Helen Bar-Lev, IS




Free Verse

On The Banks of The River Jordan

On the banks of the River Jordan
you have fallen asleep
on the blanket of your shadow
to the trill of the turquoise kingfisher
the caws of the crows
the saunterings of the nutria
the hover of the plover
to the splash of the fishes
rippling the River

To the scratch of my pen
sketching this poem



The First Snowfall

The snowflake waves goodbye to the cloud
pirouettes in a wintry ballet
cascades to earth in delicate whiteness

The city below has been listening
for the whisper of the first snow
it reaches up
looming larger
to greet the snowflake
settled down now in the park
lost amongst its million kin

bare branches, cypresses, pines,
wait with arborly patience;
a welcoming committee
these ever many years,
they stretch out to catch the flurries
to taste them, embrace them
then shrug off their heaviness
to make room for the next show of snow

A drape of snowflakes veils the city
sits in friendly whiteness,
anticipating the boots and mittens
of keen children

Snow puts the city
in white perspective;
it is an eraser
which whites out city blemishes
causes the needed amnesia
of the moment
of the first snow




I always want the winter to enter
to feel the relief of the fresh coldness
as it seeps inside my skin
to close the windows
keep out the sounds of the neighbourhood
so that I may dwell in peace
with myself

I love the snugness of my legs in tights
the furriness of my boots
the warmness of wool
the heat of the radiator
and the electric sheet
the comfort of the down blanket
and hot soups

I love to feel the rain plop on my umbrella
and make happy faces at snowflakes
to wade in forests of flowers
and cheer the almond blossoms

But my bones have tired of the cold
which has become a companion constant and dull,
a shadow I find myself boxing with
as I endeavour to remember
the enthusiasm with which I awaited it

And this is the reason
for changing seasons,
that now in winter
I anticipate in appreciation
the coming of a warmer sun



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