Poetry for May days

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Such true words. Enjoy this month’s poetry from our Tomato poets.

To Do Or Not To

Everything gets divided

into neat columns of pros and cons.

From how much sweet cereal to pour

to top my grain-filled breakfast bowl

like an ice cream sundae,

to whether or not to go to Israel

with my daughter

whose body has processed

the Omicron variant

giving her more freedom

to move about

than lucky me

who has avoided all strains so far.

Valerie asked me to go with her

to visit her friend.

If I go, every word exchanged and heard,

every Hebrew sign,

and every olive,

will be a memory I would have forever.

I would reunite with my long lost second cousin Karen

who found me on Facebook.

I see so much family resemblance

in the posts of her children and grandchildren.

I want to see the flesh of my flesh

face to face.

I have no other old blood of mine.

I want to have shabbat at her table, badly.

I want to be that person

who chooses to go

despite the towering upright column of cons

on the right side of the yellow legal pad page.

I want to set that example

for my daughters and myself.

But there are 10 times the reasons listed,

and a barrel of logistics

not to go.

Sometimes I obsess

about the weight of a decision

like an anorexic

over another frozen grape,

and other times I just do.

When I used to ski,

I dangled my heavy boots from the chair lift

and mapped out my route down

from the step stool to the heavens

with the easiest routes.

But once I was on the run

I always chose to challenge myself

just enough.

One’s comfort zone

is quite elastic

and how far to stretch it

is the difference between

the pros and cons of

being and living,

~ Nicole Freezer Rubens, author of The Long Pause and the Short Breath…Poems & Photos & Reflections on New York City’s Pandemic

Rainy Days and Mondays no longer get me down

Rainy days and Mondays no longer get me down
Sorry Richard and the late Karen Carpenter
Snow and ice get me down
They are pretty but get in the way and are hazardous
Sorry skiers and skaters
Naysayers  may not apply or get in the way of what matters
What matters is doing the very best possible
Doing the right thing when the wrong thing is easier but a taste
that completely disagrees with me
My heart is on a page and one that I author
Some will
Never open it
Too much has happened
Too many last said goodbyes
Rainy days and Mondays no longer get me down

~Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, author of Put Your Boots on and Dance in the Rain

Laughter is Good

Laughter is so good for the proverbial soul,

Especially when life feels out of control,

Taking events much too seriously,

You see,

I did not close a deal and had an extra fee,

Tacked onto a bill most unexpectedly,

I felt all my life’s vulnerability,

Flashing before my very eyes,

In a steady bombardment that surely defies,

Twenty good years of psychotherapy,

And felt deep pain in my lower extremity,

Where is that, you may ask?

Well, I’m trying to get some levity,

Into a painful situation, taking to task,

That a good joke is in order,

Touching on the border, perhaps

Of bad taste,

Make haste,

I think everyone needs a good belly laugh,

As I’m speaking on everyone elses behalf.

Laughing at myself, of course, is freeing,

After all, I’m simply a frail human being,

Just like you!

~Carol Ostrow, author of Poems from My Pandemic Pen


  • Poet Laureats

    Poetry is back in vogue and through The Three Tomatoes Book Publishing we have the honor of publishing books by five poets—Madlyn Epstein Steinhart, Stephanie Sloane, Nicole Freezer Rubens, Marjorie Levine and Carol Ostrow. Check out their poetry submissions each month.

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