Series Editor - Jim Bennett

Introduction by Jim Bennett

Hello.  Welcome to a new series of CITN.  We will be looking at the work of individual poets in each edition and I hope it will help our readers to discover some new and exciting writing.  This series is open to all to submit and I am now keen to read new work for this series.


CITN 49. This  edition features the poetry of NOEL CANIN


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Winds scoop up voices of children passing -

lady lady

from behind you’re young

but from the front you’re old -

Old young, young old

winds smooth the bellies of cows on the hill


From; In the Hills above Galilee

      by Noel Canin





The Accordion
Round Yellow Table
Crossing the road
Westminster Bridge
Long Boats in Canfield Gardens
Miriam Makeba
Tell Me to My Eyes  
Grey Time Rain Time

In the Hills above Galilee

Fantasy Apples




Noel Canin was born and raised in South Africa during the Apartheid era. She immigrated to Israel in 1968 and lived on Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev Desert for 18 years. During this time she had two children, studied literature and linguistics at Ben Gurion University and began to translate literature from Hebrew into English.

Today Noel Canin lives and works in the center of Israel. In addition to her work as a writer and translator, she is also a bodymind practitioner, working with people through Reiki, massage and Cranio-sacral therapy. She is currently training to be a Hakomi therapist.


Noel Canin has published poetry in various journals in Israel, the USA and England.







The Accordion


Two veined brown hands

under two chafed black straps,

hands drawing out and pressing in,

parchment stretching to the

sounds of an alien childhood,

in his eyes the smile of his grandfather

watching his grandmother dance,

her black dress billowing in the

dry veld wind and her laugh

snatched to the grasses sighing,

If the hands did not choose

to slip beneath those straps,

open wide the muscular old arms,

no power on earth could

roll out that sound.








The child asks why she weeps.

There are dark glasses,

rushing platform,

the roar of the dark vanished train.

The sister is gone.

The mother is closed.

The child does not ask again.


Today is separation,

the mother is closed.


Today, the father is dying,

the mother is closed.


This morning he is dead,

traveling death’s wheel



The treading of the heart.

Eyes in the silence, today is death,

A distant womb weeps.




Round Yellow Table


It is not the stillness or the

suddenly large and very tidy room,

or a steadfast lack of expectation

around half past four, five, six.

Nor is it the absence of crumbs

on the round yellow table at the window,

or putting down the phone

and feeling your voices

contract and recede.






Crossing the road  


For Edna


Sometimes I stand at the side of the road

and wait to cross. And then I wait some more.

As the cars stream by, I wonder

whether to do my Queen Victoria thing,

you know, the bit where I stalk into the road,

one hand held up, palm open,

and the long line of cars

from the main road into the suburb

startles to a halt as I, palm up,

march majestically before them.

Today, as I stood pensively waiting

at the side of the road -

I hadn’t yet got to the cardinal question

of my Queen Victoria thing -

a drop-dead gorgeous young creature

with the gentlest curve of belly –

very short blouse, you see -

(an image of my step father saying – not enough material, eh?) -

Well, up she came and stood beside me and

instantly, as naturally as the fashions change,

that long line of cars

from the main road into the suburb

swept cheerfully to a halt.


Which just goes to show

that women with generous,

passion comfortable bodies

and fifty seven years of being

are simply invisible.


- Although, if you ask me,

the sight of a flowing haired

fifty seven year old woman

in a pink cotton Indian dress and a straw hat

doing her Queen Victoria thing

is also worth a little something –






Westminster Bridge  


This morning I stood on Westminster Bridge.

He didn't come. But the sun did,

sliding its light around that great clock,

Westminster a fine grubby lace

against a damp gaunt sky

rocking with the river below.


Travelers' London

Poets' London

A momentary personal London

stilled with the heart of the river

imbued with fields

halted in a plaque

on the bridge.

One's own heart

is carried away

along its broad brown

time sway





Long Boats in Canfield Gardens


For Carol and Hilmar



Behind the placid homes of Canfield Gardens,

down a way from the Finchley Road station,

moist secrets bloom among a pond,

hopes for a toad or two,

and a couple of hundred year-old trees

where the urban foxes hide.


The window slides up

above gardens at their moorings,

an amulet against the corrosive heat

in wait beyond the flight back.


You come in and I turn,

behind, thriving long boats at their moorings

below, dark cool grass,

and three yellow roses leaning from a hedge.


Your eyes hold mine

beyond distance,

beyond parting,

We are careful to avoid the word home.





Miriam Makeba 


9th November, 2008


Sing down to us, Mama Africa, sing

Sing down the earth of Africa, sing

Call the warm winds

And the green cane fields

and the gold veld grasses.

Dance the blue mountains of Africa, dance.

Sing down courage, sing

Sing down love, Mama,

Sing down hope.

Sing down to us Mama Africa, sing.

Call down to us of Africa, Mama, of healing and of hope

Trail your voice through the wind and the grasses

Drum your voice to the beat of the African shore

Hold us in the heart of your voice, Mama Africa


We will remember

We will love

And we will hope


For Africa.

For the children.

For the dispossessed.

For the possessed.


For those everywhere who do what they can do

sing down humanity, Mama, sing.




Tell Me to My Eyes 


Hold my face between your hands

before you leave and

tell me to my eyes that you are going


Run your fingers through my hair

before you go and

tell me to my ears that you're returning


Hold me by the shoulders

when you promise and

bruise me to the skin with your intention


    I hold your face between my hands

    and I promise

    I see my lips move in your eyes

    as I speak

    I bruise the lie into your shoulders

    as I hold you


Hold my face between your hands

before you leave me

Tell me to my eyes that you are going

Bruise the lie into my shoulders

as you hold me




Grey Time Rain Time   


The grey time is what comes to mind

when evening crosses light

and windows turn black

though anyone passing by can see in.


The grey time is what turns around

when stillness swirls stark

and its features stop dead

though no one passing by can see them.


The grey time is

what crosses and turns

and swirls and stops dead

though I'm the only one who can see it.


Round and about

in a merry old spin

skinny grey time

raucous grey time

grey time rain time

stark swirling gone time.


In the grey time

the rain time

your face comes to me.





In the Hills Above Galilee


For Marcia


Winds snatch the wild woman from my heart

thrust her before me

a mirror upon the inner eye

flickering with the flame of the ancient fire.


Winds scoop up voices of children passing -

lady lady

from behind you’re young

but from the front you’re old -

Old young, young old

winds smooth the bellies of cows on the hill

butt against rocks transforming in the current,

echo long hair across a lined face,

age wondering about the childspirit within.


Winds brush the hills down to Galilee

hills lined and creviced, blown down

to the glass lake,

waters drawn against the shores of Tiberius,

age against the shores of my being.                                






Fantasy Apples


For Laure-Anne Bosselaar



If by just a thought

one could summon up that one man

whose call is instant knowledge,

and he would be there,

manifestly unsurprised,

framed by certain pictures and potted plants,

and no time (ever come never go)

would bind forms leaping

and bounding

one surge through,

for the time of singing has come

and all is laugh

and wildly tender.


If by just a thought

apple trees and fantasies

were innocent of rape -

But the doors have given way.

The old surge is violated,

never quite recaptured

when summoned up by just a thought,

never quite recognized -

though the pictures and the potted plants

are the same -

and some woman’s time of singing

has always come.





4 - Afterword

Publishing History;
Westminster Bridge, Longboats in Canfield Gardens, Miriam Makeba appeared in Poets Letter Magazine Online - March 2009.
Crossing the Road,  The Accordion appeared in Poet's Letter Magazine Online, April Issue 2008:

In the Hills Above Galilee Published by Belle Terre Press, Port Jefferson, N.Y. 1998 in the anthology – Voices from Israel.

Email Poetry Kit - info@poetrykit.org    - if you would like to tell us what you think.  We are looking for other poets to feature in this series, and are open to submissions.  Please send one poem and a short bio to - info@poetrykit.org

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