Yellow and Blue then Green
blue on one end of the scale yellow at the opposite end a kind of magnetic needle in between blue, a feeling of down or calm yellow feels up, vibrant, bright somewhere in the middle, green in the middle, they meld and transform yellow and blue become green three for the price of two this gauge is invisible, yet lives within it is carried eternally it is the human tachometer a reminder that nothing stays the same everything can change it can go from blue to yellow to green unaware of its change remarkable in being seen
When the World is on Fire
When the world is on fire do you close your eyes? Ignore it? Do you? Fuelled by racial discrimination this conflagration is a spirit abomination this IS my nation home of my education playground of my indoctrination to a world of justification looking for integration knowing that communication is the way forward I say I want a revolution, a human revolution it’s gonna have to start with me the only solution for this revolution Has to start with me We’re all in the same war but not all in the same trenches these flames are deep, embedded we need more than hammers and wrenches reformation, inner reformation takes transformation no longer subjugation seeing ourselves as real co-existing human transformation my own revolution lighting my way and seeing you
Yasher Koiech Nefesh Yehudi
These words, “yasher koiech, mein nefesh Yehuda” “Have strength, my Jewish soul” is like the mantra used to encloak myself when leaving the comfort of home. Even with broad-minded people, there is always the risk of awakening the sleeping dragon of the Jew-baiting anti-semite ready to pounce. Will this feeling, ever so deeply engrained leave the awareness I call myself? I choose one Jewish metaphor to describe myself, “charoseth”, the sweet, dark, spicy, nutty, tart mixture made for the Passover Seder, one of the six Seder plates, an homage to the slave labour in Egypt’s Pharoah time, the reason for the Exodus. Charoseth resembles mortar. Mortar builds things—houses, outdoor ovens. Because Jews number few in population, we are noticed and well-known for high achievements. I try to build friendships while remembering the charoseth of apples and dates and wine and nuts. I think of people this way, full of goodness, sweetness and with the intoxicating alluring risks hidden in the dangers of nuts. I want to be accepted—not tolerated, therefore I must accept others just as different to me as I am to them. Not easy, but definitely doable. I think of our foremother Esther whose intelligence saved her people. My own orphaned, biological mother Yocheved was responsible, at age 7, for a younger brother and sister. These women and Ruth, whose compassion became synonymous with empathy used the mortar of their own wisdom to build better societies. They are the woof and weft of the weaving of these cultures. When Vashti refused to parade naked in front of her husband’s cadre of supporters she was replaced by Esther and through cunning and fortuitousness exposed calumniaty for what it is. At 7 years of age, at cheder (religious school), there was an Esther contest. I had no hope of winning. My family was unable to purchase my costume. Being self-conscious, yet enjoying the participation, I took a brown paper bag, drew a crown of crayon coloured jewels, borrowed my mother’s flowery cotton skirt and elastic-necked blouse, marched down the aisle with a devil-may-care smile, fully expecting nothing but a good time, and for my ingenuity, I won and won more than flowers I won a confidence that is sewn irrevocably in the decision-making process of my every day Never give up, give in, go forth, be creative, with the directive Yasher Koiech, Nefesh Yehudi the mortar is in you, build with sweetness, goodness, tartness, nuttiness, chutzpah and always with the knowledge that with a Nefesh Yehudi we are together, we are strong, I am with you, I am strong, I and you are strong and we are all together Yasher Koiech!
©2022 Honey Novick
All rights reserved
…was privileged to record with bill bissett for the Secret Handshake Reading Series in December 2021. The Secret Handshake also published her chapbook, Bob Dylan, My Rabbi. Two copies were purchased by the Robards Library, University of Toronto. “Kaleidoscopic Wonderful” was published in January 2022 by the Taj Mahal Review. She was commissioned by the Friendly Spike Theatre Band to write the history of mad people’s theatre in Toronto with “I’m Mad, I Matter, Making a Difference,” and also edited the anthology, POEMDEMIC.