1982 Rehovot

I was in Israel. And I did sing
"Hava Nagila", and danced,
and held hands with Kibbutzniks.
And I did pick oranges,
and grapefruit, but really,
they preferred the boys for that job.
And I did wash the old people
in the old people's house,
even though I had no experience,
just boundless enthusiasm.
And I did work in the synagogue kitchen,
although the old men shouted at me,
told me off for mixing food groups,
(I didn't understand a word.)
And I did look after the children,
in the children's house,
changed nappies on four year olds,
hugged toddlers, sang to babies.
And yes I did drink neat vodka,
supplied by the kibbutz,
with free issue orange juice,
taken from the tap in the factory.
And I did try to meet kibbutzniks,
even though they did everything they could
to keep us apart from THEIR young people,
in case we contaminated them,
with our western ideas, and western ideals.
And yes I did go camping at the weekend,
on the organised trip, in the jeep with army seats,
and camped in some desert,
and watched the nurse from Liverpool
get drunker than drunk, and disappear
into the dunes with first one Israeli,
then two then three.
And I did spend too long on the beach at Ein Gedi,
and I did get sick,
and I did find that this counted for little
in the kibbutz.
And I did work again, after I got better,
serving tea in the old people's home,
until my time was done,
and I could travel on up North to Haifa and Galilee.
And I did learn a lesson, or maybe three.
Sunbathing beside lake Galilee.
Before I came home.


  1. Your poems are beautiful and evocative K. Please do more soon.

    Pete x


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