Poem: “Israel”

Israel II

we could see everything there–every crazy thing

until there was nothing left to look at

except the exquisite desert itself:

pure blue sky

indigo night

purple rock and red sand

no clutter, no obstructions

land wrapped around its people so tightly it has become their skin

they cannot leave

even if they go

G-d ambles back and forth across

the manganese blue kineret

all day long–enjoying the

golan gardens that Marla made herself

land wrapped around people so tightly it has become their skin

they cannot leave

even if they go

out of that land of red wrapped cow chocolates

jerusalem light

city of gold and pink and mauve and white

the sounds of the zils

and the beggars

and the solitary violin playing in the square of the old city

the tremors in tear washed faces caused by

centuries of prayer vibrating in that Wall,

as we lay our cheeks against Jerusalem stone

and stuff our little scraps of prayer into its crevices

hoping ours will not fall helplessly onto the ground with those wet and dirty supplications shredding into nothing

land wrapped around us so tightly it has become our skin

we cannot leave

even when

we go


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viola moriarty

(American, b. 1958)
Modern Expressionist Painter
2012-13 Recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

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