Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

David’s Star…by Robert M. Katzman

Copyright June 20, 2016

Hanging on a thin necklace

Around my neck

It’s always there

A silver star

David’s Star

I am never unaware of it

Neither is anyone else

Quiet and discrete

Weighing nothing

But heavy with

Thousands of years

Of a people

The size of a dime

Beautifully carved

Like two interwoven triangles

The six-pointed Star

Never shouts

It murmurs

I am still here

Wherever I am

I am conscious of

David’s Star

If I’m walking into

Friendship

If I’m walking into

Danger

I won’t remove it

Sometimes I pull it aside

So only the thin chain

Is visible

So I won’t make the

German Jews mistake

Assuming that all the other Germans

Thought they were

Germans, too

Then suddenly

Insanely

To eventually

Uncomprehending millions

Godless Nazis

Somehow packed

The Chosen People (?)

Into

Cattle Cars

and then to the

 Live or Die

 Camp Selections

Paranoia

is the

Imagined Assumption

of

Unimaginable Horror

To be a Jew

To be me

is

Bluntly knowing

Such horrors

Are not only

Possible

But recent

In certain areas of

Seattle

Chicago

New York

Philadelphia

San Francisco

I unbutton some buttons

And let

David’s Star

Have some air

Take a breath

Be free

But not most of the

Southwest

Southeast

Northwest

Northeast

My Star and I

Pass through Small Towns

Anonymously

And all of Europe

I have watched

Stranger’s eyes

At airports

Hotels

Car rentals

Universities

Look at my dark eyes

My dark skin

My dark beard

Feeling their wonder:

What is he?

I have been thought

Throughout my life

To be:

A Turk

An Arab

A Greek

An Italian

A Spaniard

An Armenian

Latin-American

But never a Jew

Not even in Israel

People don’t know

Don’t like it that they

 Don’t know

And treat me

With uncertainty

Because people

Want to know:

Who are you?

I am the classically

Cautious Jew

Better to be a

Curiosity

than a

Casualty

My Star

David’s Star

Always there

Just a button away

Will I let you in?

How can I be sure?

How do I know whom to trust?

How do I know where is safe?

What will happen if I forget?

What are the consequences?

How many doors will shut?

How many faces will harden?

We travel through time

Through our life

David’s Star and I

Many times wrapped

In a mystery

Of ethnicity

Sometimes unbuttoned

And very free

My Star catching the light

Shining

In other people’s eyes

When I trust them

I am not a prisoner

Of Jewish history

But I know it

Only the living Jew knows it

David’s Star and I will be quiet

Quietly deciding

Always wary and deciding

Exactly:

Who…are you?”

Below, 12 chapters from my new book, “Promises Kept: Mission to Masada”

Bob in Israel: A Crusader Castle & The Tunisian Synagogue (part 2) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3748

Joy’s Ashes in Israel: An Independent Woman (part 3) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3761

Marsha Michael, Who Solved My Problems in Israel (part 4) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3771

Tel Aviv, Israeli radio and Unexpected Art (part 5) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3796

Vad Yashem: Killing Millions of Children (part 6) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3811

Chicago man Watches Death of Samurais in Israel (part 7)//www.differentslants.com/?p=3846

Traveling Alone, Traveling Together (part 8) //www.differentslants.co/?p=3865

An American Jew’s Bold New Plan for a Sane, Peaceful and Prosperous State of Palestine (part 9) //www.differentslants.co/?p=3887

David’s Star in Israel (part 10) //www.differentslants.co/?p=3907

Sleeping With the Bedouins (part 11-a) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3962

Pleading with Fate in Jerusalem (part 12) https://www.differentslants.com/?p=3980

Readers, your comments are welcome below. Writers want to be read and remembered. Please share the existence of my story/poetry site with others who might be interested. Thank you.

 Publishing News! 

Bob Katzman’s two new true Chicago books are now for sale, from him!
Vol. One: A Savage Heart  and Vol. Two: Fighting Words

Gritty, violent, friendship, classic American entrepreneurship love, death, heartbreak and the real dirt about surviving in a completely corrupt major city under the Chicago Machine. More history and about one man’s life than a person may imagine.

Please visit my new website: https://www.dontgoquietlypress.com
If a person doesn’t want to use PayPaI, I also have a PO Box & I ship anywhere in America.

Send me a money order with your return and contact info.
I will get your books to you within ten days.
Here’s complete information on how to buy my books:

Vol 1: A Savage Heart and Vol. 2: Fighting Words
My books weigh almost 2 pounds each, with about 525 pages each and there are a total together of 79 stories and story/poems.

Robert M. Katzman
Don’t Go Quietly Press
PO Box 44287
Racine, Wis. 53404-9998                                                                                                                    (262)752-3333, 8AM–7PM

Books cost $29.95 each, plus shipping

For: (1)$3.95; (2)$5.95; (3)$7.95; (4)$8.95 (5)$9.95;(6) $10.95

(7) $11.95; (8) $12.95; (9)$13.95 (10)$15.95 (15)$19.95

I am also for hire if anyone wants me to read my work and answer questions in the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Schools should call me for quantity discounts for 30 or more books. Also: businesses, bookstores, private organizations or churches and so on.

My Fighting Words Publishing Co. four original books, published between 2004 and 2007 are now out-of-print. I still have some left and will periodically offer them for sale on my new website.

 Twitter handle: bob_katzman

10 Comments »

Comment by Leslie

June 21, 2016 @ 10:18 am

This is so beautiful, Bob. Why do people insist in boxing us? Why can’t they ask (instead of what accident of birth provoked your existence — and how can I align myself for it against you) what do you love, how do you share joy, how can I help you in the Here & Now?

Comment by Tory Shade

June 21, 2016 @ 10:55 am

Wow! Very powerful and, generalized, I suspect it can be applied to individuals of many persecuted groups. (Not many with such an iconic symbol though.) Be well.

Comment by Don Larson

June 21, 2016 @ 11:38 am

Bob,

Sometimes prudence of our identity may be wise.

I’m not usually concerned about someone trying to kill me. I’m more concerned with my willingness to defend myself if the need arises.

We learn through our lives how best to survive. My way is not for everyone. Somebody else’s way may not be for me.

For some in our nation, risks are higher than some of the rest of us. Those who presume themselves to be at higher risk should use prudence or defend themselves as they choose.

There are no guarantees in life. So choose wisely in living the life we have.

Warmest regards,

Don

Comment by Herb Berman

June 21, 2016 @ 12:38 pm

I can’t decide if you’re cautious or paranoid. And yes, like many American Jews today, many German Jews considered their nationality paramount, their religion secondary. I’m not a self-conscious Jew. But in fact I don’t think my Jewishness has either promoted or hindered my vocation as a lawyer/labor arbitrator or my avocation as a poet. I get cases. I get published. People treat me with respect.

Can “it” happen here? Of course it can. Am I going to worry about it? No. It’s unthinkable that I’d through every day uncertain, suspicious, worried.

Comment by Brad Bliss

June 23, 2016 @ 4:33 am

Thank you for helping me understand in such a powerful way. I would love to share this on Facebook (with your name on the front) with your permission. Wow, this was good.

Comment by bruce

June 29, 2016 @ 7:32 am

like a heart on a sleeve…(as always,b.)

Comment by eileen schroeder

June 29, 2016 @ 8:13 am

thank you for sharing your beautiful insightful writings . Eileen

Comment by Katrinka Threet

August 3, 2016 @ 10:32 am

I can certainly understand how you feel, only I can never hide. Even others who have felt persecution think they know me before they’ve met me. It’s as if my complexion is a crime or a deadly weapon! Quite a moving piece Bob!

Comment by Carol Lee Saffioti-Hughes

January 15, 2017 @ 11:33 am

The poem is a call for us all. It not only could “happen again”…it IS happening stein. But I I like the challenge to us in the poem to answer who we are. Writers must rise.

Comment by Brad Dechter

November 18, 2017 @ 6:25 am

Bob,
This is a very powerful recitation of how we have felt for the past thousands of years. there is an inherent fear brought into the minds of those of us aware of this past. Not that I am a critic- but well said- thank you.
What about the threat Jews face now- the quiet destruction of our religion through assimilation and breeding, as the history of our past gets lost in the cultural bombardment of our Youth with the current “Me-ism” slant to our American culture that exists?
None of my children married in our faith- they have kids they are being taught about our religion but not raised in it. Eventually, they’ll have the bloodline, but not the belief.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>