Excerpt from The Torah Garden | Literary Arts | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Excerpt from The Torah Garden 

A poem by Philip Terman

According to the laws of soil and rain,
sunlight and luck and the gardener's attention,
all summer long the sunflowers grew,
taller than our heads, taller than our house,
so tall the farmers looked up briefly
from their tractors and manure spreaders,
and we crouched under leaves large as tabletops,
large as living rooms, large as the hearts of saints. 

September holds its own,
rustlings and the flushed inevitabilities of desire,
the outer garment of an inner necessity.

Migrating birds, what wisdom?

Speak of the tomatoes' meat and the full moon,
the dance tent, of lips sweet as grapes' blood,
the sauce simmering in the bright kitchen,
our days untucked like the beds we never completely make,

the late afternoon sun gleaming the oak of the Amish table,
the garden melons sliced into crescent moons
and set beside the white hydrangeas.  

Our offerings are offerings of fire,
our bodies the bread the earth will eat.

 - Philip Terman


Philip Terman's books include The Torah Garden (Autumn House Press, 2011);The House of Sages, Book of the Unbroken Days, and Rabbis of the Air. He teaches creative writing and literature at Clarion University and co-directs the Chautauqua Writers' Festival at the Chautauqua Institute. Many writers featured in Chapter & Verse are guests of Prosody, produced by Jan Beatty and Ellen Wadey. Prosody airs every Saturday morning on 90.5 FM. 


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