HERSCHEL HEARS A WHAT?

An elephant’s loyal one-hundred percent, but a hippopotamus
Not so much, and as such Herschel the Hippo kept
To himself and dreamed of returning to
Israel to plant a tree and wail at the wall.

Some of the other animals knew his
Elephant cousin (who talked to dust), but they never
Minded Herschel. They thought him different.
Instead of welcoming the hippopotamus,
They looked askance at the thick-skinned mammal
Inciting remarks of the cruel and hurtful kind.
Certainly, they knew that a Hebrew Hippo meant no harm.

Regardless of what Mel Gibson spewed
Everyone knew Herschel, though not loyal, was still a
Mensch. It did not matter to Herschel.
After all, he had heard that kind to hate speech before.
Remarkably, he did not go mashuga and rampage,
Killing the anti-Semites. He donned his yarmulke; boarded his flight.

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FIVE SIDES

 

There were five sides to every story,

in a place where glory was the prize earned

through valiant effort and selfless sacrifice.

It would have been nice to face your attackers,

but cowardly slackers destined to fail their main mission

sat in a position to cause as much damage as they could.

Would they have succeeded, we would have pleaded

for mercy. But we don’t play that way. The heroes

in New York and Pennsylvania had back-up

in the Nation’s capitol. On patrol and wresting control

back from the faceless assailant.  Our own mission clear.

Do not lead out of fear. Defend out of honor and respect

of those who had given so much for the cause of many.

In any instance, there remains five sides to every story.

In honor and glory, they died for a cause,

earning our undying devotion and endless applause.

PSALM FOR FLIGHT 93: IN VERDANT PASTURES

He gives them repose; a long journey ended
and all who had risen to the occasion knew
their rest was well earned. Not how they would
have wanted, but God never asked them
what they wanted. He gave them what He knew
they could handle. And so, brave and stoic,
extremely heroic they were at peace with
the decision that was made. Honor in their way;
on their terms. A rest well earned
and on that day they learned their limitations.
Strong enough to defend their nation.
In control on the command, “Let’s Roll”.
In verdant pastures, the Shepherd
snatched them up to rest peacefully.
They needed and wanted nothing more.

CONCRETE TOWERS: THE SHADOW OF MEMORY

                             I
                             t
                            w
                             a
                             s
                Late summer in                  NY. A day like
                any other;  New                  Yorkers   loved
                days such as th                    ese.  The   sky
                was clear; the air                was crisp  and
                life went on as it                 usually did.Taxi
                cabs jammed in                  traffic, and some
                commuters were                too. Pedestrians
                on the pavement                heading to  their
                nine-to-5 enslave               ment. A sense of
                urgency had gone              unnoticed but that
                was business  as                  it usually was. Men
                and Women head               ed to work, or to
                drop the children               off at daycare. Today
                is September 11th              2001 and all is right
                with the world. The            sun rises, casting
                the Statue of Liberty          in  seductive  and
                glorious silhouette;             a shadowed sentinel
                set in the harbor to              greet all travelers to
                the “Land of the Free”.       Like those folks on
                that inbound jet and         others like it. It holds
  the hopes and dreams of all aboard, as it does for all below. The airplane’s
 shadow is cast ominously across the expanse of concrete, metal and glass;
a close pass to the constructed mountains above. Most unusual on this usual
day. Nothing changes on usual days. Usually, but not today late summer in NY.

REMEMBERING THE TWINS

Tall and proud they stood,
brothers from the same design.
One taller than the other;
he wore his hat to distinguish them.
Side-by-side, they kept watch
over the multitudes with attitudes,
near the harbor, they held no ill will
standing still while liberty had shown the way.
Until that day, their futures bright together,
their fates tied to their function.
But their compunction was well founded
when they were grounded.  Encouraging to the last,
until the fast descent caused by one’s great fall.
The other followed shortly, two swept clear.
Ten years older if they were still here. 
Tall and proud they stood,
brothers from the same design,
holding lives and dreams for all
concerned in the balance.
Under a valance of dust and rubble
there remains no trouble remembering the twins.

MY SOUL IS LIFTED

Lost in that maze of doubt and uncertainty,
you emerged from the shadow of long ago
to take a hold of my precious words and cling
to them as if they were the most important thing,
most cherished in your mind.
How did you find me here? Why do you raise me up?
How did you bridge this chasm between
thought and word; between heart and mind.
I had become a poet lost in the mire of a dwindling pyre,
left to smolder in the ash heap of emotion.
And yet, you read my words; you devour them,
filling your soul with their beauty, and lifting mine
with your support and encouragement.
My poetic soul has found nourishment in your devotion.
My muse has taken flight as it soars; to the clouds my soul is lifted.

 

 

BEDFORD FALLS

 

There’s no escaping this life.
Despite the strife that this life will provide,
you can’t hide the fact that
the lives you touch, touch so many others.
You’ll have enough sisters and brothers
to populate this burg, and any urge you have
to roam from your roots will have you
shaking in your boots. You carry home with you,
and it carries you in its heart. When we start
in this life we are required one thing:
bring joy and comfort to your fellow man.
And if you can, you will never falter.
You may go far on dollars and cents,
but your recompense comes from the sense
of community; an eternal unity that is clear
in the end. No man fails who has friends.
Welcome home, George Bailey.
You own this town!

TAKING FLIGHT

Poems
are kites.

We wait for the wind 

to be right and delight to bring 
them out to fly and display, and we 
play like children, releasing our words into
the air. Sometimes they struggle to lift off the ground,
and we run dragging them behind us. Stopping 
and starting until the wind shifts and it catches. 
It stretches our muse like a taut string,
a connection from our common 
grounding. High and higher 
still, bounding; seeking
altitudes that defy 
logic, and find-
ing attitudes
that mimic 
yours.
An 
                                                                                 expres-
                                                                                          sion, 
                                                                                 airborne 
                                                                             and
                                                                          soaring.
                                                                                Bringing 
                                                                                        delight to 
                                                                                                  others 
                                                                                                          who
                                                                                                       find 
                                                                                                  kite 
                                                                                             flight 
                                                                                      fascin-
                                                                                 ating.
                                                                        Release 
                                                                           your 
                                                                                words 
                                                                                        into the 
                                                                                           wind.
                                                                                   Poems
                                                                           are kites.