Gili Haimovich

Gili Haimovich

Gili Haimovich is an international poet and translator who writes in both Hebrew and English. She has six volumes of poetry in Hebrew, including her last one, Landing Lights (Iton 77 Publishing House, 2017) and poetry collection in English Living on a Blank Page that came out in two editions (Blue Angel Press, 2008). She received a grant nominating her as an outstanding artist by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption (Israel, 2015) as well as different prizes and grants in Italy, Hong Kong and Israel. Her poetry in English is featured in numerous journals, anthologies and so forth, such as, Poetry International, International Poetry Review, Poem, LRC – Literary Review of Canada, Asymptote, Drain Magazine, Circumference, TOK1: Writing the New Toronto and Mediterranean Poetry as well as main Israeli journals and anthologies. Her poems are translated into many languages and presented in festivals around the world.


Dara Barnat

Dara Barnat is author of In the Absence (Turning Point, 2016). Her poetry, translations, and essays appear in World Literature Today, The Cortland Review, Poet Lore, Ha’aretz, Crab Orchard Review, Lilith, Blue Lyra, Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Dara holds a PhD from Tel Aviv University, where she is Writing Director in the Department of English and American Studies.

The Trash’s Shelter

And there it is, a tree right next to the garbage bin.
I lift my eyes up, its branches as intricate as a labyrinth.
No wonder it’s trying to get away.
If I could help it, the two of us,
But I’m just standing here, deciding to stick to it
with all filth involved.
I’m going to stay next to it long enough
to get over its first impression.
And then I’m going to like it.
And myself too.
I probably already to like it enough
to consider the tree, not the trash it’s sheltering.
If I climb up on your branches, figure out our labyrinth,
could I get away too, as if I’m your own treetop?
My husband’s arms are too short.
Tree, don’t you know you can never climb on your own limbs?
Even though you can easily drown in the delicate veins of your twigs.

© Gili Haimovich
First published on Deep Water Literary Journal

House Gecko

It’s summer now and I want to tell you about the gecko.
About how she comes at night to the chill wall of my room.
About her reptile tenderness glimpsing
through her transparent skin.
Quiet as night climbing up
to the painting of the rabbit above the printer,
the wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the young goat,
and our house gecko with the bunny,
me with my husband and children.

On the wall she has it all upside down,
as if heads to tails are backwards,
pointing her tail first
as if it’s not replaceable.

It’s summer now, I’m awake for longer hours.
I see the sky darken,
I see the absolute blackness of the gecko’s eyes
on the other edge of her body,
a colon before the next sentence.

© Gili Haimovich
First published on The High Window


And it’s summer again.
Actions diminish.
We become a coalition
that comes out against the streets
filled with dust and boredom.
And it’s summer again.
The body is embarrassed by its exposure.
Fatigue belongs to the day,
awakeness to the night.
And it’s summer again.
There is a threat
the high temperatures will be exploited
to invent a new bomb.
But we, for ourselves, only check
what’s on the next channel.

Gili Haimovich from Reflected Like Joy, Gvanim Publishers, 2002
© Translated from Hebrew by Dara Barnat
First published on Ezra Magazine

Always a Desert

Wherever I go, it’s always a desert.
I’m always thirsty.
I don’t know if I have enough in my hump.
It’s satiation that I long for.
It’s the possibility to stop that I long for.
It’s the urge to go somewhere that I’d give up.
I walk on
not knowing if I can stop,
even if an oasis appeared.
Even though I’m certain I’d recognize one.
This walking, it drags me along.
Camels aren’t taught to stop, only to keep going.
I’m a camel, not for sure a female, but a general kind of camel.
I can’t see my hump,
though I know I have only one.
If I could turn back
would I discover that I actually left? Left something behind?
Wherever I go, it’s always a desert.

Gili Haimovich from Lint Season, Pardes Publishers, 2011
© Translated from Hebrew by Dara Barnat
First published on Lilith

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Published with the permission of Gili Haimovich & Dara Barnat