Two Poems

the stone table

Today, I offer you two poems: one by me, the other by Charles Simic. I don’t pretend mine is as good as its companion, but I like the way they sit together.

By Charles Simic

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger’s tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.


The Pomegranate
By Hila Shachar

Every Saturday, a bulging pomegranate
would sit on my grandmother’s table,
to be taken apart in four slices.

Like a surgeon, she would unfold
each incision, its skin rupturing in her
stable hands, dripping wet pebbles

of blood onto her fingertips. Each
red tear would roll into an open
bowl, its white cavity staring at us

like a punctured eye. We would emerge
sweet, sticky, our bare hands
speaking with the humid air of Tel Aviv,

weeping thickly through the open vein
of a window.

Image credits: The Stone Table by Henri Le Sidaner, 1919; The Pomegranates by Aristide Maillol, 1893.