Ija, luz de mi vida,
alma de mi alma,
unya de mis dedos;
moras agota tan leshos.
Yamame de vez en kuando
te kero tanto!

Daughter, light of my life,
soul of my soul,
close, like the fingernail on my fingers
you live so far away.
Call me once in a while
I love you so!

David Fintz Altabé


(Rhodes 1934)

Roaches crawl round the rim of the sunken basins
where the water-jets spurt;
the naked women squat or sit
buttocks flattened by the paving stones.
Their age is in their breasts;
some wash each others' hair,
pouring water from flat metal dishes.

I ache to run out - feel myself choked
byt he sulphurous smells,
the heat, the sweat, the flesh;
and repelled by the cockroaches -
blacker, sharper, shinier than I've seen on dry floors.

By my grandmother signals that if I endure to the end,
I'll be rewarded - an extra pastry,
a second candied apricot -
when we emerge room by cooler room, to the outher island
of polished wood and crisp white cushions
where coffee is served.

ln the rose-water-sprinkled freshness
of this outermost room,
wearing our clean newly-starched clothes,
comes the moment of well-being :
we are cleansed of the dirt
that had penetrated our pores,
we are laved and purified.


A crow in flight
From noon to night
Saw you descending
Heard your ending
Picked out your bones
Among the stones
Of an alien land
Returned like Ulysses
To bury them
In Aegean sand.


Here's one of grandfather's garden in Rhodes;Ü
seven of us are in the group,
smiling the forced smile of photographs.

We're in two tiers with little me in front
eager to run off but restrained by a big hand.
My brother has put on his Colossus pose;
an aunt flicks forward two favourite curls.

Our oily skins tell of heat;
n the air orange-blossom and oleander ..
not even the mulberries crushed blood-red underfoot
foretell anything but sweet air and everyday sorrows.

But another summer, much like this one,
he people of this garden (and it could have been me)
were pushed into boats and sailed to Piraeus;
then overland by cattletruck to Auschwitz.

My grandfather never got there.
For defying his SS guard
he was kicked to death on the train.

Granny, survivors said, went into the gas-chamber
carrying her soap and towel - she thought it was
a kind of Turkish bath like the one she used to visit

each Friday; I went with her
and when she came back home
it would be time to light the candles.

Wanda Barford-Ménasché


Tio Pesah ya mos viene
i cada uno mas penserios tiene
siendo tio Pesah aze muncho gastar
i este aniyo no ay de ande kitar.

Cada uno va pensando
i tambien va suspirando
siendo non es mas conseya
Pesah iya esta detras de la oreja.

Ma mirar ke non es aniada
de dechar la bolsa desfonyada
i de tomar emprestado
i restar entero endevdado.

Afin de fiestar la Pascua
con tener de la sal asta la agua
todo par todo al complito
i el meyoyo entero rebuelto.

Se como en este aniyo,
el ganar estuvo con danyo,
muy bruto i muy fuego
ke seya manco el emuleyo.

Nos recomandaron fiestar,
concomer, bever i cantar,
ma non con nos endivdado,
i enteros troblados kidar.

Unke non es menester,
todo por todo en casa tener
gastar i mas gastar,
por poder Pesah fiestar.

Ande mas en esta aniada,
de tiniya tanto pezgada
cale gastar con silivra
asta ande ay dinero.

Pesah diviya ser fiestado,
esto nos fue recomendado,
ma non lo keren de los sielos
a ke kedemos i sin cueros.

Con poco u muncho gastar,
Pesah ya se puede fiestar,
ma con poco u muncho suspirar,
alguna hasinura mos puede aferar.

En esta aniada de shashireyos
manco ke estan los empleyios
i manco seyan las penas
siendo non kedo sangre en las venas.

Non cale muncho pensar
con lo ke aiy cale compasar
non gastar a la locura
por non vinir en mas estrechura.

En este tiempo abatido
non kitish la alma del marido.

Yvette Anavi

Esta poema es Topada escrita in una muy viejagaseta, la meldo i copio.

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- Copyright © 1993 Moïse Rahmani - Institut Sépharade Européen