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Jewesses with Attitude

Travelogue for National Poetry Month

I’m tempted to rhyme, to watch my cadence, to count syllables, or maybe even don dark clothing and take to a smoke filled slam poetry session. These aren’t my usual temptations- but this isn’t a usual month.  April is National Poetry Month. The Academy of American Poets introduced the month in 1996 with the hope of highlighting American poets and introducing more readers to the world of poetry.

The Jewish Women’s Archive, and Jewesses with Attitude, are pleased to be contributing to the tradition. Throughout the month of April, we will be introducing you to a wide variety of Jewish poets and their poetry.

I’m honored to present the first poet in the series, Annie Jacobs.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jacobs at Kibbutz Ketura in the Negev Desert in Israel five years ago. She continues to inspire me with the connection she creates between the land around her and her words. To read her poetry is to go on a journey, to experience nature, and to be changed. I look forward to sharing more of her words as the month continues.

Travelogue

In Jaffa’s streets
and dark promenade
Mahdi the old man
with a sea-formed face
gave me cactus fruits
fresh fish and coffee. In
Hebrew he told me how
to cook the fish, on a low
flame with a little flour
and an onion he supplied.

When Ramadan arrived
the alleys lit green
children ran like smoke
sweets and meat seeped
from homes. I moved
through colors swiftly
to not fade them, to not
be afraid, to the balcony
where I could see
so many lives
and the sea
and not be seen.
              *
Through an open
window in a Jerusalem flat or
from the small balcony
covered in plants: people
snaking along the street.
I could easily walk to
the silent stone steps
of the Old City
where cats and a boy
eating braided bread
made sounds like
rain drops in a tin.

In this Jerusalem flat
a new friend
with a smile
like my mother’s
wears a parakeet
perched on her head.
She is no less loving to me
than God would be.

Travelogue was previously published in Ilanot Winter 2013. For more of Jacob's writing, see AnnieJacobs.

Jaffa Streets
Full image
The streets of Jaffa, Israel.

How to cite this page

Rozensky, Jordyn. "Travelogue for National Poetry Month." 4 April 2013. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on November 25, 2014) <http://jwa.org/blog/travelouge-for-national-poetry-month>.

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