TEST
LOVE OF THE COUNTRY

Is there no beauty in this country? You ask
me and I answer: in Haifa, on the slopes of the Carmel
there lives someone called Yael
(her boyfriend, I think, was called Michael or Suheil) and on the iron bars of the frame above her head twined
a dense vine. All spring the tender grape appeared and last summer
(for instance) right here in the room two clusters
of grapes hung heavy with juice. In the morning five harmless
golden bees dissolved around them in the warm light,
and in the afternoon they were cooled by a sea breeze;
two red clusters dark during the day and bright at night.
Where I go, no matter what I hear or say,
what I see or recount, what I answer
or ask, I behold before me the barred window at Yael's,
two flaming clusters of grapes on the slopes of the Carmel

Yitzhak Laor


INTENTION

I want to write poems for readers without parents
for they alone understand what they won't tell
anyone. Whoever has parents is sometimes alarmed
by a thought, even a fancy, even in the middle of the street
on the way to the cafe, or office, in a hurry, he stops,
turns back, calls, perhaps drops in, just to unwind, to talk.
But whoever's lost his parents understands the vacant
rooms, the dusty books (the stifled poems).
Brushes by death (deep within the body
the hand's soft touch that guided him) not to tell, not to stop, not
to return, not to phone, not to visit, not to speak

Yitzhak Laor