Poems by Martin Berman-Gorvine (some under the name Martin J. Gidron)

Three Haiku

First rays of sunrise
pause on wave crests -
Sudden gold!

Midnight garden -
under rain-dripping trees
a barrel of moonlight.

How strange - the frost
has painted a tropical scene
with ice crystals.
Previously published in Dragonfly: East/West Haiku Quarterly, Winter 1989. Copyright © 1986, Martin Berman-Gorvine, copyright © 1989, Dragonfly

Wind in Tel Aviv

The wind announces autumn's arrival.
It pokes in all the corners
stirs up dust devils and scratchy dead leaves
shakes raindrops off the trees and onto cars
and makes all the puddles shiver with excitement.
The sky too is different:
another blue, firmer and brighter
across which clouds march in businesslike fashion.
A chatter of birds passes
on the way to an important appointment in Africa.
(Tel Aviv, August 1996)
Previously published in Voices Israel, 1996. Copyright © 1996, Martin Berman-Gorvine, copyright © 1996, Voices Israel


Soft as rain falling
on dry cracked earth, your love
touches the ancient hurts that will not heal
smoothes the sharp edges of nightmare
eases the bitterness of time lost forever.
But I am a million thirsty plants;
I cannot get enough of your water
and if my desert blooms
thanks to you its rocky outlines
are slow to change
beneath the gentle flow.
(Tel Aviv, January 31, 1996)
Previously published in Voices Israel, 1997-98. Copyright © 1996, Martin Berman-Gorvine, copyright © 1999, Voices Israel

Fluent Hebrew

The Hebrew language
does not flow like sweet water from my tongue
but drips with difficulty, like honey
and leaks into my foreign dreams
and my voice betrays me, every time I speak
so I get lost in the foreign flood.
But the Hebrew letters are solid as stone
and I cling to their familiar shapes.
Slowly, I gather together those stones
and build myself an island in the midst of the sea.
And from my small, safe island
I listen quietly to the voices of the water.
(Tel Aviv, 23 Tevet 5754 / January 6, 1994). Author's translation of an original Hebrew poem.
Translation published in Jewish Currents, May 2000
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Copyright © 2009, Martin Berman-Gorvine