The Volcano and the Covenant (Alicia Ostriker)

This poem, with its fiery view of revelation, is a good one for Lag B'Omer, the Jewish holiday of bonfires (evening of May 26 and May 27), or for Shavuot, the festival of the giving of Torah (evening of June 12 and June 13 and 14).

as if one could cut a covenant
with a roaring volcano

imagine our souls
being birthed and destroyed

the way a flame
uncurls in one instant

and when the next passes, it is no more
yet is like a scorching white word

in the red ongoing song
then grey ash that crumbles

softly to nothing, oh
burn like that

--Alicia Ostriker

From The Volcano Sequence. Used with permission of the author. Alicia Ostriker is a renowned poet, essayist, and midrashist, and the author of many books of prose and poetry, including Nakedness of the Fathers and The Volcano Sequence.

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