In his official notice of appointment, Waitzman received the following congratulation from Town Supervisor Alex Gromack: “I have enjoyed your poetry for many years and look forward to working with you in your new position. It is a great honor and privilege to bestow this title to you. On behalf of the town board and the residents of Clarkstown, congratulations!”
Waitzman is also a World War II vet, a former Clarkstown judge and longtime practicing lawyer in Rockland County. In 2011 he won a major award from the University of Mississippi’s poetry review.
Rockland County’s poet laureate is Dan Masterson, renowned throughout the international poetry community and a five plus decade veteran professor at Rockland Community College.
Editor-in-Chief of the Rockland County Times Dylan Skriloff, a former poetry student of Masterson, said, “The Town of Clarkstown chose well. Waitzman is unquestionably one of the top poets in all of Rockland County.”
Coils and Springs
BY HARRY WAITZMAN
My poems spring from nowhere
And everywhere, from the genes
if my body and brains inherited
from a father and mother born
In Stepin, a small village in Poland,
best described as a shtetle of a thousand
souls who labored through seven hundred years
of tool and a few pogroms
Both crossed the ocean to the haven
of America, married begot three children
and living in Spring Valley sheltering me
with books, a cow and many chickens.
I’m vain rooster of his former life
crowing in the wilderness of late years
with pacemaker, implants and tin ears.
Only the trees of Congers sustain me.
Ripened like a later apple blushing in the sun,
my leaves clapped hurrah when I first learned
law and politics in Rockland. Fools in this paradise
lead a short life, but grandchildren extend it.