Plays by Deborah Freeman

I have completed `Remedies,` a play about M E.  Background research...

Writing Groups

I am setting up a new writing group in East Finchley, to be held in the atmospheric location of an East Finchley...

Novels by Deborah Freeman

 A few years back. I answered an ad on the Radio 3 website, from the conceptual art company, Blast Theory...

Poems by Deborah Freeman

These appeared in the journal Jewish Renaissance, 2008.  `Fish.` `Fasting.` `Open a Gate for Us. ` `After the...

Yom Kippur Poems

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These appeared in the journal Jewish Renaissance, 2008.  `Fish.` `Fasting.` `Open a Gate for Us. ` `After the Fast.` 

 

 

 

Fish

Yom Kippur these days means fish.
He likes fish after his fast;
herring, ice-grey, stick-rolled.
Baked, fried, chopped hake or cod,
or whiting from autumn shops.

Yom Kippur afternoon he reads
`Jonah`. The way his father always did it.
The words are old patterns on wall-paper
in a room in the unchanged house.

Onion-eyed, fish-handed, I see
my bared breath on stainless steel.
Glinting, his fish lies diagonal, stiff
beside my reflection. I push it under
the tap. Its eyes catch wet sunshine.

All I have left, God, is a fish.
All you seem to have left me is a fish.

Fasting

Silver entrails invite me.
Instead of chopping a fish
I`m in one.
Is this a fish that offers blessings?
In its giant hollows
caverns pulsate with blood.
Eggs spread in clouds
out into the ocean.
The deeper you go in
the quieter it gets.

 

Open a Gate for Us.

Near the end they sing about gates.
`Petach Lanu Sha`ar.` Open a gate for us.

I think of all the gates I`ve opened,
or not opened. And I want to be a gate;

to swing, squeaking, and let people through;
to slam, iron-hard, and keep people out.

Or in. Let me be grilles and bars for ever.
Or hinges - skilled, oiled, complex, secure.

Then, when I am at my hungriest, though not
feeling hunger, light-headed, drained of days,

I think of the dream I had when I was
a child and didn`t know what it meant.

I came into a large hall. Far away,
the other side of it, I saw a door.

That door grew bigger, brighter, and smaller,
more diminutive, both at the same time.

I woke up knowing something
but not what.

After the Fast.

Dusk falls and it`s all over. I go home
past children playing in the autumn cool,.
In just enough light to catch sycamores by,
they polish conkers in their small hands.
I pick one up.  An uneven globe, a chunky seed.
A child`s weapon; and a burnished promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2010 Deborah Freeman
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