3 Poems at Springtime

6 May

[Prefatory Note: Theodor Adorno’s unforgettable remark of 1983 continues

to challenge and even haunt: “to write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.”

When I first encountered such a startling sentiment II was grateful to be reminded

that to engage normally involves turning a blind eye toward acute and massive

suffering, at least briefly. Today there are many horrors inflicted on innocent decent people

whether on the southern border of the United States, Rakhine State in

Myanmar, Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Honduras, among the poor and strife-ridden everywhere. 

Yet to be on the side of justice is at. one with embracing the glories of life, and to live well is

to dream poetically. My short poems are intended as a gesture of celebration,

a welcoming of Spring in dark times, indefensible yet indispensable. Maybe also somewhat

self-indulgent, an undeserved respite from grief and grievances.]


3 Poems at Springtime



On My 88thBirthday: A Reflection


To be almost 90

And happy

With good health


Feels almost criminal

Amid Satanic happenings

Raising Images too dark

To seem real


Children in Gaza

Are shot and killed

Friday after Friday

By designated assassins


Khashoggi’s murder

An unspeakable crime

Yet only a PR problem

For hard men of power


Events this dark

And this numerous

Form storm clouds


Will despair be our fate?

Is this truly our world?

Are we even meant to survive?


My hope– to live

Long enough to shout

An everlasting ‘No’


And may so affirming

Become my last word

Become my testament

Of hope for all that lives




Richard Falk


November 13, 2018

Rev. April 20, 2019



In Search of Equivalence

 A daisy is like a pigeon

A pigeon seems an ant

Yet an ant is far from daisy

And you my love are neither


An orchid is like my cat

A cat is a household god

Worship only what you love

Yet avoiding hate of all else


Ask a single question

Are equals ever equal

Yeats had an answer

Whatever is born begotten dies



Santa Barbara



What You See Is Not What You Get


graffiti and garbage

       walls alive

              pavements littered


whether Delhi or Rome

       yet fabulous

              feasting the eye


a delirium of the senses

       heartbreak torment

              disturbs the mind


always thankful for vividness

       overcoming pity

              we live for life



Santa Barbara  


10 Responses to “3 Poems at Springtime”

  1. L May 6, 2019 at 6:52 pm #


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. judith Deutsch May 6, 2019 at 7:33 pm #

    wise poems. Thank you.
    I also think of these 1st lines about April:
    T.S. Eliot April is the cruelest month….
    Chaucer Whan that Aprile with his showres soote (When April with his sweet showers) —
    ….much has changed historically (plus ca change….n’est pas la meme chose….)

    • Richard Falk May 6, 2019 at 10:22 pm #


      Yes, I know those poetic beckonings to April, and cruel sweetness may
      be the best way to weave these opposite illuminations together in a single fabric of awareness.
      Warm greetings,


  3. Paul Wapner May 6, 2019 at 8:00 pm #

    NOT to write poetry in the midst of ongoing horror is barbaric. We need it like water.

  4. Gene Schulman May 7, 2019 at 1:52 am #


    Thanks for posting this side of you that most of your detractors (Zionist trolls) will never understand. We who know you are much in accord. Please continue sharing such with us as your muse moves you.

    Greetings from sunny Geneva

    Gene, et al.

  5. Patricia Lombroso May 7, 2019 at 8:40 am #

    Dear Richard,what a lesson hope you give to this world on the verge of abyss and barbarism. thanks .I will see in Italy what the european elections result brings us on the verge of fascism in Italy.I hope you come in Rome where I will stay until October.warmest greetings patricia >

    • Richard Falk May 7, 2019 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks, Patricia, for those affirming words. We will be in Rome in early June and again during September. Let’s do our best to meet. Warmest greetings.

  6. Beau Oolayforos May 7, 2019 at 9:52 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Your ingrained compassion for the less fortunate clearly informs a special kind of Muse…but Yeats is often too dark: “…sick with desire and fastened to a dying animal..”? I prefer my dear (incidentally Jewish) colleague Louise, who encourages me greatly by saying “You’re not a dirty old man – you’re a sexy senior citizen!”

  7. Stefan Andersson May 8, 2019 at 8:44 am #

    Nice poetry!

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