The floodgates swing wide open
The world accosted by a storm:
Waters, knowledge, ideas, in many forms
And deforms, in countless texts and textures,
Some wet, others dry, some deep as a cut, others
Shallow as a grave, some sharp as a tongue, others
Blunt as a fact, flood the mind like a rapid river that
Doesn’t give a dam…
Emotions swirl in a violent tempest: temper long lost and
Not soon found; a storm of feelings, influences, hurts, loves
And immune apathies rages on like an angry school principle.
(If we would leave the pen for the pun, we’d say:
The world is delugenal.)
Arms flail and try to swim, but it’s no use.
Perhaps there’s a shout for help but if there
Is it only sounds like an echo reverberating
Off the empty walls of a cavernous situation
Without even a reply to halt the pathetic, Help! Help! Help!
Gulp and begin to drown…
You and your household
To the ark
Ark these words
(This here might be the ark side of the moon.)
True, there will be flood and storm-brought confusion
In this universe – it is the modus operandi of universes
Everywhere – however, it is also (if not more) true that
We have the ability to weather (not whether) the storm
And beat the flooding – this is the modus operandi of
It is what those of the English persuasion would call an Ark;
We of the Holy Tongue persuasion (and who isn’t persuaded
In that way, at least to some extent) would call it a Tayvah:
Tayvah, besides for being an ark, a vessel in which to ride waves
Of the nautical kind, also translates as Word, a vessel with which to
Ride waves of a much different – and yet just as stormy – kind.
What type of ark can protect us from the kind of flood that isn’t wet?
Words – words of prayer, words of torah, words of comfort, words of peace.
Just as the ark back then was an island of calm on a sea of turmoil
So too is today’s ark – a prayer in the morning, a study session in the
Evening – a slice of peaceful harmony in a deluge of fragmented confusion.
Go forth from the ark
But an ark, a place of peace and harmony, a moment of
Sincerity and unity, where even animals can live together,
Is not a place, a moment, from which one goes forth easily.
But we do not live for what is easy; we live for what is right:
True we must have our arks, the words of prayer and torah
With which to guide us through the storm that is life, but we
Cannot remain boxed into our own little world – we’ve got to
Go forth from the ark, lest we become as stale as the flood itself.
We must go forth and bring the ark, the letters forth with us
So that a flood never drowns anyone ever again.
Arkeology & Arkitecture:
The study and texture of Noah’s – and our – ark
Perhaps an arketype if you will.
Mendel Jacobson is a writer, poet and journalist living in Brooklyn. His weekly poetry can be seen at jakeyology.blogspot.com
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.