Monday, July 05, 2010

My Balance Was Removed

Speaking of my mother's death
on the phone late that night
the lady bug appeared

A creature I hadn't seen
since childhood -
maybe thirty years.

Still, she looked as striking;
eight divine black on red spots.
I gazed closely and counted.

She crawled gracefully
as I transferred her
from pen to paper

And then I saw something
something I never knew
and my balance was removed

Lady bugs can jump
and fly
to Heaven


Blogger kishke said...

Thirty years w/o having seen a ladybug? Wow. City life.

July 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger torontopearl said...

Neil, THIS is really good. Simple and almost playful, conjuring up wonderful imagery.

July 5, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Kishke, yep.

Pearl, thanks a lot, means a lot to me. Any idea of where to submit to? I googled poetry contest - and Lulu came up but I don't know that's what I want.

July 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger torontopearl said...

Neil, look into Poetica Magazine; it's a Jewish literary publication; I published in there about 4-5 years ago.

And maybe just look at any literary magazine/university-based journals are good too (some just narrow down when they accept and read poetry for publication).

Don't even look up contests and pay entry fees to have a committee read your poem/poems. I never do.

There's such a quality of sweetness (IMHO) to this poem!! Would the New Yorker even accept such a piece, I wonder...?

July 5, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I really like most of the fiction the New Yorker prints, but I think that magazine and I have different tastes in poetry.

Thanks so much for your comments/help.

July 5, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Anne D said...

This is sweet in the best (not cloying) sense.

July 5, 2010 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks Anne.

Besides the true event described I was inspired by Zelda's poem -

July 5, 2010 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Neil,
Sorry I haven't been around lately. I like this very much.


July 6, 2010 at 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a related note, how sad not to see the ladybugs daily! They are in my garden, hanging out on the cucumber plants. I'm fond of them and of the dragonflies that visit every evening, helpfully eating up mosquitoes.

July 6, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Hi Miriam, hope you're well. Whenever you read/comment I very much appreciate it.

Yes, I didn't even focus on that till Kishe and you pointed out the sad reality of not seeing nature naturally. I was shocked to see a ladybug, it was like seeing a ghost. Hmmm.

July 6, 2010 at 4:45 PM  

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