AN ANTHOLOGY OF THOUGHT & EMOTION... Un'antologia di pensieri & emozioni

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

O JERUSALEM!

Every day is a "Jerusalem Day"
And now, at last, they stood before Jerusalem.
Passion, greed, ambition,
Even their chivalric pride,
They cast from their hearts at once.

For now, they stood before Jerusalem.
In their ecstasy and their fervor,
They forgot their squabbles with the Greeks,
They forgot their hatred for the Turks.

For now, they stood before Jerusalem.
And the bold, invincible Crusaders,
Impetuous in all their other attacks and campaigns,
Are nervous and faint-hearted, unable
To go forward. They tremble like small children.
And like small children they sob, all of them sob,
As they behold the walls of Jerusalem.
                                                                                                                  (C.P. Cavafy)
View of the Old Jerusalem
In vain you will look for the fences of barbed wire.
You know that such things
don’t disappear. A different city perhaps
is now being cut in two; two lovers
separated; a different flesh is tormenting itself now
with these thorns, refusing to be stone.

In vain you will look. You lift up your eyes unto the hills,
perhaps there? Not these hills, accidents of geology,
but The Hills. You ask
questions without a rise in your voice, without a question-mark,
only because you’re supposed to ask them; and they
don’t exist. But a great weariness wants you with all your might
and gets you. Like death.

Jerusalem, the only city in the world
where the right to vote is granted even to the dead.
                                                                                                             (Yehuda Amichai)
View of the Old Jerusalem and the Western Wall
If I forget thee, Jerusalem,
Let my blood be forgotten. 
I shall touch your forehead, 
Forget my own, 
My voice change
For the second and last time
To the most terrible of voices --
Or silence.
                                                                                                         (Yehuda Amichai)
View of the Old Jerusalem and the Western Wall at night
...I shall not forget Jerusalem

     which is always threatened

and more alone than ever.

     I am also alone.
                                                                                                          (Elaine Feinstein)
David's Tower, Jerusalem
Oh Jerusalem, oh Jerusalem, no longer shall I wait; 
Now, stand back and see what I shall do! 
I am bringing your children Home, 
they shall again possess their land; 
Watch them build Your cities strong, 
Taste their new sweet wine, 
Listen to their voices shouting My Song, 
'This is the City of God.'

Again, their music will fill your ears,
their dancing will make you glad, 
My People shall remain there forever, Jerusalem, 
For I have restored their land.
                                                                                                                        (Nell Zier)
Woman praying at the Western Wall
A crowd gathered in front of the kotel this morning
like a peaceful protest.

God hurled a canister of tear gas at them
but the weeping wailing women did not disperse.

I watched a woman with closed eyes
and open hands
brush her fingers over the ancient stone
as if God were braille
as if you could read him just by touching the surface

But we
had never meant to go blind
on purpose.
                                                                                                              (Rachel Stomel)Panoramic view of the Old Jerusalem
Jerusalem is a carousel spinning round and round
from the Old City through every neighborhood and back to the Old.
And you can’t get off. If you jump you’re risking your life
and if you step off when it stops you must pay again
to get back on for more turns that never will end.
Instead of painted elephants and horses to ride
religions go up, down and around on their axes
to unctuous melodies from the houses of prayer.

Jerusalem is a seesaw: Sometimes I go down,
to past generations and sometimes up, into the sky,
then like a child dangling on high, legs swinging, I cry
I want to get down, Daddy, Daddy, I want to get down,
Daddy, get me down.
And like that, all the saints go up into the sky.
They’re like children screaming, Daddy, I want to stay high,
Daddy don’t bring me down, Our Father Our King,
leave me on high, Our Father Our King!
                                                                                            (Yehuda Amichai)