July 13, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Don Krieger



Ode to Joe

Joe Paterno, 1926 – 2012



Rape of a boy by a man,

it’s too vicious to ignore,

too visceral, too fearsome,

for anyone, even your fans.


Joe, our hero, our savior,

you were trapped by career and trust.

You helped us forget, took one for the team,

stood by while they paid 60 mil to the league,

and went quiet in disgrace to your tomb.


Yet what do we do

for rape of a girl,

whether the perp is unknown or an athlete?

We shun her, gag her, shame her, pay her,

move heaven and earth

with our power and wealth,

to suppress the merciless crime.


For we must keep our players working

and our precious scholars cheering,

to keep the stadiums full

and the mortgage money flowing.

Whether the prey is a girl or a boy,

we must suffer the rape of our children.










Wednesday is Purim



when Mordecai rose to prime minister,

holy remembrance for the Lubavitch,

who spit on the floor when prayer reminds that they worshiped Baal,

who spend Shabbos in shul

while their pregnant wives tend the brood

and cook a feast without fire or work.


Wednesday is Purim,

when Haman was hung,

holy remembrance for the Haredi,

who throw women from their buses,

who spit on school girls with uncovered ankles,

who condemn cults which call their acolytes to felonies

while they revere their rabbis

and stone strangers who drive on Shabbos.


At Purim we proudly remember

the slaughter of 30,000 by my people

on command of a moron king

and his Jewish advisor.

I am mortified for these millions of mine

who embrace delusion and disgrace.









Passover Prayer



Again your death angel turned away

left us whole,

your chosen,

terrorized and prayerful for the horror next time.


You command: “Remember.”

Who can forget

holiday and self denial,

worship and tyranny,

the lies of faith,

the first born butchered,

your people’s grace?


Two we know defied you,

but how many have you really heard?

Abraham spoke for the righteous,

Jesus spoke for the cheat,

but Moses, the murderer, your darling,

spoke only for your vicious caprice.


Am I true, good, kind?

I judge without mercy.

But the relentless cycle of slavery and murder

we do in your image

is humble before your cruel glory.


If you truly exist and hear, then hear this:

By my poor standards, you are unfit.

If I held your might, almighty God,

in that instant

I would erase you and your memory

from all that is.


If you truly exist and care,

then as you did Korach,

open the earth and destroy me.

For though I claim nothing over Aaron or Moses.

I claim goodness over you.











Don Krieger

I have built satellites, worked in the operating room, been in a cult, …

I earn my living as part of a group which is trying to understand and treat head injury.

In my poetry and short blog pieces, I want to express ideas with unambiguous clarity and intensity.

I willingly sacrifice rhyme and meter, art, cleverness, elegance, and beauty for these.



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