Haibun: The Blizzard of Hate

A habun for De’s Quadrille today at dVerse Poets Pub. A quadrille is a poem in any form of exactly 44 words using the prompted word. Today the word is “cheer”. It must be used in any form of cheer within the Quadrille. With the re-emergence of Anti-Semitism it is hard to be cheerful during this season of the Festival of Lights, Chanukah. As a Jew, I feel this deeply. This will also be posted at Real Toads Tuesday Platform.  My haibun has exactly 44 words in the fashion of the first haibun created by Basho.


Public lighting of the Menorah

The Blizzard of Hate
The first candle of Hanukah is lit. Light shines in the darkness. Joy and laughter for the next few days. Anti-Semitism spreads like evil snow – a blizzard of hatred blankets the innocent.
genocide shootings –
cheer in the face of miracles
seems so far away

Berlin – anti-Semitism Rally, modern day

49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Dougherty
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:40:26

    I’m having trouble finding any empathy with cheer too.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:44:21

    Hard to click like on this… and it’s on the rise all across the world.


  3. whimsygizmo
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 15:45:49

    Heartbreaking, Toni. I will never, EVER understand hate of any kind. Know that you’re deeply loved. Happy Chanukah.


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 16:05:40

    Our minds were in the same groove, Toni. You got me with /anti-Semitism spreads like evil snow/.


  5. gillena cox
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 16:38:52

    You read mine before the edit and note. Thanks for dropping by

    Cheer and lack of it are the reality of seasons. Your poem makes a profound statement



  6. msjadeli
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 17:10:09

    very troubling, the photo and caption. you’d think they would have learned in Germany. i thought they had more sense these days


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 17:48:07

      They have not learned in many European countries, in the US, and in eastern countries. The Jews have always been resented and hated.

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  7. Frank J. Tassone
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 17:47:10

    Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #8: Toni Spencer’s latest #quadrille #haibun for #dversepoets!


  8. sanaarizvi
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 18:00:06

    I wish I could wipe violence and hatred off the face of the world .. evocative write, Toni ❤


  9. Frank Hubeny
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 18:27:47

    I like your description of hate as a blizzard.


  10. coalblack
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 19:40:45

    I don’t get it, where all this antisemitism comes from. I know that Trump has made every inbred moron feel fine about expressing whatever rot-brained notions they have, but it has to be there in the first place in order to be brought out. I truly don’t understand it.


    • kanzensakura
      Dec 03, 2018 @ 20:00:33

      Anti-Semitism never left Europe. For example, in 1299 Edward I expelled all Jews in the Edict of Expulsion. They stayed expelled until Cromwell. In 1938 Kristallnacht also referred to as the Night of Broken Glass, Reichspogromnacht or simply Pogromnacht, and Novemberpogrome, was a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and civilians. pogroms were common in Eastern Europe and of course we all know about the good villagers who watched the Jews being marched past them into Auswitz. Here in the US we have watched the upsurge in neo Nazism and anti-Semitism in the past 20 years. In England money lending was forbidden to Christians which led to the Jews being accused of usury and blood sacrifice. Jewelry stores were brown into, synagogues were vandalize, even a few Jews were crucified in 1880-1888 in England. As long as there has been Jews there has been hate. Mainly stemming from the calling them Christ killers although the only form of execution allowed Jews is stoning. People conveniently forget the Romans killed Jesus.

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  11. Maggie C
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 20:40:58

    We must keep the light shining in the darkness. But it is, indeed, a blizzard right now.


  12. rob kistner
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 20:43:13

    The truly stupid among us are so bold with their stupidity. I try hard to prevent it from stirring anger and resentment within me, because if I succumb, then I have allowed them to steal my peace.


  13. V.J. Knutson
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 21:37:40

    “seems (so very) far away” – what happened to ‘peace on earth’?


  14. areadingwriter
    Dec 03, 2018 @ 22:42:25

    cheer in the face of miracles
    seems so far away

    ugh. ugh. who can cheer about this. thank you for speaking about this.


  15. peterfrankiswrites
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 03:37:26

    Like others, brave words well said.


  16. merrildsmith
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 08:30:40

    Yes, I so agree, Toni. This year has been particularly tough. I visited the new Holocaust Memorial in Philadelphia only a couple days before the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh–and then the cheering at dt’s rallies. I know it’s world wide. . .


  17. The Abject Muse
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 09:45:13

    These are scary times for everyone, but especially Jews. As a fellow Jew, kanzen sakura, thank you for posting this well-written piece


  18. rothpoetry
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 10:22:39

    Well done Toni. Your reminder that hate never take a holiday is raw and vivid. Keep lighting the candles and celebrate the light in those lost!


  19. anmol(alias HA)
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 14:10:41

    Ah, how can we find cheer in such an environment? It’s a hard-hitting write because it’s such a horrible world that we live in.
    “a blizzard of hatred blankets the innocent”: This is so well said!


  20. Charmed Chaos
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 14:57:13

    So well said Toni, truly.


  21. annell4
    Dec 04, 2018 @ 15:56:35

    Yes, it does, Toni.


  22. Kerry
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 03:19:15

    How very tragic that joy and genocide must appear side by side in a poem.


  23. Dr. Crystal Howe
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 10:09:07

    I won’t say I understand how this feels. However, my heart goes out to all Jews and everyone affected by the hatred in society. Your poem is beautiful in a melancholy way; it spoke to me deeply. Thank you, Toni. Have a peaceful and happy Chanukah!


  24. Christine Irving
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 13:17:06

    So important to keep raising our voices – poets are very close to the front of the line of who they’ll come for next


  25. Rob Kistner
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 16:47:44

    Hi Toni. Back for another read. Came in through the “toad” door this time… all we can do perdonally is hold our moral center…


  26. oldegg
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 19:29:25

    Mankind certainly has some faults, one of them is not allowing others to live their lives differently and find god (if they need one) their on way and vice versa. The secret is in not saying or believing other views are wrong but accepting we are different but can acknowledge others can find their own paths in life.


  27. Jim
    Dec 05, 2018 @ 21:55:55

    Telling it like it is, Toni, deplorable situation.
    We have some friends, Baptists, who are now retired and have started their travels. They avoid Europe because their name sounds Jewish. We never discussed how much if any Jewish blood they have. I have a great-grandmother who was Jewish and married a German. Both were banished by family and so came to America. Then during WWI my great-grandfather once held off a lynch mob with ropes and lanterns with his shotgun. Later he “Americanized” our last name. People are fickle and easily persuaded to HATE.


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