Rosh HaShanah in the Pines 2 – A New Year’s Poem

Since 1999 I have served as Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Olam.  B’nai Olam is a unique and special congregation in Fire Island Pines, a beautiful summer community on Fire Island, a barrier island off the Coast of Long Island, which meets only  for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.  In 2007 I began writing a new poem every year for Rosh HaShanah.  Here is the second one, from 2008.  Shanah tovah u’metukah.

Rosh HaShanah in the Pines, Fire Island 2

IMG_3095This late in the season

decks are bare,

houses closed up until next summer.

Torsos are covered,

tattoos and piercings remaining undisplayed

until the cycle repeats itself next year.

Geraniums are gone,

eaten by deer weeks ago,

leaving gray-weathered boards

brightened only by blue tarps

of now-covered pools.


IMG_3159Scrub pines

rooted deeply in sand

offer occasional shelter

from the scouring late-September gusts.

The sea laps a lullaby against the shore.


Holy days arrive amidst autumn’s pumpkin

and apple harvest.

We make our own stark beauty

on this strip of sand

cleansing our souls in this pared down paradise.

Late this year, but never too late.


Copyright © 2009 Hara E. Person


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Filed under High Holy days, Judaism, Poetry

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