Nikola Radić Lucati


Sea Lullaby

The old moon is tarnished
With smoke of the flood,
The dead leaves are varnished
With colour like blood,

A treacherous smiler
With teeth white as milk,
A savage beguiler
In sheathings of silk,

The sea creeps to pillage,
She leaps on her prey;
A child of the village
Was murdered today.

She came up to meet him
In a smooth golden cloak,
She choked him and beat him
To death, for a joke.

Her bright locks were tangled,
She shouted for joy,
With one hand she strangled
A strong little boy.

Now in silence she lingers
Beside him all night
To wash her long fingers
In silvery light.

by Elinor Wylie

The building is a school of the erased Arab village Saliha, that stood on the grounds of the present-day Kibbutz Yiron, in Western Galilee, near the Lebanese border.

The school dates from the period of the british mandate, and is the only village structure left standing. It bears scars of combat and looting. The school has passed through various uses, such as stables, grapes packing, and a youth house of the kibbutz. Today, the school building is disused and adjacent to the vineyards of the Galil winery.

The school is visible from the present-day kibbutz school, from Gush Halav, the village where part of the Arab villagers from the area were resettled, and from Lebanese villages on the the hilltops across the border.

In 2005, I have proposed a sculpture to serve as a symbol of hope as well as the memorial for the village. The work was to be located by the school building. It was to consist of a sailboat's mast with a functional white sail, moved by the winds. The proposal was refused by the kibbutz' sculpture garden curator, citing the work would upset the kibbutz members, and the demolition of the school was threatened by the management.

In 2009, I have photographed the school building, and prepared the work in it's present form.