Tashlikh at Bliss Pond PDF Print E-mail
By Alice King   
Friday, 03 September 2010 00:00

Poetry in motion

Serious, silent, spiritual.
Aware only of each footfall,
This journey of introspection
This journey of admissions and
This journey toward redemption.
I pray on the way, that
the water is high enough
to spill over, to be moving.

It had rained overnight.
The water was cascading,
I stand prayerful, grateful,
Baruch ata Adonai
In one hand the notebook of names
in the other the bread of my

I look up from my prayer,
Something across the water moves.
A heron.
It steps slowly, dipping its foot
into the water,
I watch it strike
for its meal.
Gawky and graceful and grey and –
I smile at this Great Blue Heron,
then frown at myself for I am
a wayward child.

Back to my spiritual intention, I
I open my book, I whisper a name,
an amend,
I take up my bread and – a squirrel
begins tossing
Dry leaves all around, looking for
some buried treasure.
I giggle and delight, and then
I lost my spiritual seriousness to a

Again I pray, asking for help,
to focus and be closer to God.
Again I take up my book, again the
Again a name.
And another. And another. And

Hundreds, or so it seems,
Of birds fly together overhead,
I shade my eyes from the sun and
The majesty, all of them right
above me!
It takes my breath away, and then
I sigh.
What can God think of me
If I can’t be serious, if I have no
A name some bread a name some
bread a name
I hear a blurp. Tiny barely audible
The tiniest of fish are nibbling the
I clap my hands together and
watch them
swimming and twirling through
the water.
I watch for a really long time and
I remember. Repentance and
Determined to correct my behavior,
a name some bread a name some
Accountability. Awareness.
Amends. A frog.
No, a toad. Big and brown, right
at my feet.
I toss it bread.
It munches. I toss. It munches. I
The squirrel, now in a tree, has
I am a threat, and is squawking a
To anyone who will listen and I
am lost again
In the world around, instead of the
world within.
Chastising myself, I go back to my
But I am brooding now, at my
lack of attention,
Does God know how I meant this
to be?
I am so full of faults, how can I be
With the toad at my feet and the
squirrel in the tree
And the tiny fish swirling and
twirling and the
Great Blue Heron stealth-stepping
for food,
I breathe deeply and begin again.
A name some bread a name some
bread a name
But from the depths of the water
has come
a Brown Bullhead - a Hornpout,
and in slow motion
it opens its mouth (like Jonah and
the whale opens its mouth),
Inhales the bread, and sinks slowly
into its depths.
Did I see that? Did I? I throw
more bread,
(without prayer, name,
accountability, or amends)
I wait, almost holding my breath –
It comes back. Inhales.
Retreats. And I laugh.
I laugh at the Hornpout. I laugh
at myself.
I rejoice in God, in the realization
Being cradled in this wondrous
Filled with the gentle, the graceful,
the breathtaking, the majestic,
I know in my soul that all is as it
should be
And that my journey to
is not determined by me, but by my

Alice King, a resident of
Attleboro, Mass., wrote, “This
really happened.” Contact her at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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