Global Correspondent Report on Israel




Helen Bar-Lev, IL


News and Travel


This month, a few personal pats on the back: Johnmichael Simon won runner-up status in the Lindberg Poetry for Peace Contest – I won a mere honourable mention, for which we both went to Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago for a pleasant awards-ceremony evening. See:  In addition we were both included in an Anthology of poems and stories for grandparents, CHILD OF MY CHILD – edited by Sandi Gelles-Cole and Kenneth Salzmann, see

Cyclamens and Swords has announced the 3rd judge for our contest, submission deadline 30 November. It is Patrick Osada of England. To read some of his wonderful poems, please see  Please see the Cyclamens and Swords website for details.


There is much news from Voices Israel. The Anthology has unfortunately been delayed. It is usually available by July at the latest. This year it is not yet printed. Hopefully soon. Because of this, submissions for the next 2011 Anthology have been extended as follows:

(see for more details)

Submissions for Voices Israel Anthology Volume 37 to be published in 2011 are accepted until March 1st, 2011 (email or postmark deadline).

Poems will be sent to the editorial board, reviewed, selected, and notices sent out to contributors by June 30th. The 2011 anthology will be printed by September 1st and distributed before the holidays.

Anyone, anywhere, is welcome to submit a maximum of 4 poems to the anthology. Poems should not exceed 40 lines.

Please include a list of your poems on a separate cover page with your name, address telephone number and email address and a short bio, not to exceed seven lines. Please attach the cover letter and poems in a single Word or RTF file—one poem per page, with no identifying information on the pages of poems (only in the cover letter).

Judging is anonymous and the poems will be forwarded to the editorial board without names. No revisions of poems will be accepted after submission!

Emails of poems for the Anthology should be addressed to:

If you have no access whatsoever to email please submit one copy of each poem plus your cover page by regular mail following the above guidelines, to:

Voices Israel Anthology
c/o Michael Dickel
9 / 7 Shalom Yehuda
Jerusalem 93395 , Israel

In addition to these changes, Prof. Seymour Mayne of Ottawa University, the Reuben Rose judge for this year, cannot make it to Israel in December for the awards ceremony, workshops, lectures, etc. that judges usually do. His trip has been postponed until Spring at the earliest. So I’ve organized a workshop to take place in Tel-Aviv at the home of Thilde Fox on 15 December. Within the first 3 days from the birth of the idea, the workshop was full (20 people) and 5 presenters secured!


Johnmichael and I are off for a week in the desert – all the way down to Eilat. We live in Metulla, the northernmost point in Israel ; Eilat is the southernmost point. Some statistics: Israel stretches 424 kilometers (263 mi) from north to south, and its width ranges from 114 kilometers (71 mi) to, at its narrowest point, 15 kilometers (9.3 mi). You can do the length on one tank of petrol! The first night we are stopping off in Kibbutz Kalia’s guest house, then to the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve where ibex and hyrax live and perhaps a leopard or two, then to the Dead Sea Mineral Baths, then to Kibbutz Yahel’s guest house where we will stay 3 nights, visit the Hai Bar – a huge area where once-indigenous animals (mentioned in the bible) are prepared for release back to the wilde – one of the success stories is the onager, a wild ass, thriving now in the wild. If you are interested, please read more of this at - it is fascinating and you will see photos of the animals. The sand cat is a small cat with HUGE ears – absolutely adorable – who does not need to drink water!

Reading over my report, it seems that most of it is composed of links to websites rather than words or poems – so I shall give you the poem that was published in the Grandparent Anthology, CHILD OF MY CHILD, “The Newborn Grandchild”, referring to my granddaughter Shanee, who will be eight years old in January:

Be well all, Helen


The Newborn Grandchild


You were born one early January noon
That transformed me into grandparenthood
Skinny little bundle of perfection
I was the first one to greet you
Into this imperfect world

We conversed – I with words
You with your senses
A bond formed then,
As tight as the swathing clothes
As beautiful as your eyes
Roaming the room,
Eyebrows puckered
Questioning the sensations
Of a world outside the womb

Conversation ended
Mother recovered,
You reverted back to her care

Tiny enchantress
Who could have imagined
You’d snuggle so securely
Into that unsuspecting compartment
Of my heart, vacant and aching for you
All these years

8.2006 Helen Bar-Lev


Helen Bar-Lev, artist, poet

Senior Editor,
Cyclamens and Swords Publishing

Contributing editor,
SKETCHBOOK: A Journal for Eastern and Western Short Forms

International Senior Poet Laureate, 2009
Amy Kitchener Foundation










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