Rosh HaShanah in the Pines 3 – 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 third one, from 2009.  Shanah tovah u’metukah.

Rosh HaShanah in the Pines 3

Fire Island Pines, 2009


IMG_3121Under a cerulean sky

we gather together

cloaked in the warmth of mid-September sun.


Renewal comes heralded by the screech of seagulls.

Houses decked out in summer finery

offer dappled turquoise pools for self-reflection.


The still-rowdy sun of early fall

is tempered only by the vigor

with which we approach our appointed task.


Faces bared to the breeze off the sea

we allow ourselves to open,

turning toward the sweetness of beginning again.


We stand on the shore of the new year,

feet awash in the fragile foam of creation,

cleansed and purified by the embryonic ocean brine.


Copyright © 2009 Hara E. Person

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