Sunday Poem: “Jerusalem”


The chime of the bells
of the Dormition Abbey
with the Arabic music
from the passing BMW
and the brisk steps
of the orthodox Jews
in prayer shawls
rushing to the Wailing Wall.

It is here
where the grey street cat
on top of the overflowing garbage bin
looks at me,
wonders about my whereabouts.

It is here
where the baby girl
scoops rice from her bowl,
most of it ends up on the floor,
while her parents
enjoy a moment
at this restaurant.

It is here
where the young couple
sit on the bench
in a late night hour,
under the street light,
holding hands.

It is here
where every civilization builds
on the ruins of the past,
adding a chapter
to 4,000 years
of violent succession.

It is here
where conflicts
pretend to co-exist
in the unnamed space
between war and peace.


(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every  Sunday)

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