Peace and War in Israel

By Rick Black

In each of these imagistic poems, peace and war in Israel are juxtaposed in ways that portray the heart-wrenching beauty and sorrow of daily life in this conflict-ridden land.

A former reporter with The New York Times in Jerusalem, Rick found it difficult to capture all of the contradictions that he encountered in Israel in his reportage: F-16s and great blue herons, talesim and army boots, olive trees and bombings.

Wrote Debra Rubin in the New Jersey Jewish News, “Black found scenes both touching and disturbing, a dichotomy of war and peace in a land of spirituality that was hard to put into the vernacular of the cold, hard facts required by a newspaper.”

With a unique dos-a-dos (back-to-back) binding, Peace and War in Israel combines two books into one and fits comfortably in your hand. The book is a moving gift for lovers of Israel as well as longtime residents who have lived through peace and war.

3.5 inches x 4.5 inches. 32 pages.


“miniature but meaningful…a creatively designed book…”
Shiri Kuperberg, Bureau Chief, President Shimon Peres of Israel

“a deeply felt prayer…”
Kwame Dawes, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting


Excerpts below taken from Johnye Strickland’s 2008 review in Simply Haiku

These haiku are among the best examples I have seen of the coming together of the horizontal and vertical axes Haruo Shirane suggests all haiku poets should strive for, with the built in historical, cultural, and political past merging with everyday scenes in the here and now.

Example from the War side:

            a thin fog swirls
around the sawn-off pine trees
            silent battlefield      (p. 17)

Sample poems from the Peace side:

            purple bougainvillea
beyond the barbed wire
            flowering wildly      (p. 1)

Other work about Israel

Please feel free to check out other books, prints and cards that Rick has done about Israel, where he lived for six years and visits as often as possible. If you like more than one of these items, scroll down the prices listed at the bottom for special offers:

Star of David, the 2012 Poetica Magazine prizewinning book of poems

Jerusalem Prints

Jerusalem Notecards

Free shipping in the U.S.; please use for international orders.


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