Poetry

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curated by Rony Alfandary.

The winter edition of the poetry section of C.20 hosts some new voices as well as revisits from familiar ones. The variety of the poems touches upon inner and outer tensions, reflecting themes of memory, love and the passage of time. Moria Daum Kaplan, Yorai Sela and Gitit Milo from Israel join David Green from the other side of the globe in Australia in sharing their distinct voices which nevertheless echo one another. These are voices of winter, sending notes of hope and sorrow, love and distance, life and death, all in the hope that they will resonate with another attentive human being during these harsh and threatening times, when Covid-19 is wreaking havoc upon normal communications and modes of being.

Please send us your responses and poems to be included in the next issue of C.20

Rony Alfandary

Poetry Editor

December 2020

MORIA DAUM KAPLAN

Translated from Hebrew by Dana G. Peleg

Minute Motions of the Ground

Born on the verge of the Rift,

Everywhere,

My feet are still planted

On the Golan’s volcanic soil.

Enormous plates move inside me

Underneath the ground,

Cracks I’ve tried to fill

Are unearthed again.

I move towards you and away

From you

All the time.

Nano millimeter here

And our breath is one,

Nano millimeter there,

And a borderline breaks us apart.

Mommy

Like Dali’s elephant

My legs are long and skinny,

My burden is

Heavy

They know me,

call me “Mommy”,

and are sure I’ll respond,

Only I

don’t recognize this woman.

Crossing a road, my hand in a child’s hand

It seems: A mother and son

But

Two children.

Moria Daum Kaplan is an Israeli poet and a bibliotherapist.

GITIT MILO

Attentive

Be attentive

To my beating fears,

Beyond the silence vail.

Hear my fluttering soul appears,

Where all my longings fail.

Close your eyes and see

The drifted seashells of all my love

And broken walls inside the sea

Are mirroring through waves above.

Be attentive to stillness.

See hidden thing and know – it’s there!

Feel the cry beneath your skin,

And return inside yourself to bear.

Like the birds at sunset, withdraw to nest,

Like the beggar wipes his sweaty face,

Gathering the wonder of his lame possession,

And puts his pleading eyes to rest.

Gitit Milo is a clinical psychologist. Lives with her husband and four children in a kibbutz at the north shore of Israel. A children’s book about identical twins is forth coming, based on personal experience with her own twin boys.

YORAI SELA

Resurrection

He who says “We shall not forget”

And “We shall not forgive”

In the first person, plural

Who the F does he think he is

Royalty?

The holy trinity incarnate?

I

Shall forget and forgive

Forgive and

Forget

In the singular first

Until no remains remain

Of “thou shalt not forget to blot out remembrance”,

Until Amalek, till maidens

Give birth to

Children

Who

Give birth to

Children

Till

So very many to re

Member

So there would be

No chance to re

Fuse

I will

Re

Mind

Until the

Bones dry

Till

The curves of the dead

Sea road de

Cease

And un

Till Lot’s wife

In the motels and the mangers and the houses

Will multiply and produce

Messiahs.

Unsalted. Fresh.

Till love

Shall suffuse me

I shall forge-eve and

Forge-it.

Till He,

God

Willing,

Permit.

Relish

Relishing

in the clear soup

the waitress’s eyes.

Yorai Sella Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalytic and humanistic-integrative psychotherapist. He has published fiction and poetry as well as professional publications.  His latest book, “From Dualism to Oneness in psychoanalysis: a Zen Perspective on the Mind-Body Question” published by Routledge Books in 2018.

DAVID GREEN

Fragments of a Breathless Season

1. Hot Wind

Wires cut a yellow sky

Tinged with evening blue

Branches wave in protest

As hot winds blow on through

And the birds screech and call

Sensing that their voices

Will go silent soon

Like the fried bat on the wire

Hanging near a tossed-up shoe.

2. Relief

Wake in fright as I did last night

As the devil – roasted town

Sweating on the edge of dreams

That fled the fan trying to cool

Us down…

And then to dive

And breach the rearing swell

And come alive amid the tide

As mermaids surely do.

3. Tired

Above the eye line

There is the tired line.

Coffee lifts it an inch or two

Wine absorbs it for an hour or so

But it sits there

Just a above the eyes

Like a tide line of washed up kelp

And other fragments of the deep.

The glitter of shells in moonlight

Fails to compensate for insufficient sleep.

4. Pub

The pub before noon

Is the place to write

New verses for your tune.

You can watch the passing show

And scribble lines as the urgent people flow

On by the open window

Where you sit in a slow schoonered moment

and who gives a shit

About the small illuminations

Of our times or the TVs on the wall.

5. Not Needed

A day at home alone

Hiding from an oven wind,

In a darkened room

You realise you are not needed

And the play will go on.

I could die here reading Montaigne

A replacement will be found,

Another spark plug for the engine,

A new bulb fitted and flicked on.

And yet

This can be liberating:

Like wine,

like the sea

Like spring

And tears will dry

Like water on the sand.

6. Sleep

Another glass of dreamless sleep

And the light comes slowly

Like a whispered premonition

From the far side of the earth

And we unfurl like flowers

And set fresh kindling on the hearth.

Night falls with an embered hush

And we sleep the sleep of tired children

Before the days of care

Born away by wine and spring flowered air

Leaving conversations in the grate.

7. Monotony

The monotony of days

Is somehow reassuring.

The lights flick on

Hot water flows

The days are warm and blue.

Down the road the corner store

Has much of what we need.

Lulled and reassured we can forget

That it was not always so.

8. Rain

Rain, after a long dry

And the new hush it brings,

The way a grey day wraps around

The world in which we live.

Inside, a crack in the wall

Not noticed until now,

An orchid newly opened

And on the shelves come

Thoughts of books as yet unread.

9. Dust

I hear the currawongs warbling

In the hard-blue air

Above still fields where silent sheep

Mow yellow grass to dirt,

Where broken willows straddle muddy ponds

In streams weeping through rainless months

Beneath hills of powdered dust.

10 News

Turn it off,

The TV, the news,

The hyped up urgent sound,

The radio shouting

Half cooked views

Or syllogisms from Twitter,

Where false evidence abounds,

And watch the leaves wave

Like seaweed in the breeze

As the light fades and the bats

Hush in as they have always done;

While Trump trashes trade deals

The cicadas have begun

And crickets sing from underground.

David Green is a part-time educator, poet and freelance writer with a keen interest in Lawrence Durrell’s Mediterranean world. In 2012 he made a radio documentary on Durrell and Henry Miller inspired by their wartime correspondence. David lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, Denise and two sons.

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