Jerusalem

Star of the Sea

Posted by admin on April 26, 2015
CitiSights, OtherCities, OtherWorlds / No Comments

The breeze from the sea

sweeps the carefree

wanderer in you.

Blowing you up the

gentle slopes of the God’s

vineyard to give you a view.

From the top of Mt Carmel,

the sprawl of the city of Haifa

merging into the sapphire blue

Mediterranean

The dome of the Baha’i’s

shrine glowing and tall

And in the symmetry

of its terraced gardens

the equality it professes

between a woman and a man,

everyone and all.

 

Slipping down the quiet,

tree-lined streets…

the downtown, the German colony

Neat little limestone cottages

and houses left by

the German templars

turned into plush restaurants,

boutiques, bars

with people drinking

wine and martini

Their soft-bright

off-white glow is the colour

of the entire town

Hanassi, Pinsky,

Moraiah, Hadar,

Hashalom…

 

The silent, almost

abandoned lanes; dried fallen

leaves on dark-blue

tarred road,

Walking in the mild

winter sun after a heavy lunch

or huddling against the

chilly wind returning

gypsy-tipsy from Seminar bar

with friends after

a long-day class crunch

the mind blank, without

any feel or concern for

tomorrow or work

living in the present, as guests

of the season,

and the promise of excitement and leisure

without any reason

 

Then leaving the calm

of the town- for Tel Aviv

Nazareth, Dead Sea,

Jerusalem,

Reeling before you flat

green fields and small

rolling hills of willows

mustard, herbs; forests

of oak, pine and almond

Till you agree that

the desert has indeed

blossom’ed

 

You see science-tech

and religion, but also

the hidden, pent-up

conflict, the specter of

war and strife

And learn that in the

beautiful relics of mighty

religions, rulers and

empires of the past

are contesting claims

which has long kept the

holy land aghast

It seems to be never

ending story that always

brings with it its own

never-ending worry and

gripe

 

Sun goes down, twilight,

night — the end of the

day-long excursion

While returning all the

way to Haifa half-sleepy,

tired,

To a table of warm soup

and meal

And as sleep slowly steal

you away

Random thoughts take

you down a vista of

images that striked you

all day

And you realise that

nothing in life is as

peaceful like a quiet

slow night in your bed

With dreams slowly

enveloping you in the

safety of the Biblical hill

by the Mediterranean.

I say, Haifa you are

splendid, peaceful and warm, like

mother Mary to some degree

Stella Maris be

your name, cause you

are truly a Star of the Sea.

 

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Israel Diaries

Posted by admin on February 10, 2015
OtherCities, OtherWorlds / No Comments

O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem

Shalom Jerusalem

From the vantage point of Mount of Olives, I see the golden-coloured Dome of the Rock soar above the Old City of Jerusalem — a tight cluster of pale limestone buildings, domes, and towers. Entering into the walled city from a glossy, well-planned outer suburb area — home to all branches of the Israeli government –– I feel that I am in some another time period. Of course there are signs of modern-living, but that makes little difference.

Streets paved with setts run past ancient colonnaded houses with wrought-iron balconies. Below them shops and restaurants sell hot pizza, falafel and shawarma. Soon the streets turn into narrow lanes and alleys of bustling markets full of locals and tourists alike.

An Array of shops sell a range of souvenirs that easily catch a visitor’s eye (or dazzle it) – from exotic artifacts, fine local handicrafts and antiques to religious articles, jewelleries, textiles, rugs, cheap clothing, ceramics, glassware and small keepsakes to take back home to remind you of your visit to the holy city.

I head down some covered markets in the Muslim or Christian quarters. They are so devoid of natural light that lamps from rows of shops light the way. Walking down these vibrant marketplaces while passing by a variety of colorful goods and wares and amid merchant calls, you may just walk past a hidden mosque, a church or some religious sites of importance without even knowing. Your mind is too busy processing the multitude of exotic images pounding on it. Continue reading…

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