Our Angels (for Yehuda Amichai)
by Howard Schwartz

Our angels
spend much of their time sleeping
In their dreams
They tear down the new houses by the sea
And build old ones
in their place.

No matter how long they may sleep
One hundred two hundred years
Ten centuries is not too much

The first to wake up
Takes the torch that has been handed down
Adds a drop of oil to the lamp
Blesses the eternal light
And then recalls the name
Of every other angel
and one by one as they are remembered
They wake up.

For them as for us
there is nothing more beautiful
Than memory.


The Angel Michael
by Anath Bental

The angel Michael visited my room,
Sat by my side
The whole night,
From midnight to dawn.
His words were full of comfort
And his arms embraced me,
Caressed me,
And he poured warm kisses over me.

The angel Michael spoke and I listened.
It seemed to me that I fell in love
With this angel
In one hour.
Then I struggled with myself
Like Jacob with his angel.
For I knew he was only an angel
And that at dawn
He would disappear.

I tried to recall
The image of his face,
But he is not here
And only his voice
Still echoes
inside me.


footnotesFrom: Howard Schwartz and Anthony Rudolf, eds., Voices Within the Ark: The Modern Jewish Poets An International Anthology (New York: Morrow/Avon, 1980).

Professor Schwartz teaches creative writing, poetry writing, Jewish Studies and Modern and Contemporary Literature (University of Missouri, St. Louis). He has written and edited extensively in the areas of modern Jewish literature, fiction, poetry, and mythology.

ANGELS Table of Contents




Subscribe to the JHOM mailing list for updates.

Contact us

Tell a friend