinduism in my Religions of the world class, and when I read this poem, I could just think of the picture of Kali standing with her foot on Shiva's body. This is a blessed piece of writing, and I think she would appreciate it. It's so sad. I love how you described the woman's skin as parchment, because it truly gace the feeling of being old, and worn out, but still strong and useful at the same time. The ending was so powerful, and I could just picture the woman, wild like an animal clawing at Shiva, who represents life, while Kali represents death. I love that so much. Amazing, truly.
    Blessings,
    ~Azura*
    | Posted on 2007-01-15 00:00:00 | by EmpathicAya | [ Reply to This ]


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