Their stories, or: Our stories

Poetry Partners #40

‘My Paternal Grandparents’, a poem by Kate Blake of ‘aroused’

Nana and Pop met on the ward
when she gently tended
his gruesome war wounds

he a tall handsome older gent
she a tiny gentle English rose

he solemnly declared he had nothing
and lived in the middle of nowhere

but love blinded her to his reality
and after the war she sailed south

with another nurse to join their beau’s
a huge adventure in the Australian bush

completely off grid with snakes and spiders
sixteen miles from any neighbour or station

in his family home with his sisters and brothers
the children from his first marriage had moved on

they birthed my aunt and father
she sailed back to UK every two years

taught us all to knit crochet and embroider
the boys were more accomplished than I

A Crystalline by ben Alexander of ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’

Mama & Papa emigrated 
from the cold Soviet Union. 

Very few Jews were granted visas 
during the 1970's. 

By coincidence, they shared a flight 
to Austria, then Israel. 

(Direct flights to Israel? No. 
That was utterly unthinkable.) 

Upon arriving in Israel, 
they each went their separate ways. 

One year later, Mama saw Papa 
walking about at Hebrew U. 

"Shalom," she said excitedly, 
but he offered no acknowledgement. 

(He simply had not noticed her; 
she did not know he was going deaf.) 

Another year passed; fate burbled. 
Mutual friends had them both over. 

They dated for a very short while. 
A few months later, they married. 

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

List of Poetry Partners

51 thoughts on “Their stories, or: Our stories”

  1. seconding the appreciative comments plus- as I started reading, I enjoyed for once not having to plough through a yard of mutual appreciation mission statements. Sorry to say, these, for me,can be a bit boring.

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