Earth Etude for Elul 24
Onyinyechi (“Gift of God”)
by Asher Hillel Burstein
~Blood-red light on a golden chain
Hangs low and onto me, overflows
Like a waterfall, I drown in its million
Lambent drops formed at the other end
Of the Earth, I am but a speckle but
The fiery stone holds the world entire in
Her field where God, though too immense
For the heavens may abide with comfort
In her breast where my eyes are led as
Iron to a magnet, moths to a candle
That consumes me and drains the life
From my veins, a myriad of sprites
Take flight and leave me wilted.
I die in her flames.
Asher Hillel Burstein is a teacher, poet, singer-songwriter, and cantor. Besides his education in various yeshivot, a bachelor’s degree in Hebrew, an MFA in Fiction Writing, and a master’s in Jewish Studies, he is working on a third master’s degree in Secondary English Education while finishing up his doctorate in Creative Writing.