l. j. rose  |  sparks project : selected sparks : Pardes

(The Orchard)



Four entered the Pardes.
         Ben Azzai gazed and died.
         Ben Zoma gazed and was stricken.
         Ben Abuya gazed and cut the plants.
         Rabbi Akiba entered in peace and left in peace.


The Talmud







A hack is dispatched with a butterfly
nimbus—cleft, cerulean, with red
and black arc and rose finial—chariot
to the seventh palace and back.

I’m not dead, stricken nor graven. I am I,
spindrift across the orchard for the sake
of heaven and turn to where a beam forms,

and set out, with you, this time, my fare,
into new worlds—the promise we hold

even now in the drone matter of everyday.




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all images - copyright 1998 l. j. rose
all poetry - Daniel Y. Harris