Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ed Galing: Poet of the Month Poetica Magazine Oct 2008

Poetica Link:

Here are Ed's Featured poems:

Ed Galing

Land and Honey

the lower east side

of new york

was my playground:

i walked among

pushcarts on

orchard street

and delancy street,

i played ball with

my chaverim on the

early streets of

the east side, with

makeshift bat and


the summers were very


fire plugs gushed water

to cool us off,

as if the river jordan had

overflowed just for us,

my mother and father were

typical immigrants from

russia, simple people who

loved the Torah, and our

way of life, and instilled

into me the love for the

one and only God, who watches

over all of us,

the tenement houses rose high

and wash hung from the windows,

lines stretching across roof


drying in the sun,

we slept at night on the


the stars and the moon, like

the hanging gardens of babylon,

iriddense, magical,

"shema yisroel, adonai, echod,"

the first words i learned to


in hebrew.


the high holy days

i am jewish

i am almost ninty

i have lost my wife

she died this year

i have nothing much

to live for,

when a man loses his

wife he loses it


i take solace in prayer,

i hold the prayer book

in my hand, while the

cantor sings the mournful

hebrew passages of the

kol nidre,

when it comes to the

mention of the dead, my

tears wet the pages before

me until i can't see anymore,

i sob my wife's name

over and over again,

I say kaddish, while

the entire synagogue fills

up with the sounds of redemption.


my mother, when

she was alive,

God bless her


loved to dance;

she would say,

for instance,

when someone asked

her where she was


she would reply,

"ich gay tantzen,"

i am going dancing,

what a wonderful

jewish word is


so clear, so exuberant,

so whimsical,



she would dance to

russian melodies,

polish one too;

for she came from


she danced at weddings,

bar mitzvahs, (bat

mitzvahs also,)

"ich gay tatzen,

ich gat tatzen,"

oh, she loved the


in the arms of

my dear departed

father, i can see

her still,

swirling around a

ballroom, smiling,

so graceful,

throwing a wink

at me, standing nearby,

"ich gay tantzen."

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