First Edition | Poetry

First Edition features new original works by Northern California Jewish writers. Appearing the first issue of each month, it includes a poem and an excerpt from a novel or short story.


The Tell

by david shaddock

Psychologists and cops

CIA types, guys who won

the World Series of Poker

cranks with a theory

the blind guy with

his Braille Tarot

analysts with

proprietary algorithms

hunched over scholars

of the Talmud

teleological experts

Cray Computer armed

statisticians, none

can beat a coin flip

when it comes to knowing

the mind of God.

Has He decided?

Is He fair? Is He really

there at all? You reach

through the vineyard fence

to steal a single bunch —

Which? Perplexed

but the hand knows

this one’s perfect

so cool

with just the right hint

of sugar.

David Shaddock is a poet and psychotherapist with a private practice in Oakland. His poems have won the Ruah Magazine Power of Poetry Award for a collection of spiritual poems and the International Peace Poem Prize, among other honors. He is the author of “In This Place Where Something’s Missing Lives” and “Dreams Are Another Set of Muscles.”

Works may be submitted to fiction editor Ilana DeBare at or poetry editor Joan Gelfand at Fiction excerpts may run up to 2,500 words, but only 800 words will appear in the print edition, with the rest appearing online. All prose and poetry published to date can be viewed at