Faith, Love and Honesty

I will be embarking now on a sequence of poems, in chronological and thematic order, that will stretch back right towards some of my earliest poetry. The collective theme is 'Love's Tempest', within which there will be various sub-themes. We start with the sub-theme 'Beginnings'.

Although this particular poem was probably written when I was 19 or 20 years old, it talks about earlier chidhood. It is definitely the start of the story.


No-one ever understands.
All my life it seems I've tried
To fit in with a group of friends
That couldn't accept me for what I was

Being a Jew was always enough
To justify the sort of hate
That made, as example, one girl say
"They should have gassed you with all the rest."

And then they called my friend a good samaritan
Because, they said, I looked like I was best
In a gutter.
And I must have heard every single joke that ever was
Relating Jews to misers.

And then the truth was that I didn't know
What being Jewish could be.
Or should I say, could never be accepted
By my own community.

And we were waiting by a window,
My sister and I, for a car that never came.
A father that didn't care enough
To let us know he wouldn't be there, again.

And no-one seems to understand
How difficult it is for me to like myself.
Going as I am, against what everyone else
Has seemed to think about my worth.

All of this I have risen above.
And now I know I can be loved.
But deep inside, a little child
Is waiting for a car to come...
That she can't remember the colour of.

anti semitismbeginningsbullyingfaithfriendshiphonestylove's tempestself esteem

◄ Stuck In Your Head (a poem)

Fidgeting ►


Kevin T.S. Tan

Fri 26th Mar 2021 08:28

You're welcome Aviva. And if you ever want to talk about this subject, just send me a message. More than happy to share about it.

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Aviva Rifka Bhandari

Thu 25th Mar 2021 22:38

Thank you for commenting Kevin. The way I tend to say it is that my blood is Jewish but my brain isn't - but what that means is that I am Jewish by descent but I don't believe in any religion.

I learnt to read Hebrew as a child (the letters anyway, and understood a few words) but that was long ago and I don't recall much except a small part of the Mah Nishtanah (Passover) song and a few other tiny fragments such as the months which we learnt to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star....

Thanks also to everyone who clicked 'Like' for this poem. 💐

Kevin T.S. Tan

Thu 25th Mar 2021 21:55

As a Dutch I'm a Holocaust-survivor (we all are) and anti-semitism is the most difficult thing to understand. I've noticed that a lot of Jews are studying Kabbalah to try to make sense of everything. Perhaps something for you as a poet? It seems fascinating but I can't read Hebrew.

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Aviva Rifka Bhandari

Thu 25th Mar 2021 20:29

Thank you for commenting Vautaw. It is amazing isn't it, how poetry seems to have been created and valued in every time and place - perhaps the sounds of the womb are like a poem and humans have been comforted by poetry ever since?

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Thu 25th Mar 2021 18:57

Heartbreaking Aviva. I will never understand the hate and judgment that resides in the human heart. Thank goodness we have writing and poetry as salve for our wounds and to give a voice to our inner child. Write on my friend. ❤

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