Thursday, October 29, 2015

Heather Gelb- A Poem

Brief Bio: I often feel like a gazelle as I leap from hilltop to hilltop.
On one of these hills I recently publish my memoir, my spiritual journey from the hills of one land to another:
One of my poems based on this book will be featured in the fall edition of Poetica Magazine.
I have also published stories and poetry in Green Panda Press, Deronda Review, Jellyfish Whispers, Stepping Stones, and Esra Magazine.
Turbulence and the Joy of Sunflowers
I fall through
Troubled skies pulsing with uncertainty, and
Touch clouds of luminance that
Reveal flocks of shadowy crows
Emerging from the horizon.
I am falling, falling through a
Guiding turbulence
That only lonely, half-mad geniuses understand, and
I land on
Converging paths bordered by
Patches of blazing wheat.
Swirls of sky and unstable fields 
Pull away from each other with
Baseless hatred.
Endless black birds zigzag and chant slogans while
Clutching knives dripping with self-fulfilling anger.
Their fluttering wings create illusions
Of Freedom dancing with Death,
I resist the urge to scream in
Helpless surrender.
Instead I feel inner calm as I
Whirl with the eddies of
Swirling colors and focus on the
And then I remember the
Joy of sunflowers
And understand how all the
Separated parts are united by
Echoes of peaceful color.
I really do choose the
Less travelled path in search of sunflowers while
I  throw stones of hope at the birds
That send ripples through their illusions
And release a cascade of renewed energy sharpened with
Determination to live without fear.


  1. Crow, a sacred and auspicious spirit and totem animal "Many cultures consider crows to be the keepers of the Sacred Law, for nothing escapes their keen sight. To have a Crow as a power animal is extremely powerful stuff. When we meditate on the crow and align with it, we are instilled with the wisdom to know ourselves beyond the limitations of one-dimensional thinking and laws. We are taught to appreciate the many dimensions of both reality and ourselves, and to learn to trust our intuition and personal integrity."....More info on the crow spirit animal: ..... additionally, you can ask yourself: " What does the essence of the imagery of knives in Crow's clutch reveal about myself?"

  2. Fascinating - that there are so many symbolic and spiritual levels to the common crow, as there is for just about any animal. Thanks for giving me (bird) food for thought. I don't know what Van Gogh was thinking (towards the end of his turbulent life) when he painted those crows into his well-known "Wheat Field with Crows" painting, one of his many paintings that move me to paint my own interpretation with words. I was actually gazing at a copy of that particular painting when I heard the news of yet another Arab stabbing a Jew, this time a Jewish mother my age shopping just down the block in the same place I had just walked by that morning. A few days before a young soldier like my son was stabbed in the same bus stop where my son usually waits, Every day another crow emerging from the horizon, another Arab dripping with brainwashed hate and a knife in search of kids, adults, soldiers to tear apart and bring a disturbingly warped glory to himself and family. That is the reality we fight against, like my friend wrote about after a study session we had together:
    However I really appreciate learning about such positive crow imagery. Thanks.

  3. Another (long) example of how we throw our stones of hope while we look for the sunflowers beneath skies of menacing crows:
    Written by a woman who witnessed the stabbing attack near our community and took action while keeping her faith:
    "Today was a day I will never forget. Wednesday is always Rami Levi day. Left at my usual time and did my usual shopping. With all thats going on these days i take one of my kids with me so they can look around the parking lot while i pack the car. today was supposed to be a normal wasnt. I pulled out of the Rami Levi parking lot and my daughter asked me are u scared to go to Rami Levi....i said no. A minute later my life was changed forever. A woman was crossing from the gas station to the other side. She was carrying many bags all of a sudden from the corner of my eye i see a man with a brown coat running to her and i saw him raise his hand and stab her in the back, I immediately honked my horn and screamed to my daughter its happening and we both started screaming hysterically. As soon as i started honking the מחבל ran and i got out of the car and started screaming help help.I ran to the woman who was on the floor. i told her its ok you are going to be ok. She stood up but i saw she was weak. i held her and all of a sudden i see soldiers running with their guns and the shooting started. i brought the woman to my car and told her to sit. There was blood all over my hand. People were all over. my daughter ran to english cake and was hysterical she was surrounded by amazing women who wanted to help. bh my neighbor who is a doctor was in the area he heard me scream and ran to see what was going on. i needed to go and see if my daughter was ok and i asked my neighbor to stay with the woman while i go to my daughter.i was still hysterical at this point. crying shaking,,,,there were amazing woman who helped me and my daughter, Someone called Marty Gardner and he got a ride immediately and was by our side. I was questioned by the shabak, police and the army, It felt unreal. I felt like i was in a movie because how could this ever happen to me. My daughter was in trauma and she was taken to the hospital with Marty, i was still being held for questioning. they told me that the woman was ok she was being taken to shaarei tzedek.when they told me i could go my neighbor was kind enough to leave his car in rami levi and drive me home to my anxiously awaiting family. after seeing my family i went to shaarei tzedek to check on my daughter. she is doing ok. i was also able to meet Nirit's husband, son and other family members. they told me she was recovering from the surgery but doing well. they asked me to tell them the story and they were so thankful that i was there. at that moment i remembered that at the scene of the pigua one woman kept telling me you are a hero. i dont feel like one. the real heroes are the people of israel and the people who fight to defend and protect us. when saying goodbye to them i left them my number so they could let me know how Nirit was doing. A couple of hours ago i received a call from Nirit. She said she was doing well and kept thanking me over and over. What could i say..your welcome doesn't cut it in this situation. I just kept telling her over and over that i was glad she was ok. All i know is that Hashem puts us exactly where we are supposed to be. This is where i was supposed to be with my played out exactly the way it was supposed to. Even though i was scared, traumatized and freaked out my emunah is as strong as ever. I still love my country and would never change it for anything else, Feeling so grateful for all my family who came at a moments notice and all the friends that were there and offered to help. Thank you Hashem for all the greatness around me."

  4. May everyone stay safe in this frightening time. May what unites us be stronger than what divides us and may those who are tormented find peace in safety far from those who seek blood. Baseless hatred..... oftentimes the pain and grief of the hurting is seen as baseless hatred by those who havent quite tasted the taste of their own blood. I see so many people blame those who didnt ask to be terrorized, for crying out for their murdered family or for the scars their abusers have left, or for simply trying to turn away and never look back, to never again have to confront those who mean them harm. Be well, stay safe. Your children will be safe from harm, as mine have been granted safety.

  5. also, thankyou dearly and sincerely for your beyond generous opening up ( when you didnt have to, no one should have to explain their wounds). I cant imagine ( well I can somewhat as I experienced racist hatred dead on) what its like to have my children in the crossfire day after day. Keep on keeping on... this madness will end. May it be today

  6. Amen to what unites us being stronger than what divides us, and amen to protecting our children while raising them to love, not hate.