Another Jerusalem Poem

Jerusalem: the face visible yet hidden,
the sap and blood of all that makes us live or renounce life.
The spark flashing in the darkness,
the murmur rustling through shouts of happiness and joy.
A name, a secret.
For the exiled, a prayer.
For all others, a promise.
Jerusalem: seventeen times destroyed yet never erased.
The symbol of survival.
Jerusalem: the city which miraculously transforms man into pilgrim;
no one can enter it and go away unchanged.

This city of unshakable memory, I admit loving it
I even admit loving its hold over me.
Distant lands no longer lure me.
The seeker is weary of seeking,
the explorer of self excitement.
Beneath this sky in which colors and faces clash,
steps in the night reverberate to infinity;
one listens, spell bound, overwhelmed.
Follow them far enough and you will take by surprise
a king lost in a dream,
a prophet who reduces life and language to dust.
Why then don’t you follow them?
You are afraid.

The beggars are not

Elie Wiesel from a Beggar in Jerusalem


One thought on “Another Jerusalem Poem

  1. “seventeen times destroyed … The symbol of survival” — strange; more like “symbol of resurrection, continually beyond survival”.

    we’ll be watching the pilgrimage for peace in the land of hopeful shalom. each of us here in Cupertino “listens, spell bound, overwhelmed”

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