The word “havel” — vapor, mist, steam; futility, vanity — features prominently in the book of Ecclesiates/Kohelet, beginning with the second verse:
The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Utter futility! [havel havalim] — said Koheleth —
Utter futility! [havel havalim] All is futile! [ha-kol havel]Continue Reading
Cain Discovers Infinity
One red rage roaring
a brother bleeding
one letter in the name of God losing ink
the earth swallows the ink
the bloods of countless storied untold
Alone in the sukkah, Kohelet* and me
“Havel, havalim,” he tells my coffee’s rising steam.
Yes, “vapor, all is vapor,” I’m willing to agree.
Lifebreath can’t remain for long
and the future can’t be told.
But does that make life “futile”
or just make it hard to hold.