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Poems by Stanley Siegelman


Smoker Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Here are samples of the poetry of Stanley Siegelman of Great Neck, who died April 11. They were first published by the Jewish Daily Forward and are republished here with permission.


"Don't Smoke" (Aug. 11, 2006)

The rabbis wide have all decreed,

"Tobacco is a filthy weed!"

It ruins health. And what is worse

It drains and then deletes the purse!

They've banished smoking as obscene,

And placed a curse on nicotine

No Jew they've ruled should smoke inhale

An act they've placed beyond the pale

Eschewing smoking, may a Jew

A mouthful of tobacco chew?

(A chewish question that awaits

Analysis and more debates.)

And what if he's not up to snuff?

Or lacks the will to cry "enough"?

In Israel on desert sand

The Jews used Camels - now that's banned.

Will Jews no more smoke unrestrained

Their fingers, beards, tobacco stained

Will Jews no more defile the air

And concentrate instead on prayer?

At Judaism's core, divine.

They've hung a huge "No Smoking" sign

Will Jews regard it as a joke

And will it all go up in smoke?

Is this a case of brimstone fire

Or rabbis preaching to the choir?


"Viagra for the Elderly" (March 4, 2005)

In nursing homes they move like snails

The populace of aging males

And yet the drug that they receive

(By far the most, would you believe?)

Is named Viagra, stimulant

That makes 'em yearn and squirm and pant

Can this be justified, we ask?

Or should we take the docs to task?

Just listen to the homes' defense

And tell us if it makes good sense:

"Viagra, now much coveted

Prevents their rolling out of bed."


"An Ode to 'Feh'" (Sept. 7, 2010)

An expletive beyond compare,

And one which every Jew can share!

We write of feh, a word robust

That's used to register disgust.

It springs from distant tribal source

Of salty verbal intercourse.

(Quite similarly, we employ

The noted lamentation, oy.)

Ubiquitous, the feh is used

Where'er the Yiddish tongue is schmoozed.

It soars to unimagined heights,

Suggestive of poetic flights!

It's reinforced by wrinkled nose.

(No need for supplemental prose!)

Shout feh and it is understood

There's something evil! (Knock on wood!)

Implicit is a stern rebuke,

A signal that you'd rather puke.

Say feh at certain crucial times,

As set forth in these noxious rhymes:

The doc says you have hemorrhoids.

You've been excreted on, by boids.

A rotten fish you just have smelled.

Some anti-Semite insults yelled.

An open sewer you have passed.

You're trapped in smog and almost gassed.

A politician spouts fresh lies.

The landlord ups your rent, or tries.

Your rabbi with a shiksa toys.

The library erupts with noise.

Your mate is seeking a divorce

(And alimony, too, of course.)

You're fingered by the IRS.

Your pet has pooped and left a mess.

Madoff absconds with all your dough.

Your cellmate has extreme B.O.

Your pill, Viagra, doesn't work.

The car stalls, with a sudden jerk.

A worm emerges from your jam.

Your Swiss cheese sandwich comes with ham.

An old crone taunts you with a curse.

The editor rejects your verse.

The list goes on -- an endless flow

Of bothersome punctilio.

So here's to feh, long may it serve!

Full access to it we deserve!

For centuries it's buoyed the tribe,

One word that's worth a diatribe!


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