September 06

In Time

Ruth Blumbert

In time, when the sign is given, you'll find
that you only were chosen to see and understand
what it is
then you'll flee from the ark to an olive branch
that will break under the weight of your burden your pain
and with compassion you'll carry it across the four corners of the earth
you'll jump from the ship
demand that they hurl you overboard
to save sailors.

No painting
will contain the terror
the fluttering
in the cold belly of the fish
and the before
and the after.

Sons of prophets, pimps of signs
will crash their plane on the isles of Utopia
and from submarines will shell
the cliffs of Ararat



Translated by Tsipi Keller. Ruth Blumert was born in 1943 in Haifa. She holds a B.Sc. in Microbiology and Biochemistry from Bar-Ilan University, and an M.A. in Hebrew Literature from the Theological Seminary in New York. She published three volumes of poetry, as well as two children's book, two novellas, and a translation of Coleridge's, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Among her awards: The Prime Minister Award, and the Jerusalem Literature Award. Orthodox, her work draws on the sources, biblical and Talmudic, often to ironic and subtle effects. Blumert lives in Jerusalem.