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On the Eighth Day of Pesach I still had left to eat:

Eight ounces charoses
Seven tablespoons chrain (white)
Six pickled gherkins
Five free range eggs (2 hardboiled, 3 uncooked)
Four gefilte fish pieces
Three boxes matzo (1 Rakusens, 2 Yehuda)
Two matzo balls (in chicken soup)
And a box of mint chocolate thins!

This truly was the remains of my Pesach food—at the end of the holiday on Saturday evening.
Disclaimer: a few numbers may have been adjusted (but only slightly!) to fit the story 🙂

Glasgow, 7 April 2018

I haven’t published any poems for some time, so I thought I’d share the following for #WorldPoetryDay.

These were written at the “Creativity with the Spirit” evening (13 Nov 2017) during Scottish Interfaith Week. They don’t follow a traditional Japanese 5-7-5 syllable structure (this departure is apparently quite common nowadays). “On the Spot”, as all six were written in the course of about 20 minutes, with no further editing.

flakes in the air
first snowfall
or volcanic eruption

mist in the air
forgot the brolly
up goes the hood

autumn morn
the Clyde like glass
leaf falling on water

springtime here
still bundled up
where are the blooms?

Saturday morn
lie-in expected
binmen disrupt

Shabbat morn on the bus
yet on the streets
life goes on

Glasgow, 21 March 2018

Baked cheesecake with raspberries and blueberries

Photo by zingyyellow

To the tune of ’Cheesecake’ (Teo, 2014)
Must be sung and danced for maximal gratification


Yum, bubbeleh

Once you got a place to bake
You showed me cake
But I’m no Escoffier
You’re no Ju-li-a Child

So here’s my story
Starts in a blaze of glory
I hit a blissful state
When you made me my own cheesecake

But

I don’t wanna be your taster when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your strudel, big mistake
I look over all the recipes you could make
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

I don’t wanna be your lab rat when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your babka, makes me ache
I look over all the sweets I could partake
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

Oy vey
Doo doo doo doo doo doo
Ay-yay ay-yay

Hey, I will stay close at hand
Just don’t demand
It wasn’t ever this way planned
My belly to expand

You’ll just start grumbling
When your crust’s crumbling
You want only a ‘yes’ man
I’ll never just agree

I don’t wanna be your subject when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your rugelach, big mistake
I look over all the recipes you could make
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

I don’t wanna be your guinea pig when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your mandelbrot, makes me ache
I look over all the sweets I could partake
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

Oy vey
Doo doo doo doo doo doo
Ay-yay ay-yay

I don’t want to be your trifle
I don’t want to feel so stifled
Oy, oy

I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna be your trifle
I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna feel so stifled, bubbe
Oy…

I don’t wanna
I’m not gonna eat your blintzes, big mistake
I look over all the recipes you could make
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

I don’t wanna be your testee when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your kichel, makes me ache
I look over all the sweets I could partake
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

I don’t wanna
(Cheesecake)
I’m not gonna be your trifle
I look over all the recipes you could make
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

I don’t wanna be your victim when you bake
I’m not gonna eat your hamantasch, makes me ache
I look over all the sweets I could partake
And all I want is your sweet cheesecake

Mwah!

Aalborg, den 6. sivan 5774

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(with apologies to Israel Beilin)

I’m dreaming of a white Chanukah
just like the ones I used to know
with the dreidels spinning
and children winning
some gelt, by the candles’ glow.

I’m dreaming of a white Chanukah
with every latke I devour
thinking: not by might, not by power
but by spirit alone do we flower.

Aalborg, den 2. tevet 5773

Sleeping late, arose at eight
nasty weather’s arrived from Britain
shall I at home then stay a-sittin’?

From weather vane, I ascertain
wind and rain, and thus campaign:
remain on the plains in Spain
refrain from the Danes’ terrain!

Do the shopping? Un-Shabbat thing
called for: a break from week’s activities
shopping, one of those pleasing proclivities.

And one must eat, so it’s off to the shops
technically possible to dodge raindrops
yet haven’t the knack, the speed do I lack.

Back in one piece, no worse for wear
despite the wet, enjoyed the fresh air
sitting now with a hot cuppa,
finishing this before making supper.

from Aalborg

You’re turning ninety, what a milestone!
The pictures reveal, from a wee sprite you’ve grown.

Across the miles, I send you best wishes
if I could’a, it would’a been knishes.

Good humour you have, most identified trait
we love you for it, making you first rate!
And as it’s said, if truth be told
when you were born, they broke the mold.

A family you’ve created, you do us all proud
we’ll shout from the rooftops (if this is allowed)
A bride, two sons, plus ‘daughter’ and ‘grands’
spread far and wide, across many lands.

Jimmy, Père, Vater, Grandpa or Pop
I could keep going, but best I should stop
What’s in a name? so asks this laddie
all have their favorites; to me you’re just Daddy.

In Yiddish we hear “biz hundert un tsvantzik!”
yet your retort is “not that old tired shtick!”
How many more years with you shall we see?
your spiel is “a hundred and thirty-three!”
Until then must end these verses above
from me to you inscribed with lots of love.

from Aalborg

(with apologies to Israel Beilin)

I’m dreaming of a white Pesach
Not like the ones I used to know
Where parents coerce,
children to rehearse
To chant the Question re: ma-tzo.

I’m dreaming of a white Pesach
With every matzo (it’s not grated)
May the seder let you be sated
And your week not end constipated.

(from slightly snowy Aalborg; either that or fallout from another Icelandic volcanic eruption)

(with apologies to Israel Beilin)

I’m dreaming of a white Purim
Just like the ones I used to know
Golden scepters glisten
and children listen
To hear graggers one can’t blow

I’m dreaming of a white Purim
With every hamentasch I eat
Today we our enemies defeat
And may all our Purims be upbeat.

(in slightly snowy Aalborg)

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