World Poetry Café Radio Show hosts Ariadne Sawyer and Israel Mota welcomed the talented painter, artist and poet Helen Bar-Lev to the show at CFRO, 100.5 FM www.coopradio.org
Also featured were e-poems by Lini Grol from Canada and Dr. Hadaa Sendoo from Mongolia. Music by Susan Cogan from her CD Gypsy Hill. To hear the show CLICK HERE!
Helen Bar-Lev was born in New York in 1942. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology. She has lived in Israel for 42 years and has held over 90 exhibitions of her landscape paintings, 33 of which were one-person shows. Her poems and artwork have appeared in numerous online and print anthologies. Collections: Cyclamens and Swords and other poems about the land of Israel, and The Muse in the Suitcase, both with Johnmichael Simon, illustrated by Helen. In Moonlight the Sky Will Slide with Katherine L. Gordon. EVERYTHING TODAY, a not-what-you-expect book of poetry about colours with her colour illustrations, is Helen’s latest collection and a new book of alphabet love letters is in preparation. Helen is Assistant to the President of Voices Israel group of poets in English www.voicesisrael.com and Senior Editor of Cyclamens and Swords Publishing, www.cyclamensandswords.com She lives in Metulla, Israel with her poet-partner Johnmichael Simon. Her two children and four grandchildren live not far away. www.helenbarlev.com
Between the Banal and the Eternal
A border of boulders has been erected
to prevent the orchard from falling into the valley
and it is here that we stand
lost in its silence,
looking down on the land,
on its fields and its fish ponds,
on this wealth of earth
in the warmth of its summer
Almost-ripe apples bulge on their branches,
nectarines too, large but leaden,
wait for sweetness to seep in
Here is the real world, up in these orchards
and below in the valley, human-free and serene,
forgotten by a civilization which has chosen
to conglomerate into jittery cities,
to rise higher and higher in impossible structures,
looking down through glass and window planters
at congestion and frustration
in robotic symbiosis, at clones of themselves
While here in the only reality
the meaning of existence is written
in the parchment of its orchards
in the richness of its fields,
the fullness of its fishponds,
the purity of its breath,
sweet as peace
In a world that hovers
between the banal
and the eternal
as the sun sets
in the heat
of a solstice eve
© 6.2008 Helen Bar-Lev
The World Poetry Cafe Radio Show with hosts Ariadne Sawyer MA and Israel Mota welcomed a new host in training, Vivian Davidson. A special third poem celebrating the World Poetry Canada International Peace festival by UBC by World Poetry Award Winner Oswald Okaitei. To HEAR THE RADIO SHOW, CLICK HERE!
A new special featured is: In Loving Memory for thoses who have “Gone Home” (African saying) for the poet Tom Berman. It includes a poem by him called the Leather Suitcase. In addition World Poetry Member Helen Bar Lev wrote a poem about her friend Tom Berman.
In Loving Memory:
From the end of 1938 until the outbreak of War in September 1939, about 10,000 mostly Jewish children, unaccompanied by parents or adults, were brought from Nazi-controlled Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia to Great Britain under the Kindertransport scheme. But for the Kindertransport, few, if any, of these would have survived the War. This poem won a High Distinction award in the 2006 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest sponsored by Tom Howard Books. Author Tom Berman received a $100 award. Winning Writers assists this contest. Copyright is reserved to the author.
Tom Berman has been a member of Kibbutz Amiad in the Upper Galilee, Israel for over 50 years. He grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, having arrived there aged 5 from Czechoslovakia with the Kindertransport in 1939. He is a scientist whose poetry has been published here and there, now and again, and was Editor in Chief of the annual Voices Israel Anthology from 2003 to 2006. Amazon.com is still trying to dispose of a book of his poems (Shards: A Handful of Verse). He was married with one wife, three daughters, seven granddaughters, one grandson and one dog.
Here is his poem:
THE LEATHER SUITCASE
They don’t make suitcases like that any more.
Time was, when voyage meant train, steamship distances unbridgeable waiting for a thinning mail weeks, then months, then nothing
Time was, when this case was made solid, leather, heavy stitching with protective edges at the corners.
Children’s train, across the Reich stops and starts again…
Holland a lighted gangplank, night ferry to gray-misted sea-gulled Harwich
again the rails reaching flat across East Anglia, to London
in my bedroom the suitcase, a silent witness with two labels
“Masaryk Station, Praha” “Royal Scot, London-Glasgow”
Leather suitcase from a far-off country, Czechoslovakia, containing all the love parents could pack for a five year old off on a journey for life.
Tom Berman (C) With permission.