Hello Poetry Lovers,
I am getting ready to do a poetry reading at Hemingway's Cafe, on Forbes Ave. in Oakland, tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 28, at 8:00 pm. If you are reading this today, Monday, or tomorrow during the day, please come. I will be reading with three other poets, including Arlene Weiner, a widely-published Jewish poet of the highest caliber.
A focus of mine is (and has been for many years) the Holocaust, and once again, I will be including some Holocaust-related material. I am particularly concerned these days with the subject of remembering the Holocaust, and applying its lessons to current issues surrounding Israel and its enemies. I am of the opinion that many American Jews wish to deny the reality of of anti-Semitism when it is masked to appear as anti-Zionism, which is not much different and simply another awful fact of life, anyway.
We Jews are unhappy with the thought that we are disliked, even despised, for no fair or rational reason. Who wouldn't wish to deny such a harsh fact? But unfortunately, in many quarters, it is a fact. Of course, this awful truth is not true of all people or nations, but let's face it folks---friends of Jews, and friends of Israel, are not plentiful.
In this vein, I present you with a poem:
to my precious elders;
the valuable ones,
I have known,
endured; those who
had the clenched tooth
grit to flee before
the ovens were lit,
those --bergs and --steins
those tailors artists bakers
peddlers scholars music-makers
who did not become the incinerated trash of Europe:
My own people, once stalwart as the stars,
must now weep as we, their stunning progeny,
disappear like shadows into the cracked cement of sweet America
our brainless heads sucked under the white foam,
merging, whistling, forgetting, drowning, dancing,
no lessons learned, refusing to keep anything.
- -Judith R. Robinson
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