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By Anita Razin
By Anita Razin


California 40 million strong

A concrete bubble

Cocooned by TV, Twitter, technology

In Laguna Beach/

Carefree neighborhoods

packed garages, full driveways, storage units

lights, stoves, phones

Green lawns, clean cars, Fiji, Evian/

Pacific’s edge

Sail boats, jet skis, paddle boards

Parks, benches, art

Life guards, street sweepers, dog catchers/

Puppies and kittens for company

Salad, muffin, cleanse

Yoga, Pilates, spin

The gurgling sound of a hunger pang, alien/

Faulting traffic, weather, air

Choosing toothpaste, toilet paper, deodorant

Voting, speaking, protesting

Against skateboarders, day laborers, homeless/

Virtual unreality

On couches sipping cola,

Hypnotic giant screens

Showing least aggravating, most entertaining/

Laughing with Simpsons and Jon Stuart,

We agree politics and policies are absurd,

Party leaders are buffoons

Greed is bad, charity good/

Sarajevans, Syrians, Sudanese far from our psyche

60 million weak

Walking across continents, washing ashore the Mediterranean

EU fretting, regretting/

Their ordeal, trauma, civil war

Disease, misfortune, poverty

Lack of opportunity

– least of our worries

Herded in tents, in stadiums, in deserts

Where heat and cold merciless

Limited sinks, showers, toilets

Kicking soccer balls, rolling tires in the dust/

Unencumbered by their misery

Uncertain escape, terrible fate, hard to take

Too far to reach

Off to see Martians, Peanuts and basketball games/

2016 arriving…

UNICEF, Red Cross, Refugee Fund…

waiting, anticipating

nickels, dimes and dollars/

$6000 for a dingy crammed with Kurds,


Aylan, 3, red shirt, blue shorts, lost his grip,

muzzled in wet sand,, toy-less, lifeless, senseless/

We disapproved

“the scarcity of humanity,

Such a shame, it had to be…

He looked a lot like me.”/

Einstein, I.M. Pei, Madeline Albright,

Joseph Pulitzer, John Muir, Joni Mitchell,

Bob Hope, Irving Berlin, Liz Claiborne

Our immigrants/

Oh but tiny ones crossing the Rio Grande

Without parents

Hungry, thirsty, afraid to be mules,

Flooding in, causing panic, a crisis/

150,000 little illegals on a journey, a saga actually

Looking for asylum, finding detention and deportation

Jeb shouting “Send in National Guard!”

This American amnesia will save us all./


Anita Razin is a published food columnist and short story writer. She lives in Laguna Beach with her husband and two daughters.

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