Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Yehuda Amichai -

I am reminded today of the poet Yehuda Amichai.   If you don't know his book Open, Closed, Open, it is a beauty and a worthy placement on your inner and outer shelf.

The Amen Stone

Yehuda Amichai

One my desk there is a stone with the word "Amen" on it,

a triangular fragment of stone from a Jewish graveyard destroyed

many generations ago.  The other fragments, hundreds upon hundreds,

were scattered helter-skelter, and a great yearning,

a longing without end, fills them all:

first name in search of family name, date of death seeks

dead man's birthplace, son's name wishes to locate

name of father, date of birth seeks reunion with soul

that wishes to rest in peace. And until they have found

one another, they will not find perfect rest.

Only this stone lies calmly on my desk and says "Amen."

But now the fragments are gathered up in lovingkindness

by a sad good man. He cleanses them of every blemish,

photographs them one by one, arranges them on the floor

in the great hall, makes each gravestone whole again,

one again:  fragment to fragment,

like the resurrection of the dead, a mosaic,

a jigsaw puzzle.  Child's play.

That is the introduction to the book.   I thumb through now, once again.  It is so beautiful, this book, this man, every poem a touching stone for something deeper of understanding and connection.

I love these words:

And there's all this talk about Till death do us part.
Even death will not part us, it will bind us
somewhere in the universe
in a new encounter that has no end.

And there is this:

Longings are the fruit.
Words and deeds that truly happen
are the flowers of the field that wither and fade.
The fruit remains a while longer, bearing the seeds of longings to come.
The root lasts, deep in the ground. 


And all the while messengers keep running back and forth
to my childhood to retrieve what I forgot or left behind
as if from a house that is about to be demolished,
or like Robinson Crusoe, from the slowly sinking ship
to the island - so I salvage from my childhood provisions and memories
for the next installment of my life. 


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