It’s more than three years since I retired
But the time hasn’t been wasted;
Work was cut but new stuff pasted,
A third grandchild acquired,
I tried to learn Ancient Greek,
Took up the paintbrush again,
First oil paints since I don’t know when;
A bit of Torah study midweek
And generally, synagogue life;
Time with the partner still a pleasure:
A late and unexpected treasure,
Though, for me, no more being a wife.
Besides this, I’ve become addicted to the news.
I’m not happy about Brexit,
Or Marine Le Pen’s plans for Frexit,
Corbyn’s Labour, Trump’s weird views.
Not a Luddite, I blog and tweet,
Well, the blogs are poetry and bible,
But Twitter is such a fount of libel
Which, in real life one doesn’t often meet,
Of fake news before ‘fake news’ was a thing
And gross cartoons, displeasing memes,
Rage, loathing and political extremes,
Threats, photo shopped images, name-calling;
It angers me when they go for my heroes
Such as David Aaronovitch or JK Rowling,
So I want to respond to the trolling
By replying in kind to those zeros.
And I know Netanyahu’s trouble,
But not the murderous ghoul
Superimposed as a general rule
Over a photo of Gazan rubble.
I tweeted #JesuisCharlie, #JesuisEd,
The latter back in 2015
When the bacon sandwich photo was seen
And hopes of Labour winning put to bed.
I see a sinister use of stereotype.
Although I don’t like the expression ‘As a Jew,’
And I know this sort of thing is far from new,
As a Jew, it hurts to read such tripe.
Neonazis think the Talmud is satanic.
What can they have been reading?
The innocent people they’re misleading
React with well-meaning anti-zionist panic.
Well sometimes it’s all too much
And then I muscle in, with my 140 letters,
Get involved in Twitter vendettas
Until it’s time to kick them out of touch.
Being a worrier is how I roll,
But now I’ve become a warrior
For which I ought to be sorrier
As I don’t want to behave like a troll;
I thought Twitter would be an exchange
Of culture, pictures, good advice,
But often, it’s nothing so nice,
More like firing at close range.
Nevertheless, there are pleasant people,
Who write a word of wisdom, an epigram or joke.
If only one could avoid the sort of folk
Who close their tweets with hashtag WakeUpSheeple.