Joy nests in what exists, like incipient cancer in the body’s cells,
and all the almonds that bloomed late
nobly face the spring’s hail.
Their white blossoming droops, barbed flowers under nature,
like that white love, the one that clung by its nails,
sang like a prisoner whose nails are torn out.
Late winter or early spring, what does it matter:
grant reticence and moderation in all that matters
chicken in cinnamon and dawn bread on feasts,
sea songs, open light and songs of sand.
Grant something to rein the blood, the bursting sex,
the sadness of Semitic faces when life oppresses,
leather straps or other ropes to harness the fickle energy
and strength for the chase after the time that remains –
grant all in the right dosage to man,
the dosage that on earth was never his.
Translated from Hebrew by Vivian Eden, The 4th International Poets’ Festival, Jerusalem, 1997