Tag Archives: heaven

Prayer, Anyone?

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

When the fate of the world
lies not in our own hands,
when chaos is loosed upon the land,
can the power of prayer
move mountains and men?

Can appeal to the heavens
restrain madmen from their fury?

Would that the weight of all prayers,
Jewish and otherwise,
tip the scales in favor of sanity.

When bombs rained down in WWII,
when people were herded into camps,
when others in charge carve our destinies,
when disasters, man-made or natural, strike now,
the only recourse in our own hands comes
when those hands clasp together in prayer.

I may be the paragon of doubt,
a stranger to formal ritual,
but when catastrophe throws its thunderbolt,
I am the first to utter, “Oh, my God!”
and proceed to direct my prayers skyward.

Do you not do the same?

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Heaven, Seriously?

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

We Jews are a bit vague when asked
about the actual parameters of heaven.
Many believe the souls of the righteous
go directly to a place similar to heaven,
or will be resurrected when the Messiah comes.
The Torah provides little expansion on the topic,
but bound as I am by earthly existence
I’d like some geographical reference points.
Is an after-life someplace west of the moon,
catty-corner to the Milky Way?
Should it not come equipped
with a signpost or a GPS?
I have trouble accepting
this life is but a mere foyer
to the Grand Ballroom of heaven,
believing instead that dancing
is to be encouraged terrestrially,
with feet grounded in the here and now.
Would that I had the comfort of knowing
where my soul will pirouette past time,
given the lack of clear and present instruction.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, Jewish identity, poetry

Taxi Driver

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

A man of faith, transporting a doubtful believer,
he negotiated the stop-and-go of
Brooklyn traffic from under his yarmulke.
When asked if he were driving full time,
he answered, “No, I am a religious teacher,”
his tzitzis hanging outside his pants.
Assuming rightly I was Jewish, he asked,
“Do you put on tefillin?”
“Why should I?” I countered, cheekily.
“Because the head is over the heart.
Also, you should observe Shabbos.”
“It’s a little late for me.”
“It’s never too late to be a good Jew.”
He had arrived from Casablanca
because there weren’t enough Jews there to teach.
“I hope to lead a congregation here,” he said.
I paid my fare, concluding I was walking to hell
while he was driving, sans map, a straight path to heaven.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, Brooklyn Jews, Jewish identity, poetry

The God Particle

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

They may have found the particle in Geneva,
but they didn’t find God in heaven.
So, the search continues, in Switzerland, in me.
I applaud their efforts, even though
I don’t understand their physics.
Yet, I know the answer to God’s existence
won’t be found inside a semi-conductor,
but in the intricate tunnels of the human heart.
If I could find a particle of belief,
I would be the most willing convert to orthodoxy.
Nations fight over religion;
families argue the merits over religion
in prewedding discussions with their offspring.
The battle between belief and non-belief
rages across the tough terrain of my soul.
Will you esteemed physicists
now find yourself closer to God,
or will one tiny particle even more convincingly lead
to the gateway of the splendor of His work?
I await an answer from you or God.

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, history, Jewish identity, poetry

Hawking Sees No Heaven

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

Hawking sees no heaven,
a fantasy, he calls it,
“for people afraid of the dark.”
What, no Shangri-La for the children,
no safe haven for the doubtful?
His pronouncement manifests the force
of a prison door closing on a life sentence.
Mr. Hawking, I surely respect your intelligence,
but how can you be so sure?
We are more than machine
with triple AAA batteries gone dead.
In the small, sheltered space
before you fall asleep
do you not think your soul migrates
to a higher, more peaceful place?
Sleep may be death’s counterfeit,
but we dream, do we not?
Why not then for eternity?

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years.  Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in a new YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy,  edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit: http://www.melglenn.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Jewish identity, poetry