Sunday, April 12, 2009

At Least Once a Year...'s nice to get published!

This week, the Canadian Jewish News came out with their Passover edition, and with this edition came their supplement that offers Passover greetings as well as literary pieces that deal with Jewish themes.

For the past number of years, I've submitted poetry to be considered for the literary supplement, and can thankfully say that something of mine is chosen to be used each year that I submit.

The newspaper has a wide readership: in Canada, the U.S., and points beyond, so it's always exciting for me as well as humbling to find my name and words in print.

This year I submitted four pieces -- two, fun limerick-type poems that deal with Passover, and two serious poems. I was hoping that if they chose any of my poems, it would be one of the serious ones. And yes, lucky for me, they published both!

If you can use the link that I provided above, you can search the section for my two poems on pages B14, and B36. If you have trouble with the link, I will recreate the poems here.


At sixty, one is not quite old, neither young...but somewhere in the middle.

With life lines to show,

fine wrinkles here and there,

graying hair or balding patches,

hinting age spots

and a book of photographs depicting a life.

At sixty, Israel is not quite old, neither young...but somewhere in the middle.

But in truth she is ancient -- Israel is a "she," you know -- and was reborn in May 1948.

Not everyone has the chance to be reborn. But Israel...she fought to be reborn.

She fought hard. Her supporters fought harder.

From desert sands and barren fields, she brought forth life.

From stark grayness, she brought forth greens and blues.

From a handful of devotees, she yielded multitudes of lovers.

Lovers of her country.

Lovers of her language.

Lovers of her culture.

Lovers of the blue and white of her draping flag.

Lovers of "Hatikvah."

Hope. Forever sustaining Israel.

Forever sustaining...



The walls of the ghetto encircled you.
The walls of the ghetto enclosed you.
The walls of the ghetto framed you.
Framed your life and the lives of your loved ones.
You, with your tattered yellow star marking you
Jew. Schweinhund. Part of a damned nation.
It is fear that fed you when the cupboards were bare.
It is bravery that sustained you when that fear was spent.

You fought to the bitter end --
The rat-tat-tat of machine gun artillery
echoing off the barren walls of that wasteland.
The raining of bombs all around you.
The smell of death hovering... Always hovering.

With hands up in the air, with this gesture of surrender,
of final supplication
You the boy, already a man, left your legacy.

And we remember. We always remember...