psalm 46: waters of refuge

photo credit:

photo credit:

astonishing how one’s world can be
ripped asunder with brutal efficiency:
tectonic plates shift less than a millimeter
and mountains crumble to the ground;
a ripple widens ever so gently
in the midst of the waters and
soon families, homes, whole nations
are washed to the sea.

yet far from the surface destruction,
somewhere deep inside, there are waters
even the mightiest elements cannot touch:
a river that flows freely yet is never perturbed,
its surface as glassy and silent
as the dead of night.

come visit this holiest of holy places,
when the turbulence becomes too much
for you to bear, let these waters be your refuge,
your stronghold so gloriously insulated
against the terror and disquiet.

here is where all clamor ceases, all winds
are calmed, all nations disarmed;
here you may dive deeper and deeper
into the waters yet never go under;
here the howling of gale force winds
sounds like nothing more than
the most imperceptible whisper
breezing softly through
your soul.

3 thoughts on “psalm 46: waters of refuge

  1. This is a particularly evocative poem. I look forward to the publication of the book (yes?). And where do you get those photosgraphs to match?

  2. Same presumption as Lori (publication) and same question (where do you get these photographs?). I read these with my Episcopal Prayer Book at my side and find the experience enriched by doing as you suggested. I like the expanded metaphor of water … “There is a river whose streams make glad …. (in my PB)” becomes “somewhere deep inside, there are waters even the mightiest elements cannot touch” and “let these waters become your refuge”, etc.

    What I’d like to talk about sometime is what this exercise (your one a day vitamin) has done, is doing to you. I’m tracking you by reading the psalm one ahead of you in my PB and letting the words/images play around in me for a day. Finding where you’ve gone is always a treat … well, almost always. Thanks, Cotton

  3. Hi Rabbi Rosen,

    All of your poetry is appreciated, and this latest poem was particularly beautiful.

    Thank you!


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