Reflections by Robert Zell


Review by g emil reutter
Bob Zell a philosopher, psychologist, poet and after hours club bouncer peels back the layers of his complicated being, shedding his skin, opening himself up to his very core.
In Resilience he writes of how most people are molded by those around them into vibrancy, of prisoners chipping away at stone walls seeking freedom in need of guidance from those on the outside who know where to place the chisel and how to guide the hammer home. He writes of the brittle folks who always wait for that miracle. He concludes … into them through the mountain/ who have visited the underground stream/ that lies buried deep within/ and who are willing to share/ their journey with those thirsty/ in search of this eternal reservoir.
In Punxsutawney he battles the darkness… Always a dim, vague image/ of myself reflected back at me/ holding my existence captive. Unwilling to face / both inner and outer world/ to see through the pane/ framing my existence/ I cast a bitter fog
An excerpt from the poem, The Chimera of Notre Dame, a poem where the philosopher Zell leaps from the page.
Perched atop a pinnacle
of Western Civilization,
I overlook humanity
whose face has become obscured
by a host of sacred institutions
questing for power.
Up here, above it all,
I listen to man make declarations
of independence, of brotherhood,
of loyalty, of piety,
but I also watch over the world
looking at deeds not words,
noticing the transgressions
against Christ’s teachings
and I see the truth.
Conflict abounds.
And Man is not averse
to declaring war either,
always, it seems
for the most noble of purposes.
It is on these occasions
that one knows words
are not empty promises,
that the speakers will act congruently.
This colossal construction I sit upon
and all that is housed within
is not exempt from this rule of Law;
its foundation rests upon
the Old Testament— quite at odds
with the savior’s teachings.
The ancient eye-for-an-eye ethic
has persisted through millennia
in different garbs;
Man has worshiped and soldiered
for many beings, including the Sun,
the Moon, and the Stars,
but no god has ever ruled
as mercilessly or as long as Mars.
All is not dark in the world to Zell. In the beautiful poem, Spiral Staircase, he leaves us with hope in humanity:
They reach into the clouds/ plucking wings off of angels/ so they may fly freely/ transforming themselves/ into beacons of promise/ so that they may return/ to earth to elevate/ the spirit of mankind/ and remove all its limitations.  

You can find the book here:  Reflections

g emil reutter is a writer of poems and stories. You can find him here:

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