Hayyim Nahman Bialik 1923.jpgBialik, Haim Nahman (1873-1934)

“…in 1903, the Kishinev pogroms deeply
shocked the whole civilized world. After interviewing survivors of the
atrocity, Bialik wrote “Al ha- Shehitah” (“On the Slaughter,” 1903) in which he calls on heaven either to exercise immediate justice and, if not, to destroy the world, spurning mere vengeance with the famous lines:

Cursed is he who says ‘Revenge!’
Vengeance for the blood of a small child 
Satan has not yet created. 


 Upon the Slaughter  Heavenly spheres, beg mercy for me! If truly G-d dwells in your orbit and
round, And in your space is His pathway that I have not found,– Then you
pray for me! For my own heart is dead; no prayer on my tongue; And
strength has failed, and hope has passed:
O until when? For how much more?

How long? Ho, headsman, bare the neck–come, cleave it through! Nape me
this cur’s nape! Yours is the axe unbaffled! The whole wide world-my
scaffold! And rest you easy: we are weak and few. My blood is outlaw.  
Strike, then; the skull dissever! Let blood of babe and graybeard stain
your garb– Stain to endure forever! If Right there be,–why, let it shine
forth now! For if when I have perished from the earth The Right shine
forth, Then let its Throne be shattered, and laid low! Then let the heavens,
wrong-racked, be no more!  While you, O murderers, on you murder thrive,
Live on your blood, regurgitate this gore! Who cries Revenge! Revenge!  
–accursed be he! Fit vengeance for the spilt blood of a child The devil
has not yet compiled… No, let that blood pierce world’s profundity,
Through the great deep pursue its mordications, There east its way in
darkness, there undo, Undo the rotted earth’s foundations!

–Haim Nahman Bialik      Translation: T. Carmi

She gently took my hand
Turning it palm side up
Fingers pointing towards her
gently laying a finger on my inner wrist
Thumb supporting my hand
Looking at the clock on the wall
“can you hold still?”
“I thought I was.”
She turned my hand sideways
Thumb up
Palm facing her body
there securely positioned
my palm against the curve of her breast
she stroked my inner wrist with her finger
she gently placed her finger just so,
and began to watch the clock
while I began to watch my hand
“do you feel ok?”
“your heart is racing”
“No shit”

To find out if I am alive the medicos have put me through my annual set of tasks
I have completed echo cardiograms, and chemical stress tests,
pulmonary function test, jiggle test,
chest CT-scan, abdominal CT scans,
extensive lab work for my diabetes
and someone even looked at my toes.
No salt, no sugar, no carbs and no fats
That is my new mantra
tree bark is good
and sand
quit smoking
                I did this already and it seriously complicates the diet of no food!!!
stay out of the sun
stay out of the rain
stay out of the wind
(write a song)
stay away from crowds
movies, restaurants, and parks,
parties, meetings, students
from cats , and birds
            fortunately not together often enough
to cause me problems
stop rolling over and asking me,
with your eyes
to rub your stomach       please !!!
           (unless you are not a cat, then please continue)
from children who might be sick (all)
from adults who might be sick (many)
from republicans (damn that is 90% of Texas)
start walking
           well I walked two miles this morning
looking for my reading glasses
I never left the house
and neither had the glasses