It is hard to miss that this widely proclaimed French phrase includes an “I” or it would spell Jesus, much to the chagrin of third-world terrorists. Apparently my own patriotic feelings have engendered similar concern at the completion of my 25th year in writing my monthly newsletter, “Syzygy.” The recent December issue included my heartfelt poem, “The Great Resolve of Nine-Eleven,” which I had presented at our Glen Ellen Church during a nationwide spiritual outpouring that followed the Twin Towers attack in 2001.
Last month I received word that my poem had been accepted for the 2015 publication, “Who’s Who in American Poetry.” Evidently, my patriotic poem produced an expression of current hatred, as just last week, I was sent an email with a death threat, which notified me directly: “Criticize Islam, you die.” I surmise that he objected to the purpose of my 2001 poem as expressed in the final verse: “To honor thousands who were killed, because some evil minds so willed, we’ll end this reign of hate and show, indeed, our God is great.”
Despite the consequences for this 84-year-old American … “Je suis Charlie”!
Jim Berkland, Glen Ellen