Saturday, February 9, 2008

Some Poetry to Share

I would like to share some poetry that expresses well many of the complexities and difficulties of life here in the US and in the Middle East. The first is from my friend and professor Dan Haase (check out his blog at The second and third are my own, written in response to my time in the West Bank this last summer. Enjoy!

The Sounds Of A Thousand Summers

The sky is singing cerulean chords
Across the horizon’s score

The cirrus clouds as feathered wings
Invite by flight: explore

As dragonflies wake the eyes
Like lightening coming forth

Trees, as praise, are rooted deep
And lifted leaves adore

A yellow finch and cardinal join
No human could ignore

A refrain is built on locust’s wings
The orchestration soars

When the children upon the scene
Come bounding out-of-doors

Their laughter yet another piece
That blooms within the flowers

The chorus sweetens like a fruit
When light upon it pours

The touch of gladness in the mind
When tasted peace is ours

A thousand summers; a thousand dreams
Upon a thousand shores

And yet today a world away
Play instruments of war



Cuando no hay otra manana
Y el hoy de ayer se ha olvidado,
Cuando la esperanza pierde su aliento,
Te espero.

When yesterday’s wars threaten today’s peace
And to crack the very seams of my soul,
When I can’t bear my burdens anymore,
I wait for you.

معنى او سبب يوجد لا عندما (when there isn’t reason or meaning)
مغلق الشمس باب و (and the door of the Sun is closed)
الشئ هذا الى يحتاج ولا الاشياء بعض الى يحتاجقلبي عندما (when my heart wants anything but this)
انتظارك في انا (I wait for you).

Tu, quien tienes hoy, ayer, y manana
Whose peace the world can’t break
Inta, illi ma lazim 3indak ma3na (you who don’t have to have reasons)
Tu, you, Inta…are worth waiting for.



Thousands come to see the birthplace of Christ
Never seeing the death surrounding the monument they visit
Never realizing that the ½ hour it took them to come from Jerusalem
Is an eternity for the millions of Palestinians who can’t visit the city they call “the Holy.”

The Manger of Bethlehem is now a tomb, slowly sucking the hope away
It’s a tomb made of concrete walls and metal bars
No wonder hundreds leave each year (and thousands more would if able) and never come back
Ironic that that thousands from America come here, sipping their tourist water bottles and complaining of the heat.

1 comment:

Ruthie said...

Thank you, Jonathan. I met your parents, and your mom told me to check out your site. I like the way you think, and I love your Waiting poem.

Micah 6:8