Wall to Wall

From the Hakotel*
To the wall of separation**
Is a distance of about 1 mile.

At the Western Wall
The Divine Presence never departs
And Adam himself was created.

Here, 9 metres of concrete
Stagger for 165 Kilometres
And the pain of powerless anguish
Stops the heart of humanity.

There is writing on the wall,
This time not emerging from an angel’s hand
Interpreted by Daniel
But rather from a spray can or two
To make of what you will.

“Mene Mene Tekel and Parsin”,
wrote the angel;
You have been weighed in the
Balance and found wanting,
Your kingdom will be given
To the Medes and the Persians.

“This wall is a shame on the
Jewish People, My People”
wrote the spray can;
A Kingdom divided against
itself cannot stand.

From the Wall of Lamentation
To the wall of lamentation
Is a distance of about 1 mile,
3000 years
And a second’s thought

Destroy this Temple
And I will rebuild it
In 3 days. The children will
Be restored to the fathers.

Destroy this wall
And fathers will be restored
To their children.
In how many days?

*The Western Wall
** The 165km of wall (twice as high as the Berlin wall) that the Israeli government has built in order to protect people from suicide bombers. The social implications have been immense and the wall is extremely contravertial. Some Israelis claim that the wall has brought an end to death through suicide bombings, whilst Palestinians and many Jews claim that the wall has brought unnecessary suffering to the Palestinian people and deprived many of them of a living and of access to work. Many have never been able to see the world beyond the wall.

After spending some time in Israel, I found it impossible to hold any opinion without hearing the opposite opinion clamouring for a hearing in my mind. I wrote poems that I could instantly contradict, but I’ve let them stand – to hold their own resonance.

Who can say when a defensive wall is the answer and when taking it down becomes not a risk but a necessity?

In my own life I’ve recently experienced various people putting up defensive walls in order to lock out pain.

But what one can’t help noticing, is that those walls tend rather to lock the pain in, and shut life out.