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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.

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

Woman of No Time

By Ada Aharoni

I am the woman
Who has no time,

I envy those who have
They envy me for having none.

My desire is to plant forests
But I only manage shrubs,

I want to run one million races
When I barely manage one.

Yet I know I'm not a fly born in the summer dawn
And dead in the afternoon,

My day is a pomegranate
Full of ruby grains -

Time must be my friend!
Stopping me from tasting them all at once
So I can enjoy them one by one.

Eve's Defence

By Ada Aharoni

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, independent Eve
Is - You

The Chinese translation of this poem won an award. It was published in the bilingual Chinese-English volume "Chosen Poems By Ada Aharoni" (Hong Kong, Milkway Publications, 2003).

The More Interesting Life

By Ada Aharoni

Come closer sisters
hear the man
and what he sang about us.

At twelve, a sharp bayonet fear
jabbing through my ribs
tickled my mind:
You are a male,
you will have to go to war,
you may be killed.
Shrieking shells
and giant mushrooms flying
filled my blazing nightfalls.

I looked at the lively girls, envy nibbling,
they will not go to war,
they will not be killed.

But suddenly a flash -
a vision of kitchen sinks
drying of dishes with feminine hair,
a life of soiled diapers ...

The gun externalized,
I held it with firm fist
and nodded reassured -
But I shall have
the more interesting life.

That's it sisters, that's what he sang,
what he sang about us,
What do we do now with what he sang,
What he sang about us.

Grandmother and the Wolf

By Ada Aharoni

Dedicated to Ebba Haslund, my sister from Norway

She looked at me with wise
bluebell eyes
and told me the brothers Grimm
had it all wrong,
they had it all wrong, you see,
for it was the grandmother
who gobbled up the big bad wolf
and not the other way round

They had it all wrong,
they were too grim,
those brothers Grimm

They had it all wrong,
for grandmothers you see
are very strong

You Cannot Bomb Me Anymore

By Ada Aharoni

Listen, little big man,
you cannot bomb me
because I don't allow you
to bomb me anymore
nor to choke
nor rape me anymore,
for I have my own strength now
and my own creative
peace business now.

With this woman's mind
this woman's body
this woman's heart -
we don't allow you
to bomb us anymore
for our sisters in Norway
have shown us the way
and now -
you cannot, cannot, cananot bomb us

For it was
the grandmother
who ate the big bad wolf
and not the other way round -

so now
we will not allow you
to bomb us, bomb us,

Copyright (c) Ada Aharoni