Random notes

Random note under other random notes-to-self
pulled from desk-top clutter—Do not enslave yourself
to free others,
helps me embrace this day,

along with the musings of Koholet, the Gatherer, from jazz
Ecclesiastes offered up by Gerry Stern* to which I add:
take truth from the river mud, the coal-fire smoke
sending black chimney dust to Chicago’s windowsills.

I was a girl then, not yet 20, newly married.
It didn’t last.  It is eternal—my son and grandchildren
the living signs.  The axis of this planet’s tilted.  My dad,
a cheerful man, one leg shorter than the other, walked

a lifelong tilt, spoke easy truths.  Asked every blushing niece
and nephew, every grandchild “How’s your love life?”
Fervent atheist, no god beyond the facts of science—
he had the deepest faith: No  matter what comes

at you, the only way to make it through
is love, is love, is love.
*in Save the Last Dance: poems, Gerald Stern, “The Preacher,” pp64-89, W.W. Norton, 2008


  1. “The only way to make it through is love, is love, is love.” the deepest faith indeed. Just before you posted this I was soaking in Shapiro’s translation of the Pirke 3:11 and 3:12, Mishna 9 of the Greenberg translation.
    All this alongside Corinthians: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

    Suzuki wrote: “One who believes he is a good father is a bad father. One who believes he is a bad father is a good father. One who takes the posture of zazen and seeks enlightenment will never attain enlightenment.” From your poem one might say one who “believes” he has strong faith may have no faith. One who believes he has no faith may have the strongest faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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