Jerusalem Jolts



What will Blake say or sing as the walls of Jerusalem tumble
And those of Palestine crumble as it seeks to rouse Israel’s fall
As here in England jews watch as kosher shop windows are blinded;
Their eyes split and shattered, battered beneath hatred’s calls

As a prospective Kristalnacht nixes both. Would that it were
Unexpected. For the end of the world has been written
Right where it has been believed it began. In a so called
Sacred space shared by at least three religions.

But this new surge of conflict has not been granted by God.
Its all man. As well as woman and they. Although surely in Palestine
Now there’s no pronouns, only the victims, worsening 
As they bleed and every country is cut. Each diaspora

Will be damaged. Unnaturally, by this action, once more
Inviting the hatred outsourced under Nazis and from which
Political reproach will soon feed. Israel does not speak for me.
My homeland started and ended in Eastcote. A Northwest

London suburb back in the old century. With my parents
And Nan, and troublesome days unimpeded by anything
Pressing. Families can be fractious, but for my first thirteen years
Things felt free. And the 70s were not all that far

From the six year stain stopping promise. It is fear
Of that feeling, or that type of thought which now jars.
And yet we are not all the same. Jewishness, apart from
Orthodoxy’s bind is a feeling. I personally feel no allegiance

To a patch of land, sea and pasture which may as well be
On Mars. And yet as bombs to and fro there are those
Who would use that landmass to smother women, elders
And children in an attempt to redress former wrongs.

Which cannot be reversed. But they can be revived.
Can’t they see that? The dove of peace does not doven.
The dead do not get to sing freedom songs.
Why on Earth must that Earth be placed in such jeopardy,

Always? Why is it that some upright strive to bring
The rest to their knees? To kill in God’s name,
Or in the name of some other property baron
And for so long is not holy. On no priest primed page

Sits that screed. So where rests the word?
And sanctified by whose power? Synagogue means
House of Meeting. Should that not mean meeting all?
And can we ask the same thing of a Church,

Or of a Mosque for that matter? Or is each its own
Ghetto; bunkers where belief heeds no call,
Other than those who choose to take shelter
Within them. Places of worship become badges,

Testaments to the soul. They are in effect passageways,
Platforms, piers, even, bus-stops; terminals
For transportation, from child to adult,
Or from the warmth of breath to death’s cold.

And yet there is in the world, hastening
As well as the pulse of panicked competition.
Israel’s past persecutions and what it suffers now
Tastes as sharp as the Seder chazeret bit to remind

Of the jews’ enslavement in Egypt. But now
The Palestinians suck this and are spitting it back.
There’s no harp and precious few halos aglow;
In the absence of angels, more martyrs.

Made on both sides, I am certain.
But to what extent or reveal, has the intention
Been aimed? Which kiss has burnt the lips or cheek
Someone treasured?  Who first felt the future

When the secret tongue seeks fate’s seal?
All we know is that its murder out there
And back here too, as we’re waiting.
The Middle East may well end us.
Pursuant to Putin or our own failed fuck
With the air, the World may not be at war.
But the world is war. Blame the Bible.
Or those misreading some other book,

Should they have one. What has been written
Still reaches those straining for stars.
Whose hands care? I feel mine fold in prayer.
And I am far from religious. But I hope to Christ

Someone stops this. Or stops them, or us.

Clouds: beware.



                                                         David Erdos 11/10/23
                                                         Illustration: Claire Palmer





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