“Signs and Wonders” by Ted Eisenberg

Ted Eisenberg


If the dance of a leaf in the wind
is not a woman in disguise,
then I am not a man
and know nothing of holiness.
If the wind is not a plea
to change my ways,
the sap of maple
not an expression of mother’s milk,
the autumn rain
not a lament for Adam;
if papers dropped by strangers
are only papers,
and not reminders,
and peeling paint not portent;
if dreams are only dreams,
and not stories my father neglected,
what’ll I do.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith


Ted Eisenberg: “I am the president of a synagogue in New Jersey. My sense is that to believe is less important in Judaism than to sanctify life. Irrespective of belief, do the ‘right thing.’ Help the poor, our doubts notwithstanding. In so doing, we mimic an idea of the divine and perfect the world. Even in a doubt-filled and fragmented cosmos, belief makes its stand. If I feel myself as an isolated part—from what whole am I parted? Poetry grasps disparate bits of experience and joins them in the mind’s light. This interconnectedness resonates with the oneness of an overarching mind. Perhaps our thinking partakes of ‘The Idea.’”

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