Rare Flower – Life, Love and Peace PoemsPosted: 2016/08/04
Rare Flower – Life, Love and Peace Poems
By Ada Aharoni
Reviewed by Pejman Masrouri
Ada Aharoni’s book of poetry, “Rare Flower – Life, Love and Peace Poems,” [Dignity Press, USA], is mainly a call to action against the absurdity of war, as well as the empowerment of women for peace through literature and “diplomatic poetry”. These overall themes are expressed in different ways—from appeals to conscious human beings from around the world, to world leaders, and to thinkers, journalists, writers and poets, imparting them with hopeful inspiration.
In the poem “I Am Not in Your War Anymore”, there is a brilliant juxtaposition of nature’s beautiful fall foliage illustrating the horrors of war:
First, flowing flamboyant crimson blood
On throbbing temples and curly hair,
Russet bronze fiery metal cartridges
Stuffing the crevices of young hearts,
While golden laser Napalm dragon tongues
Gluttonously lick the sizzling eyes and lips
Of our children,
Under giant mushrooms
Freshened by mustard and acid rain.
The ominous imagery however, ends on a hopeful note that we might eventually look back on this time of the cruelty of war, after we will find the:
Historical garbage pit
Where we can dump
Our fearful legacy
And our grandchildren will ask their fathers,
What were tanks for, Pa? And with eyes
Full of wonder, they will read the story of the
Glorious imprisonment of the Nuclear Giant
In his hellish dump imprisoned for ever,
And they will cry:
Well done Pa, well done Ma!
Aharoni often aims her call to action to those that can actually do something, including world leaders and others who may be guilty of fanning the flames of war. In the aptly named poem, “Mr. Prime Minister, When Will the Nightmare End?” which is part of her moving Lebanon poems, during the Lebanon War, she makes an impassioned plea on behalf of citizens and soldiers who feel powerless to make an impact. The following lines are written and told from the perspective of an Israeli soldier who is in the midst of the horrors of the Lebanon War.
What absolute misery –
I want to go home!
Instead of a home’s warmth,
Anguished cold in my frozen bones
While watching the dreadful shock of a man
Who has just discovered his dead wife’s body
Under his wrecked home.
We came back from the nightmare
With horror in our hearts
And imploring in our eyes –
Mr. Prime Minister, we were born
For creation, for joy and life –
Not for destruction!
Please, Mr. Prime Minister,
End this nightmare that really kills –
And not only in our nightmares.
Likewise, in “Myopic Scientist,” an appeal is made to science and scientists, to focus on peace instead of weaponry so that the whole of humankind does not fall into the:
Of a nuclear winter
From which there is no return.
One of the most moving messages can be found in “Peace is a Woman and a Mother,” in which the poet explores the extended metaphor of women as bringers of peace. It begins with a sad listing of the children lost to war in all corners of the globe:
“I asked her why
She was so sad?
She told me her baby
Was killed in Auschwitz,
Her daughter in Hiroshima
And her sons in Vietnam, India, Pakistan,
Ireland, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon
Bosnia, Rwanda and Chechnya.
All the rest of her children, she said,
Are on the nuclear blacklist of the dead,
All the rest, unless –
The whole world understands
That Peace is a woman.
However, the poem ends with a positive view, that “Peace is indeed a pregnant woman / Peace is a mother,” which implies an expectant and optimistic future.
Ada Aharoni has provided a moving volume of inspiration and hope to a world in sore need of it. From her birth in Cairo, through the perils of the forced “Second Exodus” of the Jews from Egypt, to a new life in Israel, she has experienced first-hand the turbulence and five disastrous wars in the Middle East between Palestinians and Israelis. A true global citizen, she is the founder and president of IFLAC: The International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace, and as a prolific poet and writer, who has published 31 books to date. Her works are a testament to what one person can achieve in the battle for peace and a better and safer world.