Alef: Seeding the Alphabet

The Yoke of Heaven
Shoulder your sacks of barley and plans,
your burden lifts as you walk.

No need to know who beckons.
Stir any of God’s seventy names

until hummingbirds thrum in your throat.
Skim creeks and honeyed meadows,

then climb a dry plateau to your beginning:
                       a fallow field, unplowed.

Seeding an Alphabet
To invent the alef-beit,
decipher the grammar of crows,
read a tangle of bare branches
with vowels of the last leaves
scrawling their jittery speech
on the sky’s pale page.

Choose a beginning.
See what God yields and dirt cedes
when tines disturb fescue, vetch, and sage,
when your hand dips grain from a sack,
scattering it among engraved furrows.

Beyond the hill, a plume of dust
where oxen track the hours.
Does God lead or follow or scout?
To answer, count to one again and again:
a red maple leaf and a yellow maple leaf
that wind rifles, rain shines until they let go,
blazing their scripted nothingness on air.