The promised Land

Rabbi's dream
On the sandy hill
Tarry pines.
Build a temple from them
Between the oak and birch trees.
Pray and work
As the Holy Book commands
Give your children to the Wise.


The road
Long road
Misty sunrise
Lightproof trees
You can't see the moon.
The Promised Land
In the swamps and rivers
They saw a slanted cross
And a white-bearded man
In a linen shirt
and slippers.


On the first days
The hunger hurts our throats
The wind-loving rags
The white-bearded man
came to us with a bag of flour
and a torch
„Thou, who art,
bless His tribe”
- said the Rabbi.


Study and work
The rabbi's son
A servant of Asclepius
The rabbi's grandson
a hunter of the laws of nature
The rabbi's great-grandson
a glorifier of life.
The street has the scent of Prynca's chalka
We take a credit at Necha for beer and kvas
We go to the wedding wearing a shirt from Alkon
With a penny from Szerman's hands in our pockets.
The pyramide of Hermes is growing
The bee of John
sculpted a candle in the synagogue.


Any problems in life, visit Frejda
Frejda's heart is made out of love
Saints are barefoot and happy
The chosen ones take shortcuts to meet God
and the everlasting light burns at their bedside.


The horizon in embers
Fading whispers
Hands flowing from hands
I give you myself
with the words of Solomon's song
I cry and I pray
My dawn
My saviour light of love
I will be warmed with you in the trenches.


The tawny
they counted and they marked
the people of Rabbi
they walked with their heads down
they didn't cry
the senseless tawny
the precise rifles.
The earth has risen and has fallen
the trees have knelt
The star of David
as the bird in the forest's branches
the white-bearded man
wipes his tears with his sleeve
the Tora scroll bleeds in fire.


The memory
Doctor Aaron
will not hear the calling.
Time won't shut
the memory of the eyelids.

Borys Russko

Poem from the volume "Rozgarniam Noc", Warsaw 2005

Borys Russko - a poet, an author of several books of poetry, a member of the Polish Writer's Union. Born in 1929 in Podolany village in Białowieża, currently living in Warsaw. His stories about the Białowieża Jews are an important part of the Museum's research material.