Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Israel at 60

I was contacted yesterday -- no doubt a general email sent out -- by the publisher/editor of a U.S.-based literary publication that had featured one of my poems a couple years back--Poeticamag. The essence of the email message was: We are looking for poetry and short stories celebrating Israel 60th birthday. Please submit in the body of the email - no attachments.

I assume the publisher is seeking pieces for the journal's website not a print edition. I quickly answered the call-out, writing the following poem in about 3 minutes.


At sixty, one is not quite old, neither young...but somewhere in the middle.

With life lines to show,
fine wrinkles here and there,
graying hair or balding patches,
hinting age spots
and a book of photographs depicting a life.

At sixty, Israel is not quite old, neither young...but somewhere in the middle.

But in truth she is ancient -- Israel is a "she," you know -- and was reborn in May 1948.

Not everyone has the chance to be reborn. But Israel...she fought to be reborn.
She fought hard. Her supporters fought harder.

From desert sands and barren fields, she brought forth life.

From stark grayness, she brought forth greens and blues.

From a handful of devotees, she yielded multitudes of lovers.
Lovers of her country.
Lovers of her language.
Lovers of her culture.
Lovers of the blue and white of her draping flag.

Lovers of "Hatikvah."
Hope. Forever sustaining Israel.
Forever sustaining...