Ada Aharoni, IL




Free Verse


A Green Week


A week like fresh mint,
a green week spreading
its fragrance to the roots
of being

"Have a green week!"
My father used to bless us
on Saturday nights in Cairo,
when he came back from the "Gates of Heaven"
the grand synagogue in Adli street in Cairo

"Have a green year"
he beamed,
brandishing a fresh, fragrant mint branch
over our keen curly heads

but don't keep it just to yourselves,
give it back
to the world
fully blossoming.

Who will give me
a green week
now that he's gone?
Now that the Gates of Heaven
are shut?

Only harmonious peace
Like a fresh, fragrant mint branch.



Siniora: My New Friend in Gaza


Your shy smile under your veil
And luminous dark eyes in the theatre
Of life, of strife, caught my eye
In the Ability Center in Khan Yunis, in Gaza.
I invited you to take a picture with us
And you charmingly accepted.
I gave you my peace poetry book in Arabic
You read and said: "You love Peace as much as
And you gave me your address, for more of my
You pointed out from the window
To the impressive new buildings in Gaza,
And we became new friends.
With women it is as easy as that.

You asked me about my children,
I asked you about your family, your plans,
You showed me your artwork, your workshop,
I showed you my inner writing, my pictures, my
peace dreams.
You showed me your impressive museum
With gorgeous embroidered Palestinian dresses,
You gently asked: "Which one do you like best?"
I pointed to the dark blue with red embroidery,
Like the one I used to wear in Egypt, a long time
And in my poetry presentations.
"I'll embroider it for you, and send it to you to
You promptly, softly said.
I was so moved, and hugged you dear Siniora,
My new friend in Gaza.
When our blue bus drove away,
We both had tears in our eyes,
My wonderful new friend in Gaza

With women it is as natural, as easy as that.

Men ! Learn from women for a change,
Let women help you make peace, make friends,
With women it is as natural, as easy as that.



Cosmic Woman


They tell us
you were first born
in warm ocean womb
caressed by sun fingers

daughter perhaps
of the stormy affair
of two unruly atoms in love
maddened by the solitude
of eternal rounds
in the steppes of times

And your children,
lively descendants
of their stellar nucleus mother
dropped from the sky
in depths of ocean belly,
born of green and brown seaweed
and the laughs and cries
of a blue bacteria

Cosmic woman,
when you chose earth
as home for your vast roots
at the beginning
of the great human family,
it was for life

not for death!

Cosmic woman,
you, who were born of the nucleus,
from deadly nuclear mushroom

save your chosen planet
save your children!



Peace Is A Woman


How do you know
peace is a woman?
I know, for
I met her yesterday
on my winding way
to the world's fare.
She had such a sorrowful face
just like a golden flower faded
before her prime.

I asked her why
she was so sad?
She told me her baby
was killed in Auschwitz,
her daughter in Hiroshima
and her sons in Vietnam,
Ireland, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine,
Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya.

All the rest of her children, she said,
are on the nuclear
black-list of the dead,
all the rest, unless
the whole world understands

that peace is a woman.

A thousand candles then lit
in her starry eyes, and I saw

Peace is indeed a pregnant woman,
Peace is a mother.



Eve's Defence


You didn't have to accept
That shiny juicy apple
Did you Adam dear?

Please remove those
Musty fig leaves
From your memory and ears
And remember Adam dear,
You were created
From mere earth,
Whereas I was sculpted
From a much finer substance
Finer than ivory
Finer than gold.

In the rush of your
Heart's blood
In the throbbing of your temples
Remember Adam dear

I was created
From pure human bone

Your strong rib-bone
Became me - Eve
Mother of Life.

Always remember
Dearest Adam
Free, indepedent Eve
Is - You.



Palm Curve


Cuddled in the heart of your hand,
soft hand, warm hand,
I do not feel the meaningless drops
of life drizzling,
do not hear its jackal-thunder
nor see its lynx-lightning
in the dark.

And if the world should burst tonight
in a giant mushroom flame,
I would not notice

Snuggled in the nook
of your gentle palm
where I belong,
it seems I may exist

We are all alike

gently dozing in the nook
and the noose
of borrowed nuclear time.



I Want to Kill You War


I want to kill you war, forever,
not like a phoenix, that always comes back
I want to kill you war
and I don't know how
and I don't know why
all the people of the world
don't join hands
to kill you war

you the greatest killer
of them all!

The governors of the world
Go on feeding your fat belly
With fresh soldiers
And nuclear arms,
With blurring eyes
They only know how to hang
The murderers of the one or the two
But not you,
You, the greatest murderer of them all.

After the carnage the priest said
"we are all responsible."
After the carnage the Sheikh said
"we all remain brothers."
After the carnage the Rabbi said
"we can stop it if we choose."
The priest and the sheikh and the Rabbi
Raise up their hands and look up to the sky.

The peace marchers
Take hold of the slab of marble
On which is inscribed "We want to live not die!"

And carry it away under the whizzing bullets
Like a corpse - but still warm, still alive.



About Ada Aharoni, IL


I was born in Cairo, Egypt, near Midan El Tahrir, where the recent popular revolution in Egypt began. I have lived in Israel since 1950. I live in Nesher which is five minutes from Haifa, in the North of Israel. I have two children, Ariel a Medical Doctor - Gynecologist, at the Rothschild Hospital, and Talia, the Founder and Director of the Dorot College for Third Age. I have six wonderful grandchildren and 3 delightful great granddaughters. My husband Prof. Haim Aharoni, died of a heart attack four years ago.

I am a writer, and a professor of English Literature, M. Phil from London University, and Ph.D from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, on Nobel Laureate Saul Bellow. I have Taught at Haifa University and at the University of Pennsylvania.

I am also a Sociologist and taught at the Technion in Haifa: “Conflict Resolution through Bridges of Culture. I have published 26 books to date, half of them on Poetry and Collections of Poems..

This is Ada Aharoni's first appearance in Sketchbook.









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