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Not in Your War Anymore

By Ada Aharoni

I am not in your war anymore.
Surely we cannot paint war green
when even the long Cold War is dying,
so let's paint it in all its true
foliage colors, to help its fall

First, flowing flamboyant crimson blood
on throbbing temples and hands,
then russet bronze fiery metal cartridges
stuffing the crevices of young hearts
while golden laser Napalm dragon tongues
gluttonously lick the sizzling eyes and lips
of our children, under the giant mushrooms
freshened by mustard and acid rain
Surely, at the close of our
great atomic century
we will soon find the archaic
history tree, where we can dump
our fearful bottle legacy

And our grandchildren will ask their fathers,
what were tanks for, Pa? And with eyes
full of wonder, they will read the story of the
glorious imprisonment of the Nuclear Giant
in his bottle, corked for ever, and will say:

Well done Pa, well done Ma!

I Want to Kill You War

By Ada Aharoni

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 murderer
of them all.
They just know how to kill
the one or the two
or the hundreds and the thousands,
but not you,
you the greatest killer
of them all.
So, we will kill you war,
before you kill us.
This is real deterrence strategy,
not the useless liar one we're so busy with.
All the peace marchers of the world
Will take the heavy metal cases
full of nuclear wastes
and dump them over War's head,
the cases will leak, as usual,

and War will dissolve back into his archaic bottle
where he belongs -

We shut the cork.

Arab Israeli Student on T.V.

By Ada Aharoni

You ponder hard in front of hesitating microphone,
Your eyebrows arch puzzlement over the screen.
Nuances of troubled expression on your handsome Semitic face,
Crack and recrack every query in the air:
"Do I really feel at home here?
And if I do, do they feel I feel at home here,
Am at home here?
Do I feel an Israeli Arab? Or an Arab Israeli?
Or a Palestinian? Or all of these? (Or none of these?)"

Suddenly the answer blurts out like a raven in flight
Escaping its dark cage: "I have no identity!"

The raven flies straight into my eyes with claws and beak.
And I remember my own rootless wound
In Egypt land - And I hurt your dangling hurt,
My Semitic cousin in pain.

The questions stir Nile and Jordan visions
Flowing intense churning -
"And if a Palestinian State is founded
Would you go and live there?
Would you feel better?"
Again the puckered brows locked,
Strained jaw-muscles, glowing sorrowful eyes.

Then gently, like a dove swooping
On its way to peaceful green woods:
"My home is in Galilee. But I would feel better
if there were a Palestinian State,
For then my Arab brothers would not fight
The land I live in -
Any more."

To a Suicide Bomber

By Ada Aharoni

Deluded, brainwashed suicide bomber
they lied to you
when they brainwashed you
with sleek murderous words
in their stupendous "shahid" washing machines
where they only wash young brains like yours
with bomb-flamed slogans
and rat poison soap-suds

They lied to you when they told you -
you will surely go to heaven and ravish 72 young maidens
when you courageously blow yourself up,
and kill many, many innocent people -
they lied to you

and you did not have the courage
to ask them: "if so,
why don't you go?"

If a White Horse from Jerusalem

By Ada Aharoni

If a white horse from golden Jerusalem,
bearing a message from the land of global peace
strides so valiantly
in the early dawn hours
of my own street,
as if it were the ocean
as if it were the bright blue sky -
then all is possible.

Perhaps, he has come
with a magic
to make all chains of weapons vanish,
and to make you fly with me.

Perhaps, before my hair falls
my teeth clatter,
before my breath whistles
and I suffocate
in the infamous nuclear fumes
of a nuclear winter.

Perhaps, he will lift us
on his white wings
and raise the world to year 2000 beyond wars,
for if a white horse
from the land of global peace,
strides so valiantly
in my own street - as if it were the ocean,
as if were the sky.

Then all is possible...

Peace Is a Woman and a Mother

By Ada Aharoni

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, Israel, Lebanon,
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.

Mothers You Know

By Ada Aharoni

Mothers you know, a long time ago
have been wisely decreed
by diverse human creeds and needs -
goddesses of peace-in-the-home,
lavishly giving life, love and healing
through their wombs and life-blood

And they have been quite successful
those cosy peace-in-the-home mothers,
closely guarding us with their wisdom
their tender words and watchful eyes.
Surely safer than in a Nuclear War
or in a new World War, or just a tiny war -
so what about making mothers
the guardians of peace on earth?
Surely we wouldn't be so much worse?
And they are so available those mothers -
you can even find them in enemy land...

Look at the terrible mess they have
made of our blue planet, mother,
you are the only one who can save it now,
the only one who really knows
how to protect your fearful children
weeping over their drugged ailing world,
the only one who can heal it now, mother
cradling it in your warm, loving arms

A Bridge of Peace

By Ada Aharoni

"They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and none shall make them afraid." (Micah, 4, 4)

My Arab sister,
Let us build a sturdy bridge
From your olive world to mine,
From my orange world to yours,
Above the boiling pain
Of acid rain prejudice -
And hold human hands high
Full of free stars
Of twinkling peace.

I do not want to be your oppressor
You do not want to be my oppressor,
Or your jailer
Or my jailer,
We do not want to make each other afraid
Under our vines
And under our fig trees
Blossoming on a silvered horizon
Above the bruising and the bleeding
Of Poison gases and scuds.

So, my Arab sister,
Let us build a bridge of
Jasmine understanding
Where each shall sit with her baby
Under her vine and under her fig tree -
And none shall make them afraid

Cosmic Woman

By Ada Aharoni

They tell us
you were first born
in warm ocean womb
caressed by sun fingers -
daughter perhaps
of the stormy love
of two unruly atoms
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 children

Myopic Scientist

By Ada Aharoni

With green, curious eyes like legend woods
before burning, sweeping like sky rockets,
you were created for exploring and building,
for love and science and joy
on peaceful green earth -
not for providing means
for destroying our lives, our children, our hopes,
with nuclear bombs and radiation

Dear scientist, don't let the war mongers
steal your research, your unaware souls,
your creation, your bubbling myopic brains.
All our voices radiate in fear
all our violins sing the impending requiem
brewed in your stupendous high-tech labs.
Dear scientist, let our wings flap freely
in fresh, clean breeze in the spring and in the fall
before we all fall into the hellish slumber
of a nuclear winter, from which there is no return.
Dear scientist, don't allow the war mongers
to gobble up your inventions to fatten their stomachs
for star wars and earth wars
or for any, any pitiful war

A Green Week

By Ada Aharoni

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.

"Have a green year"
he beamed,
brandishing a fresh, fragrant mint branch
over our keen curly heads -
but don't keep 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 peace,
Only a fragrant mint peace.

Abdul's Children

By Ada Aharoni

Will not know more
Than Abdul does,
for Abdul's children
Are not taught more
Than Abdul was.

Benevolent Ladies -
Stuff your ears
With cocktail parties
Your noses with caviar,
With Champagne your eyes -
Then no more sighs,
You will not hear
Nor smell nor see
Their illiterate

Teddy Bears for Guns

By Ada Aharoni

My man of the year
Is the wonderful, wise one
Who sat himself in the midst
Of the West with a huge box
Of chubby Teddy Bears
On New Year's Day,
Attracting an endless
Queue of cheering kids -
Holding guns

He playfully showed
With a smile and a wink
And a Teddy Bear hug -
It could be the beginning
Of a honey-laden decade
In a brave new world

By wisely trading
For Teddy Bears

This Cursed War

By Ada Aharoni

Inspired by the diary found on a fallen Israeli soldier during
the Yom Kippur War, October 1973.

The night creeps along, funeral throng
darkens. Memories rush and flood blood.
Blossoming list of dead thumps fire.
Every name pins mind with whizzing missiles.
Cursed, cursed war

In jeep on Golan Heights, loneliest I have ever been,
I watch skeletons of tanks, crowned with names of friends,
Sinister row, black graves, fresh bodies - old smell.
Cursed, cursed war

It doesn't look at all like wars in films this war,
Here we do not get a chance to shoot, or wave a flag,
Shrieking shells, hyena lightning pour on us, and we run
backwards or forwards or to the side,
And some are saved and some are not,
Not all, not always; but always cursing
This cursed, cursed war

In an English centurion holding Belgian guns,
We watch two American-made airplanes
Shot down by Russian-made missiles.
I cannot hate the Syrian on the other side
Who holds a French gun and shoots Soviet Sams;
We are toy soldiers of shopkeepers
Who want to sell - selling us, in this
Cursed, cursed war

God, let it stop, let it end,
Let the nightmare end!
Cursing is the only shelter
We can creep into, not to crumble
Before thoughts in the dark.
Cursed are those who force me to be here
Cursed be this cursed war!

Remember Me Every Time the Moon
Rises Over the Sphinx

By Ada Aharoni

Inspired by the diary found on a fallen Egyptian soldier during
the Yom Kippur War, October 1973.

Dear Leila, to you my love
I breathe my last letter.
I love you in all the ways love means.

Remember me every time the sun sets over the Pyramids
and the moon rises over the Sphinx

Today marks the ninth year
of my enrolling at the cursed military college.
If I knew then to what bitter thorns it would lead me -
the college would have never seen my face.
I loathe the hours a man goes through while waiting for death.

Remember me every time the sun sets over the Pyramids
and the moon rises over the Sphinx

I really believed what we were told,
that we, would never begin a war -
but we have been ordered to cross the Suez Canal,
and my blood, my bones know I have a few more hours to live.

I will fight and die for Allah and Egypt -
when what I want is to live
for you, my Leila,
loving you all my life,
my Leila, my life.

On Yom Kippur

By Yehuda Amichai, translated by Ada Aharoni

On Yom Kippur in the year Tashkah,
I work dark festive clothes
and ambled to the old quarter
in Jerusalem.
I stood a long time
before an Arab's nook-shop
not far from the Gate of Shechem,
a shop of buttons and zippers and rolls of thread
of all colors, and tie-tacs and buckles.
A bright light shone forth with many colors,
like an open tabernacle.

I told him in my heart that my father too
had a shop like his of threads and buttons.
I explained to him in my heart
about all the decades of years
and the causes and the events,
that I am now here
and my father's shop is burnt there
and he is buried here.

When I finished it was closing time.
He too pulled the blind and locked the gate.
And I went back home with all those
who went to pray.


By Shin Shalom, translated by Ada Aharoni

I was sent to raise
to raise the world,
the whole earth to raise

I could not find where
the base and the basis were
the base of the world to raise

It broke and fell
and floated in space,
in space where no raising can be

And I after it
aflame and burning
burning to raise the world.

Copyright (c) Ada Aharoni