, April 22, 2024

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Chagall's Jew Praying

  •   1 min read
Chagall's Jew Praying
March Chagall, Praying Jew
By Marne Kilates

It was the curve of him caught
My eye―only from the picture
Since I haven’t gone to any museum
That displayed him. He is bent
Over his reading. Is it only
The Old Testament or the Torah,
The transcription of the Word
Of God itself, nest of the Bible Code
Spelling out modern destinies
Of intrigue, assassination, and warfare,
Long before the quatrains of Nostradamus;
Or is the Kabbalah―deeper even into
The interstices of the Scriptures?
What depths, indeed, what branches
Of the Tree of Knowledge have brought him
To the farthest reaches of the paths
Of the planets, beyond albedo or reflected
Aura, to pick the tree’s esoteric fruits?
We surmise secrets, symbols behind
Symbols that sparkle with arcana
That we cannot chase as they spin and
Fade beyond the horizon. And the secrets
Remain secrets, the mystery as ever
Elusive. We have no way of telling,
Except perhaps that his eye has moved
To the center of his forehead, all seeing
But un-speaking, transformed and awake
In the darkness, with only the Pentagram
Guiding him, slim, silvery sticks intersecting,
Flimsy and immaterial, barely shining.
Oh, and perhaps we can only join him
In the chant of his enchanted, enciphered prayer.

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