Sunday, September 28, 2014


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To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here

I watched an eagle soar through proud but vacant skies
 until my eyes grew stiff with studying
  and then I fixed my gaze on it
   and froze it there

The way was obvious - forward through the marshes
 forward over Pisgah and the Jordan
  down through Jericho and Moriah to

But the axe that I carried had turned blunt on me
 and fragile futile as a memory
  frozen like an eagle hovering
   an eagle with its wings clipped by the sun

          Before the shadow sets
          Before the desert grows too cold
          Before these stones have hardened
          Before the city on the sands
          Before the wise men call me arid

I travelled slowly over stubborn empty sands
 until my hands grew stiff with grovelling
  and then I fixed my gaze upon the town
   and wandered there

The path was wide and winding - stumbling over rocks
 stumbling over stones of words
  carrying them on towards Zion towards

But the voice I had borrowed had turned dry on me
 a voice of stone in an arid desert
  on a loose tongue in a parched mouth
   through a dead land

       As the shadow falls
       As the desert grows and gathers
       As the hearts turn stony
       As the city fills with fools
       As the wise men call me

The lawyers argued with me loud but hollow words
 until their thoughts grew stiff with arguing
  and then they fixed their gaze upon me
   and cursed me there

The road was blocked with soldiers - over the rough stones
 with the rough stones at my back - over the hills
  and onward to Gehenna from

But the fruit I had gathered had turned sour on me
 and lingered in the mouths of caves
  the hollow mouths the hollow caves
   the stone symbols of these feet of clay

          When the shadow lengthens
          When the desert turns to dust
          When the hearts have hardened
          When the city sleeps
          When the wise men call


          Stone breaking stone with stone
          Leeches clinging on the backs of leeches


"Elijah" is published in "Welcome To My World, Selected Poems 1973-2013", The Argaman Press. Click here to purchase the book.

You can find David Prashker at:

Copyright © 2014 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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