Author:Lewis, Owen
  1. Yaffo

Tonight in the winter-wet air along the ancient port's promenade a sound growls up from the sea. Storm-pushed waves rise on ladders, stain the walls, taunt the roof tiles to clatter. To say the wind howls is easier from far away I used to think I knew the sound here. It stumbles on the sea's deep boulders. The hour vibrates in a heavy sky. With wind it twists the rags of a human day-- a towel, a shirt, a torn sail pulling flight with sea ravens, shadows and shags, the shower of the great whale geysering through cloud. It takes my cap. It grabs at my ears. The hand of the wind, a hard hand goes knocking door to door. Lock against chain. Bullets of hail. The hand of the wind. A memorial of the spirit. One generation to the next. 2. Jerusalem

Yesterday in Jerusalem I was turned away at the Yaffo gate. Multiple knife attacks on Israelis. Try the Zion gate? The sun came at me, glinting my eyes. A white flame consumed what I saw. A page of a travel calendar scuttled the road. I turned away to reach the Wall, private thoughts on a paper scrap I'd push into a crevice of stone and touch the ancient Temple, the many touches, oh God of fetishes, oh Jerusalem, grant me the will... if I forget resist. What ritual, dear God, protects this city? A holy city supposed to be safe, now I pray protect me. Can You protect me? God, the same, hears the prayer of the assailant praying for strength to...

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