Ba’al T’qiah

Original publication: Poetica Magazine summer 2013 edition

By Richard Mather…

A storm wind comes from the hidden north
filling my mouth, my lungs,
with dust
and sand from Sinai.
Then a great cloud of black, a no-thingness
that deprives me of sense, of touch and taste,
of sight, smell and hearing.
Then a winding of burning.
No, not wind, but flame:
black fire on white skin.
Sparks engrave the Torah on the heart’s interior –
One long name of God,
a string of jewelled consonants.
Then a white glow around the fire,
a crown of white.
And there is God
like an exultant king
after the heat of battle.


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