Sunday, September 28, 2014

Time Immemorial

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

 Time has not taught men much
beating against eternity
like a panic-stricken bird
lashing the cruel stroke of midnight

Who now remembers the dry white stones
the thorns the thongs the cacti
and how the souls of our fathers
were given up each to its own desert?

Ah but now the season opens
fresh as poppies white as dead men’s bones
earth grows its harvest of summer fruit
sea has not spilled over.

Who at this equinox will taste my fever
these hands that quake
these eyes that burn?
Who will count the changes of the inner clock?

Listen: my skin is made of lampshades
my heart is made of rainbow
my blood is milk and honey -
which of you will taste my promise?

The bodies of men make strong manure
See these poppies that were once Akiva
this cactus that was once Bar Kochba
The pyramid of Ramesses is strewn with ivy

No time has not taught much
nor time nor history
men do not hear the prayers
exploding in the synagogues

Nor taught nor learned
the clocks still toll the minutes
the bone-white sand still fills
the desert’s hourglass

The sign upon my house still reads:
“Here lives a Jew”

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

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Copyright © 2014 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

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