On a June Morning, I Would Head for Your Scent

This is the third themed liturgical weaving I’ve done, taking lines from many different poets and using them to create a new piece designed to be read aloud as part of the morning prayer service in the Feminist, non-Zionist havurah I co-lead. Done right, poetry makes damn fine prayer, and this way of reading with single voices and group response is, honestly, something I learned from the Episcopalians and wow does it work in a group.

On a June Morning, I Would Head for Your Scent

a mosaic with words from Genesis, Basho, Mary Oliver, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Emily Dickinson, Sara Teasdale, Susan Windle, Ben Johnson, Li-Young Lee, Antonio Machado, Joan Larkin, Jane Hirshfield, Carl Sandburg, Sharon Olds, John Ciardi, Anne Marie Macari, Carol Burbank, and inspiration from Robert Bly and Alicia Ostriker
woven by Elliott batTzedek

On a June morning,
any June morning

On a June morning,
any June morning,
moving about in my garden
in a breezy time of day,
I keep watch for You,
I follow silver slug lines,
sniffing for Your trail,
I call out “Where are You?”

And a bee
staggers out
of the peony.

There is a dark hum among the roses,
a murmuring of innumerable bees,
and to the murmur of bees—
a witchcraft—I yield
to my desire for You.

On a June morning,
any June morning

If I were a bee and You
a flower,
I would head for Your scent,
oh my beloved,
I would land on Your petals
held wide apart,
flinging myself down wildly,
tumbling to the bottom of Your cup.
There such sustenance,
You feeding me because only I
can ripen all this fertile exuberance,
food for those not yet born.

Would You let me go, pantaloons heavy
with gold and sunlight?
Or would You close Your petals,
dissolving me slowly
into Your heart?

On a June morning,
any June morning

And if You were the bee,
would You come to me,
fill Your small body
from this place, my source,
and moan in happiness?

We are alike, You and I,
each created as the image of the other.
We fly from blossom to sweet
impossible blossom,
bartering pollen for nectar,
making honey from the roses,
honey from the rosemary, honey from the clover,
honey from the peach blossoms,
honey from the red and willing bee balm.

What honey would You make
from me?

What honey could I make of You?

Can we make honey from our failures?
Honey from our bitterness,
honey from the bare fields
of our hearts?

Rough, this world is,
yet our soft tongues cut it open,
and the sanity of honey pours out between,
where meaning lives,

where honey, that gold soup
made of sex and light,
flows shining proof enough of the need
of each of ten thousand flights.

Every June morning
I pause to listen
for what I live to hear.
I watch the bees go honey-hunting with yellow blur of wings,
and, delirious with desire
I dance directions to my heart.

I know that You will come-
it is Your duty
to find things to love
to bind Yourself to this world.


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