Salamanders on the North Border Road Elisha Porat Poetry

local_library Salamanders on the North Border Road

by Elisha Porat

Published in Issue No. 54 ~ November, 2001

Two salamanders are crossing the North

Border Road. Sluggish and indifferent, they

Creep under the borderline barbed wire. I stop

The patrol. Above the ravines and fields,

Silence suddenly drops for a moment: we watch

Their orange backs, a poison color, their tails

Striped black, and their evil aura darkens

The morning light. I feel the danger,

And give an order, but even helmets and

Bullet-proof vests can’t help when your terrain

abruptly explodes: in the orange glow

I can see the creatures: evasive, lazy, innocent,

As if they don’t carry on their backs

Marks of fear and mortal hints.

translated from Hebrew by

the author and poet Ward Kelley

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Elisha Porat is a Hebrew-Israeli poet and writer. Many of his works have been translated into the English. This is his fourth poem in the poetry pages of Pif Magazine. This poem is taken from a poema, a group of a dozen lament–memory poems, which were translated from Hebrew into English by the author and the American poet Ward Kelley.