September 4, 2015

THREE POEMS BY MILTON MONTAGUE: "1300 BC", "EITAN'S BAR MITZVAH", "GOLEM

milt montague, born in new york in 1924, survived Great Depression, school, world war 2.  fell in love, married, raised three wonderful daughters, retired.  back at college poetry was his new love.  in just over 2 years, 46 of his poems were published by 14 different magazines.     


 





1300 BC
                                                          


the Cretan palace complexes                            after 400 years of abject slavery
once reigned supreme as                                  in Egypt the Hebrew tribes
isolated self contained                                       were set free by Moses
pockets of nascent civilization                           their charismatic leader
in a stone age world                                          by inflicting upon Pharoah                        
now were in ruins                                              ten horrendous plagues
destroyed by unknown invaders                        under orders of their God


a remnant escaped to the mainland                  YAWAH their God
fathering the Greek civilization                           promised to lead them
most disappeared in the destruction                  into a land of their own                                        
as did their language and history                       flowing with milk and honey
recently a few tablets were dug up                    providing they live up to
called Linear B they are unreadable                  his new strict moral code                      
still sleeping after three millennia                       unheard of in those days


castrating one evolving bud                                to become the very first    
only slowing but not                                            and subsequent progenitor
denying the supremacy                                      of all monotheistic
of the primal force                                               religions in this world





    Eitan's Bar Mitzvah
        
 
Last week our family
Assembled in a temple
To fulfill a biblical command
As my grandson Eitan
Was invested with
The rites of Manhood
In our ancient religion

As did his forefather
Fifty generations ago
During The Crusades

As did his forefather
Fifty generations earlier
As BC morphed to AD

As did his forefather
Fifty generations earlier
In the days of King David

We all rose and chanted
in the same Aramaic
Our ancestors have
For three thousand years
prayers to The Almighty
For Eitans success
As he became a Man
 
Standing tall on the rostrum
Ennobled by prayer shawl
Amid our hallowed scriptures
Led by our Holy Men
He accepted with awe and respect
His relationship to God and family
As a newly ordained Adult Man
          
               


              

 golem
                   


the golem was an anthropomorphic
super being created from mud
in 16th century Prague by Rabbi Loew
to protect the jewish community
from total destruction


today hungers for a new golem
to save our nation by
wresting control from the diehards
in congress bent
on destroying the very system
that empowered them


our most carefully honed network
of checks and balances created
and improved upon over a
two hundred year span
is now at risk of total destruction


dismembering the programs
that made this country
the most prosperous and
powerful in the world
can only lead to ruination
of our once great nation

~Milton Montague

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