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Selected Poems by Yosef Gotlieb

The Conjugality of Hydrogen and Oxygen


Yosef Gotlieb


In the galactic vastness

Wherein we reside

On planet GJ1214b,

(newly discovered and 2.7 times  the size of Earth)

There is much more water than stone.


The aqueousness of that random rock

Sets me to ponder

The immensely improbable conjugality

Of two common elements

H, and

Ionic O,

Which, apparently,

Wherever they meet


 And enable

All that lives.


That these two spouses,

When conjoined

Produce an offspring,

So vitally potent,

 So ubiquitous to all that

Breathes and gasps and sighs, 

Requires of me,

A respiring mortal,

To inquire

Is this happenstance or design?


If on Earth and Venus and  GJ1214b,

Perhaps also on orbs across the sky,

This richly unlikely communion is found, then                                    

A cosmic presence so

Unimaginably unique,

Its union so wholly incalculable,

Seems to utter sublimely,

A subtle but unmistakable call,

I am, endowing,

And here

With you. 


Yosef Gotlieb, Tzuba, Mevasseret Tzion, Feb. 29, 2012



© Yosef Gotlieb, 2012. All Rights reserved. 


Ode to Michal, Death Be Not Proud

by Yosef Gotlieb



Death assumed her acquiescence

As it dallied but loomed near

In the dimming light of her confinement

It wagered on silent surrender

An outrage, she would not concede.


As the waters of her being

Seeped into the timeless sand

She clutched the final drops

And forestalled the parting

With the iron of her soul.


Between the blows against the anvil

Amidst the bellowing gales of darkness

She sang out through the vicissitudes

“My body you may vanquish,

But you will never take my spirit.”



© Yosef Gotlieb, 2012. All rights reserved. 


Turritopsis dohrnii


Yosef Gotlieb



The newspaper reports* today

An immortal medusa

Has invaded the seas.


It transforms in heartbeats:

One, approaches Zero

Rests, then revives,

Sprouts itself anew

Grows to one, and then approaches Zero


Sprouts itself anew,

Grows to one, then approaches…

Again and again, a dervish’s s twirl.


Translucent wonder,

Membranous, sublime

Balloons like Buddha’s belly

In ceaseless respiration

A being

Dancing Tao

Yin and Yang

Ein Sof.


Tendrils of the tiny dancer

Tremble imperceptibly in the waters

To the soundless rhythm

Beyond, Beyond

To what we have known and will know --

That, in which we are awash.



Nathaniel Rich, Can a Jellyfish Unlock the Secret of Immortality?, The New York Times Magazine, reprinted in the International Herald Tribune, Dec. 1-2, 2012, p. 1.

© Yosef Gotlieb, 2012. All Rights reserved. 

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved