• we who desire

    we who desire

    poems and Torah riffs

    Sue Swartz


    A poem for Parshat Yitro by Sue Swartz

    The people stood at the foot of the mountain— We were unbound then // awakened from watery sleep when the earth cracked open & sound poured out like lava. We were undecided then // bathed in sulfur and smoke when thunder split the mountain // when lightening scorched our heels. Poised on the edge of […]

    Praise the contrary and its defenders

    A poem for Korach by Sue Swartz

    Now Korach rose up before Moses together with 250 Israelites— For the chief musician, on common instrument: A song of rebellion. Praise rising up. Praise unlawful assembly. Praise the road of excess and the palace of wisdom. Praise glass houses & the hand that cradles the stone. Praise Galileo. Praise acceleration. Praise the medium and […]

    local time – a poem by Sue Swartz

    (local time) That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you— Undoing, unbecoming— Giving it all back. Consider the simple green bud of self and within, all our restless fertility. Consider our short-lived tenancy as its tiller and tender. How things fall through. How rest is not loss, still is not fallow. How to stop […]


    An Exodus poem by Sue Swartz

    Because against this, that Because the angels of our better nature And the angle of days to come Because as we said goodbye            As we say goodbye Because this is the book of bursting through And the book of coming undone Because bricks without straw Because bruise without respite And […]

    On the Eighth Day

    a poem by Sue Swartz

    Aaron’s sons Nadav & Avihu… offered before God strange fire that had not been commanded— On the eighth day, Alessandro Volta put metal coins on his tongue and prophesied sulfurous electricity. On the eighth day, Leucippus considered the true nature of the void, Teller the true capacity of the sun. Curie was entranced by radium, […]