RAFI WEICHERT

TO THE MEMORY OF A TEL AVIV POET

You died on a hot day (Few days arenít around here).

The busses kept on dragging their greyness

through Dizengoff, right on King George, to Allenby

and the sea. On the beach youth continued

to present its beauty, its eternal advantage,

showing interest only in the sex firm in skin

And in the shining sand searing between toes

A hot day, one that conjures a trace of bliss,

and you are no more.

You are still receding to a place where with a thousand eyes

you will look at all this silently and smile,

seeing the real and troublesome as a hoax.

Maybe only now, after you have earned with great strain

wisdom that is transient, it will be revealed to you

that poetry is a solid tombstone.

THE RIGHT

Evening. And once again we find ourselves

at the end of the street leading to the sea.

The promenade is almost empty. White plastic chairs

are covered with dust. Here and there in the water, float

dead things.

Evening. And the ability to overlook is enviable

or alternatively to refine beauty from surroundings

like a pearl.

DRAGON

In the middle of town they put up a dragon.

Like a Trojan horse they pushed it into town

Believing in the greatness of its colors.

Now it spits jets of fire

before a sky that does not succeed, even for a minute,

to camouflage its indifference.

In the nights that it passes

in the deserted square

where rises from curves of its ribs

loud music

distracting us from enemies

threatening our walls and from cold winds

rushing through the streets, pursuing the leaves

to their death at the end of the sidewalk.

SUMMER

Summer doesnít change anything on the street

And yet in the clear light the face

of things move as in a mirage.

The house comes to know the plunging shadow

longing on the sidewalk below it.

Over the hurrying heads, balcony rails

try in vain to cover their shame,

the rust unfolding like scab.

The heat in Tel Aviv is a red-cheeked boy

dragged heavily through the streets and pointing to the sun

which on its rounds ties to our heads a crown of summers.

THOSE WHO SING TO THE CITY

The city doesnít need its residents.

Indifferent it views the inhabitants

Passing through it to their desired places.

Its streets do not widen as the pupils widen

at the sight of deceptive happiness.

The changing buildings do not take into consideration

memory fighting to maintain maps

to seek new sites.

It is not willing to contribute one thing

or to return warmth to those who sing of it

on their way to somewhere else.

TRANSLATED BY

KAREN ALKALAY-GUT

home