III. Panorama




          Kibbutz Bahan, Israel


Nature’s a magic slate—

           sleight of hand

now you see it, now you don’t—

desert frying the air

           and sand clouding light to the opacity

of Roman glass—there cradled in the crook

of this rock-strewn land

          a place they’ve named Utopia—

curtains of monkey-faced orchids,

skirts of succulent and rosebush,

         thrum of frog-song on a lotus-laced pond.

Be still, some part of me at least—

circle away from the puzzle of what it means to be me—

          to catch a leaf’s purpose

seeping up behind my eyes—

honeybee brain, mouse mind—

            now I see it

            now I don’t.  

—Ilene Millman





Looking over deep-green tree tops

the clouds look silvery smooth

like the gray and white

of fish flesh.


A green kingfisher holds

a small tilapia in its beak

slaps it against a tree

making it flexible enough

to swallow whole.


Butterflies with their colorful wings

are hard to see against

red, orange, yellow flowers,

their undersides pale as the sky

They’re like teenagers who want

to both fit in and stand out.


Bananas and mangos

hang from trees

as they did in Eden—

all sing to the One

Who created such a world.

—Adam Fisher





Elhanan ben Avraham, ”Ayeka,” drawing for the 14m x 3.5m mural painted in 1989 at the YMHA, Jerusalem




1. Bursting forth from unbounded heights of Dominion

and law above all form and precept,

the dam of fire erupts and blazing bands of light

explode symphonic scores expanding out on scrolls of verse,

the glowing words unroll and stretch

across the lonely barren fields of nothingness

and time is born pervading all the fiery force,

awakening every future gap,

and words pronounce the core of wailing energy

to spinning matter in whirling weightless tons agleam

to plunge through pitch of lifeless empty night,

and atoms search each the other out

to form the searing stars in foundries of flame

amalgamating matter for the potter’s wheel,

stars seeking sisters to dance the spiral minuets

and join their flame to light the black expanse,

the galaxies in whirling waltz and twist of dance ecstatic

cast forth from wombs their children to the skies.


2. The planets whirl about their star like atoms in their course,

majestic and magnetic in their order under law,

the perfect precept charging every pulsing quark

and ordinances ruling every atom in a spreading cosmic scheme,

rhyme and rule conducting every turn

of glowing Earth alight by a distant furnace sun at bay,

its scorching fire sterilizing those too near

and freezing those too far away,

founded in the providence of perfect place and time,

the waters form and cool the spinning sphere of Earth

to mellow fertile fields of fairest green,

a membrane of rainbow mist embracing every ray of light

as divine desire’s moving spark enthralls the stage,

and living hosts come forth from seas of salt and tide,

as life from Life and meadow grass and swamp

and flowering fragrant fruitful tree

await to feed the muscled pageantry,

the fish and fowl and furry creature of the forest

and camel in the parching wilderness oasis,

a parade of beasts in furry coat and the feathered bird

fixed to fly and cruise the bluing sky,

a farfetched feast of fancy risen from the mud,

its circulating blood astir with fire

to pass the magic seed of life enrolled on scrolls

with languages of wisdom,

curled and cured in messages of memory,

the song of pleasure hallowing the night,

passing the baton to children’s children’s

rolling dream genetic.


3. As cause and wonder green the land in harmony,

the crashing falls of water lend their course of life

from mountain to the plain,

sweet molecule formations administering hope

to all that would take breath,

all astir with water and its gifts,

await the crowning flight of fancy

formed from mud beneath the sun,

in patience squandered not in vain

and efforts culminating all that rose before,

charted ribbons of plan for leagues of cable

laced and linked and conceived in complexity

of finished form and purpose,

a mirror of the cosmos tuned to stand upright

and think and reign as servant—king

and tender of the garden,

unparalleled among the bounding beasts

and birthed to exceed their every deed,

to fly beyond the wildest dream of birds,

and dam the river in envy of the beaver,

shaping cities finer than the hive

and electric skills of sonar sounding the bat,

all this sung on chorus grander than the birdsong,

the Man and Woman shaped in perfect complement

of pleasured purpose

completing each the other’s lack and need,

stirring in reflection of divinity

and clad in naked innocence,

only Heaven reigns supreme above them.


4. All thought and language quickly manifests

to each as partner to Dominion,

raised and freed above the soil,

crowned of honor to the heights of regency

and draped in garments of delight,

yet they gaze beyond the ordered squads

of flying fowl passing overhead

and yearn forbidden fairways for their own,

they clamber from their perch

above the spreading garden

where no fierce beast is there to fear

within their province and domain

of formulated harmony in rhythms of divinity,

and in their grasp the power of the seed

to raise the Earth to Heaven,

to bring forth men of image as their own,

nothing lay between them here,

no thing denied but one a single admonition,

and there they break the one forbidden law

to burst the fragile silver thread of trust,

both mired now in clay with haunted dreams,

veiled in perplexity.

—Elhanan ben-Avraham




Goats at Adyar


at Adyar even the goats

slender as reed flutes

attain enlightenment

to the garden of meditation they go

an ancient gathering of trees

a cloud flock

patches of sunlight sieved through branches;

deliberate as measured monsoon rain

the quiet goats’ souls enter;

watching them the mind empties and stills

as a large open—winged bird breaks flight

lifting its warm white throat

up into light.

Wendy Dickstein




First Rays Of The Sun


Splintered shadows give shape

to rock formations sprawling,

twisted cactus is revealed.


A lizard is inspired to run,

doesn't stop to measure malice.

Snake holes everywhere,

the true architects of sudden death.


Flowers I can't name are abundant.

Morning shivers gone,

I squint from the sun's glare,

my morning greeting.


Desert's cracked and listless.

The rain is welcome but absent.

Presently, heat prevails.

The terror of perfection rules.

—Joseph Brush





Oh praying mantis do not prey for me


when I was but a child

I’d see you

in your green devotion on the farm

crawling up a stick

in blue ascent


I’d watch your monkish posture

transfixed upon the lithe divinity

of summer days

within the sacred branches

of a living elm you thinned

the edges of the dropping shade

like water cooling on the shadow darkened lawn


but with a closer look

I’d glimpse the exoskeleton  

with hunger in its form

betraying the ravenous purpose

of your serrated jaw

that sawed away

the softly amber honey box

the sessile ambush or your kind

designed to make a ravenous crunch

that stilled the hapless drone


come friar bug

what’s insect hagiography

among the katydids


the angel with his burning appetite

for flaming swords

brings fire to these aging bones

and though today

the evolutionary beauty

of the dead leaf butterfly

trace open heaven

to the infinite glory of a single hand

I trust my soul is both

the dying oak of autumn

and the glowing surface of an opening wing

John B. Lee




Sojourner in a Mountainous Landscape


These thousands of tall, skinny spruces—

tracing the mountains like wicked staircases—

each enrobed in midnight green speckled

with pale aqua when the full moon

comes to rest atop her effulgent throne.

The living waters—those many streams—

are like veins under human flesh—

their silvered scintillation like

a half-hidden heartbeat.

I wish I could pour myself into this land,

or soar as metallic light above it,

or become the high-hung, whorled branches—


my needles forming a thousand spiral staircases.

—Bryan Nichols






”Praise the Lord for He is good

His steadfast love is eternal. ”

Psalms 118:1


your eight-week











at the sight

of the sea


of the waves



to you

and now

new to us


Felice Miryam Kahn Zisken



Something Bitter


Something bitter, some unexpected thought,

Some collapsing glacier wall, some discovery

Of excited gamma waves, some slip

On El Capitan, recovery


At the end of a rope, don’t be afraid,

Cling to the wall itself, cling

To molecules, cling to night

Or wind or to an echoing,


The Brooks River roars in Katmai Park,

The sunlight soaks closed eyelids,

The passage through wind-softened rocks

Contains the murmur of katydids.

—Yaacov David Shulman




Not Everyone Has Laws


Not everyone has laws. They come

From life, the crisp autumn comes

With the wind, it comes down from

The mountains, it shakes the geraniums.


The feral cats don’t notice the fading

Stars, the blur of orange-pink,

And the quiet in the hollow of

The day that speaks, their eyes blink,


They do not see the fantasy,

The shocking wealth, the sap in the tree,

They think it has always been here, the supple

Wind, the cars and their ennui.

—Yaacov David Shulman





The ravens have gone.

The sky they once flew has been emptied.

When I walk out the door, clearances—

a pure change. No more the deep calls

from on high like a bell sharply struck.

No more the fanfare and bluster. The day

is listless, the sun untroubled by wings.


The ravens have gone.

No more the graceful loops and glides,

the beauty they make of the sky and wind—

my mind become beautiful by the sight

of them. Kloo-kok, kloo-kok, I sing, hoping

to lure them back…How all things flash,

how all things flare! Kloo-kok.

—Constance Rowell Mastores


*One of the names used by the Native Americans of the Northwest for a raven.  The raven often flies so high that it appears to blot out the sun; or to hold it  in its ”mouth”.



Panorama: a found poem*

Just three words


The pale clouds

Created in China

Just three words

Far from home

Local people know

Believe in miracles

Certain cult status


Beautiful underwater world

Current art zone

Layer of silt

River between hills


Medium haul fleet

Each measured brick

Experiences bond together

Quirky moving platforms


Most market vendors

Follow this advice

Long bike ride

Drink for free


My childhood adults

Stars, designers, stylists

Actively support this

Only in Madagascar

Continuing the story


Availability of beer

Time and possibility

Funny things happen

Follow our advice

Confusing scientific principles


Advantage for transit

Small brick houses

Some healthy walking

Modern high tides

Residents fenced up

Creaking floors, ceilings


Most impressive tickets

Tribute to traditions

American jazz legends

Current special offers


An average person

Of another sort

Catch a breath

Full smile design

You can appreciate

—Mindy Aber Barad

 * with special thanks to Ukraine International Airlines magazine






 I listen for a music

    Not played in concert halls

       Nor sung by human voices.


 Its instruments are lives

    That resonate through time

       And modulate each day.


 I hear a cosmic rhythm

    Guiding the stars in heaven

       And the pulsing of my blood.



 Unless the bike is moving

    You cannot sit on it;

       Momentum holds you straight.


 Unless your mind is rolling

   You must fall behind

       The world’s revolving wheels.


 A vital spring keeps flowing        

    Down the mountainside;

       You’ll run with it or die.



 To anticipate the green

    Whose light impels us forward

       When we are stuck in lines;


 To celebrate green leaves

    Bringing welcome comfort

       After a freezing season,


 Something green within us

    Wakes the dormant soul:

       It's time to move again.



 All material things

    Vibrate with soft voices

       That murmur in our dreams.


 Listen, trees are singing,

    And rivers recite a prayer

       That only you can hear.


 Ocean waves are chanting

    Odes to their Creator,

       And cloudy skies grow clear.

—David Weiser

(More poems in this series to be posted on our homepage)






lying side by side

my six-year-old daughter

and I

where the wavelets

of the sea ebb and flow

in the wonderful light

of that early morning hour

before anyone else arrives


the many billions

of stars born

billions of years before

burn without life


and billions of planets

swirl around them

also unseen


it matters not

my daughter’s footprints

and mine

in the wet sand

are sufficient

to make our place

in the universe

—Larry Lefkowitz