As Gunter Grass, Nobel Prize winning German author of The Tin Drum has published a poem, I thought this was an auspicious moment for me to test my poem-writing chops…

The Tin Ear

There is a man-child who never grew up
Who wants to warn the world that it might blow up
He is known as The Tin Ear
And lives in fear
that the world will go kablooie
Or as George Bush would say, nukleer

He is old but was always somewhat confused
For many years the truth to tell he refused
He wrote a book that told a tale
Of a German war of massive scale
When the world went berzerk with war
Because the Nazis did assail

The fact he omitted as he lectured others
Is that he himself was one of the brothers
When people found out they were angry that he
Was a hypocrite, which he could not see
Because he blinked and said,
“Hey, I was a kid, don’t look at me”

What he neglected to mention, of course
Is that he did have recourse
He was an adult whose lie was smooth
When he chose to hide the truth
About his role in that immoral war
Even if back then he was still a youth

But now, an old man, wizened by time
Instead of learning from his past, he has chosen to slime
The Jews
Saying they are lighting a fuse
And of they precipitating the next big bomb
He did accuse.

Not just any fuse, he says, a nuke!
Because the words of the crazy man they mistook
That is all he says about Ahmadinejad
The man with speeches of jihad
And his promises to make Israel disappear
With rockets from his launching pad.

Yes, so what if the Iranian leader
Is a Holocaust Denial cheeleader
Whose country, ten times Israel’s size,
Claims destroying the Zionists is the prize
And is building a bomb?
Who else but the Jewish state would The Tin Ear chastise?

“Yes, what we did in the war was terrible,” says The Ear
“And millions of Jews were murdered,” he adds with a crocodile tear
But the real lesson to be learned
If we are not to be burned
If what’s coming is the mother of all wars
Is that the Jews’ bad reputation is well-earned

Those war-mongering, Nazi-like monsters
Suggests the old man with his last bit of ink
Careful to add that he been reluctant to speak
And make a critique
Because even a bomb
Is not as bad as being called antisemi-tic

“Those bastard mongrels,” he implies, “of whom 6 million were unfortunately killed
Survived the war and now dare to build”
A nation, a state and a nuclear bomb
That could destroy the calm
That could go kablooie
With aplomb

So what, says The Tin Ear, if for 40 years this state
Has has the Bomb but never a threat did articulate
They are the guilty ones
And their sons
Who could make the Middle East go aflame
With their guns

He apparently misses what they did in World War Two
Go to their deaths even as Tin Ears like him knew
So now they have the nerve, says the Ear
To protect what they hold dear
And to have a device that scares some, and, he accuses
They are worse or no different than those whom they fear

Says the Ear: We are enlightened, not barbaric…unlike they
And we should let them know our dismay
Let’s weaken the Jews by claiming their defense
Makes little sense
And by not saying whether they have it or not
Is to Iran’s threats and hate…of moral equivalence

And, adds The Tin Ear, it is up to us, who support their ambiguity
To stop supporting the victims by claiming congruity
They do not need arms, submarines or support
Because there is nothing to thwart
Just ignore those who placed two armies and battalions of rockets at their door
What they need is monitoring and a report

And if the world would just understand
That the Jews, the Jews, the Jews
Have taken the land
And even if they did bloom make the sand
That this issue with the Palestinians is more important
Than the threat that’s at hand

And then all will be well and all will be fine
Because the threat, after all, is benign
And if the Jews didn’t make of it such a big deal
With their oversize zeal
And swinging their circumcised pricks
Then it will all go away with a squeal

Thus speaks The Tin Ear
After so many decades of being here
He has learned nothing from his past
And the life experience he has amassed
And apparently also has nothing to teach
So we can only hope this poem will indeed be his last.

(image source)

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