Now, Looking Back

Now, Looking Back is a collection of poems written in the years 2014-2016. Where once there was gay longing there is now graphic celebration of men attracted to men. Where once there was longing for what the world could be there is now wit and clarity about what the world has become and what my generation has betrayed. Sprinkled amidst such straight speaking are poems about cherry blossoms, lemon trees and berry picking. Also baseball, being young and old, Israel and Jewish lore. The poems are written for the most part in verse, framed in the classical borders of seven, eight and ten syllabic lines, happiest when they succeed as sonnets. Here are some sample poems from the collection:

In the garden of delight

 

In the garden of delight,

In the sun and in the light.

We would wander with no shame

And I would call you by your name.

 

Neither would have to disrobe,

I could with ease touch each globe,

With my hands I would them knead

’Til from me you’d pleasure plead.

 

I’d spread your cheeks, tongue your hole,

Then enter you with my pole

And once past the outer ring

Hear the joy in your throat sing

 

How love ever should go on,

Never stop ’til day is gone,

’Til night brings sleep, sated rest,

Happy we have been so blest.

 

Then into your arms I’d sink,

Nothing left for me to think

But how between and betwixt

God most surely does exist.

The sun lights up the leaves

 

The sun lights up the leaves and turns them bright,

Moves them from dun to dappled majesty

As jewelled fall foretells fast coming night

That screens the colours from their tapestry.

So chlorophyll is fading from my life

Where keener eyesight only brings forth strife;

Hope is gone, the past is poor company,

Old friends are not the friends they used to be.

Yet when my mind a new truth does behold

That seems to sit well with the lessons learned

The joy that starts at autumn’s hues of gold

Is glad the breath removed has been returned.

No need to rage against the dying light

When days are slipping thus toward the night.

After Heine

 

Heine cried and wrote some poems,

Then he laughed and wrote some more;

The world still in all its homes

Thinks him wise ‘cause not a bore.

 

Thus did lords and ladies die,

Blithe and blind to crisper truth,

Thus shall we leave by and by,

Who would best be cool and couth.

 

Heine penned his rage in verse,

Champion of liberty;

We put freedom in a hearse,

Settling for some irony.

 

Heine saved his ire for those

Who felt smart to hate the Jews;

Seems the world still hates it owes

Debts to those whom God did choose.

 

Though it still does love their gifts,

Sabbath, stories and the law,

Arms and meds and keyboard shifts,

And the comic way to jaw.

 

Yet the world will not defend

The state they have built anew,

Still won’t dare to see its end

In the future of the Jew.

Granville Island walk

 

The cherry blossoms fall like snow

Upon the waiting streets below,

Bright lovers eager for the touch

Who think that love will bring so much

Only to find when all is done

Nothing is new under the sun,

But much to cherish as they gaze

Upon the muchly trodden ways.

Pink petals on the asphalt gleam

With death’s bright glow and yet serene,

Indifferent as that woman’s look

From a photograph in that book

Where she beneath a cherry tree

Stands dressed in white for us to see

The presence of her wedding day

Forever take our breath away.

© 2019 shabbtai.com
 

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