Monday, April 20, 2009


Poetry often serves to amuse one's inner muse...that appreciates an occasional catharis, or a bit of humor.

Someone has to be around to remember who we were, even if we imagined how they were, this is better than nothing at all. No smiles, hugs, laughter, stories, seders, feasts, happy music, songs, celebrations, no memories, closeness, family reminiscences...Judenrein meant fertig, it meant the end of family tradition, continuity, infrastructure. Yet B"H new generations can start whole, fresh , and anew. Hopefully we meet our ancestors in future generations.

Introduction: I wanted to honor the memory of my Mother's family who came from Niedzieliska, Poland, a small town between Tarnow and Brezkow, not too far from Crakow. Grandpa, Zaide Moshe played the violin, spoke several languages, and owned an orchard and general store. Grandma, Bubbie Bertha was a Feilgut, she left the world too early and then my Mom Ruth and Aunt Regina came to America, leaving behind Uncle Max who had a carpet store in Cracow, and Aunt Rosa who married a Korngold from Cracow. The rest is consigned to the realm of mystery and speculation. Mom is past her late eighties, and is in a rehab hospital in Texas. She chose not to remember or speak about the painful past. Of course I would like for Aryeh Simcha and Raquel Ahava to remember where their Zaide's maternal grandparents, great aunt's and uncle came from, their names and perhaps one day will know more about who they were and how they lived. - Shel Stein
4-20-2009 ; 26th Nissan, 5769

I am at the Helm
of the Niedzieliskan Catalytic Realm.
If only by default
Oy gevault

Oh, How I wish upon a shining star
I never had to carry this emotionally numbing scar
Please forget Oy Veh Es Mir, for I am still here
Yet let us always remember the Tarnow massacre

Ponder this emptiness for a moment and try to understand why
How 40 thousand souls could disappear in the blink of an eye
Genealogy searches become aimless
As generations, many misproche entered the realm of ghosts, and became mostly nameless

Their existence ripped away
Who is left now to remember and pray?
The biosphere recycled their elements, while future inhabitants would later eat drink and make merry
Thinking about origin of our water and elements, where they circulated and were biologically active, can be quite scary

The sacred interconnectedness of what we bury and excrete
Later to become what we occasionally pray over, drink and eat.
Then look up at the nighttime heavens and daytime sky
Earth has elements and creation in limited supply
Mankind’s evolution
An age of war, food chain contamination, radiation and environmental pollution

Even though this seemingly insignificant I am is almost all that’s left
I’m feeling far from feeling bereft

Events may appear as if there’s little motion after the aftermath on this path
As if we haven’t moved or started
Our vehicle is in Park
Momentum previously and forever powered by the Divine Spark

Yet those who can create and dream are often the first upon to be looked at as naronim
Things are not always as they seemingly seem
in this melodramatic cosmic dream

Up your spine slowly creeps the joyous thrilling chill
That arises forth from being so quiet and still
Simchas comes from being in the emanation of the sacred flame of the burning bush
Have a little pat on your keppie
And some guidance from a loving potch on the tush
Blog mir bist du shane – Please let me explain
The greatest wealth even beyond scriptural verse and the wisdom that emanates from them
Is the joyous experience, belief and knowledge of Hashem
Some might call creation a quirk
Yet miraculously it all seems to work

Call it Kaivalyam, Rapture, SatChitAnandam, Holy Spirit, Shekinah, Shunyata, Ecstatic Pranaspanganam, Slokas, Sutras, Mitzvahs, Commandments or simply Love in the form good deeds
Maybe even sacred speeds and feeds

All this Grace
Consciousness sidetracked, parked in Cyberspace
Throughout every world and realm
Elation in the joy of expressive creation
All this while
Can’t you see G-d in a baby’s smile
You can’t be too intellectually smug after a baby’s hug

The Zaide and Bubie I could not ever know
From whence did they come and where or where did they ever go?
Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and Kin
Our hearts have been scarred, torn, rendered so deeply within
All these memorials and web sites on display

The Germans display shame and guilt, with the genocide of over 2 million children out of 6+ million Jews
They simply got away ? Such horrific news for mankind to excuse?
What can anyone say, there’s never enough reparations or karma to pay
The ghosts of dead children left in the ditch of inhumanity, to cry and never to play

But humbly we are here returning to the Niedzieliskan Catalytic Realm
Before it’s too late to mention the names of Nussenbaume and Feilgut to commemorate
And with a feathered touch that our consciousness may tremble, shudder and twitch
Remembering the thousands form Tarnow, Brezkow, Cracow, that perished in the gas chambers or shot perhaps into a forested ditch.

Yet such a mystery how the Divine Spark proliferated as the hand and breath of Hashem guides our genes
Love manifests Gilgul, Hashem cares so very much, his love even so much more than it seems
Our souls our dreams, our hearts aspire
In the most loving and tender warmth of sacred fire
Let us give sadness and sorrow a wide berth
Let us honor and praise forever and for all time, Hashem’s eternal presence in this His beautifully created Earth

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Pavarotti's singing will always live on.

I have always had fond memories of Luciano Pavarotti. The closest I ever came to meeting him, was when I believe he was at a Chinese restaurant at North Bay Village near Miami Beach. I could be wrong, but there was a entourage, and there were not too many people with the Maestro's looks and presence. I was a little shy to introduce myself.

On day during the late 80's I was visiting Edith Epstein ( Swami Naranda ), and brought her a cassette with his opera.

I played it on her tape deck and I could not believe how ecstatic and happy it made her to listen to Pavarotti's singing.

Definitely a peak experience.

The poem begins....

Beloved Maestro Pavarotti, had I met you I would have told you this

Your voice was the purest nectar and most divine of bliss

Vesti la Giubba on cassette we would love to play

Resounding down the corridor at the end of our workday

Away from our bodies along your melody, yes away our stress would float

Like a fine wine, an acquired taste for your arias may I note

There's something I had always wanted to tell you, ever too late I fear

But even in the heavenly realms, this might be soothing to your heart and ear

But now from the poetic heart, how can we say that we truly know

The mysterious mechanisms from which these vibrations flow

Oh once I started I had nothing to loose

Your joyous memories have in standing ovation floated my muse

On the way to Luca in 2001, a train rides throw to Modena I suppose

Fantasy took flight, G-d only knows

I wanted to share how a fan of yours dearly loved you, she left her life behind in 1994

When she heard your voice, even at 83 she craved to hear more

Her eyes glowed, her face radiated with vigor and vim

She would always say, what a wonderful voice, I really love him

It didn't require a live performance, just an audio tape

How your voice could reach her heart , such a lovely escape

This lovely old lady, felt like a young girl again, when she was your devoted fan

She has waited over a decade, perhaps now you'll both meet in Gan Eden

Perhaps the Lord grew impatient despite your girth and Golden age

Along with his angels, He must have wanted your command performance on his heavenly stage

Heavenly angels no longer have to hover and listen from far away and above

Now they can hear directly the maestro they dearly love

Since you’re up there, in case you always wanted to sing Hava Nagila or By Mir Bist Du Shane

You shouldn’t have any problem or need to explain

I forgot, oh my gosh

You can feel right at home now, feel free to help yourself to some strudel, luction kugel, a knish, a corned beef sandwich, kishke, gefilte fish, latkes or your favorite nosh.

Perhaps the power of this transcendent rhyme

Can reach out to your soul through space and time

But lest we forget

There’s always the matter of bandwidth and wi-fi access to the Internet

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


After my Teachers left their physical form, I had the inspiration to write their meditation in the form of a poem. I felt that their passing in 1993 and 94 was the culmination of a very blessed and fortunate period of my life.

About a week ago I met a former student of Naranda's at Whole Foods and she was very happy to find out I had shared some of my videos on line. She had mentioned how fortunate we were to have had our Teachers, and since then she had never met or heard anyone like them.

I had completed the curriculum and received a certification for Swami Naranda's Teacher's Training course during mid 1980's, which basically qualified me as a Hatha yoga instructor, but I chose not to pursue this area of instruction. I basically wanted to learn and had a thirst for knowledge.

Dr. Mishra often said, 'We should be careful what we wish for...' Karma is always easier to see in retrospect. I thought a good way to teach was to share good knowledge and resources
so I could get my licks in every so often. One needs to work on one's own spiritual growth and purification, but it never hurts to perform a little Mitzvah every now and then.

Today the price of admission is a computer and Internet access.

Whatever I learned about yoga and meditation, I give full credit to my Teachers, it did not come from me, and whatever may have transpired in a past lifetime, I am not one to remember. I can only chose to believe in Gilgul, reincarnation in the sense that we came from somewhere, and we did not come from nothing, and probabilities are that we have somewhere to go.....there's something to the wheel. You can look at your grandchild and see Gilgul. I only set a few words and ideas to rhyme, which upon the right moment or occasion works some of the time.

I felt a little better writing this piece. I then began posting a number of videos I took of Dr. Mishra and Swami Naranda on Google Video to honor their teachings and memory, as well as to give the viewer a more direct experience of their vibration through multimedia.

When you meet people in life and there are significant energetic exchanges, whether an electric fascination or shaktipat, this is not without rhyme or reason. You do not have to look at this as a romanticized cliche', it just naturally happens during the course of things. When you are young and a student, and lets say a guy meets a beautiful attractive young lady, a soulful kiss can be very telling, if not slightly attaching, especially with good mutuality.

G-d plays a significant role in the creation of souls and babies. Divine spark and pulsation, a big part of what we feel in meditation, according to the teachings that follow...

In Dr. Mishra's Yoga Sutra tape ( Patanjali's Yoga Sutras), he comments that the Sutras are already within you. Add in his frequent maxim, "Enlightenment is your very nature, realize this", and you are well along your path. Simple instructions to follow the rest of your life .

At the end of the day, this is all about love.

In appreciation and loving memory, honoring Guruji, Sri Brahmananda Saravati (Rammurti S. Mishra, M.D.), who left his physical body on September 19, 1993 and Edith Epstein, Swami Naranda Devi, who joined her Guru on November 9, 1994. Know, and feel they are always with us. This poem is simply an adaptation and transmission of their vibration and words. Swami Naranda always said, “Caring is Sharing”. Sri Brahmannada Sarasvati only had to look at you.
" Meditate on the Flame of "I-Am", give full freedom to the body and mind... Watch them both as a witness... The feeling of "I-AM" is the real "Agni Hotra" (Ritual or Ceremony of fire), Find out if any part of your body is without pulsation, without vibration... ...Feel the Flame of "I-AM",...the Pulsation of your mind...You can feel the body is the "Burning Bush in the fire of "I-AM".." - Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, from nightly Satsang (program) October, 1988
In this Kali Yuga time (Age of chaos, confusion , and darkness), as Computers, Telecommunications, TV, and Multi- Media draw our mind and overburdened senses to the outer world... We need a way to de-stress and center our being. Meditation stills the mind, and shows us our true nature and provides the answer from within. We can withdraw from the Cosmic Dance and the Illusion of Maya...if only for a be at ease and free from dis-ease...If your mind is active and your thoughts keep on flowing, just witness them and your meditation will have smooth sailing and easy going.
To be read slowly, undisturbed, in a peaceful atmosphere....
Take a few deep breaths, breathe in Prana (cosmic energy), and breathe out releasing all
negativity.... Do it now and be here
Deeply relax, releasing all stress, anger, resentment, hostility, hurt, and fear
Know you are protected, G-d loves you, poetic meditation time is finally here
(Now we commence...)
The Flaming Bush , how it eternally burns...
As G-d Consciousness, pulsating energy throughout our bodies and all Creation,
For it's the joy of realized Self-Knowledge and Liberation,
That our soul, dancing on the revolving wheel, eternally yearns....
Discover now, that it's only your mind and thoughts that cause separation
Let your true Consciousness take you riding on this Cosmic Celestial Tram...
Learn now, practice often..."Be Still and Know That I-Am"...
For our flighty, stressed, unquiesced mind in motion,
Cosmic Meditation on the eternal Self, a most effective, soothing potion...
Now breathe deeply and relax, partake of Heavenly Nectar,
As you now take a dip in the Cosmic Consciousness Ocean...
You are headed along the true and proper vector...
Have you ever sought Samadhi throughout your time in this heavenly creation ?
"Enlightenment is your very nature !", revealed Guruji, in divine, most loving, oration....
Swami Naranda Devi taught, "Mind controls the body, and breath controls the mind"
Simpler, more profound truths, you'll never find...
Whirlwinds of emotion, racing thoughts, blocked Chakras do ever spin,
The answers are not without, but reside eternally within...
Now stop thinking, no blinking, close your eyes & let us go in...
Pure bliss will replace thoughts and emotions that seethe...
Let us pause to take a few deep breaths, in and out, imbibing Prana , deeply relaxing as we rhythmically breathe...
Sit up with erect spine and head directly in line
Or just be comfortable, and lie down with your body supine...
The knack to this inward journey where we all wish to go...
Simply is to stop thinking, just forget everything, whatever you know...
In this adventurous inner journey beyond body and mind
Bliss, joy, eternal consciousness, you will surely find...
Fear not, even if at first your thoughts and mind may resist
Now start by feeling pulsation , by closing your hands, and with each hand squeeze , making a fist...
Relax, concentrate deeply, and again just feel... this lovely pulsation
Watch this feeling go, from your hands to your heart, and then back and forth, in such fine sensation. Now this is YOUR moment, of Cosmic Meditation...
Feel while you bathe in this ocean of pulsating, healing life force that's best
By experiencing this wondrous vibration, back and forth, from your heart to your head, neck, shoulders, arms, both lungs, and chest...
Feeling vibration of energy in your entire chest and back...
Experiencing pulsation in the form of blood circulation, in both your upper arms, lower arms, wrists, palms, and fingers as you track...
This energy, from your heart, to your fingertips, and from your fingertips to your lungs and heart, back and forth, this prana and joyful vibration, may you never lack...
Feel even more pulsation as Shakti, Cosmic energy flows...
Back and forth, to and from, your heart, chest, back, stomach, sex organs , thighs, legs, ankles, feet, to the tips of your toes...
All you have to do, is nothing, just surrender and the energy flows
This pulsation of life force: from your heart to your neck, face, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, tongue, forehead, head, and brain...
What a wonderful secret to finally unseal... Floating in this cosmic womb as we journey toward the next refrain
Now, enjoy, relax, keeping your body still, and continue to feel..
This, your true nature, freedom from mind, thoughts, worries, desire, and the ever turning wheel...
Feel pulsation of blood and cosmic consciousness, simultaneously throughout your skeleton , muscles, skin, and all internal organs that remain
Every cell in your body is pulsating, too joyous to even explain...
Thus, the grandest elation thru cosmic pulsation, listen now for Nadam, that lovely divine inner sound, FEEL! and you'll begin to hear it...
Ocean of milk, bliss, and marvelous heavenly light, freeing your inner spirit...
Feel your body of Energy, this pulsating "I-AM", from your heart to your entire body, to the universe that surrounds,
To every planet, sun, solar system, constellation, galaxy and star, where consciousness abounds...
And again back to your heart
Truly in Cosmic Meditation, this has been a rather good start
Did you not always know ?
That in your head always going on, is a humming vibration, an electric dynamo...
Simply, this is OM, where you can always rest, your true home, the best place to go...
Meditate even deeper and deeper, you'll transcend mountainous tribulations, as if flying in a jumbo jet over peaks capped with ice and snow...
You are everywhere like the Blue Sky
Past, present, and future moments come together under the gaze of your inner eye...
You are so relaxed, you feel like clouds floating over endless cornfields on a beautiful clear day Thank you dearest Teachers for so lovingly, for your kindness in showing us the way
Embrace your heart, feel love for yourself, and spread it all over creation...
What more can we do than share with our brothers and sisters, and our precious Earth, this loving declaration...
Your eternal self feeling ever so fine,
Joyously suspended forever beyond time and space, having partook of nadam, sacred nectar and wine...
Whenever you're ready again to take this superlative ride...
Let Cosmic Consciousness your Heavenly Chariot provide...
Troubles and Tsouris (problems) should they come again, can never defeat or block us... With G-d's blessing and grace, may you realize Shechinah (light of G-d within) and always have Simchas (Joy) and Nachas (Good Luck)....
So remember on this path to Enlightenment, where within, your true Self, does eternally reside...
Let the Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, "I-AM", be your guide..
Be Still and Know your "I-AM", Feel This, and Sat-Chit-Ananda (existence - knowledge, bliss) will flow...
Gently, come back now to present awareness so that on your way, But for the grace of G-d, you may go...
Rub your palms briskly together, and cover your eyes
You have just experienced your true form, beyond the mind and body, your eternal Self, which never dies...
Feeling peaceful and happy, having let go all anxiety and fear
You have experienced your meditative moment, now back together, once again in this ever-present miracle. we are here...
Remember this pleasant feeling, and always treasure this truth you now know...
Take it with you , and remember to meditate often, wherever you may go...
Shanti... Shanti... Shanti...
... freely adapted, borrowed, and transmitted from the meditations and teachings of Sri Brahmananda Saravati, and Swami Naranda Devi.
For more information: in NY in San Francisco

Friday, June 22, 2007


Holocaust research can often be compared to exploring what lies beneath a numbing scar - Who was the Grandparent, Uncle, Aunt,Cousin, or family member I never knew, who were ripped away by tragic events in history. I thought this was so sad , that even the angels from heaven cried....

I was in Munich, Germany - and I had a vision for a memorial, where thousands of candles could be lit to memorialize the sparks of all the souls that rose to Heaven.

Has mankind learned his lesson ? Well look at the videos in the NY Times where Nicholas Kristof, brings to the viewers attention the plight of the refuges in the Congo, four million to date
which have died from war, hunger, and disease. Where did all our civilization and technology disappear to ? Are we repeating the 1940's where millions of human souls are lost...once again.
Oh well it's Africa, here we go again - Uganda, Darfur, Somalia, Ruanda.

Hmmm maybe the retiring CEO of Exxon, could spare a plane full of food, or John Chambers could fly down and tell them about all the new developments in internet telecommunications,
and Bill Gates could bring some Vista voip servers, and of course some food and medicine. The Saudi princes could cruise over in their mega yachts from the Mediterranean and hold a feast or two. The Sultan of Brunai could fly a few thousand refuges over to his palaces and hotels for some R&R. Was it Candide who said "This is the best of all possible worlds ? "

What happened to all the missionaries ? Did 4 million people deserve this... ?


Once, in 1989, I was in Marienplatz, one lovely summer evening, there were South American Indians playing native music. The Plaza was lively, but it wasn’t, something was alien, something was wrongful and uncleansed, something was in an unholy spatial temporal distortion, something was forgotten, perhaps even books were burned here, words of hatred were once spoken here, holy men were beaten, families were broken, life was distorted, innocents deported, money extorted, treasures and property stolen, children berated, Temple and Scrolls desecrated.... that wasn’t the sound of a Shofar I heard. That wasn’t Klezmer music playing softly in the background.....

I had a vision of sanctification, of dedication, of purification of prayer and singing and triumph...thousands of candles would be shaped in the form of a Mogen David, purifying

decades of darkness, shame, and repression... celebrating our Survival, celebrating the beauty of our religion, the holiness and warmth of Israel....affirming it can never happen here to us again, it can never be the same, as the holy light exposes and purifies their shame. Let there be song and dances to go with the light, let our souls and spirits spread wings and take flight.


B”H I can not sleep

The souls of my Mishsproche, I hear them crying out in my heart...& I begin to inwardly weep

The blood- mixed ashes, urine, flesh, bone, and seed

Their souls cry out – I have looked from a temporal cyber-distance in their eyes...and felt this imploring need

The Angels hold the souls in glowing ashes of Jewish children in their hand –and even they do not really understand

Looking up as sparkling souls travel up toward the Heavenly sky...even though in His Holy presence they will keep

And still in the ashes, held in their tender hands, the Angels weep

It was time when millions of parts of us died

A time when Heavenly Angels gazed in their hands and cried

What shame had befallen on the Human race?

This Shoah Aveyra SCREAMS out in Cyberspace

The horrors, imaginations, in my dreams

In abandonment, violence, and fright their screams

The little children gathered together en masse

Shrieing out in the rain of lead, in violent clouds of poison gas

The unholy nefesh (souls) of these ersatz ubermensch

In how many lifetimes shall they atone for this vile foul genocidal stench?

What type of wretched knave

Would murder millions of children or use them as a slave?

Let me envision in Marienplatz just this one beauteous summer night

Thousands of Yahrzeit candles formed in Mogen Davids emanating a holy and purifying light

Where we can recite Brochas and Kaddish on this eternal remembrance night

Just this once, to light candle, in lieu of maypole celebrations and a burning yule

Let us join these lights with the sparks of our ancestors in Simchas and in the eternity of Gilgul

Yes with pride and joy this time around, with psalms and brochas we can join our hands and

consecrate this ground

The Soul of our Planet needs this very light

To illume in our consciousness the true meaning of this tearful plight

That this horror does not ever again add more continuity

We must pray, with all good men and women, against any thought of perpetuity

We must merge in everlasting love, unity, and heal the suffering torment of our brethren this night

To join hands, celebrate, dance, sing, and purify our planet of any more plight

Please Oh Glorious Heavenly King within and up above

Shower us all, your children, throughout your planet, with your Grace, Blessing, Peace, and Love

As we enter this new Millennium, escaping from a time of war, hatred, and violence from which we disengage

Let the souls of our Misproche be healed as we welcome them back with a joyous, peaceful age

Perhaps by the new Reichstag in Berlin, there could be a monument, where Heavenly Angels would hold an urn or perhaps a handful of ashes to remind us not to ever commit such a sin against Heaven, G-d, or eachother on this Planet ever again, that mankind learn it’s lesson to be kinder, more compassionate, and loving towards eachother. so that we may one day soon overcome our imperfections. We can each start with ourselves.

I wondered the other night as I was looking at Holocaust photos on the web, was I looking

unbeknownst to me, at the faces of my family, my relatives I never had met or knew?

In truth they were all my family, we are all eachother’s family.

Whether it be Cambodia, Mogadishu, Bosnia, Uganda, Kurdish Iraq, Armenia, Siberia, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Algeria ...let it end, let it be no more.


I'm asking myself - "Why am I doing this ?????" when I was a little kid at Haugan elementary school, where Sadie K. Kalman was principal, she was a dynamic educator with presence and character, that loved her kids ( I wanted to bring back her memory from the 1950's in Chicago)
I used to stand up before class and read my compositions , and my classmates really enjoyed I like to share.)

[2008 Note: I received a call recently from a former Haugan student, that told me our principal had a dark side to her personality as well, as a overzealous disciplinarian. We have to add 'over romanticizing hora' to the list of horas. There's always more than one side to a story, but I stand corrected. Those who have passed on can hardly defend their memory. Thanks for the call. Amazing how long unpleasant memories tend to stay with us. Better to have avoided these things.

The question then becomes, how do we heal ourselves within, aside from the passage of time ? Today the next question becomes how as parents do we prevent untold overzealous behavior towards elementary school children ? We want quality teachers and administration in our school systems. A first step is to be very involved and vigilant with your kids in their schooling.]

Loshen Hara is a very flavorful Hebrew/Yiddish term. Basically it's has to do with bad speech, the evil tongue, malicious gossip, where the deep philosophical message is about overcoming anger and resentment. Loshen Tov is good speech. Anger is not generally healthy, especially as we get older. Resentment perhaps melts away when we remember to be thankful to G-d for everything we have including the basis of our consciousness and being.

Don't be in such a hurry and watch your horas.

Here's the poem:

Never be in a hora –

Other than dancing the hora….

Sprechen hora can lead to Loshen hora

Essen hora can lead to Fressen hora, but cuisine can be easily rationalized.

Kishen hera , or a kishen hima can be the start of an emotional or chemical Hora-cane where you might think to try the right Brocha first , before trying … whatever with whomever…..don’t even engage in thinkin hora

Lechen hora , got to be careful here, so the sechel doesn’t liegt , which might lead to a Steht where there is a mutual temptation toward

(This could even lead to an occasional fortuitous Simchas ) if inertial transcendence is besherdt. Then don’t be in such a hora and take your sweet time, indulge in the loss of reason , and in a sweetness sublime in betwixt the occasional rhyme)

Stechen hora, which might lead to microbal, or viral hora, and then you might get a get, or a new briss in a hora…or a trip to the hupa in front of a shotgun, in a hora …a serious quvetchin hora, or a medical bill hora.

All the while, you’re much safer with Kosher style, so you’ll always be in the right position, and enjoy a most heavenly nutrition …………..of poetic erudition….all the while.

But then if it’s beshert that you don’t try, don’t be mislead by hertz-verbrechen hora. You never know what you might have been spared, or how you would have fared.

Be sure you know the right end from the wrong end of things to assure a happy ending.

Shel Stein Copyright 2007

I believe we need a glossary for the non initiated -

Simchas - Joy and happiness
Brocha - Blessing or benediction
Sprechen - to Speak
Essen - to eat
Fressen - to really chow down, eat like an animal, could be eating without proper etiquette or good manners
Kishen - Kissing, a most pleasant oral interface, that can take place between faces or other select anatomical locations
Lechen- To lick, as in an ice cream cone, otherwise requires mutual approval at best
Briss - Circumcision
Hupa - Wedding Canopy
Quvetchen - Complaining or never ending speech
Hertz- Heart
Verbrechen - Broken
Besherdt - Meant to be, also you need to have faith that G-d knows what He's doing
Get - A Jewish divorce
Sechel - Common Sense, Wisdom if you're lucky
Liegt - Lies as in a prostrate position . For instance when a person commits an impulsive act or behavior , sans thinking, it is said the Sechel lieght in Dreht ( Ground) - literally common sense is buried in the grave.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


How familiar can we get online or in front of a monitor ? I wrote this poem to elaborate on the draw of consciousness that Internet has over us - a gateway of thought and communication, as close and as intimate as a few inches from our eyes...can ever be. How well can we ever know another person ? How easily can you ever get to know a screen. We often project and get caught up in this cyber world. We have too many attacks, mostly because too few people have discovered Macs. ( Even though I am writing this on a PC , you see). My first PC was an Osborne. Here I am going Orthogonal in this poem. Is not life and existence multi vectored ?
You'll also notice an interspersal of Yiddish and Sanskrit. Here I issue my own poetic licence.

Draft- Please do not read and catch cold

Internet verisimilitude and cathexis

Can take you hopping and popping throughout the global online nexus

Multimedia, video a search engine query

Transfers vibration with little tarry

Friendship at first can be temporarily although ersatz effective

Interactions can invoke several of the 10 commandments, let alone the prime directive

The true Self may be omniscient, omnipresent, through the light of the Lord

But can the same be said of the monitor and keyboard ?

Use Sechel and avoid the invective

Consciousness can travel orthogonally, in simultaneous multi vector

Geographically diverse images, webcams, videos, almost instantly over to any Terran sector

Imagination may easily disperse

To the far regions of the local universe

Cyber communication, oh so speedy

Can traverse defense mechanisms of beings oh so needy

For expression and communication, love and caring

Sometimes our hearts bleed for sharing

Problem is it may be all the rage

Not only does the cyber surfer need to be aware of age, but really act their age

Be ethically and morally responsible before in any conversation you engage

Health and lifestyle may be nutritious

But bloggery and gossip is often delicious

We need to go from a little darkness to a bit more light

In the current internet reiteration night or day

Nothing these days is that hidden or secret, wrong or right

Try not to slip on slime, or get soiled with schmootz – do this sans delay

Otherwise there might be a bit of karma to pay

So many people to be in touch with you see

How well I can know you if even you hardly know me

No matter how your mind and societal defenses may be affected

Ultimately through the divine spark know it or nor we’re connected

I knew you once do you remember me

Content and interrelationships can be rather sophisticated, at least…they seem to be

The numbers may make you pale

If one considers the number of people we connect to via IM and e-mail

Spatial temporal scintillation, our insatiable imaginations seek, knowledge, news, entertainment and thrills without resting

As well as projective desires less reality testing

There’s all this drama, but it’s a one way Samyama

Are you now ready to share your thoughts and experiences with your papa or mama ?

E-mail and the chat room

These days it’s a more evolved verbal/texting gaming form of doom

Your mind may be in a cyberspatial stew

But in a sense the sense object can communicate subtly back to you

Be careful of your wishes, and these you should carefully edit

So as not to give free ranging wings to your cards of bondage by credit

Don’t feel how can I live without this, and seem bereft

Watch out for viruses and spyware, that can lead to identity theft

Those scammers and phishers

Are really little pishers

Set up mail rules and filters, delete those attachments, graphics…and kaboom

Let all the cyber goniffs gay cocken auf in yum

Infatuation and attraction, verisimilitudinal projection oh heavenly distraction…in alienation and loneliness such things sweetly come back to you

In the cosmic dance, divine play of Lila, our vritti’s create such a brew

Mind is far from the here and now

So many Samskaras and new seeds it needs to sow

It’s often quite fun to dream and fantasize, to be in denial and rationalization for a while

And even after your cyber session and physical removal

Your monitor beckons and offers that tempting tacit approval

Not just love, but these days friendship is such a proposition so tenuous

You kind have got to watch out for intentions and acts that turn out disingenuous

In the mid 90’s I could say with glee

E-mailing a stranger could result in such a nice camaraderie

Then with increasing popularity the firewalls, filters, voicemail evolved to their present level and came up, and presented new challenges for interrelationships and sales…cold calling often is masochistic frustration in every pore

But if you use the phone and e-mail as a tool, there’s occasional elation

Of such rewards, I often wish there were more

While artistic endeavors are inspiring

Coldness, rejection is still a bit frustrating if not tiring

Challenges, however fuel ones creative fire

Nuances in language and marketing never fail to inspire

We all like to play till the proverbial end of the day

Even for the distant and aloof

Existence in our physical form along with all the knowledge goes poof!

But a little wisdom and divine knowledge, gracefully acquired along life’s path may show you a way

In this conundrum of joy and travail, called life’s game

Whether one seeks, fame, fortune, recognition, power, knowledge, in the end it’s really not the same

Health needs to balance wealth, caring, warmth, and sharing are fine

Try not to be the type that buries the elderly before their time, and if the same happens to you, you may have made your own bed and be the one to blame

True friendship, camaraderie, and love are sadly enough exceedingly rare, since defense mechanisms are more common shown if not already known

Here’s a hint, it will help overcome reticence and fear

When you’re with a kindred spirit, real friend, and most luckily your love…time will disappear

Clarity will over take delusion

Eternity will overtake time, which in itself is, in the right context and setting of course, an illusion

( Hadn’t love better be singular at the time ? If it’s Cingular we might really be in trouble ) J)

Cathexis is after all a vibration

Mutually it can overcome alienation

No matter how the unrestrained team of horses present in our mind may engage in their daily trots

Beware that unrequited desires, food, drinking, substances, or over indulgences can cause one to Plotz.

Latinos have a solution that has a rather far reach

After dancing, partying , feasting all weekend

Monday morning retire, recuperate, and go read my poetry on the nearest beach.

It’s not that I’m trying to be literary or flaunting my talent as a poet

If you have read this far you might have an inkling or you might already even know it J

Do I take myself seriously in my poetry or art

It may set us a little less further apart

After all good intellectual interaction, and discussion is what we truly seek

I am pleased to have shared my thoughts and given my reader a little peek.

Copyright Shel Stein 2006


From Yiddish -

Sechel= wisdom, common sense

Schmootz – various and sundry qualities or gradations of dirt – humorous schmootz can make for a good joke

Plotz= explode figuratively, can refer to ether embarrassment or overeating

pishers=pissers; goniffs=thieves;yum=body of water as in lake , ocean, or river

From Sanskrit -

Samyama = Deep and intense concentration and focus. Leading to knowledge intuition and understanding from Sanskrit

Vritti refers to the thought process and modification of mind; Samaskara’s are residual seeds in the mind from past actions, even lives; Lila- perhaps the cosmic macro chasm of human interaction and existence.


I wrote this poem just ten years ago - It seems people not only have delays, and extensive security checks, they get stuck on the runway for 5 to 8 hours at a time, and who knows what may overflow down the isle during a flight.

A friend of ours lives in a condo overlooking the intercoastal waterway in Miami Beach, with a view of Miami looking toward Downtown and Miami International Airport. When the large jets would be taking off months after September 11, one would get an anxious feeling and connotation. In this poem there was mention of only one accident where an older plane crashed into the everglades.

This was a creative way of dealing with frustration, and a nice exercise in people watching...


This poem was composed on the 24 of May, after 2 flights were canceled , resulting in almost a 24 hour delay in returning home from Dulles Airport via Atlanta, over the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend in 1996. While some of the humor may be cynical and a bit on the morbid or black side, it is only for the purpose of poetic license, and not meant to offend any individuals or groups. When you lose both time and a day of business, one must take a humorous attitude toward life.

Perhaps the Value Jet disaster was a reflection of the cost cutting, downsized, over efficient, depersonalized , bottom line oriented productivity of the 90's. Perhaps the tragedy bespoke a backlash to the long term effects of contemporary managerial paradigms affecting government and private industry. When one of the two new stretch DC 9's landed in Atlanta, there were numerous grounded jets on the tarmac. It was amazing that so many "defective" planes escaped the government inspectors. And if there is a shortage, how safe is it to fly other airlines. Either way the flights were packed. Perhaps Value Jet was the safest airline to fly that weekend.

I have no penchant to be insulting or rude

Nor it is fun to be frustrated or brood

When I awoke this morning in Reston at 5

It was a bit of an early joy to be alive

I stayed over that night at a splendid hotel

Stoically, I rationalized last night's canceled VJ flight ,

rather than Qvell

At Dulles, after another 60 min. delay, avoiding a dose mylanta

My VJ flight swooped down like a wounded phoenix on Atlanta

Thinking of flying into Ft Lauderdale , closer to the Equator

I really hoped my flight would leave at 11:30, just an hour later

Things just did not go well

This wasn't purgatory, it was another descent into VJ hell

The regulatory system related to this mashuganah delay

Was either a witch hunt, or a superb job by an election year FAA

I heard we're going to eventually get a plane, but don't hold your breath

On a holiday , flying a crowded discount airline beset by age, tragedy, & death

One might imagine that a 29 year old DC9, might be reasonably sound

Until you heard that day,inspectors kept over 10 on the ground

In comparative terms, if I were to rate flying this airline

VJ 's crews and probably underpaid staff were superlatively fine

Consider equipment age and maintenance cost -cuts may affect the bottom line

While my wife was waiting for me in Ft. Lauderdale on a day that was hot and clammy

My second canceled flight got superseded by a standby fare to Miami

Thus for a business day that got blown and turned out crappy

At least I got home in one piece and was semi happy

In retrospective mood rather pensive

There's the old adage that cheap fares often end up expensive

Rumors, confusion, angry words --- human clash and clutter

Then there's the black-humored joke about what one everglades alligator

said to another - Now get clued

The answer: Not bad for Airline food

While I was not the author of a riddle so offensive and rude

Denial and fear of death are in these words imbued

Then there was the in-flight humor that could be swept out with a broom

Today's contest winner got back her wallet lost in the bathroom

In a crowded, only decade old, DC9 stretch 80, an imaginary mile high club

Would only be an impractical flub

The only possible answer rhymes with the brand name elantra

This could only be described in a future poem entitled restroom cabin tantra

To pull this off in the 90's would be recklessly neat

First hint , the protected male would have to sit, without losing his wallet

down the wrong hole, on the seat

Ah, with such an abundance of wisdom and pearls

Alas we can thank VJ for bringing back handsome guys and pretty girls

VJ's planes are packed and the aisles are difficult through which to pass

Occasionally one's shoulders can get rubbed by a preferential lass

Ah Yes, on VJ it's great to land alive

Even if your delay is an hour, or two, or three, or more than five

Value-Crock, Carrajo-Jet, Schlock-Jet, any name implying detriment

Having got through this day, I'll doff my hat and salute VJ's management

With modest words, hardly professorial

May G-d bless those doomed swamped souls on this weekend memorial

So while I had my chance to shoot my verbal wad

It must have been for some reason that on takeoff and landing,

did the passengers cheer and applaud

In actuality the flight to Miami was a splendid ride

I'll further salute VJ's staff for their positive outlook, professionalism,

chutzpah, and pride

Would I ever take VJ another time and another day ?

Hopefully VJ will survive the lawyers, insurance premiums, bad press , and the FAA

The poetic words & frustrated venting, with which I love to play

For lost business, time, meals, and hotel room, Value Jet will never pay

It was the journey and the people I loved to watch that were the most fun

I conclude now as the wheels of my flight touch the runway ,

in this city of never ending tourists, humidity, I-95 , and high UV sun.

Delayed timetables one should never berate

While waiting on the taxiway for an open gate

With delays like these, beepers, cell phones, the virtual office, are of little or no avail

All I can do is ponder, pass gas under the cover of jet engine noise,

while planning tonight's e-mail

Shel Stein