Magi in America – A Re-Post for Christmas

Did the Magi follow the star across the seas
to the new land, to America
seeking God who will reveal himself again
in a cave?

God in a cave; now so difficult to find
for the star is obscured by bright lights
big cities, ciphers of commerce;
even the angels are lost in America.

Shall they seek him
amidst the clouds of incense
the glow of censers
swung by aging priests

or perhaps he will lie
in a basket, God’s image visible
through the glass walls
of the Crystal Cathedral?

Will they find God
knocking on the doors of the rich
outside the gated houses of the Sadducees
inside the bank among the money changers?

among the hard of heart
sitting in the pews murmuring
“In God we Trust
All others pay cash?”

Or is it already midnight
with no star visible
with no hope left
of finding the child in a cave?

Alas, the star no longer visible
the Magi follow the sounds of laughter
going door to door in America asking
 “Where is the child?”



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Maoz Tzur

for  the first night of Hanukkah – December 12

Isaac Salinas and the Philharmonic of Mexico



Best wishes to my Jewish friends and readers


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Duty Called – A Christmas Re-Post

Soldier sitting by the door

riding the bus in ’64

just two and twenty he was then

going away ’till god knows when

riding a bus through Massachusetts

as the snow began to fall

the bus pulled in

to a road side diner

the soldier went in

and sat at the counter

where the coffee was hot

and the bacon just perfect

the waitress was pretty

the atmosphere pleasant;

and he thought to himself

I could stay here forever.


He wanted to stay

where life was still beautiful

where his girl could come join him

in the corner for dinner

a night of loving

limbs perfect and trembling

He sighed at the driver

when the time came to go

trudging back to the bus 

his boots crunching  snow

the magic still with him

wanting to stay

but going away

missing a Christmas

missing two

missing her



The USS North Carolina and Macy’s in 1943


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The 2017 Holiday Card

Each Christmas season my younger daughter designs her own holiday card.  She majored in graphic arts and design in college and creates an original and unique card which she then reproduces and sends out to family and friends.  She began developing her art when young and I have a garage filled with her early works as well as one hanging in my bedroom.

Above is the card for 2017.  Inside is an invitation for a holiday drink.  Enjoy!

 The artist in her younger days.

You can see last year’s card here:


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Best Days – A Re-Post


It’s seventy degrees outside

while at Walmart the Christmas music plays

for those standing in line at the lay away counter

looking in their checkbook

mentally figuring out if they have enough

to pay for the children’s gifts

and next month’s rent

while on a giant flat screen

streaming news of murder and protest

lacking a name for the struggle

taking place before our eyes

in the streets and parks

as police club the people

pepper spray an old woman

endless images in the land of the free

of the bloodied, arms linked, standing still

carrying signs

When did we begin to hate our neighbors

take our guns to the movies

fear the future and one another?

Which day was it

when the sun set on our best days,

days when we ran free,

fearlessly through the streets

not worrying about the future;

when we truly loved our country

because we didn’t know any better?




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Gaza Town

Today it was announced that our President is considering naming Jerusalem the capital of Israel and may move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv.

The poem below as written in 2014 during the height of the Israeli offensive in Gaza.


The children played a jumping game
out in the street on market day
the children played a jumping game
until they came to Gaza town.

Their father always looked his best
on market day in Gaza town
selling fruit and nuts and all the rest
until they came on market day.

The children three no longer play
the jumping game out in the street
the children were just blown away
in Gaza town on market day.

Father no longer sells his fruit
on market day in Gaza town
an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
the price they’ll pay, come market day.




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Patience and Prudence

At a corner table of a Wendy’s
an old woman sits every morning
bent over her paper,
her coffee and half eaten egg
patiently awaiting further attention.

In the banality that is old age
she thinks how little she enjoyed
the years of youth and beauty
when she might have been shameless
instead of prudent.

Now she is old but only yesterday
she was lush of hip and breast
inhabiting the fantasies of young men
their desires glowing openly
in eyes that looked at her.

How many impulses denied;
joys sacrificed, chances lost
in the name of sensibility,
security, planning the future;
Oh how the Gods laugh at those who plan!

But it was only yesterday
and now she curses those who counseled
patience and prudence; to plan for tomorrow
to be proper, to do the right thing
“You have so many days ahead!”

Oh the things she might have done
had she not bridled passion;
lovers not taken even as their voices trembled;
novels not written, places not seen;
age now mocking senseless caution.

Children are having kid’s meals
screeching infants demand attention
she must go home before she gets dizzy
rest her head on an empty kitchen table.




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