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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Haiku on Aftershocks


Should aftershocks shock?
We're still standing, are we not?
Smile, and hug your cat.

Another Earthquake?


Two quakes,
In a year,
Then
Two quakes,
In two days,
Spare me
The after shocks,
I'm losing the feel,
For the meaning of
Solid Ground.

The Earth Moved



The earth moved,
Yes it did,
No warning,
There should have been
Prior notice,
We have an early warning system,
To wit:
FRED,
Feline,
Reliable
Earthquake
Detector,
He worked flawlessly
Last year,
This time he was out,
On walk-about,
Rumor is,
He wants a raise,
Union cat,
I guess.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jerusalem - The Western Wall

Thursday. 18 August 2011

Is it the center of the universe?
Only for Jews and Muslims,
Once it was imposing,
Even after Herod's temple
Was destroyed,
Now,
It stands,
An artifact,
Dwarfed,
Twice surmounted,
First by twin
Triumphal mosques,
Then,
Later,
By post war buildings,
Gazing over all,
Dwarfing the lot,
Standing guard,
As if to say,
We won,
We aren't giving it back,
Most strangely,
The Wall's custodians,
Could not have been
Those who captured it,
They refuse to serve,
But their black hats,
Hold a grip
On what happens,

Keeping men and women
Separate,
The nicer part,
Of course,
Is for men
Only,
Touch the wall,
Smooth as silk,
Worn that way,
By the touch
Of human hands,
Any peace you find here,
You find by chance,
On Fridays,
Muslims
Toss stones from
Atop the wall,
They want it all,
Let no one else
Have any claim,
Some really nutty Jews
Would just as soon
Destroy the mosques,
Rebuild the temple,
As it was,
We have no shortage
Of determined folk,
Folk hanging 'round
To work their will
Upon the wall
And its environs,
It's curious,
There may be,
Religions of peace,
But some religions,
Still aren't fully,
At Peace.
May that Day,
Somehow come,
Say a prayer for those
Who've died
Over the wall,
And for the cynics,
Who won't make peace
Over it.

Med Vacation



Never had a Med vacation,
Always came here to work,
Brought my hotel with me,
A luxury LGB,
That's Little Gray Boat,
The work was often
Mucho serious,
This is different,
A genuine vacation,
I've never done that well,
In fact,
Anticipation gave me
Indigestion,
Vacation in the Med?
The salt mine of the Atlantic Fleet?
Well,
Here we are,
A stone's toss from
The Lebanon,
In the peaceful
Land of many traffic circles,
Itty bitty traffic circles,
Each one numbered,
Hey,
They work great,
But keep an eye,
On that guy,
To your left,
The rules,
Of the road,
Are written down,
But vary with,
Each driver,
Anticipation,
Is entertaining,
Did that road sign say
“Goats cheese,
Next left?”

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Village of Roses



We live up north,
It's pretty up here,
The taxes are lower,
Though you're under the umbrella,
Of the rockets of Hezbollah,
Built into a hill,
Eight itty bitty traffic circles,
Take you up,
The same take you down,
The village is small,
Nothing overwhelms,
Except,
The charm,
Kfar Vradim,
The Village of Roses,
They grow along
Narrow main roads,
I'd like to help them
Prune,
I'll bet I could double
The flower count!
This is,
Afterall,
A coop society,
This isn't the Israel,
We read all about,
It's a planned community,
Sort of,
As planned as you get
In Israel,
A little mall,
A little this,
A little that,
Lots of folks,
Walking about,
On
Narrow streets,
You'll know so many,
It'll feels even smaller
Than it is,
The thing I hate,
Most of all?
The roses just
Aren't mine to prune.

Rosh Ha Nikrah



Walking through caves,
Past ancient grottoes,
Where sea water
Ebbs and floods,
Outrunning the light,
Turning from deep blue
To black,
As it penetrates,
Echoing it's advance,
As it cuts ever deeper,
Tighter,
Sharper runs,
This is nature's place,
Not meant for people,
But pleased to amaze us,
Nevertheless,
Ancient steel rails
Testify that once,
This place saw
Serious work,
Now,
Look past the gate above,
Lebanon,
A stone's throw,
Barely,
But the soldiers won't let you
Throw stones,
Another kind of serious work
Might happen here,
But for now,
Just tourists,
The sand stone grotto
And the echo of the sea.

Bridget's Spring



She came to us
A rescue,
Not the smartest one
I'd ever seen,
But pretty,
And she knew it,
Well adapted to the couch,
To eating kitty bonbons,
All the day,
She knew how
To get her way,
While sounding like
An outboard motor,
Draped upon your shoulder.
Though not smart enough
To use a kitty door,
She knew enough to ask,
And once out upon the wilds
Of Syria,
She headed for a little spring
That filled our well,
A few quick kitty steps
Would land her on a stone,
Smack in the middle,
Where she'd admire her self,
Gazing at her twin,
Reflected in the water,
She knew a good looking cat
When she saw one,
Truly beauteous!
No finer looker
Was there ever!
You could tell
What she was thinking,
Eventually,
She'd tire if this,
And retire to the porch,
To laze about,
As if a lioness,
On some distant
Great savanna,
Surveying her realm.
Then one day,
She couldn't breathe,
She sat there,
Huffing,
Puffing,
Barely moving,
No more purring,
She limped down
To her spring,
For one last look,
But could not make it back,
And so I picked her up,
And brought her back,
But time was short,
We had to say good by.
We buried her
Right by her spring,
Behind the swing
She loved to ride,
Beneath the fig leaves that
she loved to eat,
They say such ritual
Is mostly for the living,
And I guess that they
Are right.
Bridget,
We'll remember you,
And this will always be
Your spring.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Driving in Israel



They say that Israeli drivers are,
Suicidal,
But,
It's not true,
They are finely tuned
Machines,
Better tuned,
Than their cars,
Perfectly adapted to their
Environment,
Ready in all respects
For encounters in,
Thousands of itty bitty
Traffic circles,
The rules are well defined,
But the driver must live
On the edge,
Will that fellow,
On your left,
Stay in the circle,
Or exit?
No blinkers,
Please,
That would be telling,
There's a gentleman's agreement,
To guess,
I guess,
Speed limit signs are,
Not used,
Up north,
Would you print a sign,
If you knew no one
Would read it?
What a waste,
This country abhors waste,
Now,
The horn,
There's a useful accessory,
Put a good one
In every car,
You might wear it out,
Before the first
Set of tires.

Jerusalem – 15 August 2011

(I'm no Wm. Blake, for sure)


The Old City is,
Well,
Truly Old,
Paving stones polished shiny,
Slippery,
By millions of feet,
From ancient sandals
To the modern boot,
Everybody wants the place,
Today,
It seemes like everybody is here
Having it,
At least half are trying
To have
The Western Wall,
Touching it,
Bowing to it,
Praying at it,
Intently watching
Others pray at it,
Just looking at it,
I touched it myself,
Both hands,
It's just stone,
Feeling almost soft,
But,
Smooth as silk,
From all the touching?
Tiny slips of hope,
Stuffed in every crevice,
Pilgrims hoping for
A miracle,
Or just hoping,
I didn't hope today,
Just touched,
It's a magical experience,
Whether you believe or not,
Where might have stood
Hiram Abiff,
The widow's son,
Solomon,
Jesus?
We will never know,
But somewhere,
Near our footsteps,
Walked giants,
There are no more giants,
Today,
We deconstruct our giants
Before they grow,
But we still have
Jerusalem,
Holy to so many,
Too many,
It seems,
A living myth,
The Old City,
Frozen in time and space,
For all to view,
And experience,
Surrounded by all
Who must touch her,
Who cannot bear to
Live away from her,
Who embrace her,
Consuming her oxygen,
Loving Jerusalem to death,
Perhaps they are Jerusalem's
Newest conquerors.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Sea Sprite


The First time,
I saw,
A Sea Sprite helo,
It was on a barge,
On its side,
Looking like a dozen dwarves
Had banged on it,
With big old hammers,
For quite some time,
A salvage ship,
Named Grapple,
Had just grappled it
Off the bottom,
Where it had lain,
For two days,
Back then,
Those Sprites,
Had lots of trouble,
Staying dry,
They got better,
Not long
Before they got,
Obsolete.