The Jerusalem of My Youth


intoxicating hot fragrance of wild dill

emitting from these surrounding holy hills

permeating the mystical air itself

that haunting sense that something big will occur soon

between the Kastel and Motza

mountain bend and first glimpse of the city

small town feel of open fields

between Rechavia and Beit HaKerem big-sky country

skipping over boulders and hiking trails inner-city

where happen upon Naomi Shemer and Leon Uris

before the foundation of whole neighborhoods

and highways and tunnels and big

King David and the Rashash must have stepped right here

our Sages and Kings wouldn’t recognize today’s metropolis

traffic jams and light-rail tracks

Baruch Hashem

Little Pockets

(for Gabby)

(art from the Tiberias Open Air Museum)



little pockets of escape from this world

enormous bubblegum balloons behind tinted car windows

cranked up tune on open roads

belting out off-key free-falling lyrics

the demons remain after dark and into the day

there are no real ribbons or badges

just the passing mark


we’re the jerry maguire integrity

that won’t put up with business as usual

we want heart and soul

all those things people know and think but don’t say or admit

we do! – we live it! – will do and hear

we’re an age of fed-up abused wives

look like the unloved loving dorothy boyd

we’ll leave everything to be in the right place

leave our land, homeland, and father’s house

to be where we need to be

we’ve taken a beating, slaps, knives in the back

tomas de torquemada, adolf, yasser

left a struggling single mom – and that’s sacred

held on to ray and the covenant dearly

though almost lost hold that single silver cord thread keeping upright

once or four times, because we stick it loyally

You complete me


against your will you’re born to bear it here

all a free will test of integrity and faith

you do get pockets though, little pockets

a joke or chat over coffee

name of the game is to stick it here

boots on the ground stick with the One

experience against trying to lean on wobbly crutches

air pockets just as you think you’re drowning

starring roles in real-life soap operas

so is this home you left us in

battered-wives’ shelter or home, home or Home

home-coming and apologies long overdue

enough! come home and rebuild the Home

Follywood Follyhood


married couples leave their spouses

to embrace actors all for the camera

scenes played out as an altered reality

escape from reality, but real motions

real people playing escape from their actions

do bad actions count if done for the camera

do wrong doings count in the real world

done in the real world for the non-real world

does the Book of Life noted sins done for the show

under the pretense of a fictional character

but actually done and recorded for eternity


all that jazz and folly

hanoi actors directly causing compatriots’ death

script players playing devil’s advocate

realistically playing into the enemy’s hand, serve it

on the home-front acting for the sake of livelihood too follyhood

play on people’s psychology to get them to buy

play on their emotions, don’t let them feel sold

just make sure you close the deal

make struggling common-folk numb as they pull out their card

artistic talent siphoned and diluted for lucrative spam


all the posts and facts in the world

all the red alerts will not get the nation to change

get it off the left and right onto the straight

path of the just not man-made justified

all the wake-up calls all continue to slumber

all the green screens, blue screens, smoke screens

even when you know on screen it’s all fake blood

you know it and hate that you know it

because you also know the truth that’s suppressed

because, no matter what, the show must go on

All Mapped Out

from the art of the Tiberias Open Air Museum

the present is the price to pay to live

perspective of here and now and put one foot in front of the other

the map’s weave of warp and woof

the crossroads in the fabric of society

where you can stick a safety-pin

to pinpoint right here and now

landmark point on the journey’s way

because when you zoom in, the peripherals blur

one perspective is the price to justify

there maybe two sides and a million angles

mortality is the price to pay for reason

that the whole truth and picture are never revealed

after all the card facts are shuffled and dealt

there’s always the joker fact and unseen hand

that human can never know all the facts or points

even all but one

that the tale can exhaust the story, seemingly

there’s always a year before its frame

or five or ten or a century

to bear a totally altered reality on that presented

the presented is the price of never ever knowing it all.


(sidewalk art at the Mul HaKinneret mall at Tzemach)

That thorn that snagged my sleeve

may be a soul

how does one grab attention in desperation

grab them by the arm, Please!

Help me!  Forgive me!

Where is my consciousness

anger by the physical snag

compassion for the soul in need

awe at the multi-levels of existence

You’re forgiven.  You’re forgiven.  You’re forgiven.

I may have known you.

now maybe you can move on.


(from Jordan River Dates box)

Just like where I finally bake

my half-baked ideas

the gourmet dish spent so much time

preparing and seasoning and marinating

overnight or for days or more

remains inedible

till actually cooked in the oven

those notes and drafts left inedible till

cooked hot-off-the-press

All those nooks and crannies

and baked-in dirt and grime

all those filed-away parts of me

and vices I neglect to properly deal with

close the oven door and walk away

now it’s time to open and clean

parts of the oven that look hard-to-reach

then find a back-street slot accessibility

if only I stop, take an extra moment, and meditate

where the cleaning rag just slides through

in one swipe that whole section’s cleaned

in one fell swoop

those mountains in my mind, spiritual-mental blocks

when I actually take a moment and a deep breath

crumbles like its sized mole or ant hill

There are also those seemingly simple small angled spots

piece of cake, don’t sweat it, breeze right through deceit

hack away with a toothpick and break a sweat at the reality

douse with water, but won’t budge, more and more cleaner

there’s that part inside me that’s like that too

stubborn deep-seated beliefs and habits

that I’m aware need to be tossed

should have been tossed and gone long ago

pack-ratted them because was always running

didn’t take the time to rethink, reset, declutter

or got someone else to clean and handle it

delegate off those parts cannot or will not deal with now

the once-a-year count-down till The Exodus

when we must take the time

Our calendar marks our time, and determines it

It is time, it says.  No more time to let it slide

It is time to free ourselves of chometz.

The New Jerusalem Will Remain in Jerusalem


They just take off with others’ names and run amok

that’s just how they do it

in the fury confusion they still stir up to smoke screen

may come to think the renewal of, the New

New York and New England

are west of the Atlantic

pioneers to the new world may celebrate the Happy Isles

with firecrackers and smoking pit fires

their Achilles Heel sold as a brand of shoes

Scylla and Charybdis a possible sitcom

Troy and Ulysses’ native Ithaca

seized and repossessed on encroached Indian land

that’s just how they do it, they’ve learned.

They just take off with King David’s capital name and run amok

just the way they do it to confuse and stir up smoke

if you keep up the fury, fog, and frenzy long enough

you wear down all defenses, senses, and sensibilities

they just won’t remember or bother to look it up

they’ll be caught on your meaningless alliteration

analyze then sermonize ad nauseum

spectacular filibuster and dirty diversion decoy

(oh, yet another lovely alliteration for talking head pundits)

glorious money-maker for conspicuous consumption

selling the cheap remake, retagged, redone till unrecognizable

then boycott the original, ban the designer artist

don’t even mention his name so all eventually forget

But the fact-finders and truth-seekers forever survive

to hold them to it by actually opening up The Book

with exact quotes, citations, and cross-references of the scholar

reveal the original designer artist with name and nationality

credit only those connected to the source

exclude the false messiahs, wannabes, attempting-usurpers

they can pin-point precisely on the map and globe

they can rattle off each capital accordingly and correctly

the New Jerusalem will remain in Jerusalem.

We’ll Have a Healthy Whole Wheat and Rye


Salinger sang “If a body catch a body coming through the rye”

Holden wants most to stand near the edge of a cliff and catch children

any coming close to falling off

well, the Great Depression of the 30’s is over

and the Communist witch-hunt of the 50’s

Actually, maybe the beatniks still have a hangover

But, today, thank God, the best minds of our generation are getting healthy,

thank you.  Finally.

We’re not going to fall off

Thank God, we won’t ever go near

So, you don’t even need to stand there.

The madness is finally coming to an end.

Those children of then, running

today are all grown up, the run almost over

wholesome.  Today, thank God.

we have all but forgotten what polio was.

Anxiety, from Latin, “twisted rope”

Come of time to detangle from all the twisted

lies, falsely in the name of Heaven

to kill and burn

Today we’re saving the earth and its inhabitants, whole wheat and rye

with green eggs  & ham

but skip the ham, bud, it ain’t kosher

and just rephrase the eggs “organic”

We’re finally letting the Light shine through

The Age of Aquarius,

but we have had too much hair in our eyes

adolescent hair phrase, with tattoos and body piercings.

Today, class, I’m please to say the Cold War has ended

We’re using our resources to the max

Global warming?

Only the better to warm thee heart, love

(not to be curt, but they’ll soon reveal the warming on Mars too)

We’re starting to get all the facts straight

and perspective.

(Whew, it’s safe to eat eggs and carbs)


Moses, and the Moses of each and every generation – his job:

To bring us to God, show the way

Mouthpiece, microphone, for Sinai

Never supposed to pray to him, heaven forbid

Moses is just the guide

The direction sign on the dark lonely road

in the desert – an arrow:

“Go this way,” it points.  Up.

and because we follow The sign,

Today, thank God, there’s hope

a healthy future ahead

Yes, a future.

Trauma’s Veto: Making Human History


It’s all written in black-and-white

the area of engagement by chain-link

within the playground all play is permitted

what isn’t is also in black-and-white

and is not play, not for playground

if you get caught

The rules of evidence and procedure

in black-and-white, all human courts

play law within the bounds of the grounds

don’t go out of the lines, play by the rules

law and justice like cowboys-and-Indians

The upper courts lack the black-and-white

rules played ignored or vetoed by above

when rules and lines don’t serve truth and justice

Sometimes they need to pry her open to expel new life

in the name of the plan perforated and torn

do the rules stipulate stitching the holes back together

hold together the older generation in black-and-white

Generations of children spoon-fed by raped mothers

nations fathered by brutalized men

trauma begets more trauma

common sense resolutions vetoed by vice

healthy progress ideas diseased by painful scars

picket fences encroaching on personal space and dignity

hurt speaks for itself over truth and justice

there are no parameters for nuance

cool-headed man-made law by the book

etched in stone for a heart-of-flesh world

don’t let them strip you of empathy and feeling

above will veto by beyond the black-and-white