THE TEMPLE MOUNT, 50 YEARS AFTER LIBERATION
How long will our pleas fail to stir
the heart of G’d, fail to please
the One who is forgiving? How long
can a man appease his enemy, deny
what is his, divide mind and heart
with a fence built of lies, mocking holy
with profane? Whose suffering
is so great as one who once
had everything? Whose
patience is so great as ours?
Each day they shake their clenched
gold fist at us, hurl down
the latest provocations. Our glory
grows faint. Our dreams, children
of restless sleep, begin to slip away.
Remember Bilaam came to curse
the camp, but blessed Israel instead.
Another with one open eye
gave back the keys, our sacred
Mount, despite the swiftest victory.
Maybe Dayan meant to bless
but cursed the camp instead.
Steven Sher (aka Shlomo Yashar) has lived in Jerusalem since making aliyah in 2012. His writing (poetry, short fiction, Jewish folktales, essays, satire and features) has appeared worldwide for more than 45 years. The most recent of his 15 books is Uncharted Waters (New Feral Press, New York, 2017). He has taught at many universities and writing workshops since the 1970s and has served as an editor or consultant across the print media/publishing/literary spectrum. Find out more about his writing at steven–sher–poetry.wixsite.