Poetry of Moshe Bennarroch


I asked Morocco to be my country
and it was not my country

and I asked Spain to be my country
and it no longer was

I asked Israel to be my country
and still it was not my country

I asked exile to be my country.

I wanted the Hebrew language to be my country
but it did not return my love

I wanted Spanish to be my country
and it was not granted

I pleaded the birds for directions
they spoke to me of clouds
talked to my Moroccan grandfathers
and they spoke to me of Spain
talked with them about Spain
they answered me Jerusalem
spoke of Jerusalem
they talked about the shrine
spoke about the shrine
they talked about Lucena
spoke about Lucena
They answered: Granada.

I sat them altogether at one table
and asked them where my country is
A big silence exploded
and with that silence I walk the streets
seeking another silence.

Declaration Of Independence

I am a one man

in my country
I tolerate everything

my country is secular and religious
fundamentalist and liberal

I make elections whenever I want
and cross the frontier without any problem

I am not represented in the UN
so I don't cause trouble to anybody

in my country I am the prime minister
and the eternal immigrant

my frontiers go with me wherever I go
and my government does not ask for money

I am a one man country
I never declare war
and I do not have territorial claims
from my neighboring countries

I am a country of one man
who gets along with his wife.
 A very distant country

I come from a very distant country
and I have this to say:

I am very tired
my tongue is dry
when I speak I don't understand what I say
when I am quiet I hear voices
asking me to speak for them

I come from a very distant country
one in which the trees were still green

my father lost his home when he was fourteen years old
my mother disappeared when I was six years old

I am so tired
that even my sandals need a bed

so please
do not ask me to work
pity me
if you let me rest
I will tell you the most beautiful tales
the tales of my country,
please let me rest


Moshe Benarroch has published two collections of poetry in English
 Horses and other doubts" (http://iuniverse.com, 114 pages, 9.95$) and
"You walk on the land until one day the land walks on you"
(http://xlibris.com, 248 pages, 16$), both available from Amazon,
Borders and Barnes And Noble.

He was born in Morocco and lives in Israel. He writes in three
languages, Hebrew, Spanish and English and his poetry has been published
in hundreds of magazines worldwide. 

He was featured poet in the international Austin poetry festival, 1999, 
in poetrymagazine.com  (july 2000) and has read his poetry in Israel, Spain and the US. 

He has published ten books, of poetry prose and one novel.

For more information and more poems:

Moshe Benarroch can be emailed at acoustic@netvision.net.il