In Fall I Set a Stone

In fall I set a stone upon a stone,
As autumn rain dripped tears upon the grave
That marks the spot where lie my lover’s bones;
And wind tossed fallen leaves like rolling waves.
A mourning dove atop a nearby tree,
Alone in grief, like me, without its mate,
Began to chant a mournful melody;
I listened long, until the day grew late.
Upon the ground, I spied a smooth stone,
A small one for the bird that sang to me,
And placed it on the grave next to my own,
For our shared grief and common destiny.
___I came again in winter’s dark and cold;
___But stood alone now—weary, worn, and old.

 

Note: It is a common Jewish custom to place a stone on the grave marker when visiting the burial site of the deceased to indicate that the grave has been visited.

 

Can Anyone Comprehend?

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. —Job 1:1

Can anyone comprehend how he felt,
This man who’d been a prince, and then a pawn,
Unable to escape what fate had dealt—
An agony of night without a dawn?
Three daughters, seven sons: this was the cost
Of Satan’s wager with the Holy One.
Ten treasured, cherished, children to be lost.
And though later others came, these were gone.
So who can claim that he survived the test,
Even counting “compensation” received?
Could he ever again feel he was blessed,
While searing pain continued unrelieved:
___Grief for three daughters deeply loved from birth;
___Tears for seven sons asleep in the earth?

 

Gershon Ben-Avraham writes fiction and poetry. He lives in Be’er Sheva, Israel with his wife and the family’s collie. He holds an M.A. in Philosophy (Aesthetics) from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. His poem “The Kabbalist” earned Honorable Mention in the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards. His poem “Modeh” was recently published by Psaltery & Lyre. His short story “Yoineh Bodek” is forthcoming in Image: Art, Faith, Mystery

 

 

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9 Responses

    • Gershon Ben-Avraham

      Thanks! I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on the poems.

      Reply
  1. David Watt

    I enjoyed both poems. “In Fall I Set a Stone” is my favorite because it paints with sensitivity a touching universal scene.

    Reply
    • Gershon Ben-Avraham

      Thank you. I appreciate your comment and am pleased that you enjoyed the poems.

      Reply
  2. James Sale

    Excellent poetry – the more powerful because of its apparent simplicity; it’s a great achievement to be able to write like this.

    Reply
  3. Dietrich Krieger

    Thank you for your poems. I visit this site occasionally and every time I am even more impressed.

    Especially “Fall” reminds me of very special time in my past.

    Great poetry, thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Gershon Ben-Avraham

      Dietrich, thank you! I am delighted that you enjoyed the poems. I am especially fond of the photograph selected for “In Fall I Set a Stone.” I believe that it perfectly captures the poem’s feeling: the gray, cold, darkness of winter; the loneliness of having lost a loved one; the permanence of memory illustrated by a stone resting upon another stone. BTW: Do you happen to be the photographer?

      Reply
      • Dietrich Krieger

        Gershon, I am glad that you like my photograph. I took in on a very cold day in Kleinbardorf, Germany. There is a lonely old jewish cemetery on the top of a hill, surrounded by trees. Your poem could have been written there.
        Thank you!
        Kind regards
        Dietrich

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