Encounters

Biblical Woman

The word-filled friendships the comings and goings
Soundless beside her seated form
Costuming preparing and comparing
Frozen beside her braceleted wrist
Drawn lines known rules for battle and conquest
Games before her shapely boot

She has four rings, the beryl pendant
Rubies round as pearls
An anklet of gold links studded with twelve stones
For ten fingers and two temples of light
The second is diamond, eighth an emerald
With jasper, sapphire, carnelian
Circles of green in blue azurite, malachite
Obsidian streaked with amber
Nephrite jade, sea green from west of En Gedi
Onyx, lapis lazuli from the north
And the ninth is topaz

Ivory and gold are banded high on her arm
Whose hand holds a fan of light feathers
They pay tithes of mint and anise
To hear her voice in the valley of Hebron
Bedellium from wooded Carmel on her table
And agate with linen and coral near by
Garments smelling of myrhh and aloes near by
Coral and linen by her bed that she leaves—
Judith of the full gesture—
To seek the mountain streams in the afternoon
And at evening sits for hours beside the rhythmic clear water


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Zeev Raben, Woodland Scene
Zeev Raben, Woodland Scene


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