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Peacocks

When I think of peacocks
I think of you and
There are so many peacocks
Here. Their colors are
Everywhere. You are
Everywhere. Teal, turquoise, and
Azure surround me as
The color of you. Your eyes,
Electric blue, Blue –
The eyes on a feather,
Royal, The color of Sky and
Oceans of blue,
Sapphires of blue,
Everything your eyes see
Makes everything I see
Iridesce with,  flash with
You,  Now
Everything reminds me of peacocks.
When I think of peacocks
I think of you.

(for Arlene)

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2016 in Poetry

 

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Letter of Resignation

Letter of Resignation
(On my third reading of Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse)

 
Vasudeva,
Is it really necessary
We live in this hut together?

Isn’t it enough
I gave you my clothes
For the privilege of tending oar?

Can I only find myself
In the eternal now of the river
Always flowing, but never the same?

Must I sit under that tree
For an entire week to find myself?
After a week, I should have found my navel by now.

Must I sit there to
Defeat my demons? Afterall, they are
At my heels no matter where I happen to be.

The lotus
Grows from mud, I know,
But I want a bath and clean soft towels.

Why can’t I find myself
In a club somewhere,
Meditating in the beat and the groove?

What about the
Constant flow of people and machines,
The never-ending now of the ever-changing traffic?

Why can’t I
Subdue my demons
Over a great meal or between olive thighs?

I resign.
Besides, Vasudeva,
You snore horribly.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2016 in Culture, philosophy, psychology, Religion

 

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Metric

If I had been brought up with the metric system
I could hold an orange in my hand
And tell you how much it weighs in kilograms.
But I was taught with pounds and feet
And I can tell you how much a whole bag of oranges weighs,
Just about,
Or look at a board and give you the measure of it.
But how many meters it is?
How much the orange weighs in kilograms?
I’m lost. Dumb.
Right in front of me,
Any guess as good as another.

Love, I think—
Love is measured in metrics,
Or some other unit.
I can look at it,
Heft it.
No matter.
Ask me how much I love you:
I cannot say.
I can only look at you,
Sigh,
And trust it can also be measured
In those sighs and desires, and hope
You do not ask.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2016 in Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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Halfway Through March

When I woke this morning, I was afraid I could not write. I felt it was gone. It, whatever that is, felt absent. But during the day’s discussion, in the three minutes between classes, in moments during planning, the topic of poets came up. I found the poem “We Bring Democracy To The Fish,” by Donald Hall. Don’t blame me for the way the title is capitalized – blame Donald. Anyway, he was Laureate until that poem was published. Then he was Poet Non Grata. He and the Dixie Chicks hung out together looking for work.

Distressed Haiku had this line: “I finished with April/halfway through March.”  His wife, the poet Jane Kenyon, had died in the month of April, 1995. That line. That one line. I have said that myself, nearly word for word. And I was writing again. But would I ever write of anything else?

I ask that, yet I have. I have. But, time and time again, I return to it. Why? Because one doesn’t go on. One doesn’t heal. One continues, with the wound. With the weight. One may be happy, one may be loved, and one may be content, one may have a wonderful life. I certainly do. But that is still there, because it is part of our lives. For those in this “club we’re in that I wouldn’t wish anyone to belong to,” as a friend of mine put it, one doesn’t go back to the old way of being, but creates a new normal around the space.

Everything is made of space. So, I guess, I’m still writing about everything. I guess.

 

Halfway Through March

It is second period.
I have been discussing
Poetry with Mr. Wolf.
Poets, appreciated but
Never paid well,
Never paid attention to,
Paid heed, respected,
Honored, yes: the Poets Laureate
Paid, at first, in wine.
Chaucer paid in
Gallons of wine.

Name bridges after them,
Put up markers roadside,
Have them inaugurate
The president, but don’t
Pay them enough to
Leave their teaching posts
So they can develop
Their craft without
Daily worries of bills due.

The discussion moved to
Donald Hall. One year only
He held his post.
He published
“We Bring Democracy To The Fish.”
So long and thanks for all that.

But now it is period three,
Donald Hall is in my brain,
So I am reading.
Students working,
Teacher reading, because
I can barely think
Anything else.

I didn’t know
He lost his wife.
Twenty-six years,
Cancer comes and
She goes.

I had always pictured him
Alone. Solitary, New Hampshire
Snow. Writing.

But he wrote of
Her leaving and
What was left,
He wondered if he
Would ever write of
Anything else.
Here, listen to his
Distressed Haiku:
“Will Hall ever write
lines that do anything
but whine and complain?”

Here is the Universal.
Here is the experience
Of the creative. Of those
Who take everything
Of their lives, of their
Surroundings,
Turn it into something

To understand.
Make the internal life
External, visible, palpable.
Make something with
No hands reach out,
Shake you, shock you,
Leave you thinking,
Understanding what you
Did not understand before.

Make the solitary
The common experience.
Remind me
I’m not the only one.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2016 in Books, Culture, Education, philosophy, Poetry, psychology

 

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Throwing Rocks at the Sun

Written with Sadie Amerina Tritt, age 4. My first collaboration with my granddaughter.

Throwing Rocks at the Sun

We can go to the park now,
And paint with our fingers on canvas sails.
We can dance now,
Tickle a ferret’s tummy until…
Do ferrets laugh?

We can plant flowers
And play with Grandma in the morning.
We can climb through the phone and…
Would we hurt the phone or
Would we hurt our noses?

Are doggies made of
Nothing but bone?
Can I see the pictures
When we get back home?
Tell me, do sea otters
Have bright big teeth?
What animals lay eggs?
What do they eat?

You and I,
We can go outside, and
We can throw rocks at the Sun.

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2015 in Family, Poetry

 

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Win a Copy of my Newest Book : Yom Kippur as Manifest in an Approaching Dorsal Fin

Want to win a copy of my newest book? Of course you do.  Goodreads is holding a give-away for ten copies. Just click on this link.

From the back-matter:

“Whatever ‘the Jewish experience’ might mean to the modern reader, Adam Byrn Tritt’s approach is uniquely his own. He is ‘observant’ in the sense that he carefully observes, as you would expect of a man who is, at essence, a poet. As a self-described ‘Jewitarian Buddhaversalist,’ he is aware that each tradition illuminates the other. This collection of essays and poems provides us with good talk. Conversation is the highest artform, and Mr. Tritt invites us in most kindly, with insight, erudition, humor, and compassion.”

—Wayne McNeill, author of Songbook for Haunted Boys and GirlsImage

Yom Kippur as Manifest in an Approaching Dorsal Fin explores—in essays, poems, and creative nonfiction—the tension between cultural heritage and contemporary society, between religion and spirituality, between the family you inherit and the family you create. From early-morning wrestlings with God to portraits of three remarkably different family funerals, from Kabbalist chants at a pagan bookstore to the humorous “What Do Jews Do on Christmas?,” Tritt’s writing taps into themes nearly universal in today’s world in ways that will resonate with readers of all backgrounds and faiths—or no faith at all.

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2013 in Books, Culture, Family, psychology, Religion, Social

 

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When I held You

The moment I held you,
nested with your body,
wed thigh to thigh,
belly to back,
breath to your neck.
The moment I held you
The sigh, the sleep
my hand rising and falling
with each of your breaths,
you, my inspiration.
The moment I held you
when your body let go,
when your soul, let loose,
held to mine, soul to soul,
and I could no longer tell
whose soul belonged to who.
The moment I held you
when the distance disappeared,
when separation ceased,
when all became you and me
became we and naught else existed
but us and still you are all with which
I am filled.

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in philosophy, Poetry, Uncategorized

 

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