for I have taken refuge in you A book —whose wings— swallow me Bird, created from water mixed with sand Uses of wings, and claws hold oil for lamps Conceiving a wing-ed book is beginning to sort one's thoughts An egg placed under the foot of a bedframe— to steady Quills for writing were unknown in Talmudic times Birds of three hundred and sixty-five hues read Headlines or psalms as an indistinguishable combination of Affliction, concentration and praise "Flee as a bird to your mountain."
Note on poem from You Envelop Me: Numbers for poems and text at the beginning of each poem in italics are taken from psalms (various translations). These particular psalms, often identified as Nachman's "healing psalms" were chosen by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810, Ukraine) and are traditionally read during mourning. This practice exemplifies Nachmans' use of sacred texts as meditative tools, and highlights his religious philosophy which revolves around intimacy and direct conversation with divine.
Copyright © 2011 by Laynie Browne. Used with permission of the author.