Global Correspondent Report from Israel




Connecting to Israel

by Helen Bar-Lev

"Circling, Circling . . ."

This March has been magnificent with flowers blooming and fruit trees blossoming. The white blossoms of the apples and cherries and the pink ones of the peaches and plums. In our garden grow each March wild anemonesthis year on one day I counted 77, mostly dark purple, red, and some blue, pink, lavender coloured. We also had some very hot daysit was 38o C, 100o F one daylike walking in an oven. I had to sleep with the ceiling fan on for a few nights. Now it is more pleasant, temperatures usual Spring time cool.

This 20th of March, as every year, from about 10 March - 23rd, the storks took off, flying off to Europe to nest. They will be back again in September. Below a poem I wrote about them.

Johnmichael has been off in Ireland and England visiting two sons; the temperatures there have been about 3o C and constant rain except for one day. Wrong time of the year to leave Israel!

On Thursday the 27th of March Voices Israel held its Annual General Meeting in Tel-Aviv. People came from all over the country, including Jerusalem, Haifa, and further north, Nahariya and myself, very very North, Metulla. This is such a small country that the ride from here to Tel-Aviv by bus takes only three hours. We discussed many matters, but one was how to get more people to participate in the Reuben Rose Annual Poetry Competition. It was decided that all those entering the contest would also have a chance to be published in the Anthology, and that the prize money would be raised as follows: First prize $500.-, second prize, $300, third prize, $100.-. This year's judge will be Richard Burns, founder of the Cambridge Poetry Festival, professor at Cambridge, England. For more information on how to enter the competition, please go to the website.  Submissions this year, for the first time, may also be made via email, and we are in the process of setting up a Paypal account to accept payment, $ 5.- per poem -please see website for further details.

For submissions to the 2009 Anthology, PLEASE wait until June. Submissions are accepted via email to me, 
name, address, email, are mandatoryupper right corner of each poem. Up to 4 poems, up to 40 lines each. Please also a short 7line bio. You may submit as many poems as you want to the Competition, but if you do not state which four you would like considered for the Anthology, we will choose the first four. Submission only to the Anthology is acceptable; we ask for a $15 contribution and for this you will receive a copy of the Anthology regardless of whether your poem is published. We do suggest that you consider joining Voices Israelthe cost is $35.-/year which entitles you to free monthly newsletters, to having your poems sometimes published in these newsletters, to announce all your goings-on, etc. etc. If anyone wishes to purchase this year's Anthology, the price is $20. The Anthology this year is 250 pages with excellent poetry from poets all over the world. Last year I illustrated the Anthology sparsely with some sketches. This year I asked all contributors, if they are artists or professional photographers, to let me have a sketch or photo to complement their poem/s. To my delight we have about thirty illustrations by the poets themselves the rest I shall attempt to illustrate where there is space. The Anthology will be available in May, if not earlier, and may be ordered through Mel Millman, our treasurer, 



Storks Again

I heard them today,
over my oatmeal,
their distinctive gaggle,
grabbed the camera,
snapped them
as they gathered in their hundreds,
over rooftops
of our little neighbourhood
circling circling
as if to choose their leaders,
and the order in which
each stork must follow

A sudden decision
and then they are off,
squad after squad,
right over our home
and onwards North

I whisper wishes for a safe journey,
and as though they have heard,
they break formation, circle again,
pirouetting for my benefit,
white undersides reflecting
the morning sun,
then back to black again,
on the backdrop
of a pure blue sky

I wave goodbye,
continue my breakfast
on this lovely day
of the equinox








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