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morning in jerusalem

I awaken to the sounds
Of men and machines speaking Arabic
a stone's throw from Damascus Gate
Gate of the Pillars
that people and animals have passed thru
for more than 2000 years
the hopeful, the hurried,
the merchant, the mendicant
some in love
some in pain
some both
and in a brief blessed silence
the sounds of construction cease
replaced by songbirds and mewling cats.
I look for you Jerusalem
think of you in the cool mornings
of this holy land
consciously grateful for your breadth
Staring in wonderment at your form
oh magnificent city
before moving toward your portal gates
to brush against the vast
history and strength
held within them
and the softness of the dew upon them
unfurling my mat
facing the holy gate
inside my tiny monastery cell
your fragrance calling
me nuzzling beside your head
so full of hair
and air
and the glory
of the story
making me want
to speak in ancient tongues
to pierce my flesh
as witness to desire
to say, amen
And mean it
and I do.