Feast or famine

Mostly depends on your seat.
The Israelites feasted on dry matzah,
yet wept over the rich manna
direct from heaven.

The man opens a can of tuna, 
a meal for one

too lonely to prepare a meal,
and eats half.

He gives the rest of the can
to the tabby cat

who feasts heartily, 
then settles on the man’s lap

while he watches the flickering
of the yahrzeit candle
Photography by Josephine. From The Sunday Muse


Written for Poets and Storytellers United Friday Writing, The Sunday Muse, RFP, RDP


    • Thank you! One nice thing about writing poetry on my blog is that it is easier to put in links for Jewish references. If this were a print poem, I’d either have to put a glossary (not my first choice), or hope I’d added enough context for the reader to get enough of the meaning.


          • Almost all critters, too. I’m not very social. I have a lot more blogger friends who I have never met, and who I will most likely never meet than I have in-person friends.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Many of us are well behaved on-line. People don’t believe me that I’m a cranky old curmudgeon most of the time. But there are people that the anonymity of being on-line brings out the worst in them.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I hear you. I think I have a better personality online. I’m certainly funnier online. I’m not as quick on my feet with witty quips and responses in offline in-person conversation. It takes time to come up with humor! I’m also very petty and judgmental in offline life.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I think the online humor helps to get the in-person witty responses up to par. However, I can be pretty pathetic with in-person conversations because I still have chemo-brain. I’ll go from sharp and remembering the tiniest details to where I can’t remember the name of the person I’m talking to in an instant. It’s really frustrating. That’s way silly songs and delivering papers at conferences is good. It really forces me to focus on remembering and keeping on track.

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          • I think memorizing is good, but I’ve always been bad at memorizing. I would never make it as an actor because I would forget most of my lines. I read an interesting article the other day about how some of the best actors and actresses were/are supposedly rather stupid in real life. Marlon Brando and Meryl Streep were two examples cited by the author. Apparently their ability to memorize and take on characters fills the void that is occupied by people with normal intelligence. I was thinking about SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy while reading the article. I wouldn’t say that most actors and actresses are truly stupid, but there seems to be a good share of them who often say really stupid things about politics and current events.

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          • I used to be fairly good at memorizing. But while my singing voice isn’t irredeemably awful, I have no acting talent whatsoever.

            I don’t think actors/actresses are inherently stupid. I think that as a society, we are stupid for paying so much attention to what people who are not experts on public policy and whose main objective is to remain relevant enough to keep getting cast, say about policies/issues they do not necessarily know anything about. Granted, uninformed people are allowed to have opinions and vote too – this is part of democracy. But the amount of attention we give to celebrity opinions is a mistake I think.

            I’ll note that there are celebrities who actually have done real, meaningful work (beyond performative activism) to address problems, eg. Ashton Kutcher’s work on human trafficking, Nikki Minaj funding a village in rural India, Dolly Parton’s contributions to literacy and COVID vaccine development, Bon Jovi’s pay-what-you-can community restaurant work, etc. I want to give credit where due.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I don’t know who Ashton is, but Nikki, Dolly and Bon Jovi are smart cookies. But then again they’re musicians and not screen actors. I agree totally on giving celebrities too much attention.

            Liked by 1 person

  1. Depends on your seat at the table, so true, and you perception of “feast.” I’m thinking of “satisfied” and “nourished” as the in between.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i like this, i like the contrast between the man and the cat, the feelings of both loneliness and companionship within a single act, very well done. also, thanks for providing the links… i like it when poems teach me things

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! One of the nice things about blogging is that I can just put in links to all the Jewish references; if this had been published in print, I would have had to put in a glossary (which is not my first choice) or write well enough such that the context came through without explanation.


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