Cyclamens and Swords Publishing
Publishing fine poetry, prose and Art
Birgit Talmon
Helen Bar-Lev
Bernard Mann
David Collett
Donna Langevin
Geoffrey Heptonstall
John Grabski
Katherine Burkman
Lilian Cohen
Lisa Okon
Mike Leaf
Birgit Talmon

Birgit Talmon is Danish-born. While living in Beer-Sheva she worked as a licensed desert guide as well as at the Ben-Gurion University. A soprano, she has participated in several operas with the Philharmonic Choir of Tel-Aviv. Works as translator: Danish, English and Hebrew. Has studied prose and poetry with eminent writers in Israel and writes in the above mentioned languages. She publishes poetry and short stories in all three languages in anthologies and literary magazines both in Israel and abroad. Has served on Voices Israel Editorial Board. Her works may be seen on her website

A Hair's Tale

The whole time when our Master was in his prime of life, there was no shortage of us. Side by side we were there forming his luxurious profusion of hair. Each and every one of us had our specific places. In those days the “cow-lick” was the fashion, deeply aspired to by all. I, as a sideburn member, was kept fairly close-cropped.

Over the years the ranks have thinned considerably. Holds weakening, departures continue, at times on the pillow, at times on the shoulder. Likewise there was a most unfortunate incident in the soup the other day.

There are to be no gaps showing. Thus we are requested, one after the other, to come to the rescue, which slowly covers less and less efficiently the baldheaded truth.

As aforementioned, I am a sideburn native and the day came, when it was my turn to enter the stopgap-ranks. With so many friends departing on one-way tickets I became important as never before. While I busied myself growing as long as required for my new task, I was slowly diverted. At first slightly uphill, then sprawling across the wasteland once adorned by the loop of the towering cow-lick and finally downwards on the other side until united there with new comrades.

So, here I lie, extended to the best of my ability. There are those reinforcements recruited from astern. With us it is exclusively from my wing. The lonelier it gets on this barren plain it’s only by a hair’s breadth that I succeed in staying put on the exact spot meticulously allotted me by the fine-toothed comb.

In headwinds I know I’m on thin ice. At moments like that I have a tendency to quickly crowd up with the others. We then, the conglomerated bunch of us, flutter like a flag of which no flagstaff with respect for itself would be proud.

Our Master no longer has much confidence in our ability to fulfill the task. This I gather from the glistening, wonderfully odorous and sticky stuff, which makes it impossible for me to slide astray this evening.

On the stage the ensemble has gathered. Horsetail hairs meet delicate catgut strings, nestling close, to be followed by wild bowing and stroking. All this, of course, in time to the conductor's arms; and the hall is filled with beautiful music, yet this evening it does not course me the joy I usually feel at concerts. I recall only what I saw this morning.

As we all arose at the usual time I happened to look back over Master's shoulder. Having lost your hold, you had failed to become upright with the rest of us; just lay motionless on the pillow, until the morning breeze silently carried you away.

We grew long together and held on tight to one another in many a storm. That's over now – may you rest in peace.