Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Western Wall

Now that I have a brand-new laptop I can do what is perhaps one of my favorite past times (besides scribbling down poetry). I can catch-up on all the new DVDs Portland's main library has accumulated since my first laptop's DVD device broke down two years ago, a week after the year's warranty expired (bet the electronics companies have computers that can schedule computer breakdowns too). The DVD was "Walk On Water", shoot in three cities that I've been lucky enough to visit, Berlin, Istanbul, and Tel Aviv. One of the scenes was shot directly in front of the "Wailing Wall", perhaps one of Israel most famous landmarks. The scene made me flashback to my trip around the world in '95 and my grand total of about 15 minutes at the wall, where I stood looking through corrugated fenced off area, hoping to get a clue from the other members of the tour group as to what to do next since I was not Jewish. I ended up going to the public toilets to the left of the Wall to relieve myself:) Unfortunately, I had no clue again as to the significance of the stone structure.

The Western Wall (Hebrew: äëåúì äîòøáé, translit.: HaKotel HaMa´aravi), or simply The Kotel, is a retaining wall in Jerusalem that dates from the time of the Jewish Second Temple (515 BCE - 70 CE). It is sometimes referred to by gentiles as the Wailing Wall (Arabic: il-Mabkaý), the term that may be considered derogatory, as it implies the image of Jews wailing and moaning over the hardships they have endured throughout Jewish history. In Islam it is known as al-Buraq ("the Bright One" - the name of the white horse upon which Muslims believe Muhammad to have performed his nocturnal journey). The Western Wall is part of the larger religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem called Har ha-Bayit (the Temple Mount) to Jews and some Christians, or Al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) to Arabs and Muslims. The Temple in Jerusalem was the most sacred building in Judaism. Herod the Great built vast retaining walls around Mount Moriah, expanding the small, quasi-natural plateau on which the First and Second Temples stood into the wide open spaces of the Temple Mount seen today. In recent centuries, Jews were allowed little or no access to the site, such as when Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) ruled over it for 400 years (1515-1917), followed by the British Mandate of Palestine (1917-1948) and the Jordanian rule of Jerusalem (1948-1967). Access to the site for Jews was gained after victory in the 1967 Six Day War. Learn more at: www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org

And if you're still in a reading mood check this out:

Knowing The Signs By Their Tents

There is a way to get back the sun, but first you must:

-Successfully put acid in the CIA's drinking water.

-Shot-out all the harbors in a light.

-Reclaim every diaper distributed to astronauts.

-Bottle-up the Bills of Rights then sell it to Congress.

-Start a grassroots movement to free the A train from prison.

-Find a way to package and sell 100 tours to Baghdad.

-Develop a technique to stop the earth from leaking ink.

-Have the fortitude to replace red as the color of pain.

A Genital Kinship, Each So Superfacial

The face of god or true love if I could just peak over
this cinderblock wall.

But instead, I'm stuck here in Savanna or maybe it's a
blue motel room with no bedspread. There's a Bible in
the dresser no body's ever opened and the door squeaks
when you close it. Will you close it and play checkers
between the white lines on my highway? We could soar
until our rocket crashes into the glass ceiling. We won't
even need to repair the antonym or explain what "shell
shock" means to our egos. You could pretend to be
charming and I could stand marble like the Rialto Bridge.
I'd baptize you if there's still a river jordon, chilled in dry
ice with a lizard in the bathtub. I'm willing to promise the
world if you're willing to bring your pretty plastic madonna,
concealed in a zip-lock doggy bag.

These poems first published online at: http://neukol.org.uk/tyneblog/index.php/tomkelly
Copyright 2007 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.
Visit by e-zine: http://www.concelebratory.blogspot.com/
And my personal blog: http://www.copyat5.blogspot.com/

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