Seven Songs

 

Consider the Birds

 

At dawn the

Birdsong in a long

Crescendo from its origins in

Darkness

Emerged in

Full

Glory

 

Having risen early to hear it

I

Joined by my friend never

Knew in twenty years of

Life such

Music

Nor

Over the

Passing years have I

Quite

Reconciled myself to these

Sounds

That

Underlay darkness

 

 

Across the lake

Before dawn we

Could hear the

Dark sounds of the birds

Emerging from sleep

 

Far away they took us as we stood on the sandy

Ground

Hosting their

Immanent

Jubilance

 

Knowing the

Long journey to

Morning from

Night they

Offered

Praise in a

Quorum of

Radiance

 

 

About noon the

Bright sun silently

Covered the lake

 

Doing nothing I sat at the

Edge of the sand with my

Feet in the water

Great gums

Held their shadows

In close at that time I thought about

 

Justice in the world and the

Kinship of mankind the

 

Lake a

Marvellous pale-blue

Nourished by light

 

Overhead a

Pelican in the

Quintessence of flight soared to a

Realm beyond

Sight

 

 

Above the water a white

Bird rises in

Circles into

Depths of space

Encountering new

Freedom as it

Gains

Height

 

Its

Journey

Knows

Little

Movement

 

Now I watch by

Open water below until

Perception gives out in a

Quiet

Release of my

Spirit

 

 

An equivalence

Between song and flight

Can be

Drawn

 

Each

Faces the sky

 

 

As we sleep

Birds stir in their nests by the

Cold lake

 

Desiring to

Encounter the beginning

From their places on the

Ground they send songs

Hovering over the water

Immersing the night air

 

Just how they know that

Light is coming is a

Mystery

No

One can

Plumb but a

 

Quality I desire

 

 

 

A Beauty

 

A

Beauty

Called me to

Descend along an

Empty road where

Fruit trees

Grow

Hiding the lake

In their branches

 

 

At sunset I got off the

Bus

Catching the last light on a

Descending road

Everything was beautiful as

Far as I could see

Grown

Holy in the

Incoming evening

 

Joyful I wore a

Kipper when

Light was no

More and

Night gave the cricket’s

Open ended

Praise

 

 

At dusk the

Bright lake’s

Colour

Deepens

 

Emerging lights on the

Far shore

Grow clearer

 

Houses once

Invisible now

Jewel-like

Kneel by the water

 

Lustrous and

Marvellous at

Nightfall

 

 

Rosh Chodesh

 

After dark I

Boarded a bus for Jerusalem Rosh

Chodesh had begun a

Date whose significance I did not

Entertain at that time

From

Galilee the

Highway rose

Into hills where

Joining the sounds of celebration of those who

Keep Ramadan as fireworks

Lit up the passing towns another

Music was

Near me as I looked

Out the window at Israel and

Paused to consider the answer to

Questions

Raised in my mind and the

Surge of the Spirit

Tossed my being

Until my

Vision was

Wide like the moon

 

 

At Yad Vashem

 

A

Boat that

Carried you from

Denmark to

Escape

Feeling its

Grain

Here

I

Join you in

Knowledge at this

Late hour

 

 

A

Beauty

Called me to

Descend

 

 

Awake

By the shore he

Climbed before

Dawn

Embraced the

Far hills and men

Gathered around

His

Island of

Joy

 

 

 

Time’s Beauty

 

Around the

Bay of white boats

Clouds in

Deep

Emerald water

Float in

Gentle air

 

Hearing no sound

In that

January morning

Kept

Living in

Memory I

Notice the

Outpoured

Past

 

Quietly

Recalled we

Survey

Time’s beauty

 

 

An open

Blue sea

 

Circling cliffs

Descend and

Emerge white

 

Flannel flowers

Grow on the

Headland where

In

January

Keeping to the path on a

Long hot

Morning my father

Notes the shades of the

Open water in

 

Part deep blue

Quite green in

Regions closer to

Shore

Their

Undersea glow a

Vision of another

World

 

 

Above the harbour

Beautiful and

Costly houses are

Dotted among the

Ever present

Foreshore

Gums

Hosting their

Inhabitants at this

Juncture

Keeping their

Lives

Mysteriously

Normal

 

Over them hangs a

Prescience of

Questions

Rising in a

Shimmer from the

Trees

 

 

Abeyance

Before

Completion

 

Dew at

Evening

Forms on

Grey

Hills

 

Ideals as they

Journey

Know times of

Long

Maturing

Nightly they linger by

Open doors

 

 

A summer

Between past and future

Cradled

 

Days of sweetness that

Enter and like a

Fine sap

Glide in our

Hearts

 

Is such harmony from earth this

January that time already

Knits

Like bright threads in our

Memories a

 

Northerly breeze on the water

Outlines frail

Patterns then like a

Quill

Returning from

Soft strokes on a page

Takes its rest

Under a

Violet evening

 

 

 

Mount Hermon

 

Across the

Blue water I

Could see you

 

Dew

Easily

Forms on your

Gentle

Height

 

Innocent in

Judgment

Kinless

Lovely

Mountain

 

 

A pale

Blue mountain

Covered in

Delicate haze

Entirely alone

 

Far away

Galilee lies in

Heat its

 

Image

Just visible

Kept

Living in

Motionless water

 

 

At

Bethlehem I met a man

Called to the

Defence of his people

Eager to

Fulfil it but

Grown

Heavy hearted under

Israeli

Justice as he

Knew it

 

Man of sorrows

Numbed by

Occupation

Plead

Quietly

Restoration

Shall come

 

 

Across the

Brown fields

Carrying marks of the

Detonation of rockets

Evidence to be

Forgotten in new

Growth

How

I

Jealously

Kept

Looking at

Mount Hermon

Northern keeper

Of Israel

Promising

Quiet dew on its

Ridges

Speaking of a

Time of

Unending peace

 

 

The Wall

 

Above us

Blue heaven and

Clouds look

Down

Even a

Foreigner

Grows near you

Here

In

Jerusalem

Kinship

Lovingly

Matures even

Night

Opens her heart to

Persuade with stars in vast

Quantities

Rejoicing it

Seems

That one such as I

Understands

 

 

At a northern town

Battered by rockets I

Climbed a hill with a stray

Dog

Even my pants were blackened

From the charcoaled branches

 

Galilee in the south

Hermon in the west

Israel’s foes in the north

Just below me

Kiryat Shmona

Loudly I cried

Master

Now

 

 

 

Sunset

 

 

A grey sky

Bears down

Certain of life’s course our

Dog looks out the window foreseeing

Evening

From his vantage point he watches the coming and

Going of

Human beings

Intent on their pursuit of

Joy

Knowing

Light’s

Momentary passing as

Night

Opens its

Presence to us

Quietly

Revealing the

Surrounding

Timeless

Universe

 

 

Across from the

Bay the

Cool afternoon wind blows

Deep into the gums

 

Engaging the

Flowing

Gusts

Hovering around them

In

Jubilant

Kinetic

Life

 

Making room for

Night

 

 

At their

Breaking the

Coastline

Departs

Engulfed in

Fire

 

 

A visit

Became habitual I

 

Came that

Day in the afternoon

Expecting the

Familiar flow of stories as he

Gathered

His broken

Image together and

Jested with a

Kernel of

Love

 

My heart turned

Numb as

Outside the

Police explained his

Quiet

Release

 

 

After that I dreamed

Because he was gone I

 

Came to his house and inside the

Door he welcomed me

Expecting my stay to last

For many hours

 

Getting up to leave

He

Insisted I remain

 

Just a week on I

Knew it was a dream of a later time once

 

More I came to his house but

Now it was empty

 

Only his belongings

Packed in bundles in the

Quiet

Room

 

 

Across the lawn

Brown leaves

Called by the wind to

Descend

Exhale seeming to

Float on the

Grass their

Height now

Interior their

Journey from

Kinship to

Loss complete

 

 

Above the

Blue harbour I

Could see its

Dying

Embers

Framed by

Gold

 

 

 

Come Delicately

 

 

Abba

Beyond

Come

Delicately

 

Enter our

Freedom

 

 

A

Beautiful day

Crowned with light

Departs as

Evening

Falls a

 

Guest leaves

 

High

It

Journeys

 

Knowing

Loneliness

Mankind

Notices the

Open space

 

Passing by us it

Quietly

Reassured

 

Suddenly

Troubled we wait

Until it’s return

 

 

Brothers

 

At life’s

Beginning

Cohabitants of

Dawn

 

Each

Finds a way to

Grow

Holding

Inside their

Joint

Knowing

 

Love

Moulds

Nobly

 

Opening

Persuading

Questioning

Revealing

Silencing

Transforming

 

Under life’s surface

Vision

Warmer

Expands

 

 

Stillborn

 

A

Birth

Can

Die

 

Enters

Forsaken

 

God

Holds

Its

Journey

 

Knows

Love

More

Now

 

Over

Passed

Quickly

 

Return

Says

Tears

 

 

On Your Eightieth

 

Afternoon arrives

Before we know it

Catching us by surprise

 

Did we ever think

Each moment was

Forever

 

Gratefulness

Highlights time

Joy and

Kindness are

Lasting

 

Many things given

No time

Overthrows

 

Perhaps in its coming

Quiet and

Unnoticed afternoon’s

View

Wonderfully fills

Existence

 

 

 

They Crossed into Deserts

 

Passover

 

Accompanied by a

Bright moon they

Crossed into

Deserts

Each mind

Full of wonder

 

 

Aged twenty my friend

Bought a mini and we

Crossed the plains till the

Desert

Emerged

 

Finding a lake of

Green-blue brilliance we

Hurried

In the darkness before dawn to a sandy

Jetty where the

Keen sound of the birds in

Lithe

Marvellous songs

Nourished

Our hearts

 

Perhaps the

Quality of their devotion instilled

Religious feeling in us

 

 

A

Beautiful

Circle

Desert

Enclosed with white

Foreshores

Grey gums and water birds spiralling

High

Into nothingness

 

 

All around the lake

Blue in the morning

Cold sand lay

 

Dawn

Entrusted to birds now

Flown to the river

Gums or circling

High above

Intensified

Joyfully

Knowing

Light’s victory

 

Milky shades

Now appeared

On the surface and

Passing shadows of clouds

Quietly

Recalled the

Singing on

Turquoise water

 

 

Pentecost

 

A whispering wind

Before dawn

 

 

A new day

Breathed as we left our

Camp and

Drove in the

 

Early light

Finding our way over

Gentle sand

Hills

 

I made the

Journey back

Keenly aware of

Loneliness the

 

Morning train

Now crossing the

Open country had

Picked up my friend as I

 

Quietly

Returned the lake

Shone in

The sunlight

 

 

About twenty years later I

Bought my lunch and sat in a

Council park near the sea the

 

Day was overcast and on the

Edge of the grass I

Found a pelican

 

Gathering my leftovers I threw

Him some but he wasn’t

Interested and

Just

Kept on walking

 

Later as

Morning became

Noon and

Outside

People

Quickly sheltered from

Rain he

 

Stood with his beak open

To the sky

 

 

Tabernacles

 

A year on I sit in my

Booth

Called to remember

 

 

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