A foolish consistency

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

Through my eyes, or: In your arms

My 1st sijo

Carry me to safety in your arms \\ to somewhere far away
Where is your reassuring smile \\ which always soothes me so?
What if COVID gets in through my eyes \\ when I cry in fear?

Notes

  • My intent was to write a sijo poem related to the global pandemic;
  • The poem was directly inspired by the featured image, which I found before I began writing.

Rubber, or: Glue

My 1st rhyming sestina

Some people don't like the word Jew 
A label that fits me like comfy shoe 
Jews were murdered and made into glue 
Regarded as less than beasts at a zoo 
Blamed for both the plague and the flu 
In the end, though, it's the haters who stew 

Jewish cholent is a magical stew
If you'd like some, just befriend a Jew 
It can cure both COVID and the flu
And when it spills, it won't stain your shoe
Come, let's pack some for a trip to the zoo
Food and family bind us like glue

From true history we cannot unglue
All began with primordial stew
We all got here by way of the zoo
European; African; Jew
Mortality fits us all like a shoe
And we die of the very same flus

There are always new strains of the flu
Viruses to human cell membranes glue
Vaccines help but cannot fully shoe
We are but chunks of meat in this stew
Asian; South American; Jew
Are we destined to live as if in a zoo?

It takes a great deal to get me zooed
I don't suffer much from brown bottle flu
My friends joke that I'm a Russian Jew
I reply that I'm rubber, they're glue
And we laugh over hearty Jew stew
The secret ingredient's sole of shoe

In the heat, men buzzing flies shoo
But not so those beasts at the zoo
Nor are they wont to sit and stew
Every species has its own flu 
DNA is a powerful glue 
Oceanian; North American; Jew 

Some racists claim diplomatic flu
When accused, they stand as if glued
Much abashed by this very proud Jew

Notes

  • My initial intentions in writing this poem were:
    1. Write a sestina that rhymes
    2. Write a poem about antisemitism
  • I deliberately used the word ‘Jew’ as one of the rhyming words; the other five words that rhymed with ‘Jew’ were picked at random.

Momentary heartbeats, or: Silence

Jerusalem, Israel

We live in Jerusalem, our apartment at an intersection on a major thoroughfare, the central north-south artery running through the city center. This is convenient for a family with no vehicle; a bus stop rests just outside our window, making the Jerusalem downtown readily accessible.

As you can well imagine, we constantly hear the sounds of traffic from our home. Ambulances, police cars, honking, stop announcements from passing busses… Our landlord told me that he could never live in such a noisy place as this (his grandparents were the ones who purchased and once lived in this apartment). Nevertheless, none of this bothers us – we’re used to noisy city life.

Right now, at 1:40 AM, the bus stop sits empty, visible under the street lights. Little Israeli flags flutter above it, stretching over the thoroughfare, as Israel Independence Day was just two weeks ago. The soft rumbling of car engines is heard, a reminder of humanity’s footprint. The day’s heavy winds have given way to a chilly night breeze, but it’s strong enough yet that I decided to pull the window closed immediately after snapping a photograph.

Stillness in motion
Silence is momentary
Israel's heartbeats

d’Verse haibun Monday:

‘The present moment’

The d’Verse prompt: Let us now bear witness to the present moment! However you experience it, write a haibun that expresses the present moment.

Respond to your children with love

Respond to your children with love in their worst moments, their broken moments, their angry moments, their selfish moments, their lonely moments, their frustrated moments, their inconvenient moments; because it is in their most unlovable human moments that they most need to feel loved.

― L. R. Knost