A teacher, a rabbi came to this earth

courtesy of a star, a manger and a virgin birth.

Ages before, despite the temple’s destruction

oil of one day stretched out to eight –

– imagine the miracle!

Hope lights our times, shadows flee in their wake

Hanukkah, Christmas in one time combined.

Faiths diverge but converge all the same

in their wishes for peace and love and brotherhood,

if you can cut through the soundbites and posturing, that is.

I am a mongrel, one foot in the Deep Mid Winter of my past

My heart swelling to Baruch Hu as I whisper Kaddish in memory.

Y’hei sh’lama raba min sh’maya

Bitter sweet at this time of disruption

For all that is gone, for all that has broken

For all that divides in words left unspoken.




Shalom Aleichem.

As Salaam Aleikum

Oseh shalom bim’romav hu ya’aseh shalom

Let us welcome the Malakhi, in whatever form he – or she – takes.


It’s been a while. Longer than I thought. Life, you know?

Last night saw the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve – two miracles for the price of one. It inspired me to take some time during a small oasis of calm to share my thoughts, my feelings, to highlight just a tiny slice of the similarities in the underlying hopes of the three Abrahamix religions, not to mention in some of the words used in greetings and wishes bestowed.

Yes, it’s probably a bit clumsy (I’ve not written for a while) – but it’s all me.

Whatever faith you follow or not, I send my love to you, my brothers and sisters in this messed-up, argumentative worldwide family of ours.


Spectacle Calcium Directive – dVerse

to want them, even

copy paper and of you will

an scissors, some cut

each the order infinitely

one, all unappreciated

each length left

the there

the herd in

conscientiously cut in

the this

the sensibility

poem article put bag-words

make newspaper

take which

shake you out, author

the out carefully

that by a next other article

choose – after

take poem

bag up you – gently though –

the an from original in vulgar

your take and resemble

article this cutting they are

a the of make next charming



This week, on dVerse Meeting the Bar, Victoria has asked us to write poetry as if we had taken a trip back in time almost 100 years, and were living and immersed in Dada.

This era and movement fascinates me and so I am delighted to be taking part – such fun! I have chosen to randomly re-order the words of the (translated) instructions of Tristan Tzara, who wrote guidance on how to generate what were/are known as ‘Chance Operations’ – methods of producing poetry independent of the author’s will or influence. He wrote, in his ‘Dada Manifesto on Feeble Bitter & Love’ the following:

“Take a newspaper.

Take some scissors.

Choose from this paper an article the length you want to make your poem.

Cut out the article.

Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and put them all in a bag.

Shake gently.

Next take out each cutting one after the other.

Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.

The poem will resemble you.

And there you are–an infinitely original author of charming sensibility, even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.”

I hope you enjoy my randomness – I can see me doing something like this again, just for the fun of it, and just because it makes no sense, perfectly. Which was kind of the point, was it not? The First World War made no sense, and Dada was a commentary on and response to it.

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems, Dada style. Join in – we don’t bite!



Bloated – dVerse

Sealed, no, stitched closed,
cotton-mouthed, tongue
sand-papered and glued,
I am bereft of words.
Inside, a war wages
and I am polarised.

A hollow resides in between.

Unable to communicate
the disembowelled,
inarticulate me is silenced.

All I want, all I need,
is to tell you how –
how I gave my all,
fell for you,
and in falling I have
hit the chasm walls,
torn fingernails free
as I reached out to you,
even as you turned away,
and now I am invisible.

I swallow words
– enough to fill a country –
I am obese with all that is unsaid.


This week, on dVerse Meeting the Bar, Brian wants us to write about words – when they fail us, or when they say just what we wanted of them.

I like to think of myself as articulate – in work I am the wordsmith, crafting legal documents, creating something out of nothing, drafting, editing, reviewing, commenting… you get the picture. What I am not so good at (in fact, I am terrible), is expressing my emotions one to one. When it comes to matters of the heart, I am pretty much incapable in that way. If I could resort to communicating by writing things down that would be fine, but in conversation, when it comes to being vulnerable and actually saying ‘I want’ or ‘I need’, then I become mute. The words are there, inside my head, bumping up against one another until they turn to dust. I’m working on it. It’s hard.

This poem attempts to convey this tongue-tied state. I hope it works.

Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems. Join in – we don’t bite!