Mikel

Mikel froze in place and listened. He could sense movement anywhere the building through his feet. The wood floor hummed like an orchestra, telling of and pointing out creatures large and small, moving about, walking, running, sneaking, hunting. The wood building was not very large. It had a below-ground level, an above-ground level, and an upper floor. Despite its size, it had plenty of room for all of its inhabitants. The temperature inside held steady most days, and no predators ever came in. Well, other than the giants, of course.

There were three giants living inside. They used every room, but rarely in the below-ground level. Mikel preferred to stay there for that reason. To be out of sight. To hide. The giants ate twice a day in the eating room, where the food was stored. Once in the morning after they cleaned themselves, and again in the evening after they returned from hunting and gathering, and before they moved to rest in the upper level. Mikel kept inside at all times. His choice. Leaving the building was too dangerous. He learned that through numerous painful lessons since he was young. Every time someone left the building to gather food, he would never see them again. None of them ever returned. Predators, no doubt, go them. Animals, maybe even other giants. The group became smaller and smaller until a week ago when it was down to just him and Moona. Oh, poor Moona.

There was not much to do inside, and less so to see. That would not have been such a big problem had he been able to eat normally. But gathering food was incredibly challenging, and became even more so since the giants discovered them, his group. Every time one of them found a new way to gather, the giant would defeat it and the food would be hidden again in harder to reach places. The smallest of the three giants was also the most careless and would leave pieces of food everywhere; on the floor, on the plate, in the bucket. Mikel thought it did that on purpose, so it could watch them eat it. Very strange. There was that time when Mikel found some food on the floor in the eating room and started eating it on the spot. He was so hungry. He almost lost his mind when he realized the small giant watching him silently from the stairs. Mikel ran and hid so fast he forgot to take the food with him. What a loss. Damn it!

Movement! Mikel listened intently to the heavy steps. It was one of the giants. It descended the steps and walked into the eating room. It was so close, right on the other side of the wall! Mikel shrunk his body and lowered himself to the ground, trying to disappear into the wood crevices. He hoped his stomach will not growl. He had not eaten in three days, maybe more. Getting discovered, he knew, would mean certain death. He held still. The only part of his body that moved was his heart, and it was racing.

The giant stopped. Mikel recognized the steps instantly. It was the large giant. Despite its mammoth size, this giant was fast. Very fast. In a flash, Mikel remembered it chasing after Moona while another giant, the long-haired companion, howled from the top of the stairs. Mikel shivered in horror as he recalled Moona’s scream when the giant lowered the large wood on her body, killing her instantly. There was no hesitation in its move, just pure evil. It picked Moona’s limp body with its enormous fingers and carried her outside. When it returned a short time later it howled at the other giant, and they both started looking for Mikel and the others. They did not know he was the only one left. How could they? Lucky for Mikel he anticipated they would do that and hid quickly behind the curtains in the sitting room. He knew all the good hiding places. He also knew not to panic and run when the large giant came near him and moved the curtains from side to side, searching. Mikel just hung there with his eyes closed, thinking of Moona. It was the scariest moment of his life.

Mikel broke his thoughts and returned his attention to the giant. It made tearing sounds in the eating room. Curiosity overwhelmed Mikel. Was it preparing food? Not at this time. The giants already ate and would turn to rest soon. So, what was it? A new sound emerged, sharp, high-peached squeaks. Metal rubbing against metal, he guessed. Was the giant building something? He wished he had a better vantage point, but moving while the giant was near was risky. He needed to think of something. Maybe if the giant was so busy with this activity it would pay less attention to its surroundings? Mikel carefully considered where to move to. He had to stay in this room, in the dark, and go somewhere with a direct line of sight to the giant. The sounds the giant made came from the counter, which made sense. The giant only did things on the counter, never on the floor. It was too big to get down, and the counter probably made it easier for it to do things, like preparing food. Mikel listened again. The giant continued with its activity. It’s time, he decided. He moved slowly along the wall, careful to avoid the squeaky floor areas, not to disturb objects along the way, do anything that could alert the giants to his presence. He stayed in the dark, keeping a good distance from the patch of light that fell on the floor from the eating room. He reached the other side of the room and hid behind the structure that held the wonder thing. Many times, one or more of the giants would gather in the room in front of it and watch as other giants made of light appeared on it and howled. But it was now quiet and dark. Mikel crouched in his hiding spot and looked at the giant. It stood with its back to Mikel and did something with its hands. This was not good enough. Mikel needed to find a better spot.

STOP!

More steps came from upstairs. Mikel instantly recognized the small giant. He heard it walking down the stairs before it appeared and stood next to the giant. They howled at each other a number of times. Mikel retreated slowly, letting the darkness cover him, hide him, protect him. He could still see well. With both of them only steps away from him he could not move anywhere. He waited. Shivering. Scared. Hungry.

The giant stopped making the metallic sounds and turned to the smaller one. It held something in its hands and showed it to the other. Mikel did not see anything like this before. It was a gray-colored device, probably a little larger than Mikel. The giant manipulated parts of the device and howled, but the smaller one did not howl back. Instead, it looked around the eating room. The giant howled again. Still, the smaller one remained mum. It now looked straight at Mikel’s direction. Could it see him? DID it see him? It was too late to move. Mikel closed his eyes. They were big and dark, but could reflect in the light coming from the eating room, exposing him. He listened and hoped. He felt no movement on the floor, only the giant continued howling.

Mikel peeked through the cracks. Both giants still stood facing each other. The smaller one howled, but in a lower voice. The giant opened the food door and took out a piece of soft cheese. Cheese! Mikel gulped. This was his favorite thing to eat! Oh, if he could only get one piece of this, just a taste, he would be so happy! If the giants would only drop it on the floor and not notice, forget to check, and leave. He would get it and eat it, and leave nothing behind, not a trace for them to find.

The howling stopped. Mikel watched as the giant placed the cheese into the device. It slowly pressed on it, which made the squeaky metallic sound again. The giant placed it on the floor. Mikel was stunned. Why was it doing that, placing food on the floor? Was it doing so on purpose? The giants were clean creatures that never left food behind them. Perhaps this was a new way for the smaller one to eat? Mikel could not figure this out. He waited.

The giant howled again, and the two turned and left the eating room. The light vanished instantly, and the place fell dark. Mikel heard the heavy footsteps. The giants climbed up the stairs. Mikel wanted to leap out of his hiding spot and grab the food, but waited. He could still hear movement upstairs. He would not dare getting exposed. He decided to wait. His eyes adjusted to the dark. The device rested in the middle of the eating room floor. The cheese smell hit his nostrils. So good! His stomach growled. Soon, he would quiet his hunger.

Mikel did not move. He relaxed his body and waited. The floor vibrations conveyed sounds from upstairs. They gradually quieted, then stopped. The giants were probably resting. Mikel stepped quickly into the eating room, the cheese smell pulling him in. He reached the device and investigated quickly. The cheese rested in the middle of the device. This would be easy, he thought. He slowly circled the device, careful not to make a sound. The cheese smell hit his nostrils hard and caused him to salivate. He completed a second turn and figured that the best way to reach the food would be through the opening on the smaller side. He stepped in and felt the cool metal against his body. The cheese was stuck on one of the metal parts. Mikel held it between his nails. Eat, finally! He pulled.

 

October 30, 2019

הרהור

,דַּפִּים לְבָנִים, צְחוֹרִים כַּשֶּׁלֶג
,כְּתוּבִים בִּדְיוֹ בִּלְתִּי נִרְאֵית
.סְפוּנִים בְּתֵיבַת עֵץ מְקֻשְׁקֶשֶׁת
,אוֹת לְאוֹת נִסְמֶכֶת, מִלָּה לִשְׁכֵנָתָהּ
,שׁוּרוֹת צְפוּפוֹת שֶׁל זִכְרוֹנוֹת תּוֹעִים
,סִפּוּרִים כְּלוּאִים מִזְּמַן אַחֵר
,וּבֵינֵיהֶם אוֹרְבוֹת אִמְרוֹת שֶׁפֶר
.מִתְחָכְּמוֹת, מְדַגְדְּגוֹת, מִשְׁתַּעַשְׁעוֹת

,זְרִיחַת יַלְדוּת
,בֹּקֶר נָעַרוּת רַעֲנָן
,עִיר שֶׁתִּהְיֶה גְּדוֹלָה
,שְׂדוֹת עֵמֶק שֶׁיַּבְשִׁילוּ
,צָהֳרֵי בַּגְרוּת, בַּיִת שֶׁיִּתְמַלֵּא וְיִתְרוֹקֵן
,עֶרֶב שֶׁל חַיִּים אֲרֻכִּים
.וּשְׁקִיעָה נוּגַהּ

,מַבָּט נוֹסָף, שׁוּרוֹת מְרַחֲפוֹת מִתּוֹךְ הַדַּף
,מִלִּים מוּכָּרוֹת, מְלַטְּפוֹת, דּוֹקְרוֹת
.מִישֶׁהוּ כְּבָר אָמַר אוֹתָן פַּעַם
,זוֹ הָיִיתָ אַתְּ? מָתַי
,אוֹ שֶׁזֶּהוּ הַסִּיפּוּר שֶׁלִּי
.מַמְשִׁיךְ לוֹ, כָּאן וּלְבַד

 

Thought

Clear pages, white as snow,
Written in invisible ink,
Stored in a scribbled wooden box.
Letter by letter, word by word,
Dense lines of stray memories,
Captive stories from another time,
And among them lurk fine sayings,
Smarting up, tickling, acting playful.

Childhood sunrise,
Fresh juvenile morning,
A city that will grow large,
Valley fields that will ripe,
Maturity noon, a home that will fill and empty,
An evening of a long life lived,
And a gentle sunset.

Another look, lines float out of the page,
Familiar words, caressing, piercing,
Someone had said them before.
Was that you? When?
Or is this my story,
Continues, here and alone.

 

November 12, 2018

בתום

,בְּתוֹם הַסְּעוּדָה
,מוֹחֶה אָדַם אֶת פִּיו
.שְׁיָירֵי מָזוֹן, טַעֲמֵי תַּבְלִין
,זֶה הַשָּׂבֵעַ
,אֲשֶׁר קְדֶירָתוֹ מְלֵאָה לִגְלֹשׁ
,וְזֶה הָרָעֵב
.שֶׁפִּיתּוֹ דָּלָה

,עִם רֶדֶת יוֹם
,עוֹצֵר אָדָם מֵעֲמָלוֹ
.זֵיעָתוֹ מִצְטַבֶּרֶת, עָיֶיפוּתוֹ גּוֹבֶרֶת
,זֶה הֶעֱשִׁיר
,אֲשֶׁר תְּבוּאָתוֹ פּוֹרָה
,וְזֶה הֶעָנִי
.שֶׁשָׁדֶהוּ דַּל

,בְּסוֹף הַמַּסָּע
,נָח אָדָם בְּיַעֲדוֹ
.דּוֹאֲבוֹת רַגְלָיו, אָבָק הַדֶּרֶךְ בִּבְגָדָיו
,זֶה שֶׁהִרְחִיק לֶכֶת
,שֶׁבָּטַח צַעֲדוֹ
,וְזֶה הַתָּחוּם
.שֶׁרַגְלוֹ הִסְסָה

,הַהַצְלָחָה מִי יֶשוּרֶנָה
,פּוֹרֵשׂ אָדַם אֶת מוֹרַשְׁתּוֹ
,מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ, חֲבֵרָיו
.שוּתָפַיו לַדֶּרֶךְ, אַף אוֹיְבָיו
,מִי יָהִין לֶאֱחֹז בָּמוֹשְׁכַה
,לָצֵאת וְלַחְרֹשׁ
.לִמְשֹׁךְ בָּעֹל

 

At the end of

At the end of a meal,
A man wipes his mouth,
Food parts, tastes of spices.
There is the satisfied,
Whose bowl full to overflow,
And there is the hungry,
Whose bread slice is meager.

At the end of a day,
A man ceases from his toil,
His sweat accumulated, his weariness growing.
There is the wealthy,
Whose crops are plentiful,
And there is the pauper,
Whose field is poor.

At the end of a journey,
A man rests at his destination,
His legs ache, the road dust in his clothes.
There is the one who traveled far,
Whose stride is assured,
And there is the restricted,
Whose step uncertain.

Success who shall foresee,
A man displays his legacy,
His family, friends,
His road companions, even his enemies,
Who is brave to hold to the bridles,
Go out and plow,
Carry the load.

 

July 12, 2018

2 A.M.

Trees of forest,
Quiet brook,
Cool air breeze,
Light rain on grass.

Smell of foliage,
Sense of wild,
A timid step,
Stroll into light.

Quiet lake,
Reflecting skies,
Licked water ripple,
Disturbing sight.

A sudden rustle,
From behind,
A quick jump, runner,
Leaps into hide.

 

July 18, 2015

Dreaming in Black and White

An invisible nip pen,
Deeps in veiled well.
A dark dot forms,
On virgin paper.

More specks follow,
To form letters and words.
A line grows,
Like coal raindrops,
On a bright day cloud,

Short lines, longs strokes,
Comma, comma, full stop.
Backhand pushes against the paper,
Fingertips darken slowly.

Page follows page,
Turned by fresh thoughts breeze,
Ideas keep flowing,
From a dream.

Writing hastily each vision,
Right as it appears,
Inscribed pages,
Accumulate in a pile.

Short anecdotes, long tales,
Pages fly in the dark,
Captivating stories,
Late into the night.

Stay out there, don’t wake up,
Sleep tight ‘till they’re done,
Once you open your eyes,
They’ll be instantly gone.

 

February 25, 2015

Four Quarter Love

This party’s nice and special,
I like the dress you wear,
Second hour English,
I sit three chairs left, rear.

How do you like this music?
The DJ’s fun and hip,
This song he played is awesome,
Would you like to dance a bit?

∗∗∗∗

This spot is great, let’s sit here,
The view is nice and clear,
I have some wine and glasses,
Here is to us, dear, cheers!

I wish to ask you something,
My mind is in a twist,
I love you to the heavens,
Will you accept this ring?

∗∗∗∗

I have an early meeting,
Can you run kids to school?
I may be late this evening,
We need to join a carpool.

Let’s call the babysitter,
Go on a date, tonight,
We need to spend alone time,
Sit somewhere and just chat.

∗∗∗∗

I need another blanket,
The room is chill again,
The grandkids called this morning,
They’ll visit over the weekend.

Can you please draw the curtains?
The evening shade had set,
Our program’s coming on soon,
Let’s rest and watch in bed.

 

September 20, 2011

יאוש

,שִׂיחָה, וְעוֹד שִׂיחָה
,מִלִּים חַדּוֹת, קֵהוֹת רֶגֶשׁ
,מָחוֹג הַזְּמַן חוֹלֵף לוֹ
.בְּמַעְגָּל סָגוּר

,בְּמַבָּט קְדִימָה
,קַו יוֹצֵא, נִמְתַח
,פּוֹנֶה וּמִתְעַגֵּל לוֹ
.אֶל הָאוֹפֶק לֹא יַגִּיעַ

 

Despair

Conversation, and another,
Sharp words, sans emotion,
The clock hand passes,
In a closed circuit.

In a view forward,
A line is drawn, stretches,
Turns and curves,
Never makes it to the horizon.

 

December 3, 2018

Flat Earth

Exciting times are here upon us,
Full of promises, advances,
Tech afforded, automation,
Piles of data, mounds of bites.

Worldly thoughts, ideas high-minded,
Profit high and nations build,
War and peace, tectonic clashes,
Men continue to achieve.

From the print press to the wide web,
Words amassed to Mars and back,
Theorem, proof, the flood gate open,
Reason set aside amass.

High degrees and faux science experts,
Loud self-made men spewing “facts”,
Doctors, masters, eight grade dropouts,
Ready manifest at hand.

Earth is flat and here is why so,
Moon land mission? Was a hoax!
State is spying on your person,
Put aluminum hat on!

Ocean deep misinformation,
Science world struggling to respond,
Much like Dutch boy, standing helpless,
Fingers tired in a dam.

Facts aside and reason passé,
Stupid cannot be undone,
Move with caution, study deeper,
Truth made not to argue on.

 

August 1, 2019

Leftovers

Bread crumbs,
Pieces of food,
Drying on a table,
After a meal.

Petals,
Leaves of a flower,
Wet on the ground,
After a storm.

Teacups,
Echoes of conversation,
Circles on a glass top,
After a visit.

Prayer,
Whispers of hope,
Absorbed into the soul,
After a ceremony.

Longings,
Impressions of love,
Fading in time,
After a breakup.

Rainbow,
Arching of colors,
Glistening in sunlight,
After the rain.

Hope,
Filling the heart,
Ushering future,
When all else is gone.

 

April 14, 2019

כנפיים

,הַלַּיְלָה שׁוּב הָיִיתִי שָׂם
,חוֹזֵר לְהַמְשִׁיךְ אֶת שֶׁהִפְסַקְתִּי לִפְנֵי דּוֹר
,מַמָּשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִבְטַחְתִּי לְרַב סֶרֶן מְעוּטָּר
.בָּעֶרֶב הַהוּא, כְּשֶׁהַחֲלוֹם נִשְׁבָּר

,רִיצָה אֲרוּכָּה, הִתְנַשְּׁפִויות
,סְבִיבִי אֲנָשִׁים זָרִים
,בְּמָקוֹם מוּכָּר
.שֶׁשּׁוּם דָּבָר לֹא הִשְׁתַּנָּה בּוֹ, גַּם בַּחֲלוֹם

,רֵיחוֹת מִדְבָּר מְיוּחָדִים
,מַדִּים חֲמוּצִים, זֵיעָה צוֹרֶבֶת
,וְגוּף דּוֹאֵב תְּמִידִית
.מִמַּאֲמָץ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַרְפֶּה

,בַּמְּצִיאוּת הַהִיא רוֹמֶזֶת הַיְּדִיעָה
,כְּמוֹ מַשּׂוּאַת מִגְדָּל מִמֶּרְחַקִּים
,שֶׂמָה שֶׁהָיָה כְּבָר לֹא יִהְיֶה
.אֲבָל כְּמוֹ אָז גַּם עַכְשָׁיו, מַמְשִׁיכִים

,בְּעוֹלָם הָעֵרוּת כְּבָר הֵבַנְתִּי מִזְּמַן
,לְאַט לְאַט, וְלֹא לְבַד
,שֶׁכּוֹל זֶה הָיָה רַק חֲלוֹם
.שֶׁחָלַמְתִּי בַּמְּצִיאוּת

,אַךְ בְחֶשְׁכַת הַלַּיִל אֲנִי דּוֹאֶה שׁוּב דָּרוֹמָה
,לַכְּאֵב, לַעֲיֵיפוֹת, רִיפְיוֹן, וְלַנְּחִישׁוּת
,וְשׁוֹאֵל אֶת עַצְמִי שׁוּב מִתּוֹךְ שֵׁינָה, אִם הַפַּעַם
.זֶה יִסְתַּיֵּים אַחֶרֶת

 

Wings

Tonight I was back there, again,
Returning to continuing what I have stopped a generation ago,
Just as I had promised a decorated Major,
That evening, when the dream broke.

Long run, gasping,
Surrounded by strangers,
In a familiar place,
Where nothing had changed, even in the dream.

Unique desert smells,
Sour uniforms, burning sweat,
And a constantly sore body,
From a relentless effort.

In that reality knowledge hints,
Like a tower beacon from afar,
That what was, shall not be,
But much like then, now too, carrying on.

In the woken world I have long since understood,
Slowly, slowly, and not by myself,
That all this was just a dream,
I have dreamed in reality.

But in the darkness of the night, I glide back south,
To the pain, the fatigue, the limpness, and determination,
And ask myself once more in my slumber, if this time,
It will end differently.

 

March 25, 2019