Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

The Wanderer, the Tree and the Menorah

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 5:50 pm on Friday, June 10, 2022

by Robert M. Katzman © June 10, 2022


Not that anyone is breathlessly 

Waiting to read my chaotic thoughts

But thoughts have no stop signs

Thoughts just careen relentlessly

Until captured or forgotten


I think the idea of a Menorah

Came from a Wanderer resting

Lying in a sandy oasis

Lazily watching a Tree

Perhaps the only tree in the oasis


However, this Wanderer 

Momentarily in the oasis

Perhaps had a conceptual soul

Saw the branches to the left of the tree’s trunk

Saw the branches to the right of the tree’s trunk

And stirred from aimlessness thought

Decided: “What a balanced idea for light!”


But my poem isn’t about the Menorah

It is more about the Tree

Trees start out so slender

Absorbing light, absorbing water

Precariously rooted

Thirsting for nourishment

Its roots seeking, seeking 

A secure place to be


But Trees grow old, grow frail

The security of its roots an illusion

Trees also burn and their ashes

Catch the wind

Blow over oceans

The wind invisible, unstoppable

More of an idea

Then a thing


The wanderer may have had ideas

Ideas beyond creating a Menorah

A vessel of light inspired by a Tree

People like ashes can scatter

People like Trees can burn

Still their ideas can be caught

Caught by the wind


Faraway people can be swept up in 

Unexpected ideas from distant places

Like deeply inhaling strange smoke

Ideas absorbed by receptive minds


The Wanderer watches his horizon

He feels the distant earth tremble

He sees darkness advancing toward him

His roots, again, have proved illusionary


There is a time to resist 

There is a time to let go

The Wanderer grabs his Menorah

And he runs, runs for shelter

His different ideas running within him

And he thinks, in his panic

Maybe he should write them down

Uncertain anyone will read them


In three thousand years

He wonders to himself

Who will care about my ideas?

He races off in his flight for safety

Wondering why does this matter at all?


Maybe the Wanderer is the vessel

Maybe the wanderer is propelled

Maybe when his words

Were at last written down

And he becomes lost in desert sands

Never knowing that his ideas

Circling the globe like mystic fragrance

Will endure like the Pyramids



Note from the author:

The genesis (no, I couldn’t resist) of my poem is about fear, inspiration and endurance. If you go to my Facebook page under Bob Katzman (as of 6/10/22), you will see the actual tree in my backyard which inspired the poem.

I was doing a lot of yard work, sat down on a very old and now creaky wooden Cedar swing which I built long ago to rest, gradually noticed the mirror image of the branches  to my black steel Menorah (actually a Hanukkiah) and my imagination took over when I went back to work. I felt that perhaps the ideas, the flow of words, would interest other people. 

I have lived in many places, about 20, certainly know about fear, the murderous history of my People and my background in photography, poetry and my love of plants took over.

The Menorah, a seven-branched candelabra, is considered to be the most ancient representation of the Hebrews as a distinct tribe. The idea of a six-pointed star, which wear around my neck, is supposed to have evolved around the 13th Century of the common era. But anyone can look all this up. I am sure it will be very interesting.

In my own life, my education seemed to evolve from learning something while trying to find out the answer to something else. This did not always coincide with my homework, but if a guy keeps doing this for 65 years, there is a possibility of having a very wide awareness of many different areas of knowledge, even if learned accidentally. Like this small note: Menorah is Hebrew for lantern.

Robert M. Katzman


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.


Comment by Brad Dechter

June 11, 2022 @ 5:47 am

Got my thoughts wondering/wandering!
Some very nice imagery.
Nomadder what I think, I am hopeful they are quoting either one of us a thousand years from now!

Comment by Jim Payne

June 12, 2022 @ 1:45 pm

Your writing is a light.

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