The Pomegranate: Love and Women Poems

A collection of poetry written by Ada A. Aharoni, Ph.D. International President of PAVE PEACE Association and Coordinator of the International BAN - WAR CAMPAIGN.
Copyright 1997 - Ada A. Aharoni - All Rights Reserved.

Page Last Updated: October 30, 1997.


Contents:

1 - LOVE POEMS


Cakes and Poems
In The Sun
Mount Carmel Pomegranates
The Marriage of Science and Poetry
Broken Wing
David and Bat-Sheva's Cave in Ein Gedi
Clouded Almond Flowers
Twigs Not Roses
The Slits On My Arm
One Way Journey
Will Transplant
Psychological Wooing
The Three Gowns
Chest Protest
Your Name
The Swan Search
Interior Camera
Four Mad Dogs
Your Real You
Seaweed
Helen Caldicott
Silver Mosaic Stone
Silver Wedding Rainbow in New York City
Common Bloodstream
Fragile
Hard Nut
Sunflowers
The End
To Leave You Now

2 - WOMEN POEMS


Woman of No Time
Assa and Farah of Isfahan
Muffled in Your Halachic Caresses
A Ladino Song
Real Abishag
Lost Living Goddess of Nepal
Loss of the Milky Way
Mexican Amanecio
Las Mananitas
Daughter of Sinai
Massada
Arturo's Rubenstein
If a White Horse From Jerusalem

3 - A GARLAND OF GRAIN


Mamica
Graffiti Under the Table
From Grandfather Papou to Grandson Idan
Time in Abadan: Homage to Omar Khayyam
Dear Descartes: Creativity
Saul Bellow: Get Out From Under My Pillow
Not Old: Saul Bellow Indeed Knew
Spineless Academic
Take Us To Soweto
In Your Museum
Papyrus Fan
Mimosa Equality
A Jewish Woman's Prayer
Daphne
Love Games
Crumpled Curtain
Mother, Kikuji Is Again With the Geisha Girls
Chameleon
Not Even On Her Birthday
Free Lioness
Upright
Shani
The Roger Dance
Triple Thread
Idan and the Waves

Part One

LOVE POEMS

 
     
                                   Enjoy life with a woman you love
                                   all the days of your life.
                                                  Ecclesiastes 9:9

     

                         

Cakes and Poems

You brought the cake, and I the poem. We read the cake, and ate the poem. My wishes pass as through pierced ear-lobes. So much helpless groping to keep us more together, to walk beyond the sidewalks. To make whole. I see a postage stamp world where your postcard has not arrived. Sometimes a green bile stone, sometimes a song. White magnolias break into my night. Above all it is your sound I hear. I drink the dawn. Your sound is a calm river of copious silky kisses. Laughingly, our glances lock. It is almost worth parting often, to meet again. I blow the Shofar. You will go on bringing the cakes, and I the poems.

In the Sun

She took him to the sun with a pigeon on his shoulder a smile in his eye a song in his ear, clutching his throat through the woods of trembling -- where he fell in love with his sun-laden dream, a ring of laughter on his finger, a fragrant kiss his moist fresh life.

Mount Carmel Pomegranates

The trees smile, the trees laugh, the trees sign, and every pomegranate on Haifa's Mount Carmel, peals its love song: take her tenderly by the hand wherever you go, she is part of you we are witness. The trees whisper, the trees weep, the trees sleep, when he goes and leaves her smile behind, awakes at morning in a snow land kissing his own cold hand...

The Marriage of Science and Poetry

"For the sciences of nature... man, once again, meets only with himself." Heisenberg. Mr. Heisenberg, notable shadkhan, Science to Poetry benevolently presented. For Science it was love at first sight, but while he persisted the lady held back and desisted. "Our impulses are parallel," he argued and pleaded, "Although our methods and tools are divergent, we both want to probe the actuality of things to investigate phenomena beyond their surfaces. We have so much in common! For one thing, we both use language to communicate." But, retorted dainty poetry, "You follow the star of stern objectivity while I prefer more intimate subjectivity, you worship the goddess of reason while I bend at the altar of intuition, Concrete facts are all you have eyes for while I dote on tangible essences, Self is my universe and I am embarked on a conquest of inner space. No! Material and spirit will never mix." This put Science in rather a tight fix. "The universe inside, and out, is our laboratory," he argued scientifically, sending Poetry flying. "But I need you," he cried distractedly "I can't live without you!" Then Poetry in her flight arrested, turned, "Is this a fact or an essence?" asked she. "I don't know," he answered ruefully, "Both, I think," he added truthfully. Then smiling she gave him her hand, and through the doors of perception together they intuitively and reasonably went.

Broken Wing

When she said enough, the happy flight in his eye broke. She could hear the cracking of the bone, shedding of white feathers drooping on her flesh, fraying the corners of her soul. The engulfing of her hands in his did not bring back the glimmer in the blue, and one of the birds in the dense, trembling wood, the one with the happiest longest whistle, stopped its song. But the maiden with the green eyes and dark lashes, is not made to be a breaker of wings, she is made for song and for laughter, she yearns for the wings to flap again in delight in the blue, without breaking her own.

David and Bat-Sheva's Cave in Ein Gedi

Silvery peach-colored clouds Flowing in unending flock-row Rippling through ice-cream skies, Fusing, mellowing, melting, Growing, flowing... Fresh green baby leaf Delicate transparent curves and dimples, Softly fragile, Waving being in the breeze, Growing, flowing... Resounding tear in the heart Followed by another, and another, Moist, spearlike, As in dripping cave On Ein Gedi's slippery cliff, Where David and Bat-Sheva loved and hid -- Growing, flowing, Submerging. My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Ein Gedi Song of Solomon 1:14 Ein Gedi, June 1972.

Clouded Almond Flowers

Your gaze was like almond trees on slopes of violet-patched Biblical mountains I touch it still as my Jerusalem over the amber horizon, or dancing cheek to cheek "You are part of me." But now, with the rumble of guns, the tune of your eyes is again heavy-hearted, gray clouding our almond flowers Tell me my love, how can I uncloak the clouds on our white almond flowers?

Twigs Not Roses

You hand in my hair planted twigs not roses, you whispered: "there are no roses around here but you." I kissed the twig-bearing hand as if it bore all the crowns, laurels, and flowers in the land. You are the garden where I dream full of trees, love and roses, the lake where I bathe among the beams of souvenirs. In the heart of my mind I again kiss the twig-bearing hand as if it bore the finest ring and richest chalet in the land.

The Slits On My Arm

At the traffic light of my life, when you caressed my hair and touched me through slits of my cherry shirt with gentle silky finger, as if there were a rose framed in each small window on my arm -- I drank your sounds deep of awakening roses, light flowed sky blue from your eyes and flooded all the shimmering tongues at the source of my being.

One Way Journey

We have traveled deep, There is no return. Every bone of your frame has found its nook in mine, has caught cannot let go. Every turn of your jaw round mine has pushed us farther on the Carmel lane of pomegranate exchange -- from which there is no return. No words, no reason, no facts, no laws -- Can stop our journey now.

Will Transplant

When you pressed your heart to mine as if to sow it under my ribs, skin slipped flesh spilt currents flowed measure of muscle to muscle The surgery was clean and final -- our wills transplanted.

Psychological Wooing

I am glad he does not love with his tongue, for his words can dangle forever in my veins. I am glad he never tells me he loves my face or my body, like he loves the sun, or good wine or flowers. I am glad... then why do I hear in me tears dripping like rusty leaves?

The Three Gowns

I wore the gown of laughter and he smiled. I wore the gown of passion and he frowned I wore the gown of anger and he fled Calmly I re-adopted the gown of laughter adorned with bright distant jewels, and he came back nodding a taste of pearl moisture on his lips. But -- why does it not satiate me?

Chest Protest

Interlocked deep, curve of chest in chest, flesh protests against apart in human sounds -- knuckles Cracking: you are part of me. Bone and muscle know what we do not fully yet -- there should be no cleft.

Your Name

Bells in hollows peal your name continuously, on artists' books, on shop signs, even on cans. Landscapes stealthily adopt your tones and colors, conjuring lithe deer walk, secret charm. The bells play mysterious symphonies transfusing your sounds into blue space running to my heart. They are pealing so loudly now my love, can you too hear them? My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall Song of Solomon 2:9

The Swan Search

I looked for your in the streets of Paris, every swift, fawn-colored car recalled your lithe limbs. I looked for you in the King's garden at Versailles, rainbow-colored begonias conjured the patterns of our rainbow moments. I looked for your in every Chateau of the Loire, every white swan gliding hopes on Lake Geneva. Every brown-roofed chalet speckling the Alps became our nest. I groped for the intensity of your agate eyes in every mountain I encountered. I looked for you everywhere, but could only find you in me everywhere, in every urban and suburban cell of my existence.

Interior Camera

Is the touring as long for you as for me? Do you also meaningfully exist only by interior filming of me? Far from the sunrise of your eyes, there is no picture my camera cares to take or see. This drifting among fragments of city exposures, only develops a thousand varieties of the source of your smile. Probing my skull's dark room, I try to determine our position in snaps black and white. We are in this fix: after this endless tour there will be another and another. You stare beyond me at a los accepting our present scanty shots, while I, wide-eyed seek further improved developments -- full length, real life, panoramic love films I tangle in stray film, forth and back, cannot shut the projector off, pieces stream and leak all through my veins.

Four Mad Dogs

On our green path they send four brown and black mad dogs, frantically barking fury, leaping convulsions at us, their fangs frothing billows of demented saliva at our closeness. But though with bloodshot eyes they closely pursue, they do not get their prey. We drive smoothly through their clutches, shut our windows, enfold our arms tenderly and cuddle still closer. They always send four black and brown mad dogs with pointed teeth, when they smell what they do not have.

Your Real You

No, I do not fill my pen with the moondust and green lawns of my own mind when I dwell upon you, but in the limpid spring of your real you deep buried in your skin And the kind of tune I play is not what I want to hear (as you maintain), but the quiet sounds you are. The shapes of light I draw are not from my own sun, but from their source in you. I look at you not only with the tips of my hands, but with wide-open eyes and ears; it is not the idea of your smile I love, but your real smile lingering on honey lips and teeth I know cannot only kiss -- but also bite. So, if my pages are wrapped with rainbows, it is the iridescent effect that you had on me, you see, when your barbed wires dropped, and you showed me the gentle spirit in the tight-clasped fist.

Seaweed

"The bombs are not the cause of the problem, but only the symptoms of the deranged thought processes of man's mind..."

Helen Caldicott

I grapple with the edge of the taste of seaweed and bombs You have kept your underground river away from me, preferred filling your pockets with pebble-bombs and seaweed silence. You knew of your thirst and my river longings - yet not enough empathy for surging waves not enough to break away from absurd deterrence reasoning and send it flying, there's no cold war anymore. My fears refuse to stay in port, they fling pebble-bombs and brown seaweed like drowned hearts full in my face.

Silver Mosaic Stone

I give you this small glowing stone with silver mosaic, chiseled from Lake Kinnereth's breast. When you curl your finger around its permanence, remember -- the woman who gave it to me was ready to give me her summer too. But then, lethargy's manacles cried: "We are not born free, I am a slave, young in years but yet so old, I feel eight hundred years old, my will is buried with my father in the grave." "Is there no hope for us?" "Only after the flood." I am left with strings of stone on my tongue, So I give you this stone full of me instead -- now lifeless in your hand.

Silver Wedding Rainbow in New York City

You lifted me up high waltzed me past our friends' smiles seated at white tables around the rainbow room, round and round around the rainbow room, until I could almost touch New York's blazing messages all around. "Put me down!" I cried, laughing silvery wedding laugh, but you still whizzed me round and round higher than anybody higher than the light "Is this what a silver wedding is all about?" I laughed a further bell laugh, while some of our friends threw wistful glances at your silvery support of me higher than anybody higher than the light. I kissed you joyously my quarter of a century silver-wedding-husband, round and round rainbow around.

Common Bloodstream

You have strolled in me all year all the length of my blue and red streams until your folded lips gently interlaced the seams of my eyelids I once tried to filter you out of my blood, but you bit firmly and wanted in Now you are so much me my love o-- I do not know anymore what is me what is you. In one kind of fish the male attaches himself to the female with his saber sharp teeth, eventually they share a common bloodstream. Boston Aquarium

Fragile

Part of me has left to escape from you, to grow whole again like a smooth round melon, after you dug English holes in my pulp. All of me is back -- I am whole again, but lonely and need you. This time my love, remember I'm fragile, please handle me with care. The stems that connect my molecules are like those of thin wine glasses. Be careful how you sip, they break so easily.

Hard Nut

There is no scar but only internal difference where words seem to be written with water ink of unconvincing meanings There is no scar but confusion of vision and blindness in my hard-nut mind, and yours -- each wrapped in its own newspaper full of infinite limited notions. Yet, we still choose to drive on together in the wind, tumble in the same car, kiss the same ear, stroke same sand-dune back, enter each other's wooden curves, each other's vision each other's blindness, we still choose to drive on tenderly in the wind

Sunflowers

We did not know We were two rooted Sunflowers With falling seeds -- Until We tried To move

The End

I wonder about the end of things, my finger curls around the root of an essence: when and where our love will ever cease to be the sap I constantly breathe, like a one time glowing asphodel fossilized into stone. I dread whether a time will come when your being will cease to be a Sabbath part of me, when your hand will cease dissolving into mine like a honey bee into a hyacinth, when you will just be you and I will just be me, like two lonely rocks again at the bottom of the sea.

To Leave You Now

To leave you now would be an amputation, I would survive, but there would be less of me.

Part Two

WOMEN POEMS

NOT IN YOUR MUSEUM ANYMORE

No joy-denier can deny me now. For what I have is undeniable I inhabit my own house, the house of my joy Erica Jong Loveroot

Woman of No Time

I am the woman Who has no time, I envy those who have They envy me for having none. My desire is to plant forests But I only manage shrubs, I want to run one million races When I barely manage one. Yet I know I'm not a fly born in the summer dawn And dead in the afternoon, My day is a pomegranate Full of ruby grains -- Time must be my friend! Stopping me from tasting them all at once So I can enjoy them one by one. As long as each grain is a lifetime I do not care if I am the woman of no time.

Assa and Farah of Isfahan

"Werever I am, Farah likes it" Assa announced With bubbling male pride, His young beard and tongue husky, His eyes gleaming in the 'gaz' nougat-nut atmosphere of a Persian miniature. Farah nodded a violet nod, while her brown chestnut hair became a shade sadder against the giant copper kettles, and through the notes of 'Hey Hoda!' -- 'Oh my God!' she whispered in my ear: "You look happy, I do not know many happy women." Isfahan, February, 1972.

Muffled in Your Halachic Caresses

I was a bandaged Golem* in an ancient ark waiting centuries for you to open the door when you could spare the time. I remember Rabenu Gershom bravely killing the dragon of polygamy who was strangling me far back in the tenth century - giving me the right to say to my divorcing husband: yea or nay. Where are the Rabbi Gershom of today? Oh where are they? For ten centuries I have been waiting in this stifling museum for my equal right to be a witness, to testify in my own ark like Deborah to be Dayan.** But no more - I'm alive and awake not a bandaged Golem anymore not a slave, not a child - time to untie sterile bandages grown musty Time to open the ark wide and tread the earth again in search of the ripe pomegranates of today - I don't belong to your museum anymore. ______________________________ Notes: *Golem: Dummy, robot, idiot. **Dayan: A rabbinical judge

A Ladino Song

Again, and again I am there, though I am here. In that Aranjues wine-cellar in Toledo, leading to a gray corridor winding towards the river Since that mustached shop owner showed me, smiling beneath his quaint flower-print plates, the ancient eight-branched Menorah he found in his cave dropped by my Jewish ancestors, fleeing the wolves of the Inquisition - I cannot leave that Aranjues cellar. I am still there with the Menorah though I am here. I tried to fell to that caffe in front of the synagogue which has been turned into Maria Bianca's church, but I was still there. Then a singer, named Ada, with a deep "fatho" soul sang a Ladino song, my grandmother sang to me: El pasharo se vola "the bird has flown, the heart is crying, weep my soul weep deep, for there are bad people who will not let you life...." An Aranjues shiver ran down my spine, the floor opened its ancient arms and I sank into the cellar again, ran in the corridor again, now closer to the river flying with the bird, weeping with the fugitives but still holding the Menorah tightly in my hand I am still there though I am here

Real Abishag

What Abishag really thought, blossoming fifteen-year old lying taut wide-eyed on kingly bed silent at the side of old King David, was--"What bad breath he has!" Father bade me hold my tongue and go to the King in Jerusalem. Mother wiped my tears with soft words said I should be proud to be the chosen one among all beauties of the land to warm royal bones but they didn't tell me what breath King David has! His handmaids taught me how to touch him how to caress and revive His courtiers showed me how to smile, how to give life -- so that they could live, keep rivals at bay. They decorated me queen-bride fragrant like mint brought me trembling to the royal bed, but I can't touch, can't smile -- The poor King smells like the carcass of the once noble beloved horse in our neighbor's field in Shunem. Before it died, the farmer covered his horse with a sack to warm his bones back to life -- but the vultures came anyway. I am the courtiers' and handmaids' sack -- Oh God! What breath King David has! It smothers me, it chokes, his breath mother, it strangles me, I shall die, O God! Will it ever, ever stop? Stop. In the morning just after golden dawn -- King David was no more.

Lost Living Goddess of Nepal

Pretty ten-year old little girl a full-fledged goddess at the foot of the Himalaya Wooden palace and crowned head earrings and make-up cannot hide your sad smile at the foot of the Himalaya For you know the day would soon come when blood will flow and chase you from your palace at the foot of the Himalaya A goddess no more you will descend among humans once more who will want you no more a frightened little girl has lost her childhood at the foot of the Himalaya. Katmandu, Nepal

Loss of the Milky Way

In the land of milk and honey, milk shut me out forever. My doctor calls it allergy and I call it tragedy. Your enzyme for that one is dead, he kindly explains But how did he die? I protest in dismay, I still love him so with his mounts of choco ice-cream and cake, cheeses and butter, I desperately mutter. You may still love him, the doctor nods, but he surely does not love you. I mourn goodbye to the Milky-Way and staunchly climb my winding path vowing solemnly: Though all my land has emptied of milk - I will fill it with honey.

Mexican Amanecio

Mexico has "Amanecio" - has brought me the true story of the rising sun filled with sunlight night memories of her tragic, conquered Indian past which has filled my inner world with powerful Aztec sun Gods and Mayan Pyramids And in the present, her life-force in the shaded eyes of poor, barefoot children kissed tenderly by warm mothers - before they are sent to sell illuminated paintings of rich Mexican landscapes in flashing orange and golden colors - still bears the scars of her conquered past I now wear Mexico's dainty pearl necklace Around my tourist throat Woven by a little Mananita with pearly eyes - "Mire que ya amanecio!" flashed her smile, The sun is at last rising again ... Mexico, your hacienda kindness, Your warm vivacity, your awakening energy - Has filled me with hope That our world at the end of this mushroom Century will at last fully "Amanecio" Lavishing food and education - not arms - On all the hungry, smiling children of our world. In memory of the XIV World Congress of Poets Monterrey and Mexico City, August 1993

Las Mananitas

You are yourself dear Elia One of those flashing black-eyes mananitas Sung by King David, in your moving birthday song What a surprise to hear my grandmother Regina's Ladino cradle song Crowned national Mexican Birthday Anthem, Sung by cheerful Maryachi in quaint artist cafe And in colorful, melodious Garibaldi Square - Did the Marranos bring the song over The scarlet oceanic waves When they were banished from Spain To the redeeming, blazing sun of Monterrey That dogged them and us Closely night and day? Despertia! You taught us, "Me bien despierta ..." And we woke up wide-eyed To the rich beauty and tragedy of historic and present-day Mexico, flashing through Your blazing eyes and palpitating red lips - Frida Kahlo's dramatic paintings now flow in my own veins Whispering urgently "Despertia..." Fine Mananita friend, you poignant love of humanity Perfumed with Aztec flowers and incense poems Has perfumed my life ...

Daughter of Sinai

They have come again with their washed faces And their green and yellow bags full of goodies, But not for me little Sulha of the desert Nor for my three greedy brothers. "Toda raba"1 is a magic word For opening those bright treasure bags From which we get "khobs"2 and biscuits and sweets, Meat and cigarettes, coins, smiles and frowns. This one looks at me demandingly, I shall not let her take my picture Unless she pays me the required snap-money, I cannot squander my image so. My black eyes dart looks of "Khutspe"3 My tiny mouth curls in defiance. I hide behind my brothers And shout the noise of the desert. They are all gone, swallowed by their big blue giant camel, Those strange creatures from beyond the desert. Could I just once venture to their nylon bags' spring I would bring back piles and piles, numberless as the sands of the desert. __________ 1. Toda raba: many thanks (in Hebrew). 2. khobs: bread (in Arabic). 3. Khutspe: defiance, cheek (in Yiddish).

Massada

I was at Segera, she said, With a historic look Two thousand years old, Flickering from her wan, freckled face, Each freckle a wrinkle of wisdom -- I was at Ein Gedi too, and I had to come back home to Massada. I looked at her aged booted figure, A disquieting feeling nibbling. Could she make it? She was so much part of it -- Yet so out of place, With her burden of four score and her frail, frail Itsik Wobbling stoically behind her, to Massada. "I was often here before." Her voice had the sound of the mountain. "You young people do not understand. You cannot understand the meaning of coming back. I had to come back as before... before I go." And she embraced the tortuous snake climb Each heavy tread bringing her closer up To Massada. I felt guilty for letting them continue That which might shorten their days. She was nothing to me -- I was nothing to her. Why this gnawing feeling for this mounting rock That would not abide? I argued, and offered my hand, but to no avail. The winds flapped the gates of her ancient memory, And she generously offered me the inside of her eighties. At the center I read -- Massada. I turned my back on the aged couple, in despair, My feet doubly aching, for me and for them. At the top of Massada, I had no more wish To inhale the mystery of ruins, than to find out What had become of them, the human ruins. Had physical weakness overcome will-power, this time? Had they collapsed on the way like desert rocks, Joining Massada? Then suddenly she surged from the brown cliffs, A triumphant white apparition. An exuberant look of sublime joy Illuminated her old, old face In a radiant way I shall never forget. Then, I knew it was wrong of me to have tried to stop them; Ancient mute cries sprang from the mute ruins: "We have come back home! Massada has fallen, Massada will never fall again..." she looked.

Arturo's Rubenstein

"The power of Creation seems to favour human beings who love life unconditionally, And I am certainly one who does..." Arturo Rubenstein Today you are ninety Arturo, and you play us your Rubenstein fingers lovingly enlacing life's hidden allegro "Everyday is the happiest one for me, living an intensive life is my secret -- I've never met a person as joyful as me." My friends wink and say, "Perhaps that's because he's never met you --" I'm not sure they're right' then I think of your dazzling smile my love, suffusing my sky with symphonies like fresh rain on scorched earth, and am filled with -- Glad to meet you, dear Mr. Rubenstein.

If a White Horse From Jerusalem

If a white horse from Jerusalem Straight from Jerusalem Strides so valiantly, gracefully, Like yearning, The early dawn hours Of my Haifa street, As if it were the ocean As if it were the sky -- Then all is possible Perhaps it has come to take us away, He will wink a golden wink And you will lose your glue For chains of sand and fly with me Perhaps before my hair falls Before my teeth fall, and I stop wanting to fly with you, Before my breath whistles Before I die Perhaps it will take us On his white wings My smile in your palm Mine in yours -- To Mexico, Majorca, Or even Eylat or Ophira, Then back to Jerusalem. For if a white horse strides so valiantly in my Haifa street -- Then all is possible...

Part Three:

A GARLAND OF GRAIN

Mamica

You never read Rousseau's "Emile", yet knew it instinctively by heart. Let us roam barefoot in golden fields of home, sleep with open windows wide Gave us all you had with two full hands of bedstead copper angels. Sometimes you forgot to eat, but never to feed us. Whatever we did or said was a diamond mine -- you children were your little gods. Even when I left you and France for a country I loved, you were not hurt or angry, gave your daughter to the kibbutz with a smile followed by a tear. Today we worship you in return, like a queen emerging from Paris metro's belly, to Bat-Galim, daughter of the waves, queen of the waves again as in Alexandria -- mothr, mamica, standing on a shell crowned by love. 'Mamica' is an endearment for 'mother' in Ladino.

Graffiti Under the Table

I turned our kitchen table upside down to paint its legs white, on its belly scribbled in red oil crayon, babyish letters glared "Ariel is a good boy." His quaint graffiti tear-blurted on the inner screen wistfully protested self-preservation, probably against me -- for having scolded him for not washing his chubby fingers, or not eating fish or spinach. The plump red words staunchly stood beneath the table on the hidden screen braving the years, as love stands on a slapped face --- slapping mine across the years. Son On His Own Twenty years ago as if yesterday, your baby forehead -- Puck! bumped into mine seriously in play. Today, in your honey beard son, you have gone to a home of your own a mate of your own, you stand beyond me straight, and beautiful, and distant, as if I had given birth to a smiling traveling butterfly intent on his way Smile on Mount Carmel on Rosh Hashana Redhead Shani, Like a russet sunrising Under cloudy pines Under needles Among cones -- Smiled to me today A honey and milk smile Sculpting my flesh With dewy eyes. Little red-white flower toes Skip the air Hand praising, staccato, Like a fairy baby Waving invisible wands Feasting my look. Tiny Shani smiled -- And all the world opened, All the trees, all the cones, all the needles, All the world smiled back From the pine clouds in me, Nodding with wondering dewy eyes: Yes, yes, all is yes. 15 Sept. 1977

From Grandfather Papou to Grandson Idan

Papou, Good news on the tail of the wind, Your granddaughter's grandson With cute Beatle hairstyle -- Like you, is born in Israel too. A mount of Mazel Tov papou, wherever you are. You, born in nineteenth century Yaffo, Jew -- wandering among the nations On the Medusa raft: Three generations on the Nile, then the flowing Seine And domed Milan Your idealistic granddaughter Back to Israel -- And now Idan, papou, Idan is here Closing the five generations Cycle roots From Yaffo to Haifa. This time papou, Not with a ribboned box Of Cairo's Groppi Melting fondant sweets With walnuts tasting of evanescence, But with almond kernels In strong shells. Roots planted here -- this time for good, For good, papou.

Time in Abadan: Homage to Omar Khayyam

Life is but a checkerboard of nights and days / With Destiny for pieces plays/ He moves, he mates, he slays / And one by one / Back in the box he lays Omar Khayyam, Rubayat In green, peaceful Abadan, the long longed-for treasure flowed profusely into my lap, fluid more precious than its black gold -- the pure transparent gold of Time. Time to think what Omar really meant when he wrote: "While you live Drink! for once dead you never shall return." Time, like him, to adjourn to this "earthen bowl" under two shady palm trees, "My lip the secret well of life to learn." Time to mark the remarkable lines with a jasmine exclamation, and slip a Persian miniature on their depth. Time to open one's long arms wide, and perform the unique feat of listening closely to one's pulse -- and wonder at its pace!

Dear Descartes: Creativity

Dear Descartes, Not only "I think, therefore I am," but mostly: I create, therefore I am. I am me for having given birth to them, this, and you. I gaze intently at my offspring, my oeuvre, launched for life, for death? Vibrating sharp soft sparks of magnetic birth, marvellously quenching my desire and thirst -- pure essence of fresh vitality.

Saul Bellow: Get Out From Under My Pillow

Dear Saul Bellow, please get out from under the existentialist creases of my pillow, where you have been lurking these past five years. Praise you, for having strengthened me in brushing aside the doom sayers with their pipsqueak religions of void and gloom -- for your wise words clinging like ripe peaches to my cells But now, please move from under my pillow, for I'm a freed prisoner of my Ph.D. The time has at last come for me to pass my own words along, to try myself to "Seize the Day," instead of merely dissecting it. At my cross road, I send you A library of thanks Nobel Saul Bellow for having been my close and staunch, learned companion these five full Rain King years.

Not Old: Saul Bellow Indeed Knew

Even Mr. Sammler that one-eyed septuagenarian was not too old to be involved in his planet "But I feel a hundred years old" You young mensch who have saved your eye from oven have a full store of ripe pomegranates if you only care to pick them "But I feel a hundred years..." Why can you only carry the heavy public banner and not your precious private loved one? "But I feel a hundred..." Remember what Ramona said to Herzog? "An old man smells old, your smell is young" "But I feel..." A woman can also tell from the spring of a sunrise smile in deep blue eyes like violets on Mount Carmel, and the breath of a caress like a flaming russet bush. Saul Bellow indeed knew.

Spineless Academic

The sleek academic, what a jelly-fish mess! His small, round, shallow eyes blurring out an avalanche of water-words over his decaying piscivorous teeth. He is incontestably, a perfect specimen of the refined image of carp piscatology is trying to rear in the civilized, artificial ponds -- sleek, smooth, and almost spineless.

Take Us To Soweto

Dedicated to the African Black Poets I met in Johannesburg, at the American Embassy. "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Dwight D. Eisenhower Lady from Tel-Aviv, lady from Tel-Aviv, now that we've read together, now that we've cried together, please take us back to Soweto, with our poems "abalonga goddam" full of cried of crippled children full of anger wrapped in pain -- please take us back to Soweto If I only could, would have taken you not only to Soweto -- but to where the leaves' free rustle roams, where poems grow ripe before they grow hoarse. But then, I'm not even from Tel-Aviv, I'm only from Haifa -- and have no car to take you to the leaves' free rustle, or to Soweto Johannesburg, May, 1977

In Your Museum

Embalmed in your Mummifying caresses I was a zombie A bandaged mummy In an ancient sarcophagus Patiently waiting centuries For you to open tthe lid When you could spare the time. But no more, I am alive -- Not a zombie Not a mummy anymore, Time to untie sterile bandages Grown musty, Time to open the lid wide And tread the earth again In search of rolling Pomegranates. I don't belong To your museum Anymore.

Papyrus Fan

I decline the honor of being Your impeccable sabi anymore, To wobble gently, obediently, In your footsteps, With painted face And high-heeled shoes, Holding the luscious papyrus fan High up to your ego. The heat is as stifling For me, as for you, And the fan whispers The same promises to me. So what about holding it Up to me For a change? Or still preferable -- It is so heavy anyway, What about holding it Together?

Mimosa Equality

I wait for the day blossoming as a mimosa, when half the world's presidents will be women with hair flowing cosily around every cry And the sun will shine on all mortals with equal golden rays in every green field, every printed book every human look

A Jewish Woman's Prayer

Bless you Oh Lord for having made me a woman, for if you had made me a man I would have had to pray: "Bless you Oh Lord for not having made me a woman."

Daphne

I did not know Bernini's Daphne was in my own woods, my Mount Carmel, one moist afternoon poised on legend green stillness Her face a flower in curved sorrow tilts backwards, flowing shoots fan the earth, while leafy arm-branches raise twig-tips in veined supplication towards the sky blowing anguished seeds of yearning germinating in my own soul. I grow roots in Daphne's static soil.

Love Games

Sorry. I took it seriously. I put you at the very top of the ladder, up there with my breath and the sun -- but did not get warm. For you, I way lying somewhere in the middle rung with movies and games you play once a wweek then brush aside when something more important sprouts. No need to worry about games, They're always there in the cupboard waiting breathlessly for the playboy to open the door. But no more -- I have adjusted my scales to fit yours, and am ready for the game. And anyway, games are so much more fun... Be careful, I've started to play.

Crumpled Curtain

It is all sadly crumpled again, its beige folds painfully jerking one another in silent protest, sticking its frayed angles like protruding nerves in a heap. You have again pushed it back callously, with stout unfeeling fingers disturbed its smooth flowing harmony, one fold after another painfully crying out its testimony -- This is what you often do to my feelings.

Mother, Kikuji Is Again With the Geisha Girls

Hai, squid and seaweed in bamboo boat. Mother, what is she doing to my husband, rubbing his chest and leg and ego? Hai, jelly fish and seaweed in roasted eye. Mother, why did you tell me they are just psychological hostesses sometimes singers and dancers, but nothing more -- If a psychologist caressed my breast and leg wouldn't Kikuji be annoyed too? And when I need a psychologist, mother, whom do I go to? Hai, crab and seaweed in parching mouth, which unlike yours and granny's refuses to be custom-choked. Mother, oh mother, I'm so lonely when he goes to the geisha girls. I dangle a thousand million cranes for the day when the geishas will rise from the tatami in their rose-winged kimonos, mount the bamboo boat and float straight out of our lives. Hokkaido, Japan, July, 1976

Chameleon

You raise your voice: till when will you agree till tomorrow morning? You see me as a chameleon with rolling eyes who changes color skin at the touch of your voice, then goes back to ignorant insipid colors on other lethargic backgrounds. You want to reveal your world of ideas before my fractured chameleon eyes, to cut through my wrapped vision with translucent truth like crystal balls, rage when I do not pick them up. But I'm not a chameleon, I'm me. And when I agree, it is only to the nuances of some of the angles of your words. not all their colors not all their reflections. I have my own colors my own reflections rooted in me as deeply as yours. When I try to disturb a new perception in your clouded eyes, I don't consider them blind. You have a right to your bushes as I to mine. My darling, they have cut down our Daphne tree, don't let us continue their cutting job. Help each other despite our different colors, not cut each other. I'm not a chameleon chameleon, you're not a chameleon chameleon.

Not Even On Her Birthday

One buzz on. They said they would take her out to birthday-dance. this time they sounded they really meant it, could not possibly void-postpone. Two buzzes, off. They jammed her birthday tears deep in throat, throttled her slotted expectancy, callously tore up her sleep's road with Turkish coffee. Three buzzes on off. Did she imagine for one smiling-moon moment she could keep her hours' bliss intact? Forty four years forty four buzzes off, off, off. She lay livid in white sheets her liver swollen to once and a half its normal size, while future years waltzed away like flowing sand through her numb groping fingers, buzz after buzz, after buzz, all merely buzzes. She did not believe them anymore. Would never be caught in their buzz-traps again. Last buzz off.

Free Lioness

Recoiling Gauze over wound, From biting teeth of later Choking of pushed, aside, As if she had gobbled smoldering coal -- The lioness paces, plots, Thunders -- Then erupts in full glory Smashing gilded filaments, Air-poised paw Mane aglow, Full queen of her dazzling World again. Climbing majestically To the height of her green splendour, She gazes around superb At her numerous forsaken subjects. Shaggy head raised Amber eyes shooting, She roars her mighty royal paean High up into the deafness of mute sky, Pulls it like a carpet, And shakes its stars All over our crazy world.

Upright

I gazed entraptured At the tide of children circling gaily and waving limbs To the beat of a tambourine. "Choose your gestures," The teacher's voice Floated loud and clear Above the barefoot din. As by magic, The children divided Into those with bent backs And those who crawled on fours. Except for the odd one Who stood his ground, Looked to the left, looked to the right, And preferred to remain upright.

Shani

Golden-ginger curls, peach fists in incubator holding year two thousand in one, and us in the other. Shani promising as the bright scarlet light in the horizon over the sea, you will be twenty three springs in the twenty first century. How will our world then be? United, warless? every tear wiped in every hungry eye? Equal opportunities for you as for him? You calmly lie in your jeans-colored uni-sex perambulator smiling your mother's smile enveloped in your father's glee, and wave a tiny arm reassuringly. How come I already love you Shani? 21 February, 1977

The Roger Dance

The Roger dance is not over, when you dance this way - it's forever Graceful, elegant steps, charm and majestic poise legs nimble, stretched arms curved, yearning to grasp the bizarre whims of strange humanity With a knowing, tender, witty, wistful smile you lead your dancing partners into your enchanted world where cardboard becomes gold where hatred becomes harmony. They told me Roger, Heraclitus, "they told me you were dead they brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed, I wept as I remembered how often you and I had tired the sun..." (1) with dancing and sent him down the sky For when you dance this way through life, through words, dear Roger - your unique performance is with me, with us, forever -------------------------------------------------------------------- (1) The lines in quotation marks are from Tennyson's poem on the death of Heraclitus. In addition to his being a great poet, Roger, who was a peace-loving Bahai, was a member of a ballet company and appeared on Canadian Television. He died from cancer, in 1994.

Triple Thread

To believe in what? In the seed. To do what? To be. Why do I live? To give. Shin Shalom Translated by Ada Aharoni

Idan and the Waves

The three year-old big blue eyes the color of the sea gazed with wonder at the waves and then at me, sitting on a rock in Bat-Galim the Daughter of the Sea - "Why do the waves run away, run away, every time, away, away from me? And where do they go when they run faraway, faraway, all the time away from me?" Dear Idan, even then, like now, your curious brain already thirstily asked and asked, trying to seize the flitting essence of waves, of peace, of wars, even then like now, your big blue eyes the color of the sea, tried to grasp the ungraspable meaning of each retreating and advancing frothy bubble in our turbulent sea.

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