Jeffrey Lilly


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Read by Jeffrey Lilly
Music composition and piano by
Jonathan Comisar
From the poetry CD,
"The Butterfly Flies"

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the so sadly hard
rebirth of a nation
out of a twentieth century
biblical pain
that still speaks
with the rivers of blood
that will cry forever
to the Abiding Eternal
who witnesses
all comings and goings
and who waits
for answers
from a people
bidden to freedom
who taste of joy and sorrow,
not wanting to deny
the abode before us
that asks for wisdom,
the so sadly hard
rebirth of a nation
was made ready
for the light
such as is carried in candles
on Shabbus eves
where Jews are called
from week to week,
where men and women
are beckoned
to worship
in the dimensions
of time
that will last forever.

Yitzhak Rabin,
you who will dwell
in the House of the Lord
you knew the craft
of war
that made a nation
ready for light,
and so it was you
who so cautiously fashioned
the needed defense of a people
who had come
for a new beginning.
who had long harbored
that abiding vision
of a homeland refound.

Jacob's peopled sea
that numbers as stars,
Israel has found
new country
with new Exodus
to a promised world
lit by the spirit
of ancent prayer.
"Baruch Atah Adonai",
words spoken
like a lasting bow,
"Eloheinu Melech ha-olam",
our God
so eternally worshiped,
v'ki-ya-manoo v'hi-gi ya noo
I'zman ha-zeh,"
how good it is
to have reached
this day.

and then
what is it
to strive for peace
midst the sands of war,
the reddened sands
that have too long caught blood
of young soldiers
called to battle?
What is it
for the old warrior
to hold the dove
before the world
and fight
for the cessation of battle
upon a land
brutally scarred so often?
What is it to say
to those who have come
in the act of war,
that you are brothers,
born of the same parents
in the mythical garden,
you are brothers
as human as we
who yearn for the peace
that gives love
to your children?

The risk you took
you knew.
it was an uncommon love
you brought us.
Blindness fashioned your death
for which we mourn.
"Peace" you spoke
from your last bed.
you caught Peres's
parting kiss
that sent you to God
upon the heals of hope.
You'd sung the song
for peace,
that for which Jews
have long yearned
through the sacred ages
of ritual and celebration.
hu ya.a.seh sha.lom
a.lei nu ve al kolYisreal,   a.mein.

2011 Jefffrey Lilly


Jeffrey Lilly is a co-editor with jack Mueller of "Art Mugs the Reaper," a literary and artistic anthology or "quilt" by writers and artists who have died of AIDS. The work is in progress and is sponsored by The National Poetry Association. 

Jeffrey is also a poet and translator who is a former board member of the National Poetry Association. Previously, he produced "Promised Land Poems."

He is a graduate of Duke University with an AB in political science. He also holds masters degrees in Russian language and literature and Comparative Literature from San Francisco State University.

Jonathan Comisar began his music career at the Eastman School of Music where he won the Eastman Young Artists award. He studied piano and music at Oberlin Conservatory and, after graduation, studied with Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Del Tredici.  Jonathan is an invested Cantor with a Masters in Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music. He is also a noted composer of Jewish liturgical music who has received commissions and artist residencies from synagogues across America. He is now a faculty member at Hebrew Union College where he teaches courses on arranging, orchestration and composition. Additionally, he is working on two musical theater productions.