These poems are part of an ongo­ing series that we are shar­ing from Israeli authors and authors in Israel.

It is crit­i­cal to under­stand his­to­ry not just through the books that will be writ­ten lat­er, but also through the first-hand tes­ti­monies and real-time account­ing of events as they occur. At Jew­ish Book Coun­cil, we under­stand the val­ue of these writ­ten tes­ti­mo­ni­als and of shar­ing these indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences. It’s more impor­tant now than ever to give space to these voic­es and narratives.

Dias­poric Nostalgia

We don’t feel shame when 

we share memories

of when being in love was a novelty. 

We’re nos­tal­gic once a year

and hug a bit more often. 

When we do reminisce

it’s not due to our desert­ed country

but because of the calendar 

show­ing us one of our anniversaries.

Recent­ly we start­ed to hug a bit more frequently 

and it is because of our fran­tic desert­ed country.

We love like we for­got it ever had a beginning.

and we con­tin­ue to love like it will have no end.

We acknowl­edge even­tu­al­ly we’ll die

and dis­cuss, almost negotiate,

how many marks we want to leave behind us. 

We’re sick and mer­ry, healthy and sad, we’re sad and sick and mer­ry and married. 

Yes, we do like better

who we are

but not enough 

not to the degree we’d want you to stare at it.

Bone Mar­row

How suf­fer­ing soft­ens the bones, 

dis­solves them into the night,

spreads out.

The torn skies drip ghastliness. 

No hori­zon to shel­ter us 

to seal, conceal

under a wide enough 


that won’t rip me away from myself,

from the child in the Gaza Envelope,

who is so very, very much almost my



flesh and blood. 

Bones are so very soft now,

they can crum­ble so eas­i­ly now,

be ampu­tat­ed from cartilages 

be dragged to who the hell knows where

in Gaza.

So easy to for­get them,

to for­get us,

who have shel­ter to run to,

who have Tel


a mound of


as it means in Hebrew,


who can still be hugged 

and are alive.

The views and opin­ions expressed above are those of the author, based on their obser­va­tions and experiences.

Sup­port the work of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil and become a mem­ber today.

Gili Haimovich, is an Israeli Cana­di­an poet writ­ing bilin­gual­ly in Hebrew and Eng­lish. She was award­ed prizes for best for­eign poet at the inter­na­tion­al Ital­ian poet­ry com­pe­ti­tions I col­ori del­l’an­i­ma (2020) and Ossi di Sep­pia (2019), a prize at the Proves Hong Kong Inter­na­tion­al Poet­ry Con­test (2017), a grant for excel­len­cy by The Min­istry of Cul­ture of Israel (2015), and more. She is the author of four books in Eng­lish includ­ing Promised Lands (Fin­ish­ing Line Press, 2020, US), as well as a mul­ti­lin­gual book of her poem Note, (El nido del fénix, 2019, Mex­i­co). In Israel she has pub­lished sev­en vol­umes of Hebrew, her recent one, Exper­i­ments in Part­ing is com­ing out these days. Her poems are trans­lat­ed into 34 lan­guages and pub­lished world­wide in numer­ous antholo­gies and jour­nals such as: The Best Asian Poet­ry Anthol­o­gy, World Lit­er­a­ture Today101 Jew­ish Poems for the Third Mil­len­ni­umNew Voic­es: Con­tem­po­rary Writ­ers Con­fronting the Holo­caust and A World Anthol­o­gy of Bor­der Poet­ry. In Israel her writ­ing is wide­ly pub­lished in major pub­li­ca­tions such as The Most Beau­ti­ful Poems in Hebrew – A Hun­dred Years of Israeli Poet­ry and A Naked Queen – An Anthol­o­gy of Israeli Social Protest Poet­ry. As a poet­ry trans­la­tor and edi­tor, she was the first to bring Eston­ian poet­ry books into Hebrew, for which she received recog­ni­tion from the Eston­ian Min­istry of For­eign Affairs for her con­tri­bu­tion and dis­tri­b­u­tion of Eston­ian cul­ture (2022). Gili is a grad­u­ate of the Cre­ate Insti­tute, The inter­na­tion­al school for inter­dis­ci­pli­nary stud­ies and the art school Cam­era Obscu­ra and engages also with visu­al art, edit­ing and teach­ing writ­ing from an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary approach.