Dragon Tefillin: High Holidays Poetry Contest, #3

This year’s High Holiday Poetry Contest–sponsored by MJL and Shemspeed–was a bit of a whopper, as my Australian family would say. The Jewish New Year coming so close to summer vacation might have surprised us, but not you. We demanded that you all produce works of sheer genius in just two weeks. And you came through.

We’ll be running the contest winners all day — so keep coming back throughout the day for more awesome poems. And keep visiting MJL for more great Rosh Hashanah content (like these cool videos) throughout the New Year and beyond.

Our third-place entry comes from Eliyahu Enriquez, who’s no stranger to MJL. (Just a note: All entries were read blind, and we have no idea who the first two winners are!) His poem “Dragon Tefillin” mystified most of us, but also inspired some pretty strong feelings. As one MJL employee wrote: “I don’t really know poetry, and I have no idea what it’s about, but I think it’s amazing.”

Dragon Tefillin

This is what it feels like to drown:

Festivities end.
The angels were never there
To begin with
Your incomplete

Silencer.

So. You return from whence you came.
Skinnydip through unchartered names.
An island Eden, draped in seaweed
That feel like serpents tickling your toes.

Convince yourself
Of Eternity
Embedded in a Cainine stroke
After desperate stroke.

Imbued with perplexity
Dim-witted
And gasping for breathalyzer

You realize
Serendipity
Reincarnated into a pair of anonymous

Dolphins.

Related

Discover More

The Most Essential Kitchen Gadgets for Jewish Cooking

For everything from chicken soup to latkes, we can't live without these useful tools.

CRISPR, the Eclipse and Rabbi Soloveitchik

The fact that we can even think about changing genes to let blind people see is an incredible achievement in and of itself

When The History of Anti-Semitism and Racism Come Together

How the grandchild of Holocaust survivors and mother of an African American navigates the history of hate.