Posted in General Interest, interNational Poetry Month, Poems/Poetry

Unicorn Diasporic Birdwatching | Gili Haimovich


latent love
contrived happiness
kindness that can’t be helped
excluded from my own language

how can one be mad at a unicorn
for its rarity?

Unicorn 3
Digital art ©2023 Michael Dickel

Diasporic Nostalgia

We don’t feel shame when
we share memories
of when being in love was a novelty.
We’re nostalgic once a year
and hug a bit more often.
When we do reminisce
it’s not due to our deserted country
but because of the calendar
showing us one of our anniversaries.
Recently we started to hug a bit more frequently
and it is because of our frantic deserted country.
We love like we forgot it ever had a beginning.
and we continue to love like it will have no end.
We acknowledge eventually we’ll die
and discuss, almost negotiate,
how many marks we want to leave behind us.
We’re sick and merry, healthy and sad, we’re sad 
     and sick and merry and married.

Yes, we do like better
who we are
but not enough
not to the degree we’d want you to stare at it.


Our world begged for existence.
We carried our valor secretly
no witnesses for our triumphs
for overcoming another day.
Not being able to save even ourselves,
we dropped on the bed
as if we’d lost a battle.

In the mornings we melted back
from sleeping like rocks
into floating bodies in a void.
We watched the birds
from our square-foot lawn and cherished
not just their movement –
their gift of coming from different worlds –
but our own growing ability,
while standing up, standing still
to notice them.


Written before the Jewish New Year’s Eve of
the year 5782,
 2022 by the Gregorian calendar
I want to write something with the word foliage
but need a better language than this one,
one that will allow it to breathe in a poem
and won’t be florid.
Perhaps in Estonian
where it’s possible to love quietly
and to hate
and then grief.
Perhaps there,
where it’s okay to die every winter and remain naked.
Where it’s really unknown where a sentence will end.
Where you can breathe deeply
all the way down to bring foliage,
or even autumn’s fall, on the body,
but not rain like the desert here pleads for.
Where you can secrete miracles
without desecrating respect,
with no void to cross over forty years of desert
and then what?
Me, reduced of the desert’s wandering,
at the age of a girl starting the second grade.
May she have an ameliorated year,
a year that saturates, sprouts,
a year in which twigs are ignited into buds,
a preceding year before the winters of her life
that will bless her with the fluttering foliage of clear breath,
a sweet one,
a breath,
no more than an exhale of fresh breath that will ease
the severance every end brings


Armored by slumber
I cross the flaming oceans
of the un-dared dreams.
Only the ones I didn’t dream
have been fulfilled.

Like a prime number
I am a core
in search for oneness.
Unable to divide into any other kernels
I multiply and withdraw
like waves coming and going — 
a pendulum movement
between the coarse golden ash of sand
to the silver moon-color of the waves.

Within their foam dissolving beauty
hides repetitive abandonment.
Roar at the winter
with nothing
to be hindered by.

The sand is just another foam
in a different consistency
engulfs, embraces
and yet forsakes as well,
but in slower motion.

Now I’m hushing oceans
into the fall of dusk,
searching ways
to turn into an islet
so there’s less of me
needing to be loved.

©2023 Gili Haimovich
All rights reserved

Gili Haimovich

…is a prizewinning bilingual Israeli poet with a Canadian background. She is the author of ten poetry books, four in English and six in Hebrew as well as a multilingual book of her poem ‘Note’. She was awarded prizes for best foreign poet at the international Italian poetry competitions I colori dell’anima (2020) and Ossi di Seppia (2019), a grant for excellency by the Ministry of Culture of Israel (2015) a fellowship residency at the International Writers’ Workshop Hong Kong (2021) and more, including several grants for her Hebrew books from The Pais Committee for Arts and Culture, The Acum Association of Authors and The Goldberg Grant  for Culture and Literature. She has full length books translated into French, Serbian and Estonian and more are forthcoming. Her poems are translated into 33 languages and featured worldwide in numerous anthologies and journals. Gili participates in festivals and literary events across the globe such as in Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, India, Romania, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Kosovo, Chile, Kenya, Mongolia and more. Gili also engages in photography and poetry translation as well as facilitating groups and individuals in creative writing in Israel, Canada and more.

The 2023 (Inter)National Poetry Month BeZine Blog Bash

Pastel of European Robin perched on a small branch by Tom Higgins ©2021
Art: European Robin, pastels, ©2021 Tom Higgins

Shekinah III: My beloved whispers in my ear

And these words, which I command thee with this day, shall be upon thy heart…
And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets before thine eyes.

—Deut. VI:6, 8

My beloved whispers in my ear; she reveals herself to me—
her Words, jewels upon my breast, upon my hand, upon my forehead.
When my beloved walks in the field, the heron flies up with cackling praise;
she inspires the crane to laugh as it rises into the sky; the swallows dance for her.
I have come and gone with uncertainty and doubt; but my beloved inspires constancy:
Though in times of drought the hill dries out, the hollows hide some mud, remembering.
My beloved brings rain into the high, parched fields that have forgotten her;
she walks among the swaths and sheds her tears for each cut stalk.
The hollows swell with water to quench the beasts and grow the iris;
my beloved reflects their grace as they mirror the sky among the grasses.

The storm was terrible: the thunder rumbled long in the night; the lightning terrified;
a wind blew through the window of the house and tapped upon the walls.
Yet, my beloved whispered in my ear and I wore her words like jewels.
In her arms I rested as the fields drank deeply, the dry holes filled with sweet water.
In the dark I am drawn to my beloved; she is even more glorious in the light:
She is a stand of gentian unexpectedly found near the edge of the willow.
An eagle flies above the goldenrod and pines; I know my beloved thinks of me.
The thought of my beloved eases my burden as I toil on the road to her house:
Her kisses, sweeter than blueberries freshly picked, inspire acorns to rise toward the sky;
her caresses provide strength to the birch, the aspen, the maple, the oak, but also to grasses.

I hold my love; she holds me. I have studied her in the willow, the iris, the thistle:
finches, warblers, and wrens feed and live in her shelter, so my love feeds and shelters me.
The oats have been cut, the hay rolled and stored for the winter.
My love comes to me and whispers in my ear; she reveals herself to me.
The geese gather and call, flying over the trees, landing in the pond:
my love sighs and the grasses bend; the aspens sigh and my love bends to me.
Her kisses build the temple; her love holds me and I heal:
My beloved is mine, I am hers. She points to the flowers off the path:
small white bells, tiny blue trumpets, vetches, paintbrush; I don’t know all the names.
My beloved knows the Names of the Flowers; she whispers them to me: I embrace her.

—Michael Dickel



  :III שכינה
אהובתי לוחשת לי באוזן

והיו הדברים האלה, אשר אנוכי מצווך היום– על לבבך… וקשרת לאות, על ידיך; והיו לטופפות בין עיניך

-ספר דברים, פרק;, פסוקים ו’-ח;

אהובתי לוחשת לי באוזן; היא נגלת אלי-
מילותיה, תכשיטים על חזי, על ידי ועל מצחי.
כשאהובתי פוסעת בשדה, הענפה אצה מקרקרת תשבוחות:
לעגור היא נותנת השראה לצחוק במעופו אל השמיים; הסנוניות רוקדות עבורה.
באתי והלכתי עם ספק וחוסר ודאות: אולם אהובתי משרה השראה בלי הפסקה:
גם אם בשעת בצורת הגבעה מתייבשת; הנקיקים מחביאים קצת בוץ, זוכרים.
אהובתי מביאה גשמים אל הגבהים, אל שדות קמלים אשר אותה שוכחים;
היא מהלכת בין האלומות ומזילה דמעות על כל גבעול שנגדע.
הנקיקים מתרחבים ממים שמרווים את החיות ואת משקים ומצמיחים את האירוס;
אהובתי בבואה לחֵינם באותה מידה שהם משקפים את השמיים בין הדשאים.

הסערה היתה נוראית: הרעם הרעים לאורך הלילה; הברקים הבהילו;
הרוח נשב מבעד לחלון ונקש על הקירות.
אבל עדיין, אהובתי לחשה לי באוזן ואני לבשתי את המילים שלה כמו תכשיטים.
נח בזרועותיה בעוד השדות בשקיקה שותים, הנקיקים היבשים במים מתוקים מתמלאים.
בחסות החושך אני נמשך אל אהובתי ובאור היא אפילו עוד יותר מופלאה:
היא גבעול גנציאן סגול הנמצא במפתיע בפאתי הערבה.
נשר חג מעל האורנים ושיחי שרביט הזהב הצהובים; אני יודע שאהובתי עלי חושבת.
המחשבה על אהובתי מקלה על המשא שלי בעוד אני עומל לעשות אל ביתה את דרכי:
נשיקותיה, מתוקות מאוכמניות טריות, מעוררות השראה באיצטרובלים להתעלות מעלה אל רקיע;
ליטופיה כוח נונתים לליבנה, לצפצפה, למייפל, לאלון אבל גם לעשב.

אני מחזיק את אהובתי; היא מחזיקה אותי. למדתי אותה בערבה, באיריס, בחוח:
פרושים, גדרונים וסכבים ניזונים ובמקלטה חיים, ככה אהובתי מאכילה ועלי מגנה.
שיבולת השועל נחרשה, עובדה ואוחסנה לימות החורף.
אהובתי אלי ניגשה ולי באוזן לוחשת; היא מגלה עצמה בעבורי.
האווזים מתאספים וקוראים, עפים מעל העצים, באגם נוחתים:
אהובתי נאנחת והאווזים רוכנים; הצפצפה נאנחת ואהובתי רוכנת לעברי.
נשיקותיה בונות את המקדש; אהבתה אוחזת בי ואני מחלים:
אהובתי שייכת לי ואני לה. היא מצביעה לעבר הפרחים לצד הדרך:
פעמונים קטנים לבנים, חצוצרות זעירות כחולות; מברשות, מטפסים; אני לא מכיר את כל השמות.
אהובתי יודעת את שמות הפרחים; היא לוחשת לי אותם; אני אותה מחבק.

—מיכאל דקל

תרגום לעברית: גילי חיימוביץ’

Hebrew translation by Gili Haimovich

The English original was published in Midwest / Mid-East
and in Diogen pro kultura magazin / pro culture magazine.