Category Archives: Poetry

One Woman, Two Foxes and The Blades of Grass

It really happened this way
I saw a fox
Running free and wild
I saw a fox no longer alive, so very dead

All in one day

I glanced out my window full of green trees dappled in sun
The grass, the leaves, all aglow
While writing a note to a dear someone
In russets and gold with some black on its tail full of flow
That foxy one just sauntered on by, casual and slow,
doing a foxtrot for sure, on her slow run

fox run

I gasped in delight and watched her go
Across the stream, up on the hill, here at Holy Hill
I was granted this glimpse, this gift and Oh!
The beauty of this beast
My first sight of wild fox while sitting still

It makes me cry, it does still
And I know why

In the morn we are born
In the eve we wither and die
We are fragile and fleeting
Like the blades of grass

It doesn’t matter our mass
Our brilliance of mind, stature,
Wealth, talent or form
We all only, only have this day

In the afternoon, much later on this same day, I took a stroll
On a new path, one unexplored and full of grass
I saw some large stones covered in moss
An old well, or trough?

The gray, the green, the flowers, the bees,
The sound of the wind
Moving in the breeze
I wandered over to get a better view
And then I cried and gasped and had to jump back

My fox, not the earlier one,
Once seen, she felt like mine, was lying there so gone
With flies in her eyes
All of Mother Nature’s bugs in and out and about
Her tail, brown and black, swollen and full
No more to play and glide across my window
No more to jump and run, gently or swiftly,
In the rain or in the sun
No more yipping and yapping or joy of catching the hare
With her wildness laid bare, she was now sadly, free of care

All in One day—it happened this way
The Joy, the Sorrow, the Delight and the Fright
I long, I long, with all my might
To see the fox, my fox, again running by on the slope

Perhaps on the morrow
With my heart laid bare
Across the stream, as if in a dream
If I’m lucky and there’s some measure
Of dew and hope

And I’m granted another day
As a blade of grass, as a woman, sitting still by the window sill
I hope to be granted this view and this gift
If, from the Holy One, yet another moment or day
Is given me to borrow

©By Nicole Barchilon Frank, October 1, 2015, 17th of Tishri, 5776

Ode to Ethan on this, his day of birth, January 20th

while you swam inside me
we called you Mowgli
we watched and waited for you
as you leapt and turned under
the surface of my being
and we welcomed you
with delight and love

18 Years ago, Ethan came into the world. This is him with his father's hands.
birthing you was not so
gentle, easy or graceful
but you yourself have been and are
gentle, easy, graceful
and more, so much, much more
now as you leap and fall
from silks unfolding, as you race
around the court and aim yourself
at the ball or the sound on the piano keys
I wonder can I marvel any more
than I already and constantly do
at who you are

Ethan and his Mommy, summer of 1997
there is no limit to wonder
when you open your heart
and you stretch me further
and more all the time
you nourish everything parched or worn
in me with your warmth
your kindness, your devotion
and your essence

Ethan and his Mommy's Trike
May the face of Holiness
continue to shine on you, through
you, and around you and may you
feel the presence of Holiness
like you feel my love, both
are yours forever and both
come from the same place where you
also come from

Ethan's baby Quilt, made by Nicole Barchilon Frank

Swim and leap about my
youngest sprout
I’m so, so glad you are here
I want to shout it out
Yay for Ethan, Yay for Ethan
Yay for You!

My big boy!
My big boy!

 

 

This poem was originally written on Ethan’s 17th birthday last year. Today, he is 18! I’m off to the store to get the raspberries for his birthday breakfast crêpes, that recipe will be coming soon!

Hineyni-Here I am

***
***

little girl
who feels it all
the joy, the hungers
the gaping wound,
the tired, lonely aching call

still after all
wanting, needing to
FIX IT, hold it,
love it, nurse it,
make it whole and
let it be known that
NO ONE, NO ONE

IS ALONE

in your caress,
in your warm arms,
in all the prayers
and love and
tenderness
that flows to me
through you

through every leaf
reflecting light
through your warm
body close to mine
at night

for the fierce force of
friendship
minus all the hype

what a crazy world I live in,
we live in

stay open
open wide
with nowhere to hide

this is who I am
and who I was
made to be
there is nowhere to hide

except all around me
all through me
everywhere, everywhere
Ani Adonai Eloheihem

I answer Hineyni (Here I am)
again and again and again
for Eternity

***(original therapeutic artwork by Nicole Barchilon Frank working with healing her wounded little girl. Picture from early 1970s)

What Kind of Jew are You?

Open Poppy From Nicole's Deck and Heart, Flower made by The Holy One
Open Poppy From Nicole’s Deck Heart, Flower by The Holy One

I’m a heart opening,
Big Loving,
Always Seeking,
Torah Studying
Kinda Jew

not just a kinda Jew but
a full fledged
big practicing
kind Jew

I’m a never ending
pot o’ soup on the stove
kind of Jew

I’m a complex and
wild woman
mikveh loving and
Mussar loving
kinda Jew

I will
cook for you
pray for you
engage with you
sing for and with you
study with you
discourse with you
kind of Jew

I’m a sit with you
while you are dying
and sing the Shema
over you as you take your last
breaths kind of Jew

I will gently bathe your cold
body and recite love lines from
the Song of Songs
over your limbs and your whole body
I will work with others together and
wrap, gently wrap
you in a shroud
kind of Jew

I’m a start to finish
kind of Jew
I’m a long-winded
and lots to say kind of Jew

I say a blessing
over everything
that goes into my mouth
I say a blessing
when I arise
when I learn of a death
when I immerse
when I study
whenever I have or make time
when I do something for the first time
when I see an old friend

or a rainbow

I pray every day
pretty much all day
in some way

I light candles on Shabbat
I light candles for those
who’ve left this world
or for those
in need of healing

I honor my mother and my father
I strive to honor and be present
for my children, all the children
in my life, not just those I’ve
raised or birthed

I love my husband, my man
who is not a Jew
I love him completely
imperfectly and with all my heart

I’m an observe a lot of commandments
kinda Jew….but not all of them

I’m a wrestle with and dance
with the Divine kinda Jew
and I think
whatever Kind of Jew

I am

I’m some kinda Jew
looking for and
always loving You!

©Nicole Barchilon Frank, February 28, 2014 ~ 28th of Adar I, 5774

There’s too many things to put in a mouth

My brother Paul Barchilon Nursing with me looking on, 1965
My brother Paul Barchilon nursing with me looking on, 1965

he reaches for everything
with his mouth, his mouth

it all goes in
and then drools out

he’s so full of

JOY

he’s my
JOY BOY

he’ll stare at his hands
and reach for the sky
with his mouth,
with his mouth,

with his whole being

he wakes in the morning
cooing and full of delight
no one needs to remind him
to give thanks or be grateful

his every moment is full of loving
and exploring

he oozes delight

he reaches for me with his mouth
with his mouth
and I joyfully give in to his sweet
need and his warm

mouth

©Nicole Barchilon Frank, mom in love, (6/20/97 Ethan’s fifth month birthday)