Thursday, December 31, 2020

Farewell to 2020

 The year in review.


The year everyone wants to end.

Pandemic, pain, death.

Unemployment and food giveaways.

Racism front and center.

Peaceful marches, violent resistance.

A nation divided.


The year that kicked us in the face with the realization 

that not all Americans are treated equally,

privilege is real,

we are all vulnerable,

And the most down trodden among us always suffer more,

While the most powerful thrive.


A year of confusion, chaos, and clarity.

A year of growth.

I found my voice,

Expanded my perspective,

Explored new paths.

Made new friends.

Became closer to old friends. 

The year my new me fell in love again with the old me.

Another year coming to an end.

Another trip around the sun.

Monday, December 28, 2020

2020 The Year that was

 This is a work in progress, I think. It switches person from singular (I) to plural (we) and back. I stayed within first person, but conventional wisdom says not to swicth between the two. Maybe I'll change it, maybe I won't. 2020 wasn't conventional so why should my response to it be expected to follow the grammatical norms?


This was the year that was.

We can’t wait for it to end.

We tell ourselves that the world we wake up to on January 1st 

will be different than the world we left behind on December 31st.

Probably not.

2020 was a year of confusion, pain, and suffering

A year of division and mistrust

A year of name calling and polarization

2020 was the year that prejudices refused to be kept hidden

Words didn’t remain unsaid

We couldn’t take it anymore.

Lost lives, lost friendships, lost jobs, lost way of life.

Driven away and replaced by 

worry, despair, and fear.

The end of the year is always a time to reflect.

This year, I think about

Pain and turmoil,

Grieving the loss of life as I knew it,

Craving a softer, quieter year.

Craving an end to the madness,

Thinking of the future.

Knowing that the madness of 2020 will haunt my dreams

For years to come.

Knowing that the doubts and hatred that bubbled to the surface in 2020

Will not magically go away on January 1, 2021.

The end of the year is usually a time to

Count blessings and be grateful for what you have.

Amid the loss, solitude, and sheltering in place,

Where is the soothing touch

That makes you feel all right even when you’re not.

Where are the comforting words and hugs

That help you ease out of the trauma and forward to a happier time.

We’re told to think about what we have, not what we have lost.

I still have my dreams

I still miss family and friends and the closeness of humanity.

Will this last forever

or is it like a storm we weather and then recover from,

Rebuild the broken buildings and lives,

And look back in wonder,

At how far we have come.


The year that was


The year that will be.

I'm going forward with 

Strength, compassion, and an open mind. 

and hoping that will be enough. 

Sunday, December 20, 2020

What does Christmas mean to me

 This got a little long. I wrote a few things and tried to edit them together.

You ask what Christmas means to me, 

Even though I might be Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic.

What does Christmas mean to me?

Hope and joy and feeling left out.

The pinnacle in a season of holidays,

Overshadowing my holiday of Hanukkah.

What does Hanukkah mean to me?

Hope and joy and light.

What does Christmas mean to me?

Schools closed, light displays.

People talking about peace on earth.

Family and happy moments,

Feasting and being together,

Missing those no longer with us,

Missing those who can’t travel.

Saying goodby to the old year,

And bringing in the new.

December, the month for

Hope and joy and being together with loved ones.

Wishing and hoping that good can triumph over evil,

That light can triumph over darkness,

That we can live peacefully for more than one day or eight days.

That our hope can live for longer than one day or eight days.

December means winter solstice,

Light returning,

Life returning from the darkness,

And hope growing in the light.

The Christmas season means

wishing for a peaceful holiday season for everyone,

Knowing that is impossible,

Yet wishing for it anyway.

Hoping that someday we will all live a life

of love, gratitude, togetherness, and peace.



Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Mom’s cold remedy

 It’s in my ears. I think it’s a cold. COVID test was negative. Time for self care.

My mom taught me well

Sore throat?

Gargle with warm salt water.

Chicken noodle soup and tea.

Starve a cold, feed a fever.


I will NEVER put grape jelly in my tea!

And I’m vegetarian so it’s veggie bullion for me.

I’ll starve my cold,

Sip my tea with honey, 

And go to bed early.

Just like my mom ordered.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Lennon and Mom

 This started as a poem about Lennon and became a poem about my mom. 

It’s been almost forty years since John Lennon died.

Shot dead.

The man who sang Give peace a chance.

If someone can shoot him,

What does that mean for the rest of us?

When a pacifist is murdered,

People notice the irony.

And then they go on with their day..

Except with Lennon..

People talk about his murder the way some of us talk about Kennedy.

Where were you when you heard Lennon was shot?

Where were you when you heard about Kennedy or Dr King or Bobby?

We define times in our life by the names of the dead.

It’s been almost two years since my mother died.

I called her mom,

But when it comes to death,

I become formal,


I don’t know if she knew me at the end,

But I like to think she did.

She looked at me before she stopped breathing,

And gave peace a chance.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Colors of December

 I saw a prompt for a Christmas song with a color in the title. I looked out the window at the pale blue sky and directly into the light of the sun.  As my eyes recovered from the brightness, I wrote.

Pale winter sky 

lit by a blinding orange sun..

I search for colors in the song of the wind.

First of December, the countdown has begun

to Christmas and New Years,

to the first nights of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Twenty-one days until winter solstice, the shortest day, the longest night.

FIrst of December, ushering in

the season of light, hope and peace.

Christmas red and green, 

Hanukkah white and blue,

Kwanzaa black, green, and red.

The gold of solstice,

Celebrating the sun and the power of light.

Colors of December

illuminate our hearts.