Thursday, August 2, 2007

Desert Zen

There is no singular face to anything in the Holy Land, or to any object, natural or man-made, in the City Of Gold. The city itself has very little gold, and the thin gold foil sheeting the Dome of the Rock is so thin so much of it upwardly facing, and the edifice itself being extremely off limits to anyone who would just want to contemplate the ill-famed bloated onion dome, that even that much gold does not make Jerusalem into the City of Gold.

The gold is in the all-penetrating, cloudless sunshine-baked, Jerusalem sandstone beigeness.

Take a stroll on a late Friday afternoon, when the streets seem to have hidden every living soul that might have ventured for the last minute pre-Sabbath shopping.

The French Square is such a desert. Most of its inhabitants are too busy to look up and take note of the mocking statues on top of the Terra Sancta College. Some would say this is just another Vatican structure. Nay, I have been told by someone who attended art history classes at the Ratisbonne Academy that the Terra Sancta is a prime example of Austro-Hungarian style, unique to Israel.

Bathed in gusting warmth - which has known prophets and kings on the run - out of the Judean desert, on such Friday afternoon, when you might just get lost among thoughts of Deuteronomic repentance and the trickling of time down to the Days of Awe, the building will surely wake you up with that very blinding, born-in-beige glow of solar gold.

the immediate twitch of the tongue against the makes you think of water. You fly northward, way up above the Mamilla Pool, over the Shchem, or Nablus Road, over Shchem itself, and all the way to the Hula Valley, cute triangle of Israel, and defined by the Syrian and Lebanese borders, is the size of a handsome part on Cape Cod. To make the first installment of haiku, I would post a chain of these, a synergistic snapshot of a scene in the valley.

Birdwatching with the Japanese

Hula Valley sprawls

From Lebanon to Syria

Twixt rock and hard place

Nubian nightjar,

Mocking bird cloud ancient land

Europe’s birds relax

Storks and cranes wade

Swamp hollers with Euro sound

Grand Wetlands hotel

Bosho’s countrymen

Came all the way to Hula swamps

Crane watching Shinto

March 13, 2006

Having no foresight of my late arrival onto the blogospheric scene, I have published it on the above date to a writing forum, from whence I have migrated to others. Gourmets of Semitic haiku are yet to provide their feedback.